FINALLY, IT'S HERE
Welcome everyone to the...holy shit, I've been doing this unofficial poll for about 7 years now? That's insane. People have grown up, gotten jobs, lost jobs, graduated, dropped out, found love, lost it, joined the forum, abandoned the forum...it's been a heck of a ride. Don't know if I'll have the energy to do this one more year but no one else stepped up so here I am.
This year also saw the breakup of the partnership between Crunchyroll and Funimation, who teamed up to battle the potential menace of Netflix and Amazon trying to muscle in on their turf. as part of their effort, they gave everyone a huge back catalog of Funimation-owned shows in sub form to watch (Funi kept the dubs), allowing me to watch shows that were in my backlog for awhile like Star Blazers and Kurau Phantom Memory. Then Amazon's Anime Strike crashed, Netflix's anime offerings were pretty lackluster, while Funimation and Crunchy got bought up by different companies and ended the partnership. Now we're back to the cold war of streaming where your choices are to pay for five different streaming services to see all the anime you want, pray that someone has DVDs/blurays, or take your chances on certain other sites of questionable legality and quality.
Meanwhile, anime studios are relying on tons of young bright-eyed animators who either need rich parents or a ton of prayer because they aren't getting paid enough to live on the job alone. When they can't do that the animation gets outsourced to other studios, and there are some QUALITY scenes involved. It shouldn't be this way, it doesn't have to be this way, but this is the current way until either the artists rise in solidarity and unionize, the system gets broken down by some sort of crowdfunded structure, or Japan gets drowned by rising sea levels in the next few decades and the issue becomes relatively moot.
But I know, y'all didn't just come here to hear me or some youtuber ramble on about this. You want a top 10 list, and here it is. Will My Hero Academia repeat its performance from last year, or will a new show take the trophy from them?
About 45 users cast their votes this time around, a slight uptick in voting numbers compared to last year. As before, votes were tallied based on weighted value, and then unweighted value as a tiebreaker. If the results were still tied, then the two shows shared the ranking, as you'll see below...
9 (TIED!) SSSS.Gridman and Gintama [18 points, 5 votes]
Trigger made an interesting choice for their latest project: a sequel to a somewhat obscure live-action tokusatsu show that was released in the mid-90s. That’s right, the prayers of the Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad fandom have been answered! Both an homage to the aforementioned Power Rangers knockoff and a story showing what happens when otaku dive too far into their own fantasies to escape reality, SSSS.Gridman is a good reminder that you should stop writing fanfiction and clean your room already, even if you are a pretty girl on the inside.
Gintama has been around since 2003 (in manga form) with literally hundreds of manga chapters and anime episodes that started with “What if Admiral Perry and the ‘Black Fleet,’ but with aliens?” and just spun into a cast that covers roughly every notable Japanese person from the post-Sengoku era, making fun of them all and destroying everyone’s perception of the Shinsengumi in the process. This year featured the Silver Soul arc, where the gang has to save their town, their country, and ultimately the world from being destroyed by an immortal who wants to die so bad he's willing to take everyone else with him.
8) Violet Evergarden [22 points, 6 votes]
Violet Evergarden is a story about tragedy and coping with loss as a soldier with prosthetic arms and a large amount of trauma has to learn a new way of living as a typist in a post-war world. The story was relatively low-key, but I was able to find some meaning in it as Violet struggled to understand relating to others in a world where she had nothing left to fight for except the slim hope that her Major was still out there somewhere. The plot might be lacking a bit, but the large amount of care put into the art and animation of this series puts that of others to shame.
For the longest time I thought Violet in Violet Evergarden was suppose to be a robot of some kind. When I finally releazied that she was just a regular human that was when everything about the show fell apart for me. --@lentfilms
Just watching the eyes or hands animate ever so slightly to express feelings in Violet Evergarden made me cry buckets. My God. --@audiobusting
7) My Hero Academia [25 points, 9 votes]
This season of anime X-Men ramps up with an amazing fight that takes place between All Might with his One For All power versus his polar opposite in All For One. The studio saved a large chunk of their budget for this fight and it shows. A bit of a disappointment in the polls compared to last year’s performance for the defending champion, but there were so many better shows this year so I consider it a respectable showing.
6) Laid Back Camp [30 points, 9 votes]
This time in "Cute Girls Doing [X]," the theme is camping! Ever wanted to go out to Mount Fuji and pitch a tent, but don’t have the money or a clean record? Well curl up in a blanket and watch these girls do it for you. You might even learn something about camping too!
5) Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind [33 points, 8 votes]
Another good showing for the JoJo Bros, as they take a top 5 spot this year, just barely missing fourth place by a couple of votes. This time, GioGio and his friends in Italy are having fun running around with Aerosmith, Tetsuya Nomura, and Zucchero as they try to reenact the Godfather and find the prankster who keeps cutting up their clothes. At least the soundtrack remains amazing.
Besides its outrageous character designs, stellar music and sound effect work, Jojo's greatest strength is its combat. Too much fighting in shonen fighting is mindless powerlevel bullcrap. You just win if you're strong enough. Jojo fights play out more like fantasy arguments of "who would win". --@redhotchilimist
4) Zombie Land Saga [33 points, 10 votes]
Part-idol anime, part-comedy, and part thinly-veiled advertisement to increase tourism to the Saga region of Japan, this show has something for everyone as a crazy guy turns several LEGENDARY idols who died into zombies as part of his mysterious plan to save Saga. Just like in Steins;Gate, Mamoru Miyano finds a way to steal the show with his voiceover work alone in what would otherwise be another forgettable idol show. Also noteable in that it had an unapologetic trans character and didn't treat her as a complete joke like so many other stories would have done.
Zombie Land Saga went in several directions I did not expect. First, it was a zombie idol comedy instead of a straight horror series. Second, despite the absurd premise, it pulls off some genuinely heartwarming moments. Thirdly, everyone is treated with a huge amount of respect and accepted for who they are. It didn't quite stick the landing at the end, but for most of its run it was a very enjoyable watch. --@azuregale
I was not expecting to like a show about A) zombies or B) idols and somehow both combined made my favorite anime in a long time. --@burncoat
3) Devilman: Crybaby [42 points, 9 votes]
Masaki Yuasa directs this remake of the old Go Nagai manga, Devilman, that appeared on Netflix real early this year. The story of a highschool boy who finds himself thrust into a battle between the forces of Hell after being possessed by one of its most powerful demons. It is gory, it is raunchy, it is violent as hell, and if you are good with all that on top of Yuasa’s unique visual style then you will love it. This might explain why so many of those who did vote for this show put it #1, and a few others put it at lower ranks on their ballots. It’s a show you’ll either really love, or just not care to watch.
Devilman: Crybaby was the most unique thing I have seen in a long time. The animation style alone sets it apart, but having a crazy WTF story elevated it up to something that should be considered a classic. --@offdutyninja
...somehow a Netflix adaptation of a 1970s manga is the anime pushing the boundaries of the medium. --@phoenicika
2) A Place Further than the Universe [48 points, 12 votes]
Another "Cute Girls Doing [X]" series, but this time in a relatively heartwarming tale about four girls who join a research trip to the Arctic Circle to connect, with friends, family, or simply to rekindle their own adventurous side. Another show that tells us that it really is the journey that matters as much as or more than the destination.
Sure, the polar ice caps might be melting due to several first-world nations demanding someone else make the first move in ending our reliance on fossil fuels so they can hoard more of a human-created concept some assholes invented long ago to claim power over the masses, even as we’ve already passed the Point of No Return on global warming, thus cutting down on future expeditions to Antarctica as the land mass shrinks and sea levels rise and will soon drown several major cities across the globe, especially those of island nations such as Japan, leading to large numbers of death and displacement for the people living there while saltwater intrusion and antibiotic-resistant superbugs awakened from melting permafrost creep even further inland…but this show will let you take your mind off that for awhile.
Not since Madoka Magica have I seen anime be as concise, as poignant, as powerfully focused as A Place Further than the Universe...no anime I would recommend to the average person more than this modern classic which has definitively and dominantly earned its spot on my top five anime of the decade list. --@clearandsweet
A Place Further Than The Universe sets itself apart from other works in the genre by intermingling the usual feel-good, breezy friendships and laughter that slice-of-life stories live by with genuinely emotional, heartwarming and uplifting moments in just about every single episode. --@hamst3r
and finally, the Number 1 Anime of the Year 2018 as voted on by the Giant Bomb Community...
1) Hinamatsuri [51 points, 16 votes]
A surprisingly heartwarming comedy about different girls from the future who mysteriously travel to the present for some reason that isn’t ever made clear. All that is clear is that a mid-level Yakuza finds himself turned into a de-facto dad of Hina, a girl who’s selfish, lazy, has a large appetite for salmon roe and amount of telekinetic power at her disposal. But more importantly are the other girls in this story: another psychic girl who learns to be a genuinely good person from living with homeless people, a third psychic girl who becomes a kung-fu master after nearly going insane from her own hand-carved puppet friends, and a normal middle-school girl who accidentally becomes the greatest bartender around because she can’t say no to helping anyone.
With the manga licensed for Western distribution at some point in the near future, hopefully even more people will be exposed to the hilarity that was left out of the anime, especially where Anzu sets up her own ramen stand or Hitomi's adventures in learning English from a private military training camp in Florida and hiring her dad for her own company. Am I telling the truth? You'll have to read the manga to find out!
Thank you all for Coming!
Raw totals can be below. Other categories will be posted shortly. If you have any comments or questions about the poll itself, feel free to ask in the comments and hopefully someone will answer them.
Raw Vote Totals
|A Place Further than the Universe||48||12|
|Zombie Land Saga||33||10|
|Jojo's Bizarre Adventure||33||8|
|Laid Back Camp||30||9|
|My Hero Academia||25||9|
|Pop Team Epic||16||5|
|Bloom Into You||16||4|
|Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Sempai||14||4|
|Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight||14||3|
|Hi Score Girl||8||3|
|Attack on Titan Season 3||7||2|
|Seven Deadly Sins||7||2|
|Dragon Ball Super||6||3|
|Lupin III: Part V||6||3|
|That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime||5||3|
|Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen||5||1|
|Cells at Work||5||1|
|Food Wars: The Third Plate||5||1|
|March Comes In Like A Lion 2nd Season||5||1|
|The Ancient Magus' Bride||5||1|
|Today's Menu for Emiya Family||4||2|
|Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san||4||1|
|Ace Attorney Season 2||3||1|
|Dragon Ball Z Kai||3||1|
|Encouragement of Climb Season 3||3||1|
|FLCL 2: Progressive||3||1|
|How to keep a Mummy||2||1|
|LOTGH: Die Neue These||2||1|
|Ms Vampire Who Lives In My Neighborhood||2||1|
|Release the SPYCE||2||1|
|Run with the Wind||2||1|
|Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan||1||1|
|Full Metal Panic||1||1|
|Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san||1||1|
|Kill la Kill||1||1|
|The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.||1||1|