The Best Anime of Summer 2018
In the summer, you could abandon your TV, forget about your apps, and take a break from anime. Or you could be like me, and watch as many of the summer's anime as possible. We do have some great shows in the summer, so I might convince you to add a few to your queue.
The Netflix Effect
Netflix picked up some very interesting titles this summer, but we wont be able to see them legally at least until the fall.
Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger
So, from what I can tell, Sirius the Jaeger is about a secret vampire society at war with humans. It is set in the Japan of the 1930's. The humans have Jaegers, talented killers banded together to eliminate the vampire threat. The action is spectacular, so I am definitely going to add it to my Netflix list.
What is Juushinki Pandora? It looks like it's about transforming tank mecha fighting giant alien creatures. A nerdy dude with two-toned hair pilots one of these tanks, called the Pandora. I'm up for this, because I'm a bit of a mech head. I don't feel a strong pull towards Pandora, but I'm give it a standard 1 episode viewing.
Even though I've heard terrible things about it, I still would like to see Baki. Baki is the kind of ridiculous action show that I will watch and be amazed at. Since the original Baki film (30 years ago? More?) Baki has always had a loose definition of what realism is. This is not a supernatural show, but Baki may as well be Jojo's Bizarre Adventure or Fist of the North Star. Expect a lot of maiming, and, I think, murder. This might be the most violent Baki we've ever had.
Attack on Titan
What is Attack on Titan without its titular monsters? Well, it's still pretty good. I don't know where all the titans are, or why they all decided to stop munching on humans, but they haven't really shown up, and I don't think they will for any episode- unless it's in flashback. You can tell right from the OP that this is going to be a very different season.
My Hero Academia
I love anime. I like superheroes. "Why not both?" My Hero Academia is still the best itch-scratcher that I could possibly ask for. Season 3 continues with the provisional exams, which introduces us to a new set of students with quirks. I wont go any further, because I think that one of the most popular shounen of the decade needs no push.
It's back! It's Fooly, it's Cooly, and it has come back to TV after a decade of being away. FLCL Progressive brings a couple characters back from the original show, but the rest of the cast is totally new. It was hard to get used to the new people and new story, but I felt comfortable by the time I watched the second half of the season.
If you need some funny anime faces, ask the team who animate Asobi Asobase, because they have animated nearly every ridiculous mug you could ever imagine. I know there are people who find Asobi Asobase to be hilarious, but I did not laugh at it that much. I don't know why. I guess that the jokes aren't paced in a way that appeals to me. I thought this would be the next Azumanga or Nichijou, but it's a bit below them.
A perfect anime for the summer! Haikyuu!! gave us volleyball, but what about beach volleyball? Harukana Receive is not as serious as most sports anime, but it does have that "I'm going to be the very best!" narrative thrust to it. I'd also like to point out Harukana's art style, which employs a thicker line around the characters, which makes the show stand out visually.
We Rent Tsukumogami
There are quite a few detectives in anime, and there are some supernatural detectives as well. I wouldn't have expected that We Rent Tsukumogami to end up being what amounts to a detective series with supernatural items taking the roles of detectives. I guess I like Tsukomogami mostly for the novelty of it all. I think it will be a "healing anime." It is something to smile about.
Chio's School Road
Have you ever wanted to take the skills you learned from video games and apply it to real life? Chio Miyamo is a high school geek who loves video games, and decides to take different routes to school. This takes her on crazy little adventures, where she bumps into the colorful citizens of her town. Chio handles things in a way only she can, and the results are super funny.
Grand Blue Dreaming
This was a very nice surprise. As usual, I knew nothing about Grand Blue Dreaming until I got to see it. As a 30-something, I am a fiend for any anime with any character who resembles an adult. These dudes are not the most mature bunch, but Grand Blue Dreaming takes place in a college, instead of the usual high school or middle school setting. On top of this, Grand Blue Dreaming is representing the fraternity bro culture in Japan, which you will not see in any anime. What was the last "bro" anime? Golden Boy? I couldn't even recommend another anime with frat party dudes in high school.
Grand Blue Dreaming doesn't win my gold medal because the jokes tend to revolve around drinking and frat behavior; I wish it expanded to more topics. Also, the interest in scuba diving seems tacked onto the main plot. Why are these silly college folks suddenly getting poetic and spiritual about diving?
Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion
What's with that name? I can't get over it? Does it have some historical significance? An odd name definitely won't deter anyone from watching Angolmois, a very enjoyable action show taking place during the time of samurai. I think that the filter they put over every damn cell of animation threatens to ruin my enjoyment of the series, though. Who made that decision? Maybe the same person who decided to name the damn thing Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion.
Whoa. Hanebado! is really, really, really dramatic. I know it's tough at times to be successful in competitive sports, but Nagisa Aragaki, a senior high school student, is hardcore. I don't think anyone takes badminton that seriously. So the show becomes one of those "supernatural" sports shows when a freshman student gets on the court, showing crazy amounts of skill.
I wonder what it is about Planet With that makes me like it so much. Is it Sensei, who' s a giant catlike being who stands upright? Is it the mecha, who are based on the animals of the zodiac? Is it the fact that the heroes seem like villains and vice versa? Is it the comedy? Yeah, I think it's all of that.
Late Night! The Genius Bakabon
If you checked out Osomatsu-san not too long ago, maybe you're surprised that there's another revival of an old comedy, by the same original creator. Late Night! The Genius Bakabon is also a family comedy that also breaks the fourth wall, but it leans more on talking to the audience than Osomatsu did. It works well, so I don't mind the fourth wall breaks at all. There are episodes that don't feel the need to comment on the industry, and they prove that Bakabon doesn't have to wink at the audience to entertain them.
The Best Anime of Spring 2018
Who knew about Revue Starlight? Who saw this coming? Original anime productions always have the advantage of taking the entire anime community by surprise, and that's why I love them. What's bad about anime original works is that they may not pay off. They may be terrible, and you have no way of knowing how they'll turn out. So far (I've watched 4 episodes) Revue Starlight is just as good as it has been from the start.
Cells at Work
Are you ready to learn!? Okay, maybe that's not the first thing I should be saying to get you excited for Cells at Work, but this anime is a very educational and accurate- hyperviolent, but accurate- look at the inner workings of the human body. Every kind of disease and process you can think of is going to be recreated in this show, and it's going to be awesome! The team who animated Jojo's Bizarre Adventure animated this, so expect the action to be very entertaining.
I've heard so much buzz about Banana Fish before it became an anime, and the buzz has an incredible amount of merit. When I watch Bana Fish, memories of the gangster drama 91 Days come floating back. I also think about the unfortunately canceled Gangsta. because Banana Fish's main character had to suffer through sexual abuse. The sexual abuse of males is not a topic that often comes to anime, so a focus on that topic serves to tell me that I'm sticking with a show meant for my tastes. It's not all gravy, though. The action is good, the plot is fine- but there are a lot of guys on this show who are way too ready to attack young Ash Lynx, and that can either be physically or sexually. So Banana Fish is a gangster story with realistic elements, but it goes into silly territory when most of the characters we meet have a one track mind. Any uncomfortable or unbelievable moments don't scare me away, because Banana Fish is a great watch from week to week.
PHEW! I'm done with this hot-ass summer! At the moment, I still have anime to finish from this season. So I wish you all the best in your anime adventures, and I hope you find something from the summer you like!