Posted by AidanAK47 on 29 January 2018 with categories: Yearly Summaries

Another year and another tick down on the death counter but it certainly has been a pretty good year for anime. We had some stinkers, some major disappointments but there were certainly shows that will be remembered and even some that will be touted as being the best of the best.

The other writers and I have decided that the choices for this list will be based on majority vote between the five of us. You can complain that your own preferred show didn’t make the final list but there is a very good chance that it was nominated and slowly knocked out as we tallied the votes together. Also, do take note that we haven’t seen everything this year had to offer so there are anime that have slipped under the radar. It is only our opinion and thus is nothing ironclad nor is it contractually binding. You may like something that we hate and that is perfectly fine (provided it’s not Eromanga Sensei because bloody hell…).

Each writer has taken it upon himself to write a section about the winners but keep in mind that just because someone wrote it, does not mean they specifically nominated it. Down below, you will see each of the writer’s ballot for their own top ten choices. With that being said, let’s put Star Crossed Blog’s final stamp on the anime year of 2017.

The Worst

Worst Show

Hand Shakers

Mario: I’m not at all exaggerating when I consider that encountering a total wreck like Hand Shakers is as rare as running across any modern classic. For Hand Shakers to be a product that goes wrong in almost every department, with its rage-inducing visual mess with fisheye lens, random camera zoom, distracting CG that moves on different frame rate than the 2D models, incompetent writing filled with of illogical leaps, INCEST, terrible treatment to the female cast, the consistently one-dimensional outlandish characters, and softcore porno sounding OST. Given the main theme of the show is about meshing connections, it’s rather remarkable how the presentation is this constant battle between all the elements of the show trying to intertwine with each other. Hand Shakers is also a glaring example of how an anime studio pushed way too hard on showing off their “signature’ style without considering if it fits the material to the point where it becomes a gimmick (Shaft, beware!). The saddest thing is that its failure doesn’t come from a lack of care, as I can see real effort were put into it, but to make a show this terrible is no small feat. Hand Shakers redefines what we perceive as bad, and maybe THAT is how it will be remembered for years to come.

Runner-ups: Berserk (2017) – For poorly adapting of one of the most acclaimed manga.  Eromanga Sensei For the exact opposite reason of Berserk (2017), where there was solid production values for a show that represents everything that is wrong about modern anime, which makes it even more painful to watch than forgettable fluffs.

 

Biggest Disappointment

Seikaisuru Kado

Lenlo: It’s difficult to write this category, because for all of its faults, I still enjoyed Seikaisuru Kado. The problem is that it could have been so much more. For the first half of its run, Kado did a great job of setting up its characters and running with the theme of “alien contact changing our world”. The CGI, while not beautiful like Houseki no Kuni, was used inventively to simulate 3D shapes in creating interesting scenes. However, in a single episode, it plummeted from being an intriguing sci-fiction to an unmitigated disaster of a shounen. Plot threads got abandoned, dialogue was thrown out the window in favor of flashy combat and the philosophizing was pointless. Because of its fantastic start and subsequent disgusting end, Seikaisuru Kado is the most disappointing and soul-crushing anime of 2017. It only beats out Berserk (2017) because no one expected anything from that trainwreck in the first place.

Runner-up: Berserk (2017)

Worst First Episode

Hand Shakers

Aidan: The three episode guideline can be a decently fair way to judge what a viewer is getting into but Hand Shakers has one of those first episodes that just spells disaster from the get-go. You can tell there is at least passion in its production but sadly that passion is directed at something trying to hit all demographics and managing to alienate all of them. CGI chains so jarring that it’s like someones first college 3D modeling work pushed into a 2D environment. Visuals of rainbow vomit with terrible direction. A introductory story with uninteresting characters, creepy subtext and very little context to what it is even about coupled with truly insulting fanservice like gravity defying boobs of jello. It is a wonder upon creating this first episode that the production didn’t just fold the project then and there as when you end your first episode with a woman moaning while being constricted by chains, one would think you would reconsider your life choices. All I know is that I had to put this episode on mute for a time in fear that people may think I was watching a porno.

Runner-up: Dynamic Chord

 

Worst Character

Sieg (Fate/Apocrypha)

Aidan: Truth be told, Sieg by himself is not what many would consider to be a worst character. When one considers the worst character, they think of the annoying ones, the kind who make you forcible cringe and hate every moment spent watching them. Sieg is not one of those characters, but his crimes are far more serious. For Sieg has no personality, his character arc is predictable from beginning to end and he is made the main protagonist of Fate/Apocrypha by any means necessary. The plot bends over backwards for him and even goes as far to kill off more interesting and developed characters for the sole purpose of pushing him more into the spotlight. In a series with an interesting cast that just begs for development, Sieg steals screen time away by showing him going on dates and pondering just what the hell is his point in even being there. He is essentially like the director’s son whom the director wants to show off and everyone on the production team has to go along with it despite no one wanting him to be there. His very existence brings down the story as a whole and even every moment he’s on screen kills the small amount of entertainment that one can glean from this show. He is by very definition, proof of how a self-insert character can ruin a story in its entirety.

Runner-up: Shindo and Saraka (Seikaisuru Kado) – For betraying their own character arcs during the disastrous final act while being terrible at their jobs and being terrible people.

 

General Categories

Best First Episode

Made in Abyss

Wooper: Given the frightening nature of this series’ titular abyss, its first order of business was to create a sense of mystery and wonder about its central chasm, and on this front, it succeeded completely. Between the show’s lush, verdant backgrounds, scary monster designs, and sunlit views of the city surrounding the rim of the abyss, this premiere was beautifully produced and directed. The script was packed with tantalizing bits of information about this new world with mentions of valuable relics and a ranking system, based on a series of brightly colored whistles, for cave delvers, really wet my appetite for future episodes. The burgeoning sense of camaraderie between Riko and Reg was a lot of fun to watch, and it foreshadowed a bond that would keep them moving on their journey, even through the depths of hell. Above all else, Kevin Penkin’s score elevated this first episode to masterful heights with two achingly beautiful insert songs that immediately sold me on the allure of the abyss. With all of these elements working in total harmony, Kinema Citrus created half an hour of TV that is rivaled by few other episodes this year, whether they be premieres, finales, or anything in between.

Runner-up: Little Witch Academia

 

Best Single Episode

Made in Abyss Episode 13

Spoilers ahead.

HelghastKillzone: Made in consultation with the original manga author, Made in Abyss takes the uncommon path of having a double-length finale and uses every single minute of it well. From the horrific backstory of Nanachi’s journey into the abyss, the sick experiments of Bondrewd, the destruction of Mitty and its final uplifting sequence, the entire episode was just filled to the brim with powerful emotional moments. The first season of Made in Abyss could have never told a complete story as it ends just before its defining arc in the fifth layer but the ending creatively-made recap set to Kevin Penkin’s “Tomorrow was the perfect way to conclude this remarkable show.

Runner-up: Rakugo Shinjuu Episode 11

 

Most Pleasant Surprise

Made in Abyss

Aidan: I will pull out my hipster glasses and say that in my preview that I indeed did predict that Made in Abyss would be something quite good. I will admit that I underestimated just how good it would be. What was a pretty good manga was elevated by gorgeous background art, magnificent direction and an otherworldly soundtrack composed by an Australian composer, which heightens every scene it plays in. I held off on reading the manga to freshly experience the anime is on a whole other level of entertainment. With a sequel on the way (whether it’s a new season, OVA or movie is still up for debate), I am more than excited to delve once again into the depths of the abyss and see what wonders and horrors lie within it’s expanse. I expected Made in Abyss to be a good show but it surprised me by being a great one.

Runner-up: Houseki no Kuni

 

Best Studio

Orange

Lenlo: This was a tough pick. Both studios did a fantastic job this year with MAPPA making Garo: The Vanishing Line, Inuyashiki, Kakegurui and Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul and would be considered a healthy list for any year. However, MAPPA has been here around since 2012 and even then, was created by Madhouse veterans. Orange, however, has long been a background studio where they did work on other people’s anime in mostly CGI graphics. This year marked their first solo-production in the name of Houseki no Kuni. A strong and beautiful first production, Orange managed to take CGI, a medium riddled with mediocre series like Berserk, Hand Shakers and arguably Kemono Friends, and give it a new face. They took a CGI anime and made it a strong contender for our anime of the year. As a first outing in solo productions, others and I here think that alone deserves some recognition. Well done Orange, you earned it.

Runner-up: Studio MAPPA

 

Best OP

Imawa no Shinigami (Rakugo Shinjuu Season 2)

Wooper: Consider the nervous, anguished expressions of Rakugo’s main players at the start of its second theme. As their faces flash across the screen, a clock ticks in time with Hayashibara Megumi’s lilting, elusive vocal melody, and finally, it falls silent as the show’s most looming presence turns and disappears into the flames of hell and that’s just the first twenty seconds. The song title for this OP literally means “The Reaper’s Dying Moments,” and its accompanying visuals are just as obsessed with mortality as you would expect. Here we have shots of the series’ chief character throwing himself from a cliff, submerging himself beneath the waves after refusing his apprentice’s hand, turning his back on his friends and acquaintances before they shatter into hundreds of black fragments, and finally, a candle’s flame being extinguished. The real killer, however, is the moment just before the candle scene, when Yakumo’s oldest friend pulls back his coat to reveal a hollow skeleton, and those same nervous faces from the start play in reverse. That’s when you realize that they were all looking directly at him, and witnessing the emptiness and self-destruction that would eventually lead to his tragic death.

Runner-up: The Other Side of the Wall (Princess Principal)

 

Best ED

Los! Los! Los! (Youjo Senki)

HelghastKillzone: For the sake of transparency, I personally went through every single anime ED that was released in 2017 and still chose “Los! Los! Los!” as my first choice. Despite only consisting of very pretty scrolling artwork from the light novel series, it is the song itself that propels itself above the competition. Sung by the voice actress of Tanya Degurechaff (Aoi Yuuki), it is extension of her utterly bloodthirsty character in musical form with lyrics that screams for war in all in horror and glory. With its rock instrumentality and frantic tempo, it fits perfectly with the tone of the show where the protagonist is very much the villain.

Runner-up: One More Night (Girls’ Last Tour)

 

Best Animation

Houseki no Kuni

Mario: Houseki no Kuni sure paints up an optimistic future of how to handle the CGI to its full effect. Not only the animation is consistently fluid, the fight sequences tune up its dynamic nature with smart shot angles and impressive choreography. There are many sequences (especially those involving Dia), where the camera tracks the character running across in seemingly one single continuous shot or how the alloy from Phos keeps shapeshifting into whatever weird things but never at once feel out of place with the tone of the show. Even the character movements are expressive with heaps of motions. I can’t even imagine how they could pull those off in traditional 2D hand-drawn animation so thumbs up for not only it rightfully deserves the top place in this category, it opens for more opportunity of how to use the CGI with style.

Runner-up: Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul

 

Best Background Art

Made in Abyss

Mario: The intriguing world-building has always been Made in Abyss’s strongest point. Its world building is unique, full of life, and has a true feeling behind it. It is both beautifully inviting and scary at the same time. The background art wonderfully displays those qualities with the great attention details to the settings: the city above the abyss where the kids live, and the abyss itself. The mysterious settings always draw you in and make you want to investigate. The visual motif of verticality is there and when you notice it, it exists everywhere, just like how the abyss shapes its world (remember the Abyss’s curse?). Each layer of the Abyss has a personality of its own, and while at first glance they look exactly like Ghibli’s worlds in term of gorgeous backgrounds, there’s a sense of danger lingering everywhere. Mysterious, deadly and yet attractive that you can’t take your eyes off, it’s a true definition of femme fatale if I’ve ever seen one.

Runner-up: Mahoutsukai no Yome

 

Best Soundtrack

Made in Abyss

Wooper: Most anime series tend to recycle a handful of tracks throughout their run, using them in nearly every episode to stretch their limited music budgets. Made in Abyss isn’t exempt from this problem, but its soundtrack was so good that I couldn’t bring myself to care. I already dropped Kevin Penkin’s name in the “Best First Episode” section of this post, but his superb work on this show merits another mention. This soundtrack was alternately alluring and terrifying, which perfectly captured both the wonder and the fear of traveling deeper into the unknown. And the use of insert songs, especially “Underground River” (featuring Raj Ramayya, who previously recorded for Wolf’s Rain and the Cowboy Bebop movie) sent shivers down my spine. The disconnect between Abyss’s thematic harshness and its cute character designs required a perfectly balanced tone, and Penkin’s soundtrack was instrumental in achieving that.

Runner-up: Houseki no Kuni

 

Best Voice Acting

Rakugo Shinjuu Season 2

Aidan: Don’t pretend to be surprised. With a category like best voice acting, Rakugo has it won before anything else even aired. Rakugo is a show whose very concept depends on the skill of the voice actors as they must perform as a performer whose only performing with their voice. Other shows would have a character on the sidelines whose purpose is to say something to confirm the quality of the performance. Rakugo has you watch the performance and judge it for yourself. To that a voice actor must be both a Rakugo performer and the character while purposely botching the performance for dramatic effect or improving based on the level of training the characters have had. This is a show so dependant on the quality of its voice acting that it is literally undub-able. That the voice actors not only managed to pull this off but do it so incredibly well is a feat not many can claim. I honestly wish I knew Japanese so I could experience it as intended.

Runner-up: Houseki no Kuni

 

Best Character

Tanya von Degurechaff (Youjo Senki)

HelghastKillzone: Tanya is what defines Youjo Senki through its portrayal of villainy as it follows a nine year girl journey as she ascends the ranks of the Imperial Army though bloodshed and maneuvering within its bureaucracy. What makes her so interesting is that her rather mundane ambitions of getting a cushy position clashes with her ideology of meritocracy and lands her in scenarios that throws her into harm’s way. Furthermore, her atrocities are all done in accordance with the rules and regulations that have been handed down to her making whatever she does quite legal, even if it is morally bankrupt. Also, seeing a loli butcher the Allied Forces in a pre-Nazi World War one context while being in a grudge match against Being X  is something that never gets old. In my personal opinion, Tanya exhibits all traits of the ideal military officer where she pushes her men to the breaking point of their abilities, has an forward-looking view on the doctrine of warfare and leads from the front. It’s true that she doesn’t care about lives of her subordinates other than keeping them alive for her own career advancement but then again, I wouldn’t expect anything from an officer other than delivering complete victory.

Runner-up: Phosphophyllite (Houseki no Kuni)

 

Best Cast

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl

Wooper: This film is, for my money, the best anime of 2017, so its excellence isn’t limited to just one or two categories. Even so, its roster of eccentric characters shines as perhaps the brightest aspect of the production. Borrowing heavily from the cast of Tatami Galaxy, with which the film shares a director (Masaaki Yuasa), Night is Short depicts a whirlwind evening wherein its two heroes stumble across a variety of colorful personalities, all of whom are in pursuit of something fleeting. Be it love, alcohol, youth, law and order, or rare pornographic photos, each of the players in this grand spectacle are single-minded in their desire, which makes them easy to understand, yet endlessly entertaining. The way that Yuasa threads his protagonists through this maze of conflicting passions and crazy subplots is downright dizzying, but the journey is worth every minute. The only criticism I have of the movie is largely down to the style of Morimi Tomihiko’s source novel, which revolves around a nameless protagonist who represents young adulthood more than he embodies a particular set of characteristics. Everything else about the film is rollicking good time, though, so do yourself a favor and look it up if you haven’t already.

Runner-up: The Eccentric Family Season 2

 

Genres

Best Comedy

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl

Mario: For the record, comedy had quite a quiet showing last year as I could only name a handful of shows that managed to tickle my belly (Romance anime, on the other hand, outperformed last year). But to say that, in any other year, I can still hand this award to this gem. It’s a feverish (pun intended!) non-stop crazy events after another in a span of a single night. The movie has tons of whimsical details (I’ll forever remember her Mom’s teaching of Friendship Punch), many absurd moments (the dance of the Sophists, anyone??), and many outright silly sequences (Johnnies!!) but the charms are always there. The guerilla theatre part is easily one of the most enjoyable moments of the year and the whirlwind of quirky set of characters keep popping in and out of picture make the whole experience sparkle with fun, laugh and joy. It’s certainly one hell of a night to remember.

Runner-up: Gamers! (for excellent build-up of misunderstanding comedy (x5 times) into a web of hilariously confusingly situations).

 

Best Action

Youjo Senki

Aidan: Shounen fans, I hope you’re satisfied with a runner up for My Hero Academia Season Two as many would deem that the more worthy nomination for best action. Alas, the votes tallied out like this and I will ask your forgiveness for those of us who couldn’t really find enough interesting about Hero Academia to continue into its second season (Myself a prime example). Take pride in that if this was a category for best fight animation that Hero Academia would take the gold easily. But this is best action and while Hero Academia is a fine Shounen, I must hand the award to Youjo Senki. With the various war scenes of ariel magic dogfighting to the intriguing mind battle between God and the main character with the alternative history of World War One. Youjo Senki just proved to be the far more stimulating show to watch. I personally would take watching a nihilist turn slowly into a dictator than a upstart transforming into a paragon of virtue. Even if Youjo Senki is a Isekai anime, it does at least show what can be done with the concept of Isekai when it isn’t used to as a delusional childish power fantasy.

Runner-up: My Hero Academia Season 2

 

Best Drama

Rakugo Shinjuu Season 2

Lenlo: It should be obvious that, considering how no one here really shuts up about it, we all love Rakugo Shinjuu. It’s a very rare kind of anime after all. There’s no world ending conflict, no magical powers or shounen tropes. It doesn’t take place in highschool, none of the main characters are children and there’s no one dimensional “I like you but can’t say it” plots. Rakugo Shinjuu is simple the life story of one old man, from childhood to death, and his love for an art form. It is, in one of the purest forms, a character drama. Most everything that occurs does so as a result of our characters decisions. However the best part of Rakugo Shinjuu of all, for me, are the stories. The art form this anime is centered around. Every time Yakumo or Yotaro take the stage, we are treated to some of the best voice acting I have ever heard. Each story is not only a joy to listen to, but relates directly with the plot in some way. Each was clearly chosen with care. Really I could spend all day exalting Rakugo for even with some issues at the end, sadly nothing is perfect, it stands head and shoulders above every other Drama this year.

Runner-up: Kuzu no Honkai

 

Best Shorts

Tsurezure Children

Aidan: I will be the first to admit that I don’t watch most short styled anime but even I make a few exceptions when something truly special comes along. Tsurezure Children is one of those few exceptions because it did something in the fifteen minutes of it’s first episode that romance series take an entire season to accomplish. This show is a series about relationships, not love triangle that go nowhere. This short series deals with points of romance that most don’t even dare to thread and does so with a great sense of humor and the satisfying fluff of seeing couples learning to enjoy each other’s company. My only complaint is that is too short, and needs a season 2 and a season 3 please.

Runner-up: Blade Runner: Black Out 2022

 

Best Movie

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl

Mario: This one is a no brainer. I watched more shows than I have ever watched before in this year and I watched many good to great anime movies this year, but when it comes down to the best, Night is Short easily takes that slot. I even go so far to say that I consider it one of the best anime films of this decade so far. Everything that I come to love about pushing what anime medium can achieve: the wild but expressive visual style of Yuasa, the wild, messy writing style of Tomihiko that somehow come together neay in the end and the ultimate love for its magical-realism Kyoto settings (which I found to be my favorite city ever), everything from this screams “creative” and resonates to me on personal level. I can feel the love brimming through every second of the film, through every character and through every line they speak. Night is Short is another worthy addition to an already impressive body of works of legendary director Masaaki Yuasa.

Runner-up: Kimi no Na wa. (Your Name.)

 

Best OVA

Castlevania

Lenlo: Without a doubt, this is a contentious nomination. Made and directed by a Western studio and based on a Japanese IP, some wouldn’t even call Castlevania an anime. Well, they can stuff it. Castlevania manages to take the almost non-existent story of Konami’s game series and create a great narrative in just 4 episodes. The animation is stunning from Dracula’s fire to Belmonts fights. The voice-work of Richard Armitage as Belmont and Graham McTavish as Dracula grab me every time. There is even beauty in the brutality of Castlevania’s monsters, as they annihilate a town. Everything about the series was made with love and passion. It’s noticeable in every frame. So regardless of whether or not you think it to be anime, if you like the medium, I cannot help but recommend Castlevania to you. With Season 2 on the way with another 8 episodes coming out this summer, now is the perfect time to catch up.

Runner-up: Space Battleship Yamato 2202

 

 

Top 10 anime of the year

 

Here’s a link to our individual ballots, so you can see how we settled on these shows in this particular order. Let’s kick things off with a tie at 10th place:

  1. Kuzu no Honkai (Tie)

HelghastKillzone: High school romance anime tends to to the follow the trajectory of a couple’s journey that culminates into the all-encompassing kiss, but for Kuzu no Honkai, that is just the starting point. Packed to the brim with its spider web of relationships, sex, temptations, and adult drama, Kuzu no Honkai is the exact result what would happen if an anime romance got the HBO treatment. None of the characters are innocent as they all have aspects being scrummy in their quest of fulfilling their own selfish desires but there are some really interesting layers once the audience gets past their surface descriptions. With the exception of one certain individual, the entire cast felt as they were real people translated into animated form and then given a base plotline of  two teenagers using each other as a substitute for the one that they truly love. Studio Lerche does a excellent job of animating it by incorporating manga-style paneling and watercolor backgrounds in bringing the source material to life.

 

  1. Inuyashiki (Tie)

Lenlo: Inuyashiki was one of the more interesting beasts this year. Not set in high school, not a shounen or a moe, but a psychological drama about what it means to be human. It had its issues, plenty of bumps along the way, from questionable CGI to an out of left field ending. Yet in spite of these I can’t help but think on it fondly. The main characters, Inuyashiki and Hiro, play off of each other well. An old man with a new lease on life and a young man coming of age, struggling with his place in the world. One becoming a Hero, the other one of the most sympathetic and well written yet monstrous villains I have seen in a long time. When an anime manages a character that is simultaneously terrifying yet pitiable, you have to acknowledge it. The craft of these characters, sometimes at the expense of the rest of the cast, was phenomenal. So much so that even with a questionable ending I still left Inuyashiki satisfied. And it is because of this quality, pulled up in large part due to these characters, that Inuyashiki managed to squeak onto our top 10 list.

 

  1. Eccentric Family 2

Mario:  For a year that had too many sequels from popular anime for their own good, I’m glad that our final top 10 (well, top 11) has only 2 continuous shows, and I’m more than happy to see that Eccentric Family 2 was among them. Appeared in only two ballots (a trend that you will see more of as we go down the list), it had some passionate votes in order to stand tall here at number 9. The second season maintains the spirits of the first, expanding a bit on the new setpieces, and on many addition cast. The new characters fit in with the old cast like a glove and many of them even steal the spotlight from the old cast. What surprises me the most about this second season, however, is how the show successfully develop its romance relationships, something that sorely lacked in the first season. For the cast this huge, it’s rather surprising that each of them has their own voice and their own significant to the story, and by the end, I have fond memories to almost all of them (except the twin, of course) – not a small feat to pull off at all. This is one of those shows that I’d be happy to watch anytime, I can never get tired of this colorful magical-realism Kyoto city and their adorable tanukis.

 

  1. Girls’ Last Tour

Aidan: So the world’s gone to hell, all man’s greatest achievements have been reduced to a vague memory and everyone’s gonna die but hey, that doesn’t mean you have to be so grim about it. Cute girls doing cute things has always been a genre that I found a hard time getting the appeal as it is almost a celebration in the mundanity of life. So for one such as I, who seeks escapism, such a thing is equal to drinking a glass of water when craving a soft drink. Girls Last Tour, however, takes the antics of the cute girls genre and places it in the bleakest setting it can manage. The result is two girls appreciating life and having fun when by all accounts they should be lamenting the really shitty hand that the world has given them. However, there is something rather thoughtful about these girls running around the ruins of a dead civilization, talking about the nature of life and troubles of the old world as though all the grand reasons people thought up for justifying life and killing each other are really just silly meaningless things. Life is just about enjoying life which these girls take every day to do. In that, I think it’s a lesson that no matter how terrible your circumstances, it’s good to learn to appreciate the simple joys of life.

 

  1. 3-gatsu no Lion

Wooper: Since our rule of thumb is “everything that aired in 2017 is fair game,” 3-gatsu’s nod here is for the conclusion of its first season, as well as the beginning of its second. That means a lot of really excellent character work from 2016 was excluded from consideration, but even during last year’s shogi-heavy stretches, this show nearly always found time to deepen its considerable cast of characters. 3-gatsu’s secret lies in its mix of drama and comedy, allowing it to explore themes of depression, family, and societal acceptance, all while remaining light enough to look forward to each week. Some viewers have mistaken its style as a clash of tones, but in truth, this series is more interested in depicting life as it truly is – blissful in one moment, and in the next, crushingly sad. Hinata’s bullying arc from season 2 was among the most emotionally punishing stories in anime this year, but while 3-gatsu goes dark every so often, the show is built on the belief that there’s good in everyone, even if it’s buried under physical or emotional pain. All it takes is for someone to reach out their hand, it argues, and another person’s sorrow can be lifted.

 

  1. Little Witch Academia

Mario: While the show itself never top the sparks from its first two OVAs,  Little Witch Academia the series still provides a lot of fun hijinks and some good character development from Akko and the cast. The overarching arc of Akko activating the magic words to turn back magic ties up well all the loose ends and gives a satisfying emotional closure, albeit at the expense of Croix and some hiccups in plot progression. I am admittedly not a fan of episodic character-focused approach, but for what it worth, LWA still provides heaps of fun times with some solid character growth, some tweaks on pop-culture references and a cartoonist exaggeration styles. Studio Trigger sure aims this show for its Western fanbase in this regard. This show also has a bouncy and expressive animation with lots of energy and some truly stand-out sequences, production-wise. Ultimately, Little Witch Academia is a beautifully-crafted show that brings magic to a level that’s larger than life with its imaginative world, a diverse cast of characters and a simple, yet heartfelt central message and a passionate treatment from Studio Trigger – A believing heart is truly your magic.

 

  1. Tsuki ga Kirei

Wooper: Only two of our five writers watched this little gem, but we both felt so strongly about it that it managed to land in the top 5. Tsuki ga Kirei is just that kind of show: quiet, understated, and if you’re on the same wavelength as its characters, shockingly powerful. Detailing the initiation and slow progression of an awkward first love, this series is a straightforward teenage romance with no supernatural gimmicks or outlandish personalities. What makes it special is its sense of authenticity where both romantic leads are anxious and self-conscious, and they struggle not only to be open with each other, but also to excel in their other responsibilities. Akane runs track, while Kotaro is a traditional dancer and aspiring novelist, and these parts of their lives bleed into their relationship in convincing ways, giving the show a lived-in sensation. Studio Feel reached for the stars with this series, and though its visual presentation is spotty, the story had me captivated from episode two and onward. I’m no industry expert, but if I had to guess, I’d say there won’t be another romance anime on this level for a long time.

 

  1. Youjo Senki

Aidan: As the Isekai genre creeps more and more into the anime sphere to show us bland nobodies who get transported to another world and shows everyone just how awesome they are, Youjo Senki is one of those shows that stops one from dismissing the entire genre altogether. Featuring an alternative history World War One featuring a business manager turned into little girl tyrant on a mission to spit in the face of god, this show is a truly entertaining ride from start to finish. Watching Tanya’s quest to find a safe stable job while being thwarted by god’s intervention or her own horrid miscalculations is always fun and coupled with the well down aerial dogfighting and sense of humor makes this a show I made sure to never miss an episode on. It does have the issue of being merely a start to a ongoing story, one I hope the film coming will remedy a bit, but for twelve episode Tanya’s exploits made for some damn fine entertainment.

 

  1. Houseki no Kuni

Aidan: I was late to getting to Houseki no Kuni and I fully admit to only completing the show recently but boy, what a ride it was. This was another of those manga that didn’t catch me but its anime adaption pulled me in hard. Displayed is the finest CGI to grace the animated medium in decades and hereby proves that good looking CGI anime can indeed exist. Topped with a setting and world that is fairly unique despite being distinctly alien, a large cast of characters, which none feel undeveloped nor uninteresting, it has a story that balances mystery, action, fantasy and comedy in a manner that is seamless. Phos makes for the perfect explorer of this land while undergoing her own compelling character arc. Truly, this is one of the few shows which I finish and find that I cannot think of any way to make it better as its only true flaw is that the story ended before the story could truly conclude or even get started. If you haven’t watched this show for one reason or another then I would highly recommend finding the time to run though it. You will be rewarded.

 

  1. Rakugo Shinjuu Season 2

Lenlo: I and others have already gushed about Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju: Descending Stories plenty during these awards. You saw it earn best OP, for the hauntingly beautiful “Imawa no Shinigami”. You’ve read about the accomplished voice work of its cast, with Akira Ishida as Yakumo beating every other anime VA for the past two years. Finally, you saw it earn our vote for Best Drama, with Season 1 having a similar place last year. With all of these accolades, it would be strange for Rakugo to not appear near the top of this list. The characters are nuanced, the story is phenomenal and the camera work/direction conveys more than any side exposition character ever could. All of this and more has already been said about Rakugo, so at this point if you haven’t seen it, take the hint and watch it. You will not regret it.

 

  1. Made in Abyss

HelghastKillzone: When a majority of the writers on this site, in spite of our different tastes and watching habits, have voted this show as their second or best show of the year, it’s not hard to see what makes Made in Abyss so universally acclaimed. Whether it is the captivating landscapes, its impeccable world-building, the eldritch horrors found within its depths, or the God-tier soundtrack from Kevin Penkin, Studio Kinema Citrus does everything right in ascending the already-strong manga source material into being a classic anime. For beneath its veneer of impressive production values, its core journey to the bottom of the abyss is both deeply unsettling and gratifying by ratcheting up the tension and releasing it in the most visceral way possible. In an age where the trend of fantasy shows are little more than self-insert fanfiction, it is so refreshing to have an adventure story that stands alone on the merits of its own lore, atmosphere and story. For a show to leave its audience only wanting to venture deeper into hauntingly beautiful and terrifying mysteries of the abyss, it has earned its spot as the top anime of 2017.

14 Responses

  1. Hogart says:

    Having watched HeroAca 2, I’d easily say Houseki no Kuni is far more deserving of “Best Action”. I’ll have to watch Tanya to compare the two, but I daresay it would take a lot to top Kuni’s excellent production and direction of its action sequences. Many of them were also emotionally riveting to the point of being memorable, rather than just being sheer spectacle. By contrast I can barely recall any of the action from HeroAca2 aside from one sequence that had little actual action in it, just a lot of tension in an alley. Far less inventive and engaging than the stuff in Kuni.

    And while I’m on my Kuni love-a-thon, I’m also surprised at how few people take mention of how stellar Kuni’s soundtrack work is. The soundtrack flows just like the editing from scene to scene, with some marvelous cueing. I think it’s very underrated in that regard, right down to the inspired choice of hand-picking Phos’s VA so their pre-recorded lines would give them extra inspiration for how to visually render Phos. Hell of a passion project.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      To be honest, somehow I never considered Houseki as an action show (it’s genre-blending that it becomes its own genre). I’m totally with you regarding Houseki’s soundtrack (which I enjoyed more than MiA’s) and I fought hard to make it appear as a runner up (against Re:Creators), ditto on Phos’ voice as well ^^

      To HeroAca2 credits though, the fight between Bakugo and Uraraka and the fight between the kids and Hero Killer are both stellar. That show is not for me much but I understand why people regard it as the best action show last year (Well, not this site, it seems).

    • Lenlo says:

      As with Mario, I never really considered Houseki an “action” anime. It had scenes of it sure, but that was never its appeal to me.

      My rational atleast behind Hero Aca was that action is its sole purpose. It has no other real reason to exist, and with Yutaka Nakamura on staff, it did that purpose well.

      You say it had little action, yet there was an entire tournament arc in the first half. Not stellar story I agree, yet the action worked quite well.

    • Lenlo says:

      That said, Phos’s VA was in contention for best VA I believe. However Akira Ishida as Yakumo ‘Bon’ Yuurakutie simply can’t be topped. The entire anime hinged on his performance and he knocked it out of the park.

  2. KTravlos says:

    I think in general this was a good summary. (I do have soft spot for the shows I reviewed (Altair, Shingeki no Bahamut, but they were C shows)

  3. Badesh says:

    Heh, i was absent from anime for a really long time (7 years?) and for me Shingeki No Bahamut is an anime that pulled out my love for that genre again.

    A great cast with classic characters (the likable bad-boy, the righteous knight, the evil king) – a very likable lead character (one of my personal favorite)

    It got a sensible and good take on teenage love that matured in the course of the show to a strong statement of what love can be & it had a good setting, not too convoluted so that it does what the medium anime does best: setting some key aspects of life in contrast by highlighting them and then tell a good story.

    It had good action, was funny & surprising. And it tackled the good old question what is right and what is evil in a way that is approachable. That was my anime of the year :)

    (the first season did absolutely nothing for me, i gave it a chance after the 2nd but it just seemed boring) – and i have to add i only houseki pulled me in so i probably have a specific taste and i’m not a connoisseur if i can call you guys this way ;)

    thank you for blogging this year guys!

  4. Niello says:

    Great year for anime which are an outstanding adaptation to their respective source materials.
    – Scum’s Wish
    – ACCA
    – Houseki no Kuni
    – Made in Abyss
    – Rakugou
    – Net-juu no Susume
    – Girl Last Tour

    • Niello says:

      …I am of course not acknowledging Altair and Berserk existence.

      • Lenlo says:

        A good choice. When writing the Kado blurb, I spent a good deal of time figuring out how to take a shot at Berserk. I sadly couldnt get it as biggest disappointment or worst show, so it didnt get its own blurb. But suffice to say if it had, I would have ripped into it.

        I am 99% sure I am the biggest Berserk fanboy on this site/staff and my was crushed by the anime.

        • Bokusen says:

          I feel you! I’m a huge fan of the Kino no Tabi novels & the first anime series, but the new series’ adaptation was so disappointing to me that I think I’ll never watch a Lerche series again, because just thinking about it fills me with rage & sadness now. Not that I’ve ever watched many to completion, now that I think about it, but still…
          It’s annoying when a long awaited sequel series doesn’t live up to your hopes, isn’t it? :(

  5. Ellen_R says:

    Hand Shakers is an amazing show.
    In the first five minutes, it has broadened my views of the genre. I never thought it was possible to mess up to this degree.

  6. mezzoguitar says:

    Made in Abyss over Rakugo Shinjuu? The latter had me amazed with every episode and eager to watch the next one every week. The former started off great and had some highlights near the end but a good half of the show starting with Ozen’s arc was so horribly slow-paced that it made me want to fall asleep. Felt like MiA could have worked better if it was 10 episodes long with the same content.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      Completely disagree with Made in Abyss. I will give you that the middle part was on the weaker side but the best parts where in it’s second half.

      Funny enough I think your comment about MIA could have applied much more to Rakugo as it’s last episodes really were one overly long drawn out epilogue.

    • SuperWooper says:

      I agree that the middle of Abyss was a drag, with the Ozen episodes being my least favorite. Everywhere you look, though, we seem to be in the minority.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Lenlo
That was an interesting comparison. Cool to see how far anime has come.
Lenlo
I cant wait to watch Kaze Fui tonight to answer those questions Kazier!
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Someone has done a comparison video for Dororo for a scene in the new one, comparing it with the old one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j38anJY3BtA
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe some people found the flashback scenes too dramatic, but I didn't mind, they worked for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo:One thing that has come to mind, how would it go if he encountered the coach again, but in the present?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo:I also liked how the flashback was done in a grainy looking style.
If I found someone who was finding it hard to get into this show, I think that this episode would win them over and it’s the episode I found myself feeling the most.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Episode 13 of Kaze ga tsuyoku is the fitting and perfect culmination of what has come before it and all is now essentially out on the table dramatically and all the better for it because of how well this series has built itself up.
Animosh
In essence it is still a battle shounen though: even if the fights always have narrative weight (it's not just fighting for the sake of fighting), the characters are to a significant extent developed through fights. So if that's not your thing it might be a hard sell even with its amazing animation and sympathetic cast.
Animosh
@Lenlo/Kaiser: the problem with Mob though is that its first two episodes are by far the worst of the series. So if you give it a try you should watch at least until the third episode, and possibly even episode 4/5 (since it's the first really good arc of the series imo).
Animosh
Yeah, it must be tough to blog three shows in the span of two days, especially with how long your posts tend to be. I find it hard enough already just to keep up with everything!
Lenlo
Ugh. Didnt get to Kaze Fui tonight. A shame. This whole Dororo/MobPsycho then Kaze Fui air schedule is gonna be a pain. You can expect Kaze Fui's maybe... Thurs? Not sure yet. Busy night
Kaiser-Eoghan
*newer not old
Kaiser-Eoghan
Some additional things I always notice in certain things, sometimes in these old medieval films or shows, in the American ones the characters occassionally don't look earthy enough.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koyomi from clannad i mean
Kaiser-Eoghan
Somewhere in my head Koyomi is this weird anime take on an autist.
Amagi
All she did what stupid, but everyone was saying that she was a genius that would probably soon develope the theory of eversthing so it must be real even if she's only ever smart when the plots needs her to do some sudden computer hack or something.
Amagi
Smart characters can only be written by smart writers. So sometimes writers just tell that the characters are smart but you don't actually witness it. It's either shown by using such wise one liners or just because someone else is telling the audience they're smart. Reminds me of that one Kyoani genius girl.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Can't do the walk, don't do the talk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can buy it more for a tough old dude.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On more thought, alot of it has to do with who is saying them. Men who look like children with no charisma.
Amagi
I absolutely hate these one liners too. Especially when you can already hear them in the trailer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hate it when scripts coverup for awful characters by spamming quips at you.
Amagi
It's why I dislike so much stuff that gets released today. All these run-of-the-mills, copies, clones, alternative universes, sequels and so on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But, beyond cgi, its the modern take wise-ass stuff that drives me nuts.
Amagi
Even if you're just drawing a landscape you need creativity. Where are the shadows, the lighting, what atmosphere should it trigger and so on. Maybe even a hidden motif.
Kaiser-Eoghan
ANARCHY KINO-MACHE!
Amagi
Yeah creativity is, well, should be among the most important things out there. I mean movies, anime, etc are actual art, art is meaningless without creativity. At least the narrating type of art.
Amagi
Kinda miss these anime. They're rare to begin with but I can't imagine anyone creating such a thing nowadays. Like Blame/Ergo/Texhno, even Lain. They never sold though, so I can even kind of understand it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ergo worked for me up until the ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think clever is too often a miused word by people when they describe things. They reduce it to being "Just a smart storyline", when really it is more suited a word to something in tune with its creative side.
Amagi
Ergo Proxy even had a dense/heavy plot that was developing while you're busy figuring the setting out. And many things were shown indirectly. It was one of the rare anime I had to watch twice to get it. Texhnolyze is also such a thing but more bizarre in my opinion, less logical than Ergo, but still great.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Its really really nice knowing that I can talk to someone like you about this on my level .
Amagi
It's why I love series with strong settings so much. See Blame for example. Even Made in Abyss. You never know what kind of landscape you will see next and in Blame everything is fucked to behin with.
Amagi
Yeah. Well we do watch movies to feel excitement, and you can't really feel that if you can guess what happens next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now obviously these types of things can end up a coin toss of it either works or it doesn't, but I appreciate the risk taken.
Amagi
I tolerate it for games because whereas I still don't like it there, at least the game as an additional value which is the gameplay. So even with weak atmosphere I am still enjoying it for being a good game. But when I watch a movie I want get sucked in to some degree instead of being aware that I am just the audience (or the player).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like that feeling of I don't know whats going to happen next.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I like the idea of a madman getting to do a movie and running with his imagination.
Amagi
It's like dreaming and suddently hearing your real life cat meowing and realising that it's just a dream, you're in the bed and about to wake up. And yes this is exactly why I dislike CGI
Kaiser-Eoghan
But sometimes people cry pretentious wrongly, when there wasn't really any intended thing to get.
Amagi
It's why I am so easily angered over little errors or writing problems. Because they destroy the atmosphere more than anything else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean, I do like themes, characters etc, but my favourite experience is nightmare/dreamscapes.
Amagi
If the atmosphere is missing it doesn't matter what story you are telling, everything feels kinda hollow. Doesn't mean that show with weak atmo and great plot is bad, but it would be ten times better with the proper atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hate this modern idea of "It HAS to be coherent or mean something or follow some kind of linear or logical thing or some kind of rules"
Amagi
@Kaiser: Yeah it's why I often say that atmosphere is the most important part of a story, actually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With cgi I am constantly reminded I am watching a film.
Amagi
Don't know all of the titles you mentioned, will probably look into a few of those I don't know.
Kaiser-Eoghan
What I love about these old slavic art films, is no longer being aware of the world around me when I watch them. They use actual crafted cinematography so they can still feel like you're living it, despite being so unreal.
Amagi
Technobabylon and Gemini Rue are my favorites. These games capture this fucked up feeling of noir-punk and dark cyberpunk perfectly and have a bunch of great twists and character arcs.
Amagi
I like this type of darkness somehow, as well as trash punk and noir stuff. I do enjoy the Wadjet Eyes games for that reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Naturally I loved both
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hard to be God and On the silver globe are insane, there's this sense of what the utter hell am I watching? But you feel like you've been transported someone else entirely.
Amagi
"We" (Мы) is also a Russian dystopia novel, it shared a bunch of similarities with 1984 but was written long before Orwell had had even started with 1984.
Amagi
STALKER has also made me check out a bunch of Russian/Ukrainian novels. I love their ideas. Their dystopias and everything.
Amagi
Slavs are doing good games right now. Looking forward playing this Russia Fallout clone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't remember the name of the Soviet animation with the robot that keeps on working after everyone's dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But crappy puns aside. Dead mans letters, letters never sent, Ivan's child hood, Andreii Rublev, Cranes are flying and I am Cuba have amazing cinematography.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wanna b a Potemkin master....
....like no-one ever was =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dead mans letters is up there with Threads as being one of the best apocalypse films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*evangelion
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or would that be Nyguen genesis Evagelion =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: You'll always be my ho chi main man minh Mario =)
SuperMario
I love Soviet cinema. Yeah the Mirror has that monochrome part. And they aren’t that big as they used to be but Soviet animation has great history
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stalker is an excellent science fiction film and not neccesarily because of need to anaylze it, but because it works of a visual-psychic level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Zerkalo/mirror is a great example of this, just a stream of the directors thoughts, all visual impressionism, there might be a scene where I couldn't tell you the why or the what, but it'd make me feel something.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Basically where to understand, is simply to feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Its always fascinating that some filmakers have the ability to just let the film wash over you and move you with intricately crafted arthouse visuals. That they can do that, without character arcs/intellectual message/monologues.
Amagi
Speaking of soviet stuff I kinda want another movie or maybe even a cartoon like some of these old soviet movies that were partly monochrome and partly colored during important scenes. Didn't solaris have that too? - I know the monochrome parts were done to save money, but it was kinda impressive seeing colorless movies turning colorful ones during emotional scenes.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Definately something that would appeal to me in terms of alternate style of animation. I'm actually quite a fan of different, out there animation styles.
Lenlo
Heres the ED
Lenlo
Yup, paint on glass. The entire ED for the first season was done in that style. Mob loves to use obscure or generally unusual art styles to sell the other worldlyness of its spirits.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That sounds pretty cool.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Excuse me....paint on glass effects in Mob? There was a Soviet animator that used that style.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Again you psychically read my mind =P I was just thinking that about Farnese arlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: I think I've accepted there are some manga I need to wait until they're finished before go back to them either due to slow scans or because they've gone on so long or go on hiatus.
Amagi
I think the later half as well as the hiatus killed it for me. Can't deal with that two chapters per year policy.
Lenlo
I, however, am still a rabid Berserk fanboy. :D
Amagi
I am also never a fan of characters completely changing personalities once they're redeemed. Farnese was an interesting villain and while I agree that she needed to overcome her trauma the current Farnese is just some soulless helpful big sister type. She only exists to care for Cjaskar and at some point even Cjaskar's eternal problem was starting to get on my nerves.
Amagi
@Kaiser: Same opinion on Berserk again. The arc before that with the inquisition tower was one of the highpoints of the manga, everything went downhill once Schierke had joined which is kinda sad since it was one of my favorite series before that.
Lenlo
Mob is much more character focused than OPM. OPM riffs on Shounen, while Mob is a much more character driven drama kinda series, with shounen elements. I would give it a shot for an episode or two.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Berserk started losing me when he started travelling around with those kids.
@Amagi/Animosh: Do you believe that Mob has better choreography than onepunch?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi:I will give exceptions to magical elements if a show can produce an adventure narrative worthwhile or if it’s a magical girl show.
If magic is featured in an occult horror fashion or in an exploitative way, I will also lean toward allowing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: While I very much doubt Mob would be my thing, given how I generally felt indifferent to onepunch man and bias against shounen action, yes the art for Mob, when elevated by an anime adaptation lends itself to something unique looking and I can praise that.
Lenlo
I think ONE's style fits Mob better, and Murata's style fits OPM better. So yeah, Bones chose well on that front
Amagi
Not only are overdesigned characters really bad for movement which is actually needed to make a series and their characters feel alive but they also often look really bad in my opinion and there is a limit on how overdesigned a character can be until I stop taking them seriously at all.
Amagi
Yeah. I also honestly think that many anime are suffering from overdesigning.
Animosh
And I like Mob's artstyle a lot as well. It gives the series a unique look, and it gives the animators all the freedom they could wish for to play around with the characters (and basically everything else) as they see fit. Add Bones to the mix, and you have one of the best-looking series out there.
Animosh
I prefer the full ONE experience too. It's part of the reason why I slightly prefer Mob Psycho. OPM looks great and all, but there's way too much meaningless fighting going on in the manga lately. I prefer the tighter and more consistently subversive storytelling of the webcomic, although I still enjoy the manga a lot as well (and the story climaxes in particular tend to look freaking amazing).
Amagi
Different example since this is actual fantasy but I also prefered the early Berserk series over the later parts. When the supernatural horror stuff was more of a hidden thing appearing around Guts and otherwise just on special occasions, while most people didn't even believe such things exist. I prefer that over the high (dark) fantasy we have now although I get what Miura is aiming at.
Amagi
I guess I just have a thing for this secret-club mentality. I prefer it over worlds with blatan magical powers everyone uses and knows about.
Amagi
It's weird but I almost always hate anime with and about magic, the more fantasy it is the less I like it (usually, not always), but then again occult stuff is always totally my thing.
Amagi
I am quite happy they stick with the original Mob Psycho designs from ONE for this series. The OPM manga is probably one of the best looking things out there but ONE's artstyle has a lot of charme and makes characters more unique, especially if looks as polished as in the anime adaption.
Lenlo
Mmm cant wait to watch it. Kaze Fui, still great
Anonymous3309336
I really like how Kurahana admitted that he let his emotions get to him when he threw that punch at the coach back then. Now he feels remorseful about that day and how he made enemies from his former teammates.
Anonymous3309336
Meanwhile, looks like the next episode will focus on Prince again and his attempts to further improve his time.
Anonymous3309336
Meanwhile, his new teammates understand the pain he's been going through and want him to move on from that. Definitely as some of the best writing of this season.
Anonymous3309336
That punch he threw at the coach was certainly well-deserved, but I can see why the other teammates including Sakaki would come to despise him.
Anonymous3309336
This episode of Kaze ga... was great as always, as we see more of Kurahana's past and how his awful coach made Sakaki and the rest of his former team turn on him.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't have minded reading several volumes of seeing Satou on the run.
Animosh
Thanks! That's good to know. An alternate ending could have been fun, but I suppose the ending of the anime was fitting, and if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Amagi
Looks like it's going to end. I guess it ends the same but we can't say for sure yet.
Animosh
For those of you still reading Happy Sugar Life: is the manga continuing past the anime? Or does it look like it's going to end in the same way? If it takes a different path it might be worth checking it out.
Anonymous3307077
children of the whales
Lenlo
Holy crap. Mob Psycho 100 is the best thing since sliced bread. BONES thank you.

And thanks Kaiser!
Amagi
well we have a döner kebab ship at least.
Amagi
I am from Frankfurt, another one of the biggest German cities but there isn't much to see here aside from skyscrapers and banks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*had **taught
Kaiser-Eoghan
I hah had some notion that the Japanese didn't really know English or it wasn't well thought over there?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo's taste continues to be impeccably based.
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol I thought coolass47 was covering Kaguya.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Germany, both Koln and Berlin, especially Koln felt like a home to me and felt the less alienating/foreign.
Kaiser-Eoghan
.....probably embarassing but, I think I'd be put off sleeping on the floor in a futon or using one of those weird Japanese toilets.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Truly I am the Kaiser Eoghan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Beyond that I've been to Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've never been outside of Europe. I didn't have problems getting around Germany though when I went because my then girlfriend was from there and I knew enough to cope on a Holiday.
Amagi
also no matter which country I visited till now people were always friendly
Amagi
Yeah, now thinking about it, I could even find everything in Iran so I guess Japan should work too. Most people knew enough random English or German words to somehow lead you to the place and you want to visit unless it's some really weird relief or a small town that's difficult to reach but tourists usually stick with the big stuff.
SuperMario
... years ago and Japan is pretty safe and the signs are easy to follow in general. Even the locals who don’t speak English they are pretty friendly and help you the best they can. You don’t need to be worry on that front
SuperMario
I did it alone few
Amagi
Not sure how he did it (he went completely alone too) but it seems to be possible somehow. Not sure if I would make it though.
Amagi
Someone I know managed it alone and he isn't even that good in English.
Lenlo
I think I can manage. Lots of English signage in places like the rail systems and such. That plus the small amount I am learning in preparation and how much english they teach them over there, I should be ok
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Do you feel you'd be able to get by in Japan? As far as I know you don't speak any Japanese.
Animosh
Mob was great again too. The adaptation is really knocking it out of the park. And looks like we'll be getting one of my favorite side stories next week.
Animosh
I love how upbeat Slime continues to be. If only all wars were resolved like this. And then he goes on to improve everyone's lives by building homes, infrastructure, and coalitions based on common interests? Rimuru for president!
Anonymous3303364
I retired from the force in middle school enjoying my retirement, I still see the faces of the comrades we lost when we defeated the big bad and saved the world, I haven't seen my cute marketable mascot in 3 years, but I like this new life I'm living, I thought I found peace but the battlefield always calls out to me, why? Because war never changes.
Anonymous3303364
I love this comment since it's more well put on what this dark magical girls show really is:
Vonter
Perhaps in ten years when the next trope comes. I wonder if some will look back to the tropes from now with different eyes. Like they say, you don't know what you have until you lose it.
Vonter
Yeah, maybe I could watch some of that schlock. In a way some of it has become more endearing over time. Since times have changed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Vampire wars was fantastic though, used shitfuck as a word from what I remember.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yes! Finally they're saying it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Watching a compiliation of dub cursings for angel cop, not enough F-bombs yet.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I always wish some of these old ovas got to go on for longer, especially AD police and bubblegum crisis. I'd have loved a full gunsmith cats or riding bean show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to watch Angel cop some day I really do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I think vonter, if magical girl ops can't achieve the exploi angle then it has failed all the further. We'll have to see.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I was disappointed when I saw the more modern anime! Because it didn't have the art I liked in the ovas.
Vonter
I do remember now. Did you watched the Birdy The Mighty OVA (not the series, the OVA). That one I remember liking because it was cheesy, visceral, had IMO better designs for the aliens than the ones in the TV series and I digged the dynamic of the two leads. However it was cut short. Perhaps it was too derivative for the time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sometimes I can actually take ridiculousness much better when its a live action exploitation thing if it happens to fail in animated form. That Jeanne d'arc anime and maybe magical girl spec ops would have made hilarious 60s/70s Eurotrash films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of the only modern anime to do the exploitation angle right was Freezing.
Vonter
I want to believe there's something like that already out. But I'm blocked. I can only mention that I now want to rewatch some of Devilman Lady. It does have a female lead battling monsters with an 80s sci fi horror vibe, I don't know it reminds me for some reason to movies like Godzilla 1985 or King Kong Lives.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Or go mental.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Thats one I still need to get around to. If I have to have a darker magical thing, it either has to be camp and goofy enough while taking itself dead seriously or keep some of the fun .
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - If you haven't check a couple of episodes of Lady Devilman. Despite being formulaic, the monsters on that anime are really well made and feel creative, morbid and creepy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: lol Damn, now I want to see Go Nagai's take of Magical girl ops.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I love how some old ovas would sometimes take place in America, but in this IDEA of it, getting it wrong.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: I love how they added in those stupid curse words every few minutes aswell, wonderfully incompotent.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: Mad bull 34 was lovingly perverse , like a Japanese equivalent to those wonderful Italian police things.
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Featured Posts

Dororo – 2 [The Story of Bandai]

Hello and welcome to show number two for me of the new season! Dororo is an interesting one, based on a 1960’s manga, with this being its second adaptation. This week we meet another demon, learn our leads name and that not all spirits are bad. Let’s dive in! Visually, Dororo is sort of a […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 – 2 [Urban Legends ~Encountering Rumors~]

Hello and welcome to the first outright perfect episode of anime of 2019! Mob Psycho 100 knocked it out of the park this week in every respect, so let’s just jump right in! Right off the bat, Bones is out in full force animation wise. Everything about this episode, visually, was fantastic. Even in drab, […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) – 02/03 (Boogiepop Does Not Laugh 2/3)

Welcome to Boogiepop, one of the hallmark franchise in the history of this medium. The Light Novels itself dated back in 1995 and is still considered as one of the earliest Light Novels ever released and is often credited as starter of the Light novem trend in Japan. The anime adaptation in 2000 remains one […]

Zombieland Saga – 10-12[NO ZOMBIE NO IDOL SAGA/A One-of-a-Kind SAGA/Good Morning Again SAGA]

And so Zombieland ends…or more that it just decided to drop off for a bit. The last few episodes decided to focus on Sakura with the first being her overzealous preparation for a big concert and Kotaro’s efforts to just get her to chill out and relax, the second being the return of her memories […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru – 12 [Summer Prank]

Ah, the break is over, the New Year is here and Kaze Fui has returned once more! This week a few more of our boys get qualifying times, Kurahara loves his team and everyone goes camping! Lets dive in! Starting off, I have to make it known how happy I am for our boys in […]

Mob Psycho 100 II – 1 [Ripped Apart ~Someone Is Watching~]

Winter 2019 hype! The new season has begun, First Impressions are going up, and me? I’m writing about the second season of Mob Psycho 100, one of my favorite series of 2016. So everyone, lets dive in! Mob Mob Mob! Right off the bat let me say I loved this premier. It hit a little […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai – 09-13[Sister Panic/Complex Congratulations/The Kaede Quest/Life is a Never-Ending Dream/The Dawn After an Endless Night]

It’s hard to believe that I so easily forgot that this series was written by the same person who wrote the The Pet Girl of Sakurasou but these last few episodes really gave me a solemn reminder of that. The Sakurasou series had a pendant for serious melodramatic antics and while I did appreciate the […]

Latest Reviews

Planetes Anime Review – 89/100 – Throwback Thursday

If there is one thing I have lost watching seasonal anime, it is patience. Every week I expect something to happen, some kind of payoff, to make watching that week worth it. Luckily, Planetes as brought that back to me. Its depth of writing, characters, and general structure belay an anime of a different age. […]

Goblin Slayer Anime Review – 60/100

The controversial nature of this shows opening episode may have many turning away from it due to believing it’s nothing but shock value but that truly isn’t what Goblin Slayer is. I will say that the manga may hold some truth to that statement but thanks to some tasteful censoring(Yes, sometimes censoring can be a […]

Zombieland Saga Anime Review – 60/100

Zombieland Saga was a show that came out of the gate guns blazing, no one expected it nor did anyone predict it but it left a strong impression when it first aired it’s starting episodes. Originally considered to be another zombie apocalypse anime, it overthrew expectations by turning out to be a zombie idol anime. […]

SSSS.GRIDMAN (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 87/100

Let it be known that I’ve never been a fan of Trigger. For me, they’re one of the most style-with-no-substance studio on Earth with a tendency for god-awful fanservice, and total nonsense in terms of story and characters. Yet GRIDMAN completely caught me off guard in the first two episodes, and from there, there was […]

Thunderbolt Fantasy 2 (Fall 2018) Anime Review – 86/100

If anyone has been familiar with the first season of Thunderbolt Fantasy, you’d find yourself a lot to enjoy in this second installment. Served as a sequel, but not a direct continuation to the first, viewers don’t need the knowledge of the original in order to enjoy this ride. Thunderbolt 2 carries many trademarks that […]

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara (2018 Fall) Anime Review – 73/100

In the last few years, it’s great to see P.A Works has slowly created their own studio identity, putting more original works with consistent production values. Just in 2018, they produced 4 shows (quite a good number if you ask me), 3 of them were original: Maquia, Sirius the Jaeger and Irozuku. As I said, […]

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai Anime Review – 82/100

In the wake of many a school based light novel show this may be the small bits of fresh air was can savor out of this overdone setting. Rascal does not dream of Bunny Girl(Or by its japanese title above) is a series not about rascals or bunny girls but instead about contextualising common high […]

Banana Fish Anime Review – 72/100

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way […]

Castlevania Season 2 Review – 73/100

According to much of the Western Anime community, this series wouldn’t be relevant for a site like this. Being made in the West by Americans, and English being its first language, many would disqualify it from the start. However I name them all fools for Castlevania, Directed by Sam Deats and Ryoichi Uchikoshi is clearly […]