The year that was 2018

Time Out

This year my anime watching fell off. I can't explain why, but sometimes this just happens to me. Something I've noticed, particularly with people who have a website / blog / whatever; is that they push themselves to watching anime even when they're not in the mood. For a review site (section) like this I don't think that's fair to people who want an honest opinion but end up with a source that's biased due to the person burning out. I'll probably always be an anime fan, but if I'm not feeling it, I don't watch it.

That said there were good shows out this year (much more than I watched). This list is kinda short and therefore not a good selection of what happened this year.

Pearl Clutching

I probably shouldn't talk about this kind of charged topic, but anime is slowly becoming a target for puritan zelotry our society seems to be in the grip of. Anime is a hobby I enjoy, and many like myself understand that there is some messed up stuff coming out of Japan, and always has. However there is this thing called don't watch it if you don't like it. It's an old concept. You're grandparents probably did it a lot. I've seen a lot of anime, and much of what are getting people spun up these days... well, I've seen anime do a whole lot worse than that.

Thankfully I believe there are two positives to this. One is that anime fans (the real old school ones) have gone through ups and downs with the industry, but we're also okay with being shunned for this hobby. All you have to do is avoid discussing it with other people. Also Japan just doesn't give a shit. They'll keep making it, and with modern technology; we'll keep watching it. I do find it fustrating to have the puritan crew rag on anime when it doesn't concern them. Just leave anime (and us) alone. Is that too much to ask? I guess it is judging by the way things are going. If someone has a hobby and is having a good time with it.. well we can't have that now can we?

You only have one life. It's better spent enjoying what you like than harping on others about what you don't like.

Surprise of the year: Sakurada Reset

Sakurada Reset is yet another title in the pile of "supernatural" abilities used as the basis of a setting. When these turn out good, they're still usually okay at best. Add on characters that are all emotionally flat, and this one didn't catch on with me right away. But then I found myself intrigued by the way each character has a somewhat mundane ability, which can become far more useful when combined with other character's abilities. This of course would require intelligence in the writing, which Sakurada Reset very much has.

But I'll be the first one to have doubts about any show which tries to be smart, because anime is so good at screwing this up. However deeper in I was impressed by the amount of thought that went into the integration of story, characters, and the supernatural ability thing. So much so, that I think the intelligence put into Sakurada Reset is somewhat rare.

Favorite: After The Rain

Love / Hate: Scum's Wish

Disappointment: Angel's 3peice

Most people easily write this off after the first exposure to the under age fan service, which I should have done too; but I stuck with it. As uncomfortable as that made me feel, I started to see how this anime could have been okay. Maybe even better than that. Basically it just needed to cut out the sexualized fan service and let the cuteness of the young girls show through. That's about all that was required. An easy bonus would have been to have the young girls interested in pushing the two older (or age appropriate at least) students together.

For some reason my disappointment comes from wasted potential by continually pushing in a direction almost guaranteed to result in the crap this turned into. It could have been fixed so easily...

Worst Anime: King's Game

While I wouldn't watch it all the time, I really enjoy a good dark title from time to time. And for that reason I'm probably harder on these kinds of titles than more fluffy anime. But this one is the sloppy kind of bad that I couldn't forgive. King's Game brings together many things that sound good on paper, to the point where I couldn't tell you (before watching it) how it could be screwed up much. Survival horror is actually not that hard to do with a basic understanding of what people want out of it. Besides which the concept of a mysterious force telling students in a class to do weird stuff or get "punished" is pretty interesting.

Then the anime happened. At first it was pretty gory (although not explicit) and I was okay with that, but then it didn't stop. Pretty much every order by the "king" was do something to probably get someone killed, but you'll probably die too. That's basically 90% of the show. The crazy girl antagonist might have worked if she wasn't so overdone. But then the anime decides to "explain" everything and I gave up. This supernatural phenomena can't be explained well so just don't. Do not try to tie psudo-science to concepts, especially if you're not smart enough to pull it off. What a pile of crap.

Character of the Year Sachiko Fujinuma

Character of the year: Sachiko (erased)

2018 Verdict: Good

Anime I Reviewed This Year:

16 reviews in 2018

Recovery of an MMO Junkie (okay) King's Game (sucks)
Sakurada Reset (okay) Sky Wizards Academy (weak)
Scum's Wish (good) Fuuka (meh)
Sakura Quest (okay) Dies Irae (sucks)
Great Passage (meh) Just Because (meh)
Ah My Buddha (weak) Looking up at the Half Moon (meh)
Darling in the FranXX (okay) Angel's 3piece (weak)
How Not to Summon a Demon Lord (okay) After the Rain (good)