The Spring 2018 Anime Season is coming to a close shortly and while there have been some hiccups (Oh Fist of the Blue Sky...) I am now confident I can say wholeheartedly this has been my favorite season in over a decade. I am not joking a literal decade. Spring 2008 to be precise; a season that saw classics like Code Geass R2 and Soul Eater premier and I would say Spring 2018 actually tops that in key and meaningful ways. In fact Spring 2018 actually reminded me why watching Seasonal Anime can be so fun. Here are a list of all my favorite shows (which is nearly every one I am watching funny enough) that have aired this season.
Tokyo Ghoul :re
My initial reaction to Tokyo Ghoul’s return to television was one of confusion. Mostly regarding how on Earth they would adapt :re due to the absolute mess they made in producing Tokyo Ghoul √A. Which had the effect of leaving the original Tokyo Ghoul manga half adapted. Considering Tokyo Ghoul :re is a direct sequel to Tokyo Ghoul and not a spin-off there would of course be issues.
As it turned out Studio Pierrot took one of my predicted routes and the one I personally hoped for - a totally faithful adaptation of the :re manga. Effectively ignoring all the changes to the manga made by Tokyo Ghoul √A. Of course this is not a bad thing or much of an issue as the obtuse nature of :re lends itself to the strangeness of the adaptation. In short Tokyo Ghoul :re is everything I wanted it to be; a proper adaptation of a manga I rather enjoy. With its second season coming rather quickly its already proven to be superior to Tokyo Ghoul in one key way - it will have a proper ending.
The Legend of The Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These
There is only one flaw that matters with The Legend of the Galactic Heroes and that is the series length. If The Legend of the Galactic Heroes was announced to be one hundred episodes tomorrow I would be over the moon. As the 2018 adaptation is shaping to be almost a 1:1 retelling of the original masterpiece which is both surprising and awesome.
With the exception of some production issues behind the scenes the updated classic hits all the right beats. Furthermore, being an incredible example of a near extinct genre - the Space Opera - The Legend of the Galactic Heroes is an anime I feel needs to exist so modern audiences can get acquainted with a military, sci-fi anime, that doesn’t involve mechs and bishonen. It is just a damn shame we will likely see only a small part of this wonderful series.
I do not think there is very much to say about Golden Kamuy that has not already been said elsewhere. It is really good and you should be watching it. While it has its flaws like oddly utilized CG, in general its strength flaw outweigh those superficial issues.
Furthermore, with the second season announced already announced it us clear Golden Kamuy is using a new trend in manga adaptation. Quick high quality seasons follows by short hiatuses. Largely allowing the adaptations to avoid the filler trap. This is great as Golden Kamuy is a story that has very little fat.
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
Continuing on from last season Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card has managed to recapture the magic of the original and give audiences the first fully enjoyable CLAMP series since Tsubasa and xxxHolic’s last OVA nearly a decade prior. For fans of the original it was a great nostalgia trip while simultaneously being a story that managed to stand on its own two feet.
However, once again its biggest flaw was its “ending” which plainly wasn’t one, as the manga continues none of the big questions were really answered. How the series fits together and its place inn the greater CLAMPverse remains a mystery. Here is hoping for a Season Two down the line.
My Hero Academia S3
My Hero Academia is not perfect despite how much praise it receives. However right now it is undeniably the best shonen anime on the market - bar none and its Season Three now reaching the half way point is a perfect testament to why. The actions, the characterization, the emotional melodrama, the animation, everything in this series just works. If you like shonen you’ll LOVE My Hero Academia and even if you’re not a fan of shonen you’ll still likely find something to like here.
Gundam Build Divers
My relationship with the “Build” sub franchise of Gundam is a little uneven. While I loved Gundam Build Fighters its sequel Gundam Build Fighters Try was just not as good. However, its third entry that as of now is completely independent to the other continuity is actually a whole lot of fun.
While it does represent Gundam’s fall to the Iseki trend it does so in a fun way. At its core Gundam Build Divers is an excuse for some serious Gundam fanservice and it has that in spades. A pink reskinned Gundam Deathsycthe is just one of the many awesome designs the series features. Its just a damn shame the OO Driver Ace is not really that distinct from its canon counterpart the OO Raiser.
Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
Last but not least for series I am fully caught up on is Full Metal Panic: Invisible Victory and anime that should not exist but yet does. While it is clear there are some SERIOUS issues behind the scenes with this series I do not care. It is Full Metal Panic: IV a series I had given up on years ago.
What is amazing is despite there being over a decade between its prior airing and now, so little has actually changed. The series still has managed to capture all of what made the original so captivating and engaging. While I do not know what the future holds I cherish every moment Invisible Victory is on the scene. Just god damn those recap episodes...
I believe looking back I will remember Spring 2018 quite fondly as it has been a season that helped remind me why watching seasonal anime can be so fun. It also helps there are so many series that have some serious talent and love behind them and the actual return of long MIA anime Full Metal Panic! was a nice cherry on top. In the year of sequels Spring 2018 is the leading light. Here is hoping the rest of 2018 is as good as Spring was.
Further Series I enjoy but not caught up on: Sword Art Online Alternative and Hinamatsuri. I also adored Netflix’s Aggretsuko which I guess technically is part of Spring 2018.
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