2018 Winter Anime Season In Review – Evil Anime-tion
The 2018 Winter Anime Season has come to its end and, despite our falling off of it a bit at the end, we’ve still gotta get out a summary. So here it is, the 2018 Winter Anime Season in review!
EvilBob: Well. This is unprecedented.
EvilBob: Neither of us hates the other, this season.
CVoyage: Oh. Yeah. Guess we got a pretty lucky lot, this go around. Not stellar, but way better than last Fall.
EvilBob: Seriously. Well. Let’s get this over with. We’re not still merging the lists, are we?
CVoyage: God no. There’s way more anime this season that neither of us watched from each other’s lists.
EvilBob: Lucky you…
CVoyage: Don’t even try it. Now then. You can go first.
Hakyu Hoshin Engi
So, at the bottom of my list is this hot mess. It is still all over the place. It took them an entire season to get to a score of 8 with me. They’re still doing that annoying future-flash thing, so there’s that. Honestly, if I had to rate the series as it is, right now, it’s probably about as Evil as… a Henchman (4).
Gin no Guardian 2
And then there’s this other hot mess. It’s definitely an improvement from the first season. But that’s a low bar to leap. It might be terrible at times, but it is a lot of fun. And it’s unfortunately still a little confusing. Also, the protagonist could stand to do a little more… you know… protag-ing. He’s only even defeated, like, one boss. One. So yeah. If I had to call it here, the second season of Gin no Guardian is about as Evil as The Dark Side (6).
Ryuuou no Oshigoto!
Next up is… this. Just… this. I’m… really not sure what more I could say about this. CVoyage might’ve liked it more. Seems more up his alley.
CVoyage: Oh. Hey. The underside of this bus is nice.
Is it polished?
CVoyage: And fully refurbished.
…Huh. Anyway, this. It… it was fun! Buuut, then they’d make these awkward jokes that’d make me backtrack a little. It’s one of those series where they really thought most of the jokes were funnier than they actually happened to be. But it did have its heartwarming moments, at times. I have to give it credit where it’s due. Too bad they had a tendency to ruin it in the next episode… or, in extreme cases, 5 minutes later in the same episode. So yeah. On the whole, Ryuuou no Oshigoto isn’t terrible, but it’s about as Evil as The Dark Side (6).
CVoyage: Just a reminder, folks. His rating system is based on enjoyment, not quality.
O’, how I’ve been waiting for this…
CVoyage: Yes. Let the hate flow through you.
Yes, my master. So. Overlord 2. Or, as we like to call it, Overlord: The Lizardman Chronicles. At least for almost the entire first half of the show.
CVoyage: Not that the second half was much better…
Hey. This is me time. You’ll get your turn. See, I didn’t have a problem with them introducing the Lizardmen and all that. My problem was with how long they spent on them. They went way too deep on that one. We learned their history. Their customs. We even learned about their biology, which wasn’t needed.
CVoyage: Momonga agrees, evidently.
True that. All we needed was the story of the main three. The two brothers and the lady lizard. That’s it. That’s all we needed to see. It would’ve shaved off 2, maybe 3 episodes if they just focused on that and nothing else. I could say more but…
CVoyage: But I’m still here. And, oh, I have words.
So, with that in mind, I’ll say that it’s about as Evil as The Dark Side (6). But only because I enjoyed the second half a lot.
Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san
This thing. Oh, this thing. I went in with very low expectations, here. If anything, I just wanted it to be “Dagashi Kashi but with Ramen.” What I got was… not that. But not an altogether bad thing. I thought the show was going to get old because they kept coming back to the same joke, over and over. But they kept fixing that by throwing in random new characters. And the facts about the ramen were actually all true. So there’s that. Even the ramen shops they visit are all real. The show’s unique that way. It uses realistic things… in a comedy. Oh, yeah. And it’s actually pretty funny when it wants to be. You might wanna eat before watching any of it, though. Overall Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san is about as Evil as a Killer Robot Army (8).
I honestly didn’t know what to expect, going into this one. A slice of life about little girls could go in any number of directions. Luckily, they were trying to be heroes throughout the entire thing. Which led to some hilarious antics – trying to shoot a cop with a rocket launcher, straight up banana brawls in the street-
CVoyage: No. We’re not going to give you context for any of this. Just go watch it.
Yes. You need to. If you want to see what I’m talking about, watch it. Point is, the show had a lot of fun bits and pieces. It’s a good cooldown anime for cuteness.
CVoyage: …You and I have very different definitions of the term “cooldown.” I’m not sure I wanna know what you find “exciting.”
…It’s about as Evil as a Killer Robot Army (8).
How To Keep A Mummy
One word. Awwww! That’s it. That’s all you get. I’m done. Evil as-
CVoyage: You thought.
Fine, fine. But what else can we really say, aside from “this thing’s friggin’ adorable”? It could also get pretty weird, admittedly. But the entire point of the show was to be cute and it delivered. So yeah. How to Keep a Mummy is about as evil as a Villain (9).
The nostalgia is real. It’s been a little bit slow, sure, but it’s still the same old Cardcaptor Sakura we know and love. Now with improved animation! No, seriously. This show is beautiful at times. Some of these capture sequences are amazing. I like how we’re seeing Syaoran coming back into the picture. And, let’s be honest. There’s no way to talk about this show without mentioning Best Girl.
Though she’s been mysteriously absent, as of late. Hm… I wonder. Maybe this is proof that she’s-
CVoyage: He gave it a 9. Moving on.
Dagashi Kashi 2
So. That was a wild ride. Even at just twelve minutes an episode, this show gave us way more than we were expecting. I like how all the characters are somehow linked together. But I will say one thing. That ending made it where they can possibly have a third season. Looking forward to seeing if that actually happens. Especially with the manga ending. But this one’s about as Evil as a Super Villain (10)!
Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san
You have no idea how close this was. You really don’t. If not for my first place choice going a little deeper than this one-
CVoyage: And it being a genre you have a weakness for.
Point. If not for those factors, this would probably be right there at the top of the list. When we first read the description of this, we both thought “Meh. It could be all right.” And then we watched the first episode. There’s a phrase I like to use that describes this show perfectly. It’s elegance in its simplicity. Seriously! It’s the simplest concept you could imagine. But they did it so well, I don’t even care how simple it really is. So there’s nothing more to really say-
CVoyage: Challenge accepted.
…oh no. What have I done? People. I’m sorry. Get your contacts and reading glasses ready. Uh… Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san is about as Evil as a Super Villain (10)!
Mahoutsukai no Yome
Well. This is it. The top of my list. And, let’s be honest. It could only ever be this one. This… is one of the most beautiful anime I’ve ever seen.
CVoyage: Visually or in Storytelling?
Yes. But I’m serious. I don’t like to go throwing around the word “masterpiece,” but it comes really close. It’s up there in quality to Fullmetal Alchemist, one of my favorite anime ever. It’s got drama, it’s got humor, and it’s got major character growth. All complimented by a visually stunning world and more than a few heartwarming moments. Also a few straight-up disturbing ones. You know. Just for good measure. Nothing more to really say, but… Mahoutsukai no Yome is about as evil as… screw it. As evil as Cartaphilus (11).
Sigh. Y’know, I really wanted to like this more than I did. Truly. Everything I saw when the anime was doing its promo run made me excited. I loved the art style. I was excited about the early descriptions of the premise. It was great. And then I watched the first episode and started worrying. Then I watched the rest of the show and… it’s just a mess. I’d argue it’s even more of a mess than Hakyuu Hoshin Engi.
EvilBob: Thems be fightin’ words.
You didn’t sit through episode 9. I don’t wanna hear it. Honestly, everything about this show is just a huge waste of potential. Yes, it has some really nice moments, the characters are likable, and it has two really solid comedic episodes. But that doesn’t prevent the problems from showing through. It tried to do far too much without the time to let all of its ideas breathe, which was epitomized in Episode 10. And it was mired by absolutely dismal production, which was made no more apparent than the meme that was Episode 9. So though it pains me to say it, but you’re just better off Passing on this one. Maybe it can redeem itself with a hard reset. But, at this point, it just seems far too unlikely.
EvilBob: Ooh. Here it comes.
I’m going to save most of what I have to say about this. Because I do genuinely want to hold some of my problems for something special at a much later date. But. Comma. I’m sure I’ll catch some flak for this and I genuinely do not care. The second season of Overlord sucked. And yeah, the Lizardman bit was egregious and boring. But I genuinely prefer it to some of the plainly annoying things in the latter half.
Now. To be fair, the second half did have a lot of strong bits. Sebas is awesome. That team of adventurers, while ultimately pointless, was fairly cool. And there was some halfway decent action. But. It was bogged down by more talking and ton of scenes that served literally no purpose other than to waste time. The most criminal thing about it, though, is that Momonga just makes a lot of absolutely nonsensical decisions. And the writing around them just doesn’t work in most situations. This combines with the narrative problems I had with the last season, proving that they really didn’t see the problems and therefore likely aren’t going to. In total, I pray Season 3 is better. Because this one was just lame and totally something I won’t miss. Pass.
EvilBob: Wait, Overlord 2 lost to BLACK CLOVER?!
Yes. Let’s be honest with ourselves, here. Black Clover is on cruise control, right now. And it’s probably going to stay there. It’s never really going to change, but at least it’s consistent. And being consistently mediocre is a lot better, in my eyes, than have a few high peaks and a ton of low valleys. There are hardly any expectations to fail, in this case. And because of that, it can’t really be disappointing anymore. It’s not great, but it’s gotten to a point where it can do its job and run with it as a fairly average Shonen. And, simply put, there are worse things, out there. So yes. Black Clover is Harmless.
EvilBob: I don’t envy all the hate you’re gonna get.
It’s funny how you think I care about that.
Then there’s this. Okay, I know a lot of people have beef with Beatless. And I can understand that. It’s really slow. And pretty full of itself, at times. Also, only a couple of the characters are really likable and it’s generally just not the most appealing thing ever. But, like with Black Clover, the bar of my expectations is fairly low and stable. And this probably helps. Because of that, when it does manage to succeed in anything, it looks better than it probably is. And, unlike Black Clover, this series manages to have a few really interesting ideas to put forward, at times. It doesn’t always deliver on them. And I suspect it won’t have any intention of doing so for all of them by the time the series ends. But if nothing else, Beatless manages to be the one slightly intriguing and thought-provoking series about mankind and its relationship with technology. Not great, but Harmless as long as it doesn’t veer too far off the deep end of pretentiousness like so many series of its ilk tend to.
How To Keep A Mummy
EvilBob had it right, really. Awwww! But, being the way I am, I’ve obviously gotta try to give you a bit more. So, yes. How to Keep a Mummy is objectively adorable. There’s not a thing anyone can do to combat that claim. It just is. But beneath it is a fairly heartwarming story about the bonds we form, not just with our pets, but with others through them. And this is coming from someone who doesn’t have any pets of his own. Yet, still, it’s interesting to see how these adorable little critters bring the main cast together over time. Of course, most of the main characters aren’t especially interesting. At most, two of them are relatively deep and the other two are just fairly entertaining. But at the end of the day, this is all about the pets. And the pets are just impossible not to enjoy. The series is funny when it feels like it, can pull off drama competently, but it’s mostly just charming, heartwarming, and relaxing. Nothing else to really call it but Easy Viewing.
EvilBob: Okay, I call foul! You had to force that one, you show off!
95% of doing what we do is over-analyzing things.
EvilBob: That’s bull and you know it!
EvilBob: …the point is conceded.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
Oddly enough, I have very little to say, here. I’ve just been thoroughly enjoying this. Yes, it banks a little hard on the nostalgia factor. And it’s incredibly predictable. But I’m fine with it the way it is. It’s beautiful to look at. Syaoran and Sakura are adorable together. And Tomoyo is still one of my favorite anime characters. Overall it’s just been a really enjoyable, Super Effective anime.
EvilBob: Oh, hey. Same spot as me again. Nice. So, le’me guess. Your next one is-
Toji no Miko
EvilBob: Oh yeah. This was a thing.
Yup. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t really enjoy this ride. Despite my problems with the finale (and o’ did I have problems with the finale), of the things I’ve had to cover this season, Toji no Miko has managed to progressively improve with almost every consecutive episode. It had its hiccups, sure. But anything does. It’s not great by any stretch of the imagination. However, it is enjoyable. It did an effective job of telling the story it set out to tell, the action was good fun, and it was generally just a good example of Junk Food entertainment.
EvilBob: How… did this get above Cardcaptor Sakura?
Honestly. It’s just a case of Quantity and Quality. Yes, the excellent moments of Cardcaptor Sakura are arguably better, but that series is slower for anything to really happen. The high points of Toji no Miko aren’t quite as good, but they’re still pretty good. So having them more frequently does affect its standing. It’s one of those instances where quantity does edge out quality, if only barely.
Dagashi Kashi 2
I’ve said it before, and I will continue to say it. Dagashi Kashi is nothing but bad for me… and I love it. It’s just a ton of fun. But you know what? This season actually dialed itself down a notch and pulled something else out – a genuine capability to get reasonably dramatic. It actually pulled back from the sheer lunacy and started really leaning into its story, for a change! Sure, it wasn’t anything amazing. But it was executed well, especially for just having 12 minutes an episode to pull it off. The new characters are delightful. So much so that Hotaru’s absence throughout half of the show wasn’t a loss that couldn’t be recovered from. Hajime, especially, is a great addition to the cast. And I’m looking forward to whatever they can pull off in Season 3. So did they do it? Did this season finally ascend to a higher form? Why yes. Yes, it has. Because Dagashi Kashi 2 isn’t just effective, anymore. It… is Super Effective!
EvilBob: Wow. Wait. But that only leaves-
Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san
Surprise. I’m sure no one was expecting this to be up here, right? Me neither. But hey. All throughout this season, this was one of only two shows that kept a consistent smile on my face. And it edged out the other series purely by virtue of there being more of it. Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san is, as EvilBob stated, simplicity itself. It’s just about the most basic, straightforward puppy love story you could possibly have. A couple of kids in middle school, constantly trying to 1-Up each other. The joke persists throughout the entire series. But this is one of those examples where we have to say the journey matters more than the destination. Because while the punchline is almost always exactly the same, the setup is different every time and it works. Furthermore, as I’ve said in a review at one point, this is an example of a non-toxic puppy love relationship. Neither of these kids is bullying the other. There are no hard feelings. The teasing isn’t meanspirited or anything. And that makes it all the more endearing. So here you have humor that works, an engaging dynamic between the two leads, and a relationship that’s genuinely cute. All wrapped in a charmingly simple little package that I absolutely loved and would call Super Effective.
EvilBob: …You have to teach me how to do that.
How am I supposed to “teach” you critical thinking? I’m fairly certain that isn’t how that works.
Not Yet Rated
CVoyage: And now for the quick list of things we haven’t actually rated.
EvilBob: We’ll make this one a lightning round. Don’t worry.
CVoyage: Darling in the FranXX. Saving it for a series-end review, basically. What I’ve seen has been fine, but it is going for one long arc, rather than two individual ones. So I’d just prefer to cover it all at once.
CVoyage: Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody. Also saving it for a series-end review. That’ll be coming soon. I just have to watch the last couple episodes.
EvilBob: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. I couldn’t find anywhere legit. Support the official release, guys.
CVoyage: Seven Deadly Sins is one we’re saving for the end as well, but for different reasons.
EvilBob: We basically want to cover season 1 in full first. But we didn’t really have the time since we’d have had to rewatch it.
CVoyage: So that’ll probably happen at the end of the Spring Season.
CVoyage: And now for the stuff we probably should’ve covered, but didn’t. Anything for you?
EvilBob: Huh. Good question.
CVoyage: Hm… Well, there’s Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens. I’ve heard good things about that one. But it doesn’t really sound like it’d be in my general field of interests. Same for Violet Evergarden. I’m sure it’s beautiful. But not really for me.
EvilBob: Well, there’s all the people raving about A Place Further Than the Universe.
CVoyage: The thing about the four girls going on the trip to Antarctica? Yeah, I guess that’s one that got by us. Anyway, I guess that’s it.
EvilBob: Yeesh, this is long…
CVoyage: Yeah, well. People have come to expect this, by now. Anyway, thanks for reading, folks. As always, Keep Up the Awesome.
EvilBob: And keep it classy.
CVoyage: Take care.