Like everyone else here, I like anime. I spend a lot of time drooling over fan art at Pixiv... especially the cute boys, but the moe girls too. Shotaz and loliz ftw! Sometimes I think I'm an upstanding individual, but most of the time I'm a perv who's a little too honest about their feelings. ^_~
Other than otaku-dom, I also game (RPGs) and knit (a lot) and crochet (a little). I've been really focused on knitting socks for the last couple years. Lately I've not knitted much, and focused more on gaming.
Top 5 New Series Debuts (Winter 2018)†
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san — An unlikely pick for the top of the list, but in a thoroughly lackluster season, this lighthearted series which reminds us of our innocent days of teasing our first crush is definitely worth watching. Takagi-san is constantly teasing Nishkata-kun, having fun at his expense, but Nishkata, being a typical boy of that age, doesn't realize that she's doing it because she likes him—or that he does it back for the same reason. Each episode is filled with cute, innocent flirting disguised as playing tricks on each other, with Takagi's being a huge success and Nishikata's failing every time. Despite the repetitiveness and the thin plot, KaraJou takes the top spot because it's so fun to watch. Is it a work of art, a masterpiece of anime brilliance? No. But it's one of the series I most look forward to seeing each week.
Gakuen Babysitters — I am not a fan of children. Real ones, anyway. But animated babies, toddlers, and preschoolers are even cuter than tiger cubs! And this title, as you probably suspect, is filled with them: rambunctious Taka, cutiepie Kirin, adorable twins Takuma and Kazuma, the quiet introvert Kotarou, and the infant Midori. Add to that the main character, Ryuuichi (Kotarou's nii-chan) and his nakama Kamitani Hayato (Taka's nii-chan), Usaida, the school chairwoman, and a host of others, and you get a cast where literally every single character is likable! It goes without saying that this is a very light anime, and those who dislike emotional anime with thin plots will probably not like it. For me, it's too cute to pass up.
Sanrio Danshi — Clearly an anime made on a budget, with an agenda to drive sales of Sanrio products, SanDan is still worth noting for one very big reason: Although its motive may be less than pure, it promotes the ideas that boys can enjoy "girly" things too, that gender doesn't matter when it comes to the things you enjoy, and that it's not wrong to like something. As you might expect, the cast is primarily male featuring few well-known voice actors, Saito Soma being the most recognizable voice. The series, while it is primarily light and comedic, does feature scenes where the boys are on the receiving end of disparaging comments about how it's "gross" or "disgusting" for high school boys to like Sanrio products. Like many male idol series recently, SanDan focuses on one character per episode for part of the season, with each episode presenting a problem in his life and neatly resolving it within the 20-some minutes of the episode. But despite being low-budget, at times cliché, and formulaic, it still makes the list because it's cute, and because it does address gender roles and gender shaming.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens — What at first seems to be a Durarara!! rip is actually a story of a different type altogether. With a mysterious cast of hitmen, assassins, private detectives, information brokers, and politicians who don't all quite fit together at the onset of the series, it's easy to make the comparison to everyone's favorite anime set in Ikebukuro. This alone is reason to watch HakaTon, but the series stands on its own merits. It's difficult to say much more about it without giving away any of the important details, so I'll leave it at that.
Sora yori mo Tooi Basho — I'm not usually a big fan of CGDCT, which is what comes to mind when you think of "group of high school girls go on expedition to Antarctica". But you would be wrong. This is not a CGDCT at all, but rather a coming of age story with a strong focus on seizing the moment, enjoying one's youth, and connecting with others in a deep and meaningful way. It's also the only series that I can think of right off with both Kanazawa Hana and Hayami Saori playing main characters, which should definitely draw in fans of those A-list seiyuu. If you think you even might have an interest in this series, watch it. The art is particularly good, and the voice acting is spectacular.
Top 5 Sequels and Remakes (Winter 2018)†
Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan 2 — It should be a given that Saiki takes the top spot this season for anyone who has seen the first season. And for those that haven't, yare yare, why not? It's sheer comedic genius. I'll say upfront that I usually dislike gag anime. A lot. But Saiki (the series) is in a league of its own. This season promises to be just as amazing as the first season, which left viewers in withdrawal when it ended. But no more! Saiki-kun is back with the whole gang — and the first episode even features a Gintama crossover.
3-gatsu no Lion 2nd Season — It was really difficult to put 3-gatsu in the second position. The first season was one of my favorite anime of all time, and the second season only builds on that. Kiriyama-kun's internal monologues, his thoughts and feelings bared for all the hear, his interaction with the Kawamoto family… all of these are just as superb in the second season as the first. And then some. The section about school bullying, its effects on the entire class and beyond, and how to address it deserves an award in itself for taking the issue seriously and actually getting down into the dynamics of it, not just superficially mentioning it or using it as a plot device like so many other anime do. As much as I really, really want to place this in the top position, I just can't. While 3-gatsu is near perfect, this season of Saiki is one that I have been looking forward to since even before the first season ended. On the other hand, I wasn't even aware that 3-gatsu was getting a second season. That, and that alone, is the only factor that makes 3-gatsu my 2nd place continuation this season.
Mahoutsukai no Yome — It should come as no surprise to see this on the list, as it's probably on many of yours. However, 3rd through 5th place this season are primarily arbitrary; I don't really think MahouYome is really all that much better than the 5th place anime.
Nanatsu no Taizai: Imashime no Fukkatsu — Finally! We've waiting for quite a while to get the continuation to this story of the Holy Knights and the Seven Sins. I've read part of the manga this season covers, and I believe the anime is going to be even better than the manga — if we can get reliable subs all season long. This was a major obstacle to watching the first season, and hopefully it will be better this season.
Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line — YowaPeda is farther down the list this season than it has been in the past. While I still love the anime, it's losing its shine. It was great they introduced new characters last season, but now even Kaburagi and the others are starting to feel a bit old and worn out. Still, it's a series that I love and will continue to watch with interest.