Summer 2019 Season Guide (Updating)

Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Sudden Shower in the Summer, c. 1849-1851

Spring is almost over, and with the warmer weather comes a fresh batch new anime, including some very familiar franchises (Fate, Index, DanMachi). We’ll be watching and writing about some of those shows when July comes around.

As usual, Bold titles mean we’re watching that show; non-bold means TBD, and crossed-out means dropped/skipped. Additional Spring 2019 shows may carryover; we will add them to the list below if/when their Summer cours are officially confirmed.

A reminder: we don’t read any manga, novels light or dark, or video games the below shows may be based upon—RABUJOI is an anime-only blog. This list will be updated as needed. If you think we’re missing something, let us know in the comments.

Thanks! —RABUJOI STAFF

LAST UPDATED 21 May 2019

Cop Craft
Enen no Shouboutai (Fire Force)
Kanata no Astra
Katsute Kami Datta Kemono-tachi e
Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note
Vinland Saga


sesameacrylic

Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo. (Maidens of the Savage Season)
Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru? (How Many Kilograms are the Dumbbells You Lift?)
Carole & Tuesday (Spring Carryover)
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 (Skilled Teaser Takagi-san)
Tejina-senpai


MagicalChurlSukui

BEM
Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka II (Is It Wrong That I Want to Meet You in a Dungeon)
Isekai Cheat Magician
Toaru Kagaku no Accelerator (A Certain Scientific Accelerator)
Tsuujou Kougeki ga Zentai Kougeki de Ni-kai Kougeki no Okaasan wa Suki Desu ka? (Do You Like Your Mom? Her Normal Attack is Two Attacks at Full Power, Okaasan online)

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Spring 2019 Season Guide (Updating)

Tsuchi-yama, Spring Rain, in The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road, c. 1834

Winter is almost over, and with the (hopefully) warmer weather comes a fresh batch new anime, including some very familiar titles. We’ll be watching and writing about some of those shows when April comes around.

As usual, Bold titles mean we’re watching that show; non-bold means TBD, and crossed-out means dropped/skipped. additional Winter 2019 shows may carryover; we will add them to the list below if/when their Spring cours are officially confirmed.

A reminder: we don’t read any manga, novels light or dark, or video games the below shows may be based upon—RABUJOI is an anime-only blog! This list will be updated as needed. If you think we’re missing something, let us know in the comments.

Thanks! —RABUJOI STAFF

LAST UPDATED 21 Apr 2019

Braverade

Attack on Titan Season 3 Part 2
Dororo (Winter carryover)
Magmel of the Sea Blue
Rising of the Shield Hero (Winter carryover)


sesameacrylic

Midara na Ao-chan wa Benkyou ga Dekinai (Ao-chan Can’t Study!)
Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai (BokuBan)
Carole & Tuesday
Joshikausei
Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo YU-NO
One Punch Man Season 2
Senryuu Shoujo


MagicalChurlSukui

Fairy Gone
Isekai Quartet
Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin
Sarazanmai
Shoumetsu Toshi

RABUJOI’s Top 10 Anime of 2018

We watched over forty shows this year – not a record by any means, but definitely a product of our commitment only to watch the best shows available (with some notable exceptions in cases where we’re too far behind with certain franchises). As a result, a quick glance at our Big Board will show a lot of blue, indicating a lot of 8’s and 9’s with a handful 0f 10’s mixed in.

It’s not that we just like everything; it’s that we (usually) set a high standard for what we watch. If something is consistently scoring below 8 or 7, we’ll probably drop it, since there’s just not enough time to waste on subpar show. That being said, even among these forty shows (out of the 100+ that aired) there are a select few we would recommend over the rest; the Cream of the Crop…The Best of The Best of The Best (with honors).

Ok, enough cliches…let’s get down to it, shall we? Say you were incredibly strapped for time this year, and couldn’t watch any anime. To binge forty shows now, with just a couple weeks left in the year, would not be good for your health. So we’re making it easy for you: watch the ten shows below, and you’re sure to be satisfied!

Our tastes may differ a tad from the masses here at RABUJOI so we’ve included weighted scores from both MyAnimeList and Anime News Network, and then very unscientifically averaged them with our own scores for the final ranking.

10. Darling in the FranXX

7.82 | RAB: 8.92 | MAL: 7.61 | ANN: 6.93

The adolescent male-female pilot pairs of the titular FranXX live to fight the mysterious yet deadly enemy, and nothing else; they weren’t given a choice in the matter. This is a story of the bonds they share, the joys and trials of living together, falling in love, stumbling into adulthood, and finally coming to question the roles assigned to them by the adults. It features Trigger’s signature visual flair and compelling performances from Tomatsu Haruka and breakout newcomer Ichinose Kana. It wasn’t perfect by any means but it was thoroughly exhilarating more often than not.

9. Koi wa Ameagari no You ni (After the Rain)

7.92 | RAB 8.58 | MAL 7.61 | ANN 7.56

A high school student falling for the 45-year-old single parent manager of the restaurant where she works could have been a landmine, but their story is handled with a deftness, sensitivity, realism and beauty, matched by achingly gorgeous animation and character design and some powerful voice work from the HanaKana-channeling Watabe Sayumi.

8. Yagate Kimi ni Naru (Bloom into You)

8.28 | RAB: 8.80 | MAL: 7.76 | ANN: n/a

Perhaps the best pure romance of the year despite not being over yet and one half of the couple quite adamant she doesn’t have feelings for the other. Yet she seems to be gradually coming to like her senpai—wonderfully voiced by Kotobuki Minako—more and more, which is exactly how my love for this series has progressed: like a blooming flower.

7. Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen (Food Wars! The Third Plate: Totsuki Train Arc)

8.35 | RAB: 8.75 | MAL 8.37 | ANN: 7.93

Food Wars is definitely one of those shows you’re either all-in from the beginning or hopelessly lost, but this second arc of the third season was one of the strongest due in no small part to watching how Souma and his numerous allies closed ranks and started to fight Azami’s oppressive new culinary regime. Best of all, it means Erina and Souma finally on the same side. Not to mention there are few shows that so seamlessly integrate the art and science of cooking, not to mention leave their audience hungry both for the next episode and for the food that had been presented.

6. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) Season 3

8.39 | RAB: 8.75 | MAL: 8.52 | ANN: 7.91

Like Food Wars, those who sign up for Titan are well aware they’re in it for the long haul. Indeed, the mysteries that have unfolded in the manga may never be put to the screen, with the show’s apparent primary goals to simply entice its audience into consuming the source material. But while we only got twelve episodes this time, not a single one was wasted. A lot of secrets were revealed, and the girl formerly known as Krista Lenz took her rightful place beside Eren as one of the chief protagonists of the series with a bizarre (this is Titan) and utterly righteous arc.

5. Hinamatsuri

8.45 | RAB: 8.83 | MAL: 8.34 | ANN: 8.18

Perhaps the best pure comedy of the year, Hinamatsuri is full of interesting, colorful, and imminently rootable characters, from the yakuza with a heart of gold and a love of antiques, to the young woman with telekinetic powers who suddenly enter and complicate his life, to that girl’s ridiculously hardworking classmate who ends up tending bar (and being pretty damn good at it). But while the comedy is almost omnipresent, there’s still some pockets of meaty character drama within the dozen episodes.

4. Steins;Gate 0

8.50 | RAB: 8.96 | MAL: 8.65 | ANN: 7.89

Seven years is a long time to wait between an anime and its sequel, though I only had to wait three since I got into the first series late. I’m glad I did, though; it’s one of my favorite (if not favorite, full stop) shows, animated or otherwise, whose emotionally dizzying heights were matched only by its emotionally hellish lows. spends much of its time in the depths, with Okabe never not mourning the loss of his beloved Kristina, even if it meant saving his beloved Mayuri. But thanks to a little help from friends old and new, including a virtual version of Kurisu called Amadeus, Okabe gets his groove back and foils the plans of a scientist even madder than he.

3. Violet Evergarden

8.68 | RAB: 9.15 | MAL: 8.59 | ANN: 8.30

VE has the distinct air of the anime equivalent of “Oscar Bait,” as goes to almost obsessive lengths to demonstrate its peerless quality of animation, music, and melodrama. I don’t usually go for Oscar Bait movies, myself, but doggone it, Violet Evergarden, despite being a bit pretentious, is nevertheless a gorgeous, marvelously-crafted, and exceedingly enjoyable piece of entertainment. Watching its deeply wounded inside-and-out titular heroine gradually gain the humanity that had been repressed in her bloody past is never not spellbinding.

2. Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further than the Universe)

8.75 | RAB: 9.15 | MAL: 8.61 | ANN: 8.50

Ordinary girls seek an extraordinary adventure, and end up forming bonds that will last and memories they’ll cherish for a lifetime. That those ordinary girls are in Japan and the adventure they seek is all the way in Antarctica makes heir goal feel unattainable at first, even naive. But Shirase, Mari, Hinata, and Yuzuki gradually make believer of us. And that they manage to actually achieve the feat of going to the literal end of the earth is just the beginning. Overflowing with charm, love, and camaraderie, Yorimoi is a Must-Not-Miss.

1. 3-gatsu no Lion 2 (March Comes In Like a Lion 2), Second Cour

8.92 | RAB: 9.18 | MAL: 9.05 | ANN: 8.54

We don’t consider it cheating that a show that first aired in 2017 gets the top billing here. First of all, the eleven episodes of the sequel all aired in 2018, and secondly, it was just that damn good. Indeed some of the best episode sof the entire series took place this year, as examination of Rei’s depression gave way to those of his fellow shogi players like the ethereal (and profoundly lonely) Souya, as well as his young friend Hinata, who despite being quite simply one of the kindest souls alive became the target of horrendously cruel school bullying. Since Hina was one of the people instrumental in saving him, Rei considers it his duty to return the favor, with overwhelmingly gratifying, life-affirming results. No anime this year exuded love as powerfully or consistently as Lion. For that and many other merits to its name, it was the best of 2018.

 

Winter 2019 Season Guide (Updating)

Winter is almost here, and so are a host of new shows. We’ll be watching and writing about some of those shows. As usual, Bold titles mean we’re watching that show; non-bold means TBD, and crossed-out means dropped/skipped. This list will be updated as needed. As always, hit us up in the comments if you think we’re missing something, because we probably are. Thanks! —R.S.

LAST UPDATED 4 Mar 2019

Braverade

Boogiepop wa Warawanai
Egao no Daika
Dororo
Ingress
Sword Art Online: Alicization (Fall carryover)
Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari


sesameacrylic

3D Kanojo: Real Girl 2nd Season
Domestic na Kanojo
Kaguya-sama: Love is War


MagicalChurlSukui

Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka
Toaru Majutsu no Index III (Fall carryover)
TenSura (Fall carryover)

Yakusoku no Neverland

Fall 2018 Season Guide (Updating)

LAST UPDATED 7 Sept 2018

Summer is almost over. Sucks, right?! It’s back to school time, or at least back to half-school, if you’re in one of the east coast cities experiencing high heat and humidity. In a couple weeks Summer will be officially over but the heat will likely linger.

So, is there anything hot to look forward to in the world of Fall 2018 anime? We guess…provided you like one or more of three things: Sequels, Spinoffs, and Shows with Obnoxiously Long Titles (or SOLTs). We’ll be checking out representatives from all three columns and let the cream rise to the top.

As usual, Bold titles mean we’re watching that show; non-bold means TBD, and crossed-out means dropped/skipped. This list will be updated as needed. As always, hit us up in the comments if you think we’re missing something, because we probably are. Thanks! —R.S.

Last Updated 15 Oct 2018

Braverade

Goblin Slayer
Golden Kamuy (2nd Season)
Ingress
Radiant
Sword Art Online: Alicization


sesameacrylic

Ore ga Suki nano wa Imouto dakedo Imouto ja Nai
Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
Yagate Kimi ni Naru
Zombieland Saga


MagicalChurlSukui

Banana Fish (Continued)
Iroduku: The World in Colors
Toaru Majutsu no Index III
TenSura
Tokyo Ghoul:re (2nd Season)

(Belated) Programming Note

“Where…where are the new Summer reviews?”

We’ve been on vacation in Denver the past week (beautiful city), but now we’re back! Hopefully within the week we’ll be caught up on all of the new Summer 2018 shows at which we’ve planned to take a look that have aired in our absence. We apologize for the delay. —RABUJOI STAFF

Summer 2018 Season Guide (Updating)

LAST UPDATED 27 July 2018

Spring is flying by, and you know what that means……The season that comes after Spring will soon be here. You know, that time when most if not all of the anime you’re watching end and are replaced with an entirely new batch. Here is that batch.

There are two huge titles that stand out: FLCL and Titan. There are also such far-flung premises as yakuza getting gender-reassignment surgery to become idols, a girl walking to school but never getting there, the inner workings of the body depicted as groups of human workers, and of course, vampires.

This is a big list, and it will be whittled down before the Summer is out. Bold means we’re watching; non-bold means TBD; crossed-out means dropped or skipped. As always, hit us up in the comments if you think we’re missing something.

Braverade

Steins;Gate 0 (Continued) ✓
Attack on Titan Season 3 ✓
Island
Overlord III ✓
Planet With


sesameacrylic

Asobi Asobase
Back Street Girls
Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro (Chio’s School Road)
FLCL Progressive (Only English dub available)
Hanebado!
Grand Blue
Hataraku Saibou (Cells At Work)
Sunoharasou no Kanrinin-san (Miss Caretaker of Sunohara)


MagicalChurlSukui

Banana Fish ✓
Happy Sugar Life ✓
Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes (Holmes of Kyoto)
Phantom in the Twilight
Shichisei no Subaru (Subaru of the Seven Stars)
Tenrou: Sirius the Jaeger

Spring 2018 Season Preview (Updated)

Winter is half over? As Neo once said, Whoa. But it’s true. Honestly it’s been a pretty decent season for all three of our authors. Aside from the confirmed carryovers of FranXX and Cardcaptor Sakura, Spring will be a clean slate.

But with that clean slate come a lot of big and/or familiar faces, chief among them Steins;Gate, SAO, Persona, Food Wars, and even The Legend of Galactic Heroes, which none of us has ever seen. This season has the potential to be HUGE.

That being said, we ultimately intend to limit our total show load to a baker’s dozen as always. So without further ado, here’s what’s on our respective radars for Spring 2018.

17 Apr 2018 Update: We’ve chosen our eleven twelve shows for Spring 2018. They’re the ones ✓ checked below. Dropped/skipped shows are crossed out.

Braverade

Darling in the FranXX (13-24)
Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Die Neue These – Kaikou
(The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: The New Thesis – Encounter)

Juushinki Pandora (Unit Pandora, The Next)
Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online ✓
Steins;Gate 0 ✓


sesameacrylic

Hinamatsuri (Hina Festival) ✓
3D Kanojo: Real Girl ✓
Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen (Food Wars! The Third Plate 2nd cour) ✓
Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai (Tada Doesn’t Fall in Love) ✓
Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii (It’s Difficult to Love an Otaku/WotaKoi) ✓


MagicalChurlSukui

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card (12-22) ✓
Devils Line
Golden Kamuy
Mahou Shoujo Site
Nil Admirari no Tenbin: Teito Genwaku Kitan
(The Scales of Nil Admirari ~The Mysterious Story of Teito~) ✓

Persona 5 the Animation
Tokyo Ghoul:re ✓

The Top 10 Anime of 2017

The end of the year is nigh, so we here at RABUJOI thought we’d give you some “Best of” lists, starting with the 10 best anime we watched in 2017. Mind you, these aren’t simply the ten shows that gained the highest scores, though that is part of the equation. Rather, these are the ten shows we enjoyed the most and would/will likely watch again, and highly recommend to all.

10. Sagrada Reset

Despite its conventional, non-flashy visuals and the uneven strength of its arcs, Sagrada Reset earns a place on this list for being so damned ambitious, memorable, and weird. It starred a couple of characters who always hid their emotions behind wooden exteriors, and yet it worked. The idea of an entire town of ability users, full of mysteries as to how a peaceful balance was struck, the attempts by some parties to destroy the magical place, and an increasingly fascinating web of world rules and creative use of ability combos kept be tuning in.

9. Inuyashiki

Nobody ever expected or even thought much of Inuyashiki Ichirou. But when he and Shishigami Hiro are crushed by aliens and given new robotic bodies capable of flight, miraculous healing, and terrifying destruction, Ichirou not only becomes a hero, but the only hero who can save his family, Japan, and the world Hiro’s adolescense-fueled rampages. Often dark, brutal, and cruel, Inuyashiki is balanced by some welcome moments of comedy as Ichirou discovers and tries out his numerous powers, as well as the emotional impact of Hiro’s tortured, conflicted soul, as well as Ichirou’s restored bond with his daughter Mari.

8. Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou

Two girls in a ruined world. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, and the audience is along for the ride as those girls trundle through a seemingly endless three-dimensional labyrinth of roads, tracks, ramps, stairs, underground passages, platforms, elevators, and structures, each time discovering something new. Chito and Yuuri couldn’t be more different in personality, but there’s no doubt they’re both glad the other is by their side for their adventures. Moments of friendship, comfort, and life cut through the gloom.

7. ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu Ka

Like Sagrada Reset, ACCA marched to the beat of its own drum, and was unlike nothing else that aired this year. Focusing on a mid-level bureaucrat with a pretty cushy life who has a mysterious past that plunges him and his sister into the heart of a royal coup attempt, ACCA had both a compelling narrative, likable, rootable characters, a wonderfully-realized world composed of countries with very specific themes, plenty of intrigue, and a surprisingly understated yet effective finale. And the food…the loving depiction of food and drink gave even Food Wars a run for its money.

6. 3-gatsu no Lion 2

I didn’t know I wanted to return to the world of Spring Comes In Like a Lion until I found myself there. Rei is a little older and lot more confident and less self-hating in the second season, and it’s a good thing too, because the person enduring the most conflict this time is Hina, enduring a bullying campaign simply for doing what was right defending her friend. Hina saved Rei last season, now it’s his turn, and it’s never not a delight to behold.

5. Houseki no Kuni

Continuing the theme of “Weird but Good”, Land of the Lustrous may be the best example of the year. Androgynous anthropomorphic gems fighting aliens from the moon with designs drawn heavily from Hindu iconography seeking to use them for “decoration”? Weird. But more than the awesome 3DCGI execution of those battles and their shimmering participants is the character development of the show’s protagonist Phos, who has grown into one of my favorite characters of the year.

4. Tsuki ga Kirei

I haven’t seen a school romance as good as Tsuki ga Kirei in a good long time. When it came along and told the slow-burn story of Akane and Kotarou became an item, it was a crisp breath of fresh air. It keeps things simple, keeps things real, and doesn’t skimp on all the resonant little non-verbal gestures and expressions that really bring the characters to life. The show also makes good use of the LINE app that’s apparently become the go-to communication tool for kids of this age.

3. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen

The first season of SGRS was truly great anime, but as it took place mostly in the past, we can almost look at it as a prologue for the second season, which is outstanding. Put together, it’s a sprawling, epic tale of several generations of storytellers fighting against a world increasingly indifferent to their craft, while wrestling with their own various personal demons. It’s about women’s empowerment in what had been an all-men’s world for centuries. It’s about brotherhood, familial love, romantic love, lust, and one spellbinding rakugo performance after another, usually accompanied by a top-notch jazzy soundtrack.

2. Owarimonogatari Second Season

“Endstory” is pretty self-explanatory; in another epic chronicle that started with Araragi Koyomi’s eventful Spring Break in late March of 2006 (covered in the excellent film trilogy Kizumonogatari), it’s hard to believe Owarimonogatari wraps the whole thing up just a year later, in March of 2007 (the Kanbaru Suruga-centric Hanamonogatari takes place a month later). But enough about the timeline; Owari 2 is a fantastic conclusion to the mega-arc that takes Araragi literally to Hell and back, ascends Hachikuji Mayoi to godlike status, filling a longtime hole in the city’s spiritual tapestry, and finally reveals the mystery of who/what the Loki-like “Oshino Ougi” is. Araragi and Hitagi even get to spend time together as lovers. It has pretty much anything a Monogatari junkie like myself could ask for, and leads me to hope this isn’t really the end, since there’s a lot more Nisio Isin material to work with.

1. Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss came out of nowhere to become one of the best animes of this century. That sounds like hyperbole, the century ain’t that old, and it really is that damn good. Imagine a Ghibli movie spread over nearly five hours with unique character designs that, while cutesy, avoid being annoyingly so; a intricately-detailed and truly awesome setting, ominous mysteries, terrifying monsters, ample mortal peril, tremendous music and sound design, and some really top-notch performances from the two leads. Abyss will pull you in, grab your heartstrings, kick your adrenaline gland, and blow your mind. And it’s not over yet; though a date has not been set, a second season is on the way. Even if it had ended at one, however, the twelve episodes we got unquestionably comprised the very best of 2017.

Winter 2018 Season Preview (Updating)

Winter approacheth with haste. Here’s what we’ll be taking a look at (so far) come January! Shows, statuses, and authors subject to change. We’ll be updating this list to reflect current conditions.

Braverade

BEATLESS  (Dropped)
Darling in the FranXX ✓
Fate/Extra Last Encore ✓
Overlord II ✓
Violet Evergarden ✓


sesameacrylic

Citrus ✓
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (Dropped)
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san ✓
Koi wa Ameagari no You ni ✓
Sora yori mo Tooi Basho ✓
Takunomi. ✓


MagicalChurlSukui

3-gatsu no Lion 2nd Season ✓
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card ✓
Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku (Dropped)
Devilman Crybaby (Dropped)
Kokkoku (TBD)
Mahoutsukai no Yome ✓


Tally as of 31 Jan 2018: 

  • 11 Keeps
  • 1 TBD
  • 4 Drops