Last year, I started watching anime again and woah, have I been missing out. I used to watch it a ton when I was in grade school and then stopped when I got too busy in college. I still find myself really busy these day thanks to New York’s nonstop hustle culture, but sometimes I sneak in an episode here or there to decompress and treat myself.
There were three anime last year that really stood out to me and I highly recommend you to watch it if you get a chance!
After the Rain
After the Rain (恋は雨上がりのように Koi wa Ameagari no Yō ni) had a really peculiar synopsis.
After the Rain tells the story of Akira Tachibana, a high school student working part-time at a family restaurant, who starts falling in love with the manager, a forty five year old divorcee with a young son.
I was kind of put off after reading the synopsis because it sounds like this anime could take a really wrong turn, but I was also curious as to why the show had really high ratings. I decided to watch the first episode and completely fell in love with the animation and the fact that the female protagonist is a runner (I am very biased towards anime about running 😅).
The show is really enjoyable to watch and as a viewer, I got really invested in the two main characters. It can be heartwarming at times and also cringey, but the kind of relatable cringey where you know she’s acting a certain way because she’s young and doesn’t know any better and maybe you were once in her shoes.
For me, I interpreted one of the themes of the show to be that everyone struggles with their dreams and setbacks. You wanted to achieve something but life got in the way, and before you know it, a lot of time has passed and you’re no where closer to your goal. Isn’t that what happens to most of us?
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otakus
I really loved Wotakoi (ヲタクに恋は難しい Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii). It’s a really light-hearted, easy to watch, feel good kind of anime. Great for those nights where you just want to sit back and relax after a long day.
It’s another slice of life anime and the plot follows four coworkers who are secretly otakus (at least to those outside of their friend group), meaning they love manga, anime, cosplaying, and gaming.
This slice of life anime is different than other ones which generally deal with characters in a younger age group. These characters, since they’re adults, have to go to work while also need to work on their relationships. It’s not a very serious anime and I would say it’s more of a romantic comedy. I found myself laughing out loud at a lot of scenes.
It was refreshing to see an anime with adults living their life and again, it was really relatable because I also enjoy anime and video games, but maybe not to the extent of these characters.
Made in Abyss
This is the only anime on the list that is not slice of life. At first, I wasn’t even planning to watch this anime since the from the thumbnail, I felt like the animation style is not what I’m usually drawn to. I am, however, really happy I decided to watch it because the animation is beautiful and the story is so well thought-out.
This anime almost reminds me of a game because of the way the world and different levels are set up. The main character is searching for her mother, so she teams up with a humanoid robot to descend into this crater to search for her mom. In the crater, there are many different levels and challenges that await them. The deeper they go, the more difficult the challenges.
If you thought this would be an easy-going anime because the two main characters are children, you are in for a rude awakening. This anime gets really dark really quickly.
The character, plot, and world development are really well thought out. I don’t want to stay too much as to try to not spoil things, but this anime is really amazing and I can’t wait for the next season!
That wraps up my top three anime for 2018! I am currently watching a few more series, so expect more anime roundup posts in the future. Are there any current or old anime series that you would recommend?