Winter 2018 – Three Episode Test

Well, I am still alive if you ask. Real life stuff ate a lot of my time for the past few weeks.

Winter 2018 is the season where “cute people doing cute things” is the main apparent theme. While I certainly love the solid vibe and the warm comfort these shows give, it felt like I was reduced to a 20-year old guy gushing over the fluffiness in most shows I watch.

Then there’s Devilman: Crybaby which actually screams ultra-violence but you get Akira who is also cute despite his evil transformation. Well, you cannot go wrong with cuteness anyway. Okay, let us now rank these shows and present my thoughts so far.

THE ELITE

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1. Sangatsu no Lion S2

Thanks to the leverage that the bullying arc provided, Sangatsu no Lion presented the best three episodes so far in 2018. My only problem is on how to embrace the next weeks since these will be about Rei again. I hope the Master has enough charisma (or enigma) to draw me in as much as I did before.

2. Devilman: Crybaby

A tad slow, but ridiculously entertaining, we now discover that everyone is slowly becoming demons, or are actually demons. I also love how cold the show is in terms of killing people like flies, or the character’s apparent apathy towards people except for Akira.

3. After the Rain

Okay. This show is walking a fine line between crass and class and a single move can make this an all-time great or a trash. Probably the most beautiful show (not necessarily the best produced) this season, Studio Wit is adapting the manga with dignity and class that makes it an aberrant to young girls liking self-insert leads. I just wish it won’t go to the wish-fulfillment route in the next episodes.

4. Violet Evergarden

Hmmm? If not for the slight repetition of themes presented in episodes two and three, this could have been my anime of the season. Kyoto Animations is known for deliberately pacing its shows so I am sure this will be cathartic as hell once the climax kicks in.

5. Ancient Magus Bride

So, yeah, I feel Winter 2018 is ridiculously strong that I am now on my fifth show and I still think it is a top 10 contender for 2018. Thanks to the bad second OP, I felt like the second half pales in comparison of the heavier first half. It is still good anyway and shows no sign of failing in the animation department anytime soon.

GOOD, I GUESS?

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6. A Place Further than the Universe

With their trip to Antarctica getting real close, man the show becomes better and better. If this was Spring 2017, I’d be lining A Place Further than the Universe along with Tsuki ga Kirei and Eccentric Family. (Un)fortunately, Winter 2018 is packed with solid shows so I am putting this here at the 6th place.

Well, I adore the characters. I seriously do. It has the best interaction of all shows I watch this season. It’s just… there are stronger titles this time around. Also, the dorama in A Place Further than the Universe is not exactly great or award-worthy and may cause cringe later on.

7. Cardcaptor Sakura – Clear Card Arc

Hmm? If Cardcaptor Sakura skips the mundane and focuses on the plot, the show will be more awesome. Yes. I am now on the seventh show in this season and I still think this has a shot to become one of the best in 2017. Yep. We got seven shows that are AOTY-worthy this time. Am I just getting older to anime that I appreciate things better than before? I hope not.

DECENT ENOUGH FOR A WATCH

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8. Citrus

Citrus may have been trash, but this pretty much encapsulates how teenage hormones work in a nutshell. Do not mind me for the pron though. Yuri is my guilty pleasure and I am glad the ridiculous manga got a decent production values.

9. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

So if Durarara is poor man’s Baccano, Tonkotsu Ramens is poor man’s Durarara. Not saying that this is bad, but it lacks the quirkiness of the first two shows it pays homage of. It’s not a bad watch though. I mean, who is not entertained by a crossdresser version of Eren?

10. Darling in the Franxx

I was about to drop the show but episode three aired and I am willing to give this a finish. The animation is damn beautiful but the dorama and the characters are… ticking me off in the wrong way. Also, the blatant sexism irks me even when I consider myself as the least social justice warrior in the anime community.

PS: Wait. Did this show just? You know, the abrasive presentation of sex in media and whatnots. Ugh. Just Ugh.

11. Karakai Jouzo no Takagi-san

Cute. Takagi-san is Satan incarnate and I love her teasing the waifu. It is not anywhere near funny but is damn cute to watch.

12. Sanrio Danshi 

If only the production matches the actual emotional core of the show. Sigh. I still watch it for shirtless Yoshino the story though.

13. Black Clover

The first serious arc of Black Clover is tepid, but you do realize that unless you are My Hero Academia, straight laced shounen flicks are merely serviceable. And it is doing its job okay? I guess. PS: The second OP is a blast.

14. Yuru Camp

Then there’s another show which the anicommunity loves but I was left wondering why. Maybe I hate klutz and the studio’s deliberately making the show fluffy without the supporting visuals, so that is why. Anyway, this is a decent watch but it so happened to pick the short stick this season.

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