Shows to Watch: Winter Anime Season 2018

by Brandon Takeda

A brand new year, a brand new anime season. For all you anime fans out there, this Winter 2018 season is truly one for the ages. It features not only returning favourites, but impressive new shows as well. While this article will only highlight three of my must watch shows this season, I would like to mention some others that show signs of excellence as well. These shows include: Pop Team Epic, Fate Extra: Last Encore, The Junji Ito Collection, The Ancient Magus Bride, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, and march comes in like a Lion Season 2. The fact that I could come up with a list of this many promising titles so easily speaks volumes of the shows I am about to highlight.

Devilman: Crybaby

Every time I see a new preview for this upcoming Netflix anime, I get more and more excited. From the intense action to the pulse pounding music, Devilman: Crybaby looks to be a wild ride. Visually intense, the shows use of dynamic, fast paced animation alongside a dark, rich colour palette set it apart from the rest of the pack. Not to mention, the show’s story is based on the insanely popular 1970’s manga Devilman. Crybaby looks to retell the tale of Akira Fudo as he merges with a demon to become Devilman, a force for humanity to fight the oncoming demonic invasion of Earth. With the show being broadcast on Netflix, Devilman: Crybaby is being let loose on the world, allowing it to be freed up from some of Japan’s broadcast restrictions and creating a fuller, more mature tale. Devilman: Crybaby premieres on Netflix worldwide on January 5, 2018.

 

Violet Evergarden

Beautiful.

If I had to pick one word to describe Kyoto Animation’s newest work, that would be it. Another Netflix funded anime, Violet Evergarden pushes the boundary when it comes to apex of quality for a television broadcast anime. While Devilman: Crybaby is striking in its visual style, Violet Evergarden is enchanting. Each preview I see makes me think it could be something I will watch over and over again. The show follows the tale of Violet Evergarden, an auto memory doll, as she adjusts to a life after battle. Though she fought through many hardships during a continental-scale war, Violet now lives a more peaceful life as a postal worker who spends her day trying to connect emotionally with the humans she meets during her day-to-day. While Violet Evergarden was supposed to premiere only on Netflix in Japan on January 11 (to come west at a later date) it is being reported that some regions outside of Japan may also receive the show on that same day.

 

DARLING IN THE FRANXX

It seems that a perfect storm is in the works for all you mecha fans out there with A-1 Pictures and Studio Trigger‘s newest show. First of all, the show’s director, Atsushi Nishigori, is not only a hugely successful director at A-1 pictures, but was also part of GAINAX and previously worked on shows like Gurren Lagan, as well as Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt as the lead Character Designer. Alongside the former GAINAX veteran comes another offshoot of the famous studio, The Khara 3D Team. Studio Khara is the animation studio created by Hideki Anno (creator of Neon Genesis Evangellion) after he left GAINAX, and Khara 3D will lend their expertise to DARLING IN THE FRANXX to merge 3D animation with 2D for a seamless experience. Finally — the words every mecha fan wants to hear — there will also be 2D mecha combat.

Over the years, many studios have decided that it is much easier to animate mecha combat using 3D CG animation rather than traditional 2D styles as the machines and fight scenes grow more and more complex. While this is a totally viable option, DARLING IN THE FRANXX hopes to recapture the old spirit of the giant robot fight scenes of yore, opting to animate in 2D. The show follows Hiro, an excellent young pilot finding himself falling further behind his peers. His story takes a turn however when he runs into a mysterious horned girl, Zero Two, and soon they become partners. The young pilots of DARLING IN THE FRANXX must put their skills to test as they defend Plantation, humanity‘s last bastion, from the Kyōryū (“Shriek”). Will their skills be enough? The show premieres January 13, 2018.

Image Source: Netflix