Welcome to Anime Rants. I hope you’re having a restful Sunday. Today I’m presenting my top seven favorite anime from the year 2018. This does not include movies, OVAs, long-running series, or shows carried over from previous year(s). The entries are ranked from least to greatest personal enjoyment, rather than overall quality of production or popularity. For some of the previous posts in this series, I’ve included production information or synopses. But this time, I’m just giving a few of my notes on each entry. Let’s get started.
7. Steins;Gate 0
Steins;gate 0 was very popular but I wasn’t too interested in it. I didn’t dislike it or anything, but the story dragged very slowly sometimes, and there was much less suspense and action than in the original Steins;gate. It was somewhat interesting to see what would happen in another world line, and meeting the new characters like Kagari and Maho. However, it was often difficult for me to focus or care about a less than thrilling story-line with an ending audiences already know.
6. Devilman: Crybaby
This is an adaptation of an old, classic manga called Devilman. Akira becomes possessed by a devil, but keeps his human mind, and is this a devilman. He is compassionate and quick to tears, which is why he was called a crybaby in his human life before the demons. I like how unique this production is with animation and music. Plus, I appreciate the classic themes and story elements. This is a TV-MA ONA on Netflix, so expect a lot of violence and adult content.
5. Satsuriku no Tenshi
I enjoyed this series while it was airing, but I was rather disappointed when certain things were explained (or not explained). I was even embarrassed to have liked it. But rethinking it, and seeing many positive opinions, I decided I like it after all. There are some things to think about that go pretty deep if you’re interested in psychology and appreciate the characters.
4. Happy Sugar Life
Satou feels empty and bitter. That is, until she finds and captures Shio, a young child who was abandoned. With Shio, Satou has a happy sugary life. But how long will it last? I love HSL primarily as a character piece for the sociopath, Satou. This show is pretty fucked up, but it’s aware of it and doesn’t glorify it. There are several interesting psychological elements.
3. Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3
This was only part one of season 3. The rest didn’t air until the following year. Anyway, it was still awesome. I loved Historia’s story and her decisive refusal to obey her father and betray Eren. It was a really empowering scene for me. Levi and Kenny’s stories in this season were interesting, too. At a rapid pace, the conspiracies are falling apart and the world within the walls is changing. As usual, the battles, music, and characters are top-notch.
2. Violet Evergarden
Wow. This was one of the most emotionally moving anime of the year, as well as possibly the one with the most beautiful visuals. The soundtrack is great too. It’s an all-around terrific anime. To be honest, I did not appreciate it fully on the first watch. But on the second, I was blown away. I also cried a lot as I vicariously lived through Violet. This is a character you will not be able to forget, once you understand her real story. Watch it with tissues.
1. Darling in the Franxx
Obviously, Darling in the Franxx isn’t the best in terms of story execution, nor is the most well-made anime of the year. However, it’s the one I found myself enjoying the most as it aired. I couldn’t care less about the fan-service, but I loved the personality and story of Zero Two. I connected to this character in a significant way, and she became one of my top 20 favorite anime characters. There were also some themes in the story I am fond of, such as males and females working together, big conspiracies and dystopia, and mechs fighting monsters.
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading! Mata Ashita!
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