14 CommentsUpcoming Seasons / By Scamp /

Winter 2018 Anime Season Preview

57F1B4B5-823D-44C2-81C3-E17EA5660803The best characters in Dagashi Kashi in order of size. Yes get your bug eyed “best girl” out of here, I’ll fight you. Youtuber Dad best girl.

2017 was one of the best years of anime in a while, with a huge variety of genres with some of the most original stuff to come out of Japan in years. You can even vote for your favourites in the side bar poll *hint hint*. But nuts to that, 2017 is old news. We’re here to look at what’s coming next year. Yes it’s The Cart Driver Dot Com’s World Famous Anime Season Preview, Winter 2018 Edition. This time we have a whole lot of derivative anime with very few standouts and no interesting sequels and…wait, can we go back to 2017?


88504lDarling in the Frankxx is the latest anime by Trigger, that Gainax spinoff studio helmed by Imaishi after Gurren Lagann and Panty and Stocking. Their work since forming has varied between fun, glorious nonsense like Kill la Kill or Space Patrol Luluco, to crappy psuedo-light novel teen crap like Kiznaiver or that Everyday Battles thing nobody remembers (and then there’s Little Witch Academia, which is a wholesome family friendly Harry Potter series which doesn’t fit their image at all so idk what to make of that). So, which one of these will Frankxxxx be? Well it has a giant robot that I feel a curious amount of sexual attraction towards and it’s being written by the bloke who wrote the Steins;Gate visual novels, so it will be good, right? Well *puts on pair of perfectly round sunglasses that aren’t being held up by my ears* what if I told you that it will be bad?

That bloke who wrote Steins;Gate also wrote Chaos;Head, Robotics;Notes and Plastic Memories, which were two bad teen dramas and one just generally bad thing. Then you remember it was the incredible directing that really elevated Steins;Gate with its oppressive atmosphere that helped drag along Kyouma’s hyper-conspiratorial world outlook and that the actual story was secretly kinda bad. Also it’s not being directed by Imaishi but instead by some other bloke who did iDOLM@STER. Although admittedly a bunch of people who are into that kind of thing say iDOLM@STER is actually really well directed, but those people also like idol anime sooooo. Maybe I’m just being too cautious and don’t want to get my hopes up, but something about that trailer seemed awfully bland and crap-teen-light-novel-y in a way that really turned me off.

Mitsuboshi Colors


I was convinced this was by the same guy who wrote Ichigo Marshmallow at first, but nope. Just someone with a very similar art style writing a very similar style of manga. Cute girls do cute things, which normally I’d stay as far away from as possible, but this one was actually good. Maybe because the girls were actually 8 years old instead of infantalising teen girls, and because the humour was actual jokes instead of the punchline being awww how cute. To give you an idea of the humour of the series, the first page of the manga has a girl bargain in and going “we have an emergency”. Now if this was a typical cute girl manga, the punchline would have one girl going “oh no doshioooo” and hiding under a desk making whimpering noises. In this manga a girl responds with “is it poop”. This highly sophisticated humour is far more to my cultured taste.

Violet Evergarden

89398lKyoto Animation used to run this writing competition where the winner would have their anime turned into an anime. Except every year they kept saying there was no winner because everything they read was shite. Violet Evergarden was the first time they actually picked a winner, which makes it remarkable in that regard. The first two episodes aired at an anime convention a while ago and it seemed like people really enjoyed it. It’s about robot girls and romantic/lonely feelings or something like that. I’ll admit as well animated as it looks, I don’t think it’s going to be my sort of thing. Then again, “well animated but not my sort of thing” describes every single KyoAni anime ever. I wish more anime studios operated like KyoAni, because then I could watch well-animated series where the animators don’t die of a combination of overwork and poverty-induced starvation and I actually like the anime in question.

Junji Ito Collection

88366lJunji Ito is considered the premiere horror manga author in Japan. His works have a huge cult status that continue to this day. Heck, that one about the hole made just for me is practically a meme today. A horror anthology seems like the right way to go about adapting his work for anime. Whether Studio Deen will do a good job with it is tougher to figure out. Deen have been putting out much better work than in the late 00’s of lolDeen but the trailer was mostly lots of smog and ugly looking characters. The director’s main previous work is the rapetastic Diabolik Lovers, but then again what else were you supposed to do with a source material where one of the romantic routes involves a dude who calls you Bitch-chan constantly.

Laid-Back Camp

89136lIn what is quickly turning out to be something of a trend this anime season, Laid-Back Camp seems like a really well written/made anime in a genre I typically have no time for. This time it’s the genre of “I want to write about this hobby but the only way I can get this published is if I make cute girls do it”. In this instance it’s camping. I quite liked what I read of the manga because the characters are well-rounded and entertaining. Plus the main girl has an awesome hairdo with this giant bun like there’s a huge parasite sucking her brain out. C-Station are a relatively new studio, spinoff from Production IG, who have only really had crap source material to work with (Dragonar and Starmyu) so this might be a chance for them to do something more respectable.

Devilman: Crybaby


Anime is bigger now than it has ever been, which means larger companies in the west are taking notice and deciding to pump money in themselves. Since the west favors certain anime over others, we get things like Space Dandy rather than moeblob 5000. I like it because it gets us more variety of anime types and is swiftly proving to be a more fertile breeding ground for more auteur-type directors. OK you get the occasional Under the Dog series that tries to “save” anime that quite clearly doesn’t need to be saved by producing generic action series, but on the whole I like the development because these series still tend to keep intact many of the things I like about anime while bringing more variety to the table.

So yeah, Netflix are funding this Devilman: Crybaby series, a remake of the old Go Nagai manga. Most notably it’s being directed by Maasaki Yuasa, the beloved director behind stuff like Tatami Galaxy and Kaiba. It’s super exciting to see him on a new series. Admittedly I’ve never been a fan of Go Nagai, as much as I recognise how hugely historically important his works were. What I’ve seen of his works are usually juvenile and rapey. But Devilman is considered his seminal work and with Yuasa hopefully it will be better than the other work of his I’ve seen…although it’s not like Yuasa isn’t juvenile himself quite often.

Pop Team Epic

86693lThis manga is a hell of a thing. Some kind of…bizarre, eccentric, Adult-swim, early internet web series humour. The trailer for the anime was a Russian otaku talking about how he loves sailor fuku and the anime Basilisk before he is shoved into a van by two people dressed as the girls from Pop Team Epic. I have zero clue what to expect from an anime adaptation of it, apart from being fairly sure it will be a short.



What if, now hear me out and this is crazy, what if there were robots but people were, like, racist against robots because they have no feelings but it turns out, now this is truly groundbreaking, the robots had feelings! Yeah, Beatless is baby’s first cyberpunk, highly generic to a quite alarming degree. Pretty Redjuice character designs that bring the haunting spectre of Guilty Crown add to that image. The one thing that does interest me is Seiji Mizushima is directing, who has just enough interesting anime in his resume to at least check out whatever he works on. However his last two were the deeply disappointing Concrete Revolutio and Expelled from Paradise, the latter of which managed to be crap even with Butch Gen writing the scripts, so maybe Mizushima has lost his touch.

Fate/Extra Last Encore

79299lIn the long line of anime this season that aren’t for me, the goddamn Fate/Verse. It’s such an easy breeding ground for entertaining stories that I have yet to get into myself because Nasu is such a bad writer. This time though it is being made by Shaft and Shinbo, with a bunch of the other staff behind things like Madoka, Monogatari, Arakawa, basically all the actual best Shaft work. That might be enough to get me interested, but then you see Nasu is still working on the actual writing and nope sorry you’ve lost me again.

Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card

89087lI tossed back and forth the idea of putting this in the sequel category considering this is basically a sequel to the 1997 series. On the other hand, as popular as Cardcaptor Sakura was, you’re still somehow expecting an audience to have all watched a series from 20 years ago? They’re going to make it approachable to new fans, surely? It’s still Madhouse with the same director on board so maybe not. It’s crazy to see this series return after so long. I’ll admit Cardcaptor Sakura is one of those series that I never got to myself. Shame on me I know.


89076lOnly reading the first chapter of each manga isn’t necessarily the best way to tell if the anime will be good because you don’t know if they deliver on their early promise. So with that in mind, the first chapter of Kokkoku is fantastic and the anime will clearly be amazing. It reminds me of the work of Naoki Urasawa, author for Monster and 20th Century Boys, where there’s a lot of attention to detailing in fleshing out characters through minor actions so they feel like well-rounded people with flaws and fears. The story is a thriller mystery kind of series involving time stopping and kidnapping., again very similar to Urasawa. The director’s resume isn’t great unfortunately despite plenty of opportunity (Sacred Seven? Amnesia? Witchblade?) but the source material seems super strong in this instance so maybe they will pull it out for this.

Hakumei and Mikochi

87220lAfter Made in Abyss, I was all ready for anything with cutesy young character designs in a green fantasy world. This was less adventure/horror and closer to Arrietty/The Borrowers, but that’s still good because that movie is the beST GHIBLI MOVIE NO STOP ARGUING WITH ME I HATE YOU ALL THAT MOVIE IS AMAZING *cough* ahem I mean hey it’s about little people interacting with a world bigger than them. The manga though was kinda boring? Once you get over how the character designs are chibi, it didn’t seem to have anything else to it and felt more very stale fantasy world slice of life story with not much more going on.



As anime in general increases in popularity worldwide, suddenly all these smaller genres within the anime and manga world can piggyback on that popularity and gain a large enough audience to become financially viable abroad. See yuri manga, the forgotten sister of the much larger yaoi industry, which has actually become something of a mini money maker abroad now. Citrus was one of success stories, despite being kind of…well, stupid? I dunno, the stereotypical yuri story has never been the kind of thing I’m into personally. I enjoyed Yuri Bear Storm a lot, but that was surreal and had cartoon chibi bear butt holes.

The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done!

88427lIf you really liked the shogi in March Comes in Like a Lion but disliked the strong focus on anxiety and depression and strong characterisation and everything that made that series good and instead wanted cute elementary school lolis then here’s the light novel adaptation for you! By the studio that made Roy-Kyu-Bu! I dug through everything to find something interesting about this and all I got was the music guy in charge is Kenji Kawai who did the iconic music for the Ghost in the Shell movie. Now all I can imagine is cute girls playing shogi to Making of a Cyborg and now want all moeblob anime to have Kenji Kawai music.

Teasing Master Takagi-san

89423lThe first series that came to mind very early on when reading this was Tonari no Seki-kun, the criminally underwatched short comedy series from a few years ago in which a girl got distracted from class work because the guy sitting next to her kept running highly elaborate procrastination games including miniature driving lessons and golf courses. It was my vote for the third best anime of 2014, although that in general wasn’t a great year. This isn’t quite as good, but captures the same feel of two teens annoying each other in class. It’s about a guy who tries to make the girl embarrassed or blush, but all he achieves is getting himself embarrassed by her every time. It’s cute and fun and in this season I’ll take that.

Märchen Mädchen

87104lGrab enough cute girls to fill out a football team plus the bench. Throw them all into a magic school for fairy tells. Sprinkle in some lesbian undertones for taste and voila~! If they were all made of rocks and gems then I might be on board.

Death March to The Parallel World Rhapsody

88911lIt’s just Sword Art Online. Guy goes to video game world and for hastily concocted reasons he is more powerful than anyone else. The video game world is a generic fantasy RPG like every single one of these series because nobody in the industry has any imagination and they only play Korean MMOs. He has some grand quest but all that really happens is pretty ladies really want him. It’s bad in the same way Sword Art Online is. It’s popular, sure. As was Sword Art Online. But maybe won’t catch on the same way that series did because I like to think anime fandom will know better this time. Also humanity will definitely tackle global warming ina meaningful way before destroying the world’s eco-system, sexual harassment in the work place has been solved, and my parents will definitely be proud of my new career path.


89325lI was so excited when I first heard about this. Here’s a bunch of young adult women living in a house together, talking about work and studies and men, all while drinking alcohol. It’s what I’d like to see more anime do. But then I saw the trailer and it was kinda bad, along with the characters acting like young teenagers anyway. Also animators on the show have come out and said the studio isn’t paying them, so yeah. A bit of a train wreck all round.

Soul Hunter

88796lI don’t get it. This is just a middle-of-the-road shounen action series from the 90s that wasn’t particularly popular even back then, yet they’re deciding to bring this back? Did some bloke really love it as a kid and now they’re a producer so they can convince suits to back a remake?

Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

89412lThe light novel and anime adaptation seem fairly clearly inspired by Durarara and the work of Narita in general. Which I am more than happy about. I’ll take those over the light novels inspired by Sword Art Online or My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute every day of the week. A wide cast of characters with an urban fantasy setting with warlocks and yakuza bumping shoulders. Whether it will be a good one of these is harder to judge. Satelight are the studio working on this and their work has been all over the place this decade. But hey, props for trying!

Love is like After the Rain

88808lNormally I’d be all into the latest Wit Studio anime. Even their failures like Kabaneri and Rolling Girls are interesting failures. But this latest anime by them in Noitamina is a bit too…how do I put it. A teenage girl who falls in love with her 40-something manager…it’s a bit too creepy in that Woody Allen way that my tolerance for has dropped significantly in the past year. It just always strikes me as an author trying to justify their own desire for a teen girl love interest. It’s not actually poorly written or anything. I’m just so fundamentally turned off by the premise that I find it too hard to force myself to watch.

How to keep a mummy


A totally harmless shounen comedy about a kid with a pet chibi mummy and his friends with other pet mystical creatures. Nothing much more to say about this. Maybe if you liked Yuyushiki and enjoy cupping your hand in front of your arse while you fart then smelling the contents, then you might enjoy this because it has the same director.

Place Further Than the Universe

86638lIn the game of one-upmanship that is anime about cute girls doing the creator’s favourite hobby, this one is kind of hilarious. It’s like they looked at that cute girls camping anime from earlier in this preview and said “pfft, camping!?! We’re sending these girls to the mother fucking South Pole bitches”. It’s being done by Madhouse and has one of the few female directors in anime working on it. In the past she’s been mostly given bad light novels and made the absolute most out of them, like No Game No Life and that one about keeping a sexy mentally disabled girl as a pet. This is their chance on something anime original and has promo material of the girls re-enactin Beatles covers on Antarctica so hey, it might not be my kind of thing, but full props for what you’ve pushed out so far.

Katana Maidens: Toji no Miko

86700lPhone games turned into anime have usually ended up with the same problem. The source material has to include all the most generic anime tropes around with such cookie cutter characters to get people to download it in the first place, that when it turns into anime all those generic pieces are all that’s left for people to see. This is an anime about cute shrine maidens who fight monsters with swords. It’s the most anime-ass shit around, but not in a new and exciting way. It’s just what the phone game market seems to be in Japan. Which can make for a fun, collect-a-thon game like most mobage but take that out and it all falls apart.

Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san

87949lIt’s about a girl who likes ramen. Yup. That’s it. I like ramen and nobody has made an anime about me, and I’m definitely cute enough.

Killing Bites

89312lIf you wanted more anime about girls kicking butt with lots of blood and clothes being ripped off but thought previous ones like Ikkitousen didn’t quite fulfil your furry desires, then we have the anime for you!

25-Sai no Joshi Kōsei: Kodomo ni wa Oshierarenai Koto Shite Yaru yo

89091lIf we’re going to have smutty josei involving teachers and school girls, at least this one is less creepy and pedotastic. Lady goes back to school to cover for someone only for the totemo sexushii teacher to spot her secret and now she has to suck his dick or else he’ll tell on her or something.

Gakuen Babysitters

88602lThis is one that, if hit with the right 10-14 year old girl crowd, could suddenly become the most popular anime of the season without your typical anime fanbase realizing. Similar to how Shugo Chara was consistently #2 most popular after Naruto on Crunchyroll. It’s just cute boys taking care of cute babies. It’s an easy sell. Get those marketing dollars in the right place and watch the easy money flow in.

Dame×Prince Anime Caravan

87462lMore phone game adaptations, this time with bishies. I’ll give it credit in that its plot is a touch less generic than usual. You are a princess in a medieval smal principality and you’re being sent off to negotiate with princes from other larger, more powerful nations and they’re all hot bishies. But yeah, these adaptations are fairly universally terrible.

Slow Start

87937l4-Kuma about cute girls who brrbrbrbrbr I wonder if the whole farting into the palm of your hand then smelling it thing is actually fun let me try oh god no why did I do this help.

Sanrio Danshi

84125lIn case you like Hello Kitty but thought it would be improved if it was a hot dude you could fuck that actually looked nothing like Hello Kitty at all.



An underwhelming list of sequels this season. For anime I actually liked the first season of, there’s Dagashi Kashi, the one about how Japanese sweets are the best thing ever. Problem is the series probably should have been only 6 episodes long because there was little more to it than that. Also they changed the character designs the damn monsters. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K was also something I enjoyed, but it was a shounen gag comedy that inevitably ran out of jokes so I don’t see what a second season could bring.

Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Deadly Sins get sequels. Yes, you heard me. That is to say the one shounen one with the giant pig and main character who grabs tits like nobody’s business gets a sequel, and the one about girls who replace their underwear with band aids gets one too. Touken Ranbu: Hanamura gets a sequel too for people who like cute sword boys. Yowamushi Pedal returns for people who like to pull deformed faces while cycling. Finally some absolute madman convinced the world to bring back Basalisk Either Japan has gone mad or the Russian otaku from the Pop Team Epic trailer was able to have one wish granted when he was pulled into the back of that van.

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  1. Anon
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    Ramen Daisuki Scamp-san fucking WHEN

  2. Banarok
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    i disagree with the death march evaluation, yes it’s still pretty bad but the main is so op that there’s nothing threatening him any more, basically fantasy saitama, taking all tension out of the it.

    so for the most part they just run around swiftly solving demon invasions and stuff and then search for ingredients for cooking, i doubt it will come that far but it more or less turns into a cooking quest for rare ingredients. and trying out fantasy fruit.

    as i said i don’t find it especially “good” but it feels wierd seing it grouped up with SAO.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Ah I see. Interesting, so they cut out any concept of a challenge and it’s easy waifu time from the word go? I got the wrong impression from what I read off it then.

    • Outcast
      Posted December 31, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      You do realize that your description of the show is veering dangerously close to Isekai SMARTPHONE, right? Being grouped with SAO is a downright compliment when compared to that travesty.

  3. Gan_HOPE326
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Overlord gets a sequel too. Thought I’d mention it though I know I’m probably one of the few who anticipates it.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 31, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      Oh snap, I completely missed that one. I’ve actually seen the first season too! Boy do I have mixed feelings on that show. I loved the idea and the main character, but then it acted like we were supposed to care about any of the video game characters and that the battles were supposed to be exciting and it’s like what are you doing Overlord

  4. ANON
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    “pfft, camping!?! We’re sending these girls to the mother fucking South Pole bitches”

    Next time we will have cute girls doing astronaut stuff on the moon!

  5. AH
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Hey, Basilisk wasn’t bad!

    What’s wrong about Romeo and Juliet meets Ninja Scroll?

    That said, I’ve heard this “sequel” is not too closely related since it was written by a different guy, despite taking place in the same universe/timeline.

    Killing Bites reminds me of Bloody Roar. Ah, the obscure fighting games of my youth!

    Fate/Extra might be watchable, since there are some decent characters, depending on how well they balance the better parts of that fictional universe with the necessary dumps of exposition and lore.

    Much of Devilman is going to be full of your typical classic horror/monster movie tropes at heart, but it still has interesting themes and a decent amount of emotional content that an artistically-minded guy like Yuasa can bring forward in visually appealing ways.

    Also, Ichiro Okouchi (Code Geass, Princess Principal, Valvrave) is writing the script, though I’ll note Go Nagai’s original work already had plenty of shock value for its time.

    Soul Hunter, originally known as Houshin Engi, didn’t cover the whole manga in its first anime and they apparently made some changes that the fans didn’t like. So a lot of people were supposedly asking for a remake some years ago.

    I’ll give it a couple of chances though. I recall the protagonist was smarter than expected, plus the mix of Romance of the Three Kingdoms-style politics and backstabbing weren’t bad at the time. It gave the show a little flavor, so hopefully the new anime will be at least watchable.

    DARLING in the FRANKXX gets a lot of points for stylish mecha designs and having a “pink-haired girl with attitude” on the cover, yet I agree about being moderately optimistic at best. Who knows if the story is all that great? Maybe, but we’ll see.

  6. Posted January 1, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    CANNOT believe you slagged Starmu, wow, I want a divorce

  7. hint
    Posted January 5, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    It is missing Grancrest Senki which has Rakugo´s director.

  8. TheVoid
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    I understand not like Fate/verse just want to note Nasu disn’t write Fate/Apocrypha and actually has other writers working/doing works separately from him on other Fate stuff like Grand Order which has like six writers in all. You are right to not like his stuff otherwise because its chuuni on crack drinking alcohol laced while popping pills.

  9. JC_Staff(not that)
    Posted January 9, 2018 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Yuasa is a very talented director, he even might be able to make a Go Nagai shit into something watchable

  10. Posted January 22, 2018 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    I’m watching a couple off this season, Ryou really surprised me though. I didn’t even know about that title.

  11. Shadow
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Holy shit, this season looks terrible.

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