[ I’ve also done a 2017 Manga Year in Review! ]

Fall 2017 season impressions #1
Summer 2017 season impressions update #2 (final), Fall viewing plans

2017 went out with a whimper (Fall 2017 is the weakest season since Winter 2016) but the year had a pretty strong top tier. Links to comments on previous-season shows will be below as usual. As for Fall, I finished three full shows (Mahoyome is ongoing, will count as a 2018 show) and one short. I also picked up Sakura Quest from Spring.

The scores might seem a little lower than usual from me. That’s partly because I’m trying to drop some 7s to 6s and 6s to 5s, so 7s and 8s are a bit more exclusive. I tend to do this kind of thing once in a while, which usually results in a full sweep through my MAL ratings to readjust for how the passage of time has treated shows.

[ Standard disclaimer: Spoilers! Lots of spoilers! ]

All of the following are loosely grouped by color: Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4. Click on a title to jump to the comments.

Completed or Airing
01. New Game!! [ 9.5 / 10 ]
02. Urara Meirochou [ 9.5 / 10 ]
03. Alice to Zouroku [ 9.5 / 10 ]
04. Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka? [ 9.25 / 10 ]
05. Konohana Kitan [ 9.0 / 10 ]
06. Hina Logi: From Luck & Logic [ 9.0 / 10 ]
07. Gabriel Dropout [ 8.5 / 10 ]
08. Youjo Senki [ 8.5 / 10 ]
09. Hinako Note [ 8.25 / 10 ]
10. Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2 [ 8.0 / 10 ]
11. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen [ 8.0 / 10 ]
12. Isekai Shokudou [ 7.5 / 10 ]
13. Natsume Yuujin-chou Roku [ 7.0 / 10 ]
14. Urahara [ 6.5 / 10 ]
15. Sakura Quest [ 6.5 / 10 ]
16. Centaur no Nayami [ 6.5 / 10 ]
17. Twin Angel Break [ 6.0 / 10 ]
18. Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu [ 6.0 / 10 ]
19. Schoolgirl Strikers Animation Channel [ 5.5 / 10 ]
20. Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World [ 5.0 / 10 ]

01. Nyanko Days [ 7.0 / 10 ]
02. The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls Gekijou [ 5.5 / 10 ]
03. The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls Gekijou Season 2 [ 5.0 / 10 ]

Previous Year Pick-ups
01. Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo [ 5.5 / 10 ]

Little Witch Academia [10 episodes]
Sin Nanatsu no Taizai [4 episodes]
The IDOLM@STER: SideM [3 episodes]
Two Car [0.5 episodes]

Top Characters (new shows or new characters only)
Chtholly Nota Seniorious – Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka?
Chiya – Urara Meirochou
Kurumizawa Satanichia McDowell – Gabriel DropOut
Kashimura Sana – Alice to Zouroku
Tsukinose Vignette April – Gabriel DropOut
Koume – Urara Meirochou
Kon – Urara Meirochou
Tachibana Yayoi – Hina Logi: From Luck & Logic
Konatsu – Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
Nakajima Yua – Hinako Note
Shikishima Hatori – Alice to Zouroku
Tanya Degurechaff – Youjo Senki
Yuzu – Konohana Kitan

Top Pairings (new shows or new pairings only)
Liones Yelistratova / Nina Alexandrovna – Hina Logi: From Luck & Logic
Chiya / Kon / Koume / Nono – Urara Meirochou
Chiya / Kon – Urara Meirochou
Chtholly Nota Seniorious / Willem Kmetsch – Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka?
Sakura Nene / Ahagon Umiko – New Game!!
Yuzu / Satsuki – Konohana Kitan
Koume / Nono – Urara Meirochou
Sakuragi Hinako / Nakajima Yua – Hinako Note
Ren / Natsume – Konohana Kitan
Kisaragi Sumire / Amatsuki Meguru – Twin Angel Break
Konatsu / Yotarou – Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
Mochizuki Momiji / Narumi Tsubame – New Game!!

Top OPs
Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu – “Jitenshi ni Hana wa Mau”
Urara Meirochou – “Yumeji Labyrinth”
Hina Logi: From Luck & Logic – “Butterfly Effector”
Hinako Note – “A-E-I-U-E-O-AO!!”
Youjo Senki – “Jingo Jungle”

Top EDs
New Game!! – “JUMPin’ JUMP UP!!!!”
Sakura Quest – “Freesia”
Gabriel Dropout – “Hallelujah☆Essaim”
Urara Meirochou – “go to Romance>>>>>”
Centaur no Nayami – “Edelweiss”

New Game!! Imported!
» Summer wrap-up post
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Urara Meirochou Imported!
» Winter wrap-up post
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Alice to Zouroku Imported!
» Mid-year wrap-up post
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Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii desu ka? Imported!
» Mid-year wrap-up post
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Konohana Kitan Imported!
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Konohana Kitan is the kindest, warmest show that aired this year. It treats the guests and staff of Konohatei with gentleness and respect, and it’s a lovely example of what the iyashikei genre can do.

That said, this was a tough one to rank. At times I thought it would be my anime of the year, but in the end I had to recognize a couple shows ahead of it. It fell short not through doing anything badly, but almost because it was cursed with a gift for doing everything so well that it actually tried to do all those things in only one cour. Slice of life humor, poignant reflections on the afterlife, clever one-off kami/youkai tales, at least two romantic couples. Ultimately, the one I wanted the most of (romance) ended up getting the least focus, and all of them could easily stand to be expanded further. I truly adore this show, but I need to pick up the manga to get more of the things I wanted most. With more focus on the budding relationship between Satsuki and Yuzu, this would have been my top show of the year for sure.

I’ve said it before, but for me this is exactly the kind of story that benefits most from a continuation. Slice of life shows are worlds that invite you in to stay and familiarize yourself with every hope and fear and quirk of its cast members. And yet due to their niche appeal and generally obscure source material, they struggle to last beyond a single cour. And so Konohana Kitan stands alongside great series like Koufuku Graffiti in any list of sequels I’d most like to see.

I don’t want to get stuck on where it fell short, but I do think I had to address that first. This show’s grasp on its characters and its world was strong enough that it could have been even better if it had the time.

One thing I’m appreciative of is how little Konohana Kitan relies on exposition in its world-building. While Yuzu is a newcomer, and that fact is used to clue the audience into some specifics, it’s small things like “this is goddess such and such, she oversees so and so”, not hitting you over the head with the mechanics of how their world works. Conversation is natural, with participants saying the things they’d realistically say to each other. This is a subtle, elegant, intelligent show.

While Konohanatei is an outwardly normal inn (albeit with gods as patrons and fox girls as staff), it’s also a “liminal space”. It sits on the boundary between our physical world and that of the gods, and on the boundary between life and what comes after. Liminal spaces (old shrines, deep forests, unexplored caves) are common in media featuring kami and youkai, but unlike most of those stories, Konohana Kitan is not focused on the human world. It’s not about the ways youkai interfere and interact with humanity, a la Natsume Yuujinchou. Nor is our protagonist a human. But she’s not a god either, and thus we’re given a unique perspective in the middle.

Just as humans and other beings from our world wander into (or are called to) Konohanatei, Yuzu repeatedly finds herself stumbling into the gods’ realm as well. She has an innate ability to lift the veil between worlds and peer in. But she also has no idea that she’s doing it, and it lands her in potential danger more than once.

We’re not given an explicit answer as to why Yuzu is so susceptible to crossing between worlds, but we’re repeatedly shown that she possesses an unusual degree of empathy towards those around her. She doesn’t just sympathize with a friend or guest’s feelings, she absorbs and internalizes those same feelings. While attending to the rain weaver, the rhythmic sounds of the loom evoke a spontaneous song from within Yuzu. When confronted with Satsuki’s feelings of inferiority, she cries harder than Satsuki does. When an awkward situation derails the mood of a banquet, Yuzu feels the tension and breaks the ice. When pulled into the gods’ realm, she’s overcome with the desire to help the overworked messengers she sees there, despite just learning she may be trapped there forever.

And so human and spirit alike is drawn to her, and she to them. The doppelganger engages Yuzu because it believes Yuzu will accept her when no one else did. The depressed girl on the beach makes quick friends with her. Satsuki sheds her standoffish personality and opens up emotionally to Yuzu for reasons she can’t quite understand. Okami unconsciously sets the very creation of Konohanatei itself into motion due to a mysterious meeting with Yuzu in a time-travel incident.

But Yuzu is just one expression of this show’s fundamental message of respect and understanding.

We also see it in the treatment of Ren’s trauma. In episode three she’s sexually harassed by a drunken patron. Bad enough on its own, but exacerbated by Ren’s fear of men. This is never treated as a gag. It doesn’t even stop at condemning the behavior (tho it does that too). It instead chooses to linger long enough to show the poisonous effects this has – guilt, self-blame, anxiety, a loss of self-worth. As wonderful as it was to see everyone rally behind her and evict the harasser in the heat of the moment, it’s the quiet reassurance from Natsume that everything is alright, and that it’s not her fault, where the episode truly stuck the landing.

There are other moments: Yuzu helping the doppelganger pass on peacefully, Okiku learning a bittersweet lesson about the relationships between humans and dolls, Ren’s admiration for the okama-styled kami of entertainment (her acceptance of them not only as women but as beautiful role models, despite her established fear of male bodies, is a subtle but important message). Sakura befriending and soothing the spirit of Izanami, god of war.

However, the one that particularly sticks with me is the old woman in episode four. Long ago she lost a daughter, and she’s been carrying around and fussing over a doll in her stead. But she’s not made out to be an object of pity, certainly not of scorn either. She’s not derided as crazy. She’s treated with the utmost respect by the staff, particularly Kiri. And during the course of the woman’s stay, her daughter’s spirit relives the stages of her life, finally growing up to be the adult woman she was never able to become in life. Reunited one last time and for good, they both pass on together.

Kiri asks Yuzu if she pities the old woman, but of course, Yuzu does not. There’s no reason for pity, because in Konohanatei, dreams are reality.

The fox girls of Konohanatei are guides to wayward mortals, attendants to vacationing gods, and stewards of souls passing from one life to the next. Through their efforts, Konohanatei welcomes all, respects all, loves all.

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Hina Logi: From Luck & Logic Imported!
» Summer wrap-up post
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Gabriel Dropout Imported!
» Winter wrap-up post
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Youjo Senki
» Summer wrap-up post
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Hinako Note Imported!
» Mid-year wrap-up post
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Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2
» Mid-year wrap-up post
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Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
» Winter wrap-up post
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Isekai Shokudou
» Summer wrap-up post
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Nyanko Days Imported!
» Winter wrap-up post
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Natsume Yuujin-chou Roku
» Mid-year wrap-up post
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What a strange thing Urahara is. The underlying story is quite simple, and while I enjoyed it I can’t come up with a ton to say about it. The production itself is so odd that it largely overwhelms all other topics.

Little about its technical execution is up to the normal standards of commercially televised anime. Animation is minimal (though there is some charming effects animation), storyboarding is incredibly crude, there’s an over-reliance on a small set of visual tricks like splitscreen, art is regularly off model even accounting for the loose aesthetic, and the way episodes oscillate between satisfyingly paced and dreadfully padded from one week to the next makes me doubt how well planned out it was. I’d argue only the OP and ED feel fully realized.

Put simply, Urahara feels like an amateur passion project that accidentally got aired alongside profession productions because someone switched up the broadcast files, and it just kept airing because they didn’t want to admit their mistake.

And yet

It’s… charming. Genuinely charming in an innocent, enviable sort of way. Perhaps it’s a nebulous distinction, but Urahara’s shortcomings feel like they result less from the ways anime productions usually break, and more like a production that simply did what it could with the experience and talent it had available. I genuinely don’t want that to sound like a patronizing put-down! The show oozes dedication to a psychedelic rainbow creepy-cute pop aesthetic from start to finish. This crosses over into its end cards, which feature a range of eclectic styles you don’t see in anime very often. Like the show they’re dedicated to an aesthetic at the expense of polish or even beauty, and I kinda loved them.

What Urahara lacks in, well, many things, it somewhat compensates for in identity. New Game! or Koufuku Graffiti may be much more appealing on the whole, but I’ve seen other shows that look like them. I have never seen a show that looks like Urahara. Different doesn’t necessarily mean better (certainly doesn’t in these comparisons) but it really counts for something. If you have a plethora of weaknesses, playing to your strengths becomes even more important, and Urahara does so.

One issue I’ll be less forgiving about, and which resulted in a lower score, is the pacing. Urahara had a number of very satisfying episodes and one absolutely excellent one, but there were also episodes like 8 and 11 that felt like five minutes of content stretched over an episode’s runtime. This just feels like poor planning, especially episode 8 which came after the genuinely brilliant episode 7. It’s also where a really slick production could have filled in the gaps. 24 minutes of Rito refusing to eat the scoopers before giving in isn’t going to fill an episode when there’s just no flair to the execution.

Urahara fared better when it covered more ground in an episode. The big mid-series climax/breakdown of episode 7 was outstanding (and a good deal superior to the rest of the show in terms of directing). The show also nailed a lot of sentimental scenes involving how the girls met, Misa’s scooper backstory, and some of the Sayumin material. There were even some engaging action episodes in the first half.

The show’s themes were fairly well articulated too. At its core is a simple story about defining what “creativity” means to you, and how you can go about participating in a culture without feeling like you’re simply stealing from or imitating it. It’s all very uplifting and heartwarming, even if it’s quite simplistic. The inconsistency of not knowing what kind of episode I’d get in any given week did hurt the show’s momentum sometimes, and I don’t think it closed out as strongly as it could. But it never betrayed its basic themes.

Well, what can I say? I’ve got a soft spot for this show, no matter how weird, messy, and broken I found it to be. The appeal may be almost exclusively aesthetic, but I’ll be damned if it didn’t go all-in on that in a way I respect. I hope the team behind it got a lot of valuable experience from the effort, because I wouldn’t mind them getting another shot. If they can increase the production quality without sacrificing the strong identity, I’d be game.

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Sakura Quest
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[This was a late pick-up from Spring that I only watched as Fall was starting.]

Unlike a lot of people, I’ve never really sought to “see myself in” fiction. That doesn’t mean I’ve never related to a character on some level, and it certainly doesn’t mean that I want to be emotionally detached from them either. I can grow deeply attached, but it’s generally a sympathetic, protective, or admiring attachment where I find myself cheering them on and wishing for their success and happiness. But that’s not “seeing myself” in them. Anime characters, even in slice of life shows (which this is not, to be clear) tend to lead pretty exceptional or at least charmed lives, whereas mine is… as dull as it gets. Make an anime character who is truly like me and you’ll have an intolerably boring story. I’ll see bits and pieces of my personality in a character from time to time (like Umiko in New Game) but it’s some broad strokes, nothing more.

To be clear I don’t think there’s anything wrong with seeing yourself in a character. Media has immense potential to provide representation for underrepresented groups and that’s wonderful. But since I’m not someone who’d be classified in many underrepresented groups (at least nothing so fundamental as race, sexuality, or gender), I’m most often trying to get away from, not seek out, characters who are “just like me”. I’m sick of that.

What’s this have to do with Sakura Quest?

Sakura Quest was a solid show, but not one I could get really dug into for extended periods of time. It so badly wanted to strike that intimate, self-reflective resonance with its viewers that I just don’t usually feel. It wanted you to nod knowingly at getting rejected from your 20th interview or the implications of declining birth rates on poorly-serviced rural towns. Its meditations on the ambiguity of early adulthood are squarely aimed at the 20-something college grad searching for a job, or the 30-something with the unfulfilling career. I may be in that age range, may even share some of those feelings, but my economic position and employment history don’t really jive with those of the women in the show. If I had to choose one, Sanae would certainly be the closest it comes (a bit older, having found modest success but no passion). The similarities are fairly superficial beyond that.

I mean, that is a bit weird though, right? Despite the differences, it should hit a heck of a lot closer to home than foxgirls running an inn or highschoolers getting into club hijinks. And it did, but that’s kind of the problem. I can easily erase myself from Konohana Kitan or Hina Logi, so their relatability is irrelevant. With Sakura Quest the problem is that I couldn’t relate to the degree I thought the show wanted me to. It was too close to fully detach myself and too far to fully attach.

A somewhat inconsistent tone from the show didn’t help. I don’t know if it would have been better as one cour rather than two, but I can say that most of its best moments were in the second cour. There were plenty of rough edges and you could certainly have polished it down into maybe 15 episodes.

This is all getting a bit abstract, though. There’s more to Sakura Quest than its commentary on socioeconomic situations in contemporary Japan, and characters are still paramount. There were still plenty of endearing and poignant moments spread throughout the show. Even if I could never quite grok the show as a whole, I still cared about Yoshino’s crew. I even warmed up to the standoffish Maki eventually, but it’s Riri who I cheered on the hardest.

If there’s one surefire way to get me on board with a character, it’s a shy girl discovering self-confidence and passion with the help of loving friends and family. That’s Ririko’s arc in a nutshell. She’s always been the weird kid, into UMAs and aliens, and that slightly childish obsession coupled with a sometimes overprotective grandmother stunted her social growth. She’s also the youngest of the main characters, and is thus gets treated a bit like a kid.

But her arc is a realization of her own self-worth. Her eccentric hobbies come in handy for their tourism work. The willingness of Yoshino, Sanae, and Maki to be friends with her is proof that finding Shiori wasn’t a fluke. Her work with the tourism board, against her grandmother’s opposition, asserted an independence she’d lacked until now. With that independence came confidence, and the moment when she voiced that confidence through song capped her arc off beautifully. (Finding herself a cute Spanish girlfriend was a pretty nice reward as well.)

Sakura Quest wasn’t half bad at that kind of thing. I liked the show, and the multiple moments where I teared up are proof that, at its best, it really was able to connect on an emotional level. I was never able to get into a groove where that feeling stuck around permanently, but those moments were spread all throughout its run. There was the way Maki’s arc won me over and contextualized her attitude to that point. There was Shiori’s quiet desperation to convince everyone else love Manoyama as much as she does. There’s the bus route arc, by far Sakura Quest’s best articulation of its concerns about coping with an ageing society. There’s the moment when Yoshino formally requests everyone’s help in episode three, and there’s her tearful goodbye when her job is done. Having her take up another tourism position in another city is a wonderful way of showing that she’s not just made it through her Manoyama assignment, but been forever changed by her experiences.

The show wasn’t without some pretty fundamental flaws, hence why I can’t score it higher, but it has undeniable merits too. And a hell of a first ED too.

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Centaur no Nayami
» Summer wrap-up post
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Twin Angel Break
» Mid-year wrap-up post
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Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu
» Winter wrap-up post
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Schoolgirl Strikers Animation Channel
» Winter wrap-up post
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Mahoutsukai no Yome (ongoing)
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I’ll be covering this more formally in 2018 (I group shows by when they end), but this is about where I’d rank it if I were doing so based on the first cour. Thus far it’s been keeping me just barely engaged enough to stick around each week, even if I’m no by means enthusiastic. I think I can see why it’s so well-regarded and appeals to so many people, but I also recognize I’m not going to be one of those people.

Chise’s growth has been slow, but fairly satisfying. At the present moment, she seems more aggressive and active than Elias does. As Chise has gained confidence, Elias seems to be losing his. It’s a nice nice reversal of what was at first a deeply unequal relationship. The series clearly wants so say a lot about the different ways of defining humanity, and that’s also got promise. It’s just all wrapped up in an aesthetic that’s not really my thing.

I’m pretty confident at this point that I’ll finish it, although if things go REALLY well with streaming licenses in Winter it could be at risk. Winter is shaping up to be a hell of a season, and every show on my list of potential watches is much closer to my strike zone than Mahoyome. (You could absolutely bribe me to stick around for some Silky episodes tho.)

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The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls Gekijou
» Mid-year wrap-up post
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Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World
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Oof, this was one of the most awkwardly planned shows I’ve seen in a very long time. I’m sure it’s uninteresting at this point to hear someone debate the decision to build the series around a popularity poll that selected fans’ favorite stories, but that is fundamental to the show’s failure to generate a functional narrative.

I get it, it’s “chosen by the fans, made for the fans”, and it’s not particularly concerned with the opinions of people like me who haven’t read the novels and don’t have strong memories of the first anime (which I’ve seen, but do not remember). Nothing I write here is going to be convincing or even interesting to a devoted fan of the franchise, and that’s absolutely okay. But it’s the only perspective I have, and for a viewer like me, this show is a mess. It’s not a mess without merits, and individual moments are frequently well executed. But with some fantastic exceptions (few of which involve Kino, interestingly) they failed to elicit the desired reaction from me.

The character above illustrates this perfectly. I thought her episode was well-constructed, but who is she? I mean, I know “who” she is, she’s Photo, but who is she to the larger narrative? She appears neither before nor after, and interacts with none of the other characters in the cast, not even Kino. “She’s important in the novels!”, you object, to which I say “Fair enough, but that’s information from outside the anime, and this doesn’t improve my experience of this show.” I could have been deeply invested in her plight if I felt like she had a meaningful place in the world. Instead… I felt kinda empty after watching a pretty well directed episode of anime. That’s a shame.

Episodic series can work, but Kino no Tabi lacks an overarching framework to hold those stories together. The consequences of one episode rarely carry over to the next, and even Kino’s backstory episode just happens, like a quantum particle popping into existence. It didn’t even matter which episode it was, “episode 11” may as well have have come from a random number generator. It wasn’t instigated by anything specific, it wasn’t part of a broader dive into Kino’s psyche. Such loose connections may be common in many shows I love, but I’ve argued in the past that “episodic” and ‘slice of life” aren’t the same thing. This is a clear example of the former.

I did finish the show though, so obviously it did something right… right? Yeah, in fact it has a whole secondary cast that provided exactly the kind of structure I was hoping for from the core show. Shizu, Riku, and Ti are great. I genuinely love any moment they’re on screen and would watch a whole show about them without hesitation. Shizu may be bland, but he’s a “good dude” variety of bland, and I appreciate that he’s trying to be a good dad(??) to his taciturn hand-grenade spawning adopted daughter Ti. And Riku is a polite talking dog who forms this adorably awkward friendship with Ti. I’ll take him over the CG motorcycle any day.

My favorite episode of the show by far is the eighth, where Shizu’s crew rolls into the Country of Radio Waves. Like the rest of the show it’s populated by people who slavishly adhere to a quirky character fault, but it felt like a chapter in Shizu, Riku, and Ti’s story rather than something they passively watched unfold. And in the process, we see genuine character development from Ti. She may be the only character that meaningfully changes in the show’s present-day timeline.

What was different about Shizu/Riku/Ti as compared to Kino/Hermes? Shizu’s group had a goal, for one. They’re seeking a country suitable for immigration. That fact that all three of them can walk kinda helps too, silly as that may sound. Hermes can’t move unless they’re physically attached to Kino. Compare that to Ti, who can stab Shizu, pet Riku, take a baby hostage with a hand grenade, and go on her own little adventure when she gets bored. She’s a character with agency. Hermes is just a tool (that’s probably motorad racist but oh well). Shizu’s group has far greater potential for interpersonal chemistry.

I think a lot comes down to how passive Kino frequently is. That’s not necessarily a flaw, it’s just a different kind of story. But it does mean that the show relies very heavily on the inhabitants of countries Kino visits to drive the narrative… and my oh my. In episode one and two the scenarios were still capable of shocking me, but the effect was lost after that. Cartoonish villains promulgating ridiculous laws that singularly define their countries means Kino largely interacts with caricatures, not characters. The Country of Liars was a strong exception, offering a clever story that portrayed a complicated web of symbiotic fantasies. But for the most part the stories leaned too heavily on violent, deluded people driving a disposable narrative.

(Another problem unique to Kino’s side was the heinous CG whenever Kino was riding or sometimes even holding onto Hermes. This doesn’t really fit in anywhere with my other topics, but was bad enough to warrant mention and dock the show at least half a point. It reached near parody levels in the final episode, with a hoarde of CG sheep being run over by a CG car.)

I’m really curious what I thought about the original back when I saw it, but it was too long ago to remember and I never recorded any thoughts about it. I have to have liked it more than this one though. Ah well.

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The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls Gekijou Season 2
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Nothing to add that I didn’t say about season one. It’s more of the same, only ranked slightly lower because what small appeal it had is wearing off. I’m basically only watching it for Ranko segments, which I really enjoy. …But looking back there’s only been a small handful of them. And a bunch of “let’s flirt with the Producer” junk.

Honestly this is not a good show. If it were longer than a couple minutes a week I’d have dropped it. I still have two episodes to watch, but I doubt they’ll change my mind.

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Previous Year Pick-ups

Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo
» Summer wrap-up post
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Winter 2018

01. Yurucamp
02. Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho
03. Slow Start
04. Citrus
05. Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san
06. Toji no Miko

Pending streaming details: Mitsuboshi Colors, Märchen Mädchen, Pop Team Epic, Takunomi (short, also TBS so probably going Sentai, no big loss).

Mahoutsukai no Yome is my one continuing show, so it’ll be eligible for the Winter 2018 rankings.

CR nabbing Yurucamp and Sora Yori mo early on was a relief. They’ve also got Slow Start, the other Kirara title, but it’s gonna get derpy Aniplex subs so I’ll need to figure out how I’m handing that. I’m glad CR has Citrus, even if I don’t think it’ll be good… and Toji no Miko is just a “seems to be an all-girl cast, might as well try it” type of show, much like Koizumi-san

I’ve got a couple others pending streaming info, though I’m not desperate for any of them so even if it’s just the six I’ve listed, it’s gonna be a hell of a better season than the joke that was this Fall. Mitsuboshi Colors is probably the most promising of the remaining batch.

8 Responses to “2017 Anime Year in Review (with Final 2017 Fall update, Winter 2018 Plans)”

  1. AholePony says:

    Nice reviews and interesting takes as always Something. Your comments on Urahara allllmost make me want to watch more but I gave it 2.5 episodes and the negatives were far outweighing the positives for me.

    I agree, maybe not with your specific feelings, but overall score of Sakura Quest. That series to me felt like it had all the ingredients, but they were added to the recipe in the wrong order or quantities and instead of floofy delicious cake I got bland slightly sweet biscuits. I recently rewatched Hanasaku Iroha (more similar to each other than the skin deep PA Works relationship might have people believe); and if I had to say why Iroha is a 8.5/10 for me but Quest was a 6.5/10, it’s probably the fault of the inflated cast that still lacked deep character development after 2 cour. I feel like I know A LOT more about Iroha’s core cast after that amount of time than Quest’s. That satisfying deep characterization that I crave in SoL-esque series was missing for me.

    Winter 2018 season looks great to me. I don’t read manga so my expectations are only set by key visuals and I’m most interested in what Märchen Mädchen will have to offer! Happy New Year Something :-)

  2. Shinseira says:

    I was hoping to see Konohana ranked so high and glad it was. It ended up being AOTY for me actually with New Game & Urara Meirochou being the only contenders. New Game might have beat it if not for the fact that I already read those segments in the manga haha. And between Urara and Konohana, Konohana had more of what I wanted from Urara which is those traditional japanese folklore and youkai tales which were integrated really well.

    Yuzu drifting off was always one of my personal favourites whenever it happened. Also, good to see you as a Chiyabro.

  3. Chad says:

    So you haven’t watched Symphogear AXZ yet?

    • something says:

      For whatever reason CR was never able to get the license. All I can hope is that negotiations come together before season five airs, but I’m not holding my breath.

  4. anonnan says:

    Man i just always love ur reviews. I love it that you never undersell the yuri, but also never oversell it, and always say it the way that perfectly describe what i felt abt each show. Its really a shame u never went and watch princess principal , and it seems right up ur alley too, with all-girl cast with a good touch of yuri in it.

  5. Anontastic says:

    This post makes me want to be friends with you. You and I share a lot of the same opinions, but our perspectives are still different enough that I found this all interesting to read. Good work~!

    I’m just glad there’s someone ELSE out there willing to give Urara Meirochou the 9.5 it deserves :3

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