Winter 2018 Season Preview

It’s currently a very busy time for me right now but there is a new year fast approaching and with that, the first of four new anime seasons. I should probably be doing something better with my time in between college finals but darn it, I got to write a Season Preview for Winter 2018.

Regarding the lineup, I think it looks decent enough though there really is only one new show that I’d say I’m super hyped for (the featured image kind of gives it away, doesn’t it?). Some others stand out to me but honestly, it is possible that it’ll be slim pickings and the drop off between good and mediocre will be noticeably sharp.

Some major shows are coming back this season such as The Seven Deadly Sins and Yowamushi Pedal, shows that I am interested in but haven’t really been motivated to catch up for so they’re omitted from this preview. Cardcaptor Sakura is also coming back and that alone is just crazy. I definitely want to check out but I’m horribly confused with how to catch up since I’ve heard it’s a sequel but it kind of retcons some stuff from the original anime. I’m going to have to figure that one out during the Winter break.

I kind of doubt Winter 2018 will be an awful experience though. There are still some solid shows carrying over from Fall 2017 such as 3-gatsu no Lion Season 2 and Mahoutsukai no Yome. Maybe my watch list won’t change too much once the new season starts but unless the carry-overs take a serious nosedive, I think things will be fine as far as anime is concerned.

With all that said, let’s take a look at the Winter 2018 season.

Hype Level Breakdown: 

  • High – Anime that I really want to watch right now but alas, I must wait for it to air on TV. The one show that stands out the most, even in this group also gets “Most Anticipated” added to its hype level.
  • Mild – The show just looks pretty good or fairly average to me for one reason or another though I’m nevertheless still interested in it.
  • Surprise Me – The show frankly looks bad to me or I’m just very skeptical about it. It’s still attracting a modicum of attention or the premise still got my attention so I gave it a spot on the preview.

Yuru Camp
(Laid-Back Camp)

Premieres: January 4 at 23:00 JST Genre: CGDCT, Comedy, Seinen
Studio: C-Station Source: Manga
Streaming: Crunchyroll Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

It ain’t an anime season for me unless there’s at least one CGDCT show to watch. I originally didn’t think Yuru Camp would be the front runner to fulfill that niche but after reading some of the manga, I’m feeling pretty confident that it might. Yes, the plot is pretty much just girls camping outside but I actually found the serene quality of camping fitting for a slice of life experience. The characters were pretty likable too so while I’m not expecting anything ambitious of Yuru Camp, I think this is a safe bet to go with.

Itou Junji: Collection
(Junji Ito Collection)

Premieres: January 5 at 22:30 JST Genre: Horror, Psychological, Thriller
Studio: Studio Deen Source: Manga
Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

I’m not as familiar with Junji Ito’s work as I ought to be but the man is undeniably a legend in the horror manga genre and an anthology series based on his work sounds mighty appealing. Details as to which stories are going to be adapted are scarce and again, I got some research to do, so I’m being a little safe as far as excitement goes. Still, I can see Studio Deen doing a good job with this and the staff seems largely comprised of some experienced people.

Citrus

Premieres: January 6 at 23:30 JST Genre: Drama, Romance, Shoujo Ai
Studio: Passione Source: Manga
Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

I remember first hearing about Citrus way back when the manga came to the States in late 2014 so seeing an anime adaptation premiering real soon got my attention. The story centers around two girls, each from different walks of life, finding out that they are now each other’s stepsister. They’re initially at odds at each other but gradually, they begin to enjoy each other’s company….in more ways than one.

Yes, Citrus is in fact a Yuri manga/anime which I find worrisome since the family theme seems at serious odds with the need to pander towards people who want to see two girls making out. If this is a genuinely effective romance and a mature enough depiction of LGBT relationships though, I think Citrus could be something worthwhile.

Mitsuboshi Colors

Premieres: January 7 at 22:30 JST Genre: CGDCT, Comedy, Slice of Life
Studio: Silver Link Source: Manga
Streaming: HIDIVE Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

Ever had that phase where you just wanted to wander around town, have fun, and worry your parents like crazy? Mitsuboshi Colors very much captures that part of childhood. The show centers around three girls who form a team called the “Colors”, a group dedicated to preserving the peace of their hometown when really, it’s probably just them getting lost and worrying their parents like crazy. There’s a good chance that I might find these characters annoying but this sounds cutesy enough so I’ll give it a shot.

Gakuen Babysitters
(School Babysitters)

Premieres: January 7 at 23:00 JST Genre: Comedy, Shoujo, Slice of Life
Studio: Brain’s Base Source: Manga
Streaming: Crunchyroll Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

Brain’s Base hasn’t exactly been prominent in the anime industry these past few years but Gakuen Babysitters seems to be a very well-liked manga so things might change for the studio. The story follows two brothers, Ryuuichi and Kotarou who, after the loss of their parents, finds themselves under the care of an elderly school chairwoman. The catch is that instead of money, Ruiichi has to repay the debt by working as the babysitter at the school’s daycare center.

There’s an unrealistic or improbable quality to all this but I read some of the manga and found it to be really charming with a strong understanding of how children behave. I can let some head scratching plot points slide if the show makes do with its cutesy premise and I’m all for an anime attempting to be charming in a way different from the usual moe stuff.

Ryuuou no Oshigoto
(The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done!)

Premieres: January 9 at 0:30 JST Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Studio: Project No.9 Source: Light Novel
Streaming: Crunchyroll Hype Level: Surprise Me
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

Light novel adaptations are such a gamble for me but I’ve heard positive things about Ryuuou no Oshigoto and I’m finding some appeal in the absurd plot of a teenage shogi prodigy apprenticing a 9 year old girl. There’s potential for charm but if this ended up being massive loli pandering, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san

Premieres: Janauary 8 at 23:00 JST Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
Studio: Shin-Ei Animation Source: Manga
Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

The Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san manga has been a hit in Japan and who can blame the people reading it? I started reading it and while the premise is pretty simple, it is downright hilarious watching this young boy get trolled constantly by his seat neighbor. Chances are, that quality will translate pretty well into animation form so I’m looking forward to this one.

Violet Evergarden 

Premieres: January 11 at 0:00 JST Genre: Drama, War
Studio: Kyoto Animation Source: Light Novel
Streaming: Netflix Hype Level: High – Most Anticipated
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

The arrival of Violet Evergarden sure has been a long time coming. Based on the Kyoto Animation Award’s first ever Grand Prize winner and announced way back in 2016, the show has been on a lot of people’s radars. Set in a post-war European-esque continent, Violet Evergarden follows its titular protagonist who works as an Auto Memories Doll, a sort of transcriber for those who are unable to write. From there, we learn about Violet’s past as a soldier and her journey towards better understanding human emotions.

Maybe the hype is getting a little ridiculous but it’s easy to see why it’s perpetuating.  The show does look insanely gorgeous (even by KyoAni standards) and advance screening reception has been largely positive. I myself have been reading a translation of the light novel and while I don’t know if it’s a masterpiece, there is something about its thematic commentary and emotional content that has made the story a pretty endearing experience for me.

As you might have guessed from the start of this post, Violet Evergarden is the only show I’m really hyped for this season. That does put a lot of pressure on this show for me but right now, I’m not terribly concerned that it’ll fail me.

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku
(Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody)

Premieres: January 11 at 23:30 JST Genre: Fantasy, Isekai, Harem
Studio: Connect, Silver Link Source: Light Novel
Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation Hype Level: Surprise Me
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

You know the drill – there’s a nerd who gets stuck into another world because reasons and harem related hijinks ensue. Frankly, I’m still wishing for isekai shows like Isekai Shokudou that are more atypical for the genre but I did heard good things about Death March so who knows. Surprise me.

Koi wa Ameagari no You ni
(After the Rain)

Premieres: January 12 at 0:55 JST Genre: Romance, Seinen
Studio: Wit Studio Source: Manga
Streaming: Amazon Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

I have literally no idea what Noitamina’s goal is right now. Sometimes they do air anime that caters beyond the teenage boy crowd and other times, they just air straight up shounen and/or light novel stuff. To be fair though, Koi wa Ameagari no You ni is probably the first anime in a while that fits the original Noitamina bill. It’s based on a seinen romance manga so I doubt there’ll be any action or harem stuff here.

The plot does have me a little wary though. It centers around a teenage girl falling in love with a 45 year old man. I did take a look at the manga and while it didn’t seem as off-putting as I thought it would, it still had me on the fence a bit. That kind of relationship is something you have to be extremely careful with so I’m curious to see where it goes but also extremely cautious towards it. If nothing else, the visuals do look pretty darn nice. It seems like WIT is going to bust out their A game for this one.

Beatless

Premieres: January 13 at 1:55 JST Genre: Action, Romance, Sci-Fi
Studio: Diomedea Source: Light Novel
Streaming: Amazon Hype Level: Surprise Me
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

The plot synopsis of Beatless hasn’t exactly got me hyped. This show sounds like a standard sci-fi show with a boy meets girl trope going on. The visuals did look pretty good though and I’ll admit to being a sucker for any character designs originally done by Redjuice (that’s how I got suckered into Guilty Crown after all). Again, surprise me.

Darling in the FranXX

Premieres: January 13 at 23:30 JST Genre: Mecha, Romance, Sci-Fi
Studio: A-1 Pictures, Trigger Source: Original
Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation Hype Level: Mild
External Links: Official Website | Twitter | ANN | MyAnimeList | Wikipedia

I’m not a diehard fan of either Trigger or A-1 Pictures but the thought of them collaborating together is kind of peculiar to me. Maybe it’s purely for budgetary reasons but Trigger is a studio brimming with imagination while A-1 Pictures is generally at the mercy of what materials are handed to them. I don’t know, the synergy that could be produced by these two studios could be interesting. I can’t say I’m interested in the plot though. Seems like your usual high schoolers got to save the world using something kind of story. While I’m at it, what exactly does the title, Darling in the FranXX, even mean?


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