Here we are, the final part of the 2018 Year in Review series! It’s finally time to look back at every single anime watched last year and pick out the one that stands above them all. Here are our picks for Anime of the Year.
Nick’s Anime of the Year
It’s no surprise really that this would be my pick. I’m starting to run out of things to say now as I’ve mentioned this show so many times, but I’ll put a few words down, hopefully it’s something new.
I remember when I saw the very first PV back in 2016 for it and was completely blown away. Like for real, I was floored. I can’t ever recall a PV for a show doing that to me and even not nothing has made me feel what I did when I saw the PV for this show. It was breathtaking, I needed more of it the second it was over. I don’t know how many times I watched that PV but every time it was amazing. So fast forward to January 2018 when it finally aired on Netflix Canada and I could hardly contain my excitement. After all this waiting it was finally time to watch this anime, and boy did it not disappoint. I just knew right then and there this would be a show I’d remember long after it aired and would really set the bar to beat. Sure there were some fantastic shows in 2018, no denying that, but for me as great as those other shows were nothing could top this masterpiece.
I’d wait up until midnight and refresh the page so I could start watching the very second the new ep was posted. Sure there was a fansub version out hours before, but for once I wanted to support this on Netflix as I had the rare opportunity to watch it, legally, before a lot of others. It was the highlight of my week, the show I looked forward to watching the most as I was so engaged in the story, music, animation, and characters, especially Violet on her quest to find out what exactly “love” means. It was an emotional journey filled with many heartbreaking stories, but it was one she had to take as this question needed to be answered.
Looking back at it all, Violet Evergarden fully lived up to what I wanted it to be and then some. Sure the ending left the door open for more, which there will be in 2020, but for the initial 13 eps, they were absolutely beautiful in all regards. 2018 had some incredible shows for sure, but for me it’s hard to top this show. Violet Evergarden gets the nod for my Anime of the Year 2018.
Joe’s Anime of the Year
Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family
Now, while my vote for the group was Violet Evergarden, I certainly have to throw in a consolation prize to Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family. Granted this technically aired from December 31, 2017 to January 1, 2019, but it was a monthly series that aired all last year, so, it has to count right? It was a different side to the Fate franchise and one that focused on food and was a slice of life style series, one that hasn’t happened yet for the Fate series which is mostly all action. It was the fun little stories with a lot of characters that you do not normally get to see the non-serious or non-deadly side of. It was a fun and it worked surprisingly well with what was going on in the series compared to the franchise as a whole. Each episode honestly made me question if I could make the food, since it goes into a lot of detail compared to some of the other cooking series I seen, which has been just the food gets magically cooked and done. This series was like watching a cook book anime adaptation when it came to the cooking part, and that certainly is not a bad thing. In fact it was one of my favorite parts. Seeing the Fate franchise, one of if not my favorite franchises, in a different light this series is certainly my personal pick for Anime of the Year.
Tsuyuki’s Anime of the Year
Uma Musume Pretty Derby
Now I know some of you might be thinking. How in any plane of existence did racing horse girl idols beat out Rie Takahashi bullying simulator and soft Haruhi with a side of Monogatari? To go in-depth on what I talked about when I named it my favorite anime of the 2018 Spring season, the three main things that made Uma Musume stand out as my favourite anime of the year were it’s accurate depictions of trying your hardest at something, having actually interesting character depth, and pushing likely my favourite narrative message of believing in yourself.
Special Week’s journey to be the number one horse girl in Japan goes through phases that I’ve been through with several things I love from thinking you have what it takes to be great and something then getting smacked to the ground, getting anxiety over the thing you love doing by overthinking about it constantly, pushing yourself 110% and just when you feel like there isn’t a single thing you can do better in that instant getting seemingly effortlessly surpassed by someone else, and coming to terms with all of that along with realising failure is a part of success.
Along with this rivalries are common between characters; while on the track each girl views the other drastically different compared to their friendships off the track. Aside from just character depth being interesting regardless of the situation, what it ends up doing is making characters feel more human (despite all the horse bits) and their relationships more realistic. There’s no shortage of instances where people can be incredibly close friends but when it comes to something competitive have different views of the other person in that context alone. While Uma Musume didn’t have the best characters, this depth was super appreciated and relatable given my time in competitive swimming and Pokemon.
Lastly, just like Little Witch Academia last year, I quite like positive messages, especially when those positive messages are to just believe in yourself. Obviously believing in yourself isn’t the one true magic bullet that will solve all your problems, but even when times are bleak and the odds seem stacked against you, believing in yourself is what can push you to new heights. On the school campus Uma Musume there’s a hole that students scream into to vent their frustrations and why yes I am about to look too deep into literally just a hole, but boy if I haven’t had moments where I wanted to just scream to let go of all my anger and man if that hole wasn’t low-key one of the most relatable bits of the show.
I mentioned in the Spring post that this show wasn’t for everyone but those it was for it was really for. Every time I wrote Uma Musume articles for Crunchyroll I loved reading comments and noticing the people who really loved the show expressing their love for it. Against all odds, racing horse girl idols were legitimately one of the most positive experiences I had last year. (But uh when’s the game coming out, Cygames?)
Deven’s Anime of the Year
Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family
One of my favorite anime this year. We had a few Fate anime but none as fluffy and adorable as this one. We rarely get the servants and the masters in situations that aren’t life and death so it’s a treat to see something like this. In addition being made Ufotable makes it a joy to watch visually speaking.
We also sat down and thought about a show we could all agree on as a general Anime of the Year. Here’s what we decided on.
Okay for real now I’ve actually run out of things to say about this show. I’ve mentioned in so many times that I’m pretty sure I’ve covered all I wanted to say about this incredible show. But yeah, it’s a show that set the tone for the year and one I never forgot about. KyoAni delivered big time with this show and I think it’s going to be tough for them to make a show that could somehow surpass this. But hey, KyoAni always finds a way.
So, Violet Evergarden, I know I talked about it on the first part of posts. But, I was sort of the one who tried to implant it in everyone’s mind that it should be the group’s Anime of the Year. Now, granted I am still watching it, and even just finished episode seven. My thoughts, somewhat have changed since the last post, and certainly for the better too. I like the direction it goes, it starts off, close knit, and honestly thought it would stay like that, but it slowly turns more into individual stories that allows for the short story telling to shine. While the overall plot might be seeking what love means, it is nice to see these individual stories in some way relate to what love is in. It is a journey both literally and figuratively heading down the same direction. I am not going to talk much more about it, mostly since I did in the first post and my thoughts are the same with the wonderful story telling, animation, music, characters, and everything I didn’t just talk about. I mean, I have never given this much praise for a series I haven’t even finished yet. It is honestly weird and feels hypocritical for being this way.
When I mentioned this show for the Winter post I only talked about it’s soundtrack being likely the best anime soundtrack I’ve ever listened to, and while that was my personal highest thing to note about it, I also avoided repeating myself since I reviewed the show when it concluded earlier in the year. What I will say, though, is that it’s absolutely deserving of being known as one of the best shows to come out this year. It was episodic but still interesting with plot points that strung together extremely well and character development out of this world while looking KyoAni trademark extremely beautiful. Add that to the episode that hit me harder than probably any other ultra sad episode of anime, and you have anime of the year material. If you have a Netflix subscription and you’re emotionally ready to watch something that will hold absolutely no punches, you owe it to yourself to watch Violet Evergarden.
And so ends the Anime Corps Year in Review 2018 Edition. There were so many amazing anime that aired last year telling so many incredible stories and introducing us to some fantastic characters along the way. It’s been great to take some time and look back on these past 12 months and review which anime we enjoyed the most and I hope you enjoyed our look back through the seasons too. As always feel free to leave a comment with your personal pick for Anime of the Year.
From everyone here at Anime Corps, thanks so much for reading these past few posts and we look forward to seeing you around for another great year of anime!