Anime Winter 2018 Retrospective

Is it just me or are there more two cour shows slated for 2018 than previous years?

Of the two two-cour shows still on my slate (Darling in the FranXX and Grancrest) Darling is an absolute trip with arguably Best Girl in Zero Two, whereas Grancrest feels like a show trying too hard to be ambitious in its world building. I'll definitely keep up with both, but my interest in Grancrest might wain in the later weeks given how strong the Spring 2018 slate is shaping up to be.

Mahoutsukai no Yome

Mahoutsukai no Yome

So let me get this out first: I loved it.

But...

It was often painfully obvious that they took the budget of a single cour and tried to spread it out over two. Now, I'm grateful that we got a full 24 episodes rather than a rushed 12, but the source material really demanded a full two cour budget (especially evident in the OPs. The first OP is saved by a great song, but the second OP feels completely cheap)

Chise was a brilliant protagonist and I loved the weaving of pagan and Irish mythology. All in all, I think I was hoping for a bit more based on the OVA, but I'm still ecstatic that we got what we did.

Violet Evergarden

Violet Evergarden

Putting aside Neflix again... <grumble/>

Really good.

It's far from Koyani's best work, but that's a high bar to clear. The art and animation are some of the best work you will see for TV budgets. As a war slash post-war story, it is exceptional. No other anime comes to mind that deals with this sort of PTSD struggle.

Props also to Episode 10 -- I haven't cried that hard since the end of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

citrus

citrus

Trashy? Yeah

Is Mei kinda insufferable? Nod

Did I still enjoy it? Yep

Not more more to say. Great OP song from nano.RIPE

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni

Holy Shit! They stuck the landing!

I almost dropped this a few episodes in. I just had no confidence that I wouldn't be weirded out by the relationship resolution. If not for the fantastic art and music, I might have -- I would have missed out on a great heartwarming show.

Such a fantastic story about relationships, growing up, and reflecting on your past self.

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

Anime of the season for me. Calling it right now.

I was wrong.

Anime of the Year. Calling it right now

Quite frankly, this could possibly be my favorite anime of all time (Steins;Gate probably still has a lead here, but it's very slim). The characters, the story, the music -- everything about this show is executed to perfection. The staff at Madhouse are angels for giving the world this work.

I cannot possibly articulate all of what this show has meant to me -- instead, below are two people that can explain it much better than I can:

 

Yuru Camp△

Yuru Camp△

This show surprised me. All the normal tropes of your typical anti-social protagonist are completely avoided. Instead, we have a shy person who enjoys solitude but interacts perfectly well with others, and friends who recognize that aspect of the person and give them their space rather than demanding that everything is always better the other way. Much of the show was spent with Rin on her own and everyone was OK with it! So refreshing!

It definitely made me want to go camping...

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

Felt a bit like Ocean's 11 with a cross dressing shippable "couple" and everyone is an assassin rather than thief. Entertaining but definitely not a much watch by any means.

Hakumei to Mikochi

Hakumei to Mikochi

From the director of Scum's Wish...

Now, that may have turned you off this show, but don't let it. This is a delightful show about everyday situations for a group of little people (3 inches tall). Between this and Yuru Camp△, this season had a great selection of relaxing shows to veg out to.

Märchen Mädchen

Märchen Mädchen

I was able to get about half way through before dropping this. There was some potential to be a little bit entertaining, but it seemed to get mired down without a clear indication that anyone knew where the show was going.

I've heard that this show had production problems galore, which might explain the result.