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Dated 22 January 2018: Yuru Camp△ takes an early lead as Winter 2018's best show

Rin
Make a left at the fork and keep going straight. If you pass Mount Fuji, you've gone too far.

Yuru Camp△ is a blatant attempt at promoting camping and campsites. The show provides accessible instructions and guidelines to make camping attractive to neophytes and gorgeously depicts obviously real-life locations in transparent efforts to transform viewers into visitors.

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Dated 26 March 2018: Sora yori mo Tooi Basho and Yuru Camp△ are the best shows of Winter 2018

Rin
There's also the matter of Rin's excellent hair.

Yuru Camp△ finished its 12-episode run last week with an open-ended conclusion to its deeply satisfying season. As far the actual narrative goes, I can't exactly claim Laid-Back Camp was particularly eventful, but the show's real strengths came from its pleasantly relaxed mood and its freakishly endearing lead character, Rin, anyway. I do like the other characters as well, though, and I'm particularly relieved Nadeshiko turned out to be a lot better than I initially feared, but Rin basically carried Yuru Camp△ for me. She did, after all, clinch the Girl of the Quarter crown in week 10 by racking up most of my Girl of the Week awards. If you place any stock in B.S. numerical ratings, I did score Yuru Camp△ in first place for most of the season before Sora yori mo Tooi Basho passed it.

Hinata
"When angry count four; when very angry, swear."

There's actually one episode of Sora yori mo Tooi Basho left, but I'm all but certain to subjectively regard it as this season's best show regardless of how it actually plays out. Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (see this post for more about the show's name) is exceptionally well done. I'm particularly impressed with how it pays off the numerous little heartfelt investments it made during the course of the series. Also of note is the astute directing which has juggled comedy, drama, and even a little horror with skillful touches of emotional resonance in the right amounts and at the right times.

Violet
Mission top secret, destination unknown.

Speaking of emotional resonance, compare Sora yori mo Tooi Basho with the much hyped Violet Evergarden for example, which turned out to be a hot mess of wildly disparate levels of quality depending on the episode. I felt nearly all of them were clumsy and overwrought, with the exception of two episodes (both of which credit Sawa Shinpei as the episode director, incidentally). In particular, Sora yori mo Tooi Basho has made much better use of its music than Violet Evergarden has, as I've mentioned before. All in all, I'm very impressed with Sora yori mo Tooi Basho, and I'm looking forward to its creative team's future projects.

Dated 31 December 2018: Shima Rin from Yuru Camp△ is 2018's Girl of the Year

Rin
Best job ever.

I haven't consistently awarded a Girl of the Year title in quite a while, mostly for the same reasons why I only seem to update the world's longest-running English-language anime blog once per week these days. I actually tried regularly posting a Girl of the Week award on the Twitter this year, but fell behind once the Autumn 2018 season began. I did continue to keep track, though, so I can at least pretend I have objective metrics that I use with my made-up competition.

Akane
At least the weather's nice.

Just to recap, Shima Rin from Yuru Camp△ was Girl of the Quarter for Winter 2018. The Spring 2018 award went to Mishima Hitomi from Hinamatsuri. In a somewhat unexpected development, Hanesaki Ayano captured the Girl of the Quarter award for Summer 2018 despite not having the most Girl of the Week titles for that season. Girl of the Quarter for Autumn 2018 goes to Shinjou Akane from SSSS.GRIDMAN of course, one of the best shows of the year.

Hitomi
It's Hitomi's world; we're all just living in it.

Actually, all of the Girl of the Quarter winners are associated with the year's best shows. That's probably not much of a surprise. Likewise, those of y'all who watched Yuru Camp△ are probably unsurprised that Rin boat raced the Girl of the Year category. What is sort of surprising, though, is that Shinjou Akane from SSSS.GRIDMAN placed runner up. I fully expected Mishima Hitomi from Hinamatsuri to take the number-two spot, but her totally objective numerical rankings suffered because there were many episodes in which she had few or no scenes.