Nick's Picks for Fall 2018
Nick’s Picks for Fall 2018
Well folks, we’re truly in the thick of it now. The fall season’s premieres are nearly all on the books at this point, and so it’s time to start sifting through the wreckage and figure out what we’re actually watching. From my perspective, the seasonal bounty feels even more bountious than usual this time; I already highlighted a few of the most exciting sequels I was pumped for, but the season’s new adaptations and originals have turned out to be just as strong. And so, as is tradition, today I’ll be running down just a few of my new favorites, having already watched the first episodes of basically everything. I’m sort of a character drama-focused guy myself, but I’ll try to offer a diverse palette of genres here, and I’m confident that nearly everyone should find at least something they love this time. Let’s get to it!
First off, SSSS.Gridman stunned me with a premiere that seemed to echo the beloved Gainax classics of my own adolescence. Though its narrative is clearly taking off classic sentai stories, the beat-to-beat experience of this first episode was one of nostalgic intimacy and quiet beauty, as we were slowly introduced to the lives of Yuta and his friends. Understated dialogue and beautiful compositions present a world hanging under the shadow of destruction, before a giant kaiju comes to life and the fires begin. SSSS.Gridman’s story so far is mystery upon mystery, but its grace of execution is so strong that I’m enraptured already. Studio Trigger might have something truly special on their hands.
While Gridman applies its relentlessly focused direction to a story with world-shaking consequences, Run with the Wind is exhibiting just as much passion and creativity in service of a much more intimate story. The Production I.G. team responsible for Haikyu!! and Welcome to the Ballroom bring all the beauty of those shows to a story about ten college students attempting a massive relay race. Run with the Wind’s aesthetic strengths are unimpeachable, spanning from its evocative sound design to its flavorful character acting, but I was even more impressed by how well this episode’s efficient dialogue made me feel like I’d known its cast for years. If a beautiful show somewhere between a sports and character drama sounds fun, absolutely give Run with the Wind a shot.
But let’s move away from the serious character drama stuff for a minute. If you’re looking for something absurd and hilarious this season, I highly recommend ZOMBIE LAND SAGA, the only show brave enough to ask “What if our favorite idols were also slavering, flesh-hungry undead?” When our heroine Sakura awakes after being run over by a bus, she finds herself conscripted into a group of formerly famous and currently dead idols, and her troubles only expand from there. This premiere balanced great gags about zombies, idols, and zombie idols with altogether excellent direction, pulling off scenes that felt genuinely horrifying in between all the “Can you please make my costars stop chewing on my arm?” Sometimes even death can’t save you from the rigors of fame.
Alright, say you’re looking for some kind of compromise between action and comedy, then? In that case, absolutely check out DOUBLE DECKER! DOUG & KIRILL, which is so far turning out to be a stylish and very funny buddy cop drama-comedy. In a world where the drug Anthem inspires criminals to superhuman feats of villainy, special agents Doug and Kirill are doing their best just to make it through the day. Combining riffs on American comics, superpowered gunfights, and naked hostage rescues, DOUBLE DECKER! DOUG & KIRILL echoes the lively energy of old favorites like Tiger & Bunny or Baccano! It’s a very fun ride, and an easy recommendation from me.
Alright, I’m running out of space here, so let’s finish off with a sort of shotgun roundup. If you’re looking for a well-executed traditional sports show focusing on a unique sport, Hinomaru Sumo’s first episode offered a very entertaining time. If you can’t get enough of the current isekai craze, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime brings very creative direction and remarkably expressive slime animation to the trapped-in-another-world template. And if you’re understandably desperate for a show about FISHING IN SPACE, you clearly need to check out Between the Sky and Sea, which I refuse to refer to as anything but SPACE FISH. Regardless, this is an absurdly rich season that basically leaves me with recommendations spilling out of my arms. I hope you find something to enjoy among my recommendations, and please let me know what all else you guys are enjoying in the comments!
Source: Anime News
Nick’s Picks for Fall 2018