2018 has all but ended, and a year of anime it has been. There have been many highs and several lows, many great series, and a few crappy ones. With the year over though, it is time for me to share my list for the best and worst of anime this year. So after the cut let’s get into it!
My previous list done 3 seasons into the anime year is found here. How much changed? Let’s find out!
Best and Worst of the Year
Best Anime of Year: Golden Kamuy and Rascal Does not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
My Take: Both of these animes could have won the award themselves, but together they represent the absolute best 2018 could offer. Golden Kamuy provides a glimpse into a time of Japan that has not been seen often in anime, with larger than life characters and a grounded plot. Bunny Girl Senpai treads familiar ground but approaches high school and teenage life with a sense of realism wrapped up in scientific oddities. With excellent casts, great music, touching stories, and very little dip in quality. Both Golden Kamuy and Rascal Does not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai tie for the best anime of 2018, and they earn it completely.
Also no, I never watched A Place Further than the Universe, which is the anime everyone else seems to be giving this award to. Sorry!
Ecchi/Harem Anime of the Year: How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord
My Take: Demon Lord is solid proof that you can have a really basic premise work if you polish it to a mirror shine. It’s standard Isekai and Harem fantasy, but everything top to bottom is made with love, attention, and commitment. The sleeper hit of the year, Demon Lord is an example of ecchi and harem animes done right and is a must-see for any fan of the genre.
Ecchi/Harem Anime of the Year Runner-Up: High School DxD Hero
My Take: Despite an uneven start due to having to fix mistakes in the previous season, plus the length between seasons 3 and 4. High School DxD remains the king of the ecchi/harem genre. Everything that makes it a masterpiece is still there, and this season has the main character undergo the type of character development very rarely seen in this genre. While Demon Lord squeaks into the top spot, High School DxD Hero is right under it and still remains the king.
Worst Anime of the Year: The Master of Ragnarok and Blessing of Einherjar
My Take: Horribly paced, with uninteresting characters, a Mary-Sue protagonist with no redeeming qualities, and not even enough ecchi to make it bearable. Master of Ragnarok is everything wrong with Isekai. If you hated In Another World with My Smartphone, watch this and apologize to that show, because Ragnarok makes it look like a fucking masterpiece.
Most Disappointing Anime: Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card
My Take: This is a good show, but it wasn’t the next part of the series many were hoping. Instead, it was a nostalgic trip down memory lane. That’s fine, but I wanted a bit more from what is considered the great work of the Shoujo and Magical Girl genres.
Most Confusing Anime: Island
My Take: I still don’t understand what the hell happens in this show, and man does it take some weird turns.
Most Controversial Anime: Darling in the Franxx
My Take: Goblin Slayer might have had the single most controversial episode, but Franxx’s overall theme and ideas rubbed many the wrong way. It’s overall quality and late game plot twist also helped it snagged this award. I enjoyed Franxx for what it was, but several others had much more to say that I did.
Openings and Endings
Best Opening Theme: Kiss of Death (Darling in the Franxx)
Runner-Up: Clear (Cardcaptor Sakura Clear Card)
Honorable Mention: Bright Burning Shout (Fate/Extra Last Encore)
Best Ending Theme: CheerS (Cells at Work)
Runners-Up: Fukashigi no Carte (Rascal Does not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai) and Tokimeki Climax (Uzamaid!)
Honorable Mention: Saiaku na hi demo Anata ga Suki (Demon Lord)
Characters and Couples
Best Girl: Red Blood Cell (Cells at Work)
Runner-up: Mai Sakurajima (Bunny Girl Senpai) and Tsubami Kamoi (Uzamaid!)
Honorable Mention: Shera L Greenwood (Demon Lord)
Best Guy: Sakuta Azsuagawa (Bunny Girl Senpai)
Runner-Up: Goro the Godbro (Darling in the Franxx)
Honorable Mentions: Saichi Sugimoto (Golden Kamuy), Issei Hyodou (High School DxD)
Worst Girl: The Entire Female Cast of Master of Ragnarok (Master of Ragnarok)
Worst Guy: Hiro (Darling in the Franxx)
Best Couple: Sakuta Azsuagawa and Mai Sakurajima (Bunny Girl Senpai)
Runner-Up: Diablo, Shera L Greenwood and Rem Galleu (Demon Lord)
Best Imouto: Kaede Azsuagawa (Bunny Girl Senpai)
Best Character Name: Aheago Double-Peace Sensei (My Sister My Writer)
Moments, English Dub and General Awards
Best English Voice Actor: Eric Vale as Diablo (Demon Lord)
Best English Voice Actress: Jad Saxton as Koneko Toujou, Rem Galleu and Rinne (High School DxD, Demon Lord and Island)
Best Male English Dub Line: “I’m going to make you eat those words like a kid doing the Tide Pod Challenge!” (Josh Grelle as Issei, High School DxD Hero)
Best Female English Dub Line: “Did your brain slip all the way into your bewbs?” (Jad Saxton as Rem, Demon Lord)
Best Boobs: Shera L Greenwood (Demon Lord) and Cow Girl (Goblin Slayer)
Best Butt: Red Saber (Fate/Extra Last Encore)
Best Nipples: Sword Maiden (Goblin Slayer)
Best Abs: Tsubame Kamoi (Uzamaid!) and the Male Cast of Golden Kamuy (Golden Kamuy)
Best Thighs: Rikka Takarada (SSSS.Gridman)
Best Anime Moment: Issei Hyoudou’s Self-reflection (High School DxD Hero)
My Take: In one simple scene, High School DxD does what few harem animes have done before. This moment of self-reflection and conversation with the girls is the crowning jewel of High School DxD and the best moment of the year, bar none.
Worst Anime Moment: The Introduction of VIRM (Darling in the Franxx)
My Take: Want an example of pissing away your premise right near the end? Watching episode 21 of Darling in the Franxx and see how it’s done. In one episode, Franxx ruins everything it is with a bullshit “aliens all along twist” that is so out of left field, it is still mind-boggling.
Most “Are you kidding me?” Moment: Giant Mecha Zero Two (Darling in the Franxx)
Most “What the Fuck!?” Moment: Diablo having to remove Krebskulm from Rem (Demon Lord)