Mid season review: Winter 2018

Although winter traditionally meant the coldness, snow and crops not being able to be grown, I find myself with a bountiful harvest for the Winter 2018 season. While other bloggers I know have been struggling with finding entertaining/good anime to watch from this season, for some reason I more or less find almost everything entertaining and therefore, I ended up with ~15 anime from this season that I enjoy. What’s more, there’s so many surprisingly good entries amongst them that I am just really glad that I picked them up for this season. Now, let’s review all of them as they currently are!

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho cover.jpg
These 4 girls took the winter 2018 season by storm! [Anime: Sora yori mo Tooi Basho]

 


Continuing to watch


Beatless

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/36516/Beatless

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 6
Expected rating: 7/10
First impressions rating: 7/10
Mid-season rating: 6/10

Halfway through the season, I am honestly starting to get a little bored. Why? Simple. This show has a good premise. It has a really good premise. One that has actually been debated in real life for quite a while now: If AI gets advanced enough to match/outmatch the human brain, can we consider them human beings? Is a robot that has human thoughts a human? Or is it an inferior being? This anime revolves around such a premise, and as a result it has quite a bit of potential to work with. However, if there’s something that’s been holding this anime back, and making it get the 6/10 ratings from me, it’s the delivery. With a shitty pacing and leaving too many plot-holes, as well as questionable character motivations, it really takes me out of the feels for this anime and want to rant on it. Well, it remains entertaining so far so I’m not dropping it just yet.

I would not recommend this anime anyone, unless you are a diehard fan for its aesthetics/sound.
*Speaking of sound, the opening and ending songs are dope.


Darling in the FranXX

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/35849/Darling_in_the_FranXX

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 6
Expected rating: 7
First impressions rating: 9
Mid-season rating: 8

After a strong start to the season, this anime has cooled down quite a bit. However, as of episode 6, this anime is really heating up now. I’m just hoping that this reaches a satisfactory climax and give us a really entertaining show. The art of this anime is great, being a collaboration of A-1 pictures and studio trigger, and the opening/ending songs are great too. Only thing that is not as satisfactory would be the OST sometimes? I feel as if the series deserves more.

Being an anime that gives me serious Evangelion vibes without me ever watching it, I would recommend everyone to at least give it a try if you haven’t yet. There’s a compelling narrative to be had.


Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/34497/Death_March_kara_Hajimaru_Isekai_Kyousoukyoku

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 6
Expected rating: 8/10
First impressions rating: 7/10
Mid-season rating: 7/10

I admit. I expected quite a bit from Death March. Mainly because of how I was drawn in into the series by the manga, I loved the adventuring, the world building, and the casual feeling from the series. What I expected from the anime was pretty much the same, but with an elevated experience. Needless to say, I’m a little disappointed by the pacing. Well, the art isn’t that bad except for the 3DCGI, the voice acting is ok(my girl Aoi Yuuki is inside whoo!), the songs are unexpected really really good, and yup, so far it’s an above average show for me. Entertaining, but nothing too amazing.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes SOL isekais and don’t mind slow pacing.


Fate/Extra Last Encore

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/33047/Fate_Extra_Last_Encore

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 4
Expected rating: 7/10
First impressions rating: 7/10
Mid-season rating: 7/10

Although this anime sort of met my expectations, I’m still a little disappointed? Many things were left unexplained, and the lightning pacing is killing my brain cells to say the least. If Death March suffered from slow pacing, then Fate/Extra is suffering from fast pacing. There is little to no rest before the next knowledge bomb is dropped on you and information overload is common, but not before you get deprived of all information and wonder what’s going on first. Then again, this is how the fate series usually worked anyways so…it’s fate, I guess?

This is fate. Watch if you like fate.
*Extra side note: The director is the one that director monogatari series, and studio Shaft has literally only been doing monogataris for quite a while, hence the reason for the art style being so monogatari-ish.


Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/35889/Hakata_Tonkotsu_Ramens

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 6
Expected rating: 7/10
First impressions rating: 8/10
Mid-season rating: 9/10

This anime is a dark horse, and I’m glad to have discovered it. 6 episodes in, the mystery of the title is still only semi-resolved, but the show has become so good over time. From the fantastic plot that seems boring on the surface, to the lovable cast, and with OST/opening/ending songs that are all jazz, funky and makes you groove to the beat all the time, it’s all fun times with this series. I like this. A lot.

Give it a try! It might not be that good at the starting, but it gets better and better every episode.


Hakumei to Mikochi

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/36094/Hakumei_to_Mikochi

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 6
Expected rating: 6/10
First impressions rating: 7/10
Mid-season rating: 8/10

This is another dark horse anime from this season. However, it is the dark horse in another aspect. When I first started this anime and watched about 1-2 episodes, I begun to feel a little bored, since the “cute girls doing cute things”(CGDCT) genre was getting a little to flooded this season, and Hakumei to Mikochi just felt like another CGDCT show to me, just that the girls are tiny fairies living in the forest. However, after watching a little bit more, I became unexpectedly hooked onto the series. Why? Because this series is moreso a heartwarming one, set to heal the hearts of the viewers, rather than just using moe moe power to conquer the world. It’s quite rare to see a series purely dedication to this type of  SOL, and I like how it’s doing so far. I really like it, I’m entertained by it, and best part, you feel really good from finishing every episode.

I would recommend this to anyone who needs some heartwarming series to watch or heal your hearts.
Side notes: The ending credits for this anime is one of the best I’ve ever seen, with every credits giving background knowledge on the series without being obtrusive, and making it very fun. It also gives the views another reason to watch the ED other than the great song(and trust me, it is great) sang by 2 VAs for the show(my girl Aoi Yuuki appears again with her overwhelming talent!).


Karakai Jouzo no Takagi-san

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/35860/Karakai_Jouzu_no_Takagi-san

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 7
Expected rating: 6/10
First impressions rating: 8/10
Mid-season rating: 7/10

This anime is adorable. Between the budding teenage love, there’s the constant teasing from Takagi-san. Underneath all her teasings however, you can see just why she does all that–to get attention from Nishikata. Either way, it’s family friendly fun, and although it’s not the greatest thing ever it does it’s job well and is entertaining to watch. In terms of this anime, there really isn’t much to talk about, really. I think one of my friends (who has only watched Takagi-san for this season) can promote it better:

“Stare at takagi’s big forehead”<-from another meddling friend
“Takagi-san is the cutest and most heartwarming romantic comedy to exist since Koe no Katachi”<-actual sentence

*I limited him to one sentence.


Kokkoku

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/36548/Kokkoku

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 7
Expected rating: 7/10
First impressions rating: 9/10
Mid-season rating: 9/10

If you read my pre-season preview for this season, you would have seen that I designated this anime as the dark horse for Winter 2018. I couldn’t have made a better choice. This series has been nothing short of amazing to me, and I honestly find little to no faults with it. The art and animations are really good, the 3DCGI looks good for once, and the character designs are new and refreshing. Every character feels like they could be expanded upon even more, and I just want the plot to advance all the way. And lastly, the best part about this anime has to be the opening and ending songs. The ending song will make you relaxed and want more, and is a song you can easily fall in love with from the first few seconds. The opening song, however, is in an entirely different league altogether. Honestly, they both deserve their own “Music you can’t stop listening to” posts so I won’t go into details too much here, but let’s just say if you don’t dance or at the very least shift a bit/bob to the beats, you might just be an anomaly. IT’S SO GOOD, especially combined with the opening animations.

I personally would recommend this anime to almost everyone due to how good of a series it is currently, and I just want this trend to continue until the series is done.

Side note: If you haven’t gotten yourself brainwashed by the opening song yet, here’s a link.


Märchen Mädchen

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/35997/M%C3%A4rchen_M%C3%A4dchen

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 6
Expected rating: 6/10
First impressions rating: 7/10
Mid-season rating: 6/10

This is one anime I didn’t have high hopes for, and remained to be one with quite little potential. There’s not much here–you have a pretty much normal isekai/magic infused story type with SOL, “friendship is magic” type of things mixed in. It’s not that good but it’s not bad either so I’m just watching on because it’s OK in terms of entertainment?

Either way, not recommended for watching from this season, there’s so many better anime out there that you can watch first.


Overlord II

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/35073/Overlord_II

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 7
Expected rating: 9/10
First impressions rating: 9/10
Mid-season rating: 9/10

When I saw the announcement for Overlord S2, I happily shared it with almost everyone. It’s so good! This series deserves a S2, and Madhouse is seriously doing a full-revival this season with both Overlord S2 and Sora yori mo Tooi Basho. S2 definitely did not disappoint so far. Opening and ending songs are still by OxT and MYTH&ROID respectively, and they are amazing. Art and animations is a definite improvement from the first season, and the plot has only gotten better as this season adapts more closely than the first season. Soundtrack…is as good as season 1. E P I C. I honestly can’t find anything to complain about currently, apart from WHY IS IT ONLY 13 EPISODES MADHOUSE?

As long as you are not allergic to OP MCs and isekais, this anime’s world building, character development and deep plot will suck you in. Definitely give it a try.


Ryuuou no Oshigoto!

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/35905/Ryuuou_no_Oshigoto

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 7
Expected rating: 5/10
First impressions rating: 8/10
Mid-season rating: 9/10

This series is the perfect example of far exceeding my extremely low expectations. Honestly, I was pretty shocked that a novel with such a weird starting could become light novel of the year…but now that I’m this far into the anime, I can see why now. It’s good. It’s really good. It’s just, entertaining as heck. Yes, it may be flawed to bits, especially with the parts with heavy loli elements, but man is this entertaining. To put it into perspective, I would say this anime is a mashup of shounen action(in shogi, yes), comedy, and SOL. The quality of the episodes have been very consistent, with art and animations being above average, a great soundtrack(another non-battle anime with great battle music, just like Shokugeki…), great plot(entertainment wise) coupled with good pacing. I can’t really complain when I’m being entertained so well, can I? And the references from this anime have been pretty good so far as well, so I would give that another plus. My only complaint? WHY IS THIS ONLY 12 EPISODES??
No, seriously, why is it that anime I enjoy only get 12 episodes…

Well, this is a recommend from me as long as you don’t mind the loli fluff.


Slow Start

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/35540/Slow_Start

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 7
Expected rating: 7/10
First impressions rating: 7/10
Mid-season rating: 7/10

Your typical Cute Girls Doing Cute Things Show. That’s all there is. I uh, I don’t know why I’m entertained by this but I am so here you go.

I mean, I would recommend this anime, if not for the presence of another that completely overshadows this one…


Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/35839/Sora_yori_mo_Tooi_Basho

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 8
Expected rating: 8/10
First impressions rating: 9/10
Mid-season rating: 9/10

2 words before we begin: Madhouse Original.

Uh hum. Now with that out of the way, let’s objectively analyse Sora yori mo…
Who am I kidding. Sora yori mo is quite possibly the greatest single anime to come out of this season, and I would go as far as to say this is a bigger contender for Anime of the season than Violet Evergarden. The art is bea-u-tiful, with eye candy art-style combined with great character designs, and smooth animations, my eyes were already defeated. What’s more, they have so many gif-worthy scenes that I’m just to tempted to capture all of these moments down…(you would know if you read my first impressions)
In the sound and music department, we have a great opening song and an amazing ending song, we’ve got a ultra-super-duper-supercalifragilisticexpialidocious cast of voice actors voicing the main characters, and the background soundtrack + sound effects are just so good. My eyes have also fallen to this series.
And then, we have the plot. With SOL shows, you usually can expect the same type of daily life/coming of age type of stories, but this show not only showcases something else–chasing your dreams and travelling to new places, but it also does it so well that a semi-NEET like me also feel very tempted to go explore. Who would have guessed that 4 high school girls on their journey to Antarctica will be so encouraging… My mind has also been defeated here.
Extra bonus: the comedy. This anime has the single best comedic timings I’ve seen to date, and every episode just has me laughing out loud almost all the time. It hurts to watch this anime because my cheeks and stomach can’t really take so much laughing…not to mention my ever-present cough. But, it’s sure pleasant pain that I would willingly turn into masochist just to enjoy this anime some more.

With that said, if this still doesn’t convince you to watch this series, I don’t know what will. It’s been an amazing journey with this series so far, and I’m looking forward to even more.

And Madhouse? Good on you. You did great with this series.
*Also screw you because this only has 13 episodes AGAIN.


Violet Evergarden

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/33352/Violet_Evergarden

Episodes watched as of time of writing: 7
Expected rating: 8/10
First impressions rating: 9/10
Mid-season rating: 9/10

This anime was definitely overhyped. Visually, it is a masterpiece, that is correct. However, it doesn’t have the impact you think it has if you fell prey to the hype surround this series. Sure, it’s great. I love it. However, I can see why a lot of people will be disappointed, as the direction that this series is going is more of emotions/finding emotions rather than “heavy-feels” or some other things you would expect. The quality is good, hype just killed the series.

I would recommend this anime to anyone, but enter right the right mindset and not be swayed by all the hype…


Dropped


Citrus

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/34382/Citrus

Curiosity killed the cat, and in this case, it made me look into this anime that doesn’t fit my type at all. I’m still a little weirded out about what exactly this anime is about, but for now, this post about me dropping it will do.


Grancrest Senki

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/anime/34279/Grancrest_Senki

So painful. A-1 done goofed with this one. Full post(with semi-rant inside) here.


With that, the Mid-season reviews are over. I am personally hoping the series I’m continuing to watch remains great and that all of you are enjoying the season so far, and perhaps, you found a new series to watch from what I wrote?

How has your season been so far? I would love to see the differences between what I’m watching and what you people are watching!

Well, I’m only going to type till here for now. I’ve got a whole week’s worth of anime to catch up on…

-A filled with things to do Plyasm

Bonus: Here, have some depression:

depression.gif
What comes after writing a lot of long posts? Depression. [Anime: You know it] (Apologies for loss of quality at the back parts, I’m not that good at making gifs)

8 thoughts on “Mid season review: Winter 2018”

  1. I always find these type of posts so interesting, what people drop and what people think is good it’s always fun to see how opinions contrast with one’s own! There’s a couple you mentioned that I hadn’t even heard of so thanks for that, I might have to check them out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I may have only talked about the Kokkoku OP to one person besides this, but yes, that OP is, as you call it, “dope”.

    Aside from a sudden switchover I was somewhat expecting (switched Dame x Pri out for Idolish7), I’m pretty much watching what I announced at the start of the season – YuruCamp, Zoku Touken Ranbu Hanamaru, Gakuen Babysitters, Mahoutsukai no Yome and gd men. That means we have absolutely no crossover whatsoever, but I’m not complaining. I’ve gotten used to the fact I just have tastes that nobody else seems to match.

    Liked by 1 person

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