Posted by SuperWooper on 21 January 2019 with categories: Yearly Summaries

Aidan: Judging things as a collective is always a flawed process. Yet for simplistic presentation we stick anything we can into top tens, best of year or greatest hits. To stick a label on so much diverse content is always a matter of point in time favoritism that likely won’t be true in five years or even five minutes from now. But here we are bundling all the anime of the year into a post for easy digestion and judgement which I must insist is highly opinionated. For a general impression of the year I admit to it being a year where there were not many shows that I felt strongly about. There were shows that certainly are good but if asked which was the best of the year I would find that I wouldn’t be all to enthusiastic regardless of my pick. However this could be very much due to this year being a rather busy and tiring year for me which come with the pains of turning thirty and finally admitting that I am no longer young anymore.

Before you scroll down and prepare to scream at us for neglecting the absolute masterpiece of animation that you consider was best of the year allow me to fully concede that this post is far from an ironclad perfection. Our method of choosing this particular winners isn’t foolproof and is dependent on each writer’s knowledge of the anime of that year. I myself prove to be the worst liability in this regard considering that I just didn’t watch much anime this year and started many a series only to forget to finish them. As such you may notice some glaring omissions like the new seasons of Attack on Titan or Boku No Hero Academia which I can assure you are mainly missing due to none of our writers having a particular interest in continuing them. (Though Hero Academia fans you do have an ally on the team with Lenlo. Sadly he’s outnumbered by the rest of us.) Even I find the final list below to be missing some standouts so I at least recommend that you do not use this post as your single source on what to watch from this year.

Each writer has taken up writing a blurb for each show with a tally on what we all voted as the best of the year down below. Once again we do not expect you to agree and if anything maybe we might get you to check out a show you may have overlooked this year. Wakanda forever, let’s jam.

Worst of the Worst

Worst Show: Itou Junji Collection

Aidan: While an argument can be made over there being worse shows than Junji Itou Collection, it can be said that at least those shows have more of an excuse. Junji Itou is a horror mangaka of legendary status that to consider him the HP Lovecraft of manga is not such a far fetched statement. His work has inspired plenty yet failed to gain an adaptation be it live action or otherwise which truly gave his work justice. This anime was a chance to take that work and transform it to a new plane, adding a potential great anime to the rather underexplored anime horror genre. However due to shoestring animation, a general lack of passion or care and oddly chosen stories this anime took these stories and killed the soul out of them. Making what was considered terrifying, unnerving and otherworldly into something aggressively mediocre.

Runner-up: CONCEPTION, for being the first show to put up a link to a website when asked for worldbuilding.

Biggest Disappointment: Steins;Gate 0

Lenlo: I had high hopes going in to both of these shows. Both are mystery thrillers with time based shenanigans, and a wide cast of characters. Both start off well, with a promising premise. Both fall apart halfway through because of lackluster villains and a poor use of their premise. However, what sets them apart is their lineage. Kokkoku only had to live up to an existing manga. Steins;Gate 0 however had to live up to one of the best time travel, nay best thriller anime, ever made. A premise that has already been proven to work. A cast the everyone already loved. A darker follow up to an already fantastic series. And Steins;Gate 0 manages to drive all of that into the ground by ignoring existing characters, adding in pointless new ones and generally disrespecting the audience by thinking it could pander to us on nothing more than our love for the original series. It is because of this that Steins;Gate 0, hyped up for almost 8 years since the original, is the most disappointing anime of 2018.

Runner-up: KOKKOKU

 

Worst First Episode: Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai

Mario: Here’s the proof that as long as it sells no one cares about the goddamn content. It’s another LN adaptation about a high school LN author who always has a cute sister to bang. The first reason for my distaste of it is because of the high level of self-masturbation, and the second reason is that it has the maturity of a 14-year-old kid. Like its predecessor Eromanga Sensei it goes through all the stupid cliches: a team of hot harem girls who already have the hots for a no-face male lead, a perfect little sister, panty shots, boob grabbing, a nip-slip loli and a blind devotion to Light Novel industry… I put the blame on the otaku market that keeps buying this kind of lazy writing. The main girl is so unbelievably perfect that she feels like a generic object of affection. I mean, this show knows all the common tropes but glorifies it so that it can appeal to its target audience. The fact that the production went astray later was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Honestly it’s the most lazily written premiere I’ve watched in years.

Runner-up: CONCEPTION

 

Worst Character: Ayano Hanesaki (Hanebado!)

Wooper: Ayano began life on screen as a disillusioned badminton prodigy, whose abandonment by her mother had left her empty and unmotivated. From here, Hanebado had the option of going the typical sports anime route and slowly bringing her closer to her teammates as she regained her passion for the sport. This would have been fine, if a little too familiar, but this show wasn’t satisfied with retreading fertile ground. Instead, it made Ayano into a schizophrenic mess, whose transitions between “heartless bully” and “innocent child” were made all the more jarring by her inhuman eyes. Seriously, the show’s way of letting you know which version of the character you were about to get was to invert the light green of her irises with the darker green/black of her pupils. This might have worked in a much grittier action series, or a campier sports/comedy mashup, but Ayano’s petulance and occasional cruelty made it feel like a desperate stab at explaining her bizarre behavior. Every time you think she’s about to have an emotional breakthrough, she purposefully humiliates someone on the court, and every time you think she can’t get any edgier, she starts obsessing over her favorite kids show mascot, Wei-Wei the whale. Together with her neglectful mother, Ayano’s inconsistency took this series from potentially fun to confusingly bad.

Runner-up: KAGARI (Steins;Gate 0)

 

General Categories

Best First Episode: Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight

Wooper: This was my favorite premiere since Made in Abyss’ first episode last year, so it’s probably not a coincidence that both of them were produced by Kinema Citrus. There’s an shared emphasis on intrigue, mood, and terrific lighting between the two, but while Abyss works its central mystery into every corner of its debut, Revue Starlight takes a more cryptic position, using a prodding orchestral score and deceptive character introductions to hint at its true nature. Starlight’s first episode is positively loaded with symbolism, as well, from blood red curtains to dreams of Tokyo Tower to a transformation scene that will leave you scratching your head if you’re not prepared for it. And the combat sequence at the end, set to the vocal performance of its participants, hits delicious levels of choreographed smoothness that most TV could never reach, with a hook that had me hyped to see what was next. Opinions on the show’s finale are split amongst our writers, but it certainly started off with a ton of promise.

Runner-up: HISONE TO MASOTAN, for simple but striking and expressive designs, a refreshing story about dragon piloting (note: not riding) that doesn’t take itself seriously, and whole lot of offbeat humor as a pepper on top.

 

Best Single Episode: SSSS.Gridman (Episode 9)

Mario: This episode comes pretty late in the year (I believe it was in December) but since then it claims this slot handily. This episode relies heavily on symbolism and on its visual strengths that the more you look back to it (or the more you rewatch), things start to unravel itself and become much clearer. It has many single striking shots, like the moment where Akane jumps off the crane which remains one of cinematic highlights for me. Not only does it flirt around with dream/reality boundary that is one of my jams, it also deepens Akane’s narrative in most unexpected way.

Runner-up: CASTLEVANIA (Season 2, Episode 7)

 

Most Pleasant Surprise: Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

Mario: Billing itself as a CGDCT show, Sora Yori surprises us on how it handles its tricky concept. A trip to Antarctica when they’re high school girls can sound like a pipe dream, but Sora Yori never glosses over those issues, instead approaches them with thorough research. Every stage of the trip is planned carefully, they never make light comments about high-school girls going for such harsh trip and indeed, they point out many times how extreme this trip can be. It’s also a story about self-discovery, friendship, and coming-of-age where every girl knows this trip can be a valuable life lesson for them.

Runner-up: SEISHUN BUTA YAROU WA BUNNY GIRL-SENPAI

 

Best Studio: Kyoto Animation

Wooper: When a studio puts out three high quality TV series and two well-received films in a single year, they’re a shoo-in for this award. Violet Evergarden was a long-awaited technical marvel in a field of misfires and mobage ads, while Tsurune and Free S3 yielded episode after episode of solidly-directed and drawn sports drama. For many cinematography nerds, Liz and the Blue Bird’s release was a landmark moment not just for the year, but the decade; our writers thought it leaned too heavily on style without the story to match, but it was certainly a worthy addition to Naoko Yamada’s filmography. And though I didn’t see the Chuunibyou movie, plenty of fans claim that it rescued the franchise from a disastrous second season, which is a sure sign that the film did something right. Much has been written elsewhere on the Internet about KyoAni’s efficient production methods and ethical treatment of their employees, so I won’t regurgitate any of that here, but it’s certainly nice to believe that there’s a link between good corporate practices and well-made anime.

Runner-up: WIT STUDIO, for the consistently beautiful production it lavished on Koi wa Ameagari, and for getting back in the saddle with some praiseworthy Titan action.

 

Best OP: “Flashback” (Kokkoku)

 

Lenlo: Flashback is an OP too good for its own series. Kokkoku fell into a disgusting mess, while its OP plunged so deep into heart pumping psychedelia that I have it on my playlist to this day. The visuals are engaging, creating and colorful. Visually showing everything from the family dynamics to the core premise of the show, stopped time. The music itself is a fierce sort of techno that would not be out of place at a rave, yet is also more than typical pumping rave music. It’s hard to describe, I am no musician myself. Suffice to say, I love this OP, everyone on staff loves this OP, and we think you would love this OP too.

Runner-up: “MAN HUMAN” (Devilman Crybaby), for its addictive and pulsating electronic beat, plus its inky black-and-white aesthetic that folds tons of imagery into such a small package.

 

Best ED: “Le temps de la rentrée” (Hisone to Maso-tan)

 

Mario: French summer song has never sounded so cool and addictive. It reminds me a great deal to my favorite Francoise Hardy (which this song is supposed to come from the same era), boasted by those moving hips and their deadpan expressions. It also speaks very well to HisoMaso upbeat themes and the animation of these girls dancing are such a joy to watch. It’s one of these few EDs that I was always looking forward to every week and remember, hips never lie.

Runner-up: “FUKASHIGI NO CARTE” (Bunny Girl-senpai)

 

Best Animation: Violet Evergarden

Lenlo: Alright, let’s be real here, raise your hand if you were expecting Violet Evergarden to win this? Already KyoAni is known for its beautiful animation, and they went above and beyond in making Violet Evergarden. Yes, it lacks the bombastic and action packed sequences of its runner up Devilman Crybaby. However it more than makes up for this in its consistently smooth, beautiful and highly detailed character animation of the course of its 13 episode run. Everything from the cloth and hair, to the hands and typewriters are immaculate. So much so that in some scenes, the digital effects added on top actually take away from the original animation. Simply put, Violet Evergarden’s animation is so good, I think I developed a prosthetic hand fetish just watching Violet type.

Runner-up: DEVILMAN CRYBABY

 

Best Background Art: Violet Evergarden

Mario: While I certainly am not a fan of Violet Evergarden’s heavily filtered post-production, there’s no denying that the rest of the show looks gorgeous and there’s no single drop of quality in any episode. One of its power is the various settings Violet goes through throughout the series. The world setting has natural and lush landscapes. All the settings look different and all of them are rich in details (the starry night, for example). In one episode, she’s in a tropical village with buffalo and agricultural field, in the next one, she in the mountainous village with European style architecture. Furthermore, it’s one rare production where all the background characters are fully portrayed with their own costumes and figures. The use of color is mostly well done, in which they focus more on excessive details and realistic looks than Shaft’s impressionist style

Runner-up: MAQUIA: WHEN THE PROMISED FLOWER BLOOMS, for creating a gorgeous and detailed-laden fantasy universe that evolved alongside its generation-spanning story.

 

Best Soundtrack: Devilman Crybaby

 

 

Aidan: Devilman Crybaby is a show with a lot of things going for it and out of all of them the soundtrack may be the closest to perfection. Devilmans soundtrack is a fest of nostalgia fueled synth along with emotional uplifts to heighten the soul of tragedy and redemption. Devilman had the soundtrack that felt like it came from the 80’s which aided it’s feel of being of a modern version of old anime OVAs. I need not mention the addictive Devilman no uta theme which is akin to a modern rasputin and the series opening which abandons typical jpop conventen for a more subdued chanting and thump beat dripping with atmosphere. It’s a soundtrack which may not make an impression upon watching the show but when you sit down to listen to it you realise just how many times it came to save the day when the narrative didn’t quite succeed. We even have episodes opening with Japanese rap of all things and it is excellent. So I believe it would be good to remind people that this series had more songs worth listening to in it than just Devilman no uta.

Runner-up: MEGALO BOX, for reasons obvious to those that watched it.

 

Best Voice Acting: Kana Hanazawa (Hinata, 3-gatsu no Lion 2)

Wooper: 3-gatsu’s second season cast a bigger spotlight on the Kawamoto family than ever before. Akari struggled with her dual roles of provider and caretaker, Someji was highly involved in the fairs and festivals where he and his granddaughters sold their confections, and Momo’s abounding sweetness was crucial as her older siblings went through some dark times. But it was the famous bullying arc, which put middle child Hinata through the emotional ringer, that provided the biggest character showcase of the season, and Kana Hanazawa proved herself worthy of the opportunity. With a performance than ran the gamut from shattered sobs to vicious declarations of war on her tormentors, HanaKana demonstrated a range that has made her one of the most beloved seiyuu working in the industry today. There were plenty of quieter moments for her to play with, too, often involving Hina’s friendship with her former classmate Chiho, or her budding ambition to one day take over the family business. Hanazawa-san’s sunny delivery worked like a charm in these scenes, reinforcing her character’s innate goodness even as she dealt with pain and alienation in her school life. 3-gatsu is full of great voice actors from multiple generations, but for me, she was a standout among standouts.

Runner-up (tie): HINA KINO (Hanako, Asobi Asobase) and MAMORU MIYANO (Kentarou, ZombieLand Saga), for their unhinged, flamboyant performances as characters with absolutely no filter.

 

Best Character: Akira Tachibana (Koi wa Ameagari no You ni)

Lenlo: While I can comfortably say I do not know what it is like to be a teenage girl with a crush, that didn’t stop me from loving Akira Tachibana in Koi wa Ameagari no You ni. That feeling, that terrifying feeling, of loving someone but being unable to voice it is familiar to everyone I am sure. Though no doubt our objects of affection were much closer to our own age. Combine that with the underplayed, but present, issues regarding her track career and she becomes a multifaceted, well rounded character. It is these mostly relatable struggles that earned her this spot. There is something about Tachibana that I am sure everyone can connect with, even if you’re not a teenage highschool girl.

Runner-up: RETSUKO (Aggressive Retsuko), relatable is the word of the day and Retsuko’s everyday struggles speak volumes here because of how real her environment is. The decision to make her an anthropomorphic character makes her even more sympathetic.

 

Best Cast: Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

Lenlo: It was a fierce competition between these 4 girls and an entire University track team, but somehow these little girls defeated them. Sora Yori is without a doubt one of the best character dramas of the year, so it stands to reason its cast would be of a similar quality. Each of the girls are lovable in their own way, with distinct personalities and quirks, and issues they must work through over the course of the series. The real magic though is in seeing these girls interact with and get through the story together. Their chemistry is fantastic as they play off of each other. Sometimes being goofy, sometimes serious, I am sure everyone can find one of these four to connect with. Whether it be through the loss of a family member, a desire to get away, to experience an adventure, or just to make friends.

Runner-up: KAZE GA TSUYOKU FUITEIRU, for advancing the stories of 10 college athletes simultaneously, and giving each of them just the right amount of time in the spotlight.

 

Genre/Format Awards

Best Comedy: Pop Team Epic

Lenlo: Boy writing a paragraph on Pop Team Epic… that is a challenge. Simply put, there is no other anime that seeks to or succeeds more at shitposting the audience into submission, than Pop Team Epic. There is no common throughline. There is no greater story. Pop Team Epic is not trying to comment on society. It is simply the greatest collection of pop culture, internet in jokes and memes, shoved into a single 11 minute anime that has even been conceived. So dedicated is Pop Team Epic to this goal, that it has recordings, one male and one female, for each episode. So dedicated is Pop Team Epic’s crew, that it features multiple live action segments and limited animation, that at some points you would be forgiven for forgetting it was an anime at all. Will all the jokes make you laugh every episode? No, of course not. But I challenge you not to giggle at least once, even at just the absurdity of what is on screen, on each and every episode. It is for this, and its complete dedication body and soul to the art of shitposting, that Pop Team Epic wins Best Category for 2018.

Runner-up: HINAMATSURI

 

Best Action: Devilman Crybaby

Aidan: Boku No Hero fans I can hear your “REEEEEE” of hate from here and from an animation standpoint it may even be more deserving of this award. But a reimagining of a Go Nagai manga that very well could have helped create the very tropes that are the backbone of Boku No Hero’s narrative does at least give it some credence in claiming this award. Not to mention being the only Masaaki Yuasa work where the animation didn’t get in the way of my enjoyment of the series. Devilman Crybaby is what i would consider an excellent update to a manga whose age could discourage some from checking out. Some would argue it’s timeless but I feel something like Devilman Crybaby is a much more relatable way to convey this story to a modern audience. This story is brutal in its violence and sincere in what it has to say. The ending in particular is a punch to the gut not many stories these days would have the guts to even attempt. This series has its degrees of flaws, in particular how fast it rushes to that ending but it is something that shows its legacy.

Runner-up: PLANET WITH, for being the anime Studio Trigger wish they could make.

 

Best Drama: Koi wa Ameagari no You ni

Wooper: After the Rain features a lot of great dramatic moments, but its repertoire is bigger than just one genre. Comedy, romance, and slice-of-life passages are threaded through its short 12-episode run, which creates a sense of depth that’s rarely found in other single cour series. Take manager Kondou’s humorous misunderstandings, for example. Though they’re very funny (and well-acted by Hiroaki Hirata), they mask the self-deprecating spirit of a man who has given up on his dream, and his contemplation of pursuing that dream again in middle age gains more gravity as the show progresses. The personal and emotional lives of its primary duo are given thorough examination, which lends believability to the one-sided love affair between two people nearly 30 years apart in age. Supporting cast members play a comparatively smaller role, but their romantic successes and interpersonal struggles keep the series grounded in a world that is sometimes inviting and sometimes harsh, just like the reality it closely captures. It’s the presence of these other elements that make Ameagari an eminently followable drama, rather than one that leaves you on the edge of your seat each week.

Runner-up: SEISHUN BUTA YAROU WA BUNNY GIRL-SENPAI

 

Best Short: Aggressive Retsuko

Mario: Well, the truth is that I didn’t think of Aggretsuko as short until this write-up. Aggretsuko is a straight-up solid show through and through. What it resonates with me the most, apart from how relatable it is, is its atmosphere. It almost feels like we are watching the daily struggles of one of our close friends. The humor is grounded simply because they never make light of her issues. Meeting expectations, enduring horrible colleagues and bosses, and striving for an escape although she’s never quite sure what to do next, they are all rooted in reality, yet somehow it’s funny and sincere and has lots of heart.

Runner-up: EMIYA-SAN CHI NO KYOU NO GOHAN

 

Best OVA: FLCL Progressive

Aidan: Allow me to be the first to admit that FLCL Progressive doesn’t win this award based on on being the best OVA per se, so the title of this award is misinformed. More on the grounds of being one of the few OVAs that we all actually watched. Nevertheless I think this would be a good place to discuss this series and its sister series Alternative. These series certainly have gathered quite a lot of hate and I find them interesting on the grounds of just how people compare them to the original FLCL. I myself do not hold FLCL in quite as high a regard as others do but when looking at opinions on this series it’s rather amusing to see how deified the original FLCL has become. Honestly seeing people talk about how “deep” the original characters are makes me raise an eyebrow. Personally I feel that if FLCL was released today and not all those years ago it wouldn’t have the level of critical acclaim that it has these days. So when it comes to Progressive I have no real love or nostalgia to hinder my view of it and I personally enjoyed it quite a lot. I feel it did enough to be its own entity and acted as a good effort to make a sequel to something as nonsensical as FLCL. The matter of it being a good sequel is up for debate but as its own standalone series I feel it’s an enjoyable little watch. So I feel that if someone truly wants to like these series then letting go of any preconceptions or comparisons to FLCL original can help you appreciate it. See it more as a spiritual sequel rather than a genuine continuation.

Runner-up: ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN, for its delicate depiction of a fledgling lesbian romance, and for some of the best and subtlest character animation of the year.

 

Best Film: Maquia – When the Promised Flower Blooms

Wooper: Maquia is a film with big aspirations. Its medieval fantasy tale spans multiple generations, with the theme of motherhood threaded through its story like the Hibiol cloth its characters weave. Its breathtaking background art creates a world to match this ambition – one that keeps its audience enraptured even when the story runs slightly off course. From idyllic seaside villages to bustling iron cities, Maquia goes everywhere in pursuit of its characters, who travel in search of a peace that never lasts. Simple designs gave the animation team freedom in communicating the characters’ happiest and most desperate moments, creating a gulf between the two emotions that aided the film’s gigantic scope. Some of the more dramatic scenes were given real poignancy by Mari Okada, who both penned and directed the movie, adding another accomplishment to her towering resume. She and a veritable army of animators and artists made something very special in Maquia, which helped fill the Ghibli-shaped hole in my heart for another year. The film isn’t without its faults, but it’s worth remembering as one of the most ambitious animated projects of the decade thus far.

Runner-up: MIRAI NO MIRAI, a perfect family-oriented feature that respects the child’s point of view with all the mature sentiments around it.

 

Top 10 Anime of 2018

Here’s a link to our individual ballots, so you can see how we settled on these shows in this particular order. Let’s kick things off with a tie at 10th place (same as last year):

10 (tie). Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight

Mario: I’m happy to say that the #10 tie is reserved for two of the most ambitious projects of the year. Revue Starlight is inspired by the visual motifs from Ikuhara’s works (which comes as no surprise given the director Tomohiro Furukawa worked with Ikuhara during Penguindrum) and it has some of the best visual storytelling this year has to offer. Apart from the stage duels that have a lots of interesting shot angles and well-choreographed battle sequences, I am even more impressed when it comes to the show’s mundane slice of life part. It’s one of the rare shows where the visual is expertly crafted so that even if you turn off the audio and subtitles, just looking at what unfolds on-screen will give you a good idea of the context. As Revue Starlight is a multimedia project between an anime and a musical stage, the music is also another strength to this show. Moreover, the narrative also revolves around stage and is constructed like one. The cast is diverse and while I feel that some of them aren’t used to their full potential, there is still some solid chemistry and some gripping drama to enjoy. The Banana Arc stands out for me in that regard.

 

10 (tie). SSSS.Gridman

Mario: In the same spirits with Revue Starlight above, Gridman is a bold anime with an eye for visual execution. GRIDMAN is a show of two halves, one half implies more “Anno’s school” of static, lingering shots, the other it goes all out with dynamic climax battle scenes. The lingering approach gives the audience an offbeat and surreal sense, that what happening on-screen isn’t necessary real, which in turn fits neatly to the reveal later on. What I’m impressed the most about its visual framing however, is how it uses the distance between the characters to enhance their chemistry or depict the characters’ state of mind. Sequences where Rikka and Shou hole up in their own misery after Gridman’s defeat through the smart use of mirror reflection, or the moments where Akane jumps off the crane in episode 9. While personally I’m never that fond of Trigger’s narrative nonsense, this show is up there as my favorite Trigger show and could very well be their best.

 

9. Planet With

Aidan: Satoshi Mizukami is one of the most unsung heroes of the manga industry and has three works which could make for amazing anime. Planet With is not an adaptation of those three but it is a testament to just how strong a writer Satoshi is. Planet With feels like a two cour show which has been crushed down to a single cour and yet miraculously doesn’t suffer from that condensation. It is an anime which starts small and yet builds itself up with each passing episode accomplishing more in a single cour than few do in a fifty episode anime. Planet With is the best studio Trigger anime that Tigger never managed to make. It has a great cast of characters, great pacing, a story of twists and turns and a satisfying finale that ties everything up. The only downside is some rather mediocre CGI but this series proves that this author could make something astounding if given the resources to do so. At the very least the fact that an adaption of Spirit Circle or Biscuit Hammer isn’t in the works is downright criminal.

 

8. Pop Team Epic

Lenlo: I keep using this phrase when describing Pop Team Epic, because it is the most accurate summation of the series I have ever read. Pop Team Epic seeks to, and almost always succeeds at, shit posting the audience into submission. At the end of every episode, you have no idea what has happened, or if the last 10 minutes of what you watched was actually good or not. Sometimes, Pop Team Epic itself probably doesn’t know the answer to that. Yet what I do know is that no other series has merged as many forms of art, animation or expression as far back as I can remember in anime. Live action, flip-book, cell, digital, plus whatever other kinds I missed. Add on to that an understanding of pop-culture and a willingness to weaponize that even 4chan would respect, and you have the makings for a one of a kind comedy. Something that I doubt will ever be replicated. It is for that achievement that Pop Team Epic earns its place on this list.

 

7. Devilman Crybaby

Aidan: Considering how Devilman Crybaby swept up two of our awards this year, I would think it’s quite obvious as to why it’s here on this list. It’s a reimagining of a Go Nagai classic for the modern era that manages to capture the story of the original yet adds enough so that it doesn’t come out as dated. Devilman Crybaby is a 80’s OVA that was made in the 2010’s and its soundtrack celebrates that along with hyper violence that almost represents the more B-movie style of the decade. With a story that is equal parts heroically tragic yet inevitable right up to its closing lines. This is an anime to watch to see just where many of the inspirations of other greats came from and how it was a milestone for anime in general.

 

6. Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru

Lenlo: Look, I know it hasn’t finished airing yet, but only 1 cour in and Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru, Run With the Wind, has earned a special place in our hearts. From its handling of abuse in sports to its outstanding cast of characters, even its beautiful running animations, Kaze Fui is something special. The anime that it reminds me most of last year is Rakugo, where the characters and their interactions are leagues above so many other series. With a full cour left to go, all of us here are excited to see where it leads and if it can finish as strongly as it started.

 

5. Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

Wooper: Sora yori is funny, heartwarming, and dramatic – and often loud in the process. It presents its most appealing characteristics very plainly, which attracts even the people who ordinarily wouldn’t be caught dead watching a show with an all-female main cast. That’s an achievement in itself, and a happy one for fans of good anime, since its story is worth watching. But there’s a side to the show that I feel a lot of people have overlooked, and that’s its ability to create small, quiet portraits of human emotion. My favorite is probably Shiraishi’s sadness at her classmates’ abandonment of a group chat they shared. As a student and actress with an impossibly busy schedule, the feeling that she’s missed another opportunity to make friends crushes her, and the show observes silently as her shoulders slump at the proof of her failure. Then there’s Mari’s forgiveness of a friend that attempted to sabotage her trip to Antarctica, which is offered so willingly that her kindness overpowers the viewer, in spite of the scene’s brevity. Sora yori features poppy insert songs and chirpy voice acting to hook a mass audience, but make no mistake, it’s equally committed to revealing the subtle humanity of its cast.

 

4. Megalo Box

Lenlo: Megalo Box is a series out of time, closer to something you would find in the late 90’s, early 00’s, than 2018. This is shown in many ways, from the animation style and character arcs, to often terrible video compression, though here it’s on purpose. Yet for whatever its faults, Megalo Box successfully brings its viewers back to an age of anime past. Heralding all the way back 50 years ago to Ashita no Joe, which Megalo Box is a spiritual successor to, as its anniversary project. It is for this phenomena, along with its fantastic character drama and story telling that, even with its sometimes lackluster fights, earns Megalo Box its spot on this list. As I said when I first reviewed it, Megalo Box is not a sports anime, but a character drama that happens to involve sports. And I love a good character drama.

 

3. 3-gatsu no Lion 2

Wooper: 3-gatsu’s second season accomplished so much that it’s difficult to write anything less than an essay about it. While Rei’s depression and Shimada’s personal and professional struggles dominated its first season, this one shone a spotlight on the Kawamoto sisters, expanded the shogi universe by dedicating plenty of time to supporting characters, developed Rei’s friendships at school and brought him to a much healthier place, offered a critique of the Japanese principle ganbaru, humanized rival character Nikaidou, examined the generation gap present in a sport with tremendous age range, and probably a dozen other things I’m not remembering at the moment. The series was occasionally plagued by limited animation, and Kyouko’s near-disappearance from the story was a letdown, but apart from these small issues, these 22 episodes were every bit as strong as the show’s pedigree would lead you to believe. This is a series that’s packed full of joy and sorrow, often surfacing within minutes of each other, yet always managing to find their mark.

 

2. Hinamatsuri

Aidan: Hinamatsuri is a master class on how to adapt a comedy manga and make it work for a animated format. Where Grand Blue failed, Hinamatsuri succeeded with it being able to make its viewers laugh or even cry at its antics. It’s a deceptive show as with the supernatural aspect you would believe this would be a series with action at its forefront, but instead you just get absurdity along with wholesome life lessons being taught to kids. A precarious balancing act that somehow worked in this show’s favor and ended up with the best comedy anime of the year.

 

1. Koi wa Ameagari no You ni

Mario: Almost nine months have passed since Ameagari ended, but even now, when I think about the show, I feel the elegant score, the rainy sound, the conversations between our lead Kondou and Tachibana, the absolutely gorgeous visuals, and a fond feeling to its thoughtful story. The show assembles two layered, relatable leads and develops their chemistry to such an extent that every time they spend time together, it bounces for some special moments. Not only that, the show lets us hear Kondou’s inner voice of regrets and Tachibana’s point of view of alienation and what fleeting first love feels like. These sensitive and personal themes are bolstered by visual direction that is subtle but well-observed and an ending that neatly ties everything together. At the end of the day, Ameagari is a sensitive and complex portrayal of bonding and human relationships. I will remember many moments from the show very fondly: like how the umbrellas fall on top of each other during their embrace, or how Kondou sees the fragment of his own youth in Tachibana’s presence. Ameagari, ladies and gentlemen, is our pick for the anime of the year.

 


 

Mario: In general, I consider 2018 an underwhelming year. It has many solid shows, but none breaks out as a modern classic for me. I suspect 2018 will be remembered as the year where Netflix original anime storms the mainstream. While I do have some reservations towards its models (never a fan of releasing the whole batch in one go, and I feel Netflix originals are a tad bit too retro, not in a good way), they do take risque and any platform that brings more exposure to anime is always a welcome. 2018 is also a really strong year for comedy. Comedy that is plain silly (Grand Blue), comedy that makes you cry (Anzumatsuri), comedy that is too dry (Pop Team Epic)… this year has it all. Less idol shows this year compared to the last few years, but at the same time more hopeless isekai shows, imouto incest shows, shows adapted from mobile games and softcore porn shows, 2018 sure leaves its mark boldly.

18 Responses

  1. Masky says:

    Hmm, I do like to note that I have hard time respecting gut punch endings in that its not really hard to make emotionally devastating endings by having a downer ending, hard part in that is only making viewers like characters in first place. Its much harder to do satisfying happy endings than satisfying downer or bittersweet endings. Heck, aren’t downers kind of unsatisfying by the nature and that is the point as you would want to have them ending other way?

    Then again, maybe it is just the “I think its hard to appreciate tragedies when you suffer from depression” factor :P

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      I don’t know which specific shows you were referring to, but fact of the matter is that open ending and downer ending rile up people much more than happy ending. With happy ending people just watch and move on, with downer ending evokes some kind of reactions, be it good or bad response.

  2. zeroyuki92 says:

    Thanks for the write-up. I also still haven’t finished plenty of shows last year, but reading this and several other (remaining) anibloggers unable me to prioritize which shows that I need to start/finish first.

    Some notes:
    1. Interesting #1 pick, although as far as I can see it’s a show that is highly rated by almost everyone. Definitely will bump Koi wa Ameagari no You ni much higher to my to-watch-list. The rest of the #10 list are great, although I still have no idea about the point of turning a shitposting page into an anime.

    2. Still curious about S;G 0, as I see various different opinions about it. Some like you think of it as a huge disappointment, while some others are still okay with it or even think that it works really great as a sequel. My friend has a mixed opinion on it, thinking that the transition from game to anime made several new plot holes but actually make some parts stronger. I was still on the first several episodes and still have no idea about where it will go, so I guess eventually I will still watch it.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      For me S:G 0 is a massive disappointment to the point that it made me think less of the original now.

    • Lenlo says:

      S;G0 is, for someone who isn’t a diehard Steins;Gate fan, perfectly fine. I am very vocal about my disappointment in it, because I am a hardcore fan. The original is one of my favorites of all time, and so rightly or wrongly, I applied those expectations to the sequel.

      If someone enjoys it, then awesome. I love that someone had fun with it. I was unable to because of those expectations.

  3. Firechick says:

    Wait, you guys think Liz and the Blue Bird was all style and no substance? I haven’t seen the movie yet (I do want to though and plan to get the DVD when it comes out), but I’d like to hear more of your thoughts on this. Do you plan on doing a review of Liz, along with stuff like Maquia? I already did a review on Maquia on my LJ here: https://joyousmenma93.livejournal.com/414844.html I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

    I did recently discover one movie that I found to be hilarious and awesome: the first Haikara-san ga Tooru movie. It’s laugh out loud funny and great!

    • SuperWooper says:

      I watched Liz in theaters, so I don’t have my own copy to give it the close reading a review would require. That said, I don’t know that I’ll ever revisit it. Though the movie can stand on its own, the two lead characters were introduced in the first half of Hibike Euphonium’s second season, which I thought was a total misfire. Their relationship in the film isn’t particularly strong, with one of them seeming to be ambivalent toward the other, and the metaphor at the heart of the movie doesn’t sync with the characters’ situations as well as it should. Yamada’s artsier tendencies worked in Koe no Katachi because the emotions were big and the story moved forward at a decent clip. By contrast, Liz plods along for the majority of its runtime, and no amount of simulated depth of field or off-kilter framing can fix that weakness. The storybook-inspired visuals for the Blue Bird segments are nice, though, and the soundtrack is great.

      Of the four of us, Mario is the only other writer to have seen the film. I may have spoken too broadly when I used the phrase “our writers” in my blurb, but he didn’t nominate it for any of our categories this year, either. It’s still worth a watch if you like Yamada’s stuff, though.

      • Firechick says:

        That’s fine. If it’s not your thing, it’s not your thing. I was just curious is all. I plan to see it when I can, because I’m just dying to find ANYTHING good that doesn’t rely on panty shots and boob grabbing anymore, and I haven’t even seen the Euphonium series at all.

        I did like A Silent Voice, though I absolutely freaking hate Naoka Ueno with every fiber of my being because of how she continually treats Shouko and doesn’t get punished for her transgressions.

        Oh! Definitely check out the first Haikara-san ga Tooru movie if you can! It tries to cram too much into a two hour movie, but it’s very funny, heartwarming, and genuinely good!

    • Lenlo says:

      Didn’t get the chance to see it, so I ended up abstaining from that vote. I have heard good things, and have it on my list to watch. But I sadly couldn’t weigh in for this vote.

      • Lenlo says:

        But yeah, if I get a chance/find a good source, I would love to watch Maquia and review it. I was just unable to see it. Both it and Liz are on my to watch list when I can get them

        • Firechick says:

          I know Maquia’s coming out on DVD/Blu-Ray early this February, with a deluxe edition coming out in March. If you live in the US, that is.

  4. Jimmytimmy says:

    Ito junji was one of the few shows I’ve ever dropped in my life. I think there was only one good episode

  5. niello says:

    I don’t understand what people find so disappointing about Kokkoku. I think it’s a solid show.

    • donhumberto says:

      ^^ Same here. Loved Kokkoku to bits and it’s in fact one of my top series of the year. Then again I also liked Junji Ito collection quite a bit (I found it deliciously creepy and unique, a quality many series nowadays are sorely lacking,sadly) and my favorite series of the year (by far) was Hero Mask (which I’m starting to suspect was only watched by myself and a few co-workers who were raving about it all the time… talk about an underrated/underwatched gem), so what do I know…

      • Lenlo says:

        I personally found it started phenomenally well and then failed to use its premise to its fullest. Instead of using the time stop mechanic for interesting conflicts or situations, which it sometimes did to an extent, it went for the transforming monster route.

        I was not a big fan of this myself. I wanted more of a cat and mouse game between people, not monsters.

  6. Amagi says:

    @Aidan: Ha, like how you mentioned Rasputin, have to admit that I love that song. Really have a thing for Devilman no Uta too, it’s the type of music I miss in modern anime.
    Nice that Devilman also won the action category together with Planet With. These two hyped me the hell up during their last few episodes.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperWooper
Is it Japan time?
Lenlo
Posts for the week done! I am freeeeee! Time to pack
Firechick
@Kaiser-Eoghan: They are. Trust me. The Les Mis anime is really good. I've seen a bunch of anime adaptations of classic books and they're amazing. The review in question is here: http://psgels.net/2007/12/30/les-miserables-shoujo-cosette-review-94100
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I'm not wholly against fillers if they are done correctly, sometimes they can be a short moment of peace in a characters hellish life, sometimes they can be amusing or flesh out characters or allow good character chhemistry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That time I got reincarnated an daikmura in another world =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I remember there is a review somewhere on this blog of an anime adaptation of Les Miserables, I've only seen the film 1990s adaptation though. I wonder if any of those classic book anime adaptations are actually worth watching?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I may have sounded like I was being down on Mahou Asuka, the manga became a decent guilty pleasure, I agree with you on action and pace but I prefer the anime designs, though I stopped watching the anime because of the speedlines/animation/pace, the dub is hilarious though.
Vonter
I do wonder if there has ever been stated how much time or pages you have in either medium. Since that was mentioned in the adaptation of Les Miserables, 300 pages to fit all one could of that novel, even joking about how a character only appeared in one page because of that limitation.
Vonter
Overlord is another one I wonder if it might work better as a visual novel. Mainly because the anime is dialogue heavy and where I think it has stumbled is that it has a lot of characters to ever give the needed time to develop each of them. Season 2 had several episodes focusing on a weak lizardman tribe.
Vonter
Mahou Asuka, I think it might work better in manga format. The anime while not the worst thing, drags a lot for what it has delivered. The manga I think it has better art, composition, but it mainly comes and goes way faster. Because it supposed to be more action than narrative in this case. It could be said the same thing of Triage.
Vonter
I've been thinking about the use of time and narrative time in both manga and anime. I suppose the anime studios have to hit a certain number of episodes which demand stretching the run of a story in any way. Filler episode? Several episodes to build up a dramatic scene? Bringing something that doesn't add anything important?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Actually I can sort of understand how you feel, after I read the flashbacks to dororo's parents , the some chapter after felt a bit inferior to that.
Lenlo
I appreciate the keepin me in check though! Sometimes writing these posts makes me feel I have to be "critical" and I think that can skew my writing at times.
Lenlo
Like I said Kaiser, I feel that whatever Dororo did this week would have to live up to episode 6, and that was a nigh impossible task. I still enjoy the series, it just had a bit of a hitch for me is all.,
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Dororo's anime will give you a confrontation with the brother, curb your expectations with Daigo, Dororo's past is excellent. But it will still do episodic stuff.
Lenlo
been*
Lenlo
Glad to hear about the laptop! Sounds like its bee rough
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I actually watched it alongside reading those mahou shoujo Asuka chapters due to you putting both in the same sentence.
Vonter
Kinda like the Batman series of the 90s. Which happens to have better stories and characters plus the dark atmosphere.
Vonter
Yeah, it's hard to explain but it's a series I'll recommend in regards to the mood and atmosphere it conveys, moreso than the story or characters. It makes me wish that some other anime with better stories had a bit more weight in terms of atmosphere since I think this one does it with very few elements.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I remember a mazinger reference in there too, also one of the buildings says Dagon on it, which fits very well I think.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: It felt like a full series take on a ova that I always wanted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: the 90s artstyle/lighting/atmosphere definitely helped and there was some of the psychological bit in there.
Vonter
Also I might be wrong, but I can't recall a female counterpart that has ever exceeded the original. So by design Devilman Lady has an uphill battle, but I do like that she's not an Akira 2.0 the character has her own conflicts and ore than the monsters it seems to be a duality between her supermodel job and her actual self. Which at least its something.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - I'm glad at least it kept your interest. Devilman Lady while not as infuential it's an interesting time capsule of the type of horror in the 80s. It's a bit sci fi and a bit supernatural like the Guyver. What standed out to me was the mood, it sort of leaves you in a trance when it just let the visuals and music immerse you.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, Return of the king/Kaiser and stuff, new computer arrived early.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I read the recent beastars chapters, though I hope they eventually get back to focusing on Haru x legosi soon.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They finally translated another 7 seeds chapter, I think its nearing its endgame.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: There was a hilariously dumb scene where one of the mascots pull out double guns.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Some 4channer posted further on scans from magical girl spec ops, I read 5 volumes, doesn't have much of plot, they explained who cyborg guy was and introduced another magical girl villain with a shitty childhood and some obvious hinting as to who The queen is.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That is isn't the original devilman, nor does it exceed it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: My spare laptop managed to survive long enough for me to marathoned devilman lady, albeit in SD quality, I enjoyed it for what it was and that it never made a joke of its trashiness, Nagai's imagination in creature design continues to be fun. The only thing I can really call it out n is....
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been continuing that manga by the author of aku no hana, the one about the kid with the psycho mother, its increasingly threatening.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also, regarding dororo, there was a chapter in the manga with some lord and a moth woman he unknowingly fell in with, this week was anime original but kind of had a human/monster relation thing going on, the manga was less sympathetic.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I liked the part between yuki and Kakeru , additionally, I'm looking forward to seeing the full background for Haiji aswell. I'm running out of things to say about the show.
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch it tonight!
Anonymous3444196
This last stretch of episodes is going to be good, so I heard from that novel reader. As long as the production doesn't derail itself, we're in for a treat.
Anonymous3444196
It's pretty obvious that with Haiji being the one running the final section of the Ekiden, that this might be his last.
Anonymous3444196
I do think that there'll be an episode of downtime between the episodes covering the 1st and 2nd days of the marathon. And maybe we'll finally get to see Haiji's past prior to his leg injury.
Anonymous3444196
So there's 5 episodes left, and it'll cover both days of the Ekiden since it's split into two sections. I heard from the novel reader that the 10th and final chapter is over 100 pages long, so having 5 episodes should be enough to cover everything. Shindo's running last in the 1st half but he's got a cold, which does bring some concern.
Anonymous3444196
Seems like a pretty slow week here. Anyhow, in this Kaze ga ,we're at the final stretch before the Ekiden next episode. Really liked Fujioka's speech at the start. They're also starting to unravel more on Haiji's past as well.
Anonymous3437600
dragon ballsy
one piece
one piece
Kaiser-Eoghan
ahahahaha so that was it, she is voiced by Kana Hanazawa.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that came to mind when watching that quintuplets show, somehow the archetype I ended up going for was Ichika's character somehow. Never usually the case.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know usually its fairly consistent, traits I notice/like/am attracted to most in a character's appearence and then there are those odd cases where I somehow end up finding a character attractive or something that I'd usually never.
AidanAK47
Search box is up there ^^
Anonymous3433242
overlord
Anonymous3433242
overlord
SuperMario
Glad to here you have brand new one coming up Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
New computer on its way now, 24 inch screen, wireless everything, 1000gb, got it for only 800 euro.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The current laptop I've got on loan I'm using is kind of a pain to use, makes doing anything including typing/posting/watching slow, its a ropey old windows millenium edition laptop that I'd stopped using years ago.
@Amagi: Also a sequel to legend of koizumi has been translated.
Amagi
@Kaiser: thanks for the links!
Amagi
Just bought the parts for a new gaming PC and assembled them. Love my old PC but modern shooters and HD rpgs are lagging too much as well as drawing programs. Welp.
Anonymous3430884
Get well soon, Kaiser’s CPU!
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dammit, my main computer crashed suddenly, see you all in a few days to a week maybe =< borrowing someone elses laptop.
Anonymous3429052
Dororo or Durarara. That is the question
Vonter
The cutscenes in that game kinda look a bit off, like with the Dragon Prince show they look a bit choppy.
Anonymous3425269
Personally, I'm really hoping that Orange did them so they can gain more recognition working on a big franchise.
Anonymous3425269
I'm guessing Orange, Polygon or GEMBA did the CG cutscenes for the new Fire Emblem. They look too different from Echoes' CG cutscenes to come from Khara.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was always the second Zelda game I never played, that one is frowned upon.
Vonter
I see Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time as two halves of a single whole. Ocarina had the standard story but expanded from what was set in A Link to the Past. Majora's Mask has more in common to Link's Awakening being more about the characters you meet, and even Link himself. I think one has what the other doesn't. Ocarina had better dungeons, but Majora had more involved and menaningful sidequest.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The remastered ocarina of time soundtrack is some of my favourite videogame music out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also loved the freaky-ass whip arms final boss too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It seemed darker too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hold the unpopular opinion of liking majoras mask more than Ocarina, it was a harder game and it felt bigger, there was more side quest stuff to do aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Similarly, its be so very long since I played it, it was all the way back in 1993.
Vonter
I don't remember disliking it but I don't recall a lot of things. I mainly remember the ending, the animals and bit with a Goblin king that reminded me of The Hobbit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember loving the end theme music too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its not ranked among the best Zelda games, but links awakening was the first zelda game I played in the early 90s, I also remember they re-released a colour version of it too that allowed you to do extra stuff with the gameboy camera and printer.
Vonter
So Nintendo had a Direct. A sequel to Mario Maker, a remake to Link's Awakening, a Tetris Battle Royale game, a new game from Platinum games called Astral Chain, a school type Fire Emblem, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Also new Putin isekai chapter is out.
Vonter
Apparently there's gonna be another iteration of Bem. With whole new character redesigns. I suppose at some point they felt they needed to update them, since 4 iterations looked very similar and may come off as too retro for today. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2019-02-11/twitter-user-compares-latest-yokai-ningen-bem-designs-to-previous-installments/.143177
Lenlo
I just hope they actually do something with the leg. Its been used as a cliffhanger 1 to many times for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It was good seeing a more serious side to the twins and I think Haiji's leg issues will provide some good drama.
Anonymous3421320
lol I think it's more like an orthopedic check-up. That strain from the race must've gave him concern about if he's able to run the Ekiden or not under this condition.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Ahem* excuse the gory joke =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh my God! Imagine if it like got cut and amputated off or something like that scene in gone with the wind! It'd be like....GONE with the run with the wind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looks like we're getting more on Haiji's leg again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess if I was asked why I did anything, including if it was some game/sport or if I was a runner I'd probably answer the question by saying I was in it for a laugh or for a genuine good time because it'd be something I'd be enjoying.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, Dororo was awesome. This was a great week and arc. Mio is best girl.
Lenlo
Look, if the ending can make it work, I will forgive the CGI runners. But you have to admit, they don't look good
Anonymous3419991
@Lenlo But for now, you'll just have to grin and bear it when the next preliminary races prior to the Ekiden use CG for the background runners.
Anonymous3419991
I heard from a novel reader that the book is 10 chapters long, and this is currently adapting chapter 8. Chapter 10 covering the Ekiden is the longest part of the novel and will probably be covered in 3 episodes. Hope IG is saving all their resources on this finale judging by the CG used in previous episodes.
Anonymous3419991
It's also great to see how far Kurahana has come since the start. Even when confronting Sakaki being arrogant and all.
Anonymous3419991
And so this episode of Kaze ga is a breather episode, but we do get some more character development with the twins. It's nice to see Fujioka again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I would happily have watched two more episodes of this arc in dororo.
Lenlo
Well alright
Fuurophausiyuder
Speaking of loving hell fonts, I notice that the review body text, and this text here are both sans-serif; which sort of princess of variable typefaces is not present for this readability bit to land?
Fuurophausiyuder
Dororo is awesome for just the hell fonts. I kind of expect on-brand gazebos (the temple to the 10 demons) to sell well this summer at Lowe's, Restoration Hardware, RH, wherever it is actually okay stuff derives, etc. I was kind of hoping the transitional story would lift all transitional boats, but that storyline has gone to soil microbes in the USA diaspora (though you know, stay classy PR.)
Fuurophausiyuder
Kemurikusa is like Kemeko DX if all the chemicals were fentanyl and the promise of a plot muted by lingering death were only ever expected to be a possibility. What had anyone watching ep. 3...5? Clinical use?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm also glad that tv anime like this is allowed to be so violent in this day and age.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To be honest it really is the only new show this season I currently especially care about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I decided to read the whole Dororo manga and I think this weeks episode was every bit as moving as the manga was while building on it. I think if adapted correctly dororo (the character)'s backstory, the stuff with Daigo's son will be a highlight. I do think they could get rid of shounen shark guy though later on and not bother including him.
Anonymous3415569
The other thing, is how both this and She Ra have the same premise of the main character changing from the villain to the heroic side. I don't know if that's a good pattern but it's and interesting way to build a female character in which the relationship with their old friends is a way to add pathos.
Anonymous3415569
It felt like a new version of inspector Gadget could be do like this. Considering how it frames the criminal organization (for kids). And also maybe a crossover could work?
Anonymous3415569
I watched the Carmen SanDiego Netflix series. It was ok. I did like the simple visual style and Saturday morning vibe. It's clearly more for a younger audience, yet it wasn't that boring. Still all I could think about while watching it were 2 things:
SuperMario
Kaiser, make sure to check your inbox
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Bothanons: Issues on both sides of the spectrum.
@Wooper: Its the politest take you could get on that premise.
@Mario: I think the anime skipped some stuff from the after the rain manga, I should probably read the manga.
Anonymous3412482
Edgy 14 year olds everywhere
Anonymous3413183
moralfags everywhere
SuperWooper
I heard that show was about a teenage girl's crush on an older man. Sounds pretty problematic to me. I'm with the rest of the Internet on this one.
SuperMario
Apparantly the other side of anime fandom (the internet) doesn’t watch Koi wa Ameagari
Lenlo
The reddit anime awards are done! I did it! I was on stream! Oh joy. Can talk about this now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I have decided to adopt the same approach for the new True detective season also.
niello
@Eoghan: Exactly my thought three episodes in. I wish I realise it before I picked up the show, because I definitely need to watch those three episodes again.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want to watch new boogiepop at some point, but I'm just hoping it ends so I can just marathon the show, it'd be too confusing to watch once a week, instead of straight through in one go.
Amagi
Oh I just realize it's the same team as HnK well that explains that.
Amagi
@Aidan: Unsure too about the trailer but it reminds me more of Houseki, qualitywise, and less of all the other bad CGI shows. I have hope. Same with Vinland. Trailer had some CGI and Thorkell's design feels a bit different but aside from that it was good.
Anonymous3402245
sangatsu
SuperMario
@Kaiser: The selection isn’t out until April. Heck, they haven’t annouced the head jury yet
Kaiser-Eoghan
I should really watch Shirobako one of these days and on the manga end, read Kurozuka as I remember the bit I did read was quite different from the anime (which I loved).
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I don't know if the film selection for Cannes this year is out yet. Though it'll be a while before I get to see them.
SuperWooper
Noice.
SuperMario
Is it OK to brag here? I’ve just got the acrreditation to Cannes Film Fest this year baby. Will look forward for that one
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I watched it years ago and thought even though the first half was poor it picked up in the second. Maybe if I rewatched it my thoughts would change.
Anonymous3400512
Majestic prince is really bad man
Anonymous3399383
kemurikusa
SuperMario
Damn, just looked at the teaser of Beastars and I’m hooked. I’m hyped for the show
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: Beastars is a good choice for them yes, as was Houseki no kuni, Majestic prince which they co-made was really underated back when it aired.
niello
I like how Orange Studio seems to have good eyes for manga. And it looks as if they are trying to go for stories that lets them avoid animating normal humans. So, ones that are more compatible with their CG visual. It'd be nice if this lead to some manga adaptation that won't happen otherwise.
Vonter
I think people get too worked up on Shield Hero. While not a great show, I have found it entertaining. I suppose the underdog aspect also got meta. With that said, I think if instead of the heroine reapplying the slave contract they should have made a contract or something like that, that felt one-sided.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually have more confidence in the cgi if its done by the houseki team.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: When I talked to amagi about Beastars I don't think I ever heard your views on it. Also from what I recall you haven't read Vinland?
AidanAK47
Yep, full CGI for Beastars. I am somewhat half and half on it as the clip isn;t bad but I am a bit too used to the style of the manga.
https://youtu.be/S6H1qskbEIg
Lenlo
I dont expect the CGI to be bad. WIT has experience because of AoT now, and the boat/open ocean can profit from it a lot more than character models.

For Beastars, if its the Houseki no Kuni team, I wouldn't worry until we see a PV
Vonter
Maybe CGI wouldn not be as distracting if characters aren't humans? I mean the Star Fox Zero short was very good looking and it was full CGI.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Full cgi I think for beastars adaptation, although done by the people who did houseki no kuni so there could be exceptions made.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't expect them to try and cover his post childhood. They will probably stop at the farm arc. There will be cg, I hope it won't be intrusive.
Lenlo
Ey Vinland pv is out! Looks good! I cant wait
Animosh
@Kaiser: I'm pretty sure Yuki's family issues will be addressed later on, this just wasn't the time for it. So far the show has always followed up on the character arcs it has introduced.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something that feels very different about huge detailed art aswell on the other end more simpler styles, in comparison to alot of the generic moe style we mostly see now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And while I am on different artstyles, I bloody love Ryoichi ikegami and Suehiro murao also.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Complete different art too, cartoony even.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Years ago I read almost of Yoshihiro's stuff, although I never got around to finishing a drifting life by him, I also read that Mizuki guy manga i mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've been wondering about this for a bit, is anyone on here familiar with the Gekiga period/wave of manga from the 50s and 60s to very early 70s? Such as stuff the by Yoshihiro Tatsumi and also Shigeru Mizuki's Onward toward noble death?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I was right in there with them waiting to hear the results.
Anonymous3391737
They took the words I was about to say right out of my mouth.
Anonymous3391737
Late to the party, but man this was a good episode, iffy CG runners aside (though I hope that'll be addressed in the BDs). I'm so glad they were able to qualify.
Lenlo
Hmmm I cant wait to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
This cast has grown on me. Also while I would appreciate followup on Yuki's family, I actually don't mind if the show didn't, because this series manages to say much by saying little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm glad that even though it showed then in a top ten list, they weren't up the top of it. Its more believable that way. Also who'd of though a race would be so tense?
Animosh
Also happy to see that the twins will get some spotlight next week. Aside from Musa they've had the least development so far, so they can use the attention. I also like that someone's finally raising the question what the point of it all is. If you have no chance of winning, why compete? It's a valid question, and I'm looking forward to hearing Haiji's answer.
Animosh
Haiji's injury was less of an issue than I expected: he even finished as "best of the rest" (excluding the leading group). Looks like it'll keep simmering under the surface for now. The fact that it was highlighted again probably means it is going to play a big role in the story eventually though.
Total users: 18

Star Crossed Anime Blog

7 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Kemurikusa – 06/07

Welp, I’m back to the normal schedule now so my blogging will be back to normal from now on. My apology for those who waited for my weekly blogs for the last few weeks. For Kemurikusa, episode 6 was a slow one, even slower than its standard (and that says a lot), but the latest […]

Paranoia Agent – 5 [The Holy Warrior] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome to another week of Paranoia Agent! This week Kon explores different generations, Shounen Bat gets caught and the Old Lady becomes relevant. Lets dive in! After the bumpy reception I had towards last week’s episode, Paranoia Agent bounced back to wow me this week. Production wise, it was incredibly expressive this week. With the […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 18 [And Then, Morning]

Welcome to the big one, the start, the opening moments of Kaze Fui’s Hakone Ekiden! This week Fujioka drops some wisdom, the team learns their sections and Yuki gets some time with Kurahara. Lets jump in! This week was Kaze Fui’s big setup, along with some drops on Haiji’s background. Before we get to either of […]

Dororo – 7 [The story of the Jorogumo silk spider]

Hello and welcome to what is, I believe, an anime original week of Dororo! This time we have a sympathetic ghoul, Hyakki dealing with his emotions and a continually worse feudal landscape. Lets jump in! Dororo was a rather disappointing one after last week, to be frank. Story wise there were some interesting ideas and […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 – 7 [Cornered ~True Identity~]

Hello and welcome to the halfway point of Mob Psycho Season 2! This week continues Reigen’s story as he rises high, falls low and comes to an epiphany. Lets jump in! Starting off, Mob Psycho once again looks fantastic. Say what you want about the story or characters, the quality of the animation is undeniable. […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai – 06

The treasurer of the student council, Ishigami Yuu, finally got a proper introduction this week. I’d say this episode was his time to shine, but it’s actually the opposite – he’s so preoccupied with Kaguya’s apparent hatred of him (as well as his own social faux pas) that it was actually his time to mope. […]

Paranoia Agent – 4 [A Man’s Path] – Throwback Thursday

This week, once again, Paranoia Agent takes another interesting turn. This time we follow the cop who caught Shounen Bat, see a bit into organized crime and watch a man fall apart at the seams. Lets go! So in general, while this episode was interesting and explored some more aspects of society, I wasn’t big […]

Mid-Season Review of Kakegurui××

For all of you who are disappointed that we didn’t cover the sequel to the show that even Elon Musk watches, I felt that this season of Kakegurui would benefit more from an periodic overview rather than following it week from week. Kakegurui was never about the mechanics nor tense stakes as it relies on […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 17 [Searching for the Answer]

Welcome to the feel good relaxation week of Kaze Fui! This time the Twins confront Haiji, they see the track and Sakaki continues to be a dick. Lets jump in! Starting off, this episode was a very subdued one. Similar to Mob, Kaze Fui slowed down this week. Giving the characters room to breathe again […]

Latest Reviews

Planetes Anime Review – 89/100

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 87/100

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 86/100

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018 Fall) Anime Review – 73/100

In the last few years, it’s great to see P.A Works has slowly created their own studio identity, putting more original works with consistent production values. Just in 2018, they produced 4 shows (quite a good number if you ask me), 3 of them were original: Maquia, Sirius the Jaeger and Irozuku. As I said, […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai Anime Review – 82/100

In the wake of many a school based light novel show this may be the small bits of fresh air was can savor out of this overdone setting. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl(Or by its japanese title above) is a series not about rascals or bunny girls but instead about contextualising common high […]

Banana Fish Anime Review – 72/100

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way […]

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 73/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]