7th Annual GB AOTY Poll Results: It's a Girl's Festival!

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Posted by DocHaus (2768 posts) -


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 Universe4812
Zombie Land Saga3310
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure338
Laid Back Camp309
My Hero Academia259
Violet Evergarden226
Pop Team Epic165
Bloom Into You164
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Sempai144
Shoujo Kageki Revue Starlight143
Megalo Box133
Asobi Asobase117
Golden Kamuy103
Steins;Gate 0103
Hi Score Girl83
Banana Fish82
Attack on Titan Season 372
Seven Deadly Sins72
Dragon Ball Super63
Lupin III: Part V63
Planet With62
That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime53
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card-hen51
Case Closed51
Cells at Work51
Food Wars: The Third Plate51
March Comes In Like A Lion 2nd Season51
The Ancient Magus' Bride51
Today's Menu for Emiya Family42
Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san41
Ace Attorney Season 231
Dragon Ball Z Kai31
Encouragement of Climb Season 331
FLCL 2: Progressive31
Akanesasu Shoujo21
How to keep a Mummy21
LOTGH: Die Neue These21
Mitsuboshi Colors21
Ms Vampire Who Lives In My Neighborhood21
Release the SPYCE21
Run with the Wind21
Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan11
Full Metal Panic11
Harukana Receive11
Hugtto Precure11
Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san11
Kill la Kill11
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.11
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#1 Posted by DocHaus (2768 posts) -

Additional Categories

Best non-Japanese cartoon: Castlevania Season 2

A bit less action and more brooding this time around, but it continues the greatness of the vertical slice that was Season 1.

Runners up: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, The Dragon Prince

Most Surprising Anime: Zombieland Saga

The producers kept so many details of this show under wraps that no one knew what it was about other than having zombie girls in it. Heck, the identity of Tae Yamada’s voice actor was kept a secret even while the show was airing. No one really knew what to make of it until halfway through. But what we got was a pleasant surprise: Zombie girls who were brought to life just to be idols in a relatively sequestered part of Japan that doesn’t get as much press compared to Tokyo or other parts. It might be a thinly-veiled ad for the Saga region, but it found a way to impress many of those who watched it.

Runners up: Hinamatsuri, A Place Farther Than the Universe, Pop Team Epic

Most Disappointing Anime: Darling in the Franxx

Trigger once again tried to recapture the magic they had from shows past, to the point where there were so many subtle and unsubtle references to Evangelion you could barely go three minutes into an episode without spotting them. It started out with being a super-textual metaphor for teens boning, but then just as it looked like they were getting into interesting territory, the story suddenly introduced a new plot twist out of nowhere that flung the main kids into space for no reason. Maybe that was the moral of the story all along: “Go Into Space or Make Babies.” Thankfully Trigger would redeem themselves later with SSSS.Gridman.

Runners up: The Junji Ito Collection, Persona 5: The Animation

Best OP/ED Theme: “Fighting Gold” by Coda (JJBA: Vento Aureo OP)

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It’s JoJo, a series built around a ton of homages to different musical acts and artists. So it figures they have a good theme to match.

Runners up: “Flashback” by MIYAVI vs KenKen (Kokkoku OP), “Futari No Hane” by YURiKA (Hanebado OP)


Can’t get much more stylish than this:

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Runners-up: Devilman: Crybaby, Pop Team Epic

Most QUALITY: My Sister, My Writer

I’m just shaking my head at anyone who watched it unironically. The summary of this show is bad enough, I’m not going to look up anything else about it.

Runners-up: Persona 5: The Animation, Baki

Please Stop: "Isekai" in general

At the very least make your Other World one where the character isn’t explaining Dragon Quest RPG traits that they can somehow look up on a menu in-world.

Your Waifu/Huzbando

I'm just going to leave this list here:

  • · Albedo (Waifu)/Abbachio (Husbando)
  • · Aragaki Nagisa
  • · Ayasato Mayoi - Ace Attorney
  • · Bakugo
  • · Brad Shoemaker
  • · Bruno Buccellati
  • · Elias (The Ancient Magus' Bride).....
  • · Forever: Eva's Asuka, but for 2018: The Legendary Tae Yamada
  • · Gintoki Sakata
  • · Haruhi Suzumiya. This year? Shirase from Sora Yori
  • · Ichigo (Darling in the Franxx), Eugeo (Sword Art Online)
  • · Kaname Chidori
  • · Lily Hoshikawa - Zombie Land Saga
  • · Makoto Kikuchi
  • · Makoto Tachibana
  • · Rikka Takarada - SSSS.Gridman
  • · Rin Shima (Laid-Back Camp)
  • · Saki Nikaidō
  • · Sho Fu Kan (Thunderbolt Fantasy)
  • · Takarada Rikka
  • · The Legendary Tae-chan
  • · Violet
  • · Yuu Koito

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#2 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15726 posts) -

Please Stop: "Isekai" in general

So, uh, didn't this win "Please Stop" last year? That said, I believe my specific response was "People claiming to be tired of Isekai, only to get hyped for the same flavor-of-the-season Isekai show as everyone else" and I stand by that statement. At this point, I can't tell if people are watching Shield Hero with genuine or ironic intent.

As for the poll itself, I can't really argue with Hinamatsuri taking the #1 spot. Thanks for putting this all together again, @dochaus.

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#3 Posted by Redhotchilimist (2965 posts) -
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I'm happy Hinamatsuri took it, that was a seriously good anime.

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#4 Posted by Dizzyhippos (4702 posts) -

Thanks for doing this every year... also I must be a bad person because I have never understood peoples love of Jojo even having watched it from the start up to Diamond is unbreakable on the Toonami run. (I suspect watching it in Japanese with subtitles maybe makes it funnier)

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#5 Posted by DocHaus (2768 posts) -

@arbitrarywater: last year isekai was a runner up to “shows with the premise of ogling one’s sister” in general and “Eromanga-sensei” in particular.

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#6 Posted by Bollard (8180 posts) -

Hina is definitely deserving of winning, although now that I've watched Bloom Into You in the last couple of weeks I feel like it should have totally made the top ten. Missed out on it because it finished so close to the end of the year!

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#7 Posted by hassun (10004 posts) -

Please nobody forget this ED:

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#8 Posted by ilifin (10 posts) -

I'm here to post that the hinomaru zumou ED is the best anisong in quite some time

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#9 Posted by ArbitraryWater (15726 posts) -
@dochaus said:

@arbitrarywater: last year isekai was a runner up to “shows with the premise of ogling one’s sister” in general and “Eromanga-sensei” in particular.

Ah, that's right. My perception of time is such at this point that Eromanga-sensei might as well have happened a century ago.

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#10 Edited by mezmero (3763 posts) -

Nice job on the write-up this year. Another reminder of how out of touch I am with modern anime since I've watched less than half of this list. If I had watched Hi-Score Girl before voting ended that might have very well been my number one as I would easily bump a spot on my list for it. Anywho here's how I ended up weighting my votes:

5. My Hero Academia. The latest season had what instantly became an all time favorite anime moment for me. The show is very formulaic so I can see how some were let down by the anime last year but to me it is still the epitome of battle shounen comfort food at the moment. If anything my admiration for this series is at an all time high particularly after watching the trailer for SHAZAM and realizing that DC are going to continue to push the bastardized New 52 version of Billy Batson.

4. JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind. The only reason I didn't want this higher is because I'm all too aware of this small portion of part 5 being only the tip of the iceberg in terms of craziness. This remains my favorite ongoing 90's-ass anime. Mr. Blonde would be proud of that torture dance.

3. Gintama. Though this latest season doesn't have the most consistent animation quality I can't think of anything that brought me as many laughs per capita last year. What's crazy is that even when this show is being extremely serious it is still weirdly hilarious in just how over the top it all is.

2. Megalo Box. A simple but sweet story about prize fighting. It is as much a boxing story as it is a love story between a wild dog and a domesticated dog. While not quite having as much emotional punch as the series it's based on it has a great look and sound to it that makes it an easy watch for both old and new fans of anime.

1. Aggretsuko. This is number one purely by how much it surprised me. I couldn't have guessed that the company who soullessly merchandises Hello Kitty junk to my mom and others could have produced such a heartfelt workplace dramedy. The fact that Retsuko's vice is death metal karaoke, while quite funny is sort of a moot point as I imagine anyone in the working class can relate to needing just that one quirky activity to get you through your days.

I realize Castlevania was going to win non-anime almost by default (heck I voted for it) but yo that's a decent cartoon that's also poorly directed. Aggretsuko surprised me more than anything last year with a possible runner-up being Hinomaruzumou, though again I hadn't watched Hi-Score Girl in time. Don't think I inputted anything for Disappointing but looking back I should've put in a vote for Seven Deadly Sins. While not technically an anime I'd give a shout out to Critical Role's new OP that premiered near the end of last year, but yeah I defaulted to Fighting Gold. I might have had the Slime anime in my top five if it wasn't another goddamn Isekai show.

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#11 Edited by DocHaus (2768 posts) -

On a separate note, the "I Like You, but Not Like-Like You" award goes to Asobi Asobase, which had more Unweighted votes than the bottom 3 shows in the Top 10, but no one ranked it higher than fourth on their ballot, ultimately keeping it out of the top 10.

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#12 Posted by Animasta (14948 posts) -

R.I.P. Revue Starlight, you were too good for this cruel world.

The only show I watched that made it in the top 10 was Zombieland Saga, lol. I'm also making my way through Jojo's but it's slow going, so I suspect I won't get to Golden Wind until summer or something.

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#13 Posted by Phoenicika (5 posts) -

I don't spend too much time on the forums here, but since I watch a fair amount of anime I enjoy voting in these year end polls. Thanks for putting another one together!

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#14 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (1286 posts) -

I was not expecting A Place Further than the Universe to make it that far up the list. Nor was I expecting Gridman and Violet Evergarden to even make it onto the list. Very surprised.

Congrats to Hinamatsuri for winning this year.

Thanks @dochaus for putting this together!

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#15 Posted by Milijango (204 posts) -

Did not expect Hinamatsuri to win - I'd heard it was underwatched, but I loved it and it's a good fit for GB community tastes.

Also shoutouts to the one other person who was way into Planet WIth.

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#16 Posted by DocHaus (2768 posts) -

@milijango: I loved Planet With but not enough to make it into my personal top 5, but I encourage everyone to watch it if they can.

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#17 Posted by takashichea (531 posts) -


That is an interesting way to break ties

[Quote]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..[/quote]

Not sure if I can fully utilize it because of lower voter turn out in AV.

Not a lot of folks talk about the anime industry and pick significant events. Really appreciate seeing that, it is pretty informative. business and the workforce really affects a lot of things

I forgot you use trailers

Definitely a time saving thing. Menos makes bannners. Well, I do try to make some every year to lessen the workload on him.

Didn't expect Hinamatsuri. It might be due to the father themes and comedy. Giant Bomb loves God of War, Last of Us, Clementine. GB has a lot of older males compared to AV. That is just an assumption.

The only same placement is Devilman Crybaby in 3r place. That title stands out despite its rushed 10 episodes

Odd to see Dragon Ball Z Kai and not Dragon Ball Super. Oh wait Super is there. 2 entries not 2018

Excellent write up Dochaus

I get the feeling of retiring. The newer, young un need to step up.