I did not know exactly what to do as a year-end theme. I would have liked a thorough analysis of the western otaku community throughout 2018, but that is something that requires more planning and that I should have started preparing before. Then I thought about talking in general about the most important animes of each season. In the end, I opted for a top of favorites because it is a format that works very well, people like it a lot and allows me to briefly specify the most outstanding points of each work. We'll see what falls next year.

So, what goes into this top? Animes that have finished in 2018. No sequels, no movies, no series of OVAs and no things that remain in broadcast. Why? Because it comes out of my nose and allows me to put more new things in the top.

Before I begin, I want to emphasize that not all the animes of the year together could make 3-gatsu no Lion's nipples stand on end, let's not even talk about getting him to come.

10. Yuru Camp

When the animewas announced I expected something decent to come out of this, but not that I would become so good and loved by the community. Yuru Camp is a series in which nothing important happens in 12 chapters; only a group of protagonists that goes camping. The work has a slow pace, recreating in general planes of the places you visit (to highlight those precious funds). It is one of the most comfies things of the last years, and I have testimonies of people who have camped and points out the tremendous research that anime has. I would be even higher if it were not because I did not love the majority of the group, although that is for a totally personal reason: for me to go to the country is to keep quiet and enjoy the scenery. That's why I had a better time with Rin than with Nadeshiko. But come on, it's a pretty perfect series in its genre and you should keep an eye on it.

9. Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight

Of all the top, this is the anime that less "I recommend to everyone". However, as it fits with your interests, you will be freaking out during each episode. The plot situates us in a school of dramatic art, where the students compete to reach the top of the entertainment world. This series would not be here if it were not for its incredible staging. The conflicts between characters are presented through choreographed battles, long scenes with an excellent shounen animation that develop to the rhythm of a song. Yep, we're talking about a musical anime. And I can assure you that even if you do not empathize with the topics about the competition and the art that the anime poses, at least you will be left open-mouthed with these incredible exercises of audiovisual technique. Give him a chance! If you do not like it, you'll shit on me.

8. Hinamatsuri

I have a less complete memory of Hinamatsuri than I would like. My spring season was starring the EVAU taking all my time and a tremendous rush in June to be moderately up to date. Hinamatsuri I ended up seeing on the mobile during displacements, and it is definitely an anime that I would like to return with more calm because not only had great concepts, but executed them fucking well. The synopsis is that of a girl with powers that ends up living with a yakuza. But, contrary to what you would expect, it does not have any of the negative tropes that tend to have this type of series. Between a hilarious visual humor it gets to deepen in plots like the one of Anzu (treating subjects that include the life without ceiling or the bets) and the one of Hitomi (pretty good exploration of the relation of a person with its work and its family).Hinamatsuri is a series that deserves an opportunity, and if it is not for its comic side, you will end up loving it for the dramatic one.

7. Asobi Asobase

In a certain sense, Asobi Asobase supposed the opposite case to me that Hinamatsuri. In summer I had all the time I wanted to enjoy each episode week after week. And while Hinamatsuri surprised me by his sensitivity to certain themes, Asobi Asobase did so by taking his sense of humor to extremes in sketches that worked on their own. It is a fucking despiporre of bizarre jokes, bordering on the eschatological, who see their effectiveness multiplied by 1000 thanks to their millions of visual resources. The faces, the backgrounds, the color, the compositions ... everything is at the service of creating the most extreme bullshit possible. And how can we forget about that job of anime figurats seiyuus! All are incredible, but if you have to highlight someone, it's Hina Kino as Hanako. We are before an actress who comes to play very minor roles in anime that you may have seen (and a loli orgasmando Masou Gakuen HxH) and suddenly has left the throat in a very difficult role with excellent results. Let's not lose the trajectory.

6. Violet Evergarden

Ok, this is difficult. Violet Evergarden is a collection of love forms. The protagonist is a person who has only known misfortune and enters a world of scars from a war that has just ended, where the bonds between people are the source of all happiness and misery for the people who populate it. Violet meets fraternal and romantic love, the idealized and the visceral, the one that opens new beginnings and the one that closes tragedies. All this will lead her to understand herself throughout the autoconclusive episodes posed by the work, to finally face her own loss. First as an intrapersonal test in chapters 8 and 9, and then as the ultimate understanding of his relationship with the people around him in episodes 10 and 11. The end is a brooch that had to be put on and little else; we'll see if the movie makes more sense. It is a very intelligent structure but it is easy to understand why what happened happened: people said that it should have ended in 9 because it was the dramatic climax ... We are so accustomed to the same narrative fictions over and over again, that we realize that, in real life, the evolution of a person continues until he dies, and he will always have to face new challenges where he will put to the test what he has learned. And in all this talk I have not yet talked about the best technical and musical section of the year. But that's better if you see it for yourself and that I shut up ...

5. Yagate Kimi ni Naru

After the extremely toxic way of representing relationships in Citrus, many of us expected the next great yuri with a mixture of fear and high expectations. I ventured into Yagate's manga Kimi ni Naru before the animated adaptation reached Japanese TV, and it was one of the most surprising and rewarding readings of the year. The relationship between the protagonists is not limited to presenting the romance as a means and goal to achieve in the work, but raises a story about two people finding in the other, respectively, a step to overcome their insecurities and a way to evade their problems. After many works exploring the theme of identity (personal, non-sexual) of twisted and metaphysical forms, I found in Yagate Kimi ni Naru an extremely practical and simple answer to the question "Who am I?" The animated version of this story has met all my expectations, although the open end with about three volumes of manga to adapt is a rope to tie. It is something that will be a nuisance to non-readers (precisely at the moment of the argument where everything was ready to explode!) And what holds me against giving it a place on the podium. However, my experience with the anime was wonderful: it is a series that you should take a good look at, and when the time comes, it will be my turn to play the "read the manga" card against you. Let's pray for a second season that closes the story.

4. SSSS.Gridman

1576/5000 Gridman is a chaotic mix of visual resources typical of what was the old Gainax. If Violet Evergarden is a work that expresses her love of the medium through preciosity, paused narrative and a direct thematic axis, Gridman is her perfect opposite. The director of this, Akira Amemiya, is, quite simply, like a whore goat. Anything that you want to express in the work, will do it by removing from the ass an extreme visual metaphor and as subtle as an elephant. For example: if you want to symbolize emotional distancing between two characters, impossibilities to connect, how do you do it with the tools that audiovisual language gives you? Atsushi Nishigori, who is a sane lord, did this in the first episode of Darling in the FranXX. Placing a vertical line in the form of a wall just in front of Hiro, cutting the axis of their gazes, shows how he is not able to reach it. Very well, it shows that he knows what he is doing. Now let's see what Amemiya did in episode 3 of SSSS.Gridman, on this plane, one of my favorites throughout the year. The turkey focuses on two mirrors reflecting the image in such a way that the characters go from looking at their backs. And they are not even looking at each other. It is the least subtle thing in the Universe and I LOVE IT. Well, well for 12 episodes. To this we must add constant references, tributes and plagiarism in the name of good art, a thousand visual resources more like the use of live-action to give a thematic sense to the work, and ultimately an anime that started above and with its last 4 chapters touched the sky.

3. Planet With

Entering the podium we find Planet With, maybe the most undeservedly unknown and underrated anime of the year. I remember perfectly when the first episode came out and he fell a mountain of enormous shit for his way of throwing yourself into the argument without explaining anything and showing an unorthodox CGI in the mechas. I showed myself something distant: the series had good ideas, sending to hell the trope of amnesia in the first episode to present the protagonist as a vengeful antihero. What I did not expect is that he would exploit his narrative concepts so absurdly. In the first place, we have one of the most morally gray series of the year, constantly questioning the motivations and objectives of its characters. And in the second place ... this goes TO ALL HOSTIA. The end of chapter 6 would be the end of season of any other anime, and from there ... I do not want to make spoilers, but the thing is out of whack. It gives them time to put as 4 final battles, 2 time skips at least, go to space and give us a Third Impact gift. Every time I explain the concept of rhythm that this series has to a person, it is always with the same example: one of the episodes begins with the protagonist challenging a boss of the antagonists to stay within a week to "finish this Once for all". Inside opening, and you while you think "Now will play episode of preparation for the next chapter to see the battle". However, the end of the intro receives you with a "One week later", and are already giving of hosts. Planet With is an exercise in reductive narrative where the only thing that remains in the structure is what is vital for the script, and everything else goes out in pursuit of a devilish rhythm and a thematic axis that is a fucking madness. Carry out an act of faith and give this unique work some chapters to raise your ideas. Do not make the mistake of dropping it in the first episode before it has been explained!

2. Devilman: Crybaby

If I'm honest, I've had a split heart with Devilman: Crybaby. And that's because his screenwriter is not the person with the best talent in the world. We speak of Ichiro Okouchi, author of "For example, if I told you to kill all the Japanese ...". Of course, Lelouch, you DID NOT HAVE ANOTHER SLUT THING TO PROPOSE. The fact is that the thematic axis of Devilman is somewhat broken. You have Miki lecturing you about how bad humanity is in the most cheesy way possible, and an antagonist like Ryou quite unselfconscious. But the case, is that after much thinking ... I give everything the same. Crybaby is a unique and incredible aesthetic experience. Masaaki Yuasa puts hundreds of audiovisual resources into practice to represent sex and violence in the most creative or fucked-up ways, with an incredible expressionist animation that only adds to your crazy world. When it came out on January 5, 2018 on Netflix, like so many other people, I saw it in one sitting. It was an incredible trip. He showed me a wild reflection of the part of me that only wants blood and fuck, and with its last chapters I generated an emotional catharsis that burst inside me. I remember swinging slowly on a swing after finishing the series, so shocked by what I had witnessed that I felt unable to consume anything else. Memories like Akira's parents in the fourth episode do not disappear from my memory, or the end of chapter 9. I can understand all the negative criticisms of the way in which he handles certain topics. I can even utter them myself. But above that there is a much stronger emotion that does not care about everything. By the way, Parasyte is very good.

1. Koi wa Ameagari no You ni

Koi wa Ameagari no You or is not fair for all other premieres this year. Nothing has the elegance and delicacy that this series exhume for every pore. Its elongated designs, its very detailed backgrounds, its paused rhythm in the most personal scenes, its animation that never decays, its perfect and beautiful compositions, one after the other, its work with the simultaneous movement of characters and camera, its flow of the episode through parallels between scenes and plans ... it's just nice to see how everything unfolds on the screen. Even Violet Evergarden sins of sentimentality in some of its moments. That does not happen here. Earlier I talked, with Yagate Kimi ni Naru, about how a relationship between characters can be more than a mere romance. This is the perfect example. I do not even consider KoiAme a romance. Akira is unilaterally in love with Kondou, or rather channels her emotional deficiencies perfectly explored and justified through an almost sickly obsession that the series portrays with prudence. The relationship that these two characters develop, regardless of what qualifier you want to use to denote it, is one where two lost souls will show each other the way. A girl insecure about what she wants or needs and a man full of regret and confusion. While this evolution is being carried out, chapter by chapter, through metaphors that show us to the heart of these people, a secondary cast is developing a perfect network of thematic counterpoints: while Akira is headed with a utopia, Yui has an opportunity with Takashi; Chihiro returns to the life of Kondou to fill him even more with remorse, but with them comes an even greater doubt. The most reprehensible characteristic of this marvel is a certain rusheo appreciable in the last episodes. When dealing with 10 volumes, some juggling had to be done to maintain the thematic axis that they unleashed in certain abruptness when introducing the final events. Maybe, lengthening a bit these last bars, I would have considered the perfect anime in my list of things that would not change anything at all. But, frankly, it seems a trifle if we look at the indescribable feat made by Wit Studio and Ayumu Watanbe. Koi wa Ameagari no You nor I seem a must series, and if I had to recommend a single anime of all the new releases of 2018, it would be her. But does it really matter what is the best anime of 2018? Of course not. First, because there is no "best anime" 100% objective, but each one will have his own. But, above all, hierarchy is not something we should take very seriously. This year I've seen amazing things in my favorite hobby, all in totally different works from each other, and each one standing out for a different reason. That I have given the # 1 position to KoiAme does not mean that I will forget about Yuru Camp. I will simply keep in mind both of them and will value the work and skill behind both extremely. I say that I like KoiAme more, but if I stayed with friends we would probably see Planet With or Devilman. No work of art is better than another, and that's why I was reluctant when it came to riding a top. But in the end it came out that way, and I'm happy with the result. It has been a great pleasure to enjoy all the animes that I have talked about in this topic, and also those that I have not been able to talk about. What noses! Even the writing disaster that was Darling in the FranXX was a great experience. And all thanks to a wonderful community that is always willing to mess it up when Ichigo sticks his tongue in Hiro or "a couple of people" decide that it's a good idea to sexualize Bowser. Without us, anime would not suppose for me what it supposes. Thanks for so much, guys.
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