[Anime] Spring Season 2018

Hah. I really am terrible at keeping this place up-to-date (I apologise). But hey, here’s another attempt. Though I had originally planned to keep a proper record of all the season anime I watch, I didn’t find the time to comment on them weekly or anything like that. Instead, I’ll give a brief (loose) ranking of everything I watched in Spring Season 2018 and talk about some of those choices. Meanwhile, the new season has already started so let’s see if I will do the same for Summer 2018 or if I will actually manage to talk about some series more frequently. Of course, these are all but my personal opinions and I am quite aware that it may differ from what the majority of people thinks, so don’t let anything upset you, should you disagree. 🙂

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  1. Megalo Box: I must admit that originally Megalo Box hadn’t even been on my radar and possibly that was the best case scenario because I stumbled into episode 1 without any expectations whatsoever and was absolutely overwhelmed by it from the get-go. Not having read Ashita no Joe or knowing anything about this franchise, it managed to captivate me either way with its charming characters and breath-taking atmosphere. Sure, I do like sports anime but this show did feel less like a sports anime and more than someone’s very personal story from zero to hero, just like every big Shounen Jump series usually tells its tale but with a sprinkle of realism in there. The story certainly isn’t anything out of the extraordinary but it doesn’t always have to be complex to be special. Megalobox delivers with its love for detail and gorgeous animation that feels alive as you spot the authentic lines of the drawings and listen to the fantastic soundtrack and rap segments that truly pull you into the world of Joe and his motley crew that slowly becomes his family. I enjoyed every episode to the fullest though I had hoped to get even more input on Joe’s opponents/rivals and a little more insight into what becomes of the future tournament(s), the use of gear as weaponry and more about the world in general. The final episode felt a bit too abrupt for my taste, though I liked the inexplicit resolution of the final match. All in all, I can definitely call Megalo Box my favourite anime of Spring season 2018.Screenshot (3681)
  2. To Be Heroine: Also titled To Be Hero 2, it is a sequel to the Japanese-Chinese anime from 2016. I really like the co-productions between China and Japan and I really enjoyed the first season already, so needless to say I was overjoyed to see a new installment in the series. It has definitiely kept its charm regarding its very charactersitic animation and the language swap between Chinese and Japanese when there’s a swap between the two universes is extremely well done and a nice little extra. The story started off as something that seemed rather unrelated to the events of S1 and still rather opaque about its direction. However, later on the characters we already knew also started appearing and the show took a very dark turn, which is in no way bad but very different from the light-hearted tone of the first season. While the first three episodes were still really well done comedy, with the following ones up to the finale we were in for the real dramatic and tragic part. The supernatural elements blended well with the very real, every-day despair of the protagonist and I’m glad the ending wasn’t your typical “All is well” closure but rather a hopeful, slightly melancholic way to To Be a Heroine. (However, the comedy snippets from the other universe in the first episodes will still be the best thing about the series. ;D)
  3. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan 2
  4. Mahou Shoujo Ore:Screenshot (3793)When I saw the concept of this anime I figured it could either be really good and funny or really miss the mark and be a disappointment. Eventually I am leaning towards the positive opninion I had. Mahou Shoujo Ore made me laugh a lot during its first half, especially how it didn’t take itself seriously a whole lot and broke the fourth wall every now and then. The second half got a little more “serious”, which still wasn’t anything heart-wrenching and even ended up in a comedy’esque twist and ending but I feel like after that change of mood or rather focus on the main plot line, a lot of very valuable characters started to be neglected. That’s a real shame because the minor characters brought a lot to the show and while I wouldn’t call the second half boring, it also didn’t make me laugh anymore or draw any sort of emotion out of me. All in all, I really liked the concept and the characters but it contains a lot of missed opportunities. Maybe there will be a couple of OVAs to make up for those and bring back the side characters for more shenanigans.
  5. Nobunaga no Shinobi: Anegawa Ishiyama-hen
  6. Boku no Hero Academia 3rd Season
  7. Rang Wo Men Shao Ba (Fire x Fire): This one is an interesting one. An all-too-familiar highschool. Male student Xiao wants to join the dating club but accidentally joins a club of self-acclaimed inquisitors of all the puppy love in school. And they also happen to be magicians with deadly powers. Xiao then happens to awaken his own deadly fire magic as well. I wouldn’t know how to summarise the plot any better, especially since not that many episodes are out yet. This series is a small Chinese production and releases a new episode when it’s ready and that’s absolutely fantastic. Even after the few episodes they released I can really feel their passion for bringing their ideas to life. So far Rang wo Men Shao Ba has been funny, may it be dark humour or just genuinely well done comedy, and also very cute. The animation is looking sharp and I’m thrilled for the upcoming episode to release.Screenshot (3795)
  8. Shiyan Pin Jiating (Jikken-hin Kazoku)
  9. Hisone to Maso-tan
  10. Comic Girls
  11. Uchuu Senkan Tiramisù
  12. Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen
  13. Amanchu! Advance
  14. Nanatsu no Taizai: Imashime no Fukkatsu
  15. Cardfight!! Vanguard (2018)
  16. Hoozuki no Reitetsu 2nd Season: Sono Ni
  17. Isekai Izakaya: Koto Aitheria no Izakaya Nobu: I don’t know what it is with me and shows about food and cooking. Besides always getting my stomach growling, they are somehow really soothing to me. Izakaya Nobu is an animated short about a small Japanese bar that leads to the infamous “isekai”, a different fantasy world like straight out of an RPG. However, the bar owners are fairly used to their otherwordly guests and manage to impress them with their Japanese dishes more and more with every new guest. It’s simple but cute and on top of that, it’s educational. The reason why I actually love the show is the part that comes after the animation, an actual short documentation of a Japanese gourmet visiting restaurants to taste a recreation of the dish in the anime. It is presented in a very authentic, funny way which made me crave the food even more.4eb6e30d340008f8b4092efb4c536542
  18. Akkun to Kanojo
  19. Fumikiri Jikan
  20. Golden Kamuy
  21. Persona 5 The Animation
  22. Souten no Ken Re:Genesis
  23. Wakaokami wa Shougakusei!
  24. Piano no Mori (TV)
  25. Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai
  26. Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Kaikou
  27. Caligula
  28. Hinamatsuri
  29. Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashi
  30. Nil Admirari no Tenbin
  31. Binan Koukou Chikyuu Boueibu Happy Kiss!
  32. Omae wa Mada Gunma wo Shiranai
  33. Gegege no Kitarou (2018)
  34. Darling in the FranXX
  35. Cutie Honey Universe

This ranking is, like I said before, only a vague listing because some shows were hard for me to rank when put next to others. However, is may be arguably intriguing why I put DarliFra almost at the bottom, although it seems to be an instant favourite to so many people? I feel like I should briefly address the two anime I liked least, just to provide my actual reason behind it.

DARLING in the FranXX could have gotten me onboard, possibly, somewhere at the start if the whole pacing had been different and if I hadn’t found all characters (except the Nines squad) so unlikeable and if the plot hadn’t put me to sleep after episode 2. I really wanted to like it, it’s a TRIGGER anime after all and they have given me so much in the past. I get that they wanted to make something impactful, something complex in between coming of age stories and an apocalyptic setting and (“strange-looking”) mecha. What I got was a lot of very forced romance, a lot of very forced plot ‘twists’, a predictable cast and simply too many episodes focused on character ‘building’ – just that this sort of slice of life didn’t work well for the pacing at all in my opinion. Darling in the Franxx sadly lost my attention and killed my enthusiasm to give it a second chance too fast because I had nothing to cling to which I found interesting. Thus I do believe that any viewer who actually likes any of the characters and can identify with some of the plot lines and character motivations would certainly be able to enjoy this show a lot. Unfortunately that just wasn’t the case for me. And the whole pregnancy and alien stuff at the end really didn’t help.

With Cutie Honey Universe it’s a little more unfortunate because I initially thought I would come to enjoy it a lot (the opening is already catchy enough) but I also didn’t get why there had to be another reboot of a Nagai show that already had a lot of adaptations. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely enjoyed Devilman Crybaby because I felt that it really brought something new to the table while also remaining true to the original. With Cutie Honey Universe that wasn’t the case. And while first few episodes were still light entertainment, with each passing week the episodes became more uncomfortable to watch until there was the episode with the statue scene (those who watched it will know). It is a scene that drags on for way too long and just makes everything so much worse. And this is a good way to sum up the final episodes of Cutie Honey Universe. It’s a reboot that shouldn’t exist. I can’t say if the original is particularly “valuable” material in the first place, since I didn’t read the manga, but it doesn’t have to be, really. However, to experience Honey’s adventures it would surely be enough to go back to the first anime series or the manga.

That said, none of the anime was actually horrible though I also dropped quite a few which is rather uncommon for myself. Near the end, there were those few that really left an impression on me but the rest was rather forgettable, to say the least. I hope that summer season will deliver as one of the strongest anime seasons. I’m very excited for quite a few of the upcoming show, so hopefully I can do this again in due time, just to talk a little about the hobby I love so much~

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