As 2018 comes to an end, it is about time for me to look back over all the anime I watched during the year and pick out my ten favourite shows. This year, I watched a total of fifty-one different anime series, so narrowing that lot down to just ten will be interesting, to say the least.
Anything that started airing in 2018 will be considered, though I will only be sticking with the seasonal anime – so no OVAs or anything like that on this list. With that said and done, here are my top ten anime of 2018.
No. 10: Ms. Vampire who lives in my neighborhood.
There have been plenty of cute girls doing cute things anime in 2018, but the one that stands head and shoulders above the rest, for me at least, is Ms. Vampire who lives in my neighborhood.. It begins when doll-obsessed Akari Amano moves in with a vampire girl named Sophie Twilight. Akari does not hide her infatuation with the vampire, due to her doll-like features.
We are also introduced to Akari’s friend Hinata, and another vampire named Ellie. The things that those four girls get up to are fun and cute, with plenty of humour present as well.
No. 9: ZOMBIE LAND SAGA
ZOMBIE LAND SAGA plays with your expectations, delivering an absolutely stellar first two episodes. It then reveals itself to be an idol show, but there is one big twist to it: the idols are zombies. Even after it falls into more typical idol tropes, most of the members of Franchouhou (the zombie idol group) are given such fantastic character arcs that it will always keep you coming back for more.
No. 8: Harukana Receive
A beach volleyball anime, and it was quite simply a lot of fun. Yes, there was plenty of swimsuit fanservice here, but that was on top of fantastic characters, compelling drama and some thrilling beach volleyball matches.
Of course, you can’t mention Harukana Receive without bringing up Akari’s song, Happy Happy Shequasar.
No. 7: Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
Personally, I couldn’t get into Sword Art Online, but it is a completely different story when it comes to this spinoff. Watching LLENN gun down her foes in the world of Gun Gale Online was such a joy, and it only gets better when LLENN is joined by her friend Fukaziroh. Pitohui is also a very notable character, especially when she gets to let loose on the battlefield.
No. 6: Laid-Back Camp
Without a doubt, the comfiest anime that is on this list. Just watching this show will make you feel as comfortable as a member of Secret Society BLANKET. It’s about girls going camping. One lass, Rin Shima, prefers to camp alone, but not long after meeting Nadeshiko Kagamihara she learns of the joys of camping with friends.
This show certainly lives up to its title.
No. 5: Cells at Work!
Cells at Work! was a blast to watch, being all about the cells that toil away inside your body to ensure that everything works correctly. It’s certainly an educational anime, but its presented in such a fun manner. The character designs are stellar, and they all bring their own unique personalities to make for a memorable cast – even the antigens that the cells have to contend with.
When talking about Cells at Work!, you have to make special mention of the Platelets; arguably the most adorable characters this year. Can’t forget their song, “Sensei Anone”, either.
No. 4: Revue Starlight
Revue Starlight was another anime that defied expectations. First impressions make it seem like it will follow the pattern of idol anime, but then the first audition happened. The auditions scattered throughout Revue Starlight are brilliant, all presented with songs that tie in closely with whichever character is getting the focus at the time.
Again, another case of a fantastic cast of characters. Their various motivations for becoming Top Star gives us some compelling viewing.
No. 3: A Place Further Than the Universe
A story about four girls embarking on an expedition to Antarctica. Some might initially write it off as another cute girls doing cute things anime, but there is far more to it than just that. Shirase’s motivation to go to Antarctica is an incredibly important part of this, and the friendships that form between the girls during their trip make watching A Place Further Than the Universe an absolute joy.
This show is one that has lots of little details hidden in its backgrounds, and there’s definitely some things that you should pay close attention to when it comes to dialogue as well. It is all capped off with an emotional finale.
No. 2: Bloom Into You
An absolutely incredible adaptation of Nio Nakatani’s yuri manga, Bloom Into You is required viewing for anyone who considers themselves a fan of yuri. Even if yuri isn’t typically your thing, Bloom Into You is such a beautiful anime; the way it looks, the characters interactions… everything about it is absolutely wonderful.
I’ve been collecting and reading the manga, but even that didn’t prepare me for how good this adaptation ended up being.
No. 1: Hugtto! PreCure
Hugtto! PreCure may not have finished at the time of writing, but almost every week it aired, it delivered episodes that were an absolute joy to watch. I will hold up my hands and say there were few exceptions, but what do you expect from a show that aired through four different seasons? Besides, when it was good, it was really good. Hugtto! PreCure‘s best moments more than make up for its lesser parts.
This show celebrates 15 years of PreCure, and it does that with aplomb. It has plenty of nods to PreCure‘s history throughout its run, and takes those to make its own story. The Cures in this season are absolutely wonderful characters in their own ways, though it has to be Emiru Aisaki and Ruru Amour who stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Yuri subtext has always been a part of PreCure, but those two go beyond subtext. Their relationship has been the source of some of PreCure strongest episodes from the entire franchise.
I could probably go on and on about why I love Hugtto! PreCure so much, but I’ll spare you for now. Just know that it has absolutely been by favourite anime experience of 2018.
That concludes my top ten anime of 2018. There have been some incredibly strong shows this year, and many of them have been really, really good for yuri fans. Will I be happy with this list if I look back at it in a few months’ time? Probably not, but much like my top ten video games of 2018, this is the list I have chosen to commit to the internet.