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
Kaiser-Eoghan
*in an old
Kaiser-Eoghan
And as another random fact, a young Swedish actor from film called death in Venice was the basis for the design of an old shounen-ai manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now anon, that reminds me, Ash was apparently based off River Phoenix.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: You cheeky fiend =P
Anonymous2824999
If they ever make a live action Banana Fish, they should cast Kevin Spacey as Dino.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't know double decker was supposed to be related to tiger and bunny.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll be starting shoujo kageki in a few hours.
SuperMario
Needless to say, while this season has been a bit underwhelming, I have like 3 favorite shows that might end up on my Top 10 of the year list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Donkey VietKONG.
Kaiser-Eoghan
SUPER-MAOrio =P
SuperMario
Regarding RErideD and Double Decker, I'm in no rush checking them out now. Will do that after this season wraps up
SuperMario
Regarding politic, my dad was a Communist so he was pretty tight-lipped when it comes to the topic. Most of the things I learned from how the system works is by listening to him and his colleagues talk over while drinking
SuperMario
Regarding Ash, yeah it strikes me the same as Ash is is way too perfect in everything (the new talent we found out the last few episodes: superhacker). When he said to Eiji that he never wanted that "gift" in the first place, I honestly don't know which one he was referring to
Kaiser-Eoghan
I may aswell finish it given that that its the last episode.
AidanAK47
So Planet With ends and the madman actually did it. Besides needing a bit more of a epilogue, that was a great finale.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I try to understand, make sense of the other sides views within reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really want a successful fantasy go on an adventure style show though, I feel like I'm genuinely in the mood for one, I've actually considered watching some old ovas of that nature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The most common thing my father and I talk about is Brexit really and how once upon a time we actually went after tyrants.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And even though I have the God thing, never became a burn the witches kind of person. I do want to put the far right/fascist people in gulags though lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
The Kaiser thing, now that I think about it is actually really odd, I speak minimal German, am no monarchist and am a leftist. Yet even though I hate the bougoiuse , I love aristocratic costumes lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again, it may not be overly odd, there were Maoist priests.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: This is pretty common here too. Organized religion isn't popular but most people believe there is a God and, depending on the person and cultural background, that parts of the holy books are true (or not, if they're real agnostics), usually in a metaphorical sense though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*upbringing
Kaiser-Eoghan
That mixed upbringoing of having a communist father and religious relatives is an interesting thing.....for all of the exploitation I watch, I ctually feel nunsploitation is going too far lol I also sometimes check with my dad before watching certain things to make sure it isn't "too anti-left/anti socialist".
Amagi
@Animosh: No problem. I think it depends a bit on how people were brought up decades ago. It's probably different nowadays, no idea. The arguing was kinda fun though, especially for the teen me (I bet I annoyed the shit out of my father).
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yet having no regard for organized religion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I however am a mutt though, believer in some kind of a God to an extent....while also having communist sympathies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh@Amagi: As it stands neither my mother or brother are communists, actually my mother while very left wing would criticize my father when going "too communist". My parents and my brother are the only members of my family who could be considered leftist/non-religious.
Amagi
@Animosh: Planet With definetely needs some sort of epilogue OVA. You can somewhat guess the dragon's story but it's not the same as seeing it and there are still a few of semi-loose strings like the people who are still dreaming.
Animosh
@Amagi: my apologies for my presumptuousness. ;) My mother occasionally also participated in political discussions, but yeah, for some reason it's often men who have strong political opinions and are not willing to admit defeat in discussions.
Amagi
Also I don't spoil anything but the last minutes of the first episode just feel stupid. I think/hope there will be an explanation later for how something has worked so perfectly that shouldn't have worked at all. In general it seems to be a show that tries hard but can't deliver for some reason. I won't completely judge it yet though.
Animosh
Planet With also wrapped up things nicely. Unfortunately the dragon remains a bit underdeveloped, which makes it difficult for me to care about his fate, and I would have liked to see at least the main ship officially confirmed, but other than that it was an excellent finale that satisfactorily ties up all loose ends. This is how you do a one-cour.
Amagi
Regarding RErideD I have conflicted feelings. As said, the premise sounds pretty good but the budget is damn dab, especially for the beginning of a show. There is a scene in which the MC is so badly animated you can't even recognize what's going on at first.
Amagi
@Animosh: funny enough I am female, but yeah somehow these discussions only exist with fathers while the mothers are just trowing the towel and say "fuck it", I mean it usually doesn't change anybody's mind so it's more of a hobby I guess.
Animosh
It's a bit late, but Hanebado is finally giving me what I wanted from the show: tense, well-animated badminton matches. The match does feel a bit rushed, the overexplaining can be annoying and there's still plenty of melodrama, but it's a lot more enjoyable than what we got in the previous weeks at least.
Anonymous2822860
will be seeing what kind of flaws Ash has. Also, I think this way of characterizing him also fits into the narrative. This strength that Ash has is what pushes his gang members away and see him not as a normal human, but a "king."
Anonymous2822860
That was some interesting insight on Ash as a "perfect" person. While I do think that Banana Fish shows that Ash is an extremely capable person time and time again, he cannot win this "war" alone. There's too many enemies and too many things that need to be done. Also, I think as we get further on into the second cour, we
Anonymous2822162
Also, it's neat watching the first few episodes again after what goes down throughout the first half of the series; you get to see all of the characters together before everything blows up in their face.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect characterization, I should say I mean the way he's characterized as this perfect supremely capable person. The other characters do help reveal other aspects of Ash though: Eiji is his age and allows him to be a normal teenager; Max is like a surrogate father and lets him act like a son; Arthur and Dino are kind of evil inverses of that.
Anonymous2822162
When I say perfect charac
Anonymous2822162
Anyways, not to hate on Ash because he's still a fantastic main lead and anchors the whole show. It's just that because he loses sometimes I push some of the problems of his perfect characterization to the side, but when you actually think about it, he seems more like a character than a real person.
Anonymous2822162
Also the fact that Ash has been through a super tragic backstory doesn't help a lot: it seems like the writers are trying to make him a character who has been through all the tragedy in the world and has overcome it and became the most skilled person in the world. I will say though that any onscreen tragedy is 100% believable, it just some of the flashbacks that are a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
I guess that slightly cheapens Ash's character on retrospection: of course he is still the charismatic lead, but he feels a bit too perfect at everything. Dino must have taught him quite a bit, but Ash is skilled in, like, everything. It just seems a bit too much.
Anonymous2822162
Like the whole Yut-Lung Shorter Eiji situation was beyond Ash (in fact he still knew something was off but couldn't pinpoint what); that wasn't really a mistake Ash made, it was just that he couldn't have known the secret connections Yut-Lung had.
Anonymous2822162
Something I noticed about Ash is that he is, as some of you pointed out, a Gary Stu but it doesn't immediately jump at you. The thing is that Ash still loses quite a bit, so he doesn't seem invincible, yet at the same I think the majority of his losses were beyond his control. It doesn't feel like he makes mistakes, rather that other people outmaneuver him due to factors beyond him.
Animosh
@Kaiser & Amagi: I also had lots of political discussions with my father. Didn't know that was such a common occurrence. Boys will be boys I guess? And he's actually a former Marxist too, having grown up in the 60's-70's and all. Now he's just a boring socialist though. ;)
Animosh
RErideD seemed really promising in theory: an original time travel anime written (at least in part) by Abe, with the director of Steins;Gate in charge? Count me in. But unfortunately the reviews so far seem to be uniformly negative. So I'll probably avoid it for now.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Four episodes of RErideD: Tokigoe no Derrida got uploaded at the same time earlier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Yes, although probably just for the Saturday, usually the best day to do so because thats when the sellers are there, usually everythings gone by Sunday. Friday is generally anime pub quiz.
Lenlo
Its just a saturday, so busy. And Kaiser, nice. Gonna go to the con at all?
Lenlo
As a writer for it, I dont believe so?
Anonymous2818178
is this site dead?
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is an animecon here in two weeks. That eyepatchwolf youtuber will be there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still have old single issues of fushigi yugi, inuyasha, Ah my Goddess, narutaru laid around.
Kaiser-Eoghan
They used to realease them like single American comic book issues in the west.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not talking bound volumes but actual 20-30 pages chapters and these would be expensive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Who remembers RENTING anime dvds and RENTING videogames? Does anyone else remember buying each individual manga chapter as they came out when the official English translations rolled around?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Anyone willing to post their desktop? https://ibb.co/buc4Zz
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or things like Mischief makers .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know vonter mentioned Mystical ninja 64. But I remember after I'd moved on from the snes to the N64 when I was younger, growing up with that obscure castlevania game on it, or stuff like those 3D bomberman games no-one cared about. Or obscure stuff like body harvest, jet force gemini, blast corps , turok, quest 64 and shadowman.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love coming across those online lists of literally WHOtier, WHOcares , games literally only YOU liked and heard of/played. Makes me feel less alone.
Amagi
I was also always discussing about politics with my father. Whenever we started with this my mother just said "porca putana" and went into another room to watch tv in peace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animemosh: lol I have daily political discussion with my Marxist-Leninist father just like that =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh I should state, even though I'm not as bothered by the modern setting, I actually do prefer the cold war narrative.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: The documentries name was Battle of Chile by Patricio Guzman.
Amagi
Especially since I don't think that the typical BF audience is of a kind that would lose interest because a series is taking place in the past. It was just written for the 80s, people can't just change that without changing the story itself to some degree.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: I thought the anime did such a good job with Shio's backstory , that I didn't miss what was omitted. The anime is now up to date with the scans. I do agree that Satou's obsession with Shio is non-pedophilic but I think the scene itself is kind of going to give the wrong message.
Amagi
@Animosh: one of the many reasons why I would have prefered Banana Fish's original setting.
Animosh
By the way, apparently the backstory of Shio's mother - which supposedly is really tragic - was largely skipped. Guess I'll have to read the manga.
Animosh
I get what they're going for, recreating the ritual and all, but I also thought the Shio-Satou moment was a bit forced. I still think their relationship is platonic though. Satou has never been shown to lust after Shio: she just fills her with warmth and happiness. They're more like messed up siblings than (romantic) lovers.
Animosh
@Kaiser: sounds interesting! Chile is an excellent example of the kind of Cold War intervention that I really don't see happening today. Although you never know with an impulsive narcissist in the White House.
Animosh
End of monologue. Sorry about this. :p
Animosh
Long story short: I think the Banana Fish conspiracies fail to adequately represent the current situation. At the very least, it fits the Cold War world order much better.
Animosh
That includes the US (backing the Kurds and the rebels), but also Turkey and the Arab states (Sunni rebels), Russia and Iran (Assad), and so on and so forth. You can't act like this is the fault of one party. Hell, I'd say Russia and Assad are more responsible for failing to a peaceful resolution when they had the chance.
Animosh
As for Syria, it's a mess, but the US is only one of many parties responsible. And oil isn't particularly important in this conflict. It's a civil war that's been made much worse by the influx of money and weapons from many different parties vying for regional influence.
Animosh
So what does it do? It gives military and financial backing to militias with shared interests (which is much less than Russia does, by the way), orders drone strikes, and perhaps the occasional tactical strike. But overthrowing countries and setting up puppet regimes? I don't see it happening. That's basically declaring war on the other big powers.
Animosh
And even when it does intervene militarily, it rarely goes all out. The US has learned from Iraq and Afghanistan. It doesn't want to be dragged into another endless conflict, or see its efforts end in another brutal civil war that destabilizes the region.
Animosh
So although the US occasionally still intervenes militarily in other countries' affairs, other means of pressure are now more popular. The sanctions against Iran and North Korea are a good example of this.
Animosh
The current landscape is much more complex. America is still powerful, of course, but relatively speaking it is in decline, and that means it can get away with much less. Today's world is closer to a multipolar world, with many sides fighting for influence. And because the ideological conflict is much less pronounced, the US is much less willing to go against its purported values.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: Coincidentally I recently watched a series of Chilean documentaries regarding the murder of Salvador Allende and the installation of the Pinochet Junta.
Animosh
And that meant both that America was far more powerful than it is now, and that much more intervention was considered acceptable - including shamelessly backing dictators that oppressed and exploited their people. After all, a defeat meant evil would prevail.
Animosh
Obviously the US still interferes in other countries. Quite a lot, actually. But there's a big difference between its current policy and that during the Cold War. Back then the geopolitical landscape was very different. It was bipolar, with two big Isms (capitalism and communism) fighting it out.
Animosh
@anon: not sure if this is the right place for a political discussion, but whatever. I like politics, so here we go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*was no exception
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Animosh: If, out of the many moments in happy sugar life that I'd consider unsettling, it would be the one's with the aunt and this weeks episode was an exception. That last part of the episode will be interpreted as shoujo-ai bait by people though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking forward to Angels of death next week, I think we're getting answers, glad to get answers on bad guy even if he is a simple villain.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now this is an interesting coincidence as last night I just got done watching a documentary about cyberwarfare against Iran.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats alot more detailed than what I was going to say. I was just going to say that it reflects current foreign policy.
Anonymous2808488
however the current stalemate in Syria is a reflection of the intransigence of the monied elite to not let go of ill-gotten gains, constantly provoking conflict with Russia/Assad/Iran
Anonymous2808488
Its a documented fact the US/EU promoted the Arab Spring/ISIS rebellions and it was stopped by patriots with a conscience
Anonymous2808488
replace with the mexican cartels/Hezbollah, and oil money promised to Cheney-connected Genie enerrgy
Anonymous2808488
its a pretty accurate description of the current reality minus a couple silly things like the mafia and mind control drugs
Anonymous2808488
You guys realize this plot is unfolding in Syria just replace drugs with oil money
Lenlo
Its hokey in the now, but in the original context the series was written, the Cold War, I think it could fit really well.
Animosh
@Kaiser: what felt awkward to you? I thought the pumpkin stuff in particular was pretty hilarious. Eiji is an evil guy. :p
Animosh
Yeah, the conspiracy stuff feels a bit wacky in the present. But in the context of the Cold War, it makes perfect sense. The USA supported plenty of bloody coups after all, especially in Latin America. Hell, they even backed the Taliban in their war against Russia.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In the future I want to make a bigger effort to follow MORE of whats being covered on here seasonally.
Kaiser-Eoghan
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Red
https://manganelo.com/manga/red_naoki_yamamoto Two history manga, wonder if they'll be fully translated.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine most will probably agree with you anon though. I have alien taste/opinions. I also love conspiracy stuff =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Originally, in the manga version of that part, it was attacking communism in south America.
Anonymous2805624
I don't know; I kinda find the whole Middle East stuff a bit hokey; maybe that's just me.
Lenlo
Im about to watch it. Looking forward to it
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know its only one line, but that they still mention skip and shorter, even its just their names, at least the show keeps them in mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
With episode 12, Banana fish has successfully contemporized its political/cospiracy aspect for me . Eiji is semi-uselful. Humour in this episode for the first time feels awkward, fast pace kind of means that the quieter slower scenes , though I still enjoy them, feel slotted in.
Lenlo
Most of my emotions this week came because of the original and my love of it, not this one
Lenlo
I agree, Steins;Gate 0 had all the potential, and there are some specific episodes that realized it. Like this episode had a lot of touching scenes cause it slowed down to play up Okabe's relationship with Amadeus. But most of the time, it fails to reach that potential. So as a whole it just feels... lacking
Kaiser-Eoghan
Plebs, not combining both into a single dessert.
Anonymous2802297
I'm talking about that sweet saccharine Chocolate Mousse, the Ganache, or the Chocolate Gâteau. Your puny muffin stands no chance. Mwahaha!
Anonymous2802297
Blasphemy. As a proud American, I can't stand for anything less than pure unadulterated diabetes-inducing sugar in chocolatey cake form. Anything less is an insult to my great nation. /s
SuperMario
@anon2801739: that's a nice analogy but I can't say I agree as I prefer chocolate muffin much more than chocolate cake :)))
Anonymous2801739
Steins;gate 0 is all potential but generally it's wasted. Whenever it actually seems promising they manage to jump plot points to boring nonsensical melodrama for a century. It was supposed to be a chocolate cake. Instead what we got was a muffin with tiny chocolate chips buried few and far between. Yeah it's still sweet at some points, but most of the time you're chewing through pointless fluff.
Lenlo
Like I said in my last post on it I think, the pacing is fucked
Animosh
I did like that the lab members finally acted like scientists again, methodically thinking through their options and all, and there were some pretty touching individual moments and nicely tied up ends. But mostly I'm just annoyed by all the unfulfilled potential of this show.
Animosh
I also hated the backtracking in the beginning. Don't make such a big deal of The Return if you're going to throw it out of the window in the next episode.
Animosh
I really don't understand Steins;Gate's pacing. It slows down to a trickle in the largely irrelevant middle part, and now that things are finally getting somewhat interesting again it just speeds through everything without building things up properly? I don't get it. And how on Earth are they going to resolve everything satisfactorily in one episode?
KTravlos
Reinhard (old series). Ash is interesting and depicted well, but not close to Reinhard. There is something noble in Reinhard, something beyond charisma.
Anonymous2797046
In a charisma battle between our two favorite Blond Boys (doing what blond boys do), who'd win: Reinhard or Ash?
Kaiser-Eoghan
Kind of felt this is what prelude penultimate episode/calm before the storm episode should be and I liked quite liked the ginko and souya scene, but I'm still eh, I shrug at this.
Vonter
After watching some more Star vs. the forces of evil. I'm getting Jitsu wa Watashi wa vibes. The Sailor Moon-like character episode was cute.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc in sangatsu made me want to shootup the school.
Lenlo
I will admit, the family life stuff is less engaging than the crippling depression, but I dont think that would hit as hard with out the relaxing bits in between. Dont want to overload the audience.
Anonymous2791561
3-gatsu no Lion has its ups and downs; its ups are the intense emotional drama or shogi matches, while it's downs are the more relaxed slice of life food porn stuff. When I say up and down, I don't necessarily mean good and bad, just more about the intensity. I personally found that I could enjoy both styles, but sometimes I'd find the slice of life stuff dragging on.
SuperMario
Well, I regard 3-gatsu as one of the best character-writing in this medium in recent years. As for shaft, I'm their fan but even me was worried when I learnt Shaft adapting this. They did a nice job thankfully
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though I was glad that the comedy becomes more reigned in later on.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I got used to the tonally discordant humour eventually, accepting that the show essentially exists in two plains.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In tsukiyomi moon phase Shinbo made some of the shots look like photos, which was cool given the protaganists profession. Their weird style also was a good fit for an oddball show like Zetsubou-sensei.
Lenlo
I just finished the 4th episode, and so far I am torn on Akari. Im still not sure what to make of some of these relationships. I love the permeated depression theme in every episode though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wonder if it will get a third season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I want Akari to be my mom.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm only 9 out of 13 volumes adapted, which means the anime hasn't adapted the best bit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Unfortunate that the sangatsu manga doesn't update often.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't seen it, I heard that vocaloid thing shaft adapted was very poorly suited to their style.
Lenlo
If a drama can actually make me feel something, actual emotions, then its a success. But it takes a pretty good, well made drama to do that.
Lenlo
I am very particular about my Drama'
Lenlo
Im planning on burning through the whole thing in the next few days. Maybe then ill try the manga, since there is probably more
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I didn't think your lie in April or sangatsu would actually be your thing. They're very drama-ey.
Lenlo
Basically im with Kaiser on this one. As for Shaft, I am very show by show with them. I couldnt stand Nisekoi, yet Sangatsu's color palette and way of drawing faces really has me
Lenlo
See, so far it has a very Mushishi/Fune wo Amu/Your Lie in April feel to me. I love these kinds of things animated, because I feel the music and color-choices really help set things in the mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario@Lenlo: We can be Kanabros for life all three of us ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in general I do think shafts style lends itself at its best to more comedic work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually felt that shafts style elevated their adaptation of Sangatsu. I find it easier to watch these slow paced shows than reading them. Also Kana Hanazawa.
SuperMario
Shaft's style can be a hit or miss with the audience, however. While I don't mind that, I still would recommend you try the manga instead
SuperMario
Oh, so you still have, like, 40 episodes left
Lenlo
Huh. Finally got around to March Comes in Like a Lion, gotta say. 3 episodes in, its pretty good
Kaiser-Eoghan
Speaking of it though, I wish they'd get that proposed new Vampire hunter D anime off the ground.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Though my memory on this is extremely fuzy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Y'know, I saw an article there on anime news network referring to the second vampire hunter D film, I know I watched it years and years ago, loved it, but I forget the plot, thinking about it now, how was the dude D was after supposed to survive without blood after buggering off to space alone with the girl?
Anonymous2786239
Amen to that
Anonymous2785164
I read blogs to see opinions on anime, not to read about how blog writer is much better than some youtuber I probably have never heard of :D
Anonymous2785164
Anyway, don't any of you guys let that get up to your head :p I'm also annoyed whenever media producers start mocking each other and setting themselves up as better.
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