2018 – A Year Of Surprises In Anime | Annual Anime Rewind
It’s been quite a year. And now it’s time to take a moment and look back at everything that really jumped out at us. Welcome to our first Annual Anime Rewind!
Voyager: So this is gonna be one of our more casual lists. No real order to it. Just us taking some time out to gush about our favorites from the past year.
EvilBob: There was a surprisingly large number of titles that really caught our attention. And a lot of them came straight out of nowhere. So, let’s talk about ’em.
Voyager: Yeeeeah, still can’t really believe we missed this one when it first came up.
EvilBob: It’s just so silly!
Voyager: It’s clever, sure, but also with seriously great and heartwarming storytelling, at times. Really. Give it a watch if you haven’t, already.
Voyager: …S’all you, dude.
EvilBob: You know… I’ve watched this, like, three times, now. Even dubbed, once. This show is just so ridiculous. I watch it every now and then, whenever I need a good laugh. You should totally try it.
EvilBob: …I still can’t believe this is on my favorites list.
Voyager: Seriously. And you hate SAO more than me. This is a feat.
EvilBob: Just goes to show that once they fix that one problem we had with it, it got better!
Voyager: Meh. I fully acknowledge that I’ve been nothing but unfair to SAO. But at this point, the discourse around it is so absurd on both ends that I find myself lacking the motivation to be bothered anymore. I’ve only watched the first 12 episodes. I disliked it, and that was that. Judging the entire rest of it on that one arc is a bit much, but at this point even if my opinion of it does change, I highly doubt I’m gonna care enough to watch any of the newer stuff. Sue me. I’m just done giving a damn.
EvilBob: Oh, look. Golden Kamuy, the way it was meant to be.
Voyager: I still can’t believe we both binged through the whole thing in, like, a day. How on Earth did we manage that?
EvilBob: Grit, Determination, and a whooole lot of caffeine.
Voyager: Uh… dude?
EvilBob: Right. Caffeine doesn’t work on you. Um… sugar, then. Either way, it was fun. Hilarious comedy, sweet action, the works.
Voyager: …please enlighten me.
EvilBob: It’s funny. It’s really funny?
Voyager: …You sure you’re not just a giggly b—h?
EvilBob: Preeetty sure. Besides. I learned some good ramen recipes from it. So even if it wasn’t that funny, it had its uses.
Voyager: I mean… duh.
EvilBob: Right? C’mon, man. Seriously.
EvilBob: …I really wanna get the box set of this show. So moving, so charming, so beautiful. Both literally and emotionally. I loved every minute of it.
Voyager: …methinks that’s what we call a glowing review.
Voyager: Aaand first up on the list of “romances that came outta nowhere to be on this list” is Wotakoi. I’mma be honest. Few shows this year were quite this charming. The characters were such lovable dorks and its handling of the subject of romance in a more adult setting was refreshing like you wouldn’t believe. Also, it was hilarious. Definitely give it a look when you can.
Voyager: Second on the list of “romances that came outta nowhere to be on this list,” Bunny Girl Senpai had absolutely no business being this good. The title was an obvious and intentional misdirect that maybe far too many of us fell for. But damn if this show didn’t win us all over once it had our attention. Amazing drama, clever humor, charming characters, one of the year’s best shows, easily.
Voyager: Do… do we count this as a romantic comedy?
EvilBob: Well… it’s definitely a comedy.
Voyager: Oh yeah. Just such a cute, funny, wholesome little show about puppy love in one of its most amusing forms. It’s not cynical or mean-spirited. It’s just a good time.
EvilBob: Yeah. But really. We both know one thing for certain.
Voyager: That Takagi is the devil?
Voyager: Yeah, yeah. And Tomoyo is the villain of Clear Card, yadda yadda.
EvilBob: *gasp* You’re finally agreeing with me?!
Voyager: If this surprises anyone, then you clearly haven’t been paying attention. Boku no Hero Academia isn’t perfect, but nothing is. It’s still one of my favorite anime and this first cour was one of the best things to come out of the entire year. Particularly in the last few episodes with the clash between All-Might and All-for-One. It was just some quality Shounen goodness.
Voyager: …Welp. I doubt anyone expected this. But really… what’s even left to be said? This show caught damn near everyone by surprise. And with good reason! What seemed like it was just gonna be a typical trashy Isekai series turned out to be something surprisingly witty, heartfelt, and bombastically fun. It had all the Fanservice you’d expect, of course, but that was all basically just surface level stuff and easily enough ignored if it’s not really your thing, for the most part. It helps that the majority of it is somehow woven into the story in ways that actually work.
Voyager: I mean… pretty obvious this was gonna get on here. Index is one of my favorite shows, so I’m glad to have it back, even if this season’s been a bit hit-or-miss.
EvilBob: I mean… who doesn’t like big, burly men going around, beating people up with superpowers and acting like gangsters?
Voyager: This season of JoJo’s? Burly? I think you mean fabulooouus!
EvilBob: I mean… if you’re just gonna say it. I just love how ridiculous and creative it can get.
EvilBob: What can I say? It had me at kaiju. Of course, it also helps that Gridman looks like a giant robot and is bashing heads.
Voyager: *continues grinning*
Voyager: *grinning intensifies*
EvilBob: …Shut up, Chris. This isn’t the tournament. What happens in Anime TKO stays in Anime TKO.
Voyager: Whaaat? Bragging rights were the whole point of the thing, yeah?
EvilBob: Well… technically the point was to give us an excuse to cull things down so we wouldn’t wind up covering 16 shows in one season, so…
Voyager: Eh. Fair. Buuut, speaking of the tournament… which I just won–
EvilBob: Have you no shame?
Voyager: Oh, absolutely not.
Voyager: Contender for best romance of the year (that we’ve covered), right here. Watch it. Seriously. It’s really friggin’ good. Bonus points if you’re genderqueer, but as someone who isn’t, I can confirm that ya don’t have to be. So really. Go forth and watch it.
EvilBob: …Wait, did you put Gridman next to this on the list, exclusively so you could rub it in?
Voyager: You know me so well.
EvilBob: …you’re terrible.
Voyager: Ha. Duh.
Voyager: And that’s a wrap, people! Thanks for sticking with us for an awesome year in anime land.
EvilBob: Well… mostly awesome. Some of us got stuck with garbage tier shows on our lists, just about every season.
Voyager: Gee, that sure sounds unfortunate.
EvilBob: You know what you did.
Voyager: Me? Why, sir, I’m just an innocent bystander!
EvilBob: *incomprehensible muttering*
Voyager: Aaanyway, thanks for reading as always, folks. And be sure to let us know what your tops of the year were in the comments, down below. As always, Keep up the Awesome!
EvilBob: And Keep it Classy.
Voyager: Take care.