The Best Anime of Spring 2017
Spring has sprung! I don't think the winter anime season was all that great, but we've got big name shows returning, and new shows to dig into. I'm satisfied with what we've gotten, and what's come back. Something of note this season is that Anime Strike, Amazon's exclusive anime channel, has snagged a few good exclusives, forcing yours truly to purchase a subscription. As a cord cutter, I'm still paying way less for my entertainment than cable subscribers. I just hope that I'm not forced to sign up for yet another anime site in the future.
Attack on Titan
There's no way to avoid the return of Attack on Titan, and I don't know why you would want to. Sure, AoT is more driven by its awe-inspiring moments and twists, but there are few who are uninterested in what happens to Eren and the Survey Corps. In the few episodes shown this season, I think my jaw has dropped further down than it did during Season 1. It's so good!
My Hero Academia
The one-two punch of One Punch Man and My Hero Academia stunned me. It was anime's commentary on superheroes, in two distinct styles. That was a lot of awesome to take in. One Punch will come when it comes, but My Hero Academia is back! The students have survived their first super villain attack, but they still have to prove they have what it takes to be superheroes. The first arc has them competing against each other in a super-powered sports festival.
The Eccentric Family
I dearly love The Eccentric Family. The first season was a spectacular story of tanuki and tengu who coexist with humans in modern times. I don't think there is one character who I liked less than the others. Each character has a personality and role to play that feels necessary to the world. The new season introduces a new character, and he's a great addition. He is a tanuki, and tanuki are very powerful in this world. I cannot wait for the conflict- and the fun!
The new Berserk series is an incredible example of something deserving of a second chance. I can understand that people gave up on 2016's Berserk simply because they hate 3D CG, didn't like the poor level of animation, or both. The story is still great, and that's why I want to support the new Berserk for as long as possible.
Adulting is rough. Sometimes you might find yourself taking jobs that you don't fit with. That's part of Sakura Quest's premise. At first, Koharu Yoshino is in this predicament, where she's being rejected for all the jobs she wants to have. Then she, through error, gets hired to be the queen of a town who want to revitalize their tourism economy. I may watch more of this, but it's hard for me to finish a slice of life show if it doesn't have a strong emotional thrust.
This is the Legion of Substitute Heroes! I like the hook of this show, that there is a town where people have odd super powers. Does that make for a great show? I may have to watch a few episodes before I can say for sure. The characters aren't all that interesting, but I love the thought that's gone into this time-twising show.
Kenka Bancho Otome -Girl Beats Boys
You don't need much of a budget when your anime is about people beating each other up. You need even less of a budget when your anime is a short series. Still, Kenka Bachou Otome feels unnecessarily cheap. There is not a lot to animate, and yet they have turned any unimportant character into a featureless gray figure. Really? They couldn't just have dudes standing around- unanimated? These gray characters unnecessarily draw attention to cut corners. The characters talk more than they fight, too, so how cheap is this production? I like Kenka Banchou Otome because they fight without superpowers; a rarity in anime, frankly.
WorldEnd: What are you doing at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us?
It's cute! Or is it? This could be considered a slice of life show, if it weren't for the supernatural girls who are living weapons. This is like Gunslinger Girls, where we are meant to feel sorry for adorable girls who are really dangerous. These girls are so cute that it makes me hate that obnoxiously long title a little less; only a little. Why bother calling it such a long name when everyone's just going to call it WorldEnd? Sorry, tangent. Nothing much has happened in the couple episodes I've seen, so I hope that it will pick up soon.
Hooray for comedy! I don't know what anime comedy I've seen that are based on the premise of another story. Love Tyrant is partly based on Death Note, except people kiss instead of die. Oh, and they might die too. Our silly, bumbling angel, Guri. is running wild with her Kiss Note, and a few human high schoolers have to pay the price for her matchmaking. I'll check in on Love Tyrant when I'm in need of a chuckle.
I loved Wandering Son. There are so few real looks into the LGBT+ life of Japanese people, and Wandering Son tackled that in such a mature way. Tsukigakirei is not about LGBT life- at least, not yet. This is also a slice of life, but, like Wandering Son, it's a more complete snapshot of school students. This could be another great drama, but I need a few more episodes to see how I feel.
The Best Anime of Spring 2017
This idea is perfect for someone like me: What if every fictional character ever existed in the flesh, and they all came together to battle? Re: Creators is that idea, and it's executed very well. On top of that, Re: Creators looks amazing; the fights are stunning. I get a Fate/Stay Night vibe from it, but only in the crazy attacks the characters do.
Atom: The Beginning
I haven't watched an Astro Boy show since they tried to do one in the early 2000s. I thought that version was OK. This may be much better. It's a prequel where the creators of ATOM, AKA Astro Boy, are just starting out. Having Astro Boy back feels good to me. Astro Boy has somehow endured, and Atom: The Beginning has shown me why the character continues to make appearances.
I don't know what to call this show: a musical? I don't hate musicals, but I'm not the first to go running to a musical show or film. Anonymous Noise is all about music, but I don't know if it qualifies as a musical show. People don't break out into song spontaneously, but there are a lot of talented musicians in the show, and some great songs sung by the characters. Whether it's a musical or not, Anonymous Noise is strong, when the characters are singing and when they're getting all dramatic. Not a surprise that Amazon stole this anime away for their Anime Strike service.
Kado: The Right Answer
An anime about negotiation? OK, there's aliens in it, but it's really a negotiation show. Basically, a business negotiator is swallowed up in a massive alien cube. He meets an alien being who commands a cubic craft. Why is this alien here? Is he malevolent? Is he here to benefit all of mankind? Is it just a gigantic con? Kado: The Right Answer was totally under my radar, and I loved that its caught my attention.
Grimoire of Zero
"There aren't enough beast men as protagonists" is a statement I didn't think I'd ever say in my life, but now I'll be happy to say it! Grimoire of Zero revolves around witches, and the beastfolk are the unfortunate victims of the existence of witches. One beast dude meets one of these witches, but she's not like the rest. She's Zero, and there's a great reason why her name's in the title of the show. This is a fantasy series, but it's very funny! This is another show I knew nothing about beforehand, but now I'm completely invested.
Enjoy your spring! Summer's up next, and I hope the shows will be hot!