As much as I love a good horror anime, I will admit romance is a great binge worthy genre and is definitely appropriate when you are just in the mood to relax and be carried on a wave of emotions. However, with romance anime come confession scenes and a lot of these really stand out. Today I’m counting down my top 5 favourite anime confession scenes and I’d love to know what some of your favourites are.
By the way, there are definitely spoilers below particularly for numbers 4, 2 and 1. You’ve been warned.
Just the one honourable mention because I’m certain I will get plenty of others in the comments. I’m throwing Kokoro Connect in here mostly because of how grounded the characters were about the love triangle that actually resolved into an actual relationship with all of the characters properly acknowledging their feelings.
This one is representative of all those anime that shout their confessions aloud for the world to hear. It is a standard trope and yet Bunny Girl Senpai, in its usual fine form, managed to make this scene the climax of its first and strongest arc with Sakuta running outside the classroom and shouting his love for Mai at the top of his lungs at the building. I’m still left wondering why he didn’t end up in more trouble for that stunt disrupting all those classes but it certainly got the point across even if Mai didn’t actually accept the confession until nearly a month later.
Number 4: Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood
What is more adorable than two dorks falling in love and fumbling their way through it? Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood gave us brilliant characters and action with a fairly epic scale plot but it was this scene at the train station right at the end, where Ed finally confesses to Winry (proposes actually), that really hit home for me and left me feeling like I’d just watched something incredibly special (okay, there were other moments in the show that did a similar thing but this has the advantage of being the point the show leaves us on). So happy this moment happened and so happy that Ed was true to Ed in how he did it.
Number 3: Dakaichi
This one if it happened in reality would probably be a little bit on the creepy side (okay, hold the little bit – it would just be creepy) but as a well delivered line in an anime this one near stopped my heart and I wasn’t even a big fan of Junta. However, when he stares right at Takato (and at the audience) and declares ‘I want you’ there is no doubt that this is a clear and straightforward declaration of love and one we don’t get very often in anime where so many characters blush and stumble their way through confessions. Seriously, this one can give you shivers. Now if we just take away the lack of consent earlier and the possessive nature of this relationship we could have one of the most beautiful love confessions ever.
Again, what is more adorable than two dorks in love? You have to admit, this particular moment between Yuuta and Rikka, or rather the Dark Flame Master and the Keeper of the Tyrant’s Eye is spectacularly adorkable. hiding behind their personas, or in Rikka’s case for awhile her umbrella, this sequence under the bridge is one of those moments that just leaves you wanting to hug both the characters and never let them go. Sure, they’ve still got a long way to go, but seriously this moment was absolutely delightful.
This one is notable for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it doesn’t happen at either the beginning or the end of the series but is more of a mid-season moment. Secondly, it isn’t the main character confessions that stopped my heart cold, it was actually the support characters, and one in particular who prior to this had mostly been comic relief, who really stepped up and delivered a scene that can literally melt your heart. As Otonashi is trying to help Yui cross over, after a lot of mucking about she admits she wanted to fall in love but no one would have loved her because she was home-bound when she was alive. Normally you would suspect the main character would reassure her that someone would love her but Otonashi freezes and in that moment Hinata steps up to the plate delivering one of the most unforgettable confession speeches of all time and over-ruling any objection she might have. He plans out how they would have met and how their relationship would have gone. He declares he would have stayed with her. He takes away all her fears and ultimately helps her find peace. It is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
And there we have it, my top 5 favourite anime confessions. So now it is your turn. Confess. Which anime confession made your heart go doki doki?
What Could Go Wrong When The Two Sexiest Guys Get Together?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way. MAL lists this one as a shounen-ai but honestly this one pushes it a bit further than that. While it doesn’t go as far as the source material for this one went and avoids the actual rape in the first episode, there’s still some problematic aspects to how these two guys end up together and Takato gets nearly sexually assaulted by more than one character. If that doesn’t sound like your kind of anime then I’ll thank you for clicking on my post and recommend you check out one of my other series reviews.
For those still with me, I really had a lot of fun with Dakaichi. Another rare case where for whatever reason I actually read the source material of this one a while back (though it turns out my memory of it is a bit hazy). I was very curious as to how this would work as an anime and even more curious as to how it was airing on Crunchyroll given it seemed a little more racy than their usual fare (then again with the Goblin Slayer explosion this one just flew straight under the community radar – or the people who chose to watch it just knew what they were getting into and weren’t all that worried about it).
I reviewed this one at four week intervals with Arthifis and I will admit those conversations greatly added to the fun of viewing what might have otherwise been a reasonably mediocre anime. As much as there are aspects of this I loved, I can’t deny that from an execution point of view there are a number of miss-steps and parts that are just plain average. But, it is one of those titles that is better to watch with someone. Being able to discuss your favourite scene or moment, or ask what someone else’s take on a particular moment was, is one of those really fun aspects that you lose when you watch anime alone. There were also a few others on Twitter that were following this one and I will admit there were more than a few fun screen caps and fan arts floating around. Throw in Cactus Matt and Irina’s collaboration posts week to week and this was a really fun seasonal viewing experience.
Right, so I just admitted it isn’t that great an anime but the social aspect of watching this one was fun. Which makes me wonder what this will be like to people picking it up after the season is done and binge watching it.
And realistically this one comes down to whether or not you like BL. If you are into Boys Love, this one is actually a pretty good title for the genre. Then again, given the limited number of actual Boys Love titles that don’t just tip-toe around the are they/aren’t they aspects being good for the genre isn’t exactly a glowing recommendation.
But there are some fairly strong points for this in terms of being a decent BL title.
Firstly Takato as the protagonist is an absolutely fantastic character. Sure, every single guy he meets (almost) tries to eat him for some reason, but he’s not a push over (for anyone outside of Junta). He’s also really great to watch in his daily life. Honestly, I’d happily watch this show devoid of the relationship aspect and just watching Takato rise up as an actor and hold his own on the set. Seeing him on stage, filming, at photo shoots, and just seeing how he dealt with relationships and roles in different studios was fantastic. This really helps elevate the show when the main character doesn’t just exist to be in a relationship but has an actual life that the relationship has to fit into.
When you pair Takato with Junta, outside of Junta being creepily pushy early on and practically a stalker (standard BL tropes that are definitely being employed), the two actually work really well together. By the time we get an episode from Junta’s perspective showing how he viewed the start of their relationship, his character had kind of grown on me and I actually ended up liking him.
Of course that made me wonder why I found Junta kind of charming compared to Usagi from Junjou Romantica and partially the answer is found in the comparative positions of the two characters. Junjou Romantica has Usagi taking advantage of the student he is supposed to be tutoring and then more or less being the one taking care of Misaki once his brother leaves and it creates a fairly dodgy power imbalance which means that the relationship always sits awkwardly. While Junta starts off as creepy as Usagi, both Takato and Junta are adults who are more than capable of being independent and Takato is actually the older and more successful of the two so isn’t dependent on Junta in the slightest. It is just enough of a difference to help take some of the creepiness out of the whole situation, though this is still not a great model of how to build a happy relationship (so you know, don’t pay a guy 1000 yen while he’s drunk in order to call him by his name and film it because, creepy).
But wait, I was on positives. So let’s discuss the music. I love the OP to this one. It doesn’t really work for everyone but I absolutely loved listening to it. The visuals are kind of meh but just close your eyes and listen and that’s kind of awesome. The ED is great fun and I love watching Takato and Junta dance around the studio. It’s a great way to end each week. The rest of the soundtrack is kind of forgettable but at least it isn’t bad.
The conflict they bring into the relationship is mostly decent. Okay, there’s a lot of drama for the sake of it, as there is in any romance anime, and of course a lot of the issues could be cleared up by the two characters actually having a conversation, but again that’s kind of ordinary. I did like the final real conflict of the story where the two get caught by a photographer and while the resolution to this is way too neat it really just made me want to get behind the characters and their relationship.
Basically, if you can overlook some of the less savoury aspects of how the relationship starts, there’s a lot to enjoy.
Still, even ignoring the sexual assault aspects, there’s a few other issues this anime faces. Visually it isn’t that impressive. Sure there are plenty of screen cap worthy moments of the two main guys (and why wouldn’t there be given they are both apparently sexy actors), but backgrounds, support characters and action are all kind of dull. Not to mention the neck beards (as Arthifis put it). Okay, they are hideous and totally unnecessary.
We also have the ‘filler’ episode at episode 8. Sending the characters to Hawaii could have been fun and given the nature of the show it could have been the opportunity to push the envelope. Instead we got very little in the way of fan-service and the plot and actual execution of this episode was all manner of dodgy. Mostly it was just a terrible episode.
Throw in the fact that the series climax really occurs at episode 12, and while episode 13 is better than episode 8, it also watches like filler, and you have to wonder why they didn’t just make this an 11 episode series.
And actually, that raises an interesting question about the sex in this. Given the characters are adults and they do in fact engage in sex, this anime kind of keeps it relatively off screen but doesn’t leave a huge amount to the imagination. But the problem with this is that people who don’t like sex and fan-service won’t like it, and people who want sex and fan-service won’t feel it goes far enough. It isn’t catering to either audience and while it hit my comfort zone perfectly without going too far for me, I know there are a lot of people disappointed with how tame it ended up and other viewers who were creeped out by how far it went. Well, I guess you can’t please everyone.
Still, this show features cute, adult aged, anime guys falling in love and to be honest, I enjoyed it. This was one I had a lot of fun with during the Autumn season and while I get it won’t be for everyone I certainly think there will be plenty of people who will have fun with this one.
And I just wrote more about this anime than Bunny Girl Senpai so I’m pretty sure I’m done.
It’s been an interesting 12 months as an anime reviewer and I love thinking back about all the shows I’ve watched and the lessons I’ve learned, or at least been reminded about. These are the top 5 things I learned from anime last year but I’d love to know if anime taught you anything, or reminded you about something you shouldn’t forget.
Please note: There may be spoilers below.
Don’t try and take on the mafia alone: Banana Fish
When summoning a demon lord from another world, be sure to read the label properly otherwise you might end up with an otaku gamer or a loli and neither one is exactly what you would be after if you decided to summon a demon lord: How Not To Summon a Demon Lord
This one is pretty obvious when you think about it, but watching Cells at Work each week reminded me about all that high school biology stuff that I promptly just stopped thinking about after graduating. I also learned about a couple of cells I’d previously never heard of. While my primary reason for watching anime is not educational, when an edutainment like Cells at Work comes along that is informative and fun and adorable, you just can’t pass it up. The only problem is every blood test I get now I worry about the millions of Red Blood Cells that just found themselves torn from their home.
Number 4: Longer running stories need to work harder to keep me interested
I kind of already knew this with Bleach being the only really ‘long’ running anime I ever fully completed. My Hunter x Hunter watch has stalled so incredibly close to the end and yet I just haven’t finished it, and otherwise Soul Eater and D Gray Man are probably the only other two long anime I’m a massive fan of. But last year this became really clear to me as Black Clover got cut from my watch list thirteen episodes in (though it may have been the shouting and not the episode count that lead to that), GeGeGe no Kitaro was abandoned even though I didn’t dislike the show, Attack on Titan was on notice until it delivered a fairly strong third season and even My Hero Academia that I’d previously really enjoyed just felt a bit tired.
It probably says more about my attention span than the anime, but the larger episode counts seem to make me want more from the anime and expect more from the story and when I don’t find it I seem to lose interest. Then we have the new Sword Art Online series with its mammoth four cour run announced before we even started and while initially excited I’m finding that it feels like they’ve stretched out content to fill those episodes rather than having enough content for it to begin with (though we’ll see what they do next with it). Either way, last year very much reminded me that I prefer my anime with 11 – 13 episodes and a conclusive ending.
Number 3: In relationships communication is key.
Again, this is something I already knew but we certainly had a tonne of examples of why this was important last year. Just looking at the Autumn season we can see that Nanami and Yuu would have been better off if Yuu had been more open about how she felt early on and even after she resolves to do something, she still doesn’t actually talk to Nanami about it directly instead taking a round about route (Bloom Into You). Takato and Junta from Dakaichi could have solved their break-up drama in a heart beat if either one had actually consulted the other before taking action. Then we have Sakuta and Mai (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai), the one couple that mostly communicated beautifully and managed to navigate around so much relationship drama and yet Mai still didn’t tell Sakuta it was her birthday and he had to find out second hand from her younger sister. If anime taught me anything last year it was definitely to talk to your partner, whoever they may be.
Number 2: Heroes come in all shapes and sizes
While not from a specific anime, there were so many different kinds of heroes from so many different shows last year. My personal favourites included traditional heroes such as All Might from My Hero Academia, but also encompassed characters such as Hina from March Comes in Like a Lion and Yuu from Bloom Into You. Big or small, saving the world or reaching out to a friend, there were so many different heroes to choose from that surely there was someone a viewer could look up to last year.
Number 1: Definitely ignore the pre-season hype and judge shows for what they are
Whether it was going in with too high an expectation, possibly considering passing on something because of no expectations, or just not enjoying something because I wanted it to be something else, last year taught me the value of taking things as they are and not as I wanted them to be. Then again, even going into Darling in the Franxx with no expectation would not make me like it anymore. But perhaps Clear Card would have been better received if I wasn’t endlessly comparing it to the nostalgia fuelled image I had of Cardcaptor Sakura. And consider some shows I ended up really enjoying, such as Rokuhoudou Yatsuiro Biyori that wasn’t even on my radar and from the description of it doesn’t seem like my kind of story I really just need to try each show on its own merit. So this year I am as much as possible going into shows without expectations, watching the first episode (or as much as I can stomach) and giving them a go. That said, W’z still isn’t getting more than 5 minutes of my time.
Right, so what did you learn last year while watching anime?
In 2016 the wonderful Allen Walker from D Gray Man Hallow topped my list – and yeah that was an incredibly biased decision because I just love Allen. 2017 saw Rei from March Comes in Like a Lion take the list (well deserved). 2018 had a plethora of fantastic male characters, though if you read my list of favourite female characters from the year you probably have a fairly good idea of who is going to end up on my list here. As always, I’d love to know who your choices are for best male anime characters from 2018.
It kind of hurts but Kirito from Sword Art Online Alicization has only gotten an honourable mention. While he still has plenty of episodes, his showing in 2018 was okay but not his best work (poor guy). The other character I want to give an honourable mention to is Lin from Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens. He was great fun but not quite memorable enough to land a spot on the top 5.
As much as Steins;Gate 0 didn’t quite click for me in 2018 one thing I did appreciate was seeing Okabe’s character after he had hit rock bottom and tried to rebuild his life. The Okabe who gave up on saving everyone and just tried to make the best of things. Seeing that Okabe finally find the motivation needed to fight back again despite the hardship it was going to cost was perhaps one of the most rewarding character arcs for the year.
Alright, if you’ve been following my collaboration with Arthifis on Dakaichi you will know I’ve been seriously loving Takato’s character since the beginning. While there’s a lot in Dakaichi that is easy to dismiss or would make you raise an eyebrow, Takato has been a highly entertaining main character. I love watching him when he is working as an actor and seeing him slowly get in touch with his emotions in his real life. For everything that doesn’t work in Dakaichi, Takato has been a shining character for the Autumn season (or at least one that I’ve really enjoyed watching).
Sakuta has been one of those characters who comes along who on the one hand I feel he’s pretty ordinary, on the other hand this is how you write an ordinary character and make him shine. Solid writing, great interactions with the support cast, and just enough personality and sass that he doesn’t just fit solidly into the nice guy forgettable role, and Sakuta is someone who has easily carried his show (admittedly with a bit of help from a fabulous supporting cast).
Number 2: Ash from Banana Fish
It was a hard toss up as to whether I was going to pick Ash or Eiji for the list, but Ash wins because I just love seeing him rise up time and time again. Ash may be incredibly overpowered given he’s ridiculously smart, strong, and shrugs off bullet wounds and being stabbed more or less instantly. He might be straight out of an 80’s power fantasy, but he is definitely fun to watch and when he’s with Eiji his soft and fluffy side comes out (as much as one exists). Really enjoyed spending time with Ash this year and while I might have wanted him to have more happy moments, I can’t deny that I was always entertained by his journey.
It’s the second year in a row but Rei Kiriyama remains my very favourite male anime character in 2018. His interactions with Hina, his match against Souya, his support of Shimada, and just his own growth as a character, returning to his foster home to face some of the past, all of these moments have seen Rei moving from strength to strength. For a character who still has a long way to travel in regards to dealing with his own mental health, Rei continues to be inspirational and relatable and someone I just want to see more of.
That’s the list for 2018 but I’d love to know who you would have picked for your top 5 male anime characters.
And here we are with the final collaboration post between Arthifis and myself, for the Autumn season. We’ve had such a good time we’ve decided to take on a similar project in the Winter 2019 season so just wait and hopefully we’ll soon be announcing the shows we’ll be discussing. In the meantime, here are our final thoughts on Dakaichi, and over on Arthifis’ new place, the Anime Shelter, you can check out our final impressions of Goblin Slayer.
Below I am in RED and BOLD and Arthifis is in BLUE and ITALICS.
Welcome back Arthifis. It is great to see you again and today we get to discuss the end of Dakaichi. So much happened in these final episodes I’m not even sure where to start. Though I suppose, we should probably start with episodes 9 – 11 before we discuss episode 12, where things more or less conclude, before we get to episode 13 which just seemed like its own thing. What do you think?
Thank you for having me once again ^.^ I always love doing these eheh
Yeah, I would start from there! I actually liked this last arc (before the conclusion) I wasn’t really expecting that it would go for that route at all! I was almost sensing that it would be another guy/girl coming up in the series trying to steal either Junta or Takato from the other. But, contrary to all that they played the tabloid card, which for me was unexpected and interesting!
The thing that I liked the most is that, how Japan deals with celebrities such as idols or actors, it is something that I cans see happening in real life. I also have to love how Junta was able to completely fool me and made me think that he started dating with a girl… I mean, I knew that he was saving Takato in his own way, but I thought he was actually with her 😛
On the other hand, there was an excellent character development on the Takato’s side. It was really pleasant to see Takato starting to take out his mask and letting himself go with his emotions more and more 😛
What about you, what is your verdict on this arc?
I really enjoyed it but I ended up with mixed feelings about a few things. I loved that the relationship drama focused very much on their careers rather than a love triangle or something similar. Dakaichi was always at its most entertaining when it focused on their jobs with the relationship sitting behind that and so having to think about their relationship in terms of how it would impact on their acting career seemed like a really suitable arc for this story to end on and I really loved that.
I didn’t love the lack of communication that still exists between the pair at this stage in their relationship. Takato dumping Junta to protect him and Junta ‘dating’ whatever her name was in order to set up his take-down of the tabloid; I just felt like if they’d actually had a conversation they could have bypassed a lot of the drama. Admittedly, then it wouldn’t have taken as many episodes and it probably would have been pretty uninteresting to watch, but in terms of them having any kind of healthy relationship it would have been nice to see.
That said, I’m with you in that I loved seeing Takato’s development as a character (big surprise given how much I’ve enjoyed Takato in general). However, seeing him at the end of this arc, I really loved how his character had been changed by the events of the series while still being Takato.
Did you have a favourite moment?
First let me just comment in the healthy relationship that you commented 😛 I completely agree with you, but at the same time if not like this, there would not many episodes (as you said). But, also I think Takato had to develop to what he is today so he could have this conversation.
Regarding the favourite moment… Well, I think my favourite moment is when Junta is on TV and says everything ahah I loved how everyone who worked with Takato went to Twitter telling their story with Takato being clumsy ahah The guy who tries to be always perfect in the public eye just had everyone showing his softer and cuter side ahah (though I can’t remember if this is in episode 11 or 12).
I also loved the rings scene… It just means a lot both for the characters and for me! I mean, I also put my heart and feelings out for this relationship to work, right!?
What about you?
I also have to pick Junta’s announcement on TV. I may not be the biggest fan of Junta but he played this so well and it was such a well executed moment. The tweets about Takato being clumsy were hilarious but I think what I loved the most was how Junta just smoothly slid in the idea that he was going to move in with Takato mid-TV announcement and so much else was going on that no one even batted an eye. I have to give his character credit for being pretty gutsy.
What about least favourite moment?
From all the series?
Why not, though if you have one from the final episodes that would be cool.
Well… Both include in someone trying to take advantage of Takato, so I’ll give you both ahah
My least favorite from all the series is, of course, when the other guy is thinking of forcing himself on drunk Takato and ends up stopping because of Junta’s phone call.
From the last episodes, has to be that director (producer?) who tests Takato and tries to go to bed with him. Of course it was to make the point that Takato was still in love with Junta, but I just don’t like these kind of stuff lolol
What about you?
My least favourite moment is also a Junta moment. Where he is pretending to be dating the actress and gets in Takato’s face about his expression. I mean, I know Takato dumped him, but Junta has more or less figured out why and what is going on with Takato, so this scene just feels like he’s being a bit of a jerk for the sake of it.
Anything else from these episodes before we get to episode 13?
Just gonna comment… I’m not sure if Junta knew that it was what was happening… Truth is, Junta always seemed pretty insecure when it comes to Takato, like Takato would flee far away one day or another. This way, I somewhat understood the elevator scene.
In fact, I think it was on that point where Junta understood that Takato still loved him and ended everything to protect him.
But, that’s all… Now, episode 13… I don’t even know what to say about it ahah Basically it seemed like a DVD special more than anything.
I liked it. I liked it a lot. I mean, it is kind of special to see Takato running everywhere trying to find the best present and place to go with in Christmas. Moreover, it is pretty fun to see him believe everything he overhears. I mean, he even starts thinking that Junta will dump him if he doesn’t have a present for him ahah
It was a cute episode, ending the series in a bright note! However, I would prefer that the episode was around that play they were talking about in episode 12 😛
What about you?
I agree that it definitely felt like a DVD special more than a final episode. That said, it was a very good special and I really loved watching Takato bump into literally everyone we have met this series before finally getting Christmas with Junta. It was just cute and sweet.
That said, it didn’t actually do anything for the story and given episode 12 left us with a few points (such as the new project that Takato and Junta are working on and that random new character they introduced), it just makes me wonder if they ever intend to do anything with that.
On that note, if they did, would you watch it?
Ooooh! It WAS a new character! I actually thought it was someone who I just had erased from my memory. That, or just showing that the director (producer?) was also gay, just because how he said to Takato that being gay (or just having a relationship) would destroy his career.
Answering to your question… YES! I really loved it! It was one of the best Shounen-Ai Animes I’ve ever watched! So, I really want to thank you for introducing me to this series 😀 I would do the first impressions nonetheless, but by having this collab with you made me really want to watch everything eheh
What about you?
If Takato is in it, I’m going to be watching.
No, I really loved watching this series even with some of its more problematic moments, so I’d happily take a second season. I think there’s still heaps that these characters can do and I’d definitely love to see more of the behind the scenes stuff at their work. So fingers crossed that eventually we get another season (no idea how far the source material went at this point though I might need to go refresh my memory about that as well at some point).
I think this one is still a little bit hard to recommend. There’s a lot about it that is really good but I found myself last week explaining the plot to a friend and by the time I got to the end of the first episode they were ready to bolt. It definitely is one that only really works if you kind of know what you are getting into and you aren’t going to be put entirely off by those moments that really push the envelope.
Well, I basically am with you! It’s shounen-ai and as most Anime shows under this genre, it’s created for a specific public. This way, I would say it is not for everyone. But if you like the genre, or even if you like romance a lot, I think this Dakaretai is one to try out! 🙂
In the end, I think it’s not perfect, but it’s really good! Every episode was entertaining and I didn’t feel bored not even once. Something that I cannot say from the Anime we are discussing at my place ahah
So yeah, that’s my final verdict! 😛 A very strong shounen-ai Anime which I recommend a lot to people who like this kind of setting… Oh! Also, before I forget! Sasaki Takumi is the best manager! (I think that’s the name XD)
Thanks so much for joining me to cover this anime. We’ll definitely have to try this again in a future season. Hopefully the readers have also enjoyed following along with our friendly chats.
Thank you for doing this with me! 🙂 It was really fun and I would love to do it in a future season! And, yes, hopefully you guys also liked to follow our little chats eheh 😉
No doubt about it, Autumn 2018 gave me a lot of anime that I personally enjoyed. It also gave us a lot of anime that were technically pretty solid creations and between these two groups of anime that meant I ended up having a lot to watch and enjoy.
Even anime that weren’t particularly well made managed to be delightful to watch and while it won’t show up on my best of list anywhere, I’d still like to give a shout out to Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary. As a fantasy with a vaguely historical setting, the story is kind of good (okay, cliche driven but what else is new). I’d really recommend giving it a look if you are into fantasy and want a non-isekai title for a change.
However, that isn’t getting on with the list.
I tried something different this season and actually ranked the anime I watched each week so that when I got to the end of the season I wasn’t just blown away by a shiny ending and forgot about all the other issues an anime had. The system isn’t entirely without flaws and there’s a few changes I’m going to make for next season. But it means that I really am looking at the whole season rather than the last three weeks when I pick my favourite.
Alright, let’s get into this. Like every season, I’ll go through my favourites first and then I will announce the reader’s choice. The poll for best of the year where the top 3 picks from each season will go head to head will open on the 1st and will run for two weeks closing on the 14th.
Favourite Story – Voice of Fox
While this might seem random, it actually makes perfect sense in my head. There are so many anime I love this season but I love the characters, the emotions they make me feel, the visuals… for one of the first seasons ever plot has taken an extreme back seat. The few anime where it is the potential plot keeping me invested are running into next season so not even sure where the plot is actually going to go. Voice of Fox tells a simple but solid story about Hu Li struggling to make it as a singer, becoming someone else’s ghost singer and the ensuing scandal when it is revealed. While we still haven’t seen the conclusion yet, I’m really looking forward to it. Voice of Fox may not be a masterpiece by any one’s standards, but its been great fun and for a short anime it has really managed to tell a solid story and I think it definitely deserves some recognition.
Favourite Visuals – Bloom Into You
There was never any doubt with this one. The direction of this has been brilliant and the use of colour has been amazing. Bloom Into You is one of those anime I really appreciate for how well it is being put together even if it isn’t really my kind of story. I’m actually surprised by how much I’ve ended up getting drawn into it, and part of that is the characters have really been fleshed out to feel real, but a lot of the appeal of this one comes from how it has been visually presented and while I was pretty disdainful in episode one when I said it was ‘very pink’ I’ve come to really love how much thought has gone in to each and every scene.
Favourite Opening – Bunny Girl Senpai
Alright, I’m still not the biggest fan of the animation for this opening, but in terms of distinctive and memorable openings, Bunny Girl Senpai has to win. When I was looking at this category, the first few bars of the song just started playing in my head and drowned out any other opening from the season I tried to think of. Except Skull Face Bookseller Honda-San. That opening was distinct, and amusing. Worth checking out. Anyway, if you are one of the few people who hasn’t already checked out Bunny Girl Senpai please do or at least listen to this opening.
Favourite Character – Takato
I couldn’t help it. Alright, no denying Dakaichi as an anime has its issues but also no denying that I’ve seriously enjoyed Takato this season. Part of it is definitely shallow and the fact that he is a very good looking, non-teenage, male anime character, but a lot of it comes down to how interesting his character is and how much I enjoy seeing him in different situations and how he handles it. Okay, I could write all day about Takato, or I could explode the rest of the post with Takato screen caps, but I think I’ll just leave it here by pointing out Takato has been awesome and I’m going to miss seeing him each week.
Favourite Anime of Autumn 2018
Right, so this one I kind of know the answer to but I’m going to go back to my ranking system that I tried this season and take you through the whole list. Each anime I watched got ranked each week and I averaged these ranks for a final score. It was interesting and watching something like Release the Spyce go from ranked tenth on the list to third was kind of bizarre but it does make me think about the shows that have really grown in strength and those that lost momentum as the season progressed.
Scores were based on enjoyment and technical merit and so balancing shows each week where I liked an episode but it had some rough edges compared to a story that was a bit slower but was really well done made for some interesting internal debates.
Conception = 1.25
Jingai-San no Yome = 2.33
Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San = 4.09
Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary = 4.77
A Certain Magical Index (dropped) = 4.91
Release the Spyce 5.33
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime = 6.54
Sword Art Online Alicization = 9.42
Goblin Slayer = 9.82
Dakaichi = 10.69
Run With The Wind = 10.64
Voice of Fox = 11.00
Tsurune = 12.70
Banana Fish = 12.91
Bloom Into You = 14.58
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai = 15.69
There’s some interesting results. For instance, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has really grown on me and I’m personally enjoying it more than SAO right now. Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary is another title I personally enjoyed though in terms of quality it is probably in the right place on the list.
However, my favourite for the season, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai did manage to come out on top even though Bloom Into You did have a number of weeks where it took the top spot. Rascal was full of great dialogue and characters and while the ending may have been a little weak it was definitely a title I looked forward to each and every week.
The Reader’s Choice
For the first time this year, the reader’s choice and my choices line up really well and the best of the season as voted by my readers isn’t something I dropped or didn’t watch. Yay. Okay, no further delay. This vote was the most decisive of the year with a clear victor determined fairly early on.
You guessed it, Bunny Girl Senpai.
However, Banana Fish and Bloom Into You as the runners up will still go into the poll for best of the year. I was interested to see how well Run With The Wind went in this poll. If it maintains the same quality in the second half it might very well win the poll next season (though I guess that depends on what else comes out).
However, that is it from this poll so now I’m turning it over to you. What did you vote for? What were your favourites this season? Let us know in the comments below.
This week’s top 5 list counts down my favourite anime couples from 2018. They don’t need to be canon, they don’t need to actually end up together, they just need to be super-adorable and make my heart melt. I’d love to know which anime couples you fell in love with this season so be sure to leave me a comment below.
And apparently I haven’t previously done a list like this at the end of 2017 or 2016, so this is the very first couples list for a single year. I’m definitely going to have to make this an ongoing thing next year because this list was super fun to write.
I never thought I’d see the day that Kirito and Asuna weren’t on my Top 5 couples list but with what little we’ve seen of Alicization and only one episode with the two of them actually together I just couldn’t justify having them in the top 5. The same goes for Okabe and Kurisu from Steins;Gate 0. I love those two together but they just didn’t show up that much together this year. The last honourable mention is Mitsuru and Kokoro from Darling in the Franxx. Those two were actually pretty adorable together despite my misgivings with the plot of Franxx.
As much as there are some big issues with Record of Grancrest War, and as much as I feel Siluca’s character progression hit the skids as soon as Theo and Siluca became an actual couple, this was one of the most adorable pairs from earlier in the year. Theo may have seemed like a passive protagonist, but he certainly didn’t waste any time or the opportunity to confess his love to Siluca. These two characters could have really carried a very different show if they had chosen to focus on their relationship a little bit more and it would have been fantastic to watch.
Okay, Nanami and Yuu both have issues with relationships and I’m honestly not sure if I’m hoping for these two to get a happily ever after or not after everything that’s happened, but I cannot deny I love watching these characters together. The way they gently poke at each other, move the other to see things differently, offer comfort and support, as well as mock when the occasion calls for it, is just all kinds of adorable. I’ve really enjoyed watching their relationship progress even if it is progress of the one step forward several steps back kind.
Another great couple from a not-so-great anime. Then again, Syaoran and Sakura have been one of my favourite couples for a very long time and Clear Card just confirmed why. Seeing these two together is truly a joy. Now if we could just stop Syaoran from trying to keep secrets from Sakura, and if Sakura could share her power more often because watching the two of them flying together was the single most squeal worthy moment ever.
It won’t be for everyone but I really enjoyed watching the relationship develop in Dakaichi. Part of the appeal is Takato as an individual character, however the longer you watch, the more you realise that everything that is great about how Takato changes as a character comes about because of Junta, and he’s no slouch either in the character development department. These two guys have found each other and while their relationship is riddled with issues and ego, it is an so much fun to watch and I just keep hoping for their happily ever after.
Number 1: Ash and Eiji from Banana Fish
This one isn’t going to surprise anyone who follows me on Twitter. Seriously, every Friday I’ve been spamming the retweets of fan art and screen caps of these two because they are so worth it. And you know what, they don’t need to kiss on screen, they don’t need to actually confess their feelings, and we don’t even need a ring exchange. Every scene with these two together shows their relationship and feelings and seeing them interact is the sweetest and simultaneously most heartbreaking thing to watch and most definitely gives this one every reason to top my list here. Ash and Eiji are beautiful together and bring out the absolute best in one another.
That’s my list, come to an end. Right now I’d love to know which couples made your list and why so be sure to leave me a comment.