Greetings! Well here we are in 2019, another year and four seasons of anime now in the past. Myself like many other fans are now in a state of refection on the past year (while trying to finish any outstanding series from last year). Some of us may say this every year but 2018 was a great year for anime. There is so much to talk about when it comes to the series from last year that you could probably spend a whole year writing about the anime which we received. It would take an insane amount of writing and discussion to really do all the great content justice from last year but I will do my best in highlighting the great series from the past year.
I think I can safely say that the word to really describe the anime of 2018 was surprising. It was surprising the number of quality anime that we received this year. It was surprising the number of older series which made a comeback last year. It was surprising the number of anime films that found it’s way to cinemas. And finally, it was surprising the amount of attention that it seems that anime got in the past year.
Anime really expanded into new territory with Netflix which provided us with many great anime this past year. We got 2 new entries into the Fate universe with Fate/Apocrypha and Fate/Extra Last Encore. Both of these series were brilliant additions to the Fate lore.We also received an absolutely beautiful series about love, loss and moving forward in life in Violet Evergarden. On the more humorous side we had fun with office shenanigans with Aggretsuko. The last year showed that Netflix is a serious medium for viewing anime now and I think we have great things to look forward to in 2019.
The girls of anime certainly took center stage in 2018 with many series focusing on both the everyday exploits and grand adventures that they experienced. A Place Further from the Universe wowed audiences in the early part of the year with it’s fun and emotional story about how life experiences can lead to self discovery. Yuru Camp showed us how to slow down and enjoy life with good food, companionship, and the world around us. This expanded into the sports realm as well with the ladies taking the lead in sports anime as well. Hanebado and Harukana Receive showed that the ladies could star in a compelling sports story. And speaking of sports, Megalobox surprised the anime world with it’s awesome underdog story and gritty vibe.
The year was not short of great romance and romantic comedy series either. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai was the surprise hit of the winter with it’s great characters and witty dialogue. Of course it’s story was one for the ages as well. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku proved that a great story does about people like us and the struggles that we go through looking for that every elusive love. Bloom into You is a masterful take on a not so traditional romance. Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san gave us a fun look at childhood romance with all the mind games you could ask for. And of course I have to mention High Score Girl as a great choice for those who are looking for a fun rom-com with a lot of nostalgia and charm.
Let us not forget about the wacky and bizarre entries that we were graced with last year. Hinamatsuri gave us a fun and surprisingly heartwarming story about a Yakuza and the psychically powered girl that ended up in his care. Chio’s School Road took a simple everyday event-walking to school and turned it into an exercise of how to do comedy. On a more serious note, Golden Kamuy boasts the most bizarre cast of characters you will ever meet mixed with a great adventure story and quasi-history lesson. And of course Cells at Work gave us a fun exploration into the human body. We not only had some great adventures but we learned something as well.
The Issekai genre continued to be strong with the return of the staple Sword Art Online. We got a continuation of the main story with the Aliciaztion arc which promises to be the largest SAO arc to date. We also got a spinoff in Gun Gale Online which showed just how amazing a Sword Art Story could be when all it tries to do is to let the audience have a good time. And a discussion wouldn’t be complete without acknowledging how fresh The Time I Got Reincarnated as A Slime turned out to be. Rimuru is a top notch protagonist, the series manages to avoid many of the annoying tropes, and has given us a great story.
The infamous Studio Trigger graced with two brand new series this past year. We had the beautiful and controversial Darling in the Franxx. The story of Hiro, Zero -Two and the parasites was bold in it’s choices and excellent in it’s execution. The fall season also gave us SSSS. Gridman. A more traditional story by Trigger standards, Gridman shows that the Studio can tone things down a bit but still keep their signature style.
With all of the new franchises that came on to the scene this past year, it is easy to forget the insane amount of returning series which graced us with their presence in 2018. FLCL returned with not one but two amazing series, FLCL Progressive and FLCL Alternative. Both of these series are vintage FLCL and awesome additions to the franchise. They also gave more kick ass music as well as The Pillows returned in fine form to do the soundtrack. Steins Gate returned with an amazing entry in Steins;Gate 0 . The members of the Future Gadget Lab returned for another mind blowing science fiction adventure. There were so many heart-wrenching moments in this series. It was great to see it back and in fine form.
Full Metal Panic came storming back with a long awaited continuation in Full Metal Panic: Invisible Victory. It was because of this season that I decided to watch the Full Metal Panic franchise and fell in love with it. Let’s hope we don’t have to wait another decade for the next season. My Hero Academia showed why it is the juggernaut of the current anime scene with a superb 3rd season showcasing a couple of the best fights in anime. All Might vs All for One is easily one of the best hero/villain fights out there. And finally, after a long hiatus we got the continuation to one of my favorite franchises with A Certain Magical Index III. Touma, Mikoto, and Accelerator have returned in fine form and it is great to see these iconic characters return. There were plenty of great moments in the opening episodes and I am excited to see what they will offer in the 2nd half.
And of course we were also blessed with many wonderful cinematic entries in the last year to hit western shores. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl gave us a funny and somewhat trippy exploration in to night life of a couple of awesome characters. If you were looking for fantasy stories, Mary and the Witches Flower scratched that itch if you were looking for a fun and whimsical tale, and Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms gave you a much more emotional and intimate tail. Popular franchises also had their time to shine with My Hero Academia: Two Heroes being a successful superhero action tale and Fate/Stay Night Heavens Feel Part 1: Pressage Flower continuing the tradition of amazing Fate entries.
There were a lot of amazing anime entries in 2018. Not only did the year boast a lot of content, but that content was incredibly diverse and varied more so than any year that I have watched anime. I honestly cannot remember a year where so many characters and their stores resonated with me on an emotional level. Is it the greatest year of anime ever? I won’t dare start that debate by giving an answer. I will say though that this year gave us many memorable series and films and will certainly be remember by this writer for years to come as a truly awesome year in anime. Here’s to you 2018 and all of the anime studios involved for providing us so much entertainment in the last year. Let’s hope that we will continue to be as awed in the year to come.
Of course I couldn’t mention every amazing anime in this post. It is probably too long as it is lol. So if I missed one that you enjoyed, I apologize and ask you to tell me some of your favorites in the comments below or message me on Twitter (@railgunfan75) or Facebook (Railgunfan75’s Geek Blog). So until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off! Stay geeky my friends!
What are your thoughts about Goblin Slayer?
I still have a couple of episodes to go in the series but overall it is a solid fantasy series. It may not make the top anime of the year list for me because there was so much great stuff last year. However, it does a lot of things well and I wish there were more series like it out there. The characters are interesting, the animation is really nice, and I would love to see more about the world they live in as well. As for the controversy stuff, I wasn’t really bothered by it.