Your best and worst of the Winter season

#1
As we are getting to the business end of the season what have you loved and hated this season? I will kick things off:

Great/ Excellent

Overlord 2 - I love this series so no surprises here, give me more Madhouse!
The Ancient Magus Bride - Great series made will allot of love from WIT studio. Maybe could have done with a bigger overall plot but I've really enjoyed it.
Darling in the Franxx - Zero 2 ftw! loved this series so far, plenty more to come
Seven Deadly sins season 2 - More of the same and I loved season 1
Garo Vanishing line - Great series more people need to watch it though. Gina is one of the best female characters i've seen in ages. Coupled with a sword and Sophie the characters are great
Violet Evergarden - Thought provoking and very moving at times. its not bad to look at either!

Ok / Average

Killing Bites - slightly above average. Its hot trash but very entertaining/ Not as ecchi as first thought
Beatless -Still on the fence with this one, not awful but its not really done much, could go wither way before it ends.
Grancrest - Started rather poorly and many people dropped it like a hot potato. However the last few episodes have been very good despite some obvious flaws in the story. If it continues it could be a good series.

Poor / bad

Death March - Bland overpowered MC with a creepy loli harem. The animation is bang average as well. Some interesting elements keep me watching and its marginally better that smartphone. Not a good series by any stretch.
Fate/Extra - 7 Episodes in and I still have not idea whats going on. I like Nero but the story is a mess.
 
#2
Good/Great:

Tonkotsu Ramens:
Show is so great, a very subpar opening episode but once you get a few eps in you're easily hooked. Some great characters too.

CCS:CC:
It's CCS how can it be anything but good?

Fun:

Takagai:
Does what it sets out to do.

Katana Maidens:
Surprisingly enjoyable show.

Death March:
Ehh opening episode aside it's actually pretty enjoyable not going to lie. Definitely the guilty pleasure of the season.

Okay:

citrus:
It's okay, feel like it lacks focus sometimes and the art is pretty mediocre actually.

Bad aka dropped:

Violet Evergarden:
My days what a terrible opening 2 epsiodes failed to hook me in. Feels like it's a sequel series to something and we're missing a tonne of info.

Magus Bride (2nd cour):
Had enough, same shtick over and over. Tbh not a huge fan of any chars dunno why I didn't drop it sooner.

Darling in the FRANXXXXXXXX:
Boring first episode. Didn't bother with #2.
 
#3
Best
Fate/ Extra Last Encore
- For me after the medicoreness of Apoc and GO this is so good especially last week (7) with the Madoka like visuals shows it shares the same director. Saber of Red is one of my least fav servants so only down side is they chose her over Archer or Caster. But in Japan Saber Faces sell

SDS S2 - Oh Netflix stop getting all the best shows

After the Rain - My biggest surprise this season to think I only started for Aimer ED and WIT Animation but I got a heartfelt plot too.

Meh
Magus Bride- This second tour was boring for 70% off it at least it means I wont buy it now

Dropped
Franxx
- Im not 12 so the mecha = sex was not good and far too much licking them including it in the OP was a sign for me to drop so I dropped after 2 eps after get bashed over the head with innuendo
 
#4
10/10
March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2


Amazing
Devilman: Crybaby
Violet Evergarden


Very good
A Place Further Than the Universe
After the Rain
Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san


Decent
Citrus
Darling in the Franxx
Gakuen Babysitters
Overlord II
Yowamushi Pedal: Glory Line


Stopped Watching
Death March
Fate/Extra
Pop Team Epic
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
#5
I don't watch shows I don't like so the 'worst' titles for me are the ones I don't hate enough to drop but find weak compared to the good stuff.

Best:
DamePri Anime Caravan (show of the season 10/10)
March Comes In Like A Lion (also really good)
Osomatsu-san (lost a fair bit of steam but I still like it)
Citrus (it's objectively terrible but hey, sometimes stupid melodrama is fun)
After The Rain (consistently enjoyable)

Not so good:
Kokkoku (somehow less interesting than it should be, and the characters aren't great)
GARO (nice art but not the best GARO spin-off to date)
Gintama (this whole arc is too serious for obvious reasons, though there was one episode recently that made me laugh)
Ancient Magus' Bride (I'm watching this for the art and side characters at this point)

I'm also watching CCS but don't have strong feelings about it either way. It's definitely enjoyable. Just not spectacular.

R
 
#6
I'll be adding some of the Netflix fare that have dropped this season, though I think a couple were technically earlier.

Fantastic
Violet Evergarden
A Place Further Than The Universe

Good
Citrus
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Saga
DARLING in the FRANXX

Interesting/Decent
Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody
B: The Beginning
Katana Maidens
Children of the Whales
Mitsuboshi Colors

Did Not Enjoy

Pop Team Epic
 

HWR

Diclonius
#7
Here's mine:

Best of the Season
Yuru Camp-I've loved this series from episode 1 and it's atmosphere, characters and animations make Thursdays worth anticipating.

Sleeper Hit of the Season
How to Keep a Mummy- Wasn't expecting much from this but it's been very enjoyable, and some episodes have added a nice lore to this SoL.

Great
Devilman Crybaby- Stylish and melancholic in its visceral approach to violence and humans-come-monsters.

The slow-burners that started out Okay/good and have become very good/Great
The Ancient Magus' Bride- after a series of easily-resolved cliffhangers the story has finally given way to some really interesting conflict. Combine that with solid side characters and world building and this has grown to be very enjoyable.

Violet Evergarden- The early episodes didn't do that much for me, feeling like pretty animation but not as much substance. Thankfully, the latest run of episodes has really elevated this series. The latest one was really impressive.

Very Good
Darling in the FranXX- A fun and enjoyable series from A1/Trigger, that is slowly building up to something potentially very dark.

Overlord II- A combination of continuing the MCs story as the titular ruler whilst balancing it with world building character arcs focusing on side players in the universe.

Good
Boruto- I'm enjoying this, though I'm hoping it kicks off soon as the So(ninja)L aspects aren't that great.

Okay
Pop Team Epic- Some hits but a lot of missed opportunities. Thankfully the OP is great.

Black Clover- Some decent action, but 20 something episodes in and it's just isn't standing out much. To think Pierrot would give this 51 episodes but Tokyo Ghoul: re will probably only get 12/24 if we're lucky.

Miss Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles- the food knowledge and funky soundtrack are solid, shame the characters aren't that developed.

Dropped
Junti Ito- I gave this a fair shot, but it just didn't do anything for me. Will check out the manga instead.

Basilisk: The Ouka Ninja Scrolls- Honestly this had potential, but it's dull as dishwater, and so are the characters.
 
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IncendiaryLemon

Captain Karen
AUKN Staff
#8
Great/Excellent:
Darling in the Franxx - I adore this show. Some lovely animation from Trigger, bolstered by some help by A1, with a cast of pretty great characters. This feels like a slightly more successful version of Kiznaiver, with more action. It is two cour, and this first cour is feeling like a lot of set up, so if the latter half can pay it all off, this will be one for the books!

Pop Team Epic - I know this isn't everyone's bag, but it still amuses me to no end in how unique it is and how much of a crap it does not give. It does lose points for having the second half be just a repeat of the first with male voice actors, something that worked as a gag in the first episode but baffles me the rest of the time, but I honestly enjoy the hell out of this.

Mitsuboshi Colours - A show aimed squarely at me, the adventures of the Colours never fails to make me laugh week in, week out, with their cute girl antics. Probably not everyone's cup of tea, but if you like Cute Girl based SOL shows, this is a pretty great one of those.

Violet Evergarden - Not every episode of this show is a hit, but when it's good it is absurdly good, with the last episode, episode 10, bringing tears to my eyes with its emotional and heartfelt story telling. Violet makes for a fantastic protagonist, as we see her grow and change over the course of the show, and of course the flawless animation is just a spectacle to behold.

Okay/Good
Citrus - This is probably one of the more frustrating shows of the season. I do enjoy it, mostly due to the likeable and relatable protagonist Yuzu, but the constant coming together and splitting apart of the couple is very frustrating. Just when you think their relationship is going somewhere, it takes a step back over again, when you really just want to see them move forward. I get if there was no drama, it'd probably be a more boring show, but it honestly just annoys me.

Overlord S2 - I'm not enjoying this as much as the first season, and its almost solely down to the fact that Ains is constantly MIA. He's the protagonist, I don't think its too much to ask that he shows up in his own goddamn anime. Spending time on the supporting cast is fine, but I don't think it should come at the expense of the protagonist. That aside, it is still a good show, with some brilliant action and world building, I just want a bit more Ains!

School Babysitters - A cute show with a ton of heart, School Babysitters is pretty much what it says on the tin, about a high schooler who joins the babysitting club and the misadventures that entails. I've never really seen an anime that features a focus on such a young cast before, and the show really takes advantage of the premise, exploring the kid's relationship to their parents as well as having some fun antics with the kids.

Yuru Camp - Whilst I don't think it's quite captured my heart as much as it has some other people, I still get a ton of enjoyment out of Yuru Camp. It is perhaps a little bit more low energy than I tend to like these things, however the leading duo of Rin and Nadeshiko make for a lot of cute moments, and it can be surprisingly funny at times too. Definitely one to watch if you want something relaxing.

Dagashi Kashi S2 - It's hard to say I was the biggest fan of the first season of Dagashi Kashi, as it quickly fell into a bit of repetitive rut, but this second season has been a bit of an improvement. Quickly ditching the formula, it expands upon the premise to give a lot more breathing room for new ideas, making it more enjoyable. It also helps that these new episodes are only 12 minutes long, as I'm unsure it could really sustain a full season again.

Dropped
Junji Ito Collection - The poor animation and lack of anything remotely scary or unsettling made this an easy show to drop. The issue is that Junji Ito's manga are scary because of the unnerving, creepy and down right distributing artwork, which DEEN just absolutely butchered in the transition to anime.

Black Clover - I like to think I gave this more of a chance than most, but after 17 episodes, I tapped out. It was just so boring and generic, there was no USP, nothing to keep you coming back, just one of the most obnoxious and shouty protagonists I've ever seen. Maybe this gets good later, but I don't particularly care to find out.

The Ancient Magus Bride - Okay, I haven't officially dropped this yet, but I haven't watched it since episode 18, so I'm weeks behind. The second cour to this show has been just so boring. It seemed to revolve around a cliffhanger each week to make you think something was going to happen, only for it to be quickly resolved the week after with little to no consequence. Chise's character growth all but stopped for the sake of treading water, and there was just nothing keeping me coming back, not even the quality animation. I actively dreaded each new episode, so much so that I just stopped watching it. I might decide to catch-up when it's over, but chances are slim.
 
#9
Watching/watched ranking:
  1. A Place Further Than the Universe
  2. Yuru Camp
  3. After the Rain
  4. Violet Evergarden
  5. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
  6. Devilman Crybaby
  7. Karakai Juozu no Takagi-san
  8. Citrus
  9. Killing Bites
  10. Kokkoku
  11. Dagashi Kashi s2
  12. Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles
APFTTU and Yuru Camp have been consistently great from the start, whilst After the Rain had a few stumbles. Violet Evergarden has really picked up after a slow start, whilst Citrus has gone the other way. HTR and Devilman Crybaby have been/were a bit uneven. And whilst both Takagi-san and Killing Bites have both constantly been great fun there's either no story or one I don't particularly care about. Dagashi Kashi hasn't been as good as the first season, some episodes have been fine at the new length, but others could have done with being full length. Ms. Koizumi is informative, but that's about all.

On hold mostly because they're 2 cour and I wanted to see what the consensus was before continuing:
  • Darling in the FranXX (probably pick up again)
  • Katana Maidens (same)
  • Beatless (not sure on this one)
  • Grancrest (same)
  • Basilisk (probably drop, not only a sequel to a series I haven't seen, but it doesn't appear to be that great)
Dropped
  • Gakuen Babysitters (nothing particularly wrong with it, just had to make a cut)
  • Märchen Mädchen (too much stupid fanservice)
  • Pop Team Epic
  • Slow Start
  • The Ryou's Work is Never Done (loli harem!)
Best Show/Writting/Soundtrack: APFTTU
Best Animation: Violet Evergarden
Best OP/ED song:
Best OP (EDIT: After the Rain):
Best ED (EDIT: Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens):
Best New Girl: I could pick any of the APFTTU girls, but it's too hard. So I'll go for Takagi-san.
Best New Male: Xianming Lin from Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens. Could have gone for Zenji Banba also from HTR, there's more than a hint of Spike Spiegel in him.
 
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Demelza

Adventuring Alchemist
AUKN Staff
#10
Best:
Violet Evergarden
After the Rain
Darling in the Franxx

Surprise hit:
A place further than the Universe - when I was writing about this one for the preview guide at the start of the season I really expected to hate it lol, but surprisingly it has had a lot going for it.

Okay/good
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card
March Comes in like a Lion 2S (this is moved up to best depending on the episode tbh)
Overlord II
Record of Grancrest War

Worst:
Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody - Just not a good adaption at all. Having read the first book I think I'll just stick to the light novels in future.
The Ryuo's Work is Never Done! - Not terrible but often boring and turning into a generic harem.

Dropped:
Kokkoku: Moment by Moment (technically stalled as might push through if I hear the end is worthwhile)
Black Clover - IT FINALLY HAPPENED!!!
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
#11
Show of the Season: DEVILMAN crybaby
Easily the most ambitious anime I've seen in decades and high quality in just about every area. Can't recommend it enough. I can see this becoming my overall AOTY.

Surprise Hit: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san
Such a wonderful, feel good anime. Takagi-san is also an unexpectedly complex character and I love watching her interactions with Nishikata.

Very Good: DARLING in the FRANXX, Violet Evergarden
Good: After the Rain, The Ancient Magus' Bride Second Cour

Dropped: A Place Further than the Universe
I've seen a lot of praise for it, but I watched the first 2 or 3 episodes and I just couldn't get into it, to be honest.
Trash: Pop Team Epic

I haven't had the time to try much else from the season tbh.
 

NormanicGrav

The Quintessential Grav
AUKN Staff
#12
Better late than never.

The following anime watched during the Winter season:
After the Rain
The Ancient Magus' Bride (2nd cour)
BEATLESS
DARLING in the FRANXX
Death March of the Parallel World Rhapsody
Devilman crybaby
Junji Ito: Collection
Killing Bites
KOKKOKU: Moment by Moment
OVERLORD II
A Place Further Than the Universe
Violet Evergarden

Bold titles are the ones I consider to be the best of that category, the rest of nominations.

Best Opening - Song:
"Error" by GARNiDELiA (Beatless)
"Flashback" by MIYAVI & Ken Ken (KOKKOKU: Moment by Moment)
"The Girls Are Alright!" by saya (A Place Further Than the Universe)
"Kiss of Death" by Mika Nakashima (DARLING in the FRANXX)
"MAN HUMAN" by Denki Groove (Devilman crybaby)
"Sincerely" by TRUE (Violet Evergarden)

While Flashback initially took the number one slot, I eventually lost interest over time after replaying it. Since I had to pick one I decided to go with Kiss of Death since it's chorus is great to listen to, with MAN HUMAN coming second mainly because it's more of an instrumental piece.

Best Opening - Visuals:
After the Rain
Beatless
DARLING in the FRANXX
Devilman crybaby
A Place Further Than the Universe
Violet Evergarden

All of them had some neat visuals & presentation and what not. I selected Devilman crybaby because of the way it manages to add some really cool foreshadowing into its visuals and it's art style is kinda unique. The second choice would be A Place Further Than the Universe for presenting the fun side of the girls going on a trip.

Best Ending - Song:
"Hydra" by MYTH & ROID (OVERLORD II)
"Koko kara, Koko kara" by Inori Minase, Kana Hanazawa, Yuka Iguchi & Saori Hayami (A Place Further Than the Universe)
"Michishirube" by Minori Chihara (Violet Evergarden)
"Ref:rain" by Aimer (After the Rain)

Not much interest I had with the ending songs for most of the shows I watched this season. I am aware of B: The Beginning's Perfect World but as I have not yet watched the series I decided to not include it in this list. Of the four that I have chosen for nomination, Ref:rain immediately grabbed my interest and it fit the show's tone really well plus it's Aimer which I am a fan of. Second choice would go to Michishirube for its nice vocals and tone that goes very well with the show.

Best Ending - Visuals:
After the Rain
OVERLORD II
A Place Further Than the Universe
Violet Evergarden

OVERLORD's light novel illustrator offered some really nice designs to the characters and it's because of that I decided to go with this choice. Second choice would be After the Rain for its nice paint effects and rain.

Best Animation:
After the Rain
Devilman crybaby
A Place Further Than the Universe
Violet Evergarden

Kyoto Animation basically took the budget of an anime film and shoved it into a TV series which looks incredible. There's really nothing to be said about Violet Evergarden taking the top spot. Second choice goes to Devilman crybaby for Science SARU's unique animation style.

Best Soundtrack:
After the Rain, composed by Ryo Yoshimata
DARLING in the FRANXX, composed by Asami Tachibana
Devilman crybaby, composed by Kensuke Ushio
Violet Evergarden, composed by Evan Call

Controversial choice for some but Devilman crybaby's soundtrack is a combination of epicness, retro style tunes and emotional impacts which go brilliantly for the scenes they have presented. Both After the Rain and Violet Evergarden also do a solid job and FRANXX has some cool epic tunes when available. Second choice would go to Violet Evergarden for its orchestral pieces throughout the series.

Favourite Anime of the Season:
#1: Devilman crybaby
#2: A Place Further Than the Universe
#3: After the Rain
#4: Killing Bites
#5: Violet Evergarden

Devilman crybaby is the first anime in ages that made me want to watch all of the episodes in one go, that's pretty rare for me personally. Violet Evergarden had a lot of issues with its first quarter but quickly improves as soon as the story progresses. Killing Bites is the most entertaining series for a generic show out there that I can't help but keep watching. After the Rain is a controversial but actually pretty solid premise that is overlooked by many this season. A Place Further Than the Universe has a simple premise but what brings the show together are the cast of characters all of which share their time in the spotlight, also the reaction faces are great.

Weakest Anime of the Season:
Beatless
Death March of the Parallel World Rhapsody
Junji Ito: Collection

Junji Ito: Collection could have been the best thing to come this season, but it falls flat due to DEEN's poor handling in both the animation and timing of the presentations for each of the arcs. There are some really good stories here but it just wasn't done the justice that it had. Death March is generic as well but for some reason it keeps me watching which is why it's not the weakest entirely. Beatless is not the worst this season, but it's got a story that hasn't gone anywhere from what I have watched so far.

Best 'Enjoyable Trash' of the Season:
Death March of the Parallel World Rhapsody
Killing Bites

As mentioned Killing Bites is the best trash anime out there for many reasons; the over-the-top fight scenes, dialogue, music, characters, uncensored glory, and best of all I WANT A SEASON 2 NOW. Death March is second choice for being amusing and it has some enjoyable trashy moments throughout.
 
#13
Finished my catch up with this season with the following shows:
Katana Maidens 1st cour
Interesting first cour, went a different way to the way I thought it would go after the opening and reading the synopsis. The ending of the cour could have easily been the end of the story with the way it finished.

Darling in the FranXX 1st cour (let's make that till ep 15)
Very good art and animation with some good action and character moments, although the end of 15 was a little repetitive of ep 6 IIRC. Zero Two is an excellent character and her flashback episode was also good. The rest are a bit dull.

A.I.C.O. Incarnation 7/10
B: The Beginning 7/10
Hakumei and Mikochi 8/10
Mitsuboshi Colors 8/10


[EDIT] [EDIT] Aggretsuko is Spring!

Update 1 cour ranking:
  1. A Place Further Than the Universe
  2. Yuru Camp
  3. After the Rain
  4. Hakumei and Mikochi
  5. Mitsuboshi Colors
  6. Violet Evergarden
  7. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens
  8. Devilman Crybaby
  9. A.I.C.O. Incarnation
  10. Karakai Juozu no Takagi-san
  11. Citrus
  12. Killing Bites
  13. B: The Beginning
  14. Kokkoku
  15. Dagashi Kashi s2
  16. Ms. Koizumi Loves Ramen Noodles
Don't think any could oast the winners from my awards, but shout out to Soundtrack and OP/ED from Hakumei and Mikochi.
Zero Two would definitely be a contender for Best Girl until the writers screwed her over after episode 15. Aico was a good character as well.
 
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#19
After the Rain would probably be my top winter bar the fact they chose a AO ending even though the manga has also ended.... (Even though I heard the AO ending better than the manga's)
For me Summer and Fall were far far superior to Q1 and Q2
 
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