RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 10-1 – No Going Back

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Welcome to the final entry in RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, COMPLETE EXONERATION!—RABUJOI STAFF


10. One Punch Man

Fall 2015

Saitama’s hilarious adventures in boredom and easy victories provided some of the comedic highlights of the decade in this stylishly irreverent parody of hero shows

9. The Promised Neverland

Winter 2019

One of the scariest, tensest, dread-filled series of the decade, as well as one of the best underdog stories, its single season left us gasping to see what became of the poor kids

8. Shingeki no Kyojin 3 Part 2

Spring 2019

In just ten episodes, perhaps more stunning secrets were revealed than in the previous three seasons combined, creating potential the fourth and final season will be hard-pressed to meet

7. Monogatari Series: Second Season

Summer 2013

A giant tiger stalks the town, Araragi battles zombies with an aged-up Mayoi, Nadeko gets tangled up with the Polar Snake, Shinobu regales us with some her centuries-long history, and Hitagi and Kaishou form an uneasy alliance—there’s a little of everything and it’s all excellent

6. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen

Winter 2017

The first season of SGRS was amazing…the second was transcendent

5. Shigatsu wa kimi no uso (Your Lie in April)

Fall 2014

One of the saddest anime of the decade, but also one of the most beautiful, both visually and musically

4. Owarimonogatari Second Season

Summer 2017

While just seven episodes, this second season is the long-awaited culmination of eight years of supernatural stories, and it was worth the wait

3. Made in Abyss

Summer 2017

Very little before or since has quite looked or sounded like Made in Abyss, but even less FELT quite like it. Blending moments of whimsy, wonder and awe with primal horror and cruelty in a richly-detailed, fully-realized fantasy world. Desperately needs a second season to continue the story

2. 3-gatsu no Lion 2 (March Comes In Like A Lion)

Fall 2017

The first season was mostly about the MC’s personal traumas and depression, but the second story spreads out as he learns how to support others, exploring bullying, the struggles of a surrogate mom, and the ravages of old age

1. Steins;Gate

Spring 2011

With its twisting, churning time travel odyssey, central love triangle, and meditations on causality, inevitability, guilt, and obsession, Steins;Gate is the best anime of the decade.

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 20-11 – Things are Starting to Get Real

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals.—RABUJOI STAFF


20. Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)

Winter 2016

Maybe the best representations of being transported into your younger self, and given the opportunity to save someone who didn’t have to die

19. Shingeki no Kyojin 3 (Part 1)

Summer 2018

The curtain is pulled back on many mysteries (though not the basement), and the Scouts must rebel against the powers that be to protect Eren and Historia, culminating in an epic Titan battle that eventually serves as the stage for the Historia’s ascension

18. AnoHana

Spring 2011

Very few anime this decade achieved as much in a scant eleven episodes, as a circle of childhood friends grow, change, and reconnect over the loss of their friend

17. Steins;Gate 0

Spring 2018

We didn’t know the original needed a sequel to continue Rintarou & Co.’s story—until we watched it. New faces and alliances help the mad scientist achieve what he could not in the previous show

16. Vinland Saga

Summer 2019

Thrilling and at times heartbreaking pseudo-historical tales of revenge, hatred, betrayal and redemption made this the best Wit Studio offering to date to  challenge the Attack on Titan juggernaut’s dramatic hegemony

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15. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (Season 1)

Winter 2016

Plunged us into a previously unknown and unimaginably rich world of traditional Japanese raunchy storytelling, we go back and forth through time as some of the art’s best living performers rose to fame—and paid the costs of that fame

14. Fate/Zero 2

Spring 2012

As the battle for the grail intensifies, F/Z’s second half elevates the tension and quality of storytelling, action, and character to even greater heights

13. Violet Evergarden

Winter 2018

A beautiful and heart-wrenching tale of an elite instrument of unspeakable violence and war trying to heal and find a new purpose in a world at peace

12. Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (The Tatami Galaxy)

Spring 2010

Filled with wistful tales of campus nirvana and romance deferred, resetting timelines and different clubs joined and choices made, Tatami Galaxy is a gorgeous freeform, often bizarre ride no anime enthusiast should miss

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

Winter 2018

Four girls with very different personalities and paths in life all find themselves on an Antarctic expedition in a brilliant exploration of friendship, love, grief, self-exploration, and growth

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 30-21 – The Kids Are All Right

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals.—RABUJOI STAFF


30. 3-gatsu no Lion (Season 1)

Fall 2016

Shaft and Shinbou delved into the life and mind of a depressed and traumatized shogi prodigy discovering family, home and happiness with three sisters as he traverses his fiercely competitive sport

29. Bunny Girl-Senpai (Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai)

Fall 2018

Smart, mature, and engaging romantic comedy done right, BGS combined ordinary high school life with clever supernatural phenomena

28. Bakuman. 2

Fall 2011

Few shows captured how life and love went on as countless hours of hard work either amounted to a hit manga or an absolute dud. We’ve always regretted not continuing with the third season

27. Barakamon

Summer 2014 

A distinguished young calligrapher seeks refuge in a small town, and instead meets a spunky young girl and other characters who lend color and warmth to his black-on-white world

26. Houseki no Kuni

Fall 2017

A brilliant, moving, and visually dazzling tale of gems in human form, focusing on one unremarkable gem who has one hell of an arc. Desperately in need of a sequel

25. Owarimonogatari

Fall 2015

Araragi’s discussions with Oshino’s mysterious “niece” Ougi and exploration of a classmate he somehow forgot makes for some of the most emotionally complex and nervy interactions of the sprawling Monogatari series

24. Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)

Spring 2013

When it all started in 2013, I watched the first episode, was put off by the naked man-eating giants, and…put it aside. Two years later, before the second season, I gave it another try and was not disappointed

23. Food Wars! (Shokugeki no Souma)

Spring 2015

The wonderful combination of shounen battles, ecchi elements, and culinary education has been going strong for years, but it all started with Souma terrorizing his childhood friend with peanut butter octopus

22. Usagi Drop

Summer 2011

A single salaryman’s life is changed forever when he takes in a girl no one else will. Heartwarming and detailed in the practicalities of childcare

21. Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu (Parasyte -the maxim-)

Fall 2014

An adaptation of a manga from the 80s, Parasyte is an often deeply dark and messed up, always thrilling story of a once-normal high school kid whose body is infiltrated and augmented by an alien parasite

 

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 40-31 – Heroes Come in Many Forms

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals.—RABUJOI STAFF


40. Boku no Hero Academia

Spring 2016

We would eventually drop this colorful shonen series about young supernatural heroes taking up the mantle of the previous generation, but the first season was unquestionably zany fun

39. Shokugeki no Souma 2

Summer 2016

Once the Autumn Elections were over, it was nice to see the young chefs test their skills in the real world, particularly Souma being paired with Hisako at a run-of-the-mill family restaurant

38. Shokugeki no Souma 3

Fall 2017

The start of a major coup in which Central takes control of Totsuki and threatens the culinary creativity of all. What had been a show about food skirmishes becomes all-out war between an authoritarian regime and a plucky rebellion

37. Fate/Zero (First Half)

Fall 2011

In our opinion, the best of the Fate anime continuum, plunging into the personalities, passions and vulnerabilities of Servants and Masters alike like no Fate before or since

36. Katanagatari

Winter 2010

The unique art, eclectic Iwasaki score, engrossing story, twisting, clever dialogue, and epic action made this a show to look forward to each month

35. Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon)

Spring 2012

In a sleepy Kyushu town in the 60s, kids from disparate backgrounds find harmony in jazz and dissonance in love in a captivating Watanabe/Konno collab

34. PSYCHO-PASS

Fall 2012

A futuristic cop show in which invasive technology determines the latent criminality of all citizens. Introduces one of the decade’s baddassest women, Tsunemori Akane

33. Shingeki no Kyojin 2

Spring 2017

In the first sequel to Attack on Titan megaseries, the world is expanded with the arrival of the Beast Titan and the revealing of Krista’s true identity

32. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Winter 2011

A seminal series that subverted and heightened the Magical Girl genre popularized by Sailor Moon, turning inward on the struggles and sacrifices of said girls and the cruelty of their fate like never before.

31. Shinsekai yori (From the New World)

Fall 2012

Quite simply one of the darkest, strangest, and most haunting explorations of our species’ possible eventual future ever put to the screen, animated or otherwise

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 50-41 – A Little Better All The Time

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


50. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (Oregairu) 2

Spring 2015

Things get a little more complicated and dramatic, but with this show, those are both good things

49. Tsuki ga Kirei

Spring 2017

With all its awkwardness, false starts, devastating setbacks and ecstatic victories, we’d be hard-pressed to find a more detailed, relatable, and downright heart-swelling depiction of falling in love for the first time. Great voice work too

48. Fate/Stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

Fall 2014

Our entrance into the vast world of Fate was a ufotable masterpiece that often left other great-looking shows looking 5-10 years older. We’d eventually find Fates that, while not as good-looking, told a better story with stronger characters

47. Hibike! Euphonium 2

Spring 2015

Who ever thought band could be so serious, so dramatic…and so dang good?

46. SKET Dance

Spring 2011

A sprawling high school epic (78 episodes) bursting with quirky characters you can’t help but grow to love. While usually a comedy, some of its best outings are played straight

45. Shokugeki no Souma 3 – Totsuki Train Arc

Spring 2018

There’s Food Wars, and then there’s Food Wars on a train, baby!

44. Fruits Basket 1st Season

Spring 2019

A show that explores all manner of social and psychological disorders with compassion, through the lens of character who transform into Zodiac animals when hugged. Some of the best characters of the year can be found in this anime

43. No Game No Life

Spring 2014

A shut-in and his sister brave a video game world in this lush, colorful early-ish entry in the decade’s Isekai explosion

42. KonoSuba 2

Winter 2017

Picks up where the first season left off and improves our motley crew’s living conditions…and builds on the zany comedy

41. Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

Spring 2016

Owner of some of the highest emotional highs and lowest emotional lows, Re:Zero is at times endearing, triumphant, and terrifying…but it’s almost never boring

 

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 60-51 – The Soaring Fifties

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


60. Nagi no Asukara

Fall 2013

P.A. Works’ moving depiction of two adjacent worlds—one by the sea, one under it—and one of the most complicated and compelling love polygons of the decade

59. Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou (Girls’ Last Tour)

Fall 2013

Austere and hauntingly gorgeous, as charming and life-affirming as it is devastatingly bleak and cruel

58. Nisemonogatari

Winter 2012

Puts Araragi’s two sisters in the spotlight, and features such memorable risque scenes as the bathroom scene, the Twister scene, and…the toothbrush scene

57. Dororo

Winter 2019

A imaginative 50-year-old tale is updated and expanded with truly powerful results. The party is ovah…

56. Kamisama Hajimemashita

Winter 2015

Before we learned about Fruits Basket, there was Kamisama Kiss, a charming and heartwarming tale of a down-on-her-luck human girl and her supernatural friends

55. Angel Beats!

Spring 2010

An early, stylish P.A. Work that explores life after death and the battle to right the wrongs of one’s life, fulfill what had been unfilfilled, and be remembered

54. Bakuman.

Fall 2010

The first part of an epic series in which young creative people take a chance on careers writing and drawing manga, just as much about their growing and evolving lives and relationships than the manga itself

53. Durarara!!

Winter 2010

The first, accept-no-substitute original that painted such an absorbing portrait of Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district, we were inspired to visit the place IRL. We found no headless couriers, but it was still pretty cool

52. Kanata no Astra

Summer 2019

Episodic space adventure anime were hard to come by this decade, but Kanata no Astra scratched that itch well, providing twist after twist to its serial arc while juggling a large cast we came to like and root for one by one

51. Chihayafuru

Fall 2011

Before Chihayafuru: What even is Karuta? After Chihayafuru: “Oh, that’s Karuta! I could never play that because both my Japanese and my memory suck!” Still, it’s fun to watch pretty young people kick ass at it

 

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 70-61 – There’s Something Happening Here

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


70. Oregairu (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU)

Spring 2013

Not all high school harem rom-coms are created equal…this one’s pretty good

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69. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S

Spring 2013

We actually watched Railgun before Index…and still kinda like Railgun more due to the focus on Misaka

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68. Working!!!

Summer 2015

The third season of the family restaurant sitcom finally resolved will-they-won’t-they situations with “they wills”—and did a really good job doing it

67. ReLIFE

Summer 2016

If you could go back to your high school days, what would you say and do differently? ReLIFE, the first 13 episodes of which released all at once, Netflix-style, brilliantly explored every facet of that question

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66. Durarara!! x2 Ketsu

Winter 2016

The third and best of the Durarara!! sequel cours

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65. Kill la Kill

Fall 2013

Studio Trigger dazzles the stage with a completely ludicrous action/sci-fi/adventure odyssey involving sentient—and often extremely skimpy—clothing

kami11

64. The World God Only Knows 3

Summer 2013

The third season that gave us hope that maybe the MC would actually end up with a real-life girl in the end. It wasn’t to be…maybe the upcoming Season 4?

znt34

63. Zankyou no Terror

Summer 2014

Two human experiments with numbers for names meet a neglected girl from a broken home, and as the title suggests, there is a bit of terrorism

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62. KonoSuba

Winter 2016

One of the most consistently hilarious isekai anime ever made, KonoSuba commits to laughs like no other show in its genre

61. Kuragehime

Fall 2010

Squid. Princess. Any questions?

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 80-71 – Hibike! at the Disco

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


80. Shiki

Summer 2010

The character design is…interesting, but you get used to it, and I even grew to enjoy it—what strange hair color or style would show up next?—Because the bottom line is, Shiki made anime vampires scarier and more sympathetic

79. Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san

Winter 2018

Or: How I Learned to Stop Trying to Beat the Adorable Teasing Master and Just Fall In Love With Her Already

78. Sword Art Online: Alicization – War of Underworld

Fall 2019

Move over Kirito, Asuna, Sinon, and Eugeo: Alice is currently the shining star of SAO, and it would be a crying shame to lose her

77. Working’!! 2

Fall 2011

Working!! 2: Work Harder is more of the same great restaurant slice-of-life, only slightly better because our connection to the characters comes built-in

76. Mawaru Penguindrum

Summer 2011

A manic, dizzying feast for eyes, ears, and mind, as Ikuhara’s anime tend to be

75. Hibike! Euphonium

Spring 2015

High School life, love, fierce competition, and stirring brass music, beautifully presented as always by the incomparable KyoAni

74. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

Fall 2015

In our opinion one the best entries in the vast Gundam continuum, IBO centered on scrappy underdog heroes fighting for freedom with low-tech equipment…and the odd friend in high places

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73/72. Durarara!! x2 ShouDurarara!! x2 Ten

Winter/Summer 2015

After a solid 26-episode first season, we asked if a sequel to the Ikebukuro-set story about stories was needed, but the first two of three cours answered that in the affirmative

71. Kokoro Connect + Michi Random

Fall 2012

An example of a show that didn’t impress us much at first, but got better and better and drew us in deeper and deeper. Body-swapping is only the beginning

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 90-81 – From Family Restaurants to Generation Ships

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


90. Knights of Sidonia

Spring 2014

One of the only full-CGI animes that works better because it’s CGI, owing much to its futuristic sci-fi setting. Gritty, bleak, and awe-inspiring, its characters don’t inhabit the uncanny valley, but the infinite void of space.

89. Mirai Nikki

Fall 2011

A cute but murder-happy stalker and a battle royale to determine who inherets immortality and omnipotence from a character literally named Deus Ex Machina…what’s not to like

88. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Fall 2010

Notable for its distinctive American cartoon-style look and general raunchiness, this was the last great anime Gainax made before Trigger split off

87. Working!!

Spring 2010

An absorbing slice-of-life centered on the eccentric staff of a run-of-the-mill Japanese family restaurant, filled with wit, humor, and a couple will-they-won’t-they situations that would take three seasons to resolve

86. O Maidens in Your Savage Season

Summer 2019

Took an strong unblinking look at the lives of a group of very different young women and men approaching their respective sexual awakenings in different ways

85. Golden Kamuy

Spring 2018 and Fall 2018

Part treasure hunt using human pelts as maps, part documentary of Ainu life, culture, cuisine, and spiritualism, all badass

84. Inuyashiki

Fall 2017

The story of the world’s most depressing salaryman finally gaining the power to protect family and strangers alike (thanks to aliens) is full of body horror and black humor in equal measure

83. Knights of Sidonia 2

Spring 2015

Like Knights of Sidonia 1, only Sidonia-er. Things get a bit darker, a bit weirder, and, at times, a bit funnier. The only mark against the series is that it needed a third season

82. The World God Only Knows

Fall 2010

In one of the first harem anime we watched that we enjoyed, an dating sim expert must reluctantly date girls IRL to capture the evil spirits hiding in their hearts. It’s much better than it sounds

81. Saraiya Goyou (House of Five Leaves)

Spring 2010

An unglamorous but absorbing drama in which a timid ronin joins a group of bandits making their own way in gritty Edo-period Japan

RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade – 100-91 – The Worst of the Best

Welcome to RABUJOI’s Anime of the Decade, a comprehensive and hastily-researched list of the 100 best anime we watched from 2010 to 2019. We attempt to provide one brief statement about each show, based in some cases on very fuzzy recollection and possibly guesses. This list is final. No reviews, no appeals, and no Gintama (but only because we’ve never watched it).—RABUJOI STAFF


saoii238

100. Sword Art Online II

Summer 2014

Asuna is finally able to reach détente with her strict mother, and a terminally ill girl receives a fitting sendoff from her fellow gamers. A lot more happened, but that was some memorable stuff

99. Yuri Kuma Arashi

Winter 2015

Using heavy symbolism and vibrant iconography to promote LGBTQ advocacy and critique a nation notoriously weak in that area

98. Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil)

Spring 2013

Animating a popular manga with live action rotoscoping was bold as hell, but not too popular, crossing a boundary between anime and reality

97. Darling in the FranXX

Winter 2018

An admirable bid to bring Evangelion into the 21st century, depicting a harsh world where too heavy a weight is placed on the slender shoulders of the young

96. Sword Art Online

Summer 2012

Not the first, not the best, but the show that launched a thousand isekai, anchored by a compelling central love story that endures to this day

95. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano)

Winter 2015

A witty and attractive self-aware harem rom-com that explored artistic talent, collaboration, and the practicalities of making a video game as much as cute outfits and compromising situations

94. Re:Creators

Spring 2017

An anime that brought colorful characters from anime, books, and games of many genres—all fictitious, in-world works—into the real world, resulting in an Avengers-style fish-out-of-water crossover epic, a tantalizing premise

93. Sword Art Online: Alicization

Spring 2018

Crippled IRL, Kirito dives deeper than ever before, starts over in a new virtual world utilizing tech coveted by governments and organizations the world over, and makes friends along the way

92. Kekkai Sensen

Spring 2015

In a premise that combines Men In Black, Hellboy, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, universes and realms collide in the former NYC in a stirring feast for eyes and ears

91. Akame ga Kill!

Summer 2014

A majority-female assassin guild-vs.-empire bloody slugfest that managed to became surprisingly emotionally resonant as it went on

Why, MAL, Why?! – Mid-April 2019 Edition

For all its faults, MyAnimeList is one of the best places to organize all the anime we’ve watched and it can be fun learn how public opinion for said anime fares over the course of its run. It is also unqualifiedly AWFUL!

(and yes, Chrome spell check, unqualifiedly IS a word, I checked!)

Everybody knows MAL has never a particularly accurate way to gauge the critical value of any given show. For one thing, its underlying business model hews closer to “marketing and e-book sales”.

Viewers naturally tend to under-rate anime they hate or over-rate shows they love, which means any MAL score must be taken with a veritable Makgadikgadi Pan of salt, especially since scores aren’t even factored into the average if a user hasn’t watched more than 20% of the show.

And yet, we still go there, we still post the shows we’re watching or have completed, and we still contribute what we feel to be fair scores to anime we watch. A MAL score will never be the determining factor in whether we watch a show, but it would be disingenuous to declare they have no influence on anyone.

So How Awful is MAL so far this Spring? Let’s go show by show, comparing both our current score—along with an estimate of the expected final average score – to that of MAL. We found that sometimes MAL still does get it right…at least from our perspective.

(Note that there aren’t any Spring shows we believe to be “TOO HIGH!” on MAL—at least not yet—though that doens’t mean it doesn’t happen: TenSura, OverLord III, Grand Blue, and Banana Fish are all past shows we scored much lower than their MAL averages.)

All Verdicts Are FINAL…but if you respectfully disagree with any of the below, feel free to voice your alternative opinions in the ‘ments!

Carole & Tuesday

Progress: 1/24
RAB Score: 10
Expected Final Score: 8.75
MAL Score: 8.17 (-0.88)
Verdict: TOO LOW!
Notes: Just a very underwhelming initial score for the best first episode of the Spring. 10 may be overdoing it a bit; 8.5 seems more fair down the stretch.-Zane

BokuBen

Progress: 2/13
RAB Score: 9.00
Expected Final Score: 8.10
MAL Score: 7.20
Verdict: TOO LOW!
Notes: Yes, it’s another high school harem, but so far it has been executed almost perfectly, featuring vibrant characters with solid motivations. A mid-to-high 7 score would be more fair here.-Zane

One Punch Man 2

Progress: 2/-
RAB Score: 9.00
Expected Final Score: 8.33
MAL Score: 7.94
Verdict: TOO LOW!
Notes: OPM has switched studios from Madhouse to J.C. Staff, but I haven’t detected a dire drop in quality. 8.2-8.3 seems more fair.-Zane

Dororo

Progress: 14/24
RAB Score: 8.64
Expected Final Score: 8.65
MAL Score: 8.58
Verdict: JUST RIGHT!
Notes: No complaints. Solid show that MAL acknowledges as solid. Keep it up!-Hannah

Rising of the Shield Hero

Progress: 15/25
RAB Score: 8.27
Expected Final Score: 8.40
MAL Score: 8.38
Verdict: JUST RIGHT!
Notes: Another fair score, but if the show gets too mired in Naofumi’s victimization rather than the world-saving aspect, our score could drop lower.-Hannah

Isekai Quartet

Progress: 2/12
RAB Score: 8.00
Expected Final Score: 7.60
MAL Score: 7.56
Verdict: JUST RIGHT!
Notes: Low-stakes chibi crossover fun. 7.50 is sufficient.-Preston

Sarazanmai

Progress: 1/11
RAB Score: 8.00
Expected Final Score: 8.25
MAL Score: 7.27
Verdict: TOO LOW!
Notes: Like Yurikuma Arashi and Penguindrum, woke Ikuhara shows just don’t get the love they deserve on MAL.-Preston

Mayonaka no Occult Koumuin

Progress: 2/12
RAB Score: 7.50
Expected Final Score: 7.50
MAL Score: 6.79
Verdict: TOO LOW!
Notes: …But not by much! The premise is fun, but the production values are 3D Kanojo-levels of meh.-Preston

Fairy Gone

Progress: 2/24
RAB Score: 7.00
Expected Final Score: 7.20
MAL Score: 6.57
Verdict: TOO LOW!
Notes: Also not by much. Looks better than the above, but lacks compelling characters, and 24 eps of them feels like a major slog.-Preston

Senryuu Shoujo

Progress: 2/-
RAB Score: 7.00
Expected Final Score: 7.10
MAL Score: 7.16
Verdict: JUST RIGHT!
Notes: Pure lighthearted comfort food. Score is fair.-Zane

Ao-chan Can’t Study!

Progress: 2/-
RAB Score: 6.50
Expected Final Score: 7.00
MAL Score: 6.77
Verdict: JUST RIGHT!
Notes: I just don’t see episodes going far beyond 7, while I can definitely see it dropping to 6.-Zane

This has been the Mid-April 2019 Edition of “Why, MAL, Why?!”. Stay tuned for the Mid-May 2019 Edition, hopefully closer to the actual  middle of May!

Weekend OP: “ROAR”

Kurosaki Maon has handled the vocals for all of the Index OPs, and the new song “ROAR” unveiled for the Russia arc is one of the best yet, combined with visuals that kick up the urgency and gravity, thus hyping up the episode to come. There’s Accelerator fighting Worst (which hey, actually happens in the show!); there’s Misaka jumping from jet to jet; and there’s Touma running towards the next battle, this time with a game Lessar in tow.

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.