Now comes the post to sum up the highlights of 2018. Last year did not have the same quality as 2017, which saw every anime in the top five rated 9/10 or 10/10. Yet, 2018 was still a great year, offering plenty of four star anime to choose from. It was difficult to choose between them. In the end, I chose #3 – #5 based on how much enthusiasm I felt for these anime when they came out. Honorable mentions go to Hinamatsuri and Golden Kamuy.
5) Isekai Izakaya ★★★★
I cannot imagine giving a short more than four stars, but part of me wanted to make an exception for Isekai Izakaya. Dagashi Kashi II stands as another example of a well done and hilarious short from last year. (It’s ironic that the original Dagashi Kashi was too long and the sequel too short. If only season one had been a series of shorts, and the second season used full length episodes!) But, where IsekaiIzakaya trumps Dagashi Kashi II lies in how the former excelled in more than comedy and lovable characters. Isekai Izakaya builds a great fantasy world using the Holy Roman Empire of the High Middle Ages as a basis–just as Isuna Hasekura did for Spice and Wolf. In addition to exploring the world of Japanese cuisine in the anime, it offered some bonus segments alternating between a young chef showing the viewers how to make the dishes portrayed in the anime and an old gourmand touring various Japanese eateries.
The Halloween season has given me some impetus to think about the horror genre. A while back, an academic named E. Michael Jones was on the Patrick Coffin show explaining how he thought about the horror genre. He has written at least two works on this subject: Monsters from the Id: The Rise of Horror in Fiction and Film and Sex with Monsters. Jones believes that the modern horror genre arose as a reaction to the free love movements of the 19th century and reached its full flowering following the Sexual Revolution. Many persons were hurt by the myriad problems which inevitably arise from sexual licentiousness and enjoyed a cathartic reaction from a central message of many horror stories: sex can kill you.
You all know how this story ends. Or, if you don’t, School Days should be on your list.
School Daysmight be the anime locus classicus for such a theme, but my dear readers know–know even a priori–that playing Don Juan for a length of time is going to lead one to embarrassing, painful, and even dangerous situations. People don’t like being used as playthings, and the relatives of the playthings take an even dimmer view of such conduct. The fact that one’s partner consents to the relationship does not take away from the feeling of being used. The Sexual Revolution tried to paint promiscuity as a desirable thing, even promoting contraceptives and abortion so that women could participate in “consequence- free” sex.