A Year of Anime in 2018

It had not exactly been a banner year for ANIME watching in TOYSREVIL HQ, with quite a bit of false-starts, but with a decent selection of completes and even rewatches! Listed here today is my "Year of Anime in 2018", for your reading pleasures :)

MEGALO BOX is without a doubt one of my Top Watches in 2018, having devoured the entire 12 episodes, and blogged about it HERE.

WHAT-IS: "Megalo Box (メガロボクス Megaro Bokusu) is a 2018 anime television series created in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the manga Ashita no Joe.[1] It is produced by the studio TMS Entertainment, who also produced the second Ashita no Joe anime in 1980. The head of production is director Yō Moriyama, working with screenwriters Katsuhiko Manabe and Kensaku Kojima, with music composed by hip-hop artist Mabanua."
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One good thing to come out about these few days being sickly, was that I had the chance to indulge in the #MegaloBox #anime! In-between sniffles & manic-coughing, I watched as #JunkDog become #GearlessJoe, & #TeamNowhere battle their way thru to reach … well, that’ll be giving way too much innit? And no, it wouldn't be THAT easy for the team, innit? So far into at Ep9, this has indeed a schweet ride for this incarnation of #AshitanoJoe, celebrating its 50th anniversary of the manga! FIFTY YEARS! The muted color palette, the old-skool illustration aesthetics, the verve and tone of this anime really helps bring back the nostalgic 70/80s, alongside a soundscape echoing #SamuraiChamploo & #TokyoTribe2 hiphop of the early-2000s, with that rockabilly opening track ... at least to my feeble ears :) Recommended for nostalgia-buffs, for the "good old days of anime" you never knew you missed :) #iNotOtaku

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PLOT: "The series takes place in a futuristic setting where licensed citizens live in a wealthy city while, on the outskirts of this city, there is a slum town where unlicensed citizens live in poverty. Megalo Boxing is a popular sport in this world similar to boxing except the boxers fight while wearing a metal frame which makes their attacks much more lethal. Junk Dog is a young man who fights in underground illegal rings in fights that have a fixed result where his coach Gansaku Nanbu directs him on when to lose a fight. One evening he almost crashes his motorcycle into Yukiko Shirato, who is the head of the wealthy Shirato Group which oversees the Megalonia tournament. Junk Dog picks a fight with her bodyguard Yūri who is also the top ranked Megalo Boxer. Yukiko stops the fight but Yūri seeks out Junk Dog and meets him in the underground ring where he easily beats the less-experienced fighter and tells him to fight him again in Megalonia, which Junk Dog would need a place at the top of the official Megalo Box rankings to qualify for, as well as a proper citizenship ID to enter the rankings in the first place. After Nanbu persuades the mob boss Fujimaki to forge Junk Dog an ID under the name Joe, the two are given 3 months to achieve their goal of working their way to the top of the Megalo Box rankings in order to have a chance of fighting in Megalonia." (Wiki)

I rewatched the entirety of both PSYCHO PASS Seasons 1 and 2, and adored it to bits! Although I' since found out (preparing for this post),, that I might have rewatched this the THIRD time around this year (based on my Instagrammed screen grabs), with this round viewing an English dubbed version instead. Now, I am not a huge fan of Eng-Dubs, but this time, I had been impressed with the voice actors and directions, being effective in their tone and emotions, rather than just mouthing off scripted translations and exaggerated expressions, so kudos all around!

SETTING: "Psycho-Pass is set in a futuristic era in Japan where the Sibyl System (シビュラシステム Shibyura Shisutemu), a powerful network of psychometric scanners, actively measures the minds and mentalities of civilised populations using a "cymatic scan" of the brain. The resulting assessment is called a Psycho-Pass (サイコパス Saikopasu). When the calculated likelihood of an individual committing a crime, measured by the Crime Coefficient (犯罪係数 Hanzaikeisū) index, exceeds an accepted threshold, he or she is pursued, apprehended, and killed if necessary by police forces. Elite officers labelled "Enforcers" are equipped with large handguns called "Dominators"—special weapons that only activate when aimed at suspects with higher-than-acceptable Crime Coefficients. Enforcers are themselves selected for innately high Crime Coefficients, marking them as "latent criminals"; they are overseen by police Inspectors, who have the jurisdiction to shoot them with their Dominators should they pose a danger to the public." (Wiki)

I had chanced upon MY HERO ACADEMIA on Animax one weekend and caught a marathon of Season 2, which promptly led me to devour the entire 3rd season online (I did not g back to complete season 2 actually), and enjoying it tremendously! PLUS, ULTRA!

PLOT: "In a world where people with superpowers (known as "Quirks" (個性 Kosei)) are the norm, Izuku Midoriya has dreams of one day becoming a Hero, despite being bullied by his classmates for not having a Quirk. After being the only one to try and save his childhood friend Katsuki Bakugo from a villain, All Might, the world's greatest Hero, bestows upon him his own Quirk "One For All". The story follows Izuku's entrance into U.A. High School (雄英高校 Yūei Kōkō), a school that cultivates the next generation of superheroes. As Izuku and his new friends try to balance their Hero training with ordinary school duties, they must face new challenges including the League of Villains, an evil organization established by All Might's archenemy, All For One, to destroy all Heroes and take control of society." (Wiki)

Remembering the intensity of my animelove for ATTACK ON TITAN, I eagerly sat in watch of the 3rd season, only to be put off by the incessant politics and tedious backstories the series had decided to veer off it, especially for Levi's as well, which I felt was a desperate attempt at capitalising on the character's popularities (*FYI: I don't read the manga, so cannot vouch for the story source, and do not aim to, thanks) - for which I do understand is in service of world-building, but I just want to see giant Titans kicking each other's asses LOL (not necessarily Even tho, he's become such a whiny character, its quite off-putting as well) ... I bailed on the series not long after starting .... then caught the above video clip on Facebook just a night before this post, and might get back to see what all the fuss is about! ... Or maybe not :p

For a good minute, I had started and binged on CELLS AT WORK (はたらく細胞 / Hataraku Saibō), but decided not to continue as I’d felt my “patience for positivity” was tested, realising much later I had left myself to be “influenced” instead (LOL), and I chose not to give the anime a chance.

Having watched a few minutes today of an episode on the telly, reminded me of why I had been interested in watching it in the first place -there’s nothing wrong with “positivity” or even a little extra education, innit? … Although I’m not too sure if I’d continue where I left off, in 2019

PLOT: "The story takes place inside the human body, where trillions of anthropomorphic cells each do their job to keep the body healthy. The series largely focuses on two such cells; a rookie red blood cell, AE3803, who often gets lost during deliveries, and a relentless white blood cell, U-1146, who fights against any germs that invade the body."

One of my Top Ten All Time Fave Anime had been TOKYO GHOUL (at least Season 1 was :p), and I delved into TOKYO GHOUL RE (aka Season 3) with heightened expectations, only to be sorely disappointed by the end of the the first season. The feeling was totally different, and the direction was as alien to me, as it had been familiar+similar to what had happened with TERRA FORMERS years ago, when their second season went opposite of the first seasons, in lieu of mass appeal, no doubt due to commercial pressure (whatever), and not to my viewing tastes. I had stuck around for a first few episodes of Season 2 of TOKYO GHOUL RE, and left promptly, and had somewhat forgotten about its; existence, only to be reminded with this article LOL

SUMMARY: "Two years have passed since the CCG's raid on Anteiku. Although the atmosphere in Tokyo has changed drastically due to the increased influence of the CCG, ghouls continue to pose a problem as they have begun taking caution, especially the terrorist organization Aogiri Tree, who acknowledge the CCG's growing threat to their existence. The creation of a special team, known as the Quinx Squad, may provide the CCG with the push they need to exterminate Tokyo's unwanted residents. As humans who have undergone surgery in order to make use of the special abilities of ghouls, they participate in operations to eradicate the dangerous creatures. The leader of this group, Haise Sasaki, is a half-ghoul, half-human who has been trained by famed special class investigator, Kishou Arima. However, there's more to this young man than meets the eye, as unknown memories claw at his mind, slowly reminding him of the person he used to be." (IMDb)

I had very randomly caught PRINCESS PRINCIPAL on Animax on Sunday - which featured Victorian steampunk aesthetics with a heavy does of "spies" - for which I felt the press images (seen below in slideshow) very deceptively showcased “cute girls in mini skirts” (only), because it’s much more than that actually! I'd also appreciated the cinematic quality of the scenes, truth be told.

With 10 eps of intrigue and a continued storyline, I had been intrigued now to track it down and watch in full, which ironically I did not in 2018 (Having instead watched an incarnation of the style in "Mortal Engines" live action Hollywood feature film) ... might consider searching for this to watch in 2019 tho... :)

PLOT: "Princess Principal is set in a fictional analogue of England called Albion. During the early 20th Century, the Kingdom of Albion monopolized a mysterious substance called "Cavorite" to construct a fleet of heavily armed airships that made Albion the dominant power in the world. However, the proletariat of Albion grew angry at their country's ruling class for largely ignoring their plight, sparking the "London Revolution" where the lower classes attempted to overthrow the royal family. Eventually, the two sides reached a stalemate, and a great wall was erected through the middle of London, splitting Albion into two nations: the Commonwealth and the Kingdom.

Several years later, the Commonwealth launches "Operation Changeling," a plan to replace the Kingdom's Princess Charlotte with Ange, a girl who bears a strong resemblance to her, in order to have a highly placed agent within the royal family. However, the Princess turns the plan on the spies, offering to work with the Commonwealth if Ange and her friends will help her become the Queen of the Kingdom. So begins the story as five girls, including the Princess herself, serve as undercover spies in the Kingdom working for the Commonwealth, while enrolled as students at the prestigious Queen's Mayfair school."

One of my biggest regrets in 2018, was not catching Mamoru Hosoda's "MIRAI NO MIRAI" on the big screen, as I had all most of his previous films, before rewatching them on DVD LOL (One prime film had been "Summer Wars", I admit). It had been a stupid mistake on my part to have waited to watch it, but that option has passed and I aim to continue my celluloid adventures in the new year, even if by my lonesome! LOL

Check out THIS #otakujournal entry about my #animelife with anime-film DVDs, which I have since added a few new/old titles :)

What to look out for in 2019: ONE PUNCH MAN Season 2 and as well season 2 of MOB PSYCHO 100! For an "otaku"-blog (NOT), I sure am missing a chunk of anime-experiences! Also missing out on attending Anime Festival Asia this year at Suntec City essentially disconnected my sole-"connection" to the genre somewhat, unfortunately. "Bleak" be the future untold thus far, perhaps ...

What I had not had the chance to watch was SSSS.GRIDMAN - which might be what I'll start my 2019 with! I had also been staying my desire to rewatch KILL LA KILL, knowing full well I'd need to be able to binge-watch it, so will have to set aside a decent time to do so LOL