Tuesday, April 3, 2018

It was a Pretty Good 2018 Winter Anime Season

The winter anime season of 2018 is done or winding up.  Looking back on the great offerings on Crunchyroll, I can count a dozen shows I was watching every week, with a few extras thrown in.  That is a lot of anime to follow and there were several I really liked.
Godzilla - Monster Planet toy
Netflix provided a big event for me in the form of Godzilla: Monster Planet, the animated movie.  I didn't have a lot of high hopes on this flick, but I really wanted to see it.  When I was in Tokyo, there were ads and merchandise for the movie in many places.  I even got a t-shirt! I did enjoy the movie, but it was kind of problematic for suspension of disbelief, and I know that you already have to kind of put part of your brain in park with any giant monster movie.  The concept of human survivors returning to a post, monster apocalyptic world is kind of cool, but the fact humanity actually has intersteller spaceships should make killing Godzilla easy.  The simple way to kill a giant monster without tons of nukes is to send down a team or drones to locate it, then fire big rocks and hyper-velocity penetrators at it from orbit at your leisure.  Basically you bomb it to death from space with an infinite number of projectiles, and put it into a crater that is a mile deep with no casualties.  Having said all this, I like Godzilla so I'll be watching the sequel movie with popcorn.

The shows I was following weekly were:
  1. A Place Further Than the Universe
  2. Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
  3. DARLING in the FRANXX
  4. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
  5. Katana Maidens
  6. Laid-Back Camp
  7. March Comes in Like a Lion season 2
  8. Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles
  9. Overlord season 2
  10. Record of Grancrest War
  11. Space Battleship Yamato 2199
  12. Today's Menu for the Emiya Family
  13. Violet Evergarden
There weren't any mecha anime other than DARLING in the FRANXX airing.  Darling was a show that kind of grew on me due to the characters and world building, but I almost gave up on it after the first couple of episodes.  Space Battleship Yamato wasn't new or mecha, but it was a show with a battleship I hadn't seen yet so it was kind of a substitute. 

My favourite anime this season is probably Laid-Back Camp as it was so relaxing and was just about a bunch of girls having fun camping and eating good food in the outdoors.  A great show with great art that makes you want to camp too.  I was pretty much hooked by the first episode and all of the joy that went into eating a curry cup noodle from Nadeshiko.  Second up would be March Comes in Like a Lion season 2.  The arcs where Rei goes to play in the Shogi match (and ends up stranded) and the Hinata being bullied arc were just amazing.  Great characters and storytelling with great art again.

After these two shows, A Place Further Than the Universe, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, Katana Maidens, Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles, and Overlord season 2 were pretty darn good shows.  Katana Maidens was the weakest of the bunch here with a kind of so-so start, but it developed in depth and story from the typical magical girls show.  Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles was fun too as it gave some ramen history and showed several restaurants I had been to.  Hakata Tonotsu Ramens really reminded me of Cowboy Bebop in many ways from character traits to art direction, especially in the credits and ending.  Overlord has been a fun fantasy romp all along and the second season is building the story nicely.  A Place Further was a really nice friendship story about a group of girls who dream of joining an Antarctic expedition.  One of the characters lost her mother there and it does a nice job of finding closure for her with the support of her friends.

Finally, Netflix has a couple of great original animations in the form of Violet Evergarden and A.I.C.O. Incarnation.  AICO is a pretty good science fiction anime with just a slightly deux exed kind of ending, but it was consistently good all the way through.  Violet Evergarden was a great character show about Violet who starts as a unemotional child super-soldier who need to find her place in the world.  She becomes a "Doll," a member of a profession that acts as ghostwriters with typewriters that can channel the emotions and true messages of people into text.  She discovers her emotions as she learns this job.

I'm enjoying Cardcaptor Sakura too with the clear cards.  It is a simple anime that captures the spirit of the original nicely (now with smartphones which didn't exist for the first series as it was so long ago).  Last up, is Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (similarities to In Another World With My Smartphone).  Death March is pretty much a harem anime with another programmer trapped in a gaming world with super abilities.  This show is fun to watch, but not exactly something that will be a classic.

That's all for now, enjoy the new spring anime season starting now.


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