Best of Autumn Anime 2018

This autumn season has undoubtedly been one of the best for anime releases this year with aesthetic masterpieces on the one hand and controversial story telling on the other. With the cold months of winter right around the corner, here are a few of this season’s best to cosy up to.

 

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai (Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai)
Clover Works

If the title is an earful, so is the story behind the anime adaptation of light novel turned manga by Hajime Kamoshida, where farfetched mysteries find meaning under the umbrella term ‘puberty syndrome’.
The series follows high school student Sakuta Azusagawa as he encounters other students affected by the mysterious ‘puberty syndrome’, one of them none other than Mai Sakurajima, a teenage actress who has suddenly become invisible to the world around her except for Sakuta. As more of these peculiar occurrences pile on, the deeper Sakuta needs to delve to discover what binds these individuals to one another including to himself.
A quirky yet meaningful series with beautiful designs to support its somewhat complex narrative and upbeat banter.

Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken (That Time I got Reincarnated as a Slime)
8bit

It’s all in the title: 37 year old Satoru Mikami finds himself reincarnated as a friendly looking blue blob of slime after his death as he wakes up in a fantasy parallel universe surrounded by supernatural beings such as dragons and goblins. Quickly coming into his own having realized the extent of his infinite slime powers, he roams this new world in search of adventure, seizing this opportunity to a second more eventful life.
Easy to watch with a clean, simple yet effective narrative approach making it entertaining to most audiences, TenSura could almost be qualified as a sweet comedic series that takes place in a barbaric fantasy universe.

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita Kara (The World in Colours)
P.A. Works

This original series by P.A. Works is a masterpiece from every single angle it can be looked from. The story in itself recounts the colourless, lacklustre life of high school student Hitomi Tsukishiro as she fails to identify with her own magic in a world where witch powers are common yet heavily diluted. Sent back in time to the years of her grandmother’s youth in 2018, Hitomi hopes to find meaning to her melancholy monochrome life.
As expected for such a visually rich plot line, the bright universe constructed around the series by P.A. Works is dream worthy and skilfully colourful in a way that makes it work hand in hand with the story in a way that can only be described as genius.
A beautiful, sentimental series with its own carefully crafted aesthetic.

Tsurune:Kazemai Koukou Kyuudoubu (Tsurune: Kazemai High School Kyudo Club)
Kyoto Animation

While the summer anime season brought quite a few memorable sport related series, the autumn only really brings the one, which is memorable by the fact that not only did it receive the Special Judge Award as a light novel at the Kyoto Animation Award Competition but it has also been adapted into an anime by none other than director Takaya Yamamura, notorious for his stunning visuals and general aesthetic.
While the story follows the traditional sports anime trope with high school student Minato Narumiya rekindling his lost love for Kyudo (Japanese archery), the animation and art both bring enough to the table to make the series worth the watch. If the storyline has already somewhat been done before, Tsurune decidedly tells it best with carefully constructed characters and an introduction to a sport not often seen before in mainstream anime. All in all worth the watch for the art alone.

Goblin Slayer
White Fox

Adapted from a light novel series turned manga, Goblin Slayer’s anime adaptation riled up the anime community with its controversial first episode displaying a rape scene between a human girl and a horde of goblins, the crude theme very rarely depicted in mainstream Japanese anime. Whether this was done intentionally to set the tone of the series or for publicity’s sake over the new release is hard to tell but regardless of its gory opening, Goblin Slayer remains an interesting show to watch.
Set in a fantasy world of heroes and quests, Goblin Slayer recounts the adventures of a young priestess who finds herself saved by a mysterious armoured man whose life mission is to eradicate all goblins from their world. The true adventure begins when the pair unite, forming a peculiar hunting party against the multiplying pesky goblins.
A dark fantasy series which advises viewer discretion over its more explicit edgy themes.

Yagate Kimi Naru (Bloom Into You)
TROYCA

Yuu Koito has always had a very romantic approach to love, hoping to experience the fluttering feelings that accompany a first crush only to face disappointment when her heart fails to show her anything close to what she imagined those special emotions to feel. When beautiful and passionate student council president Touko Nanami falls for Yuu, making her the object of Nanami’s affection, Yuu begins feeling something that may just be a shadow of the love she’d been seeking.
Adapted from Nio Katakani’s manga, Bloom Into You focuses on love between high school girls without falling into cliché ‘yuri’ (also known as girl love) standards by delving deeper into the theme and asking the right questions about what it’s like to feel romantic feelings towards someone of the same sex as a high school student in Japan.
A sweet, mellow slice of life series centred on youth and growth.

Zombie Land Saga
MAPPA

Sakura Minamoto wakes up in a house surrounded by grizzly zombie girls with no memory of how she got there only to realize that she’s a zombie herself. Rounded up by aloof producer Kotaro Katsumi to form a never seen before idol girl band, the girls attempt to stick together (figuratively and literally) to stop Saga Prefecture from falling off the map.
Zombie Land Saga is as fast paced and frantic as its plotline makes it out to be: feral yet cute zombies, unimaginable slapstick scenes and an opening animation to die for.
A relatively easy watch though confusingly random at times. Who knew zombies could be so sentimental?

About Madeleine Evrard

Currently based in Brussels, freelance illustrator and filmmaker Madeleine Evrard is always on the lookout for new creative challenges.