The Spring Anime Season has come to an end, and with the Summer Season already well under way, I figured I’d stick with the usual tradition and list my favourite and least favourite shows of the season.
So… Allow me to share my Top 5 Anime of Spring 2018!
As always, these are just my own personal picks and there’s a high chance that they may not reflect your own picks. I’d love to hear your top shows of the season too, so be sure to share them!
Also, I haven’t seen everything, so there’s also a high chance that something that probably would have made this list if I did watch it, did not. Because I didn’t watch it. Sorry, I’m only human.
5. Megalo Box
Having never been exposed to Ashita no Joe in any capacity, and seeing that Megalo Box was a 50th Anniversary Project celebrating the inception of the franchise, I was originally planning to skip this one over entirely.
That was until I learned that despite being a 50th Anniversary Project, you don’t actually need to know a thing about Ashita no Joe to have a good time with Megalo Box, as it’s its own self contained story within its own universe.
And damn, it’s quite the spectacle.
It’s a superbly animated series with an art style that is clearly a throwback to the retro aesthetic of 70’s Anime with a modern coat of paint and it looks gorgeous. The fight scenes and battle choreography are absolutely superb and really get your blood pumping. And it’s all wrapped up in a typical, yet emotionally involving, underdog story that while simplistic, adds a lot of narrative weight to the matches.
Unfortunately though, while it’s an amazing spectacle of cool visuals and high emotions, there’s not much else here. The characters, including the protagonist, leave little to be desired and the storytelling, while emotionally engaging, does little else. Megalo Box is a very good series, but it could have been so much more, which is why it’s only 5 on this list.
Still, it’s worth the watch!
4. Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis – Encounter
If you’ve ever found yourself unfortunate enough to encounter any kind of elitism in the Anime community, especially the brand that comes in form of pretentious fucks who feel the need to shit talk your favourite show because it’s from after 1999, then chances are you’ve heard of Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
You’ve also probably heard that Legend of the Galactic Heroes is either the best Anime ever made or that it’s a pretentious, overrated, boring pile of crap that is dated and unworthy of its near universal acclaim.
I sit in the middle. I think the show is great, and that it’s status among “the best” is well deserved, but I also think that the show hasn’t aged as well as some would have you believe and that while the story is great, it’s also very flawed in ways I can’t really ignore.
And this new series is a remake of sorts that aims to readapt the original novels into a modern Anime, while following the source material more closely and cutting down the filler and padding of the original series significantly in the process.
The reception of this remake from the hardcore elitist fans of the original series seems to be pretty mixed, but I honestly really like it. It stays true to the series legendary status as one of the best written stories in Anime, while applying a modern aesthetic and significantly improved animation to the presentation and cutting out much of the unnecessary, drawn out nonsense of the original that really didn’t need to be there.
The remake also focuses more on Yang Wenli this time around, which I honestly prefer since I find his side of the conflict far more interesting than Reinhard’s (which I still love, just not as much). It allows the remake to feel fresh while still telling the same story, and gives each series its own unique viewing experience.
At 12 episodes, and with more content to come (in the form of movies and a second season, I believe), this remake of Legend of the Galactic Heroes is a fantastic way for those who have never had the opportunity to witness this incredible story to jump straight into it. It’s a far more easily digestible, and easy to look at, version of the original and well worth the time for new and longtime fans alike. As a longtime fan of the show, I highly recommend it.
3. My Hero Academia Season 3
Do I really need to say what I’ve said every other time I’ve included My Hero Academia on a top list? I do? Well then…
My Hero Academia is one of the best ongoing fighting Shounen series in Jump right now, right next to Hunter x Hunter and World Trigger (lol hiatus), and its Anime adaptation continues to deliver in just about every single way possible. From the amazing production values that just keep improving with every cour, to the emotionally charged, gripping tale of a young boy achieving his dream to become the greatest hero, to the insanely intense action scenes and incredible world building, this show is a freaking near-masterpiece.
A lot of people gave this recent season a lot of flack for slowing down the pace a little and cramming a lot of exposition into the beginning. Some even went as far as dropping the series over something so trivial, and while I can kind of, sort of, get why, that’s also kind of what Shounen series do and is a key component in what makes them work so well as stories to begin with. What on earth were people expecting?
For those that stuck with the series however, it became very apparent that things quickly picked up again, and our patience was rewarded with some of the best moments from Anime so far this year.
My Hero Academia continues to be an absolutely wonderful and positive viewing experience and it brings out the little kid in me from the 90’s who would run home from school to watch Dragon Ball Z every single time I watch an episode. Never stop making this amazing stuff, Bones.
2. Doreiku: The Animation
Now that the safe and obvious picks that I’m sure everyone expected to see are out of the way, it’s time for my stupid, weird and controversial entries to join the list.
Doreiku is likely a show that wasn’t on a lot of people’s radar, not only because it was exclusive to HIDIVE, a streaming service that nobody bloody uses, but also because it was barely promoted or covered anywhere.
And considering the premise and content of the series, I’m not too surprised. It’s a very graphic and psychologically fucked up series about people participating in an enslavement focused, torture survival game.
And I love it. A lot.
As a huge fan of the original Manga, I wasn’t disappointed with this adaptation at all, and it delivered on just about every front. It’s not the deepest story out there, but the scenarios themselves are so entertaining and well thought out that it hardly matters.
Doreiku is definitely one of the more underrated shows of the season and if you can stomach the darker ideas behind it, I highly recommend giving it a shot.
1. Magical Girl Site
So here we are. I knew it. I bloody knew it. I knew that some day, I would be making this Top Anime of Spring 2018 list and I knew that Magical Girl Site, the most controversial show of the season, would be at the top of this list.
I already said plenty about this series and why I love it so much in my First Impressions post that I wrote back when the first episode aired, and much of what I said there remains true.
This adaptation was so entertaining, well presented and told an excellent, tragic and multilayered story that tackles the Magical Girl genre in many interesting and unique ways, that I honestly consider it one of my all-time favourite Anime series.
I’ve been given a lot of flack for praising this series as much as I have. I’ve literally lost friends and have been branded a terrible person because I chose to defend this series from all the unjustified hate it received. And I’m probably going to get even more flack for putting it above My Hero Academia and Megalo Box. Heck, I’ll probably get flack just for putting it on the list.
But you know what? I like this show. I love it. It’s great. And at the end of the day, it fits my personal criteria for what I look for in an Anime series. Am I looking for the wrong things? Maybe I am. But this is what I enjoy. And I personally feel the show is far more insightful and unique in its execution than people have been giving it credit for. I understand the hate and I get that this show isn’t for everyone. Heck, it isn’t for most people. But it’s for me and people like me and I was able to relate to it for a lot of personal reasons that nobody else could really understand. Reasons that go far beyond “I like dark and edgy things lmao”.
If you haven’t checked out Magical Girl Site due to the controversy, but feel it may actually be your thing, I implore you to give it a shot. If not then, well… You do you!
Share your favourites:
What were your favourite shows from the Spring 2018 Anime Season? Feel free to share yours in the comments!