Top Five Favorite Anime of 2018

2018 has ended up being a pretty solid year for anime with a wide variety of shows from different genres and a lot of surprise hits. We saw Go Nagai become a household name in anime fandom with the success of Devilman Crybaby. A Place Further Than The Universe became such a beloved hit to make it into the top ten international shows of 2018 in the New York Times. We also had a lot of popular returning sequels like My Hero Academia, Attack on Titan, and Sword Art Online, and some shows that finished up their run like Dragon Ball Super. With so many unique shows, it’s hard to pick which ones were the best. My list is not the definitive be all end all top anime of the year list. These are just a few of my top five favorite shows that I personally got the most enjoyment out of and I hope you’ll like them too. This list will only be a brief description of what I enjoyed about these shows as I still plan to write up full length individual reviews of each show at a future date.

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5. Phantom in the Twilight- It was really hard for me to decide between Phantom in the Twilight and Zombie Land Saga, but I was really surprised by how much I really got into this show. It quickly became the one show of the summer 2018 season where I really looked forward to watching it every week the most. Continue reading “Top Five Favorite Anime of 2018”

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When They Cry Season One

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Keichii Maebara has just moved into the simple and quiet country town of Himizawa. He spends his days with his friends at school as an ordinary teenager. But the more Keichii learns about Himizawa and his friends’ lives, the more he learns all is not what it appears to be on the surface. Can Keichii solve the mysteries of the village and escape a sinister curse?

 

The When They Cry anime and games have been a popular franchise for several years and I’ve always been meaning to watch it eventually, but I never got around to it. With the Halloween season upon us, it felt like the perfect opportunity to finally start watching it. The series has potentially interesting concepts but I had mixed feelings of how the anime adaptation handled it. I’ve never played the games or read the manga and light novels, so I’m focusing entirely on the anime in my review. Continue reading “When They Cry Season One”

Sailor Moon S The Movie

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When Luna passes out on the way home, she’s rescued by the kindly astronomer Kakeru Ozora, who she ends up falling in love with. The trouble for Luna, besides him being human and her being a talking cat, is that Kakeru is already love with his childhood friend, astronaut Himeko Nayotake, who is about to become the first Japanese woman in space. After Kakeru finds a mysterious fragment from a comet, the Earth begins experience extreme and unusual weather patterns and mysterious alien beings attack the Earth. Now Super Sailor Moon and the Sailor Guardians are called into action once again to defend the planet, but can they activate the Silver Crystal Power in time to stop these new enemies?

Unlike the first Sailor Moon movie, Sailor Moon S The Movie is not an original anime only film but is based on a special act, The Lover of Princess Kaguya, that the original manga author, Naoko Takeuchi, wrote. What I enjoyed about this movie is that it was focused on Luna, who is mostly a secondary character in the series, instead of the major characters like the Sailor Guardians or Tuxedo Mask.  Continue reading “Sailor Moon S The Movie”

Revue Starlight

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Karen Aijo has always dreamed of becoming the Top Star in the Takarazuka theater troupe. When Karen’s childhood best friend, Hikari Kagura, transfers into the Seisho Music Academy, Karen finds herself drawn into the world of the Revue Starlight auditions, where there is more to gain and lose than just fame.

Revue Starlight was a show that kind of came out of nowhere that I didn’t expect to be so good during the summer 2018 anime season. When I first heard about it being based on a mobile game, I thought it was just going to be a typical idol anime franchise but with the twist that it’s focused on the all women theater troupe known as Takarazuka. The Takarazuka aspect did have me interested because I already had a curious interest in them due to their involvement with the live action Sailor Moon musicals, but I wasn’t expecting Revue Starlight to be as weird and surreal of a show as it was. Even now after I’ve seen it all, I’m still processing my thoughts on the show and I’m not entirely sure I understood everything or how I felt about all that happened. Continue reading “Revue Starlight”

Harukana Receive

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Haruka Ozora has always been paranoid about her height until she moves to Okinawa to live with her cousin, Kanata Higa, and her grandmother and joins Kanata’s beach volleyball team. Kanata teams up with Haruka to take on her rival, Narume, who she has a complex history with. When they enter the team in the local Junior Tournament, they realize they’ll have to face off against each other to win. Will their friendships be able to survive the tough competition of volleyball?

Based on a seinen sports manga by Nyoijizai, Harukana Receive was a show I initially didn’t think much of going in but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it by the end. I went in expecting it to be just a silly fanservice sports show and while it was that to some degree, it ended up having a lot more emotional heart to it than I expected. The show found the right balance between having some silly light-hearted moments but also being dramatic enough to be engaging without it being too overly melodramatic either. Continue reading “Harukana Receive”

Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan

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Hisone Amakasu has a habit of always speaking what’s on her mind as bluntly as possible which ends up causing problems with how she interacts with her co-workers. She tries hard to suppress her urge to speak bluntly until she ends up being recruited JASDF Gifu air base to become a Dragon Pilot to a dragon species known as the Organic Transformed Flyers (also referred to as the OTF), which she nicknames her partner as Masotan. Together with fellow Dragon Pilots, El, Mayumi, and Liliko, they serve in the JADF to protect the nation.

Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan is an original anime that brought together several big names in the industry that have become favorits in the fandom over the years. The series is written by Mari Okada, who has made a name for herself writing some of the most popular anime in recent years like Anohana, Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans, and she recently debuted with her own self-directed anime film, Maquia. Mechanical design is by the legendary Shoji Kawamori of Escaflowne and Macross fame with animation by Studio Bones. The director is Shinji Higuchi, who has mainly done live action Japanese cinema before, most recently the live action Attack on Titan films, and was co-director on Shin Godzilla. With so many talented creative voice working on the show, does it really live up to the hype? Continue reading “Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan”

Akame ga Kill

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Akame ga Kill is an entertaining shonen anime that deals with some interesting political themes with a lot of high stakes action. It centers around a young man, Tatsumi, who joins a secret organization of assassins known as the Night Raid to overthrow a corrupt empire. What I enjoyed about the show is that isn’t focused on typical shonen themes of wanting to be the best but it does focus on themes like government corruption and economic inequality. I am aware the anime was made before the manga was even close to finishing and that the anime has an original ending. I have never read the manga source material so I can only judge the anime on it’s own merits.  Continue reading “Akame ga Kill”