Glancing Upstream: Winter 2018 Retrospective Digest

Oh the weather outside was frightful, but the anime was so delightful…

Two teen girls in scarves and coats look very excited. The one wearing glasses is throwing confetti; the other long-haired girl is pulling a party popper, streamers flying from it.

Another season has come to a close, and this one might have been the coziest yet. Chock full of nice kids and cute pets, Winter 2018 was a sequence of comfy campfires guaranteed to keep you warm and toasty. So let’s talk about it… er, a little. Hit the jump for a sum-up and an explanation.

I’ve been dragging my feet on this and really should have announced it in a “Site Update” post before now, but as of today, I’m discontinuing my detailed, standalone season check-in and review posts.

The reasons for this are twofold, but related: (1) we’re doing these same posts at AniFem, except with a wider range of voices, which is always better; and (2) as the managing editor, I’m not just writing parts of those AniFem posts–I’m also editing and formatting the entirety of them. Doing both that and the JND write-ups (on top of my day job and other AniFem work) is just too much. I had to cut something, and this wound up being it.

A teen girl with fluffy hair wearing a fantasy-style green dress looks up at the ceiling, her eyes two spirals of exhaustion. Next to her, a round pink animal resembling a raccoon with wings also looks up, mouth open and eyes closed.

That said, it’s not like I’ll stop talking about the current season entirely. You can always follow me on Twitter for livetweets and corny jokes, and I’ll still be popping in to give premiere, rule-of-three, midseason, and end-of-season impressions (along with other team members) over at AniFem, so you can hear me shouting about cartoons there. I’ll link to those posts here on JND for ease of access as well.

Speaking of AniFem: I gave my very favorite shows some love in the AniFem Winter 2018 Recommendations post, so please check that out! I didn’t write every blurb, but I tagged my name to all my favorites.

We don’t do rankings, but if I had, my Top Three easily would’ve been (in no particular order):

  • A Place Further than the Universe: A nigh-perfect female coming-of-age tale. I laughed and teared up at every episode, and the penultimate one earns the honor of being the first anime of 2018 to turn me into a puddle. I know it’s only April, but this one’s AOTY material, gang.
  • ClassicaLoid – Season 2: Yep, ClassicaLoid is still great and I still adore it. Shocking, I know.
  • Laid-Back Camp: An excellent blend of cozy and comedic. One of if not the best iyashikei (healing) anime I’ve ever seen.

A tiny woman with curly blonde hair wearing a full-length skirt and a tiny man with messy brown hair wearing a short cape (Litz and Chopin) are crowd-surfing, with hearts bursts around them. Subtitles read: "Seems we're popular."

The only series I didn’t get to give a big hug in the AniFem Recs post was Hakumei & Mikochi, because I haven’t finished it yet. It’s really extremely nice, though, so assuming it doesn’t fall off a cliff in the last 4 episodes, it has my Seal of Approval as well, particularly if you’re looking for the anime equivalent of drinking sleepy-time tea before bed (and I mean that as the sincerest of compliments).

If you’d like my thoughts on every series I watched, I’ll be posting a link to the Chatty AF Season Retrospective Podcast soon. Keep an eye out for that too, please!

Thanks as always for your support and understanding, and I look forward to continuing to chat about anime with you lovely readers (just in a slightly different format than we have before)!

A teen girl (Nausicaa) in a blue flight sight smiles slightly and gives a thumbs-up.


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