It’s posts like this that remind me why I prefer making Favorite lists and why I don’t like limiting the picks to only 10, especially in a year as amazing as 2018. So many shows that catered to me aired this year that picking 10 alone was tough. Readers will notice me saying this a lot in the list “I had a hard time picking one over the other”.
Note 1: I will not include anime movies. This is strictly a TV show list.
Note 2: This is MY LIST. These are the shows I enjoyed most in 2018.
Note 3: Post will contain some spoilers.
Before we get started here are some honorable mentions:
- Akanesasu Shoujo
- Release the Spyce
- Zombie Land Saga
- Toji no Miko
- Every Girls Club show that aired alongside the ones mentioned in this list
Now we can begin.
Oh yes. I’m sure some fans are surprised by this pick considering my thoughts on the manga. To recap. I don’t think the main story is great nor do I think Citrus is one of the greatest yuri series of all time. It is however, a good soap opera/telenovela and much easier to enjoy in anime form. The main reason it made the list though is the gift that is seeing Our Savior Harumin in all her animated glory. Totally worth it. The anime also gets brownie points for finally making me believe there is a human soul deep, deep, deep, deep, deep inside Mei-Tron’s half-robot biomechanical shell. Something the manga couldn’t accomplish for years.
In 2018 very interesting Moepocalypse shows aired. While I wasn’t able to finish the second half of Lostorage WIXOSS or Cutie Honey Universe the two I did finish in time stuck in my head. It was hard choosing between Happy Sugar Life and my #10 pick but Magical Girl Site won. Both shows are hard to watch at times. Not because an episode sucked but for how brutal things got. HSL has the psychological element on its side but I enjoyed MGS more because of everything else. The action, creepy factor, intense scenery, cool fights and of course Aya X Tsuyuno’s romance. Satou X Shio’s was also very intriguing but Aya X Tsuyuno’s won me over. Also Garbage Boy is scum. That was the point but seriously that guy can burn in Hades and that wouldn’t be punishment enough for the jerk.
#8: Gun Gale Online
When it comes to “Female centered spinoffs of series I’m not interested in” I’d say Gun Gale Online is one of the best. The offline segments are hit and miss but when it comes to the online stuff, especially the Squad Jams, that’s where the show shines brightest. LLENN along with her offline self are great leads and most of the allies she makes in her quest to calm down a certain someone are fun to watch too…except M. He was just there. Speaking of that someone, she too was great. Don’t get me started on the final battle…My goodness that was gloriously insane. The last reason was what happened near the end.
#7: Yuru Camp
Cute (gay) campers having fun while teaching viewers about camping. The show is Yama no Susume’s spiritual successor and while Yama no Susume had a solid 3rd season Yuru Camp had a greater impact with its super cozy fluffiness. Now we sit back and wait for the continuation of the adventures of Secret Society BLANKET in the near future. Luckily we won’t have to wait long.
A show about gay horsies that surprised me a great deal. What I thought after watching the first two episodes would be a show about horse idols with some racing on the side turned out to be an engaging sport journey in a world of racing, that happens to star horse girls. It was a journey full of ups and downs, working hard to go beyond the limits of an ordinary horse athlete. The races themselves got better and more exciting with each one that aired. While Special Silence were a great main couple the duo that stole the show for me were…you guessed it, Gold McQueen. Such an entertaining side-couple. Also Trainer Guy wasn’t as bad as we initially thought…though I would love to forget the absolute disaster that was the first episodic of this show…Let’s move on before I lose my temper again.
Top 5 coming up.
#5: Anima Yell!
When it comes to Girls Club shows 2018 brought their A-Game. It was hard picking a few out of many. Shows like Slow Start, Comic Girls and Tonari no Kyuuketsuki-san all filled my Girls Club aficionado heart with great joy…but the one that won me over the most, even more than Yuru Camp, was Anima Yell! The show about “gay chairleaders” put a smile on my face each and every week. Even the basic premiere had me interested. No show had me laughing as much as this one did on a weekly. The performances were pretty cool. Plus it was one of the few GC shows that managed to briefly trend on Twitter. Something incredibly rare. Every single GC show that aired this year deserves a second season. Unfortunately only Yuru Camp was able to win the mainstream over so the odds of the others getting continuations are slim. Still, one can hope.
The Antarctica Show…where the girls don’t reach the frozen wasteland until around the third quarter. So what did we get before that? Some of the best drama of 2018 without it going over the top or reaching melodramatic levels. Every character had reasonable obstacles to overcome as they both earned the right and prepared for their arduous journey to help Shirase find the fabled “Place Further Than The Universe” and find closure. We also got a neat surprise that makes sense to open-minded viewers.
#3: Revue Starlight
Theatrical Yuri that for some reason viewers thought it would be another idol anime, even though idol stuff and takurazuka are different things. Then the 2nd half of the first episode happened and…let’s just say everything changed. The show became something akin to a show written by Ikuhara but not as complex. Everything that happened on the show was part of the girls’ stories. The music, lyrics, lighting, stage set during performances, the performance itself and much more. Everything had meaning behind it and every girl got a chance to tell their tale and snuggle. There’s good reason the series became a surprise hit in Japan…or maybe it was always destined to be a hit. Dunno how popular takurazuka is in Japan.
#2: Harukana Receive
2018 was the year of sports anime starring or centered around female athletes. I have told this story a couple of times. After the KEIJO!!!!!!!! was cancelled in 2017. When it happened my heart felt empty. Not since Mouretsu Pirates and Yuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru did it feel like I had found a show made just for me. Then Harukana Receive came and not only filled the void left by KEIJO!!!!!!!!’s absence but gave me so much more. Another great sports journey about cute and sexy girls training hard to be the best they can be. It being beach volleyball, all episodes were swimsuit episodes and longtime fans of mine how I feel about those. Also all teams were dating or started dating. Best of all, no one in the show minded a sport be dominated by lesbian athletes. As it should be.
Backup #1: Hugtto! PreCure
Before we get to the (for now) official #1 let us go over the first of two reasons why it became #1. The first was this Backup #1 hadn’t ended yet as of this writing so anything can happen in the finale. In case the finale is a satisfying one here’s why Hugtto! PreCure would be my #1. I started watching the Pretty Cure franchise around 2015 with my first pick of Doki Doki PreCure and enjoyed every entry recommended to me. I began covering seasons weekly with Mahou Tsukai PreCure. Kira Kira PreCure a la Mode, while not super popular, had its good points. Then the 15th Anniversary season aired, Hugtto! PreCure. I can confidently say that (finale notwithstanding) this is the best season of PreCure I have ever seen and one of the best magical girl anime of all time. It tackled some heavy subject matter for a kids show not seen since Heartcatch or Go! Princess PreCure. The entire cast is interesting and likable. The action scenes were what one would expect from the franchise (Hard hitting) and this team of Cures are one of, if not, my favorite. Most important of all was the gift that is my #1 yuri couple of 2018. One whose romance equaled the magnificence of Yamada X Kase-san. Again if the ending is satisfactory then expect me to come back and update the list by dethroning the current #1 with this show.
And now my current #1 anime of 2018.
#1: Bloom Into You
The 2nd reason why this show is at #1 is because Kase-san didn’t get a 12-13 episode anime covering the first manga series. Had it got a similar treatment as Citrus and this show then it would have EASILY taken the #1 spot, even surpassing Hugtto! PreCure. Still, the hour long movie we did get was still really good. And that’s how Bloom Into You ended up becoming #1 of 2018 (for now). Prior to watching the anime I hadn’t checked out the BiY manga due to lack of interest. Not because I thought it sucked but because I overlooked it. Having seen the anime I was introduced to what ended up becoming my…#5 favorite yuri series of all time. It is another drama but an excellently executed one. It is slow paced (Not as slow as Aoi Hana) but it made sure to use every minute it had to tell a compelling story for all its main trio. Even the side-characters, no matter how small their role, served a purpose. The main couple had an interesting dynamic exploring what it means to love and be loved. Not to mention the latest “Cursed One” and the show stealing side-couple.
Honestly I would love a 2nd season of BiY and wouldn’t mind Citrus getting one either, mainly because I want to see the rest of their stories animated, not drawn.
There you have it. My current list. It could change in a couple of weeks depending on how events transpire in one show. Feel free to name your Top 10 or 5 in the comments below.