End of Year 2018: Favorite Animated Work


Favorite Animated Work

Last year, you may remember we had three categories about moving images: movies, television shows, and anime. This year, we thought it would be better to combine the fields and highlight the similarities that make these works shine.

For Favorite Animated Work, we mean it can come from any region of the world; it needs to incorporate primarily non-live-action elements, including hand-drawn animation, CG animation, and any other form of animation. These categories expand beyond any single language or format; it includes TV shows, short films, films and web video, spanning from major anime series from Japan to small student projects from European schools. This includes shows that debuted in 2018 and returning shows with new episodes in 2018. We want to inspire discussion about a medium that can depict the impossible and stretch the limits of possibility and emotion.

Discussion Thread

This category is not involved in our nomination/voting process and instead is all about discussing your favs!

Be sure to check the Q&A section below if you have questions, otherwise feel free to reach out to one of us! We hope you enjoy this event and we’re excited to see what sorts of discussion each category inspires!


Q: End of Year? What's that?

A: I’m glad you asked! Just head over to our pinned topic if you need a catch up! You can also find details on the process for the event here.

Q: What is eligible to be discussed?

A: Though we’re still largely looking for discussion of things that released in 2018, given that this is a discussion thread separate from the nomination process we’re happy to be a little more lax on items that might fall into a grey area. You’re free to use your own judgement with that, and to reach out to us if there’s anything you’re not sure of.

  • Thank you to @Emily for the banner!

End of Year 2018: Waypoint Community's Favorites

I will have more coherent things to say in this category at another time but in thinking about this one I ended up watching a lot of Pop Team Epic clips and I can’t not share one of those:


consider this image:

and that I’m incredibly gay.

My favourite animated work is actually season 2 of Castlevania, I loved She-Ra and how unrelentingly gay it is, but the wonderful character work, fantastic action scenes and My Wonderful, Handsome Boy Alucard puts Castlevania on top for me.


My brief contribution for now.


also from steven universe this year:

i have more to say as it’s been a stellar year for animation. cartoon network and netflix really hitting it out of the park. there were also a lot of good anime this year to but yeah i got thoughts it’ll take me a bit of time to write up.


I adoooored Yotsuiro Biyori, a show about dudes being bros by being emotionally supportive toward one another and their myriad customers. From it’s absurdly relaxed tone, to its gorgeous food, to its very good and GIF-able cats, and even some outright rejections of hegemonic masculinity – this show is just delightful in every way.


Give it up for Aggretsuko as it managed to be funny, sweet, sad and charming to no end while incorporating death metal vocals and music as a key part of it’s aesthetic

Laid back camp is awesome and I love it for shamelessly pure and good it is, but Aggretsuko spoke to my inner metalhead in a way that it so rarely gets to experience and that, coupled with the wonderful character designs and animations, gives it the nod from me.


I mean, the three shows that pop in my head immediately have already mentioned, so I’ll just add some good video content of each. Maybe think of something I’ve missed later.

Spoilers for each, obviously.

hey adora

I adore this opening.


This scene really cemented Fenneko as my favourite character in the show.


It’s gotta be Hilda! It’s surprising, whimsical, upbeat, charming and the writing is just super sharp. Laughed a bunch and honestly got kind of emotional too at times. For me, it’s Netflix’s best original offering, and just a fantastic series all-around.



The finale to Adventure Time, “Come Along With Me” aired in 2018, The cartoon itself, all 9 seasons of it, was brilliant.

The finale covered a lot of themes but I liked the reoccurring one of timelessness, the ability of stories to exist outside of time. Which has to be the most reassuring theme to have ina final episode: yep this story has ended, but really it goes on forever and you can relive the parts you love any time you want!


Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse immediately shot to the top this weekend. The animation style is so unique and gorgeous, the characters are fantastic, and it’s just pure fun. Yay inclusiveness! Spider-Man-Into-the-Spider-Verse-Trailer


Spider-Verse is coming out where I live on 25th so I while I am pretty sure it would find it’s way on this list I can not put it here since I haven’t seen it yet. But back to the list:

First of, starting off with two series I am not caught up: Gegege no Kitaro and Bloom into You. Gegege no Kitaro real suprised me since I wasn’t and still aren’t too fond of the updated look but it has proved to be a real great anime, with real great morals and lessons. I genuinely encourge you all to give it a shoot.

Now, I am up to date with the manga but Bloom into You has been a real good adaptation so far and I real like the source material. I am real glad that they have shown to not just plainly adopt panels from manga but elevated some scenes like this one for example:

If you like yuri it’s a must see/read.

I have also been watching Megalo Box but I don’t real have anything to say about it expect that it is pretty cool.

Moving on to shows I have finished:

I liked Aggretsuko quite a lot but it didn’t real grab me: it was a pleasant watch and that’s it. I wonder, if I was a part of workforce, would I like it more?

Devilman Crybaby was a werid beast that was also incredibly cathartic to watch since sometimes you do want to see the end of humanity. It’s absolutely not for everyone but it was very rewarding for me. Also the music was :ok_hand::ok_hand::ok_hand:

Pop Team Epic:

Mirai gets a special mention since I never get an opportunity to see an anime film that came out the same year here. I liked it and the polish dubbing was competent enough.

Planet With is honestly underappreciated and should be real talked about way more. While I get that a lot of people come into mecha series for fights, and these weren’t Planet With strongest side I think we all could real use a message about how humanity CAN be better in those times. In the words of Sensei: “Change your perspective with love and behold, the universe is filled with blessings”

Revue Starlight. Now. When I heard that this serie would be helmed by Ikuhara’s protege I got super excited and then disappointed when I found out it’s gonna be a part of multimedia project AND then excited again when the anime finally aired. To not spoil things too much, it got so many things that appeal to me like melodrama and theater-like atmosphere and look baked right into it. Make no mistake, this is not Utena and it doesn’t try to be one, but it still has things to say about the way theater, or more precisely, Takarazuka works and how we have to break the cycle not embrace it. Go and see this great spectacle filled with girls with swords and great music (Yoshiaki Fujisawa from Land of the Lustrous worked on this one!).

And now for my absolutely favorite work of all of last year probably:

A Place Further than The Universe.

Listen. I do not care if you don’t watch anime. Go and watch this one. Get your family and friends to watch it too. It’s one of the finest works that are coming-of-age story. I am real at a loss of words how can I sell this anime but it has one of the best written characters in any anime I have seen. All four of the main girls have such a belivable teenagers and the interactions between them are gold, and adults characters are no slouch either! All feel like a real people and I rarely see a foreshadowing done as well as this show has done. To bring up a quote from ANN disscusion about the show (warning spoilers to around halfway point of the show):

I especially love that they’re not all just nice and pleasant to each other all the time. Some anime tend to portray female friendship in rather alienating ways, where it feels like the people writing it have never spoken with teenage girls. But the Antarctica-bu girls are casually acerbic, blunt with each other in a way that feels like how I talk with my own friends when we’re out having a good time together

It’s just such a well made show, with realised characters and great directing that is an absolutely must see. Just watch this scene please:


Megalo Box kicks so much ass. I mean look at this: b6e

Look at this op! https://youtu.be/4PPjBgpaYaA

This was the most awesome, kinetic, best looking action show of the year!


I’m really happy someone else mentioned A Place Further Than the Universe because that show was a stand-out for me as well. Its depiction of friendships and the way people interact with each other is so genuinely real. The writing and pacing is incredible and the emotional moments are so well-done. It’s a beautiful show and everyone should check it out.


Castlevania was dope AF. That was one of my first brushes with an ‘anime’ series any other recommendations for me?

Also Coco was pretty cool, im sure that fits this category


2018 was a surprisingly great year for animation! Hilda on Netflix was an excellent series for younger audiences that might be the best-looking animated show on that platform. Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse is a well-made superhero story, but also one of the most visually eclectic CG animated films…ever? I hope it serves to launch the careers of a lot of cool people.

Otherwise, let’s talk about anime: Devilman Crybaby isn’t my favorite Yuasa show, but it’s a great adaptation of its source manga and launched this excellent director into the spotlight. A Place Farther than the Universe is a great and heartfelt series whose cast of high-school girls is more well-rounded and honest than you typically see in these shows? It deserves a wider audience. Similarly, After the Rain is a fantastic slice-of-life series about both adolescent anxiety and the fears of middle-age, with some episodes that felt truly atmospheric. “Hellshake Yano” from Pop Team Epic is one of the best anime gag skits of all time. Megalo Box had a kicking soundtrack and excellent art direction, and played out like a lost anime that aired on Toonami in the early 2000s that you suddenly re-discovered. Hisone and Masotan is a fun show about dragons, gendered workplace discrimination and figuring out work/life balance, that you can watch on Netflix right now. Planet With is the most fun I’ve had watching anime this year, a homage to 2000s era Gainax robot shows with heart. Revue Starlight had an incredible Ikuhara-style “transformation sequence.” SSSS Gridman is a miraculous combo of adolescent character drama and tokusatsu/Obari-style robot shitkicker. Run With the Wind is a great sports show about running with a lovable cast of college-age misfits. And while I’m pretty behind, Hugtto Precure! is one of the more daring installments of that long-running series, challenging social conventions that frankly most anime try and avoid.

As for anime movies: Maquia might be Mari Okada’s best work, a moderately epic fantasy drama about an immortal teenager struggling to care for her aging child. And Liz and the Blue Bird is Hibike Euphonium’s brand of adolescent drama re-rendered as an art film, courtesy of director Naoko Yamada. Her work leaves me a bit cold sometimes, but this film might be my favorite of hers I’ve seen.


Im gonna have to mention FLCL Alternative for this one.

It’s such an amazing continuation of the themes and general liveliness of the original and doesnt fall into the exposition trap that Progressive did. Also a plus that it doesn’t end with two women fighting over a man, but with a gay-as-hell time and space shattering confession sequence.

Close runners up this year are SSSS. Gridman which is absolutely the best full length episode show Trigger has done thus far and has surprisingly fantastic and quiet character moments that overshadow the action sequences (which are still pretty great) and Maquia because god damn Mari Okada can tug on those fucking heartstrings like no one else. Also need to shout out Laid Back Camp for making me feel good and cozy and loved at a time earlier this year when I was feeling extremely down.

Still need to catch Spiderverse. Not even the biggest Spider-Man dude but hot damn that thing looks like something else, and I really, really really need to finish Megalobox.


FLCL Alternative was so, so good.


I’m pretty sure my pick has to be the new season of Venture Bros. Even after years and years of getting used to their writing style and how they continue to push their characters, my gf and I still sat up in bed every week gesturing at the TV just shouting “WHAT. EXCUSE ME”
I’m so glad this show is still on, so excited for more in 4 years probably


I agree with basically all the anime recs in this thread, so I’ll throw in a couple that weren’t mentioned.

If you like absurd comedy at all, you need to watch Hinamatsuri right now. It’s the extremely rare comedy show that actually has really good animation. Even better, that animation is always in service of the punchline, making the source material even funnier.

I don’t know how or why, but somehow Love Live Zombies-- erm, Zombie Land Saga ended up being one of the strongest shows this season. Zombie slapstick meets sincere idol character study, which is a combination that should not work but actually does.