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My Top Picks From Fall 2018

The 2018 Fall anime season is wrapping up in a week or two, at least for most of the titles listed here. It's the perfect time for a recap and to sieve out the best that the season has to offer, especially after a hectic school term that concluded earlier this month. Honestly, the season did not look promising at all - seriously, an anime about an adventurer who kills only goblins? - but as it progressed, more than a few titles reached must-watch status for me, surprising me with how entertaining they were and how much depth either the characters or plot had. These are my top picks for the season but I'm thoroughly enjoying more than just the five listed here.

1. Zombieland Saga
Zombieland Saga was the biggest surprise of the season from me. Firstly, I had no idea what the show would even be about with a title like that and then there was that shocker of an opening sequence. Each episode since then has continued to impress and even though the final episode hasn't aired yet, I'm eagerly looking forward to a second season or at least an OVA or ONA with this group of zombie idols. There was no shortage of laughs and heartfelt moments with this bunch and it appears that three rookie seiyuu will be landing a lot more roles soon, given how popular this series is, among viewers in the West at least. For hardcore fans, you might want to visit the Machi Asobi Cafe in Tokyo for the Christmas-themed collaboration its currently running with Zombieland Saga.

2. Sword Art Online: Alicization
Sword Art Online: Alicization probably had the biggest expectations heading into the Fall season. Readers of the light novels were expecting the best anime adaptation out of the six arcs yet, considering how long Alicization is and how much action it allegedly packs. I haven't picked up the light novels yet or scoured the internet for spoilers but it's easy to see why fans are excited, with A-1 Pictures deciding to create a four-hour-long adaptation spanning a year. Having a new main cast of characters is refreshing for veteran viewers as well, sorry Klein, you won't be missed. The anime adaptation has reached the quarter mark and for viewers who're skeptical, I say give it a shot and you'll be impressed, much like I was for the Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online series.

3. Goblin Slayer
This anime is about an adventurer that goes around killing goblins. That's it, you can move on to the next listing now. Jokes aside and despite the simplistic premise, Goblin Slayer was plenty entertaining, even resulting in me reading the manga and spinoffs to get my fix of Goblin Slayer and friends. If you're a fan of Dungeons & Dragons or similar tabletop RPGs, you'll take to Goblin Slayer immediately. The way the world works is similar due to the light novel author's passion for the game. Although the first episode was controversial, stick with the series and you'll find yourself appreciating the many ways the titular character dispatches these vile creatures. This is in many ways a side story, with the Goblin Slayer world itself having bigger issues like demon lords and dragons. It makes for a grittier tale and one that does not involve an overpowered protagonist solving problems with a single swing of his sword.

4. Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
Mouthful of a title and dubious synopsis aside, this slice-of-life series with a pseudo-science twist defied a good number of expectations I had. The protagonist resembles Oregairu's Hikigaya Hachiman greatly, being an outcast in school and having no airs. Each girl in the main cast has her own short story arc, encountering a supernatural phenomenon that is the cause of their own shortcomings or insecurities. It makes for a great watch, speculating what their problems might be or what steps they need to take to resolve the issue at hand. Don't expect it to be filled with romance either as that arc the first to be concluded, spoiler alert.

5. Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken
Yet another anime with a mouthful of a title. I'm starting to dislike how its becoming a trend but at least the anime is good and it's getting a full 24 episodes. If you're wondering, yes the protagonist does get reincarnated as a generic slime monster in another world after suffering from a brutal death in the first episode. Like the other anime listed here, it's more than meets the eye though and for fans of worldbuilding, you're in for a treat. Think of this as a fantasy version of the Civilization game series, with a few fight sequences thrown in to impress the viewers. The lore and background information surrounding each creature and skill in the series definitely lends to the Civilization comparisons.

This Fall season has been packed with surprises, like I mentioned earlier in the post. I normally wouldn't give them a shot while they're airing, especially if there was another triple-A title like Haikyuu! or Boku no Hero Academia alongside Sword Art Online. Fortunately, there wasn't and this led to a few surprising discoveries and possibly even a visit to a themed collaboration cafe come January because who can resist zombie idols, right?

Written by ET

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