Have to say I really went back and forth over Shield Hero and Carole & Tuesday, both were notable for different reasons. I think my desire for Shield Hero to get a fair crack of the whip won out, and goodness knows I spent more time reading about it than any other series this year!
To be fair to Rob, he wrote a LOT for this piece, so the full version of his other two favourites is below:
The Promised Neverland:
As the Spring season approached, this show was on everyone's most anticipated list. A show everyone was looking forward to but would not say why due to the nature of the story revealed in a shocking twist in the ending of the manga's first chapter.
In order to keep the effect of that I will not spoil the exact twist here but what I will say about Promised Neverland is that it is a tense, dramatic and exciting game of cat and mouse involving three very intelligent children and the powers that be at an orphanage. The premise of the show revolves around the three main children of the show concocting an escape plan whilst keeping up the innocent facade of children under the watchful eye of the adult figures of the world. It combines several prisoner of war themes with mystery elements to create a rather tense series of events. It was a show that had me on the edge of my seat and had me gripped from start to finish.
It was clever, dramatic and engaging enough that this become the show I looked forward to each week out of all shows of the year. I can't get into too much detail as like I said the reveal from the manga's first chapter and reveal done in the shows first episode is the main hook. The surprise factor from it and draw of wanting to see where things escalate from there is the main decider of whether the show is for you or not. I'd recommend to everyone to give episode 1 a chance, it will really hook you in to a fascinating show.
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War:
The show is a comedy based on the premise that in relationships; whoever is first to confess their feelings of love and initiate a romance is the overall loser.
Putting themselves in a position where the other person in the relationship takes the dominant position and has power over the other. The show plays with this premise by making things an entire “will they, won't they” affair between the two lead characters.
The Titular Kaguya Shinomiya, vice-president of a prestigious high school's student council and Miyuki Shirogane, the student council president, who comes from a working class family that has worked hard to make it in to the school and continues to do so to retain his social standing in the school. Episodes are filled with biting commentary on social class, remarks on gender norms in relationships and stereotypes on people who date.
The show blends witty dialogue, comedic timing and great stylish visuals making each situation of the characters wanting to ask the other out on a date into an overblown dramatic battle between the two. On the face of it; the initial premise seems like one that would only be funny or interesting for one episode, yet the show makes it work by it's clever execution of including character monologues to show their thoughts on the situation at hand, narration and the overall presentation showing each segment as it's own battle where one character gains the upper hand over the other. Thrown into the mix is a great supporting cast who not only complement the main characters efforts but also steal the show from time to time with how exaggerated their personalities are and how they interact with the character during each scene. Thus Making the show a great comedy with a cast who goes through great development and comedic situations to deliver a comedy that manages to stay fresh throughout it's entire run and make the most of it's initial premise in interesting and creative ways.