The Summer 2018 Anime Season has now been underway for a few weeks now, and just about every show has been airing for quite some time. So it’s time for me to give my overall first impressions for the season so far. I’m aware that I’m a little late this time around (sorry!) but I’ve been a little swamped with some life changing things that I’ll be posting about later this week. Anyway…
As always I’ll be splitting everything into tiers, which are described below.
And as usual, outside of Attack on Titan Season 3 (because my wife wants to watch it), I won’t be watching any of these shows weekly because I kind of hate doing that.
So without further delay, here are the tiers.
- Incredible – Will Most Definitely Watch: Shows listed under this tier will be shows that I’ll most definitely be watching as soon as possible. These are the shows that currently have me the most invested, that keep me glued to my monitor and that have me literally filled with excitement and suspense from beginning to end, every episode. Shows in here all have the potential to become a member of my favourites (although anything can change over time).
- Looks Interesting – Will Watch: Shows in this tier will be shows that I’ll be watching at some point because they seem like they could go in interesting directions and I’m looking forward to seeing where they will end up. These are shows that, while they had some issues or didn’t have me fully invested, are still engaging enough to warrant further watching.
- Decent – Will Carry On With It: Shows that had a lot of issues or didn’t really grab me will be under this tier. I’ll be watching these and enjoying them, but there’s a high chance I’ll be stopping and starting these frequently and taking my time with them.
- Meh – Will Watch Begrudgingly: Shows that are just pretty darn terrible but I feel I should watch for whatever insane or ridiculous reason will be listed here. Watching these shows will no doubt be painful, but I need to persevere for whatever excuse that I’ll no doubt forget upon reaching the halfway point. Of course, things can improve over time. Maybe these will?
- Not Feeling It – Will Stall For Now: I never drop shows permanently, because my goal is to watch every Anime ever. I’ll never manage to do that in my lifetime, but I’d love to get as close to doing so as possible. However, these shows made me feel nothing, were completely yawn inducing or just had nothing going for me so I’ve put them to the side for god knows how long. I may pick them up again, but it’ll be unlikely to be any time soon.
- I have Little To Say – The Rest: This is mostly reserved for stuff I generally have no comment on, shows I didn’t check out or second seasons to shows I haven’t seen/have yet to finish.
So let’s break these shows down!
Incredible – Will Most Definitely Watch:
Attack on Titan Season 3 – I really like Attack on Titan, but I’d be lying if I said my relationship with the series hasn’t been a little rocky over the course of its run. Season 1 was an excellent, high octane, adrenaline pumping, extravaganza of intense action, sudden and depressing character deaths and incredible character drama and mystery. Even if things did slow down a little towards the end, it was a top tier series that I had barely any issues with. But then the long awaited second season came along and was a huge disappointment for me. Outside of a huge plot reveal that was incredibly satisfying, and some cool fights here and there, the series’ pacing more or less slowed down to a near-crawl, the episode count was halved to 12 episodes and things were just far less exciting overall. It wasn’t bad, but it failed to deliver in a lot of ways and was a far cry from the Attack on Titan I remembered loving so much.
But so far, Season 3 has more than made up for any of that disappointment and it seems that the second season was just a weak chapter of a much greater story. While the tone and focus of this new season are certainly different to what we’re used to, the angle of human politics and conspiracy is definitely welcome, and there’s still plenty of amazing action sequences and character deaths to keep things from becoming too dialogue heavy. As someone who has read ahead in the Manga, I can assure you all that this season is going to deliver a much more human story this time around, and I can’t wait to see how Wit Studio handles it all.
Attack on Titan is back where it belongs: At the top.
Happy Sugar Life – It’s probably no surprise to anyone who knows the first thing about me and my tastes that this show is a stand out for me this season. Happy Sugar Life is fantastic so far, and has the potential to be the Anime of the Season for me. It’s a story about a probably insane Yandere girl who is obsessed and in love with a much younger girl to the point she’ll do crazy things like murder other people for her sake. It’s an extremely dark story that tackles quite a few disturbing themes related to abuse, obsession, possessiveness and the oh-so-taboo topic of large age gaps. But beneath its gritty and edgy exterior is a show that has a lot to say about these topics beyond merely being another “dark for the sake dark” show. Of course, if you choose to ignore all of that and just want some gritty stuff, there’s that too.
Happy Sugar Life is definitely one of this seasons more underappreciated shows, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a darker show this season. Definitely a contender for Anime of the Season in my eyes.
Middle Manager Tonegawa – Kaiji is one of my all-time favourite Anime series, so I was really happy to see that it was getting a spin-off focused on one of the shows main antagonists, Tonegawa.
It’s not quite what I originally expected, and focuses a lot more on comedy and Tonegawa being a complete idiot who can’t remember simple things like the names of his own employees. It seems that a lot of people don’t find this show all that funny, but I find it pretty damn hilarious and a worthwhile watch.
Tonegawa isn’t what I thought it would be, but it’s still a very good show that has proven to be consistently funny while remaining true to the original character from Kaiji. And I’m sure it will continue to be so for the entirety of its run
Cells at Work – The premise for this show originally seemed incredibly weird to me, but after giving it a shot, I actually really enjoyed it. It’s a fresh concept that makes for a both interesting and entertaining series and it’s just the kind of wacky project you’d expect from the folks over at David Production.
And the Platelets are so cuteeeeee!
This will definitely tide over David Production fans while they wait for Jojo Part 5. It’s really great.
Looks Interesting – Will Watch:
How Not to Summon a Demon Lord – Boy oh boy! It’s a new Isekai show! And as you all know, unlike the majority, I can’t get enough of the genre so I’m certainly not complaining about this one.
This one is the typical Harem kind of Isekai show, with a powerful guy and a group of attractive females, but that doesn’t really make it any less entertaining or hilarious than you’d expect. Certainly not for everyone, but I like it. I’ve seen worse.
Angel of Massacre – There’s very few Anime you could describe as “Horror” so when I saw that this series had the genre tag for Horror, I was interested to see what kind of show Angel of Massacre was going to be. I wasn’t disappointed. Angel of Massacre definitely has a lot Horror elements, but it also takes a lot of inspiration from game design, particularly JRPG’s, which makes sense considering this is based on a video game. It’s an odd combination, yet it works surprisingly well. You can tell this series, and the scenarios the characters find themselves in, are lifted straight from a video game, but it’s all integrated in such an entertaining and genius way that it doesn’t really matter. Really solid stuff so far and I’m looking forward to more.
Grand Blue – I actually don’t have too much to say about this one other than I really like it so far and it seems like it’s going to go to some interesting places later on. A fantastic cast of characters, a quality aesthetic and a compelling story about adolescence has made this a real treat so far.
Hanebado! – Continuing the recent seasonal trend of “Sports series is where the drama is at” Hanebado! is another stand out show for me this season. Not only is it focusing on a sport I’m actually some what interested in (badminton), but it’s also brought a ton of character drama and emotional weight with it too, which makes it even more interesting to me. And the animation is also solid, a must for any Sports series.
I do think things are a little too angsty at times, but aside from that the show is pretty great and I look forward to seeing where it goes.
Harukana Receive – Being the other all-female Sports Anime this season, Harukana Receive has often been compared alongside Hanebado!, often looked at as the more unfavourable option due to it focusing less on the complex character drama and more on its attractive female cast playing volleyball in bikinis. And while I prefer the more dramatic and character driven focus of Hanebado! I also can’t fault Harukana Receive for being a good, fan-service filled time.
As someone who’s recently opened my heart to fan-service shows, I’m really loving this one and it had me smiling all throughout. If you’re into these kinds of shows, I highly recommend it.
Planet With – The Mecha genre never gets enough love these days, and it seems that when it does we get Darling in the FranXX which was… Apparently really bad…? But Planet With is proving to be something really great and hopefully won’t derail as it gets further into its story. It’s definitely a show that’s under a lot of peoples radars which is a real shame. If you’re a fan of Mecha or Sci-Fi, I highly recommend it!
Chio’s School Road – This series is as hilarious and wacky as the premise makes it sound and is everything I hoped it would be. This is the comedy everyone should be watching this season.
Decent – Will Carry On With It:
Yuragi-sou no Yuuna-san – I’m not too sure how I feel about this one as of yet. It’s a fairly standard Ecchi/Harem series and it’s pretty funny, but that’s all it really is so far. There’s nothing particularly gripping here that has me dying to watch more. It’s not bad, just fairly run of the mill in my opinion. Still, it could be worse.
Banana Fish – This one seems to be a favourite for a ton of people this season, and I’m sure there’s a reason for that. The visuals and animation, courtesy of MAPPA, are some of the best this season and narratively it seems to have all the makings of a solid Action, Shoujo series, but it just isn’t really resonating with me as much as I’d like it to.
Perhaps its the various red flags I saw hinting “this is going to be a Boys Love story”, which may or may not end up being the case, but it just wasn’t really doing for me, what it’s apparently been doing for a lot of other people. Still, it’s fun enough to at least convince me to check out more at some point. I’m interested to see where it goes.
Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger – Yet another show that seems to have gone under quite a few people’s radar, Sirius the Jaegar isn’t anything particularly spectacular so far, but it’s competent enough that I’m willing to come back to it sooner rather than later.
I’m honestly not that big a fan of shows about vampires or P.A Works (the only shows of theirs I thought were above average outside of Shirobako were Charlotte and Another, which most P.A Works fans apparently aren’t too fond of), so I didn’t expect too much from this one. Yet, it has potential, and it’s a very different kind of show from the usual P.A Works fare which alone has me more interested than I normally would be. This could become something really great.
The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar – Another fun Isekai show that despite being a little generic is impossible for me to hate. It’s fineeeee.
Free! Dive to the Future – Alrighty! I never expected that a new season of Free! would be as high up on this list as it is, but my everchanging taste has been weird lately, and I honestly think that I was maybe a little too harsh on Free! when I first watched it all those years ago and gave it a 1/10. Back then, I disliked just about anything that was a Slice of Life show and Free! being a Kyoto Animation show with a focus on man-service and swimming, just ticked every single box for “things I can’t stand in Anime” during that dark, elitist, hate-filled time of my life.
But you know what? This latest season of Free! is alright. I ain’t going to sing its praises or say that it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen, but I enjoyed it and judging from what I’ve heard, it seems that things are going to take a really dramatic, character-driven route in the later episodes that have already aired.
Perhaps the last two seasons of Free! are due a rewatch. This wasn’t bad. Not bad at all. Rejoice Zel!
Asobi Asobase – I kinda like this one. It’s a charming comedy about language barriers and friendship and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It’s nothing I’d be dying to watch as soon as possible, but I like it!
Meh – Will Watch Begrudgingly:
FLCL Progressive – I’ve already voiced my lack of enthusiasm towards FLCL several times in the past and I’m going to do it here again because why not? I don’t really care about FLCL. I never have and I probably never will.
Maybe I’m missing some kind of context that was present when the show came out. Maybe I don’t understand enough about Japanese culture or was unfamiliar with various obscure references that I’m sure were a part of the shows nonsensical dialogue. Or maybe I’m just an idiot with bad taste.
Whatever the reason, I don’t “get” FLCL. It has nice visuals and a cool soundtrack, but the show is nothing spectacular in my opinion, nor is it worthy of any of the praise I’ve seen it constantly showered with over the last nearly two decades.
And I also don’t “get” FLCL Progressive either, for more or less the same reasons. It’s a sequel that I’d say didn’t even need to happen to begin with, let alone a show that appeals to me. This one has also already ended too. And no, I won’t be finishing it any time soon. I’m sure many of the fans are overjoyed with this new season and its direction, but I honestly couldn’t care less. Sorry, Production I.G. You’ll never be the old Gainax.
Island – It’s an Anime based on an eroge Visual Novel with loli’s. Need I say more?
Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki – I’m not big on historical shows so I didn’t care for this one at all. Sorry, history buffs.
Joshiochi!: 2-kai kara Onnanoko ga… Futtekita!? – This is not an Ecchi. This is a Hentai. I’ll finish it. For science.
Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight – I’ve seen a lot of love for this one on Twitter, but I honestly thought it was kind of mediocre and really nothing all that special. It has some neat ideas and a lot of personality, but it’s honestly just not really my thing, and it ain’t no Love Live or Tutu. I’ll finish it though.
Not Feeling It – Will Stall For Now:
One Room 2nd Season – Oh boy! Oh boy! Creepy Loli Love Simulator 2! I can’t wait to feel like a creep all over again! Anime of the Season for sure!
Back Street Girls: Gokudolls – Unfortunately Back Street is not back (alright!) and this show is pretty “meh”. I won’t be rocking my body right and neither will everybody.
I can’t wait for nobody to get that terrible joke.
Dropkick On My Devil!! – I want to dropkick this show into oblivion.
I Have Little To Say – The Rest:
Overlord III – I still haven’t seen anything from this franchise outside of the first episode of Season 1. Naturally I didn’t watch this. Is Overlord really that great?
Seven Senses of the Reunion – I some how forgot to watch this even though it’s my kind of show.
Miss caretaker of Sunohara-sou – I forgot to watch this. Seems cute.
High Score Girl – I was excited for this and then forgot it existed until now. Gonna watch it after I publish this.
Holmes at Kyoto Teramachi Sanjo – The premise of this one had me really interested since it sounded like a knock-off version of Tsukumodo Antique Shop, one of my favourite Light Novel series that will probably never get an Anime. I guess I was bitter and didn’t watch it. I’d probably like it too.
Lord of Vermilion: Guren no Ou – Never watched this, but since it’s by Asread, the guys who adapted Future Diary and Big Order, so I expect it’ll be one of those kinds of shows. I’ll probably like it.
Phantom in the Twilight – Didn’t watch. Seems cool.
Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation – Didn’t watch.
SSSS.Gridman – I didn’t even know this existed until now.
Yama no Susume: Third Season – Did not watch First or Second Season.
Senjuushi – I feel bad for not watching the show about Guns: The War.
Ongaku Shoujo (TV) – The girls look cute at least.
Tsukumogami Kashimasu – That poster looks like it was lifted straight out of my worst nightmares.
Please Take My Brother Away 2, Ani ni Tsukeru Kusuri wa Nai! 2nd Season – Apparently there was a first season of a show where someone wants you to take their brother away. I did not watch this show and I don’t think anyone else did either. But it has a sequel: This show. And I’m also sure nobody watched this.
Yami Shibai 6 – More Yami Shibai is good.
BanG Dream! Garupa☆Pico – BanG Dream! is a thing. I have never seen anything from it. Ever.
Kemono Friends 2 – WHAT THE FUCK?! This wasn’t on the seasonal chart a few weeks ago! This hasn’t started airing yet, but this is news to me. Since when was this airing so soon?! Nice one! I look forward to it!
Zoids Wild – Not wild enough for me to check out apparently.
Cinderella Girls Gekijou 3rd Season – One day I will try to watch something from this very cute looking series. Today is not that day.
Cinderella Girls Gekijou: Kayou Cinderella Theater 3rd Season – See above. With theater!
Shinya! Tensai Bakabon – Just looking at this poster makes me feel like I’ve just taken acid.
Hataraku Onii-san! No 2! – JAPANESE LETTERS!
Future Card Shin Buddyfight – What has become of Yu-Gi-Oh…? It’s not Yu-Gi-Oh? Oh… It’s that other thing that’s still a thing. Buddies and cards galore!
Okojo to Yamane – Cute animals doing cute things.
Oshiete Mahou no Pendulum: Rilu Rilu Fairilu – Big, long, scary, Japanese title. Big, blurry, scary, horribly drawn promotional art. This is not a good combination and terrifies me.
Space Bug – Still looks like Bee Movie.
Kaeru Ouji to Imomushi Henry – It’s a show about a caterpillar named Henry. Anime of the Season.
Zannen na Ikimono Jiten – The synopsis for this made me laugh so hard.
“The book series offers humorous introductions to surprising aspects of living creatures, such as ‘raccoons don’t really wash their food,’ and ‘dolphins would drown if they fall completely asleep.’ ”
This sound hilarious.
Hawaiian Conu – I want to go to Hawaii one day. This Anime made me remember that.
Annnnnd that’s everything. I think. Maybe.
If I did miss something feel free to flag it up.
As always I hope you all enjoyed hearing my thoughts on the season so far.
This season is shaping up to be one of the best we’ve had in a while. We’ve got hotly anticipated sequels, such as Attack on Titan Season 3 and the continuing My Hero Academia Season 3. And there’s a ton of new shows as well that are sure to fit just about everyone’s taste, be it the dark focus of Happy Sugar Life, the Sports drama in the form of Hanebado!, the jiggles and giggles of Harukana Receive and we even have a Mecha series that doesn’t suck in the form of Planet With for the often starved Mecha fans. I’m loving most of it so far, even the shows that are a little lower down in my tiers.
Things can change however, and I look forward to seeing how things do change by the end of the season.
What are your first impressions and what are you watching this Season? Let me know down below!