Our Top Four Autumn 2018 Anime Picks

It's time to huddle up with a doona and mug of hot Milo, because this autumn's batch of new anime is here.

There is a hell of a lot of anime this season, so us brave, selfless souls at Kotaku sorted through it for you. Here are our recommendations.


Aggretsuko

Studio: Fanworks

Genre: Slice of life, comedy

Where to watch: Netflix

Plot: A 25-year-old single office-working red panda is very, very jaded by the constant bullshit that comes with being alive in the modern day. It sucks to have a crappy boss. It sucks to have annoying colleagues. It sucks to work a meaningless job.

And Retsuko needs an outlet. So after spending her days getting walked all over by chauvinists and suck-ups, Retsuko lets out her rage and despair singing heavy metal karaoke by herself.

Why watch it? This show perfectly gets at how shitty it can feel to live in the year 2018. It's also freaking hilarious.

As Kotaku staff writer Gita Jackson wrote, "If you've ever bought a three-pack of socks because you felt guilty about entering a store and not buying anything, then Aggretsuko is definitely for you." Aggretsuko isn't a one-trick panda, either, since she slowly learns to stand up for herself.

Megalo Box

Studio: TMS Entertainment

Genre: Sci-fi, sports

Where to watch: Crunchyroll

Plot: A scrappy boxer who calls himself Junk Dog boxes with a mech exoskeleton made of scrap metal in a sci-fi world where Megaloboxing is the sport du jour. Junk Dog's gig in an underground, fixed-outcome ring is pretty unfulfilling until he begins to pursue big-league Megaloboxing, where his rival, the high-rolling Yuri, currently reigns.

Why watch it? Megalo Box has the style and grit of Cowboy Bebop with the light-hearted adrenaline of modern sports anime such as Slam Dunk.

It has an old-school feel. Character designs are less of the wide-eyed moe aesthetic of today, instead hewing closer to hard-boiled late '90s classics such as Rurouni Kenshin. The characters are mysterious and enchanting. On top of all that, its music is fist-pumpingly good.

Persona 5: The Animation

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Genre: Mystery, psychological

Where to watch: Crunchyroll, AnimeLab

Plot: If you're at all familiar with the visual-novel-slash-dungeon-crawler video game Persona 5, you know what the eponymous anime is about. It follows Ren Amamiya, who was sent to a new school after getting put on criminal probation for a year.

At the new school, Amamiya notices a new app on his phone that, somehow, takes him to another dimension where the school is the shadowy mind-castle of its gym teacher. There, Amamiya's magical "persona" awakens, giving him and his new friends the power to fight the malevolent desires of his PE teacher and other evil-inclined adults.

Why watch it? If you love the video game, you'll love the anime. If you didn't love the video game and wished it was just an anime (me), you'll love the anime. If none of the above, surely you can appreciate a spectacularly beautiful high school drama with great fight sequences and killer music.

Wotakoi: Life is Hard for Otaku

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Genre: Slice of life, romance

Where to watch: Currently unavailable in Australia

Plot: Secret otaku and functioning adult office worker Narumi painstakingly hides her nerdy interests from the people around her. Moreover, she refuses to date other otaku - until, at her new job, she encounters a childhood friend named Hirotaka who's obsessed with video games. Their dynamic, it turns out, is pretty nice. Hirotaka suggests that he and Narumi should just suck it up and date each other.

Why watch it? This is autumn's 2018's "I'm trash, this anime is trash, and let's just all enjoy ourselves without any guilt" show. Watching Wotakoi is like eating fistfuls of popcorn until, all of a sudden, the container's empty.

Narumi's back-and-forth between rejecting otaku culture and accepting her own personal otaku-ness is pretty relatable to anyone who enjoys anime but doesn't wear Naruto headbands every day.


Honourable mentions: Yotsuiro Biyori, a relaxing show about men who lovingly run a Japanese cafe; Golden Kamuy, about an apparently invincible soldier who pursues a dark legend that could lead him to gold; and A.I.C.O Incarnation, a sci-fi anime about a young girl who one day learns that her body could be the key to fighting an infestation from a synthetic organism.


Comments

    Why even repost this when one of the four isn't available in Australia at all?

    (These aren't even particularly good picks)

      Because i did find 2 new anime to add to my list to watch.

      Last edited 03/05/18 12:16 pm

        I was more meaning, it'd be nice to see something like this written by the Kotaku AU editors that actually looked only at stuff that's available legally in AU.

      It's no great loss, Wotakoi really hasn't been very good. Unlikeable cast and not particularly funny or charming in any way.

    P5A is pretty garbage, just play the game on the easiest mode if you want want to blow through the story quicker, the anime leaves a lot out and is poorly animated.

    Haven't watched the other two but Megalo Box is great, it's got that old school anime vibe that i love, great music and direction. Also i'm a big fan of boxing anime, and Megalo Box is technically an Ashita no Joe reboot.

      Agreed. Persona animes are so shallow compared to the game counterparts. Sure, it's a different medium, but the execution of one is clearly superior than the other.

        It is almost impossible to fit 80 hours of gameplay into 24 episodes.

      More than that, if you *haven't* played the game, the anime will hamfistedly spoil all the major plot points so you're not going to want to play it any more.

      At least that's what happened with me and P4.

        I haven't watched the latest episode, but i heard they put in a scene from after the 7th dungeon for no real reason other than they clearly like a certain character and wanted him to be in the show more.

    I suppose that the idea is to recommend anime that devotees may not know about, so no sequels, continuations, remakes, etc - which rules out My Hero Acedemia, Food Wars, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Wixoss, Steins;Gate 0, SAO Gun Gale Online Alternative, Tokyo Ghoul Re:, Full Metal Panic: Invisible Victory, Amanchuu, High School DxD, Cardcaptor Sakura.

    For all of that, there's a lot I'd recommend before Persona 5 - most of all playing the game instead because the story itself is pretty stellar. Wotakoi is decent, Aggretsuko is a lot of fun and I haven't watched Megalobox yet but I'll give it a 3-episode trial and see how it shakes out.

    Can anyone recommend some anime that isn't super tropey? I loved House of 5 Leaves, Mushishi and Tekkon Kinkreet to name a few. I have a hard time getting invested these days when a lot of anime seems to fit into maybe 1 of 4 styles.

      Nah, there's always unique anime like the ones you mention. First one that jumps to mind right now is Mawaru Penguindrum but if you tell me what kind of story you're looking for, I could make a more informed suggestion.

      Stuff like that doesn't come around all that often. It used to be that Fuji TV's Noitamina programming block was a good place for it (though it has been hit & miss) but recently it's just been tropey manga adaptations.

      Generally speaking because of the way programming in Japan works, TV anime is produced as a promotional vehicle for novels, manga. games etc. or for a particular brand, and very little of it is produced for art's sake. That's more stuff you'll see in the OVA or Movie categories. Obviously sometimes they manage to adapt manga or novels that are particularly good (more often manga) or are trying to actually create a franchise.

      Mushishi did get a second season a couple years ago though, if you haven't seen that it's obviously something you'd want to see given that you mentioned it.

      Off the top of my head, and these will vary wildly in whether they'll actually appeal to you or not, some recent ones to maybe look into are Flip Flappers (extremely well animated), March Comes In Like a Lion (really well-written drama, great animation direction), Made in Abyss (the setting is fascinating) and Girl's Last Tour (post-apocalyptic slice of life with hidden meaning in a lot of stuff).

      Movie-wise, have you seen Redline? That might appeal. Otherwise take a look at Mamoru Hosoda's output, he's never directed a bad film.

    Wheres Golden Kamuy

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