Top 10 Satisfying Anime of 2018 [Best Recommendations]

There is no other way to say it, anime in 2018 was absolutely amazing. In the height of a reboot boon that has been steadily growing throughout the 2010s, last year’s collection of anime was a long list of memorable shows. With this in mind, we thought it best to put together a list of the shows we felt were the most satisfying to watch. Satisfaction is ultimately a subjective concept; however, some of the shows on this list happened to hit just the right spot with us, so here they are – for you!

10. Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii (WotaKoi: Love is Hard For Otaku)

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: April 2018 – June 2018

Momose Harumi finds herself running late on her first day of work at a new office. Racing to catch her train, she vows to herself that no one at her new place of work will find out her dark secret: Harumi is a fujoshi and otaku! Harumi’s plan is immediately derailed when she bumps into Nifuji Hirotaka, a friend of hers from middle school. She tries to keep her secret by inviting him out for drinks after work, but he instantly blows her cover when he casually asks her if she’ll be attending the upcoming Summer Comiket. Lucky for Harumi; however, the only two other people in the room, Koyanagi Hanako and Kabakura Tarou, happen to be otaku, too!

While a lot of slice of life anime happens in alternate universes, high school, high school in an alternate universe, and various other spatio-temporal settings, Wotaku takes it to adulthood, moreover, straight to the office! With office banter extending past the water cooler, the anime does this really cool thing where grown-ups are every bit as childish and angst-filled as anyone when the situation is stressful enough. Naturally, when office romances also start becoming valid considerations, the characters react in a way that creates a light-hearted, otaku-centred workplace comedy that does overtime on its positive aspects.

9. Yuru Camp (Laid-Back Camp)

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

Shima Rin’s ideal getaway is camping at the base of Mount Fuji. Her favourite activity in the whole world is camping – from pitching tents to gathering firewood, she does all of it by herself and loves it. One of Rin’s normal solitary camping sessions becomes camping for two when she comes across lost girl Kagamihara Nadeshiko, who then takes refuge at her campsite. Nadeshiko had intended to see Mount Fuji but fell asleep on her way there, finding herself alone, she solicited help from the only other person around – Rin. The two girls enjoy their chilly night together, eating ramen and having campfire conversations and when Nadeshiko’s older sister finally comes to pick her up, both she and Rin ponder the possibility of camping together again.

While this is in no way the main focus, Yuru Camp very importantly continues a marked resurgence in female protagonists in anime about sport and recreation beyond the normal. The moe influence in this anime is brilliant and augments the experience one has of each character. It is fluffy and warm, and incredibly cute, while also serving to offer more than just entertainment. The educational bits regarding the camping activity are a small but interesting addition to the entire experience that is the show and overall, things seem a little bit brighter after watching this.

8. Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further Than The Universe)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: January 2018 – March 2018

Tamaki Mari has always had an intense curiosity about what lies beyond the reaches of the universe. Despite her curiosity, Mari has a crippling fear of the unknown and her anxiety about her own limitations which have kept her from chasing her dreams. Now, in her sophomore year of high school, Mari is determined to live her life; however, she remains plagued by uneasiness until she has a chance encounter with a girl with aspirations of her own. Kobuchizawa Shirase has been working hard to fund a trip to Antarctica, spurred on by her mother’s disappearance. Despite being ridiculed, Shirase is determined to head to this barren place to search for her mother and Mari, finding herself inspired by this resolve, decides to join her. The two soon become four as the bubbly Miyake Hinata and the polite Shiraishi Yuzuki join them on their journey south – their journey to a place further than the universe.

Adventure anime have recently been connecting incredibly well, and A Place Further Than The Universe is one such example. The anime is inspiring in so many different ways and is capable of touching one’s soul. Using the concept of goal-setting to highlight the importance of living out one’s own dreams and defining reality for themselves, A Place Further Than the Universe explores a major element of being a human being and very much proves the old sayings that journeys often happen both outward and inward. Animation is a very small consideration for this show, but not because it is bad or anything, but because it is so breathtakingly beautiful in a way that is somehow not unexpected. Perhaps if we’d received more than just 13 episodes, we would be able to grow more with the characters, but such thoughts are inspired by the positive experience this anime actually is.

7. Violet Evergarden

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: January 2018 – April 2018

After a four-year-long war, the continent of Telesis enjoys a period of peace and prosperity again. Violet Evergarden is a young girl raised for the battlefield who was maimed towards the end of the war, left with nothing but words from the one person she adored the most. In her period of recovery, Violet begins working at CH Postal Services after her intended post-war guardian family refused to take her in. There, she sees the work of an “Auto Memory Doll”, a person hired to transcribe people’s thoughts and feelings onto paper. Moved by the notion, Violet begins working as an Auto Memory Doll, a journey which will take Violet on many adventures, both outside and within.

Brought to Netflix, Violet Evergarden was one of 2018’s stand-out titles for several reasons. The most obvious element to Violet Evergarden which earned it much attention was the absolutely beautiful artistic design of the characters and backdrops. The entire series was extremely pleasing to the eye. Not only is it pleasing to look at, but the story and setting progress in such a way that some episodes stand to leave one teary, others leave one a little bit happier. Overall, Violet Evergarden is a great story and truly did take us on a stunning adventure.

6. Hataraku Saibou (Cells At Work!)

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: July 2018 – September 2018

This is a story about the happenings inside your own body. According to studies, the human body is made up of about 37 trillion cells which work tirelessly every single day. A lot goes on inside the human body and each cell has a role to play, but imagine being able to look closer at these events and even the lives of the cells themselves… it’s your biology textbook – the anime!

Unexpected as far as content goes, Cells At Work! was yet another example of the concept that anime can be about anything and still be absolutely amazing in its own right. Cells At Work! makes your biology textbook fun, with great animation accompanying the excellent personification of the various incredible processes that occur in the human body. The concept is fun and light and at the end of it all, you feel a little bit more educated, a little bit more entertained and perhaps, just a little bit more calm.

5. Grand Blue

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

Starting his freshman year at Izu University on the backdrop of the seaside town’s ocean waves and shining sun, Kitahara Iori moves into his uncle’s scuba diving shop, Grand Blue. Eagerly awaiting his dream college life filled with good friends and beautiful girls, but things don’t go according to plan. Upon entering the shop, he encounters a group of rowdy and naked upperclassmen who launch him into drinking with them. Soon enough, Iori becomes the life of the party, but his cousin, Kotegawa Chisa, is not impressed. Despite the rough start, Iori is determined to live out the college life he has always dreamed of – but is it really that simple?

Absolutely hilarious college banter comes in the form of Iori and his new friends at Izu University. Drunken escapades, wacky adventures and the occasional scuba diving mission decorate Iori’s life and give us quite a lot to take in in terms of entertainment value. The animation of this series makes use of a lot of the dramatic techniques and frames that earlier anime is known for and the characters’ expressiveness just adds to the already-incredible level of comedy Grand Blue brings.

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

  • Episodes: 23
  • Aired: October 2018 – March 2019

Kakeru is a former elite runner at high school finding himself being chased for stealing food. He’s saved by a Kansei University student and runner named Haiji, who persuades Kakeru to move into the old apartment named Chikuseisou, where he’ll team up with the other residents to enter the Hakone Ekiden Marathon. This is one of the most prominent university races in Japan and Kakeru accepts Haiji’s proposal; however, what he doesn’t know is that all the Chikuseisou residents, save for himself and Haiji, are complete newbies to running.

Sports anime have a knack for creating great storylines and moulding amazing characters and Run With the Wind is no different from its peers in that regard. The animation is pretty and it has several moments of greatness as far as the characters are concerned. The final clincher is that we just haven’t seen something like this before; specifically, an anime dedicated to the sport of running. Shows like this usually are much more than the sport they follow and the satisfying part about this is that Run With the Wind follows that same trend.

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

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

Puberty Syndrome is a mythological condition which seems to only affect teenagers, causing inexplicable supernatural symptoms that are often dismissed as legitimate occurrences. However, Azusagawa Sakura knows from experience that it is real and is quite prevalent at his high school. Sakurajima Mai is a third-year high schooler who gained fame as a child actress but halted her promising career for unknown reasons. She is known throughout the school and bears an air of unapproachability, so nobody interacts with her. That is at least until Sakuta sees her wandering the public library in a bunny girl costume. No one seems to notice her despite the conspicuous outfit and after talking to her, Sakuta realises that she is another victim of Puberty Syndrome. As Sakuta tries to help Mai through her situation, he comes into contact with more girls who are experiencing the condition.

One of the stand-out titles from 2018, Bunny Girl Senpai seemed to do so many things extremely well. The series boasts amazing characterization and each character’s experience of the Puberty Syndrome is well-explored as well as conceptualised. Bunny Girl Senpai is an emotional rollercoaster, because it will make you laugh with its witty dialogue between characters which makes the most mundane encounter stimulating to watch. The 13 episodes of the series were perhaps its greatest drawback; however, it barely feels awkwardly paced. The romance element of the story is quite interesting and it is an amazing extension to the already present sense of humanness present in each character.

2. Tensei Shitara Slime datta ken (That Time I Was Reincarnated As A Slime)

  • Episodes: 25
  • Aired: October 2018 - Ongoing

37-year-old Mikami Satoru’s life ends abruptly and violently when he is killed by a passing robber one day. In a strange turn of events, Satoru finds himself reincarnated in a fantasy world as a slime known as Rimuru Tempest. In this world, Satoru has access to a plethora of strange abilities, abilities which break him away from his old ordinary life and augment his adventures in a whole new world.

Spawning yet another iteration in an ever-growing genre, That Time I Was Reincarnated As A Slime is a breath of fresh air and deserves a lot of attention despite still being on air. The way in which it places the various isekai markers and tropes is detailed and the world upon Satoru’s death is incredibly engrossing. The world is intricate and the way in which it expands is incredible. Not to mention the obvious fun adventure element the show gives off. A pleasant isekai watch that is both unique and detailed, as well as exciting, That Time I Was Reincarnated As A Slime is a great example of what happens when a tried and tested method is tried and tested with a little bit of originality.

1. Golden Kamuy

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: April 2018 – June 2018

In Hokkaido, Sugimoto, a survivor of the Russo-Japanese war was also known as “the Immortal Sugimoto” during the war because of his tenacity in combat. Now he searches for riches in order to help the widowed wife of his dead friend who lost his life during the war. During his hunt for gold, Sugimoto finds clues alluding to a hidden stash of gold hidden by a band of criminals. He partners with a small Ainu girl who saved his life from the elements and together they race against time to find the stash before anyone else does.

One of the biggest positives taken away from Golden Kamuy is the way in which the series finds a way to mix epic with hilarious, serious with ridiculous, all while getting some great characters to spin an equally amazing story. The animation is beautiful and the character designs are too, one of the best insertions into the Golden Kamuy universe being the obscure aboriginal people of the Japanese archipelago – the Ainu people. There is something about adventure anime, especially when they bring together different kinds of characters each with their own convictions and aspirations.

Final Thoughts

2018 bringing so many excellent shows means that looking back on the year will be a fond experience. With so many different types of shows entertaining us in several ways, choosing which ones you consider the best is always going to be a difficult undertaking, especially in years like 2018. What does your list of the most satisfying anime look like? Drop a comment below and tell us about some of your favourites!

Yuru-Camp-Wallpaper-394x500 Top 10 Satisfying Anime of 2018 [Best Recommendations]


Author: Hoshi-kun

I’m South African, harbouring an obsession for anything remotely related to Japan, mostly anime, of course. I draw sometimes. Some people call me Naledi, it’s my real name, or something like that. People think I’m stoic because I don’t smile often (I do sometimes). I like languages. Hoshi-kun and Naledi are the same side of the same coin.

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