Last year was a great time for anime. I could easily write up a top ten comprising of all the excellent shows I watched in 2018. That sounds like a lot of work though, so I’ll limit myself to listing off the five best anime I enjoyed during the aforementioned period.
5. Goblin Slayer: A fantasy series about an armour clad adventurer who has dedicated his life towards the extermination of green skinned vermin. Despite his bluntness and one track mind he is surprisingly popular with the ladies. The anime is infamous for its premier episode, which featured some disturbing scenes. Nothing explicit was shown, but that didn’t stop the internet from having a major meltdown, back when it aired. One can only imagine how said naysayers would react if they ever watched a hardcore hentai.
4. Darling in the Franxx: Mecha series about teenage pilots who are recruited to protect humanity from an alien threat. Not the most original premise perhaps, but executed well enough. Features solid action, a conspiracy laden plot, love triangles and a top tier waifu named Zero Two. Just like in Pacific Rim, the show’s bots are controlled by a pair of pilots (in this case a boy and a girl). Akin to Game of Thrones, the series was liked at first, but towards the end of its run many viewers soured on it. I however loved it from start to finish.
3. Attack on Titan (Season 2): The wait for series two, of Attack on Titan, was a long one – but well worth it. Following on from the first season, Eren and pals continue their battle against a neverending swarm of man-eating giants, who have breached the city walls. Despite only running for twelve episodes, Wit Studio managed to squeeze a lot of story and action into the second chapter of AOT. Some secrets are revealed and the scouts contend with a deadly trio comprising of the Beast, Armoured and Colossal Titans.
2. The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Another anime from Wit Studio makes the list. This one is a more slow paced affair, revolving around a buffalo faced mage and his beautiful redheaded missus. Highlights include the beautiful artwork, emotional scenes and storylines that see the cast interact with members of the Fae race. Back in 2017 the folks at Crunchyroll awarded Ancient Magus’ Bride best drama of 2017. After watching all twenty-four episodes I can certainly see why.
1. Violet Evergarden: An exceptional KyoAni production about an orphan girl who rebuilds her life after losing her hands (and the man who raised her) during the war. Violet transitions from a child soldier into an Auto Memories Doll. The change in career allows her to touch the lives of others, through the art of crafting heartfelt letters. My anime backlog is huge, so I seldom rewatch shows. Violet Evergarden was so good however that I ended up watching it twice. Once in Japanese and once dubbed. If you have a Netflix subscription I highly recommend that you check out this animated series.