The Best Anime of Fall 2018
The fall brings with it some of the most interesting new series, and new seasons. There were a lot of highly anticipated returns and popular manga that finally got an adaptation. I was very excited to see what would end up staying permanently on my queue, and there are a few.
Attack on Titan
The titans are still attacking! Well, not as much as they did in previous seasons. I would not have guessed that Attack on Titan would be entertaining without the titans as the villains. There is some titan action, though. Oh boy, is there titan action- and Eren sounding like way more of a wuss than he was in season 1. Snap out of it, man!
Space Battleship Tiramisu
Yeah! Witness the return of space's weirdest mecha pilot. I know that not a lot of the anifandom watch short anime, but Space Battleship Tiramisu is definitely a worthwhile comedy. The world needs a mecha show that's...not actually about mecha.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
There are many ways in which one can be bizarre, and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure proves that, season after season. For JoJo's fifth series, Golden Wind, JoJo is bizarrely erotic. Sure, there were a lot of shirtless, well muscled men in previous seasons, but this season is not shy about having two young men getting real real close with one another. Combine that with the typical JoJo's poses, and Golden Wind stands out from its predecessors, for sure.
Banana Fish wraps up its bloody gangster mystery this season. Shows like Banana Fish make the ridiculous effort it takes to find new anime on Amazon worth it. I have to admit that the animation seems to have taken a big dive in the episodes I have seen up to this point, but that will not get in the way of me getting to the end of the series.
How the hell can I explain Golden Kamuy? For one thing, I can say that JoJo's is not the only bizarre show I am watching. The show started out so simply: find the tattoos and you find the gold. What that sprawled out into is a lot of dick jokes and weird characters. It's not a supernatural show, but it's not really historical fiction, either. It's a surreal series that you have to explain in detail before you can get someone to watch it.
The Runners Up
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai.
Anime comedies frequently give us new angles for relationships. As the title suggests, there is a bunny girl, or, rather, a girl dressed in a sexy bunny outfit. She has a unique condition- puberty syndrome. It makes her appear invisible to everyone, and people who used to remember her have forgotten her completely. How did this happen? How can it be cured? A boy named Sakuta could be the key to changing everything. I've picked up Bunny Girl Senpai because the premise is a little strange and I think the interplay between the main characters sounds different than most banter you hear in shows of this genre.
Release the Spyce
I guess we've run out of ways to give people superpowers. A radioactive spider makes no scientific sense, but at least it was extraordinary. Chewing on cinnamon or leaves, like the girls of Release the Spyce do, is incredibly tame, especially for anime. The Spyce girls (you had a feeling, deep down, that I was going to do that) eat basic spices that give them incredible abilities for a short period of time. We see this through the eyes of Momo Minamoto, a girl who happens to discover a group of young female spies chopping up evil robots. She then becomes one of them, but not before she learns the ways of the spy.
So here's how this goes. Radiant is an anime based on a manga. "So what?" right? There's more. Radiant was created by a French manga artist, so his inspiration came from Japan, which influenced an adaptation made in Japan. That's amazing. What a ride! Radiant, unfortunately, is competing in deep waters. It's not like we are in need of any headstrong boy protagonists in anime.
Double Decker! Doug & Kirill
Hell yeah! Anime hasn't been as in-your-face American since Tiger & Bunny. Wait, Double Decker gives me a few Tiger & Bunny vibes. Ah, I know why! Double Decker: Doug & Kirill was created by the same team who brought us Tiger & Bunny, the superhero show that felt very American. Double Decker gives us America by way of Japan again, this time in the form of a supernatural cop show.
Well, I got past that first episode. If it weren't for the horrific and traumatic events of Goblin Slayer's premiere episode, I think people wouldn't be so loud about it. Goblin Slayer is enjoyable to watch on its own, but when you chuck goblin-on-human rape into the sauce, it ignites controversy. Some people detest it, some don't care, and some come to the defense of the plot point. Without all the ep 1 anger, here's what Goblin Slayer is: a show about a dude who likes to kill Goblins, and will use any means to do so. It's simple, just like its protagonist.
The Best Anime of Fall 2018
What a shocker! Zombieland Saga is as tricky as Koutarou Tatsumi. Who is Koutarou? All you need to know is that he's voiced by Mamoru Miyano (Okabe Rintaro in Steins;Gate), in all his comedic glory. When I wonder if I should spoil a show, I always tend to leave spoilers out, even if they are basic plot points. I will tell you that zombies are definitely involved, and there is a Saga. Tee hee! Please check this out. Zombieland Saga is pretty funny.
Bloom Into You
We need a good yuri love anime. Amanchu! disappointed me, because it basically squashed any chance of the two leads becoming a romantic item. Citrus disappointed most of its audience with is terrible, disturbing relationship. Bloom into You is beautiful and thoughtful, but that's not to say that the relationship here is a simple one. I hope that Bloom Into You continues to work its magic on me throughout the fall- or however long it takes me to watch it.
Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san
No matter what country you're in, there's a universal fact: working retail is a tough job! Okay, so you're not digging ditches, but working in any job where you have to deal with customers comes with a certain level of stress. Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san captures the life of a bookstore clerk in Japan, and does so in such a funny way. There was a point (episode 2) where I thought the show was in danger of hitting a humor freefall, but the majority of the show was hilarious. Call me a narcissistic American, but whenever the episode dealt with foreigners, I found it especially funny. This is another anime short I think people- especially manga readers- should not ignore.
That Time I Was Reincarnated as a Slime
I remember the first time I encountered That Time I Was Reincarnated as a Slime. I saw the book in manga form, but didn't peek inside. All I thought was "Hmm, that's a weird title for a series. Must be some kind of comedy." So, I was a bit off on my assumptions. Yes, Slime is very lighthearted and has some gags, but it is mostly a fantasy isekai about a guy who dies in our reality and...well, the title tells you the rest. What makes Slime so good is that, even though he is yet another OP character, Rimuru is very likeable. If you want to know why isekai will never die, this is one reason. That Time I Was Reincarnated as A Slime is a funny, lovable and amazing fantasy show. I didn't know I would actually be saying that.
So fall 2018 bore a lot of good fruit! I'm in love with isekai again, I watched goblins do very bad things, I laughed and I loved. So the cold, cold winter is coming, and I don't know what to expect from that season. As always, I have my fingers crossed!