Greetings! Hope things are going well for you today. I have already looked at a lot of series from 2018. I looked at the strong slate of romance series from last year and also acknowledged the triumphant return of established franchises. For part 3, I will shift my focus to those series which made us laugh and feel good from 2018. The series in this group are not just restricted to comedies but also to series which made you feel good at the end of the day. The anime slate in 2018 contained many such shows and as was the case with the other parts of this series, it is impossible to touch upon them all. However, I feel that I have a great list of series here. So let’s get started!
Chio’s School Road
Comedy doesn’t always need to be complicated or sophisticated to be funny. Sometimes taking a simple idea and running with scenarios that can stem from that can be comedy gold in itself. Chio’s School Road literally takes a simple mundane concept- walking to school- and adds a bunch of insane and improbable scenarios to it. Things that you wouldn’t think would lead to great comedy such as having to take a detour on your way to school are presented in an incredibly hilarious way. Part of the reason that the comedy works so well is that the cast of characters are all just basically nuts in their own way. The title character Chio is nerdy and somewhat delusional and those delusions of grandeur lead to many hilarious moments along the way. I was surprised as to how far they took the humor at times with some episodes taking the comedy to a level that you wouldn’t expect for a school comedy. There were some adult jokes in this series which was honestly something that I could appreciate. If you want to play off of something for the sake of comedy, you shouldn’t be afraid of the joke. And Chio’s School Road was not afraid to take it’s ideas and run with them. For that it has my respect. Chio’s School Road is a pure comedy and one which really got my attention in 2018.
Cells at Work!
This may seem like an odd choice to include on this list, but this series is so over the top that I could help but laugh at almost every episode. The series is great at taking it’s subject matter and turning it to various genres. From underdog stories to disaster stories, Cells at Work proved to be one of the most varied series of 2018. I especially enjoyed an episode where an allergy turned the story into an absurd disaster film. The characters contribute to this insanity by being hilarious caricatures of their jobs. Red Blood Cell was charmingly ditsy, White Blood Cell and his stoic kindness, Killer T a testosterone killing machine, and the Platelets being small and adorable. Besides the insanity, there were plenty of feel good moments throughout the series. From seeing Red Blood Cell slowly becoming more competent at her job to making you feel for a cancer cell, the series really did an amazing job with the feels train. And of course you are not alive if you didn’t feel the awesomeness of the Platelets- they were the best characters of the series. If you are looking for a fun series and want to learn a thing or two then I would recommend this series. Sure I am science nerd so I would be a bit bias when seeing a scientific anime but I had a lot of fun watching this show. The series is funny and does have heart to it. They make it easy to root for these characters and I would certainly be happy to see a second season of this series.
Laid Back Camp
Laid Back Camp is easily one of the most relaxing and fun series that I have ever come across. There is no drama or insane conflicts, instead you have a fun story about the wonders of camping and nature. Many people have said this about the show and I would have to agree, the series makes you want to go camping. The outdoors and me generally don’t like each other for various reasons but after watching the series, I certainly had the urge to go camping. The series is easily one of the best on a technical level from last year. The series boasts amazing animation and backdrops. The scenery that the characters find themselves in on the camping trips are absolutely gorgeous. The sites visited in the series are real world sites and the animators took care to visit the sites so they could capture all of their beauty.
The series also has a very rustic and relaxing soundtrack. The tracks are incredibly peaceful and nice to listen to on their own but combined with the other aspects of the series, really help to set a nice relaxing atmosphere. Of course the characters and story are a lot of fun. Rin and Nadeshiko are a great odd couple of sorts, one full of energy and enthusiasm while the other is soft spoken and intelligent. And let’s not forget about the amazing supporting cast from the other members of the Outdoor Activities Club to the fun characters that they meet in their travels. The characters all have a fun chemistry to them and their interactions and adventures are fun to watch. The stories may seem simple but there is a lot packed into each episode. without the episodes being frantic or dramatic at all. And that is a nice change of pace in a stressful world. Laid Back Camp is one of my top picks from 2018. It takes a simple idea and runs with it by giving us fun characters and stories which remind us of the wonders of nature and the great experiences that can happen when you share a passion with others. You will feel better after watching this show.
This is probably the least talked about series on this list and it is a shame because this is probably one of the best cute girls shows that I have seen. Comic Girls is a series which not only has hilarious moments but also has plenty of heartwarming ones. The series does an amazing job of giving plenty of focus to it’s characters and their struggles as they work on their dreams. The girls fall into archetypes but they also have insecurities and nuances to their characters. Kaos, Koyome, Ruki, and Tsubasa all could carry a series on their own but have amazing chemistry as an ensemble. All four have their crazy quirks and these personality traits make for great comedy. Kaos’ insecurities and reactions, Tsubasa’s devotion to her craft, Ruki’s big sister personality, and Koyome’s energy all play well together. The comedy is wacky at times but believable and that gives the series it’s charm along with it’s characters. The story is one of striving to achieve your dreams and overcoming your fears. Each of the main girls gets their time in the spotlight and each have very heartwarming moments. We can all relate to what these girls are trying to do as we all have had dreams that we have strived for and comic girls captures that feeling with a funny and charming storming that quietly became one of the best series of 2018.
If you were to say that a series which starred a girl with supernatural powers and a yakuza would be one of the most highly praised and funny series from 2018, many people would say you were nuts. I was not sure what to expect when I saw the early descriptions for this series. Anime is known for bizarre and unorthodox premises sure but the idea behind this series really seemed like it going to be odd. However, myself and the community were surprised to find that Hinamatsuri would prove to be one of the funniest and touching series of the year. You have one of the most insane games of rock/paper/scissors that you have ever seen, a rather insane series of events involving Hitomi (which were a highlight of the series), and a series of awesome misunderstandings involving a not so mean gangster. The comedy in this series is absolutely over the top and hilarious and it works because of the absurd nature of it’s premise. When you introduce a setup such as one in Hinamatsuri, you already force the audience to suspend their belief to start with. That allows you to go crazy with the comedy as you already have established an insane idea. The series is not afraid to take it’s gags and run with them.
Let’s not forget though about the other aspect of the series the series’ many touching moments. Anzu’s story line is amazingly well done throughout the course of the series with it’s messages of family and doing right by those who have helped you. Anzu is one of the best characters of 2018, a character that we all can learn something from. Anzu’s character and story were not only a surprise but a highlight of the series. She turned out to be the most likable character in the series due to her struggles and the way she grew from her experiences. There are of course plenty of other such moments in the series and it takes some skill to incorporate those moments into a comedy and not make it feel out of place. Hinamatsuri is a lot of things- part comedy, part family story, and part coming of age story. The series takes all of these things and adds supernatural powers and gangsters to make one of the best series of 2018 and one that I think people will remember for years to come.
Aggretsuko is one of those series that I found to be really relatable. Yes I am not female nor a red panda (a bit obvious on the second one) but any working adult can find something to relate to in this series. Many of the situations that Retsuko finds herself in seem absurd but are actually the type of things that people experience in a workplace. I got laughs from many of the episode because I have witnessed or been a part of the types of things that the characters had to deal with. The situations are not overblown or unreasonable to believe. There are people out there like the characters in the series. I can say that the types of personalities that people have to deal with in the series are spot on in terms of the real world. The rage that Retsuko feels and lets out during the series are very real. That is not the only reason that this series stood out to me though. One of those are the characters of the series. Retsuko is a character that is the audience can relate to and root for. You also have a surprising amount of character development for her character considering the short episode count and short run time. The series also does a great job of devoting time to some of it’s some characters as well which is again surprising for the runtime. Aggretsuko takes something which can be a source of dread for many of us and turns it into a fun story about someone who just trying to survive. Aggretsuko is a series which is certainly more than meets the eye. If you have ever had to deal with people in a workplace setting, then this series is a must watch.
There are a lot of amazing series on this list. My choice for my favorite out of these awesome series is probably the easiest one for me to make so far. For me the clear choice is Laid Back Camp. There is so much to love about the series from it’s beautiful setting, simple yet fun stories, and awesome characters. Sometimes simplicity is best if these elements all come together and they do in Laid Back Camp. I truly felt like I was in a better place after watching that series and that is why it would get my pick. The other series are certainly great in their own right and all deserve your time.
So what did you think of the series that I discussed here? Is there a series that you would pick for this list? Please comment below or message me on Twitter (@Railgunfan75), or Facebook (Railgunfan75’s Geek Blog). I also am on Instagram (railgunfan75_blog). Next up, I will be looking at anime from 2018 which amazed us. Stay tuned for that coming soon. That wraps things up for now. This is railgunfan75 signing off. Remember to show consideration and respect to those around you no matter what your differences are. It goes a long way. And of course stay geeky my friends!
I’m glad you mentioned Comic Girls — I’d almost forgot about that show, and that’s a shame. Was Tsubasa the girl who was actually rich? Do you remember the episode where they went to her home? There were a couple of scenes where her mom kept ratcheting up the tension, and the camera would cut to a scene of castle battlements. Every subsequent scene increased the number of flags and the volume of the dramatic music!
That kind of thing cracks me up.
And Aggretsuko? My daughter suggested I watch it. Funny — if extensionally depressing — stuff!
Thanks for reminding me of these series!
You are welcome.
You are right. Tsubasa was the rich one. That episode was absolutely amazing. I loved the “drama” and the fact that slowly became more refined the more time she spent at home. One of many great moments from a series which I think goes unappreciated by many people.
Aggretsuko was depressing but also for me it was a relief to watch in a way because there was someone that obviously went through similar things that I have out there in terms of dealing with unreasonable people.