Hello and welcome back to another edition of the Anime Corps Year in Review series. We’ve got the whole team here once again and we’ll be going through each season listing off our top favorite shows from this past year. It’s a great way to reflect on all the amazing anime we’ve watched in 2018 and maybe a way for you to find out about a show or two you might have missed out on. So without anymore delay, let’s jump right in and get started!
Kinda goes without saying this would be the show I mention first. Man where to even begin with this one, well for starters it’s my new top favorite KyoAni show, a 10/10, and my winner for AOTS. Thankfully I was lucky enough to be able to watch this one weekly on Netflix and I made sure to be there exactly at midnight when the new ep dropped. What an amazing experience this show was though, from the first ep to the emotional ending, it pulled me right in and I loved every second of it. Of course I can’t mention this show without a nod to ep 10 for absolutely ruining me. I’m being 100% serious with you here, after I finished that ep I was literally sitting in my dark room crying. That ep killed me and I love it so much for being able to do that. Not many shows completely move me to tears, let alone actually crying, but that ep sent me over the edge. Out of everything I watched in 2018 this show and Polar Girls hit me the hardest in terms of emotion. 3-gatsu makes the cut too, even if it was just the back half of S2 that actually aired in 2018. But yeah, the animation, story, characters, music, just everything about this show I loved so much and looking back on 12 months of anime, Violet Evergarden really stands out above them all.
Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho
While I didn’t watch this when it was airing, I was able to dodge pretty much all of the spoilers for it so when I finally did get around to watching it, I was able to experience it nicely. I’m always keeping an eye out for new original shows and this one caught my attention as it’s a story about girls traveling to the Antarctic, something I don’t think I’ve seen in anime before. But wow this show ended up being absolutely incredible. Coming in second for my favorite winter show, I loved this one so much too. The characters, story, animation, and the emotion is so powerful in it and you’re just drawn in the moment you start watching, cheering these girls on as they overcome all odds and make it to the bottom of the planet. I mentioned it above as this show along with Violet Evergarden packed the biggest emotional punch out of everything I watched, and it’s not an understatement at all. A certain scene in ep 12 hit really hard and much like ep 10 of Violet Evergarden, I was left a sobbing mess. It’s not often anime hits me that hard but these two shows accomplished that and then some. Another show I highly recommend watching, Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho also is up there as one of the very best shows of 2018.
Koi wa Ameagari no You ni
As much as I want to talk about Yuru Camp and how comfy that show is, After the Rain was a sleeper of the winter season that a lot of people missed out on. Okay it’s easy to understand why a lot passed up on it, just one read of the summary and it’s kind of a turn off, but for real if you give this show a chance you might just be surprised at how good it is. I initially didn’t have this on my list, but for some reason I decided to check it out and honestly it was one of the best choices I made. It’s one of those shows I didn’t expect to be so good or that I’d like it so much, but ep after ep I was more and more surprised at how good this show actually is. If you’re looking for a romance show that’s a little different from most, and aren’t bother by age-gap relationships, then After the Rain is a show you should check out. Also I have to say it’s got some absolutely gorgeous animation too, especially the eyes of the main girls Akira. Like wow, her eyes are on another level entirely. But yeah, low-key amazing show, I hope more people check it out.
Yuru Camp makes this cut as it’s one of the comfy-est shows of the year by far. I can’t wait for S2 in the future. I highly recommend checking this show out if you’re into Girls Club shows or just like camping in general. So much fun to watch, it’s a blast.
Mitsuboshi Colors is another sleeper of the season but man it was a riot to watch. So hilarious, I was laughing so much watching these elementary school girls “protect” their city they love so much. Another show I wish more people watched as it was so much fun from start to finish. Plus the OP is awesome!
Takunomi is yet another show many missed. Yes these HiDive or Amazon shows are always some of the best each seasons it seems, it’s a shame everyone seems to pass up on them. A rare show that’s not about high school girls, Takunomi follows a group of young women who all live together in the city in a house and work various jobs or attend university. The main focus of the show is when they all arrive home from work and spend time socializing, drinking and eating great food. It’s only 12 minutes per ep, but it’s so enjoyable to watch, I recommend checking it out for sure. Plus Rasmus Faber does the OP.
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san is one of those shows that took me by surprise with how good it was. It was by no means spectacular or revolutionary, but similar to Gochuumon was Usagi desu ka? back when that aired, Takagi-san became a show I’d look forward to after a long day and appreciate for its highly effective simplicity. Add in a super simple but extremely cute character design as one of the main characters and a vocal performance by Rie Takahashi that I honestly believe is her best to date, and you have an easy favourite from this season. There’s always something nice about indulging in the incredibly simplistic life of well written characters.
Additionally, Violet Evergarden is worth mentioning, not because it made me cry more than any other anime has ever done (okay maybe a little for that) but because of it’s absolutely stellar soundtrack. I mentioned this in my review for the show earlier this year, but Evan Call’s work for this show is one of the best anime soundtracks I’ve ever heard and is the new golden standard for me to use when measuring the quality of anime soundtracks until something even better hopefully one day comes along.
I would like to mention Ancient Magus’ Bride, although it began airing in the Fall of the previous year, it did wrap up in the Winter season. I do have a few others to talk about, although I honestly only completed about three or four of them. At least I know I enjoyed them.
Laid-Back Camp/Yuru Camp
It was a nice slice of life series and comedy. It was a nice stress reliever and a nice means to forget about said stress watching the random hijinks of a group trying to get ready to camp. I honestly forgot it aired during this season and thought it was older than it really is. Still, this show was nice from the start, and I have a feeling I am not the only one who watched this show and had the urge to go camping after seeing it.
Really starting to see a pattern here while editing this post. Granted, yes I did not finish this show, mostly due to a slight issue with my family and Netflix, but, I did only just start it recently. Honestly, this is a contender for the anime of the year, and at least was on my site, since I took Ancient Magus’ Bride off of the running. But, it is rare for me to give praise for a show without finishing it. Only half way and I am blown away with each episode somehow getting more and more amazing with art style, story, and even music. It is a wonderful series, and I can only imagine what my thoughts on it would be once I finish.
As I get older, I find myself enjoying different things. It used to be adorable harem anime with nothing but cute girls. Now it’s adult women sitting around their house after working having a nice beer or wine, talking about their day.
Takunomi is an interesting show for people that are working adults or of age students because a lot of the feelings that the main cast share are something you yourself can be going through. From Michiru’s interest and concern about moving from a small countryside town to a big city, Kae’s wonder why she can’t get married at her age, and Makoto’s concerns about entering the workforce after she graduates college. There’s something for everyone in this anime and I’ll always recommend it.
And there you have it, a look at which winter season shows we enjoyed the most. Of course we watched much more than that and had plenty other shows to talk about, but if you could only watch a few shows from that season, these would be our recommendations for sure.
What about yourself? Which winter season shows did you enjoy the most? Leave a comment below with your picks!
That’s it for this post, come back next week as we talk about our favorite shows of the 2018 spring season!
Until next time!