The end of the year is here and it’s time for the 13th Annual Reader’s Choice poll. Do you have a favorite series you’d like to see win? Are you just curious to see what everyone else enjoyed this year? There’s no electoral college here. The anime with the most votes wins!

As per the usual, there will be two polls for you to vote on this year – one for regularly broadcast TV series, and another for OVA/movies. We’re asking you for your top 5 picks in each poll, which should stop the results from being heavily skewed towards the mega-popular shows. This year we have an astounding ~180 TV series and ~70 OVA/movies for you to choose from, so make sure you look over the entire list before deciding. Keep in mind that like all entertainment, anime is subjective. There is no one size fits all here. Please respect the opinions of others, even if you may disagree with them.

Criteria-wise, the following is what was used to decide what shows did (or did not) make it onto these lists:

  • For a regular broadcast TV series to be considered, it has to have finished airing in 2018 and fit in the general criteria for receiving a preview. The idea is that you can’t truly judge a series until it’s over, so series such as Tensei shitara Slime Datta Ken will appear on next year’s poll. Series with another season coming but a clear stopping point in the one we’ve already seen are included. This means the third season of Boku no Hero Academia will be included this year, but Shingeki no Kyojin Season 3 will be pushed to 2019, as the remaining episodes of it’s third season will be aired in 2019. At the same time, shows generally aired for all ages/kids were not included.
  • For OVA/movies, it has to have been released on Blu-ray/DVD in 2018 to qualify, ensuring that viewers outside of Japan have had a chance to watch it. This mostly pertains to theatrical offerings. The difference from TV series is that they don’t necessarily have to be complete to be included, since it can take several years for an OVA series to finish.

As far as we’re aware, the anime series list is complete, barring a handful of shows that are animated but unlike “typical” anime. The OVA/movie list is less so, but this is by design; there are lot of really niche OVAs that aren’t really worth considering and there is a tendency for series in this category to be delayed or released at different dates, so accuracy will vary greatly. If you feel there’s something that deserves consideration, isn’t listed, or is listed but shouldn’t be, please leave a comment or send Zephyr an email or tweet at him via @ZephyrRC and we’ll add it in as soon as possible. Please note that the first comment in this post will keep a list of shows added, so keep an eye on that before voting.

With that said, vote away.

Note: To give viewers more time to vote, the polls will close this year at 3:00 PM PST on January 3rd, giving you the most time possible before the Best of Anime post comes out with the results. This means the 3:00 PM in the afternoon in PST or 11:00 PM GMT on the 4th.



92 Comments

  1. Please comment below or contact me via twitter/email (see post) if you see a series/OVA/movie missing or if something doesn’t belong. They will be added in ASAP so please hold back on your voting until that happens if you don’t see your pick on the list.

    The following are a list of modifications (in alphabetical order) to each poll as we do them:

    Series List: Garo: Vanishing Line, Kirakira☆Precure a la Mode
    OVA/Movie List: Detective Conan: Zero The Enforcer, Hataraku Saibou: Kaze Shoukougun, Kidou Senshi Gundam: The Origin VI, Kimi no Koe wo Todoketai, Lord El-Melloi II Case Files – 00, No Game No Life Zero, Pokemon the Movie: The Power of Us, Precure Super Stars! Movie, Shikioriori (Flavors of Youth), Strike the Blood III OVA (1 and 2), Space Battleship Yamato 2202 OVA (Ep 11-18)

    Zephyr
    1. Shouldn’t Hosoda Mamoru’s Mirai be on the list of movies made this year (or did i make a mistake)? Would be a travesty for it not to receive the recognition due it!

      Mysterious Penguin-san
    2. MISSING at least the following:
      ———–

      TV:
      Kirakira☆Precure a la Mode (Ended January 2018)

      Movie:
      Hataraku Saibou: Kaze Shoukougun (OVA Special episode)
      Pretty Cure Super Stars (Cross-over movie)

      matroid
  2. Here’s my personal Top 5. I watched very little anime this year compared to other years, so take this as you will.

    1. 3-gatsu no Lion 2nd Season
    2. Golden Kamuy S1 + S2
    3. Megalo Box
    4. Mo Dao Zu Shi (Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation)
    5. SSSS.Gridman

  3. only one series I could truly call great, Sora Yori…
    other slots went to :
    Golden Kamuy (1+2)
    Overlord (2+3)
    Yuru Camp
    Akanesasu Shoujo
    it shows that if show is getting second or evend third season it is probably worth it
    also cute girls doing cute things making into top 5 is showing real lack of good action shows
    oh and Akanesasu is hidden gem of last season

    ewok40k
  4. “will be pushed/aired to/in 2018”–> typo

    Hm, with Shingeki out of the competition, I don’t have a clear number 1 pick, but maybe Overlord if we were only talking about the 2nd season, as the CG/production values got even worse in the 3rd one.

    1) Overlord II/III
    2) Goblin Slayer
    3) Bunny Girl Senpai
    4) Violet Evergarden
    5) One of either FMP IV/Castlevania 2/Yorimoi/Isekai Maou/Magus Bride

    Movies is easy with Heaven’s Feel I as likely winner.

    Disappointment of the year for me was probably FMP IV due to, once again, production problems, though I’m still hoping for a further continuation.
    Favorites to win either Violet Evergarden, Yorimoi which I still have to finish or Hero Academia 3 (haven’t watched, but is popular)?

    boingman
  5. Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho was the truly outstanding series of the year.

    But it’s been a year with many standouts: Bunny Girl Senpai, Violet Evergarden, Bloom into You, Thunderbolt Fantasy 2, Yuru Camp, and the last halves of 3-gatsu no Lion S2 and Ancient Magus’ Bride S2. I would also give honorable mentions to Zombieland Saga, Golden Kamuy, Revue Starlight, Planet With, and Iroduku: The World in Colors (though the latter isn’t finished until Saturday).

    I have a hard time understanding those who consider this year a disappointment, but I suppose it comes down to differences of taste.

    richard
  6. Winter 2018 is an outstanding season this year. Pretty sure Yuru Camp, Sora Yori, Devilman Crybaby, and Violet Evergarden will get mentioned a lot.
    Fall 2018 is a season of surprises that gave us Zombieland Saga and SSSS.Gridman.

    One Pinch Man
  7. Winter: Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho
    Spring: SAO Alternative
    Summer: Sunohara-sou no Kanrinin-san
    Fall: Himote House
    Giving my 5th vote to Slow Start for giving us my favorite character out of this year, Eiko.

    Arche
  8. 3-gatsu no Lion AOTY for two in a row for me. As well regarded as the series is I always feel it isn’t talked about quite enough.
    With runner ups like SoraYori, Bunny-girl, Evergarden and so on it’s been quite a good year, especially for great Slice-of-lifeesque dramas (3gatsu and SoraYori!)

    Yav
  9. Honestly these are the only shows I’ve actually enjoyed so much this year, there are other good ones but this is my Top 5…

    1. Banana Fish
    2. My Hero Academia S3
    3. SAO Alicization
    4. Goblin Slayer
    5. Violet Evergarden

    Banana Fish deserves it, it’s just my opinion. I never expected to like it so much and that ending was completely unexpected but still Series as a whole it was Amazing and One of my Top Animes of All time.

    KisaChan94
  10. Mine is:
    1. SSSS.Gridman
    2. Violet Evergarden
    3. Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho
    4. Overlord
    5. Hakumei to Mikochi

    But i wasnt watching a lot so pretty much these ones plus a few more.

    Redjuice Fan
  11. Had there been an “I don’t know an anime of this genre/franchise can be made THAT good” award, I would nominate the followings:

    1. Gun Gale Online (this is how a game should feel like a game!)

    2. SSSS Gridman (this may sound silly, but I really feel that the production team has a ❤️ for anime)

    3. Hanebado (I think Ayano’s character is flawed, but the badminton matches are marvellous; the opening sequence is also artistic)

    That said, for the best anime of 2018, I’d bet that it’s mostly a fight between Sora Yori and Violet Evergarden.

    The suffocated
  12. Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho (Without question anime of the year. Period).
    Yuru Camp△
    SSSS.Gridman
    Zombieland Saga
    Uma Musume: Pretty Derby

    Honerable mentions:
    Mahoutsukai no Yome (Wanted this desparately in the top 5 but it ended at an odd spot in the show).
    Goblin Slayer
    Kokkoku (very creative storytelling)

    No, I never saw Violet Evergarden but from what I heard the animation was good, but story lacked a bit.

    I don’t watch OVA’s/Movies that much, so I didn’t vote on that list at all.

    NCC-1664
  13. SERIES:
    1. Devilman Crybaby
    2. Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho
    3. Shoujo ☆ Kageki Revue Starlight
    4. Yagate Kimi ni Naru
    5. Violet Evergarden

    MOVIES/OVA:
    1. Liz to Aoi Tori
    2. Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
    3. Violet Evergarden: Kitto “Koi” wo Shiru Hi ga Kuru no Darou

    uqaa
  14. Golden Kamuy was without a doubt the best anime of this year in my opinion, but sadly I doubt it’ll get enough votes to win any awards since it doesn’t seem to be very popular. All I can do is hope.

    JayDrink
  15. EVERYONE REMEMBER THAT SORA YORI MO TOOI BASHO AIRED THIS YEAR! Nothing beats that. Period.

    And yes, my opinions are, of course, 100% correct and should never be questioned. 😉

    Wanderer
  16. Banana Fish is my number one.

    Even looking back on everything else this year, Banana Fish is my numero uno.
    Otherwise?
    Banana Fish
    Devilman Crybaby
    Shokugeki
    Violet Evergarden
    MHA

    Kabble
  17. Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho is definitely the Anime of the 2018 IMHO. Nothing ever come close.
    Yuru Camp△
    Bunny Girl Senpai

    Goblin Slayer
    Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
    Hataraku Saibou

    Honestly after the first three, the rest are equally good in my opinion. Would like to vote for SSSSS.Gridman, Violet Evergarden, and a few other animes, but I only got five votes.

    SMinstrel
  18. These are the five I’m going with:

    1. Asobi Asobase
    2. A Place Further Than the Universe
    3. Zombieland Saga
    4. SSSS Gridman
    5. Yuru Camp

    I at least have a Top 16 I have so its painful to have to choose between all of them. Don’t have as many on the OVA section unless the Christmas specials for Aggretsuko and Neo Yokio were there.

    Choya
  19. Hmm, don’t see Zoku Owarimonogatari. Though it’s a bit of an odd case. I haven’t watched it anyway.

    I voted on 4 anime. Looking forward to seeing the results, it’s always enlightening to read the post along with staff picks, especially since I don’t pay much attention to anime these days.

    Player
  20. I’d be surprised if anyone votes for Persona 5 what with how awfully they handled the adaptation. By awfully I mean the way they just ended it on such an awful note and haven’t been forthcoming with how they’re handling the final two palaces. If a movie or a OVA series isn’t announced following Dark Sun, I wouldn’t waste my money supporting this series.

    Lyfe
  21. I didn’t like a lot of a/w 2018 anime, I watched a few but never completed any of them. In the end, except for one or two the rest were half-hearted picks (nothing fantastic, but watchable)

    1. Mo Da Zu Shi (I’m amazed at this quality of animation coming from China, and that season 2 is announced for summer 2019 is exciting)
    2. Violet Evergarden
    3. Megalo Box
    4. Gun Gale Online
    5. Golden Kamuy

    Wanted to put Kokkoku in if only because the premise and music was interesting, but fell apart during the ending.

    iskendaris
  22. There’s still a date typo at “will be pushed to 2018”.

    Anyways, now that I have finished Yorimoi, it would definitely deserve to be called best anime of the year 2018.
    Since the comments section of old titles have been closed:
    All characters were very likable, though in particular Shirase’s and Hinata’s circumstances really got to me, but what also set this anime apart from other titles were all the interesting details that dealt with the expedition work and the harsh, but beautiful, environment of the Antarctica. This title has been a emotional, but also very informative experience.
    Considering that both this (same director as Sakurasou) and Bunny Girl Senpai (same author as Sakurasou) were among my favorite shows of the year, I think it’s time to finally pick up Sakurasou…

    boingman
    1. Gosh darn there was another one? Fixed it, thanks. I’m just gonna like, leave the years off and say “next year” or something next time, haha. After looking at the posts a hundred times the year numbers just start to blur.

      Zephyr
  23. I can’t help but notice my tastes seem to differ quite a bit from most of the other comments here. I can only imagine y’all simply didn’t watch my top three… 😀

    #5 – Full Metal Panic! Invisible Victory
    #4 – Hinamatsuri
    #3 – Hoozuki no Reitetsu Season 2
    #2 – Megalo Box
    #1 – Lupin the Third Part V

    I know the FMP adaptation wasn’t great, but it’s FMP. I can’t NOT include it. Honorable mentions include Die Neue These and My Hero Academia, and maybe Also Golden Kamuy? Haven’t seen it, but the manga is phenomenal.

    As for movies and OVAs, I really didn’t watch any this year. I had no idea there was a Yu Yu Hakusho OVA, though. I need to watch that ASAP. Also, wasn’t there another Gundam The Origin movie this year? And also weren’t the Space Battleship Yamato 2202 OVAs this year as well?

    Arsene
    1. From what I’m seeing Origin V came out last year on BD in November so there shouldn’t be another one available unless I’m completely messing up my search check.

      And yeah, Space Battleship Yamato’s OVAs did air I believe episodes 11-18 this year. They’ve been added! Thanks.

      Zephyr
  24. i didn’t watch very many series at all this year (who’d have guessed having to start employment really saps one’s free time!), these are simply ones that i enjoyed, in no particular order.

    TOP 3

    *boku no hero academia – solid premise though not the most original, but FANTASTIC execution. superb characters, with actual development; great world-building; some interesting plot turns and developments. a shonen that ranks with the best of them.

    *overlord – yes MC is grossly OP, but it’s surprising what an excellent cast of supporting characters can do for a series. story development with some plot arcs out of left field (who could forget the lizardman arc…) combined with a rare ‘evil’ but likable protagonist made it quite a compelling watch.

    *seishun buta yarou – fairly unique premise, great MC (capable of talking to girls / not a beta, without being a pervert – unheard of in anime?), interesting plot arcs. the first arc of 3 episodes was definitely the strongest, and could easily have spanned a full season on its own IMO; but the others also kept me hooked. a refreshing romcom/drama for 2018. shame no season 2 for now, only a movie sequel, but here’s hoping for more.

    RUNNERS UP

    *goblin slayer – understandly divisive but rather unique for its darker fantasy spin, fills a niche in anime sparsely populated prior to its release. rather one-tone MC can get a bit tedious after a while, but the action and world exploration kept me watching.

    *high school DxD Hero – brainless popcorn fun / guilty pleasure. funny MC with pretty ladies and some pretty good action. this season saw more plot development (not of that kind, though that wasn’t in short supply either) and more frenetic fights/action sequences. i was disappointed that the female MC somewhat regressed in this season to a damsel in distress more or less this season, after previous seasons showed her own considerable power/strength and influence, which seems to have been strangely ignored. that aside, still an enjoyable watch.

    grayne
  25. Best anime
    1. Mahoutsukai no Yome
    2. 3-gatsu no Lion S2
    3. Boku no Hero Academia S3
    4. Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho
    5. Violet Evergarden
    6. Overlord
    7. Golden Kamuy

    Honourable Mentions (no particular order)
    Nanatsu no Taizai: Imashime no Fukkatsu
    Darling in the Franxx
    Hisone no Masotan
    Hinamatsuri
    Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii
    BANANA FISH
    Grand Blue
    Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunnty Girl Senpai no Yumi o Minai
    Yagate Kimi ni Naru

    Just like last year, my 1 and 2 (and 4) this year are winter anime from the beginning of the year (and double cours at that, so starting over a year ago!). This years top 5 was a hard pick, so hard I made it a top 7. I predicted last year I would vote for Mahoutsukai no Yome, and for me nothing topped that masterpiece troughout the rest of the year. 3-gatsu no lion, and Sora Yori Tooi Basho came close in terms of character development, but nothing beats the atmosphere, the soundtrack and the beautiful art that is Mahoutsukai no Yome. Speaking of beautiful art, that was the deciding factor in choosing my 5th and final vote, as the choice for position 5 was the hardest of all; Violet Evergarden, Overlord and Golden Kamuy all deserve a vote, but unfortunately, I could only pick one more.

    Finally, my list of honourable mentions is long, but all of these I very much enjoyed watching. 2018 had a couple of good comedies (Hinamatsuri, Wotakoi, and Grand Blue), and underappreciated action drama (BANANA FISH), a couple of good shounen series (Boku no & Nanatsu no Taizai), and one oddball but endearing dragon & pilot pair (Hisone to Masotan). Oh and Yuri (Yagate Kimi ni Naru)

    Shrubbery
  26. Anime
    1) Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai
    Darling in the Franxx
    2) Darling in the Franxx

    Easy first place.
    DitF built a good atmosphere and had potential. Characters were endearing. Because I had higher expectations, I was disappointed by the big reveal and ending which was neither bad but great either. It tried to live up to TTGL and KLK but because the atmosphere was melancholic as opposed to GAR, it didn’t achieve the same effect.

    Unsure about the rest:
    Violet Evergarden
    Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara
    Goblin Slayer
    Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo no Dorei Majutsu
    Hanebado!
    Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
    Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara
    SSSS.Gridman

    Best Movie
    No Game No Life Zero
    Fate/stay night: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower
    Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch I, II, and III

    Easy first.
    Didn’t watch many movies/OVAs other than these 3. FSN movie was slow as hell but that’s part of the dark somber atmosphere that ufotable excels at creating.
    Watching Code Geass III’s climax at the theaters and hearing the soundtrack intensify brought back some good memories.

    sjwsRunningVisaMastercard
  27. My personal top 5 shows:
    1. Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (unbelievably good)
    2. Hinamatsuri
    3. Violet Evergarden
    4. Yuru Camp
    5. Yagate Kimi ni Naru

    There were a lot of great shows this year but Sora yori/A Place Further Than the Universe absolutely blew me away and became one of my all time favorites. I hope it gets recognized by a lot of websites in their “Best of 2018” discussions.

    MonadoBoy
  28. MISSING at least the following:
    ——-
    TV:
    Kirakira☆Precure a la Mode (Ended January 2018)

    Movie:
    Hataraku Saibou: Kaze Shoukougun (OVA Special episode)
    Pretty Cure Super Stars (Cross-over movie)

    My top 5
    ——–
    Baki (Netflix has outdone the Japanese version. Great job!)
    Goblin Slayer
    Yowai Mushi Pedal Glory Line
    My Hero Academy III
    Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara

    Honorable Mention
    —————–
    Akanesasu Shoujo (Upbeat and positive spirits)
    Hataraku Saibou (Very creative)
    3-gatsu no Lion 2nd Season (Would have gotten more attention if it were released earlier)
    Gakuen Babysitters (Turned an otherwise sad story into a comedy)
    Grand Blue (Nice graphics)
    Hanebado! (Some bad graphics near the end of the series. But still good overall.)
    Killing Bites (Captured the mood of the manga rather nicely)
    Uma Musume: Pretty Derby (Simply NUTS!)

    Matroid
  29. Personal top 5: Sora Yori, Hinamatsuri, Violet Evergarden, Koi wa Ameagari, Steins;Gate 0

    If I was allowed another 5: Hi Score Girl, Bookseller Honda-san, Bunny-girl-sempai, Zombieland Saga, ???

    And some that are bumping up against the top 10: Kokkoku, Yuru Camp, SAOA:GGO, Bloom Into You

    And those that I know I like the story for (having read the manga), but never got around to watching the anime: Food Wars, MHA, March Comes in Like a Lion. Since they’re long-running series, I don’t consider them valid candidates for best-of-year polls anyway.

    The above doesn’t count a few series that I just haven’t gotten around to watching yet, but have heard good things about, or that I’ve been holding off on because I want to watch them with friends.

    David
  30. It’s that time of the year again uh. This year’s dropped list was bigger than expected, it was pretty easy to make a top 5:

    1. (AOTY) 3-gatsu no Lion 2nd Season – hell even anime of the decade
    2. Saiki Kusuo no Ψ Nan 2
    3. Golden Kamuy
    4. Boku no Hero Academia Season 3
    5. DEVILMAN crybaby

  31. It amazes me that 3 of my picks this year came out of Winter. That used to be the slow cour, but the playing field has definitely leveled recently. As always, there’s a lot of great ones that just can’t make the final cut.

    Top Five:
    1 Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho
    2 Boku no Hero Academia S3
    3 Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san
    4 Darling in the Franxx
    5 Mahoutsukai no Yome

    Honoraries:
    6 Megalo Box
    7 Beelzebub-jou no Okinimesu mama.
    8 Kokkoku
    9 Gurazeni
    10 Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai

    Atalla
  32. It’s amazing to me that I didn’t hear about this sora yori anime that everyone’s been raving about. I will be sure to rectify that injustice immediately. I guess I’ve been blindly following enzo’s blog for recommendations.

    My top 5 are:
    Gurazeni
    Boku Boku
    Hi score girl
    Goblin slayer
    Major

    hwighting

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