Summer 2018 Thoughts

With the Summer 2018 season now behind us, the staff at Beneath the Tangles has taken a look back at the season and I asked them the following questions: What was the biggest surprise of the Summer 2018 season? What was your favorite series?

The team’s answers are below the fold:


What was the biggest surprise of the season for you?

No, that’s not a Titan’s mouth – that’s Hanesaki from HANEBADO! That is one of my biggest surprises of the season. HANEBADO! started off feeling like it was going to be a team sport anime like Haikyuu but with a female cast. It most certainly is not. It’s not bad, in fact I’m rather enjoying the series, however it is not a fun, lighthearted tale about teamwork and sports. No, it’s more about what teenage stress when being pushed to the extreme in sports can do to a person’s mentality. Add in an absent Mother who thinks abandonment is what was best for her daughter and you’re rounding the bend of a fascinating series with well written, emotionally broken characters that take their sport seriously. I have a lot of thoughts on the ending that I included on my personal site in my full review of the series, but for this piece let’s just say, the show was a sports anime that took the female athletes seriously as athletes instead of as eye candy and, frankly, that doesn’t happen very often. I know, that feels like a low bar, but still. HANEBADO! can be legally streamed at Crunchyroll

What was your favorite series of the Summer 2018 season?

Every season I think a full length anime is going to catch my attention more than shorts. And sometimes it does, but man – anime shorts are where I live and breathe. Working Buddies! 2! was absolutely my favorite of the season. I looked forward to every single episode of these two college buddies making end meet at various odd jobs. The friendship that blossomed between them was brilliantly written and clever. The different jobs were fun to watch and just a treat every week. It wasn’t stressful, it didn’t make me think too hard, it was just a relaxing anime about two cat buddies. What’s wrong with that? Working Buddies! 2! (and season 1) can be streamed legally at Crunchyroll.



What was the biggest surprise of the season for you?

Probably Angolmois, the historical fiction piece about the Mongol invasion of a tiny Japanese island. I’m not saying it was the best or my favorite of the season, but it certainly beat my expectations by a mile. What starts as a period/action setting turns into a surprisingly deep reflection on perseverance and hope in the face of hopelessness. This became especially poignant going into the last episode, appropriately called “The Best You Can Do”. Because sometimes our best isn’t good enough, and failure is guaranteed; and yet there’s a reason to go on.

Angolmois: Record of Mongol Invasion can be streamed legally on Crunchyroll.


What was your favorite series of the Summer 2018 season?

That’s a tough question. Unlike the previous season, which had several clear stand-outs like Hinatmatsuri, there wasn’t for me any series that stood out in every category. Yet there were two shows that did something that struck me as relatively new: Cells at Work, which gave the genre “slice of life” a far more literal twist than ever before; and Planet With, a take on the mecha genre (not my favorite genre at all) that manages to be deeper than Neon Genesis Evangelion without being nearly as dark and deconstructive. And despite the clear creativity and quality that went into Cells at Work, making it probably the better series of the two by most benchmarks, I’m going with Planet With as the show that most consistently provided me enjoyment and food for thought. And honestly, that’s a surprise to me right now, because I had no clue which series I was going to choose when I started writing this paragraph.

You can legally enjoy the Planet With acid trip on Crunchyroll.


What was the biggest surprise of the season for you?

Attack on Titan wasn’t great, but it was far better than I thought it would be. Once the manga started featuring less, well, titans, I felt it started going off the tracks. Caught up in wild conspiracies and advancing the mythology of the world rather than investing in a cavalcade of characters and reveling in violence and the grotesque was a bad move, and that’s exactly where season three picks up. Yet, the direction centered on the backstories of Historia and Erwin, the growth of Eren and Historia, and the tale of Levi and Kenny, amid politics and mystery, and it mostly worked. The series made it through its most grinding bit, so I’m hopeful for the series from here on out.

Attack on Titan can be streamed via Crunchyroll.

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What was your favorite series of the Summer 2018 season?

Boku no Hero Academia was the show I most enjoyed this season, and I’m not happy about that. I hate picking a shounen series as my fav. Is it for some sense of “otaku elitism”? Maybe, though I wouldn’t even consider my habit in any way strong enough to provide me the label of otaku! I think it more has to do with a lack of quality in series this season. I spent more time rewatching shows from the past—Serial Experiments Lain, Toradora, ChihayafuruShirobako, and Working! than new series this season. No matter how good BNHA is—and it is really, really good—I’d rather it be my third or fourth favorite, as it has been in seasons past, than my first. Still, I guess I’d be really depressed if I had to choose Steins;gate 0, with its noticeable dip this spring, for my favorite of the season (Note: I’ve only caught about half of Cells at Work!, which might otherwise have been my selection).

Boku no Hero Academia can be streamed via Crunchyroll.



7 thoughts on “Summer 2018 Thoughts

  1. This post made me come back to my thoughts of realizing how much I’ve been slacking off with my anime watching for the past couple months. I’ve been getting distracted by grinding in certain games games on my Nintendo Switch and watching people I’ve subscribed to on YouTube and other videos. So now that my fall break is coming up, now is the time to catch up with the anime I’m currently watching!

    1. Fall break may give you a chance to check out some of these great shows! Some of them. Feel free to come back and let us know your thoughts!

    2. Haha, anime often works in waves. One might watch anime non-stop for several months, then hardly at all for a season or two!

  2. I just saw this, yay you commented! are you gonna be commenting every Monday and Friday? I don’t think you told me about working buddies,yep

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