***To see the full rundown of the rules for the Inaugural LofZOdyssey Highlights, please click HERE.***
I have said this on multiple occasions in the past: Animation is NOT what makes an anime good. Stories and characters do that.
However, gorgeous visuals have never hurt anything. Besides, how can we expect to have an anime highlights week without showcasing the medium’s own namesake?
It goes without saying that every category during these highlights is based off one person’s opinion – mine. Nowhere is this more the case than when it comes to ranking art styles. What I might see as gold, you may see as trash.
And if you think that about any of the entries, so be it.
All I can offer is my criteria.
Along with general beauty, I tried taking into account a series’ uniqueness. Did a show stand-alone or did it look like something I have already seen hundreds of times before?
Also, since certain styles – a.k.a., CGI – are becoming more and more prevalent, execution and implementation needed to be considered.
Mix all those factors together, and BOOM, you have the list for the Inaugural LofZOdyssey Highlights – Top Animation of 2018:
10. Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
To read my full Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai review, please click HERE.
Animation Studio: CloverWorks
Of all the entries, the animation of Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai was the least fantastical. That’s sort of crazy to think about seeing how this show thrived within the strange and the bizarre.
However, consider this to be the representative of all school-life series; the ones with everyday locations that could almost – extra emphasis on almost – take place in the real world.
Bunny Girl Senpai was bright and vivid the whole way through. It easily found a home on this list.
9. Attack on Titan Season 3 – Part 1
To read my full Attack on Titan Season 3 – Part 1 review, please click HERE.
Animation Studio: Wit Studio
Three (and a half) seasons in and Attack on Titan just keeps looking better and better.
However, the thing that secured its place here on this list was Season 3’s tremendous action and speed. A lot was going on at once, and it was all fast and wild and oh-my-god it was so damn cool.
I mean, not to put extra pressure on Part 2 or anything, but there is quite a bit to live up to visually.
8. Iroduku – The World in Colors
To read my full Iroduku – The World in Colors review, please click HERE.
Animation Studio: P.A. Works
The word “color” is in the freaking title. Therefore, regardless if it knew it or not, Iroduku – The World in Colors was suggesting a lot.
And from what it delivered, “colorful” doesn’t even begin to capture this series.
Although I realize this was a story about magic, magical is probably the best way I can describe this show. Iroduku was flat-out stunning.
7. Hisone and Masotan
To read my full Hisone and Masotan review, please click HERE.
Animation Studio: Bones
There was something picture book-esque about Hisone and Masotan, and I think that played a massive role as to why this show was so beautiful.
Whether true or not, there was a hand-drawn quality to this series which cannot be understated.
If you will allow some corniness, Hisone and Masotan’s look had an innocence that is hard to convey through words. But I suppose that’s kind of the point.
6. FLCL Progressive
To read my full FLCL Progressive review, please click HERE.
Animation Studio: Production I.G.
Okay, this wasn’t the masterpiece that was the original, and nothing ever will be.
NEVERTHELESS, FLCL Progressive was visually amazing.
In terms of art style – or better yet, art styles – alone, Progressive was twenty-years worth waiting. I will stand by this series and its animation through thick and thin; challenge me if you must.
5. Megalo Box
To read my full Megalo Box review, please click HERE.
Animation Studio: TMS Entertainment
Sure, a sports anime can have a clean, tranquil nature to its art style. And I’ll admit, that can look good.
But Megalo Box was not that. This show had grit, and it was great.
Every hit was hard. Every injury could be felt. When fighters like “Gearless” Joe took a beating, it looked like they took a beating.
Hell f-ing yes.
4. The Ancient Magus’ Bride
To read my full The Ancient Magus’ Bride review, please click HERE.
Animation Studio: Wit Studio
If you want to make your jaw drop, The Ancient Magus’ Bride will do that quite often.
As it was the case with Iroduku, if magic doesn’t look like magic, then what is even the point. The difference between Iroduku and this show, though:
The Ancient Magus’ Bride was on a whole other level.
This was the first series I showcased from 2018, and it set a standard.
3. Devilman Crybaby
To read my full Devilman Crybaby review, please click HERE.
Animation Studio: Science Saru
The art style to Devilman Crybaby was what happens when an artist implements a clear vision to their story.
Instead of being drenched in shadows, Devilman Crybaby oozed color. It wanted you to see everything it was doing. And that got rather intense when this show’s really dark scenes came about.
I think I said it in my review: Lots of fire and a lot of pikes.
Disturbing, yes, but damn if it didn’t look good.
2. Darling in the Franxx
To read my full Darling in the Franxx review, please click HERE.
Animation Studio: Studio Trigger
A big part of why I don’t like mecha series is because I think the giant fighting robots (you know, the mechs of the mecha genre) tend to look boring.
Darling in the Franxx is a clear exception to that.
And it wasn’t just the robots with this show. Darling in the Franxx’s visuals were mind-blowingly epic. In any other year, this probably would have claimed the number one spot.
However, this wasn’t any other year.
1. Violet Evergarden
To read my full Violet Evergarden review, please click HERE.
Animation Studio: Kyoto Animation
I have nothing.
There are no words in the English language that can adequately describe this show’s majesty. I mean, no other series even came close to matching this.
Just, wow. This was no contest.
Violet Evergarden, hands down, had the best animation of any series from 2018.
Animation is sort of the name of the game when it comes to anime.
While we must never allow ourselves to be fooled into thinking great visuals automatically makes great shows, not recognizing amazing animation is a crime onto itself.
With that, this has been the list of the top ten series of 2018 with the best animation.
Or, at least, that’s according to me. I want to hear your thoughts.
What did I get right? What did I get wrong? What series do you think had the best animation from 2018?
Please don’t hesitate to leave your opinions in the comments below.
And as always, be sure to follow LofZOdyssey Anime Reviews and all my other social media sites so you never miss a post or update.
I’m LofZOdyssey and come back tomorrow, Wednesday, February 20th, 2019, as we continue the Inaugural LofZOdyssey Highlights with the Top Ten Best Characters of 2018.
Post Edited By: Onions