Saying an anime is the best involves a large amount of supposition. Each style of artwork and storytelling effects everyone differently. Once genres get incorporated, the whole “best of” might as well be tossed out the window. So, to keep things real, I submitted a varying number of polls for anime fans (casual and die-hard otaku) to express their favorite anime shows of 2018. And a few of the results might surprise you.
🚨 No spoilers are included, so relax, and scroll freely. 🚨
Fifth Place: Devilman Crybaby
Devilman Crybaby released on Netflix in January 2018, and what a trip it was. Not only did I personally watch this series three times consecutively, I cried, laughed, danced, and screamed OMG on more than a few occasions.
Based on the manga Devilman, by Go Nagai, studio Science Saru created a stunning work of art. Directed by Masaaki Yuasa, Devilman Crybaby is about two friends, Akira Fudo and Ryo Asuka, along with a race of demons trying to take over the world (if you said “take over the world” in Brain’s voice from Pinky and the Brain, I tip my hat to you fellow nerd).
The series is not for the weak of heart — full of gore, violence, sexuality, cool beats down by the docks, biblical references, and trending white coats. Portraying humanity at its best and worst, only Netflix could have the cohunes to air a series like Devilman Crybaby.
Fourth Place: Dragon Ball Super
Hailed as the greatest shōnen manga ever, and by most, the best anime, Dragon Ball Super continues to surprise and please their loyal fanbase. With better fights, character development, Broly, and the shocking reveal of an MC biting the dust —Dragon Ball Super lives up to its name and reputation.
Considering I’m only a casual fan of Dragon Ball Super (don’t judge), I highly recommend checking out Mark Francis’ weekly reviews.
Watch Dragon Ball Super on FUNimation and VRV
Third Place: Attack On Titan Season 3
There’s so much I want to say about Attack on Titan season 3, but I promised no spoilers. The entire series (minus a few scattered fanservice episodes) is full of the best writing I’ve ever seen in an anime, along with stunning visuals. And season 3 is looking to be more promising than ever.
The attack on Titan third season is jam-packed with suspense, origin stories, and sick visuals. And the seasons’ just begun! For those new to anime or looking to experience what the hype is all about, I highly recommend binge-watching (getting hooked on) Attack on Titan.
Watch Attack on Titan on FUNimation and VRV
Second Place: Boruto
After starting off a tad on the slow side, Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is living up to its predecessor reputation. If once a fan of Naruto, then Boruto is an anime worth getting into (still binge-able without losing countless hours). Written, animated, and drawn by many of the same individuals from Naruto, Boruto is a shōnen anime for a whole new generation.
Watch Boruto: Naruto Next Generations Crunchyroll and VRV
First Place: My Hero Academia
For the record, My Hero Academia did not end up in the first place spot because it’s the anime I write weekly reviews on. It’s really that good. Combining a healthy mix of character development, shōnen style action, and great storytelling — My Hero Academia season 3 is winning hearts over with each new episode.
As mentioned in my review of episode 56 of the series, “My Hero Academia is a story revolving around beliefs, whether it be in one’s self or in others. These ideologies often clash, giving the characters a chance to grow and learn from lessons of the past.”
No world is perfect. MHA explores this concept through a group of kids trying to become the next generation of heroes the world desperately needs.
Watch My Hero Academia on FUNimation and VRV
Aggretsuko is the anime version of Clerks for a new generation entering the workforce, especially women who have to put up with idiotic men in power. It’s cute, hilarious, and spot-on regarding the daily frustrations resulting from adulting.
Watch Aggretsuko on Netflix
Runner-Up: Steins;Gate 0
Steins;Gate 0 is the continuation of the story told in Stens;Gate, but on an alternate timeline. The action is low in this series but the storytelling is off-the-hook. Comic book and manga fans will appreciate the deep character development and accuracy in science concerning time travel and alternate world lines. Overall, this franchise ranks in my top 10 anime of all time.
Watch Steins;Gate 0 on FUNimation and VRV
Runner-Up: Overlord Season 3
Overlord has been a die-hard favorite of gamers since its season one premiere. It’s ecchi and packed full of awesome fight scenes. Even the filler episodes are worth watching.
Watch Overlord season 3 on Crunchyroll, FUNimation, and VRV
Might Have Missed: Megalobox
If you grew up in the 80s or are a fan of the Rocky franchise, Megalobox is a modern-day twist on a similar theme.
Crunchyroll describes the series as such: “A desolate land stretches out from the city of poverty. A motorcycle speeds recklessly, blowing clouds of sand and dust. The rider is the protagonist of this story – he has neither a name nor a past.”
“All he has is his ring name, “Junk Dog” and a technique for rigging MEGALOBOX matches with his pal Gansaku Nanbu, which they use to support their hand-to-mouth lives. Although he has the skill, he isn’t dissatisfied enough to change his ways, but he’s not satisfied with his life either. JD is bored, resigned, and unfulfilled. He lives with frustration in a life of shadows beneath the lights of fame.”
Watch Megalobox on Crunchyroll and VRV
Might Have Missed: Phantom In The Twilight
Phantom in the Twilight is a cute and action-filled coming of age tale featuring the supernatural and humans trying to live together.
Crunchyroll describes the series as such: “The stage is modern-day London, in a world where the fears and anxieties of people give birth to inhuman shadows. A foreign student gets embroiled in an outlandish incident as soon as she sets foot on English soil.”
“Seeking help in a city where she knows no one, she wanders into a quaint cafe that has quietly remained open in the dead of night: Cafe Forbidden. It is a place where the guardians of the border between human and shadow gather.”
Watch Phantom in the Twilight on Crunchyroll and VRV
Might Have Missed: Hinamatsuri
I almost missed Hinamatsuri but I’m glad I took the time to watch it. The story arc has a sci-fi theme to it but overall, the anime is best described as cute and funny. If you’ve had a bad day, Hinamatsuri will certainly put a smile on your face.
Crunchyroll describes the series as such: “Nitta Yoshifumi, a young, intellectual yakuza, lived surrounded by his beloved pots in his turf in Ashigawa. But one day, a girl, Hina, arrives in a strange object, and uses her telekinetic powers to force Nitta to allow her to live with him, putting an end to his leisurely lifestyle.”
Watch Hinamatsuri on Crunchyroll, FUNimation, and VRV
Might Have Missed: Banana Fish
Banana Fish is another series I almost skipped this year, but glad I didn’t. The anime is an adaptation of the manga series written and illustrated by Akimi Yoshida. Set in New York, the story follows gangs, street kids, and everyone else caught up in a villain’s web for ultimate domination and power.
Amazon describes the series as such: “Ash Lynx, a 17-year-old boy, is the boss of a street-kids’ gang in New York. One day, a man who is taken out before his eyes and entrusts him with something that will change his life forever.”
Watch Banana Fish on Amazon Prime