DoubleSama’s Top 10 Anime (2018 Edition)

DoubleSama’s Top 10 Anime (2018 Edition)

Introduction

Today is DoubleSama.com’s first birthday! That’s right, one year ago today I posted my very first anime review, on the Monogatari series, and I’ve been doing it just about every day since then. So, to celebrate this special occasion which only comes once per year, we’re going to be doing something special.

Back on April 4th, I wrote up a very long post which covered my top 10 anime of all time. Today, I’ve updated that list for you all by including everything I’ve watched since then into the mix. My hope is that this will become an annual tradition in which I can talk about some of the anime I think are the best.

However, before we begin I should point out that this is a list of top 10 anime based on my ratings of them, not how much I enjoy them. It may sound strange that my highest rated anime aren’t necessarily my favorite, but we all have series which we love, and yet understand that they aren’t the greatest (Naruto: Shippūden).

And, finally, my last top 10 was a very long post, so in an attempt to shorten this one, I’ll try to stick to explaining why you should watch each of these series rather than an in-depth summary/review of each one.

10. Re:ZERO

Re:ZERO has been pushed to the bottom of this list from its previous position of sixth, and unless a second season of it comes out within the next year and really “wows” me, I have a hard time believing it will remain where it is today. That said, I enjoy this series very much and have seen it at least four times now.

By now we should all by familiar with the isekai genre which has been the dominant force in anime for the past couple of years, and this is exactly where Re:ZERO falls. However, instead of being a generic isekai like most series, Re:ZERO went for the dark, psychological thriller route.

While I think fantasy fans of all varieties should check out Re:ZERO, I really think anyone who likes fantasy, but is tired of all the other generic isekai, should watch this series. I think one of my favorite parts of the series is that the protagonist, Subaru Natsuki, understands all the isekai tropes, but unfortunately for him, that’s not the kind of story he’s in.

9. Your Lie in April (New!)

Kaori Miyazono from the anime series Your Lie in April
Kaori Miyazono

Maybe a dark, fantasy, psychological thriller isn’t for you; I get that. Maybe instead of being on the edge of your seat, you prefer to be a puddle of tears when you watch anime. If that’s the case, then Your Lie in April may just be the perfect series for you.

This anime is a romantic drama which leans heavily in the drama direction. The story is about a boy who’s a pianist and a girl who’s a violinist, so music nerds, this one’s for you. But, while the series is centered around music, it’s really about the relationship between our main characters, which if you’ve been around this blog long enough, is something you should know I’m a sucker for.

In fact, 8 out of the 10 anime on this list are tagged as drama on MAL, including Re:ZERO which I just went over. However, if pure, romantic, drama in a modern, realistic setting is what you’re looking for, I don’t think you’ll find a better series than Your Lie in April.

8. Fullmetal Alchemist

I almost don’t think I need to say anything about Fullmetal Alchemist because just about everyone reading this should have at least heard of it at some point. If shounen series are for you, then watch this because it’s considered the best anime of all time in the West. That said, if you enjoy shounen, you’ve probably already seen it.

So instead of going over what I think makes this series so good, let me give a few of my hot takes about it. First of all, out of the 10 series featured on this list, this is the only one which I believe to be overrated by the general masses. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but it’s not perfect.

Next, I prefer the 2003 version over the 2009 version, Brotherhood. Yes, Brotherhood looks much nicer and at times feels more like an adventure, but the story of the 2003 version is simply better. That said, I have them both rated the same, and I don’t really care which you like more.

7. A Silent Voice (New!)

Shouko Nishimiya from the anime movie A Silent Voice
Shouko Nishimiya

Have you now finished Your Lie in April since I recommended it two spots ago on this list? Do you crave more drama in your life? Then A Silent Voice is my next recommendation for you. However, unlike everything I’ve gone over so far, A Silent Voice is an anime movie, not a series.

Anime movies come with pros and cons. The good thing about them is that they generally have much higher production values and so look better than most TV series. But, they’re also shorter which means you’re trading in length for “value” (I guess?).

A Silent Voice is a story about a boy who once bullied a deaf girl in school, but then reconnects with her years later and wants to apologize for what he did. Honestly, this is the only anime I can think of which puts physical disabilities at the forefront of the story, and it does so in such a well-done fashion that it’s something everyone should watch.

Yes, we at first feel bad for Shouko Nishimiya due to her disability and the fact that she gets bullied for it, but over the course of the movie we’re shown how much of a strong character she is. And, yes, we see her in some very low lows, but she’s anything but helpless.

6. KonoSuba

KonoSuba is the lone comedy anime on this list. Generally, while I enjoy my comedy as much as the next person, I don’t typically think they should be rated above a 7/10. However, KonoSuba, as with everything else I’ve covered so far, is a 9/10.

It’s the second isekai anime on this top 10 list, but unlike Re:ZERO, it goes in a very different direction. This time around, instead of putting a dark twist on many of the genre tropes, KonoSuba decides to parody them through the use of both situational and physical comedy.

But, what makes KonoSuba truly stand above the rest of the comedy anime is its main cast of characters, Kazuma, Aqua, Megumin, and Darkness. All of these characters exemplify exactly what you wouldn’t want to have in your adventuring party, and that’s just part of what makes them great.

Really, it’s the chemistry between this main cast which makes the series so perfect. When watching KonoSuba, it doesn’t just feel like you’re watching a comedy anime, it feels like you’re actually there, hanging out with your friends who always get into trouble.

5. In This Corner of the World (New!)

Suzu Urano from the anime movie In This Corner of the World
Suzu Urano

The first 10/10 anime on my list is another movie, In This Corner of the World. However, unlike everything else on this list, this is actually a historical anime, which, I know, doesn’t sound all that exciting to some of you. But, considering I studied history in university, this is something I really like.

While I do think anyone can enjoy this movie, I’d specifically recommend it to those of you who are interested in seeing a different side of World War II. In the West, we tend to see the Second World War from an Allied military perspective, but this movie sheds light on how the war affected the average Japanese civilian.

But, not only is it a great movie from a historical perspective, it’s also a great movie in terms of its art and storytelling. At first I wasn’t sold on the watercolor-like art style, but as the movie progresses it makes a lot of sense for the narrative and is even used to devastating effect during the climax of the movie.

In fact, I think out of the three movies on this list, this is actually the one I’d recommend the most even though it’s not the highest one up on this list. I really think everyone can take something away from this movie.

4. Your Name.

The final movie on my list is the highest rated anime movie ever made, Your Name. While I think the story of A Silent Voice and the art of In This Corner of the World are better than those of Your Name., I still have to put this movie higher up on the list because of the characters and how it made me feel.

Your Name. is another drama, but this time with a supernatural twist which I won’t spoil here. The story follows two high school students who are from vastly different worlds, and yet are connected by the red thread of fate. But, as I mentioned, the characters are what I really loved about this movie.

Not only are the main characters simply enjoyable to watch, but they act just as many of us would in their situation. In too many anime the protagonists don’t act like real people would in crazy situations, and so it’s difficult to actually relate to them, but Your Name. doesn’t have this problem.

Finally, I also mentioned that part of why I love this movie is due to how it made me feel. There are very few anime which actually make me feel anything, and somehow Your Name. was able to hit both the highs and lows that made me feel. I didn’t cry, but I came close, and that’s a sign of a great anime as far as I’m concerned.

3. Violet Evergarden (New!)

Violet Evergarden and Ann Magnolia from the anime series Violet Evergarden
Violet Evergarden and Ann Magnolia

Violet Evergarden is, hands down, the best anime to come out during 2018. In fact, I debated putting this series in the number two spot, and I might in the future depending on how good the upcoming movie is. While the next series on the list is also technically a drama, Violet Evergarden is the definitive best drama I’ve ever seen.

I know I said something similar about Your Lie in April, but that one is just the best modern, realistic, romantic, drama. Violet Evergarden is the best drama, period. The story follows a young girl around the age of 14 named Violet as she searches for the meaning of the words “I love you” after her world is thrown into chaos.

However, chaos for Violet isn’t what you might expect. She was previously a military weapon during the Great War, and now she must adjust to civilian life after the loss of her arms and disappearance of her commanding officer who served as a father figure for her.

My one real complaint about this series is that it’s 13 episodes long, but peaks at episode 10. That said, what a peak episode 10 is. I just mentioned how Your Name. almost made me cry, well, episode 10 of Violet Evergarden was the closest any form of media has come to making me cry.

Seriously, go watch this series even if character driven drama isn’t for you. This series is probably the best looking anime series I’ve ever seen, and Violet is the purest girl in all of anime and deserves more fans.

2. Madoka Magica

For anyone who’s been around my blog for the past year, you already knew what these final two entries were going to be. Of course Madoka Magica is still up here near the top of the list. I’ve written a lot about this series and the next series on this list in the past.

Madoka Magica is the magical girl anime of this top 10 list and deserves to be viewed by even those who don’t see the magical girl genre as something they’re interested in. People typically say to give this series three episodes before forming an opinion on it because that’s when the twist comes in, but I say just watch the whole thing; it’s only 12 episodes.

This series is to the magical girl genre as Re:ZERO is to the isekai genre. It took the tropes of the genre and gave them a dark twist, which was something no other magical girl series had done at the time. Since then, there have been many “clones” of Madoka Magica, but the original is still the best.

Besides having a great plot and character chemistry, which are obviously important, Madoka Magica also boasts one of the greatest anime OSTs ever along with superb animation thanks to my favorite studio, Shaft. Shaft anime may not look as pretty as KyoAni’s Violet Evergarden, but I love the unique styles they use.

1. Monogatari Series

Did you guess that the Monogatari series was going to be number one? Because you should have. I’ve honestly written so much about this series in the past that I’m not entirely sure what more I can say about it to convince anyone to watch it. So, let’s just run through some of the things this series nails.

The character designs, characteristics, and chemistry are all flawless. The OST is great and the OP/EDs are near perfect. The art and animation are crisp. The dialogue is witty and actually very important for the series. And, there’s no shortage of content from this series.

Aside from the character designs, the main draw to this series, for me at least, is the character chemistry and dialogue. The interactions between all the various characters are just so well written, and the wordplay is woven into each conversation so perfectly.

If you don’t already appreciate copious amounts of Japanese wordplay, you will after watching this series. And, I know that dialogue heavy series that don’t have dubs can be daunting for a lot of casual viewers, but I promise that this series is well worth it.

Conclusion

So, there’s my top 10 anime list updated for the 2018 year. I should also note that not everything which was newly added to this list released in 2018. For example, Your Lie in April released in 2014 and A Silent Voice released in 2016, I just hadn’t watched them until this year.

And, I should point out that although the majority of my content are reviews of either series or episodes, I’m not against creating top 10 or top 5 lists like this. If you’d like to see more content like this, just let me know down in the comments, and if you add some list ideas, you might even see yours chosen.

So, I hope you enjoyed this special post celebrating one year of DoubleSama.com. If you did, let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below, and maybe even share this post via the social share buttons down there as well. And, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama as always.

To commemorate one year of DoubleSama.com I’m also releasing a special sticker on the shop which will be available until the two-year anniversary, at which time it will be swapped out. But, if stickers and other physical merch isn’t for you, you can still show your support for the site via Patreon.com/DoubleSama where you can obtain a variety of other benefits.

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