Winter 2017 – The Three Episode Test

Let’s now rank the shows which survived the chopping board!

You know what? Winter 2017 is okay if you trim it to the number of shows you enjoy. Most new offerings fail to pass but the sequels are just as reliable in this regard. Well, do yourself a favor and kinda change your perspective from finding gems to searching enjoyable offerings so as not to be frustrated. I intended to keep seven shows but man, having a free time is dangerous to my health. That is why I kept Sangatsu no Lion and ACCA in the meantime.

Before you raise eyebrows, Fuuka stays and Interviews with Monster Girls is out not because I like the former more. It’s just a friend has tasked me to cover the show in my weekly roundups in his website. God, I really (and badly) wanted to drop the show, but I guess the sadist in me wanted to roast it all along. On the other hand, I had enough of these poor high school students falling for the sensei in Monster Girls that’s why I dropped it despite some moments of excellence in the series. Shall we begin?

10. Fuuka

Grade: D

Blandest harem ever. I am sure early 2000s romance series had more meat than this adaptation. Maybe the manga offers something more, just maybe. If you want to watch a music themed offering that has heavy romance, go for White Album 2 instead.

9. Sangatsu no Lion

Grade: C

Say, who else here is now bored with the show’s repetitive declaration that Rei is freakin’ depressed? Sure, I will eat that if not for Shaft’s atmosphere-ruining animation tricks. There is also a question as regard to the series’ imbalance of plot progression and introspective character moments. Hmmm? I do not mind if Sangatsu no Lion preferred tackling the second one but Shaft is ruining the execution.

8. ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka

Grade: C+

I still believe ACCA has something on its sleeve but is on the danger of being a blah because all it has is good world-building. The characters are drab, the dialogue is just okay and most conversations occur over a table.  I am not asking for an action-packed series, but for a show that has a looming premise, ACCA is taking things too easily. Maybe we can now go for some plot developments now that Jean knows he is dragged in something awful.

PS: The opening music is the liveliest part of the show. I guess that settles it.

7. Kobayashi Chi-san Maid Dragon

Grade: C+

Perhaps the more enjoyable monster girls show this season. I can now see why Kyoto Animations chose to adapt this because the humor is right to their alley. The series can be heartwarming at times but chose to shove it away for their time tested quirks. The comedy is hit and miss, but cuteness and the rather good animation save Kobayashi Chi-san Maid Dragon from being dull.

6. Little Witch Academia

Grade: B-

Good, but not as whimsical as I hoped. Akko’s wide eye naivety towards witchcraft is nice and all, but the episodes tend to be repetitive in terms of structure and the overall resolution. There’s a new event, something happens and Akko saves the day but Diana gets the credit. Nonetheless, the characters are so lovable and you got some good world-building in Luna Nova. I guess that’s more than enough to stay.

5. Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto – Fujou-hen

Grade: B

Bring on the good shounen tropes baby! I was surprised to learn that this sequel will only run for a cour given the massive popularity of the manga. Yet hey, this is the sequel we always wanted to have. The characters retained their personalities and the Impure King Arc is steadily gaining steam and is bound for some good action. I just wish for a faster pacing though.

4. Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! S2

Grade: B

Our totally unlikable cast earns some good points because the show isn’t shy enough to present how bad they are when it comes in making decisions. Boy, every episode is a fun ride seeing Kazuma and his gang fumbles over things. Yes – this is the same KonoSuba we had last year.

3. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans S2

Grade: B

Despaaaaair overload! Also, Iok Kujan can die in a horrific death.

Seriously, this inconsistent Gundam show is already back on track to its glorious ways. You got awesome world-building with loads of character development, and hell this is not shy to present ideas that bend traditional values. I just wish Okada would stop from her penchant for killing people one after another without some proper build up.

PS: No, the hints in the OP does not count.

2. Kuzu no Honkai

Grade: B+

My most favorite new show this season is a whirlwind of emotions. One minute, it was steamy then the next moment shows how fucked up these characters are in their lives. Probably the gods are confused right now of what to think in this show. Yes – it is your high school romance only if you got leads who both cannot face each other’s feelings who resorted to comfort each other minus the feelings. Thankfully, this does not feel it is porn despite the generous scenes you can otherwise write off as hentai. Perhaps it is because of the strong character writing and I am up for more screwed relationships in this show.

1. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen

Grade: A-

I honestly think the first season is better, but this one gem of a sequel is also great on its own. Surprisingly, Rakugo S2 is taking a sunny route (so far) even when its opening music reeks of despair. Yotaro found his niche as a rakugo storyteller while Konatsu seemed to have mellowed out from her angsty self. Well, Kikuhiko is still Kikuhiko and he is on his journey to kill rakugo with him.

You can also count on this show for presenting clashing ideologies minus the heavy-handedness. Probably that’s where Kikuhiko’s closing arc will begin and end. Hmmm? Maybe it is only a matter of time until it purges itself to the sea of heavy drama again.I cannot wait to see more of this series.

Done! Maybe I will write about Danganronpa next week. Boy, that is the best 2016 show that I haven’t seen last year!

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