Here are my thoughts:
2017/2018 versus 2019
I feel like 2017 - 2018 was a really really really good years for anime with several challenging for masterpiece status (Made in the Abyss [I personally think this was very overhyped but ppl loved it], Re;Creators, Banana Fish, A Place Further Than The Universe). Even those that didn't challenge for masterpiece status still put on a clinic on how to redefine a genre (Slime for Isekai for example). If I asked you to rank the best anime from those two years collectively, it would be extremely hard to do (For me it's between Re;Creators and Banana Fish just for the sheer ambition of what they attempted, but between them idk). Finally, even the flameouts rose to Code Trainwreck level of fabulous (Darling in the Frannx: points if ppl get this reference). Hell even Goblin Slayer was innovative in the sense that the directors somehow convinced the producers to let them air hentai on public T.V. Almost every show lived up to its potential or if not our expectations of it. Even the trainwrecks were able to string together quality episodes for long enough to get us invested. I mean we were consistently getting shows at the B+ and A- level with multiple A+.
I think this coincides with the fact that more studios are being backed by streaming platforms increasing their demand for anime and funneling money into studios to create new exclusive projects. It would also explain why the quality level in general has risen.
Compared to those two years, 2019 has played it relatively safe. We got a ton of sequels (OPM, Mob Psycho 100, AoT S3P2), which were good but nothing new. For a second season like this to rise to that A- level, it needs to significantly elevate the series in some way. It needs to draw in new viewers or be so good that you go rewatch the prior season just so you can pay attention to the new season. Unfortunately, while Mob Psycho was excellent, it didn't hit that mark and OPM Season 2 is nowhere near it. With "Is it wrong to pick up girls in a dungeon," "My Hero Academia Season 4," and Psycho Pass Season 3" on the way, it does not seem like 2019 will give us the level of quality novelty we have become accustomed to. None of these series are bad, but it's just more of the same.
Analysis of 2019 Spring Shows
Unlike even last season where there were multiple must watch shows (Dorororo, Shield Hero, Promised Neverland), Spring 2019 is probably the weakest overall season we have had in years.
I came into this season willing to watch the following new content:
(1) Carole and Tuesday
(2) Kono Oto
(5) Wise Men's Grand Child
(6) We Never learn
(9) Fairy Gone
*Fruits Basket I'm watching at a later date as a binge watch (but it would fall into the above category of second season/remake).
I dropped everything striked out after 4-5 episodes because they were so bad. Just unwatchable bad to the point where I can't even watch it as something mindless.
That still leaves me with four shows that captured my attention, which should be pretty for a season.
(1) Carole and Tuesday - I think this is the runaway best show of Spring 2019 and its not even close. It's an original concept which automatically differentiates it from just about every other show this season (Sarazanmai excepted) so everyone is coming into it with the same level of interest. The animation quality is superb, which is something that has been lacking in general. The musical score is the best this season. The story of Carole and Tuesday is simple, at times formulaic, but it's a different story than what we typically see with this genre. Music is not a medium for something else here. Here, music and the music industry is the central theme while simultaneously acting a critique on society.
The only real flaw to Carole and Tuesday is that it hasn't or is unwilling to explore deeper/darker aspects of the music industry, and emotion yet. It has been teasing us with it at several points, but it's positive almost to a fault. Given the series is 24 episodes, it is an original work, the amount of foreshadowing done already, I trust the final 75% of the series will get us there.
(2) Kono Oto - Let's just get the unavoidable negatives out of the way. Carole and Tuesday does everything better (music, animation quality, etc . . .). That being said, Carole and Tuesday has twice the run time and probably twice the production budget.
The one place where this disadvantage could have benefitted Kono Oto was in its pacing. The limited run time forces Kono Oto to delve deeper into issues more quickly than Carole and Tuesday and could have more quickly gotten its audience invested in its characters and story. However, the director was likely too ambitious as he seems to be trying to give every character their own episode as screen time, but isn't taking the time to foreshadow or develop the characters so these episodes are warranted (last episode was completely out of nowhere and complete unnecessary). If you want to see this done correctly, Revue Starlight managed to pull it off well.
That being said, I agree that the series is just okay and a good way to kill 20 mins every week, but thats what makes it an average, and very forgettable series and easy to lose interest in.
(3) Sarazanmai - I've done this to death, but I think the fatal flaw of Sarazanmai is that the writer is trying to cater to way too many audiences at once in an effort to get his message out as widespread as possible. This reminds me of SpongeBob, Ren and Stimpy, or one of those old school 90's Cartoon Network cartoon like Courage the Cowardly Dog. It is show for adults couched as a cartoon so that they can watch it with their children without their kids knowing any better while simultaneously exposing their kids to adult themes. It's that aspect that prevents it from exploring any themes or messages at more than a superficial level and also prevents it from having an overly complicated story.
(4) KImetsu no Yaiba - I mean I don't see why people like this so much. I'm not a fan of the animation style. The way it tells its story is mundane. It just seems like a typical shounen series. What really bothers me about this series (besides being a clone of Dorororo) is that we have seen the shounen concept elevated and done sooooo much better. I don't want to hold it against My Hero Academia, but that's the level you need to reach if you want to get staying power as a shounen series.
Overall, I just wish 2019 would give us something new or different to get its audience invested in its shows. A 30 min escape every week is great, but I want to be rewarded for my investment at some point. This is part of the reason why I hate watching shows week by week (because you can't fully appreciate them the way you could when you can binge watch a series), but, on the other hand, a show that is done well will be discussed with anticipation week to week and its this kind of show that I think is really lacking this season.