Anime of the Year. 2017 has been the first year I have watched seasonal anime all the way through (I missed last fall due to being ill for 3 to 4 weeks and basically sleeping for all of that time- took me half a year to catch up…) and on average, the quality has been high. However, here we are not looking for just good- we are after the cream of the crop and without further adieu, lets get the show on the road:
(*Titles are linked to My Anime List anime pages for more information)
10. Made in Abyss 89
Made in Abyss is inspired. The show follows a young girl Riko and a cyborg called Reg in an engrossing world where the main goal is to reach the bottom of a huge whole known as the Abyss. The show looks spectacular and whilst I DID have minor problems with the story-line at times, Riko and Reg are wonderful characters that you find yourself rooting for and the third member of their party- Nanachi came along late but kicked the endgame to another level. She added much needed comedy and a a new dynamic to the show. The show is also not afraid to shock as for an anime with such a childlike art style- they went full on gore when they needed to. The show was a joy and whilst it did shock at times and the story did occasionally stray, Made in Abyss was a wonderful anime. The best news about this is that a sequel has been commissioned and we get more shocking, engrossing comedy in the near future.
9. Demi Chan wa Kararitai 89
I love slice of life anime and Demi Chan wa Kararitai is an excellent slice of life show. The show follows a high school teacher (Takahashi) and his interactions with the demi-humans in his life and the differences between the races. The show is consistently funny but also has a serious side at times; especially when real life issues such as love, anxiety or discrimination come up and the way these issues are addressed is intelligent and makes this show more interesting and thought provoking than it may initially seem. The characters relationships are always engrossing and the vampire Hikari and her peppy personality bring the show to life. There is a scene in the show where she chews on her sisters arm (playfully I may add) and I have spent literally tens of hours watching it on repeat. Time well spent- the only thing better would be to watch this show again.
8. Konosuba Season 2 90
Yes, the art style kinda sucked. But, fortunately, the wonderful story and world of Konosuba shone through and we were left with a stupendous show. We rejoin our unlikely, unwilling heroes where we left them after Season One with Kazuma on trial for a crime committed whilst he was saving the town. The first episode is possibly the only low point for this series as it then kicks it up a notch; with its trademark humour and general parody of the normal isekai setting. The relationship between the main quartet- as well as an extremely likeable supporting cast make the show constantly entertaining. This paired with the impressive story progression leave you wanting more than the measly ten episodes offered up and with no sequel announced- it seems like I should get reading those light novels because it seems doubtful if we will ever see this masterpiece animated again..
7. Love Live Sunshine S2 92
The Love Live franchise is huge and is one of the few Japanese idol franchises to connect to both the Japanese and Western audiences. Season 2 of Love Live Sunshine continues on from the good work of Season one and continues to differentiate itself from its original Love Live predecessor through simply by not taking itself too seriously. The shows comedy was amongst the best of the Fall 2017 season and this coupled with the everlasting melancholic mood (I mean, I teared up every episode and bawled my eyes out during episode 12- at the time of publishing the show has not actually yet finished), and amongst the best music I have heard in any anime, the show is a near masterpiece. Love Live Sunshine won’t be for everyone but is excellent viewing in my view and I can’t wait for a new idol group to continue the Love Live legacy because if it is as half as good as this, we will be in for a treat.
6. Konohana Kitan 94
It took me a little while to understand the show but when I did, I fell in love. The Fall 2017 season was truly outstanding (as you can see by the number of shows from it included on this list) and Konohana Kitan is a slice of life that weaves various heartwarming and thought provoking tales in a way that is not too heavy and allows for a calming mood to envelop those watching. The characters and their relationship dynamics are interesting and although very occasionally I found myself slightly drifting away from the show, a few moments later I had been drawn back in and was more engrossed than before. The show is a must see for slice of life fans and I would recommend it to almost anyone- especially if you have had a bad week; this could be your medicine.
Hilarious and the standout show in an almost disappointing Winter season. I knew nothing about the manga before the show and I was pleasantly surprised with the excellent comedy, strong characterisation and Kanna- one of the most wonderfully meme-able characters anime has produced this year. Tooru the dragon has good emotional depth for a character in a comedy anime and Miss Kobayashi is an extremely likeable, level headed main character that makes intelligent decisions and her own development during the run of the show is truly immersive and relatable to a lot of lonely people out there. I had the show down as a shoe for the top 3 after the Winter season ended but its place at number 5 shows how strong the competition has been; because Kobayashi San Chi no Maid Dragon is near faultless. I am just going to leave this here…
4.Re Creators 95
This will divide some of you as this show proved to be rather divisive during its run; many saying that the middle section was dull and, although when it came it was good, the main action and plot came to late. On the contrary, I believe that the building up to the main fight episodes were actually consistently entertaining and without them the final fight (which was spectacular in story and in animation) would not have been anywhere near as good. Re:Creators will not be for everyone but it made me laugh, made me cry, made me angry and it deserves all the possible plaudits I could give it. Re:Creators is an amazing show and if you have not seen it, watch it now- don’t sleep just watch all 22 episodes now and you will thank me later. Oh yeah, and don’t skip the recap episode. That stuff was gold…
3. Houseki no Kuni 96
Surprising. Emotional. Engrossing. Outstanding. These are all words I would use to describe this show along with one other; beautiful. This show uses CG and shows the amount of potential this anime form has. Houseki is among the most beautiful anime of the year from an animation viewpoint but this coupled with an excellent, almost coming of age story that makes you laugh and cry- literally every emotion imaginable lets you know that you are seeing something truly special. This show is a masterpiece and only the smallest of missteps stop this from taking the top prize.
2. Himouto Umaru Chan S2 97
Season 1 was okay but never really progressed from that; sticking to the same jokes and developing the most interesting characters too late into the shows run. Season 2 of Himouto Umaru Chan is a masterpiece. You see genuine character development involving our lazy, titular character and show her adapting to the world around her- growing up basically. Please don’t misunderstand, it takes everything that was good about Season 1; namely the cast and the humour and they actually give the show something to work with and allow the characters to develop through the series run instead of ending the series with the same jokes that episode one began with- Season 2 progresses so far ahead of the first season that is barely in the mirrors. The show is so close to taking the first sport and if they had more of my favourite character (Ebina ), it may well have made it but on this occasion it missed out by the narrowest of margins. A truly outstanding shows and my Sunday nights are going to be bare without it and my life, far less rich.
I cannot split these two and I know it is a cop-out but they are both too good not to win. Isekai Shokudou was something that made Monday a day worth getting through; just so I could get home and watch twenty minutes of lovable, relaxing food porn with an engrossing world and excellent characters and even some humour for good measure. Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou is just as lovable through its unique outlook on the world and the underlying mysterious tone that surrounds the show and its plot. The characters are relatable and hilarious and the character designs are perfect; literally perfect. Both of these shows, I know for certain, I will watch again and they will both live long in the memory and to separate them would be unfair. Its a shame, the shows will have to share that non-existent trophy I bought them.
Exceptions: Osake wa Fuufuu ni Natte Kara 100- The true winner… Being a short anime, I couldn’t wholeheartedly award my anime of the year to this show but it was amazing; IS amazing and was just the ticket after a stressful day at work. This show was the bees knees and I shed many a tear when it ended. I have bought (and now read) the first three manga volumes straight from Japan but even this hasn’t filled the whole that this show has left within me. Amazing, relaxing, hilarious, adorable; simply awe inspiring. A triumph of a show and the best short anime of all time.
Please note that I do not watch sequels of shows if I have not seen Season 1, even if I have read the manga- thus the omission of Boku no Hero Academia and Shingeki no Kyojin among others from this list.You may notice the saturation of Fall 2017 shows and the complete lack of Summer 2017 shows on the list and it was surprisingly hard to narrow this list down due to the anime quality this year being so, so high. I believe that Fall 2017 is the best anime season I have seen yet and if anything comes close next year I will be very happy indeed.
Shows that also deserve a mention:
Kemono Friends deserves a mention due to the hype and overwhelming support this anime garnered alongside the brilliant yet flawed Ballroom e Yokusou and the touching yet shoddily animated Tsuki ga Kirei. Even shows like Princess Principal and Knights and Magic were good and showed potential for different genres to come to the fore- with Princess Principal in particular having a great deal of promise and support. Heck. I even though Fuuka was good… but that may be a manga fan obscuring the actual quality of the show ( the songs were kickass though)
Biggest Surprise: Kemono Friends (Winter 2017)
Best Story: Re:Creators (Spring/ Summer 2017)
Best Character: Kanna- Kobayashi san Chi no Maid Dragon (Winter 2017)
Best Waifu: Yukana- Hajimete no Gal (Summer 2017)/ Ebina- Himouto Umaru Chan S2 (Fall 2017)
Best Short: Osake wa Fuufuu ni Natte Kara (Fall 2017)
Biggest Disappointment: Fuuka (Winter 2017- just because Mr Truck’s role got demoted)
Best Villain: Fujiwara- NTR Trap (Summer 2017)
Worst Character: Fujiwara- NTR Trap (Summer 2017)
Best Plot Twist: Riko’s bleeding eyes- Made in Abyss (Episode 10)
Best Episode: Re:Creators Episode 21- Fitting finale. (Spring 2017/Summer 2017)
A lot of people on the internet and especially in the world of anime forums, like to focus on the bad. But lets be honest, animation has comes on leaps and bounds from 10-15 years ago and the stories are still engrossing- and heck, if the trolls are watching it they can’t hate it that much. There are so many more anime I could mention but I better stop rambling and let you all go- make a cup of tea or something . 2017 was a wonderful year for the art and all I can say is roll on 2018. Sayonara and see you on the other side. I will leave you with one of my favourite lines of the year:
Line of the year!: