The 2019 anime season is a whirlwind with no signs of slowing down, so don't feel bad if you've missed a few good ones along the way. In the same vein, you may have also watched some stinkers and put some time into a few shows that just didn't pay off in a way that made it feel worthwhile. Need some confirmation bias? Perhaps a recommendation or two? Have no fear.

To help you with your binging needs is this handy guide of the best anime of 2019 so far, and a few that don't deserve your precious screen time.

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10 Best: Fruits Basket (2019)

Who would have thought that Fruits Basket would not only come back one day but find a way to address every single fault on the original 2001 series? Fans have called for a series to go into the manga's story and finish the tale almost as much as the city of Seattle asks for a new professional basketball team, so not only is Fruits Basket one of the best in 2019 but a legit total shock.

The new art is incredible, all of the old voice actors are back, and the story has a focus that the original series never obtained. Let's hope the mystery of the zodiac gets a chance to fully play out this time around.

9 Worst: Fairy Gone

War-torn world? Mystical powers? Fraught friendships turned to ashes? All of these things are usually part of the blueprint for anime success but Fairy Gone mostly comes off like a direct-to-DVD version of Fullmetal Alchemist. This isn't to say that the first episode doesn't have intrigue or moments of visual brilliance, but the story of the Illegal Fairy Regulatory Agency's Dorothea is one that feels far too familiar without ever hitting the big payoff of twist that makes these shows stand out.

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8 Best: My Roommate Is a Cat

Every year is the Year of the Cat if you try hard enough, and this past winter's My Roommate Is A Cat proves that everyone could use a bit more feline in their anime diet. Despite initial concerns that this anime would be season-long tearjerker of sadness about an abandoned pet, My Roommate Is A Cat is, instead, an insightful look at the relationship between pet and owner, with all the pitfalls that come along the way.

But, really: Haru is the best official anime cat. Sorry, Chi.

7 Worst: Boogiepop And Others

This choice will ruffle some feathers, but the otherworldly Boogiepop And Others are too concerned with being mysterious and obtuse than telling a story that comes together. One part anthology story told out of order and one part horror/action, Boogiepop struggles to pick what genre it wants to be while also not stopping to explain anything along the way. Tons of reviews say that the only way to take in the show is to get through the entirety of the show, but your screen time is precious and you shouldn't have to wait around for eight episodes for an anime to make sense.

Maybe a machete cut could fix Boogiepop, but unlikely.

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6 Best: That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

Sure, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime began in fall of 2018 but the moment from that time has continued well into 2019 for the best (and only decent) Isekai anime out there. Slime manages to avoid the story problems that every single Isekai anime seems to fall, and blasts through the tropes it does employ with a sense of humor and world-building that the competition never bothers to attempt.

Speaking of bad Isekai...

5 Worst: Isekai Quartet

Chibi-style crossovers are always a fraught venture, but what kind of binge drinking went into giving Isekai Quartet the greenlight? A nonsensical mishmash of various shows, Isekai Quartet suffers from the problem all of these shows do: If you are only interested in one or two of the characters/shows involved then you're going to have a bad time. The rest of the time Isekai Quartet attempts to humorously poke at thet ropes of the genre but really only serves to highlight just how overdone the genre has become in 2019.

Bleh. Overlord deserves better.

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4 Best: The Quintessential Quintuplets

Just another harem anime? Hardly. The Quintessential Quintuplets biggest strengths are the way it plays with the genre's tropes and expectations while also providing surprising character interactions that catch viewers off-guard. In an unexpected twist, the first season of Quintuplets manages to keep its twist interesting while not revealing too much or too little, content with letting the mystery of who Futaro's bride will be to play out in good time. Quintessential Quintuplets is a refreshing entry in the harem genre that will hook even the most stone-faced opposer of harems.

3 Worst: The Rising of the Shield Hero

Darn you Iesekai, you strike yet again! When done well, an Iesekai anime can tell fish out of water stories that are equal parts wish-fulfillment and monkey's paw stories (Sup, Sword Art Online.) When done poorly the genre has all the subtly of being punched in the face. Feel free to guess which category The Rising of the Shield Hero falls into, as it wants to be pure wish fulfillment and tries to fill in the blanks as it goes, leaving an anime that feels half-finished and underdeveloped.

There will be no more talk of Iesekai on this list. Thank you.

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2 Best: Vinland Saga

Was there ever any other choice? Vinland Saga is a complete left-field, out of nowhere surprise, both in quality and ability to tell stories week by week. Beautiful, epic, and courageous, Vinland Saga's tale of protagonist  Makoto Yukimura's journey to revenge takes its time and does so as one of the best looking shows of the year. In many ways, Vinland Saga feels like a throwback to a different era of anime, as if plucked directly out of the late 1980s. Here's hoping its slow pace doesn't drive fans away because Vinland Saga wears the anime crown so far for 2019.

1 Worst: Virtual-san Looking

Perhaps something is simply lost in translation here, but Virtual-san Looking is a trainwreck of an anime that almost feels more like an attempt by an animation studio to punk its viewers. Virtual-san combines the worst tendencies of streaming culture and anime fan service, congealing into some kind of digital slurry meant to be drank quickly and without regard. If aliens ever do finally come to the assuredly-by-then burnt-out husk of our planet and find only Virtual-san Looking as the sole representative of our culture then surely said aliens will do a complete U-turn from Earth and get away from it as quickly as possible. They'd be better off.

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