This post is long overdue, but I thought it would be a good idea to talk about my favourite anime series of 2018, as well as – shall we say – my less favourites? So here’s the breakdown: I’m going to talk about my top 5. And then I’ll give my honourable mentions, my regular mentions, my dishonourable mentions, my abandoned series, and the shows I missed. Sound good? Let’s dive in.

TOP FIVE
5. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Source: IMDb)

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Source: IMDb)

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens didn’t exactly fill the Durarara!!-shaped hole in my heart, but it did provide a fun, often comedic look at the criminal underworld. Plus, it took place in Fukuoka instead of the usual Tokyo, which was a nice change of pace.

4. Hi-Score Girl

Hi-Score Girl (Source: Netflix)

Hi-Score Girl (Source: Netflix)

This was a relatively late arrival in the year, premiering on Christmas Eve in the West, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Hi-Score Girl is both a romantic dramedy and a love letter to classic gaming. It boasts a somewhat bizarre but unique 3D CG style, to boot. In fact, it might be the best use of 3D CG I’ve ever seen in anime.

3. Asobi Asobase

Asobi Asobase (Source: Anime-Planet)

Asobi Asobase (Source: Anime-Planet)

Asobi Asobase is a Trojan horse. Initially, it presents itself as yet another bit of pastel moe bullshit, destined to be forgotten within weeks of airing. But soon it reveals itself to be a hilariously grotesque comedy about three very stupid high school girls and their antics. This is a show with sex dolls and butt lasers (don’t ask), and it’s oh so very funny.

2. A Place Further Than The Universe

A Place Further Than The Universe (Source: Tumblr)

A Place Further Than The Universe (Source: Tumblr)

Another Trojan horse, another show that appears to be pastel moe bullshit at first glance. But instead of going the satirical route (like Asobi Asobase) or the plotless slice-of-life route, APFTTU slowly reveals that it has much grander plans. On a practical level, it’s a story about a quartet of teenage girls who travel to Antarctica. However, it’s also a careful examination of ambition, obsession, isolation, and friendship. It deftly weaves tearjerking drama with gutbusting comedy, and moreover, the quality of its animation belies the modest TV budget on which it must have been made. Plus, it has penguins. Who doesn’t like penguins?

1. Planet With

Planet With (Source: Anime Feminist)

Planet With (Source: Anime Feminist)

It looks like we finally found a challenger to K for the distinction of least Googleable anime! Seriously, what does “Planet With” even mean? We’ll probably never know that, but what we do know is that Planet With was one of the strangest and most audacious anime series in recent memory. Burning through about three cours’ worth of plot in just one, Planet With had a relentless, dizzying pace. Every week, it seemed like the show could fall to pieces at any moment. But that never happened, and damn, the show stuck the landing. Part mecha spectacle, part moralistic sci-fi, part vegetarian propaganda (damn you, Ginko!), there’s nothing quite like Planet With out there.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS
6. Aggretsuko. It’s interesting to a see an anime series adopt a more Western, Toon Boom-esque style.
7. Double Decker! Doug & Kirill. Awesomely fun, if occasionally a little bit *too* dumb.
8. Kakegurui. Worth it for the opening credits alone.
9. Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles. As do I. This is foodporn at its finest.

REGULAR MENTIONS
10. B: The Beginning. The detective part of this is good; the supernatural part, less so.
11. Citrus. Trashy and melodramatic in the extreme, but also pretty entertaining.
12. Chio’s School Road. A decently solid comedy. Not much to say, really.
13. A.I.C.O. -Incarnation-. Possibly one of the most generic series I’ve ever watched, but I can’t say there was anything *bad* about it.

DISHONOURABLE MENTIONS
14. Cells at Work!. I don’t remember when I realized that this show would never leave the immune and circulatory systems, but that was about when I stopped caring.
15. Devilman Crybaby. Oh so stylish. And oh so empty, nihilistic, and frustrating. This is the kind of shit I would have thought was really deep when I was 15.
16. Hinamatsuri. It’s always annoying when an intriguing premise is ignored in favour of boring slice-of-life bullshit, but it’s especially annoying when none of the jokes land and all the emotional moments ring false.
17. Darling in the FRANXX. There are a lot of good ideas here, but the execution is not good. Plus, the more I think about the ending, the more I hate it.
18. Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku. It’s The Big Bang Theory for weeaboos, except it’s animated, and the animation is garbage.

DROPPED SHOWS
Banana Fish. Who would have guessed that the sexual politics of the ’80s would seem awfully outdated in 2018? Everyone, that’s who.
Dropkick on my Devil!!. This show didn’t even bother to explain its premise before launching into its painfully unfunny comedy.

SHOWS I MISSED
Bloom into You; Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl SenpaiRecord of Grancrest War; Violet Evergarden.

That’s all for now. Back to watching cartoons.