Best of Winter 2018


Welcome to the Best of Winter 2018 post where we look back on and celebrate everything great about the last season in anime. While we always find things to criticise and nitpick, it is important to remember the great things that anime gives us each season (which would be why we all keep watching season after season). Below are some of my favourites as well as the reader’s choice for the season.

To the awards…

Best Story – Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens


Is it the most original thing ever? Not really. It isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but it is competent. This is a story that knows not to introduce things without a purpose and doesn’t drag out its moments. With great pacing, some interesting developments, and some very cohesive writing, this is definitely my pick for story of the season.

Best Visuals – March Comes in Like a Lion 2


Do we need another retelling of why I think this show is visually amazing? This show just manages spot on representations of emotions and those intangible ideas that usually elude us when we try to explain them. It is fantastic to watch and always remains interesting.

Best Opening – Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens


Okay, it might just be something with me and jazzy openings but much like ACCA’s opening last year, this one I just genuinely enjoyed listening to week after week and it always put me in the mood to watch the show.

Best Character – Hina (March Comes in Like a Lion 2)


No doubt about it, Hina underwent the most interesting character arc of the season and even after her moment was done, she kept growing from the incident and interacting with others in a meaningful way. Hina and Rei are definitely amazing together and Hina was my favourite character of the season.

Bonus Category – Cutest Anime Character of the Season – Mii-Kun 


And now…

Best Anime of the Winter 2018 Season – March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2


Was there ever any doubt? Really?

Seriously, I loved this show. I loved everything about this second season. It had such an amazing impact on me and I looked forward to it each and every week. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to fill the space March has left in my line up (given it isn’t just watching the show, it is the processing of the episode that takes the time and then the rewatching, the basking in the screen caps, the discussing it, etc). Thanks everyone who followed along with my reviews of this one and joined in the conversations each week.

Finally, Reader’s Choice

Winter Best Of

Once again, the full graph wouldn’t fit properly, but here are the shows that were voted for. I will point out, that until the last hour, March Comes in Like a Lion was winning. In the final hour, two votes came in and knocked it down. Instead, we give the Reader’s Choice to A Place Further Than the Universe, which is more or less what I expected to see win when the voting started. It just took awhile to get going.

The vote was incredibly tight the whole time. Still, the top 3 titles have been decided and they will all go into the poll at the end of the year for anime of the year. So, I have three more seasons to convince everyone to vote for March Comes in Like a Lion (assuming nothing better comes out).

Again, thanks everyone for participating and hopefully you have had fun finding out what has won. Looking forward to what the Spring season has to offer and hopefully we’ll all do this again in three months to pick the best and worst of Spring.

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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15 thoughts on “Best of Winter 2018

  1. Some fantastic choices here.

    I’d imagine March would have been one of my best too if I’d watched it (I’m still catching up on the first season from waaaaay back)

    Hopefully it comes back for a third season sooner rather than later (or never).

    1. March is one of those strange shows where if it never came back, I’d be okay with that because what we have is so good. That said, if it does come back for a third season I’ll be dancing with anticipation and it will definitely be a show I am hyped about.

  2. I don’t remember what I voted for the Best of poll now that I think of it, so how did Zoku Touken Ranbu Hanamaru do?

    Also, your post reminds me that March is still sitting in my PTW, amongst a bunch of other titles I still have to get to…I am cleaning out some space on my watchlist now that I’m waiting for the spring titles to come in, though, so I might get there. Keyword being “might” – I’ve been going slower than usual on the ReLIFE OVAs, for one thing…

  3. Interesting…
    I guess ppl liked ancient magus bride? I was kind of worried it would fizzle out- and I haven’t watched past episode like 5- but I guess I was wrong?
    The pessimist in me kinda worries that Hakata won the plot area for being competent…
    Good word for it, although that doesn’t reflect well on the rest of this season. 😧

    1. It is amazing though how good competence looks. Particularly in plot. So many stories either have really simple plots and rely on characters to carry the interest, or their plots don’t make a lot of logical sense and they just drop explainers in and hope the audience will nod and keep watching. Hakata actually had a reasonably complex plot (not overly complex but more complicated than boy met girl and then they hang out) and managed to foreshadow with purpose, bring multiple plot threads together, and give us decent characterisation. So while not exceptional, competent and that kind of makes it stand out regardless of the anime season we’re discussing.

    1. For about the first two hours it was winning the vote. I’m kind of glad it didn’t win, but it is nice to see some people enjoyed it.

  4. Hina’s story arch made me so happy. I was so relieve to finally see a teacher do something and that she didn’t let the bullies win. I like that moment where she asked if she had to forgive them. The feeling it gave me was so… ugh. She is a good person and she knows maybe the right thing to do is forgive, but what they did was unforgivable and their apologies weren’t worth a crap.
    It was so hard to watch her get bullied it was just a nice moment for them that she grew and even with the haircut getting to start over in a new place. I know there will be new problems…
    I also felt like I jerk… I screamed at the TV for her older sister to say something. How many moments do I let go by and I’m frozen with how to respond to someone attacking me or those I love. I really wanted her sister to have that moment where she could stand up, but it was again done very well and it was real. So real that we often go in with the best intentions to fight for the ones we love but then fail them in our mind.
    Ugh a great season and I’m said it is over.

    1. I’m with you. I’m really sorry to see this one end for the season and there has so far been no mention of a third season. Not that it needs one, I just really want it. This anime has been amazing to watch and I want more of these characters and this particular style of drama that just feels so incredibly real and yet always manages to be interesting.

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