2017 was a pretty amazing year for pop culture, and 2018 is also looking to be chock-full of goodies. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Obligatory disclaimer: Sometimes stuff misses its release date. It’s possible that anything I’ve listed here may actually end up coming out in 2019. Or maybe it won’t even come out at all. Don’t sue me.

10. Violet Evergarden
I have no idea what to expect of this series’ premise of an android returning home from war to work for the postal service. Plus, the show’s visuals eschew the usual sci-fi aesthetic for something much more naturalistic and almost Ghibli-like. But after last year’s stellar A Silent Voice, I trust Kyoto Animation to make whatever the hell they want; they’ve earned it. Here’s a trailer.

9. Untitled goose game
The premise of this game is flimsy and stupid as hell – you play as a goose trying to annoy humans – but sometimes a simple, goofy stealth-puzzle game is exactly what the doctor ordered. Australian developer House House’s latest project doesn’t have a title yet, but it’s set to come out this year. Here’s some pre-alpha gameplay footage.

8. gen:LOCK
Rooster Teeth have proven themselves as a respected animation studio, producing the runaway hit RWBY as well as summer camp comedy Camp Camp. But now they have their sights set on the mecha genre, turning towards more mature, dramatic, and political storytelling. We’ll see if the risks pay off, but RWBY proved that the studio has a knack for adapting Japanese-inspired fiction for Western audiences, so I’m cautiously optimistic. Here’s a teaser.

7. Consortium: The Tower
The first Consortium game was one of the most brilliant video games of 2014, mashing up an RPG with a murder mystery and a dash of The Stanley Parable, and giving players an unprecedented amount of freedom to progress through the game as they wished. The second, The Tower, looks to be a worthy sequel. This time, you’re exploring an entire building, not just a weird, blocky airplane. The game is still in Steam Early Access, but it should be out later this year. Here’s a trailer.

6. Primal Heart by Kimbra
I wasn’t big on Kimbra’s sophomore effort, The Golden Echo, which often felt too busy and scattered for its own good. However, she seems to have stripped things back quite a bit for her third LP, Primal Heart, judging by the tracks that have been released so far. Lead single “Everybody Knows” is by far one of her greatest songs. Here’s the music video.

5. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
2012’s Wreck-It Ralph was an unexpected delight, delivering a mixture of gaming nostalgia, reference humour, and genuine pathos that resonated deeply with me. Now there’s a sequel on the way, and though we barely have any footage, I have confidence that Walt Disney Animation Studios can deliver. Here’s a teaser.

4. Now, Now’s new album
It’s now been six years since Now, Now released their last album, Threads, and I was starting to worry that their third LP would never see the light of day. Then last year they released two singles, and though longtime member Jess Abbott had departed, they sounded better than ever. Here’s the music video for the excellent lead single “SGL.”

3. Season 2 of The Wolf Among Us
Telltale has unfortunately turned into somewhat of a factory over the past few years, churning out clones of its Walking Dead series but with other properties attached, to varying degrees of success. However, one of the studio’s unequivocal triumphs was The Wolf Among Us, which successfully adapted the world of graphic novel series Fables to video games. Unfortunately, that game ended on a cliffhanger, and fans have been waiting for a sequel for ages. Fortunately, 2018 is the year when their wishes will become reality. Here’s a promotional video.

2. Season 2 of Marvel’s Jessica Jones
The first season of Jessica Jones wasn’t just one of the best Marvel TV offerings; it was one of the best series on Netflix, period. We know very little about season 2 or what subjects it’s going to cover, but if it’s even half as good as season 1, then we’re in for a treat. Here’s a trailer.

1. Kakegurui
This anime series about an elite school where the social hierarchy is determined by the results of a gambling game looks stylish as hell, and the twisted, distorted facial expressions give it a fascinatingly grotesque vibe. I’m all in on this, and I’m endlessly peeved that Netflix is airing this nearly a year later than it aired in Japan. In any case, here’s a trailer.

Honourable mentions
I’ve got a pretty big list here, so of course I’ve divided it up by category.

Anime:

  • B: The Beginning
  • Devilman Crybaby
  • Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
  • Kokkoku
  • Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles
  • A Place Further than the Universe

Movies:

  • Black Panther
  • A Wrinkle in Time

Music:

  • A Perfect Circle
  • The Wonder Years

Video games:

  • Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion [PC, PS4, Switch, Xbone]
  • Switch ports of first two Bayonetta games
  • The Council [PC, PS4, Xbone]
  • Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory [PS4, Vita]
  • PC port of Final Fantasy XV
  • InnerSpace [Linux, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbone]
  • Kentucky Route Zero, Act V [Linux, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbone]
  • Kirby Star Allies [Switch]
  • Manifold Garden [PC, PS4]
  • Necrobarista [Mac, PC, Switch]
  • Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom [PC, PS4]
  • Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet [PC, PS4, Xbone]
  • Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes [Switch]
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4 [PS4, Switch, Xbone]
  • Vampyr [PC, PS4, Xbone]
  • Yakuza 6: The Song of Life [PS4]
  • YIIK: A Post-Modern RPG [Linux, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Vita, Wii U]
  • New Yoshi game [Switch]

TV/web series:

  • Altered Carbon [Netflix]
  • American Vandal, season 2 [Netflix]
  • Camp Camp, season 3 [Rooster Teeth, VRV]
  • Good Girls [NBC]
  • iZombie, season 4 [The CW]
  • Sense8 finale movie [Netflix] (despite not having seen season 2 yet… I’m on it, I swear)

Let’s hope all of this stuff turns out to be good!

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