Anime Original by Gonzo
Streaming on Crunchyroll
Haruto wakes up in a surreal dream world ruled by a powerful witch. Really weird stuff happens but sadly it makes more sense than you would think.
Jel’s verdict: Wake Me Up
I spent most of this episode fighting with how much I want to like 18if versus most of my standards for “good” telling me I shouldn’t. I would love a bizarre, surreal art project to break up this summer’s mostly bland offerings and 18if has the parts on paper to deliver. Trippy visuals that invoke Alice in Wonderland painted by Salvador Dali set to a Teddyloid soundtrack should be a slam dunk. Sadly, it is not.
The most obvious concern is whether the production values can hold up with the series’ ambition, and if the first episode is supposed to be putting your best foot forward then this debut is not encouraging. The art is flat and dead looking and the animation is average at best save for a few key spots. I think they might have been trying for a stylized approach to the art but personally I think it just looks bad compared to other anime. When the most recent point of visual comparison is the stunning Flip Flappers, it’s hard to accept what we got.
What disappointed me more though was how easily the curtain got pulled back on the dream world. There are certainly some mysteries left like how Haruto ended up involved in all this and who Cat Bro really is, but if the general premise is just sending an Anime Jesus™ into the dream world to save a quivering, helpless young girl then you can count me out. I’m willing to give 18if one more episode to see if that is truly the case but otherwise I don’t have patience for that.