The Family: The Brotherhood
By Donte M McNeal

Based in Michigan, Donte's Playground is a blog by Donte M McNeal. His posts range from nonsensical ramblings about anime, in-depth reviews of books and television/film, to random spurts of philosophical babble.

2018 In Review: Anime

2018 In Review: Anime

It’s been a heck of a 2018. I’ve been more absent than not, but you’ll understand why before the year is out. Now that that’s out of the way, how’s about we round up the year with its highlights like everyone else is doing? If you can’t beat em… What’s on the docket for today?

Best Anime of the Year



I know, I know. You’re like, “What? You like boxing?” And to that I would answer, no. No, I do not. I don’t hate it, but it’s just not something I go out of my way to watch as a fan. But anime has a way of making sports I had no interest in before look great! My older brother loves boxing and was a boxer himself, so I’ve always been exposed to it, but I’ve never been particularly interested in it.

Megalobox changed that for me. The main character “Gearless Joe” is a guy from the other side of the tracks who loves boxing. He just wants to fight good opponents and he does so without a “Gear,” which is kind of what it sounds like. See, in this future, boxers have taken to wearing robotic machinery to boost or compliment their bodies. Joe forgoes a Gear, hence the moniker, Gearless Joe. What follows is a great look at how far a man is willing to go to fight someone he feels embodies the real boxing Joe yearns to do, and boy does is deliver. Great fights all throughout, entertaining characters, and a sort of retro art that brings it all together.

Persona 5 The Animation


If you know me at all, you should have known this title would be on this list. I mean, it’s more Persona! So for those who don’t know, I absolutely ADORE Persona 5, to the point I got a tattoo of the Phantom Thieves logo on my leg. The anime covers the story of the game, and while it’s not entirely new ground, I loved seeing some of my favorite characters animated. More Persona is a always a good thing in my eyes. That is all.

Cells at Work


I honestly didn’t see an anime like this happening or working. It follows the life of cells in the body, mainly a white a nd red blood cell and their adventures throughout the body. The fun thing about this anime is that while it is highly entertaining, it is also educational in it presentation. Whenever a new cell is introduced, we get a brief lesson on what the cell’s function is and their place in the body. We see things infections, germs, diseases. The way it balances education and entertainment is something I haven’t quite seen before, and I loved it.

That Time I Got Reincarnated As A Slime


Yes, that’s really the title. This anime is about a young man who sacrificed himself to save a younger coworker and friend and was given the chance to be reincarnated in a fantasy world. The catch? He’s reincarnated as a slime, one of the lowest creatures in the world. However, our mc gets so many perks as a slime you’d think he was the legendary hero of a title instead of the slime that he is. It’s such an easygoing slice of life, you can’t help but relax and unwind while watching it. Also, seeing whatever new thing he learns to do is always fun.

Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel


The newest addition the ever-growing Fate/Stay Night franchise is the first in a trilogy of movies covering the last route of the F/SN visual novel. Heaven’s Feel covers the Sakura route, which has best Servant Rider (facts). We still focus on Shirou fighting in the Holy Grail War, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of this route, considering I never read the route in the visual novel. The animation is top-notch as always, and the fights are all blood-pumping, masterfully executed and fun. Plus, more Rider is always a plus.

Today’s Menu for The Emiya Family


The Fate/Stay Night franchise is dark. That’s understandable given that the story centers around a war being fought with the spirits of heroes past. On the Today’s Menu spinoff, the battles and death are nonexistent. Instead, we get a slice of life show with Emiya cooking with all the Servants and Masters he was fighting against in the rest of the parent story. The art is very simple and the vibe is easygoing. It’s a breath of fresh air to see everyone relaxing, joking around and just eating good food instead of, you know, eating hearts and impaling each other. Heh heh…

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai


Despite the title, this anime doesn’t have many bunny girls. Actually, this one surprised me, because it tackles an odd phenomena called “Puberty Syndrome.” Cases of said syndrome can result in various circumstances, such as the titular bunny girl senpai becoming invisible to those around her, apart from the mc. They do their best to figure out what’s causing this syndrome and ways to cure it, and their relationship, and the characters in general is where this show shines. It’s wonderfully written and the characters endear themselves to you fairly quickly, so you can’ help but hope everything works out well. Anyway, I’m not doing it justice because I suck as explaining things. Just give it a go and I promise you won’t be disappointed!



This anime is just such a treat. It’s about two young friends whose entire relationship revolves around them teasing one another. It’s a cute slice of life series that always leaves you with a smile on your face. No inappropriate sexual jokes, no over the top slapstick comedy; just purely innocent, middle-schoolers teasing each other playfully. And big foreheads. Goodness are the foreheads huge in this show.

Well, that’s all for the anime I enjoyed this year. I feel like I missed some, but that’s fine. There’s always next year to talk about them. Tomorrow, I’ll be highlighting movies I enjoyed this year. See ya then!

2018 in Review: Film & TV

2018 in Review: Film & TV

Travis Bagwell's "Evolution (Awaken Online Volume 3)"

Travis Bagwell's "Evolution (Awaken Online Volume 3)"