Well, after creating our top 5 list and getting stuck debating what our 5th choice would be, we decided that we should have a Top 10 list which can include some of the anime we felt were worthy of inclusion on a top anime list of 2018. If we broke it up by genre it would probably be the top 3 in each category but we decided to go overall on our picks.
#10 Satsuriku No Tenshi (Angels of Death)
This anime was a surprise to us. It followed Rachel, a girl who awakens in a building's basement with very little memory of her past. Based off the video game of the same name Rachel has to advance to each floor after defeating each of the bosses. After meeting Isaac, who she befriends, they work together as a team trying to escape the building, as long as "Zack", as Rachel calls him, promises to kill her when they get out. It kept us tuning in to see who the next boss was that she encountered and how they would defeat them.
#9 Isekai Maō to Shōkan Shōjo no Dorei Majutsu (How NOT to summon a Demon Lord)
Based off of the light novels created by Yukiya Murasaki and illustrated by Takahiro Tsurusaki, and later Naoto Fukuda adapted for manga, How Not to summon a Demon Lord had our two favorite forms of fan service - flat and plot. It followed Takuma Sakamoto, a shut-in gamer ( hikikomori ), who is summoned to the world of his favorite online game by the pantherian Rem and the elf Shera, who planned on making him their servant, but due to a passive magic reflection skill Takuma's character possessed it backfired and made Rem and Shera his slaves. Takuma travels with Rem and Shera to find a way to release them from bondage, along the way they become close friends. This anime had enough fan service to keep up happy and we enjoyed the whole season.
#8 Zombieland Saga
This was another surprise anime. The title had us thinking something completely different. It follows Sakura Minamoto, who aspires to become an idol but her life ends after leaving for school and getting hit by a van, right after walking out of the house. She wakes up 10 years later, brought back by the mysterious man - Kotaro Tatsumi, and to find out she has finally become an idol, unfortunately, like the rest of her bandmates, she is a zombie. After watching the first episode of the idol band trying to do heavy metal, we just had to keep watching. Throughout the season they cleverly cover many genres of music - pop, rap, heavy metal etc. (Although the heavy metal had us laughing out loud). The band consisted of pop stars from different eras of Japan's history and each brought something to the band that made the formula work. The ultimate goal of Kotaro was to use the band to bring tourism to Saga prefecture and put it back on the Japanese map. We enjoyed this anime and the characters as they learned to work together and become an idol band.
#7 Boku no hero academia (My hero academia) Season 3
"Summer is here, and the heroes of Class 1-A and 1-B are in for the toughest training camp of their lives! A group of seasoned pros pushes everyone’s Quirks to new heights as the students face one overwhelming challenge after another." Season 3 continued to follow Izuku Midoriya as he continued his path of becoming a superhero and the finale of Mirio. The mysterious boy that Deku encountered is part of a U.A. Academy’s Big 3, the third year student, Mirio Togata. Mirio is supposed to explain UA internships but decides to fight class 1-A. We enjoyed watching Izuku from season 1 to season 3. The boy who was picked on for not having a quirk, gains the quirk given to him by the most powerful superhero All Might! We are waiting to see what the studio has planned next, maybe another movie or season. Either way, we're in.
#6 Seishun buta yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no yume wo minai (Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl Senpai)
WOW! What else can be said about this? Cute girl in a bunny outfit, we were hooked off the visuals! The story was about Sakuta Azusagawa and his experiences with the mysterious (adolescence) puberty syndrome. He first meets Mai Sakurajima, his senior at school, and a girl who has become invisible thanks to puberty syndrome. Together they confront and defeat puberty syndrome, starting first with Mai. In the process Sakuta and Mai fall in love (lust in Sakuta's case). We felt a strong connection to Sakuta, the way he would deadpan some of the lewdest lines to Mai and others. (Reminded me of me...long ago). We enjoyed how puberty syndrome affected each person differently and it was up to Sakuta to figure out how to defeat it. There were some unanswered questions in the season finale we hope get answered in next season. (What about Sakuta's scars from puberty syndrome? and what about his first love, Shoko Makinohara?)
#5 Tensei Shitara Suraimu Datta Ken (That time I got reincarnated as a slime)
Something completely new, full of adventure and action, not to mention a realistic dying wish. Satoru Mikami thought his life was going well. He was single, enjoying his work in an office and had co-workers he enjoyed being around. That is, until he died after getting stabbed defending a co-worker. "Take the hard drive out of my computer at home.. put it in the bath and make sure it's completely wiped." That was the most honest dying wish we have ever heard. Satoru is reincarnated in a different world of magic, goblins, dragons and he's a slime. With the aid of "The Great Sage", he learns new skills and adapts to his new life as a slime. Thanks to the "predator" skill he has, it isn't long before he learns to mimick human form. This story has Satoru befriending a dragon, Veldora, who had been sealed in a cave, goblins, ogres, dwarves, lizard men and a dryad. As good as this anime turned out we were compelled to put it in the top 5.
#4 Golden Kamuy
The story of hidden treasure and the map inked on the skins of escaped prisoners, what's not to like? Saichi Sugimoto, a veteran of the Battle of 203 Hill in the Russo-Japanese War is mining one day when he is told the story of the hidden trove of Ainu gold. He assumed the story was that of a drunk passing the time, until the drunk storyteller turns on him and attempts to kill him. Saichi is in dire need of the gold, to help a fallen friend's wife (who is blind). After his life is saved by a Ainu girl, Asirpa, who he decides to ask for help in finding the lost gold, he begins his quest. This story has twists and turns and had us cheering on Saichi and Asirpa as they looked for the lost gold. It helped keep our attention that Saichi had earned the title of "The immortal Sugimoto" during the war, and continued to prove his worthiness throughout the seasons (1 and 2). Asirpa helped keep our attention with her comical reactions (one word....miso) and Ainu recipes (Not too mention a cute loli). The Ainu language used in the anime was authentic, translated by Hiroshi Nakagawa, an Ainu language linguist from Chiba University. Historical facts, recipes and light comedy kept this Action Adventure anime in our top 5 all year long.
#3 Tokyo Ghoul:re
Tokyo Ghoul fans endured endless rumors over the past 3 years, but were rewarded with Tokyo Ghoul:re, which takes place 2 years after the raid on Anteiku. Kaneki has lost his memories (more like has been brainwashed) of his life as a ghoul. Now he is Haise Sasaki who leads CCG's quinx squad of humans with ghoul capabilities who hunt down ghouls. Trained by the famed ghoul investigator Kishou Arima, Haise follows CCG's orders to hunt down selected ghouls. The quinx squad consists of the new characters: the bumbling Ginshi Shirazu, the ambitious Kuki Urie, the weak Tooru Mutsuki and the adorable neet Saiko Yonebayashi. The quinx squad falters under Haise's leadership and is under constant scrutiny by CCG leadership. As :re progresses Haise regains his memories and leaves CCG to join his old friends of Anteiku (Yomo, Touka, Nishio and Shu). We learned the truth of CCG and how they sought to destroy the ghouls that fell out of line. This new addition to Tokyo Ghoul contained many surprises and changes along with a lot of drama. It's an emotional roller coaster and we couldn't stop watching, especially being fans. Tokyo Ghoul:re easily earned a spot in our top 5.
#2 Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) Season 3
We finally have answers to some, not all, the questions we had about the Titans. Eren, Armin and Mikasa learn the truth behind the Titans and the royal family. We got to meet Kenny, Levi's older brother and a new threat to the scouts. Eren learns to control some of his new abilities he gains when he eats a vial of titan formula. Historia Reiss learns she is the illegitimate child of Rod Reiss, the true king in the walls. We, along with other fans, are chomping at the bit for the next season (due this year) which promises to tell us more about the mysterious "beast" titan and the true history of man. This season of AoT was not a disappointment and seem to unveil more truth with each episode. We were on the edge of our seats throughout the season hoping for the scouts success. This is another long awaited sequel that easily earned a spot in our top 5.
Now before we move to our #1 there were a few anime that deserve mention but didn't make the list.
Darling in the FranXX - Zero Two IS the best girl this year.
Sword Art Online - Alicization and Gun Gale : Kirito is definitely in our Top 15
Goblin Slayer - Despite the faux controversy this was one of two that just missed the Top 10
Karakuri Circus - We love Karakuri and Shirogane (smoking!)
Overlord Season 3 - Albedo is still our favorite psycho
BackStreet Girls - By FAR the funniest anime this season
Jashin-chan Dropkick - Yurine knows how to handle out of line devils
Cells At Work - The 2nd anime that just missed being in our Top 10
Steins;gate 0 - Our favorite mad scientist just missed the Top 10 but is in our Top 15
ReLife - We finally got the ending we wanted, and cried
#1 Megalo Box
Created in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the manga Ashita no Joe, Megalo Box was gritty and reminiscent of anime like Cowboy Bebop and Akira. We were fans of Ashita no Joe so jumping on board with Megalo Box was a given. The story followed JunkDog, a fighter who gets paid to throw fights, but longs for a chance to prove he's a champ. In this era boxers use "gear", a metal exoskeleton, that helps increase boxers stamina, strength and endurance. The Shirato group creates the best gear and in order to promote it, opens a tournament called Megalonia to determine who's the best Megalo Boxer. Yuri is the current champion and the display model for the Shirato group's best gear. In a twist of fate, after throwing a fight he knew he could have won, JunkDog crosses paths with the champ, Yuri, after narrowly missing hitting Yukiko Shirato (CEO of the Shirato Group) while riding his motorcycle. In his frustration and anger, JunkDog picks a fight with Yuri by insulting him and his "champion" status. The next fight JunkDog has scheduled doesn't go as planned as Yuri, the champ, shows up in his opponent's place and pummels JD into a pulp with ease. JD, coming to his senses after being knocked out cold by Yuri, challenges the champ to a rematch, which Yuri declines and in turn tells JD that if he wants to fight him, it will be in his ring during the Megalonia tournament. JD and his degenerate gambler trainer, Gansaku Nambu, go about getting JD the credentials necessary to enter the Megalonia tournament, which is only open to "citizens". Nambu uses his underworld connections to get JD an ID that can used to get him in the tournament on the condition that JD throws the last fight. We loved the Rocky-esque storyline and the changes they made from the original Ashita no Joe (Joe died of exhaustion in the end after winning the last fight). The loser with the will to be champ overcoming the odds and the obstacles in his way to being a Champion. This should have been the #1 anime on everyone's list, it was an easy decision we made after seeing it the first time. We knew it was going to be hard to beat this year, despite heavy favorites like AoT and Tokyo Ghoul being in the mix.
We are wanting to see your lists too! Please feel free to either reply to this post or use the forums for a more in depth discussion. What would you have changed? Let us know!