Winter 2018 in Review

Here we are again, people. Caught in between two anime cycles again. (Or if you are a Babylon 5 fan, in between the tick and tock). Winter 2018 was a solid season, despite the questionable first impressions I had. Even without the shows that carried over from the season before it, there are seriously great shows here. Some are surprises that clicked with me more than I thought they would while others went from being plainly goofy to something relatable and awesome. I seriously have no complaints here. Let’s talk about some of these shows

Watch Right Now

-March Comes in like a Lion S2

I’ve written a post about this season and I honestly can’t do this show any justice by just writing a small segment of what I thought right here. Please click here to check that post out. If you don’t want to, just know that this show’s sense of perspective goes beyond almost every single anime that I’ve ever seen. This show isn’t just a shogi anime, it’s a way of life.

-After the Rain

This show is such a bait and switch kind of thing. At first, this was a show about a possible romance between a 17-year-old and a 40-something year old. Toward the end, it turned into a more interesting. A story about people trying to re capture their interests they thought were lost to them. This transformation felt completely natural. It’s not that I didn’t think that the love story was kind of interesting, because I would have still watched it, but I like this anime ended a little better.

-Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

Man, this show surprised me. First, I thought it would just be a goofy show about over the top hitmen just living out their lives. But no, there has just well-developed drama toward the end of the series. Every single one of these episodes developed this cast more then I thought and every detail that showed up in an episode was fully utilized. I love some of the action scenes and the final controntation as well. Hakata is just a good anime.

-Devilman Crybaby

Read my opinions about this right here.

Then These Next

-The Ancient Magus Bride

While I thought that this show stayed pretty solid, this cour just lost a lot of the momentum and emotional impacts to it as it moved along. Well, I use momentum ironically here, because the show actually picked up in speed. The emotional moments never lost their luster completely, but there is something to be said about letting the emotional impacts linger and have weight. There is also some things to be said about repeating the same emotional impacts over and over again. The ending was still well characterized and everything, but it was still filled with conveniences that could have been skipped over or bend around. Still, it was worth watching regardless and I’m glad I did.

-A Place Further then the Universe

Except for pacing, I felt the exact thing for this show as I did for Magus Bride. Yes, Place’s characters were incredibly realistic, and the journey was great, but still. Having a big emotional beat on single episode on even simple concepts was incredibly taxing for me. I wish the show would have saved up those moments and used them when they were the most potent like episode 12, the best episode of the series. There are so many things that you can do with a trip to Antarctica other than revealing our mostly interesting main character’s (except Kimari) backstories. Still, this was a great anime and I am glad I watched it as well.

-Takagi-San

This simple show centered around a girl teasing a relatable boy became something else then a comedy for me. It became a way for me to cool off during the stressful periods of Monday nights. Also, the romance was completely endearing to me Yes, its an incredibly simple story that didn’t stray from this premise too far or had to fall back on those three stooge girls from time to time, but what can I say? This was show was fun. That’s all I needed it to be.

Maybe These:

-Darling in the FranXX

I just wrote a post about this one. Read it right here.

-How to Keep a Mummy:

This show features an interesting cast of characters that have cute and adorable super natural creatures and it’s just been a lot of fun for me. I love seeing how far these human characters’ relationships have gone between each other and how much they’ve really taken care of their little monster pets as well. There has been some interesting world building too, but that’s not the main focus of this series. Still, this show is weighed down by its needlessly dramatic conclusion. It felt like something that doesn’t need to be there. That’s why I ranked this show lower than I did initially. Otherwise, Mummy would be tied with Takagi-San for me.

Can’t Recommend:

-Kokkoku

This action series centered around a time stop thing was interesting at the beginning. After several up and down episodes, some episodes focusing on characters sitting around and talk about not so complex topics, and the sudden good ending after so many questionable moments, I don’t think I can recommend this show to everyone. Kokkoku wastes all of its time stop coolness for cult and super natural antics. You don’t need those later two things. You have time stop things for crying out loud. Still, this show is average because the conclusion is good. That’s about all I can say really.

-Osumatsu-San S2

Once again, a skit show with on and off episodes featuring the Matsu Sextuplets. That’s about it.

Black Clover:

I am dropping this show now. I know that might seem too late for some of you, but there were some interesting things going on during the second cour that kept my attention. That and I wanted to give this show more of a chance. Still, the more I watch it, the more the same it feels. The characters are still terrible and/or one dimensional, the fights are still centered on the one thing of Asta fighting against people who have been cast aside from rich people, almost every single character did the ojou laugh thing, and there isn’t enough intrigue to keep me watching to this anymore. I think that I’ve seen all that I need to. It’s an eh shounen action series at best.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

-Grancrest Senki

If you really want to watch this show, just watch episode 11.5. That episode explains the first eleven episodes of this series better then those eleven episodes. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true. The series has so many random story lines and characters that are throw into it that it doesn’t have any focus to it at all which results in a lack of a strong narrative. The recap episode condenses all of these things and makes everything comprehensible and reasonable. I never said this about any other series before, so this is strange to me.

—-

Onto the next season. See you guys next time.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. kimchisama says:

    Congrats on making it farther on Black Clover than I did…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Scott says:

      I honestly wish I dropped it earlier.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. moyatori says:

    I share your opinions on A Place Further than the Universe. It was great, but I couldn’t get excited about a lot of the events. Saving up the episodic emotional drama bits for a huge climax might work in favour of the series actually, though I can’t imagine the finale being more emotional than it already is with the unsent emails and all that. Perhaps it would be more powerful with each character’s arc resolved in the end together with Shirase then??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Yeah, the finale really was as strong as it gets. It’s just that all the emotional peaks in the show make it feel just sightly above average in comparison. The show hits the emotions trigger too long.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Karandi says:

    You finally caved on Black Clover. I’ve been wondering whether I did drop it too soon given some of the stuff I keep watching, but the more I hear about it, the happier I am that I cut my losses after one season.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I honestly wish I didn’t give the show a bigger chance and drop it sooner. But that is me just being me…

      Like

  4. magicconan14 says:

    I think the thing about Ancient Magus’ Bride is that it works better when it’s episodic. Trying to brew a large confrontation with an obvious villain for Chise and co. was just not going to work because it’s not a battle shonen or another show that works along those lines.

    I find it interesting that pretty much everyone I’ve seen talking about Grancrest has mentioned the clarity of ep 11.5 compared to the rest of the show. If I ever get back to the show, I’ll have to be careful about that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I think you are right. While the finale confrontation with our villain had a good emotional core, the fact that it was a rushed ending pushed the show in directions that don’t work for it. And yeah, I think the stand alone “chise goes here and does stuff” episodes are definitely the best ones.

      I’m still shocked and confused by how the recap episode too. It’s not supposed to be that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. A lot of your thoughts are pretty similar to my own with this season.

    March seems a shame excellent as always and After the Rain was a fantastical bait and switch.

    A little sad to hear that Magus Bride lost steam in its second half though.

    Still, a lot of shows turned out better than expected!

    Liked by 1 person

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