7th Annual GB AOTY Poll: "That's My Jam!" Edition

Avatar image for dochaus
Posted by DocHaus (2771 posts) -
Sorry this poll came so late, too busy thinking about Hellshake Yano
Sorry this poll came so late, too busy thinking about Hellshake Yano

Hello there all you lovely Duders!

While you have been making Top 10 Game of the Year lists, the denizens and lurkers of your local Anime and Cartoon Megathread have been watching a bunch of Japanese cartoons and are now prepared to rank them in an order, so you know which ones to watch (or avoid, depending on your opinion). We've also continued with extra categories if anyone wishes, including best STYYYYLE, best QUALITY, best OP/ED, and more!

RIP Zucchero, at least your namesake is still alive.

This being a community thing, we've opened the floodgates to let everyone (with a Giant Bomb account) vote! So do your duty, let your voice be heard, and despair when some terrible Light Novel adaptation gets enough votes to push an actual good show out of the Top 10, further proving that democracy doesn't work.

Will My Hero Academia retain the belt from last year, or will some upstart knock it down? Only one way to find out! Vote!

How do I vote?

Click here, and enter your username and choices in the respective fields. You can ignore all but the first two questions if you wish, but you'll be missing out! If you need help remembering which anime aired this year, me and @takashicheacompiled a big list to peruse through and pick out which show(s) are "Best of 2018" worthy.

How will the votes be counted?

The votes will be tallied by weighted vote first, followed by unweighted vote as a tiebreaker. So if you want your show to have a better shot at winning, you should put it higher on your ballot.

Is this an official Giant Bomb thing?

No, this is all me with help from taka and love from the denizens of the Anime & Cartoon Megathread. Feel free to stop by, we don't bite!

What if my favorite show started before but continued into this year?

For super-long shows or shows with separation between seasons, you'd be only considering the episodes or season that aired this year when making your choice. I don't have a real way of enforcing this, so we're just going to go on the honor system here.

Can I still vote for a show that's not on the list?

If it aired this year and it's missing, let myself or @takashichea know and we'll add it. If it didn't air this year, then feel free to vote for it anyways, just know that it probably won't count.

Anime is for Jerks!

Yes. Also, that's not a question.

How long do I have to vote?

I'll end this around the first weekend of January (subject to change, but that's a good bet).

Have fun!

Thanks! Just shoot me a PM or reply below if you have any questions or comments.

Avatar image for bowl-of-lentils
#1 Edited by Bowl-of-Lentils (1131 posts) -

I had Kakegurui in my top 5. Does that still count since it premiered in the US this year on Netflix?

Avatar image for dochaus
#2 Posted by DocHaus (2771 posts) -
Avatar image for zomgfruitbunnies
#3 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (1291 posts) -

@lentfilms: Shit, that reminds me I never put up my AotY anime thing for last year because I ended up in the hospital for two months. Kakegurui was also in my top five. Guess I'll toss it up as a blog.

With regards to this year's AotY, still waiting for two shows to finish: SSSS.Gridman and Golden Kamuy. The latter is locked for me at this point, just a matter of where it'll sit in my top five. Gridman will definitely make my top 10, and the last episode will be the decider for whether it makes top five. Also, going through INGRESS at the moment, might finish it this weekend so let's see if it makes the cut (probably not).

Went through the list of shows for this year, so here are some early stats:

Total anime watched62
Total anime finished34
Total anime unfinished+dropped28
Seasonal Distribution%
Winter 201828
Spring 201843
Summer 201817
Fall 201812

I started with a initial list of 18 for top 10, then whittled that down to 5. Top 10 was easy, but the last five I'm still going to mull over for a bit.

Looking forward to everyone's list for 2018!

Avatar image for mezmero
#4 Posted by mezmero (3788 posts) -

I might be abstaining for two years in a row, I'm not sure. I can come up with a top five but more than half of my actual favorites are just ongoing stuff from previous years. If we're gonna rip-off GB awards I wouldn't mind a Best Music category of which I personally would put Hanebado as a strong contender. And styyyyyyyle seems like a weird thing to consider for anime as I imagine for most people styyyyyle is like 80% of the enjoyment for most shows. Ranking a top five is essentially ranking the styyyyyle tilt for one's personal preference.

Avatar image for dochaus
#5 Edited by DocHaus (2771 posts) -

Your comment has been noted and will be answered in order of importance.

Avatar image for animasta
#6 Posted by Animasta (14948 posts) -

if there was a best music poll I would probably register three accounts just to vote for Revue Starlight, tbh

Avatar image for takashichea
#7 Edited by takashichea (531 posts) -

Haven't been on Giant Bomb for a long time. Thanks to DocHaus, the folks at Anime Vice for the help, the Gdocs for voting wouldn't be completed.

If you have any questions, let DocHaus or myself know. I haven't fill out the rest of FAll 2018 companies. That's just for data and for anyone who was searching for anime entries by company. I know there are folks who only vote for Shaft or a specific studio created anime in the community.

Looking forward to the results! (I think I missed last year's results. I did vote for sure)

Yeah, both Giant Bomb and Anime Vice's best anime of 2017 was My Hero Academia. That is a cool coincidence.

to anyone in Giant Bomb who reads manga and see the manga section of the Gdocs. I know DocHaus is only doing anime in Giant Bomb. If you like to vote for manga and don't mind if it's a different community (Albeit, Giant Bomb and Anime Vice were sister sites befre 2013), I welcome you guys and gals to Anime Vice Boards.

DocHaus and I are working our best to find out the best anime in both communities. It's a lot of work.

I forgot how to reply in this site. To used to BBCODE.


If you have trouble, you can always vote for one title.


DocHaus answered your question. I just wanted to add more clarification

Netflix tends to release their anime series a bit late. That's part of the issue with their simulcast because unlike Devilman Crybaby, most of them have a TV broadcast.

The gdocs are based on the Japanese TV broadcast dates so think of MyAnimeList. Any shows came from their database.


That's why Kakegurui isn't listed on the Gdocs


it's a 2017 anime series. Its 2nd season airs in January 2019.

Avatar image for damenco
#8 Edited by Damenco (62 posts) -

For that you love anime? What could be interesting? I'm really interested in knowing that.

Avatar image for dochaus
#9 Posted by DocHaus (2771 posts) -

Gonna probably close the voting down sometime next week, so vote if you haven't already done so!

Avatar image for zomgfruitbunnies
#10 Edited by Zomgfruitbunnies (1291 posts) -

Since voting is coming to a close, it seems appropriate to toss up the lists. C'mon, duders, we want to read your stuff! I'll go first.

Pretty easy year for me, maybe because I haven't had a lot of time to dedicate to anime. Still went through a good number of shows, though. Let's start from the top this year:

1. The Ancient Magus' Bride

A heartfelt tale that showcases the perseverance of the human spirit and its ability to shine even in the darkest abyss, this series is all about overcoming adversity while embracing the flaws of the human condition. The story moves at a steady, brisk pace, moving protagonist Chise from one challenge to the next, never remaining in one spot for too long, while delivering one magical experience after another. Whether it’s the streets of London, the pastures of Elias’ estate, or the wild, enchanting forests of the countryside, this series renders its visuals with the same immaculate care given to its storytelling. Subtle, reserved, and full of heart, The Ancient Magus' Bride stands as one of the series that not only met its high expectation, but exceeded it with flying colors.

2. Golden Kamuy

Set shortly after the Russo-Japanese war of 1904, Golden Kamuy revolves around the race to find a stash of hidden Ainu gold. Featuring a sizeable cast of characters from all walks of life, Hokkaido becomes a battlefield for their bloody quest for booty to further their respective ambitions. Believable, sympathetic, principled, and ruthless, these traits can be used to describe all of the characters encountered in the show, yet each carries him/herself so distinctively with such dignity I can’t help but love them all. This is a show with no bad guys, just a bunch of fellows out to get what they want, and when interests collide, they collide spectacularly. The fights are brutal and visceral. Allegiances form and break, and backstabbing is commonplace. Golden Kamuy keeps one guessing till the very end, and there’s still a lot more left in store to explore.

3. A Place Further than the Universe

The practicalities of a bunch of high-school girls joining an Antarctica expedition aside, A Place Further than the Universe accomplishes what it sets out to do: to tell a story about building bonds and moving forward in life. Director Ishizuka Atsuko deserves special mention for making all of the different aspects of production come together to birth this wonderful little gem. At times cute, at times serious, this series’ handling of dramatic pacing is downright outstanding. Using what it builds up in the process to its full potential, A Place Further than the Universe’s conveys a strong message with reserved sublimity. Our distance to the universe might be great, but the distance between our hearts is greater than any physical destination, so value your connections and cherish them.

4. Hinamatsuri

Comedy is probably one the things I’m least adept at commenting on, but to simply call Hinamatsuri a comedy would be selling it short. While the story follows the standard episodic, slice-of-life formula, this series excels at what it does well. Most of the jokes are good natured and stick their landing fairly solidly. Occasionally, and perhaps unintentionally, the gags reach deeper than one would expect and evoke some pretty good feels. The characters are likeable and distinct, even the relatively shitty ones have redeeming qualities. The visuals remain inoffensive and consistent, and the voice acting definitely enhances the experience. Maybe it’s because 2018 has been a relatively bad year for comedy anime, Hinamatsuri stands head and shoulders above most of the competition.

5. Overlord

How often does one get to watch a show about an all-powerful individual who’s so cautious about everything that he becomes his own worst enemy? Overlord is an isekai adventure about the protagonist’s methodical conquest of the world. Watching Ainz go overkill on preparation is part of the joy of Overlord. When everything goes according to plan, one cheers because one sees the efforts expended prior to execution. Even better are when things don’t unfold so neatly, often due to the overenthusiasm of one certain retainer, and watching Ainz fumble around, ad-libbing to cover for the unexpected turn of events while keeping his distress from showing is often hilarious, or at the very least capable of drawing some hearty chuckles. At its worst, Overlord is baggage-free feel good entertainment. After three seasons, we’ve still much left to cover, and given its popularity there’s likely more coming in the future.

6. SSSS.Gridman

This is a show that I went from being fairly ambivalent about to really digging it. It’s hard to talk about without spoiling, so I’ll keep this entry short. Coming-of-age story about a nerd in an existential crisis frame in the context of a tokusatsu hero show done as an anime. Lots of homages and references to other works in the tokusatsu genre. I can’t say this is going to be for everyone, especially if you didn’t grow up with shit like Ultraman or Power Rangers.

7. Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory

If I’m counting correctly, it’s been thirteen years since the last FMP TV series. Didn’t disappoint in the least. While this new season doesn’t cover a lot of material, it marks a huge turning point in the relationship between Sousuke and Chidori. The war between Mithril and Amalgam is also getting very real. People are dying, some are getting captured and others defecting, the stage is set for the big conflict we’ve been waiting for. Here’s to hoping it won’t be another thirteen years before the next season.

8. Darling in the FranXX

For all of its faults, DarliFra is still a decent series. Okay, okay, the whole VIRM bit is pretty poorly written, and while I think the series does execute on its themes adequately, there are better ways to handle the last spurt. I get it, the story is a vehicle for delivering your philosophical package, but c’mon, ya can’t just throw good storytelling out the window wholesale like that. Giant robot space waifu is a pretty weird way to sell your point, no matter how relevant that point may be to the series as a whole. Still, it does do quite a few things very well, and I’d be doing it a disservice by dismissing the show altogether.

9. Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis

This would have been a lot higher on my list should it have had more episodes. We don’t get many space operas these days, and this show is just grand. From its worldview to overall design, there’s just so much character to everything, and everything happens at a measured pace which adds an additional layer of reality to many of the space battles. The last space opera I watched to completion is Tytania, and Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis definitely makes me want to dig further into the genre.

10. Megalo Box

Frankly, the story got pretty rote. It has some sick music, I’ll admit, and the boxing stuff is choreographed nicely, but there’s only so much one can do with a show that’s about dudes punching one another. The obvious filling would be the human drama that revolves around the punching and unfortunately Megalo Box doesn’t do a good enough job with it. Many of its characters’ side stories do not deviate much from the tired, stereotypical clichés found in B-tier sports anime. In some ways, I understand what Megalo Box is going for and it does execute and then some. Joe’s arc makes a lot of sense in terms of what he embodies symbolically, but you can’t write a story like that while hoping people will ignore the obvious shortcomings.

Now for some stuff that I finished but didn’t make the cut

Sirius the Jaeger – One of the better Netflix (licensed) series of the year. Pacing got a little messy as the show progress and absolutely did not stick the landing.

Fate/EXTRA Last Encore – PLEASE STAHP!

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens – This is an okay waste of time. A poor man’s DRRR!!, if you will.

Kokkoku – Another one that didn’t stick the landing. Cool premise and all that, real rushed ending.

Tada Doesn't Fall in Love – It has its moments, but too much melodrama and not enough good melodrama.

Cells at Work – Biggest surprise of the year. A little confused about its target audience, but overall a nice little thing.

Grand Blue – I like this show a lot, but I understand why it’s not good. Real crass and juvenile, so if that kind of thing is your cup o’ tea, go for it.

Some more things that I finished but don’t really much to say about

Dagashi Kashi Season 2

Junji Ito Collection

Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles

Record of Grancrest War

The Ryuo's Work is Never Done!

Today's Menu for Emiya Family

Vanishing Line

Food Wars! Season 4

Isekai Izakaya: Japanese Food From Another World

Persona 5: The Animation

Back Street Girls

Chio's School Road

Miss caretaker of Sunohara-sou

Goblin Slayer

Things that are still ongoing and I might end up finishing



Fist of the Blue Sky: Re:Genesis

Space Battleship Tiramisu

Banana Fish

Middle Manager Tonegawa

A Certain Magical Index Season 3

Hinomaru Sumo

Karakuri Circus

Sword Art Online: Alicization

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime

Things I dropped or won’t be finishing anytime soon for one reason or another

Killing Bites – yeah, this got pretty close to being straight-up hentai during a few scenes

Bailisk: The Ouka Ninja Scrolls – this is so bad.



Violet Evergarden – I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to finish this during the time it was airing, want to finish eventually.

Black Clover

Dorei-ku The Animation

Magical Girl Ore

My Hero Academia Season 3

You Don't Know Gunma Yet

Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online

Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion – really want to finish this actually, just can’t find it anywhere

Attack on Titan Season 3



Netflix and anime

2018 saw Netflix throwing hella money at anime production. Excluding Castlevania, 2018 started with Devilman Crybabywhich garnered praise from critics and fans alike, and like many others I thought if Netflix could maintain the kind of quality displayed in DC, we would be in for a very interesting year.

Boy, was I wrong.

March saw the release of B: The Beginning, a visually stunning supernatural police procedural. Unfortunately, visuals are all that it has going for it. Storytelling pacing and plot began crumbling midway through the series and never recovered. Storylines dangled and stagnated, while the show slowly self-destructed in textbook fashion, leading to a thoroughly unsatisfying and unresolved conclusion. Still, I had hope. As Netflix’ first foray into episodic anime, B: The Beginning shows us the company is at least unafraid to provide funds to maintain an above average degree of visual fidelity. Maybe just hire better writer next time, no big deal.

A.I.C.O. -Incarnation- is a simultaneous March release, and being my second Netflix anime, it does restore some of my faith in the company’s anime strategy. Overall, A.I.C.O. is a step up from B, featuring a better told story and more relatable characters, while keeping visual quality at a high level. There were still problems, sure, but this is a noticeable improvement and I was becoming optimistic, again. However, my expectations would be betrayed two weeks later, when Netflix released one of the worst anime I’ve ever encountered.

No matter how one looks at it, SWORD GAI The Animation is a failure of epic proportions. Normally, excluding all else, one can count on the Japanese VAs putting up a decent performance. This is not the case here, and it is mostly due to the reprehensibly bad dialogue. There are far too many instances of characters seemingly talking utter nonsense to one another. Protagonist Gai spends half of his screen time screaming and growling, and the other half consists of him being a complete dickbag to other characters. The story is dull beyond belief, and the poorly animated CG battles add nothing enjoyable to the experience. Finally, to add insult to injury, this thing has 24 episodes. Like, who thought this is okay? WHO?

Not all was lost, as Aggretsuko briefly broke the cycle of shit by achieving a degree of quality many full-length shows never could, which is pretty awesome. Unfortunately, the relief is short-lived as Netflix would end the year with another stinker in the form of Hero Mask.

Make no mistake, while not as egregiously bad as Sword Gai, Hero Mask is still pretty darn terrible. This is going to sound petty, but damn, the main character name is James Blood and the first scene is a bunch of people wearing Guy Fawkes masks. Whew. I don’t know if this is production trying to be edgy or what, but I certainly laughed out loud. Equally laughable is the show’s absolute determination in hoping to look like a Hollywood action flick by employing ridiculous amounts of rapid camera cuts during action scenes. Most of the time this fails and everything ends up being an unintelligible mess. The editing is so, so bad. The story consists of a bunch of inept cops who solve the mystery of the titular mask(s) through the power of pure coincidence. That’s right, contrary to what one might expect from a cop show, there’s no real detective work. Nothing is explained, the bad guys are bad just because the show says they are, the good guys are idiots, and the last episode is a hot dumpster fire. There is only one brief arc feature one character (not even a main character, mind you) that loosely resembles character development and stuff, and it actually made me dislike the main cast even more (can you believe it?) due to further witnessing their utter incompetence.

All in all, my 2018 experience with Netflix original anime leans more toward the negative side. I guess I’m still hopeful due to Aggretsuko popping up in there. I mean, when you throw enough money at different project and people it’s only a matter of time before something good comes out of the mix of bad. More resources in the industry is almost always a good thing, but when they’re being used to churn out one hot mess after another it’s hard not to feel disheartened at least a little bit. Not really that much left to say other than hoping 2019 will be a better year for NOAs and that the company show more concern for their investments.


And there you have it. I hope that was at least a somewhat fun read. Obviously, I have a lot more to say about many of these listed shows, but this is not the place to do it. Things like Megalo Box, DarliFra, Gridman, and Sword Gai probably deserve their own articles. Maybe when I get my thoughts organized enough I'll do something with some of them. Anyways, 2018 is behind us now, time to start on 2019.

Avatar image for dochaus
#11 Posted by DocHaus (2771 posts) -

Polls closing up, thanks to everyone who voted, will follow up with the results when I get the chance.

Avatar image for takashichea
#12 Edited by takashichea (531 posts) -


I don't have a list. Nice list. I might as well try to dump something. Netflix only had 3 good anime series: Aggretsuko, Dragon Pilot: Hisone and Masotan and Devilman Crybaby not including Castlevania since that isn't an anime. Oddly enough, Aggretsuko and Devilman Crybaby are the only ones that didn't have TV broadcast which is good since that was part of Netflix's anime simulcast problems. Netflix tends to be late with their anime simulcasts in past years.

Crunchyroll and FUNimation partnership ended in 2018 due to Sony buying up FUNimation. Fans were split. For me, it means I have to get 2 subscriptions to watch my anime as I only watch subs.

Amazon's Anime Strike ended. Good god it did.

IN terms of simulcasting, Crunchyroll and FUNimation were top guns. HIDIVE maybe small - I feel it might suffer the same fate as Daisuki, antother small streaming site

I have nt heard anything about Viewster, Wakanim, r the other simulcast sites.

Jan 1, 2019 at 4:38pm via mobile


Post by Taka on Jan 1, 2019 at 4:38pm

I voted. I took too long. Usually I try to vote before everyone else especially before sending confirmation pms.

This year in anime was weak for me since I do prefer action, fantasy, sci-fi over slice of life

This year's slice of Life shows had me loving it.


Cells at Work


Asobi Asobase


School Babysitters

How to keep a Mummy

Hi Score Girl

The show before the long cour shows of Fall 2018

Megalo Box started off good but I hated how it ended

Persona 5 - I love the game. The adaptation could have been better. It is the only anime series that I get attached to the source material. I usually ignore the source material and never compare it to the anime adaptation. Most of the time, it is easy because I don't read manga due to legal access.

Devilman Crybaby - it was a bit too much

Attack on Titan - wasn't as intense. Had few good moments than bad ones

Darling in the Franxx - had a good concept but its 2nd part crash due to being pretentious and it can't shake off of being compared to better mecha shows. It has the feeling of being a copycat

It would be too early to vote Karakuri Circus, JoJo, Fairy Tail, Alicization, or A Certain Magical Index since they are more 24 episodes

I won't vote for them until next year. They should have started in Winter, early year or Spring otherwise people tend to vote for good recent anime and really memorable ones prior. It will be hard to remember just good anime if it didn't hold a lasting impression.

The best action ones for me was My Hero Academia and Golden Kamuy.


Sorry Partner, I didn't hype or comment enough. Was busy and shit exploded in the Anime Vice battle forum just before New Year's Day. Can't really relax and enjoy the holidays with our debaters going at each ther's throat.

I didn't know you had the poll open this long. Some of my mod teammates told me to open the poll earlier. Might be a good idea to open it earlier and close it even later. I hope the turn out was good.