Summer 2018 Final Rankings

Not going to lie, I really want to pat myself on the back. Summer 2018 is the first season in over a year where I’ve successfully finished all the shows I wanted before the next season starts. Obviously, that owes to me having a lot more free time now that college is over but I’m still pleased. And in terms of blogging, I actually get to do rankings at the end of the season, something I’ve never been able to do because shows just kept getting shoved into the backlog as I must move onto the next season. All in all, this is pretty neat.

As for the season itself, it is what it is. Hardly the worst season out there but definitely a sign that 2018 has lost steam as a year for anime. Granted, that feeling might not be conveyed too well in this post as truth be told, a few scores did get higher by the Final Rankings. It’s not like the midseason where I was left with just two shows scored above a 7 out of 10. Still, I can’t deny that it was slim pickings this time around. There’s really only one show I’d consider to be amazing and there wasn’t much competition over what to watch and what to drop. And frankly, if it wasn’t for the extra time I had, I really would’ve trimmed the watch list by five anime.

But as I’ve said back in the midseason, not every season can be amazing. So with all that said, let’s take one final look at Summer 2018’s anime…

Currently Watching

Banana Fish
Current Score: 8 | Episodes Seen: 12 out of 24
Thoughts: This anime has hardly met the high anticipation I had set for it but I’m still really liking it. The pacing in the first cour has been very uneven and I’ve heard content from the manga has been cut out which is unfortunate. That said, the last couple of episodes were a huge step in the right direction and has gotten me a bit more invested in the story. So long as the staff keep this up for Fall 2018, I’m happy.

Ani ni Tsukeru Kusuri wa Nai! 2
Current Score: 7 | Episodes Seen: 11 out of 24
Thoughts: I’ve been watching this in chunks as I find myself growing less inclined to find fansubs of anything. That said, I always have fun watching this. Actually, I’m a little curious to see where Season 2 will go since it just recently formed a love triangle around some of the characters. Now that should hopefully be funny during Fall.

Completed

#1. Revue Starlight
Score: 9 | Episodes: 12
Thoughts: Top pick half a season ago, top pick now. I doubt this even comes as a surprise if you’ve seen how much adoration and fascination I’ve expressed in the Episode Reviews. Simply put, I love Revue Starlight. It’s very much akin to a theatrical production; telling a story while also making a dazzling show out of it. It doesn’t make complete sense but it honestly doesn’t need to. The imagery, direction, and spectacle more than makes up for it and the result is an remarkably evocative and arresting anime. Consider this a lock within my top ten, maybe even top five, favorite anime of 2018.

#2. Planet With
Score: 8 | Episodes: 12
Thoughts: Originally a drop but I picked this anime again after hearing so much praise. Thank goodness I did because Planet With is an impressive feat; taking the standard outline of the mech genre and successfully cram it all into a single cour without feeling confusing or overwhelming. I only give this series an 8 because I get this impression that creator and writer Satoshi Mizukami could’ve done so much more if he was given more episodes to work with. That aside, this was absolutely worth giving a second chance.

#3. Cells at Work!
Score: 8 | Episodes: 13
Thoughts: Frankly, I learned more from this anime than I did during biology class in college. But seriously, Cells at Work! was a lot of fun to watch — informative, bizarre, guilt ridden, and adorable. You’d think this series would eventually get old and there were one or two close calls but overall, it’s worth sitting through from beginning to end. That said, there still wasn’t enough Platelets.

#4. Harukana Receive
Score: 8 | Episodes: 12
Thoughts: Came for some moe volleyball fanservice, stayed because I honestly found the story and characters to be quite good. I really did have a blast watching Harukana Receive especially towards the end with its fantastic final match. Really, I think the biggest flaw is simply that it’s based on the beginning portion of its source material. There’s clearly more story to tell and while second seasons are 50-50 with anime, I really hope one will get greenlit.

#5. Happy Sugar Life
Score: 7 | Episodes: 12
Thoughts: There’s actually one or two exceptional standalone episodes in the second half but had the overall direction and writing for the series been tighter, I’d actually bump the score to an 8. Still, I’m glad that I watched Happy Sugar Life. Satou alone is a character worth watching due to the writing and Kana Hanazawa’s performance.

#6. Asobi Asobase -workshop of fun-
Score: 7 | Episodes: 12
Thoughts: To repeat what I said in the midseason — a little too inconsistent for my liking. Comedy is of course wildly subjective and I can see someone thinking this was a riot at all times. Personally, I just think Asobi Asobase has its fair share of jokes that simply aren’t that funny. That said, I did laugh throughout the whole thing and I am impressed with how much continuity this anime ended up exercising.

#7. Phantom in the Twilight
Score: 7 | Episodes: 12
Thoughts: Chinese co-productions admittedly shouldn’t settle with just “pretty good” but Phantom in the Twilight is still a win for this side of the industry. The story is all over the place but the characters were pretty likable and some of the twists and turns thrown around were neat. The whole product certainly could’ve been better, especially if you have Fumiaki Murato as a head writer, but I’m glad I gave Phantom a shot.

#8. One Room (Season 2)
Score: 6 | Episodes: 12
Thoughts: A big guilty pleasure. The POV gimmick is still super flawed but I do think the stories are an improvement over the first season’s. Mashiro’s arc alone was worth the price of admission. I just think she’s really easy to relate with and I adore the decision to have her acknowledge the viewer as the pervert that they are for watching this anime. That somehow makes things feel less awkward.

#9. Miss Caretaker of Sunohara-sou
Score: 6 | Episodes: 12
Thoughts: Had Sunohara-sou express more restraint over its shota fetish, I’d actually consider this anime to be “pretty good”. I can tolerate it but I can’t deny that making it your number one source of comedy has limitations and for the most part, I just don’t find that anime as funny as it aims to be. Oddly enough though, I really did like the characters in spite of that flaw so this anime at least deserves a 6 in that respect.

#10. Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion
Score: 6 | Episodes: 12
Thoughts: Upon finishing, I immediately went to work on a draft for my full series review of Angolmois because I have a feeling I’ll forget this anime real fast. Simply put, it’s an anime that sort of tells an interesting piece of history with the blandest characters you can think of. Other than Jinzabarou and Teurhi, I seriously can’t remember anyone by name or even character design and that becomes a huge problem once people start dying left and right. This is a very breezy piece of anime when it really shouldn’t.

#11. Hanebado!
Score: 5 | Episodes: 13
Thoughts: It’s hard to say what Hanebado! needed more — an editor or a better writer? Either way, I think the scripts and storyboards of this anime needed an additional revision. All the right pieces are there but the execution leaves so much to be desired. Subplots, some of which are pointless, put the main plot to a screeching halt and even what is essential could stand to be better. But…the animation is still pretty great.

#12. Island
Score: 5 | Episodes: 12
Thoughts: I really should’ve dropped Island when I reached halfway. It never once felt boring but I just get the impression that the story worked much better as a visual novel than as a TV anime. The mythos is sporadic and absurd and the pacing ended up butchering a lot more scenes than I’d like. I do like what ultimately became the romance but you also have to tolerate some very creepy undertones tied to it.

Dropped

Bold = Didn’t Scribble About It

  • 100 Sleeping Princes & The Kingdom of Dreams (Ep. 2)
  • Aguu: Tensai Ningyou (Ep. 1)
  • Angels of Death (Ep. 8)
  • Chio’s School Road (Ep. 1)
  • Dropkick on My Devil! (Ep. 2)
  • Grand Blue Dreaming (Ep. 1)
  • Holmes of Kyoto (Ep. 3)
  • How Not to Summon a Demon Lord (Ep. 3)
  • The Journey Home (Ep. 1)
  • Late night! The Genius Bakabon (Ep. 1)
  • Lord of Vermillion: Guren no Ou (Ep. 1)
  • The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar (Ep. 1)
  • Music Girls (Ep. 1)
  • Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation (Ep. 3)
  • Seven Senses of the Re’Union (Ep. 3)
  • The Thousand Musketeers (Ep. 1)
  • We Rent Tsukumogami (Ep. 4)
  • Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs (Ep. 1 + OVA)

Possible Second Chances:

    • Most Likely: Chio’s School Road, How Not to Summon a Demon Lord
    • If I Really Hate Myself: Angels of DeathGrand Blue Dreaming

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