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The Best New Anime of Summer 2019
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My fellow Americans, on this Independence Day, I want you to exercise your most important freedom: the freedom to stay indoors and watch anime all summer long. Without further ado, here’s the Explainiac Summer 2019 anime guide that will help you separate the wheat from the sick zebras to determine which new shows you need to see.

Editor’s note: This post will be updated as new information regarding streaming availability comes out

Vinland Saga

What is it?

If you’ve never watched History’s Vikings, congratulations…you played yourself. While that show is coming to an end, you can experience the next best thing in Vinland Saga, a.k.a. Vikings: The Anime. It tells the story of Thorfinn, the son of one of the greatest Viking warriors, who dedicates his life to seeking revenge on the man who killed his father. Like most quests, it also involves a battle for the crown of England. Unlike most quests, you don’t have to leave your couch to go on this one.

Where can I watch?

It will be simulcast weekly on Amazon Prime Video beginning on July 8.

Dr. Stone


What is it?

Easily the most anticipated new series of the summer, Dr. Stone is the anime prequel to the hit rom-com The Family Stone. Wait, I’m being told that is not correct. It’s about a teenager named Taiju who decides to tell his crush that he “likes her likes her,” only for all of humanity to get suddenly turned into stone. A few thousand years later, Taiju awakens, but his crush is still trapped in statue form. Now with the help of his friend Senku, they’re going to bring humanity back to life…with science. Anyway, do me a favor and go tweet @Sci_Phile to ask if statues can feel pain or something. Trust me — he loves it.

Where can I watch?

It will simulcast subtitled on Crunchyroll every Friday, starting July 5, and dubbed on Funimation.

Fire Force

What is it?

Fire Force is set in a world where everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked. Sort of. 200 years ago, the earth was engulfed in a sea of flames that basically torched the whole planet. To make matters worse, people now have the unfortunate tendency to spontaneously combust, turning into murderous flame monsters known as Infernals. Thankfully, there’s a badass group of firefighters known as the Fire Force who wield incredible abilities and…the power of prayer I guess to battle these creatures and a sinister force bent on conquering the world. Honestly, this all feels like a stealth ad campaign for vaping

Where can I watch?

It will simulcast subtitled on Crunchyroll beginning on July 4 and dubbed on Funimation on July 5.

Given

What is it?

I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in, to watching this sweet-looking musical romance anime. If you were a fan of Gravitation back in the day or you wished that A Star is Born was actually an anime instead of Hollywood Oscar-bait, then Given is for you. A young man named Ritsuka is feeling disenchanted with playing guitar…until he meets a guy named Mafuyu with a brokenaxe. Ritsuka decides to fix it for Mafuyu, which starts an unexpected friendship. But when Ritsuka hears Mafuyu sing…well, that stars something even more unexpected inside of him. Spoiler: it’s probably love.

Where can I watch?

TBD. News should be coming soon about where to stream the series.

Cop Craft

What is it? In short, it’s a fantasy twist on the buddy cop genre. He’s a take-no-prisoners detective with a cat allergy who will do anything to close a case. She’s a rookie knight from an alternate dimension with a sword as sharp as her wits, which is to say “very.” Together, they police the mean streets of San Teresa City, which lies at the juncture of two worlds, ours and the fairy and monster-filled universe of Leto Semaani. Will they get over their differences to put a stop to crime on these mean streets? The answer is probably not at first, but eventually yes after reaching a hard-earned respect for one another.

Where can I watch?

It will simulcast on Funimation beginning on July 8.

Are You Lost?

What is it?

Was your biggest complaint about Lost the fact that it didn’t follow a group of high school girls trying to make the most of their unexpectedly permanent island vacation? Well, then Are You Lost? is for you. It’s a deeply silly blend of slice-of-life comedy and a survival story, and it looks like it will have way fewer polar bears and complaints about its ending. If nothing else, it’s something to put on when it’s just too hot outside to think.

Where can I watch?

It will simulcast on Crunchyroll, beginning on July 2.

Astra Lost in Space

What is it?

With everyone from Elon Musk to Jeff Bezos trying to send mankind into outer space, it’s only a matter of time until Kanata no Astra becomes our reality. Set in 2061, during an age where commercial space travel is commonplace, the students of Caird High School find themselves on a field trip gone awry. Soon 9 students find themselves warped across the galaxy, stranded 5012 light-years from their homeworld. Will the old derelict spaceship they find get them home or will they find even bigger dangers than the badonk on Will Robinson’s robot? Only time will tell.

Where can I watch?

It will be available on Funimation beginning on July 3.

To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts


What is it?

Sorry, Ken Burns, but this ain’t the Civil War you’re used to. Set in the democratic nation of Patria, To The Abandoned Sacred Beasts takes place in the wake of a devastating war that pit brother against brother, north against south, man against monster. That last one isn’t an embellishment; the North used forbidden technology to defeat the South by transforming humans into monstrous soldiers with superhuman abilities known as Incarnates. Unfortunately, some of those Incarnates gave up their human side becoming murderous beings known as Beasts. Now with the war in their collective rear-view mirror, a beast hunter named Hank finds himself tracking down his former Incarnate squadmates, and to do so he must team up with a young woman named Schaal, who’s on the hunt for the people that murdered her Incarnate father. So, you know, basically the exact same Civil War we all learned about in history class.

Where can I watch it?

It will stream subtitled on Crunchyroll beginning on July 1

Which series are you most looking forward to? What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below and give me a thumbs up while you’re there.

New episodes of Explainiac air every Thursday!

Dan Casey is the creative director of Nerdist and the author of books about the Avengers and Star Wars. Talk to him on Twitter about anime.