Top 10 2018 Anime You May Have Missed! [Best Recommendations]

There was so much amazing anime in 2018 that no one can blame you for not being able to make time for every show worth watching. That said, we’re going to pile more onto your plan to watch list by exploring ten anime that you may have missed from the past year.

Some of these anime are hidden gems of character development and storytelling, while others are just entertaining popcorn shows that appeal to the lowest parts of your brain. But they all deserve their time in the spotlight, so let’s give them a look!


10. Killing Bites

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2018 – March 2018

So, this one definitely falls into the “lowest parts of your brain” category rather than the “masterful storytelling” one, as you could probably tell by looking at it for two seconds. But Killing Bites is still worth your time – it may be a stupid fanservicey action show, but it’s just so good at being a stupid fanservicey action show that we can’t help but love it.

The premise is that a group of fighters who can transform into and use the powers of various wild animals all try to kill each other in a massive battle royale tournament. Its surprisingly brutal fights are a joy to behold, and there’s no way we can get mad at an anime where a pangolin man punches a hole straight through a crocodile man’s chest.


9. Hinomaruzumou (Hinomaru Sumo)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: October 2018 – currently airing

A sumo sports anime? It sounds a little odd, but sumo is such a big deal in Japan that it’s a wonder how we never got a mainstream show like this before now. It stars a hotheaded high schooler named Hinomaru Ushio, who sets out to revive his school’s almost nonexistent sumo club so he can shoot for the highest rank in the entire sport, despite being too small for anyone to take him seriously.

It’s a pretty boilerplate plot a shounen anime, but the characters are so lovable and the story is so earnest that it hardly matters. After all, a familiar story done perfectly is sometimes better than attempting originality and failing in the execution. Plus, this anime is a fun and entertaining way for people to learn all of the ins and outs of sumo wrestling! If you’re curious about the sport, give Hinomaru Sumo a try.


8. Happy Sugar Life

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2018 – September 2018

Admit it, you’ve legitimately enjoyed at least one true crime show in your life. They may be trashy and gruesome, but the psychology behind why someone would kidnap or kill another person is too fascinating not to explore. Happy Sugar Life takes that morbid curiosity to a whole new level with its story of a seemingly sweet teenager named Satou who keeps a child trapped in her apartment for her own amusement.

Satou is the “caretaker” (kidnapper) of an idealistically cute and innocent little girl named Shio and uses the isolation of her apartment to bend Shio to her will. It’s a disturbing picture of how children can be taken advantage of by adults who don’t have their best interests at heart, and the full implications of what Satou could be doing to Shio are sure to keep you up at night.


7. High Score Girl

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2018 – September 2018

If you have a special place in your heart for old-school arcade games, High Score Girl is right there with you. It takes place in the arcade renaissance of the early ‘90s and the characters compete using real games from the time, such as Street Fighter II and Bomberman.

The odd CG animation could be a turn off for some viewers, but it works well for this simple story about two rivals trying to one-up each other at retro video games. You’ll love their adorable budding romance just as much as you already love the nostalgic games they’re playing!


6. Hug tto! Precure (Hugtto! Precure)

  • Episodes: 49
  • Aired: February 2018 – January 2019

If you’ve never seen a Precure show before, the latest season Hugtto Precure is a fantastic place to start. Our protagonist Hana is plucky and cute, the Cure team forms naturally over the course of the series with characters who develop in realistic ways, and the shonen-style melee fights are back with a vengeance!

For returning fans, we even get a few appearances from other Cures outside of the team-up movies! Witnessing these new heroes fight alongside the original magical duo from 15 years ago is everything we never knew we needed.



5. Gaikotsu Shotenin Honda-san (Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: October 2018 – December 2018

With only 12 episodes at 11 minutes long each, it won’t take you long to fully enjoy this gag series about a long-suffering manga bookstore manager (with a skull for a face because... sure) and the excitable nerdy customers he has to deal with every day.

It gives us a refreshingly hilarious look at how our own culture affects the hapless normal people who don’t understand our passions. Honda-san does love manga, but his constant stressful encounters with fujoshi foreigners and overzealous niche fans with seemingly endless money to spend leave him exhausted and begging for peace. We’re sorry, Honda-san, but your pain gives us life!


4. Grancrest Senki (Record of Grancrest War)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: January 2018 – June 2018

Like Killing Bites and Hinomaru Sumo, Grancrest Senki takes an overused premise (in this case, a JRPG-inspired fantasy epic adapted from a light novel) and executes it so well that it elevates the idea to new heights. And, shockingly enough, it’s not an isekai!

Apart from the likable characters and interesting storyline, the most notable element of this anime is its fight scenes. They’re fluid, gorgeous, and never lose momentum, thanks to some standout direction from Shinichi Omata. Grancrest Senki is the perfect show for JRPG fans who can never get enough high intensity action in their entertainment.


3. Mo Dao Zu Shi

  • Episodes: 15
  • Aired: July 2018 – October 2018

Translating as something akin to “The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation”, this anime is adapted from the Chinese web novel and manhua of the same name. We’ve had plenty of exposure to Japanese history and mythology by now, but Mo Dao Zu Shi gives us a beautifully animated and scored crash course on Ancient China.

The story follows two wanderers named Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian as they bicker with each other, solve problems for the locals, and start to fall in love. The shounen-ai element isn’t as strong in this adaptation as it is in the source material, but for those of us who enjoy a little queer representation, it’s a welcome addition.


2. Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru (Run With the Wind)

  • Episodes: 23
  • Aired: October 2018 – currently airing

Sports anime is firmly rooted in its comfort zone of high school athletics, but Run With the Wind takes a bold step forward by setting its story in the mythical land known as... college! And it’s not just a superficial change, either. Differences in age, major, and upbringing play a significant part in the characters’ interactions with one another.

The writers have clearly invested a lot of hard work into developing each and every member of the Kansei University running team. They all have their own struggles to bear, opinions of the other members that affect who they make friends with, and goals that they wish to achieve. From the typical sports anime narrative, it really is a breath of fresh air!


1. Yagate Kimi ni Naru (Bloom Into You)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: October 2018 – December 2018

Speaking of queer representation, the most underrated anime of this year has to be Bloom Into You. It’s a charming tale about two teenage girls struggling to realize that they’re actually in love with each other since one is blinded by the societal narrative of a perfect bubbly romance and the other feels trapped in her identity as the unflappable upperclassman.

Lesbian relationships in Japanese culture tend to be brushed off as a phase that girls go through before they move on to “real” love as adults, but Bloom Into You makes sure to treat Yuu and Touko’s relationship as legitimate. There are also other adult characters in homosexual partnerships, so this is a pretty big step for anime. Overall, it’s a heartwarming show about two people who discover who they are by learning to love someone else.


Final Thoughts

Shows like Aggretsuko and Banana Fish might’ve gotten lost in the shuffle in other years (thanks to being on Netflix and Amazon Strike respectively), but luckily, 2018 was so terrific that anime fans sought out these gems anyway. We hope that you’ll do the same for these 10 shows that didn’t quite reach the public’s eye, but deserve your attention regardless.

What did you think of our list? Have you seen any of these underrated shows? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!

High-Score-Girl-Wallpaper-1 Top 10 2018 Anime You May Have Missed! [Best Recommendations]

Writer

Author: Mary Lee Sauder

After the hard-hitting East Coast lifestyle hit me a bit too hard, I started pursuing my passion as a writer in my cozy home state of Ohio. Aside from that, I spend my time cooking, cosplaying, collecting anime merch, and being an improv comedy actor. I also love sneaking alliterations and stupid puns into my writing, so be on the lookout for them! 😉

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