It’s well past that time again.
I keep mentioning it but to make it more clear; in the past 7 months two of my neighbors threatened to assault me very seriously, another neighbor genuinely threatened to shoot me as well as assault me, I have had to call the police (local and emergency) and had them come to my residence over 50 times, my truck has been vandalized (keyed), and any reason to continue living in this place I was so proud and happy to actually own myself is completely gone thanks to a piece of shit moving in (renting, of course, those types can’t afford to buy shit even their cars are leased and they’ve gone through like 3 already) and from day one being every stereotype possible for his minority. I’m dealing with a lot, including outright scary and dangerous shit, so watching anime at all was very difficult this year – let alone writing anything about it for the end of the year stuff. I also got my spinal surgery and the recovery made things more difficult for awhile as well and since I realized I just want to sell this place, get the profit, and get out I’ve been busy packing and trying to just make it through my last few weeks here.
So don’t expect anything great – I still am not over my throwing together of last year’s especially the best girl category which I just made something up last minute so I could post and it still haunts me and this probably will too! This is the first time I think I’ve been late with my end of year posts too.
I do not know when the AOTY year post will come, but it will, but seriously maybe not even in January as I’m moving next weekend – and it’ll just get harder and harder to write the more I forget about the year. Sorry, I’m also missing out on literally every single show this season aside Boogiepop so 2019’s end of year stuff might miss out on a lot too, sadly.
I didn’t even find any images for half of these for the first time ever, I also didn’t read over any of it before posting it.
“These were illusionary breasts!” – Planet With
Yuru Camp – Shiny Days
There were many openings this year that I loved, usually that would make for a really difficult decision – however Yuru Camp’s remixed Jackson 5 song ended up being something I listened to hundreds of times within a month of the full version releasing, and it still is something I regularly listen to. It’s just a fucking wonderful and really up-beat addictive piece of music that feels good to listen to even if you’re in a shitty mood. Obviously a great song doesn’t automatically make for a great OP, however the visuals for this were also top-notch and super fun.
Put all that with a show that is just as fantastic and warm and fuzzy and you’ve got an OP that won’t be forgotten for a long time and absolutely deserves, without really any hesitation, to be named the best of the year.
Runners-up: Jashin-chan Dropkick, Anima Yell, Irozuku
Best Naming Convention
Uchuu Senkan Tiramisu
Somehow I never realized all of season 1 nor most of season 2 that every single character in this thing is named after a car or car company. Subaru, Isuzu, Paccar, and so on – it only really dawned on me once the mega-obvious Alfa Romeo showed up, until then they just sounded like Japanese names (or in Paccar’s case they wrote it like tech bullshit and it was a robot so I just ignored it). Secretly the biggest twist of the year.
Best Character Name
Cadillac Escalade – Uchuu Senkan Tiramisu
Do I really need to give this any explanation? The guy’s name is literally Cadillac Escalade, I mean fucking come on man.
Best OP Lyric
Ace Attorney 2 – “Fake News”
My Hero Academy Season 3 – Episode “61”: Deku vs Kacchan Part 2
I’m not sure of the ACTUAL episode number for season 3 because CR just counts up forever as more seasons come in and makes everything horribly confusing, but whatever. My categories are all pretty much made up on the fly aside main recurring ones (best OP, best girl, etc) and this is a new one because this is one of the only times I can so specifically pinpoint an episode of an anime that was the best of the entire year. I’d put Episode 14 of Railgun S (I think that’s the one at least) in that category too but I think I gave it like a billion other awards and hadn’t thought of this one at the time, but aside these two, I can’t think of many things I’d say are strong enough as a single episode to merit being called or remembered as the best of the entire year.
Everything about this was perfect, as usual for MHA it took something typical of the genre and transformed it into something amazing, powerful, and meaningful. In fact this is probably my favorite episode of the show itself as well – not “my favorite scene in the entire show” (those still surprisingly fall very early on in the series for me, including in the first ep but as a full episode, this absolutely is the best.
This is also maybe one of the most well done episodes of its type as well – the rivalry fight and coming to terms with one another, a very common trope of battle shounen, yet here while the fight IS fantastic itself, it really is the writing that shines through yet again. It does such an amazing job at really making sure these feelings are genuine and that it’s near impossible to see this as two characters rather than people fighting out of both pent up feelings towards one another as well as one completely being racked with guilt over ruining the man he looked up to his entire life. It’s hard to really explain what was so good about it without it sounding like “another rival fight” but it really is something so much more and better than that in a variety of ways including by being more about Bakugo facing his guilt head-on rather than him and Deku – honestly that goes for the entire series, it’s easy to assume it’s just another shounen battler and it absolutely is not.What I really loved about how this episode was done – aside the writing and emotion – was the fact that they realized for fucking once in a show like this; “don’t interrupt”. There is no secondary story going on that we cut to and away from, there is no long pause mid-fight to give each other speeches, there isn’t someone commentating from the sidelines while watching, no adult coming and stopping it or someone trying to, and it’s not just “let’s do this for half the episode”.
While the actual physical fight itself only takes about half of it, the entire episode is pretty much just this one scene of them out here, fighting, and then dealing with the aftermath once All Might reveals himself AFTER the fight ends on its own and puts some closure to the situation for both of them, especially Bakugo. There are almost no jokes, there’s no distractions at all, and it is such a focused 22 minutes that are done so fucking well with two amazingly written characters over some really believable and genuine emotions in one of the best shows ever made. Plus, it just does an amazing job at getting across not just their rivalry, not just Bakugo’s insecurities, not just Bakugo’s guilt, not even just Deku viewing him almost as highly as he does All Might – but even more central themes and lines brought up way back in the first episodes of the show come around to finally pay off.
Runner-Up: I forget the number, but the entire episode dedicated to Keith being a cuck in Attack on Titan 3 that served absolutely no purpose aside making fun of Keith and how he was such a fucking cuck that he found this woman years later and screamed in the middle of a crowded street at her about how much of a loser her newborn baby was because she flirted with him in a bar while employed to flirt with customers in the bar.
Best Running Gag
Chair – Anima Yell
If you didn’t watch Anima Yell, the series is a typical all-female club anime but about cheerleading. While the joke isn’t as much of a “running gag” as I had hoped earlier on, it does last like the first third of the show. Basically it’s simply the main girl being a dumbass and pronouncing cheer as chair and confusing people, but the way the reactions are handled is very cute.
It’s easy to forget this aired in 2018 because it started in January, but Gakuen Babysitters was a really adorable story about a dude taking care of his baby brother after their parents die and ending up working for the babysitting club at school (for the teacher’s kids). There are some actually sad and very well handled bits about the loss of their parents, but for the most part this show is nothing but cute and it does a good job depicting kids of these ages based on how my nephew is and it does a great job of just being adorable and sweet.
The character designs in this show are so dopey and full of personality (especially for the blue haired one), the faces especially stood out to me as extra cute. The deformed versions of everyone were very cute as well, especially the bird beak pink would get.
Runner-up: Merc Storia
Best Series Finale
This was another easy choice for me. This show ends with the main character, a topless half-snake half-girl demon, floating off into space and drifting through the galaxy because she is holding a balloon that a little girl had gotten stuck in a tree. That’s it. That’s the canonical ending of the show.
Release the Spyce
I did not watch a single second of this, but the name makes me laugh.
Best Nostalgia / Best Insert Song
Anima Yell – Love and Joy
If you were into anything Japan related back in the early 00s then you know this song. This track was impossible to miss – even years later it was still around constantly, and now almost two decades later it’s come back in the form of an in-universe song remixed lightly for cheer-leading.
This plays at the VERY start of episode 1 of Anima Yell (and a couple more times later on) when the main character finds girls cheerleading to it by a river, and while I didn’t pick up on why at the time – I felt a really strong emotional pull from that scene. It’s not because cute girls are doing cute things, it was because after listening to it again I realized it was this fucking song pulling me back almost 20 years in time. The best part is that the song is still fucking great, making it no surprise that it was as big as it was at the time – a definite classic of Jpop.
Best Product Placement
The Sony Walkman can not only transport you to another dimension, it can transform you into a magical fighting girl in Akanesasu Shoujo. Also, even knowing it’s probably fucking disgusting, I want to try Chikuwa now. The show is actually pretty alright too, which is why I’d say it was good product placement – because it wasn’t an advertisement.
This category is one of my favorite and last year I just threw in who I remembered quickest at the last second to finish the post, and I’m kind of stuck in a similar situation – maybe a worse one, even – this time because I don’t remember enough of what I watched from 2018 anymore and I’m dealing with horrible amounts of stress.
And while I was tempted to cheat and include Mikoto – the fact is the version of her in Index is pretty fucking shitty, and I do feel bad saying this every time I need to but it’s the truth, when Komachi is in charge of writing her she’s completely vapid and just an archetypical modern Tsun-Tsun with no personality or character beyond W–WHW-W–WH-WWH-HW–WH-AWT DID YOU SAY I FUCKING HATE YOU YOU FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT REEEEE and the art blows dick too because even JC Staff knows Index is just an excuse to raise funds for Railgun adaptations. Plus, I didn’t watch Index 3 because fuck Index, so it would be dishonest to include her even if it didn’t consistently ruin her character.
So instead of really thinking it over too much, I’m gonna just say it was Popuko but only when voiced by a male.
Runners-up: Jashin-chan, Manana, Hina (Hinamatsuri), Pekola, Cells at Work girl, Armin, probably 300 others I don’t remember.
Second Best Girl
It almost feels like a cop-out, and I’m fairly disappointed with the show for ending before the fucking conclusion ever came at all, but Sakura is still the most wholesome, pure, cute, sweet, and important of all magical girls in the history of magical girls. I would have thrown her in the runners-up but it really doesn’t feel honest to not at least put some focus on her so I gave her a second place category.
This was actually a very hard category, mostly because a lot of the comedies this year aired early and so I forgot about them. While I had a lot of fun with all of the possibilities, I have to go with Jashin-chan. Pop Team Epic was fucking hilarious and had some seriously well done creative little bits that took a lot of effort, Chio’s School Road was much more normal for a comedy anime but was a super fun ride with Chio who was cute but also Manana who I almost made the best girl of the year. Hinamatsuri was loads of fun but, out of all of the things I considered, it definitely had the most misses and even a few plainly bad episodes.
Jashin-chan, however, wasn’t just a really great comedy, it was one of those nostalgic shows that just feels, looks, and is written so much like something from ~2004. It gave it a special feeling every episode and beyond that it was just full of character and a lot of original humor. There were some issues, like the cop girl, but she existed for about 7 total minutes. If you like comedy from the ‘golden era’ then this is absolutely not to be missed. Great characters, great classic-feeling to it, and just a whole lot of fun and mischief.
Last year we had the most amazing dab that still reigns supreme (anime or otherwise) from Girls Last Tour, this time around we’ve got a new one from what is essentially the Sliders anime, Akanesasu Shoujo. it’s not easy to get a good image of, but she’s doing a stylish dab in the wild west.
Actually, I lost the image because I didn’t name it apparently, oops.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
I went into this show expecting it to clearly be another shitty harem light novel adaptation with a twist that maybe could be fun – the main character being a slime. First off, it isn’t an LN adaptation, it’s a manga adaptation, the title being an essay is misleading. Beyond that, this is not remotely a harem. Slime is a very surprisingly genuine fantasy story of a man who dies in our world and is, well, reincarnated as a slime in a fantasy world and who – thanks to the power of Great Sage, is basically insanely overpowered and impossible to kill. The show not only does an incredible job of being a fantasy story and developing the world and its lore, it also handles the fact he IS so insanely powerful and immune to almost everything without making the story blander for it (unlike, say, Touma in Index).
It’s loads of fun, has a lot of great comedic bits, and the fantasy story going on is engrossing while having a very specific feel of building up our group and our own town while bigger things start to happen. It’s pretty cool.
Runners-up: Angels of Death (extremely close, in fact I wrote a whole thing for it as the winner for this already but the more slime time I watched the more I felt it deserved it more), Akanesasu Shoujo, Wotakoi
I would have said above both this and Angels of Death that it was Planet With – but as I’ve mentioned, I really loved Lucifer & Biscuit Hammer, so Planet With being from the same creator made it not that surprising when it turned out to be fucking weird but also really good, yet it still feels ‘surprising’ in a different way so I’m mentioning it here.
I loved the MHA movie and it does something extremely important and meaningful for the entire series – but even so it was still a tie-in to a show and without context from the entire series comes off like a generic action movie. Maquia, however, was incredible, extremely emotional, and had a really sincere genuine message that resonated perfectly with anyone who watched it. It’s stand alone, it’s amazingly well written and extremely personal feeling, the art is gorgeous, the music is great, and I absolutely hugely recommend it. I wrote a review after seeing it in the theater.
Runner-up: My Hero Academy: Two Heroes
The Mitchiri Neko Cats
Pop Team Epic
Obvious choice. If I could, I’d give it to Teekyuu. I never watched any of it until this year and jesus fucking christ is it ever the most insane and absurd thing ever created. I thought Choboronyopomi’s works were the top tier of insanity, then Pop Team Epic made me question that but only in its first episode…and then I saw Teekyuu, but Teekyuu aired years ago.
Anyway, Pop Team was still absolutely crazy and fucking weird. If you even saw a 2 minute clip of it you’ll probably agree that it was the most absurd thing to come out of anime in 2018 even if you disliked it.
Most Needing of a Sequel
Cells At Work
While there are plenty of others I’d like to see more of, Cells At Work has so much more material to work with. What I’d really like to see isn’t more of that though, but an adaptation of the spinoff manga Cells at Work Black – which, instead of a healthy young person’s body, takes place inside of a stressed, older, obese, and in general terribly unhealthy person. It’s apparently much darker yet, just like Cells at Work, has a lot of really informative and interesting stuff.
Runner-up: Angolmois, they kind of completely lost at the end so I’d like to see the rest of this loosely based-on-niche-history story.
Well, the true runner-up would be the one that was going to win – but Jashin-chan ended up getting enough DVD/BD sold just in time for this post to get its season 2 confirmed!
Best Action Series
Attack on Titan 3
This season has some bad and stupid shit early on (and that Keith episode, wew), but as far as action goes it was fucking incredible later on. The climactic battle against the fucking mega ginormous titan was awesome, gruesome, and extremely tense. The endless twists never stopped coming even if some (all) ended up being kind of retarded.
It really is the fights themselves that put this at the top though. This season went way above what it’s done in the past and
Runner-up: My Hero Academy 3
Wait, this came out a few years ago, nevermind.
Cells At Work
If you can’t tell I’m not writing this in any intelligent order at all, so here we are with a show I already mentioned for being educational and great. Cells At Work is something I’m still surprised by when it comes to actually getting across real information and doing it in such a fun and captivating way.
Runner-up: Nobunaga no Shinobi 3
Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
It is worth mentioning off the bat – this year had almost no romance shows in the first place, that isn’t to say Wotakoi wasn’t great but it also just didn’t have much competition.
What really did it for me with this show was that it almost belongs in the biggest surprise category too. It’s a romance about otaku yet it manages to be about working adults, about 4 people ALREADY in relationships, different types and levels of otaku, and most importantly never feels like a show “about otaku”. Anime tends to be EXTREMELY pandery or overly jokey when it comes to any anime or game fan because they want to pull the old “see this could be YOU fucking YOUR sister!” card. Wotakoi skips out on that and instead is a romance story about two couples who work together and are good friends. It’s not a story of getting a girlfriend, not a story of drama, and absolutely not a story about “hey look he’s just like you, otaku viewer!”. Is it one of the best romance series ever? Absolutely not, but it’s fun and the otaku ‘twist’ adds a lot of unique room for it to work with in the genre – but really it’s more a comedic and relaxing look at two couples and their friendship between them.
Nobunaga no Shinobi 3
I ran into an issue with this in 2018 – some “shorts” went from 3-5 minutes to now half-length episodes at 11-13 minutes. I wasn’t sure what to really count, but I’m gonna go ahead and count anything not full length as a short for now. That being the case, I was going to go with Encouragement of Climb season 3 – I’ve loved the series since it originally began…but this season wasted almost 5 episodes on some really stupid and boring forced drama. Instead, I’m going with the 3rd season of Nobunaga no Shinobi.
This little series of ACTUAL short episodes has been going for a bit now and it has covered the entirety of Nobunaga’s rise from the very beginning days. Well, not “the entirety” because we haven’t finished the story yet and will hopefully be getting another season to do so. It’s very fucking cute, has a lot of fantastic comedy…and yet at the same time it is one of the more accurate and respectful of history renditions of the whole war. If you’re into Japanese history you should go back and start this from the beginning, it goes into not only the well known stuff but plenty you probably haven’t even heard of.
Runners-up: Tiramisu, Fumikiri Jikan, Encouragement of Climb 3, Working Cats, Micchiri Neko, so fucking many good shorts
Most Surprisingly Messed Up
Cutie Honey Universe
Later in the show an entire school of teen girls gets shoah’d and not soon after one of the most relevant supporting cast members is impaled by Cutie’s own sword. Not to mention all the stuff going on on the bad guy’s side of things where half their own military is killed by them on purpose.
Jingai-san no Yome
I don’t really know if this is a ‘best’ but whatever. Jingai-san no Yome. I watched it, there were things about it that were somehow cute…but, boy, this show made me uncomfortable and very confused by what I was seeing.
Most I Wanted To Watch It But Couldn’t
Back Street Girls
I was super excited about Back Street Girls, which I think is about yakuza being turned into some sort of idol group. It sounded fucking hilarious – but as far as I could (and still now can) find there are no available subs in English, official or not.
Another very easy choice; Yuru Camp is maybe one of the most relaxing and simple shows out there. It’s just girls camping, discussing camping, and planning on where to go camping. There’s no drama, no side stories really, nothing but simple and calm slice of life – even the comedy is purposefully low-key to not spoil the mood and it gives it a very different feel from other similar sounding shows of “just girls doing a thing”.
This maybe deserved to be mentioned more here but whatever. Mitsuboshi Colors is easiest to explain as sort of a new take on Ichigo Mashimaro even though the two have no relation and this is a lot more jokey.
This ED video is just so goddamn cute, even cuter than the already very cute show. It’s little mushy – not even chibi but like mushy chibis – versions of characters we meet throughout the show doing stuff along with really nice music I think sung by Merc.