I am still not sure about this season, but that might be a good thing.
Spring 2017 is bizarre. While the shows lack the nuance and the grit of Concrete Revolutio – the Last Song, these are very competent on their own. Do you want some good popcorn entertainment? Damn, this season has damn good sequels and Re: Creators for you! Are you the one who is happy with idyllic countryside life and some good character moments? If so, shows like Sakura Quest should quench your thirst. Hell, there are shows I did not even intend to watch but these satisfy the demographic as well.
What I am trying to say is Spring 2017 has everything for everyone here. The most of these may not end in my year-end list, but I enjoying this. Moreover, I have no show to passionately hate so far! That’s an achievement you know.
Now, let us begin ranking the shows like I always do. Let’s start!
1. Little Witch Academia
What I like: The budding plot is interesting to say at least, and it was inserted in a way that it did not clash with the show’s recurring theme of sticking with the tradition versus doing something new to stir the waters. Akko aside, I love how they make the characters…. uhm… characters that have motivation that may or may not clash with others. The use of witch craft here is still your time tested one a la Harry Potter but I cannot help but gush when they incorporated some science in the recent episodes.
What I do not like: This may be a trademark of a well-written character but I am not fond of Akko’s actions as of late. I know the girl has a naive disposition, yet I cringed the way she treated Dianna in one episode. Moreover, we need more Dianna to wake Akko again from her whims.
2. Shingeki no Kyojin (2017)
What I like: With the pacing partially fixed, Shingeki no Kyojin comes as a very strong contender for this season. Damn, the action scenes are damn good, and the horror instilled by these Titans was reinstalled by inclusion of some interesting psychology here and there. Moreover, Araki surely knows how to amplify climactic scenes (Sasha’s episode) so this season, at least in the eyes of the fans, is a success.
What I do not like: WHERE’S JEAN KIRSCHTEIN?! My beloved horse faced dude is nowhere to be seen damn it! On a more serious note, I am not a fan of the in medias res nor the foreshadowing this show is doing so far. Also do not ask me for the main plot – we can see it fifty miles away.
3. My Hero Academia
What I like: It is more of the same good ol’ shounen moments, but this time, we got smart characters. Deku is probably one of my most favorite shounen leads because he managed to avoid the annoying tropes of this demographic. Moreover, the other characters are colorful as well. For the plot? I love how they put some spins in this tired tournament format. Basically, the execution makes up for the cliched backdrop.
What I do not like: Can we reduce some talk and start moving now?
4. Shingeki no Bahamut – Virgin Soul
What I like: Seriously, how can they make a card game adaptation this good? Perhaps it is the product of low expectations but Shingeki no Bahamut is probably one of the best anime adaptations coming from a game. I seriously love the angle of demons being suppressed by humans and the show’s commitment to execute this plot. Moreover, damn MAPPA! I thought they are focusing on Yuri on Ice last season then Bahamut came and claimed the spot as the best looking series this Spring 2017. So even MAPPA can pull a Kyoto Animations, huh?
What I do not like: I am still not a fan of the FLCL reference here. Seriously. It throws off my investment in this series whenever I see Nina getting doki doki with these hot guys. I cannot blame her though. Who will not lose their crap if they see Azazel or that King? Also, where is Favaro?
5. Sakura Quest
What I like: I guess it’s time to say that I love this show more than Shirobako if I am comparing my episode to episode experience back then. Shirobako glosses the ills of working in an anime studio, but Sakura Quest embraces the cynicism then sprinkles it with some hope in the end. Moreover, the Pink Aoi (Yoshino-chan) has more backbone than her Shirobako counterpart. The characters are more quirky as hell, making this as one of the funnier shows this season. Lastly, I love their take on reviving a dying town. I hope Sakura Quest will sell lots of BDs since PA Works hasn’t found a hit since Charlotte. I really do.
What I do not like: For a PA Works show, the production values are really flat. Seriously.
6. Tsuki Ga Kirei
What I like: So this show perfectly captured a love story between introverts. Their body language fills the dialogue when they do not talk and it’s great how Satelight fills in those details by their expression and movements. Beyond that, I guess it is my nostalgia remembering those awkward years overlaid on a water color type artwork.
What I do not like: Nothing much happens here, and the production values are really basic.
7. The Eccentric Family
What I like: The world-building. If there’s one thing The Eccentric Family excelled against all other shows in this list, that would be it. The production staff put their creativity to create a whimsical and colorful Kyoto. Should this sequel fails to bring the charm of its predecessor, then I can still look at their world.
What I do not like: It pains me to put one of my all-time favorites in the middle of the pack but I will tell you my reasons. The first season captured an insular story on how these tanukis cope with the loss of their father and it really, really captured my heart. However, I cannot seem to care with the new characters this time without knowing their motivation to do things. The tengu appeared in episode one, then disappeared in the second episode. Then, now – there’s the conjurer? If Eccentric Family will keep on doing this format, what’s the difference of this show from the countless LN series that use this style of storytelling?
8. Re: Creators
What I like: That said, Re: Creators is perhaps the most confident this season in terms of presenting its novel premise. The execution feels so business-like in a way you expect the action where it needs to be, then the show quiets itself when you need to get a grasp of what is going on. I also love bits of meta-criticisms ala Saekano here and there.
What I do not like: While I appreciate the way this show explain things, it rather bores me out with the dialogues that should have been two to three minutes shorter. Moreover, I hope Re: Creators will have a good red herring because I am sensing the twist 15 episodes away.
9. High School Star Musical (2017)
What I like: The third episode is probably the nearest I can associate with the first season. Hoshitani finds his groove as an artist, then the powers that be recognizes his quirks. The things which made you love those characters are still intact, although you can never give them too much screen time since there is too much of everything in this season of Starmyu.
What I do not like: Ageha. The prick is ruining the balance of Starmyu to be honest. If you are going to create a villain-like figure, please give him some more… uhm… meat. You can’t just stand there and declaim you want to be like Haruto or something! Can we now just have some delicious drama or some good Starmyu moments here? Ugh – the complications of inserting too many characters and subplots have done it! Lastly, the random music videos do not feel as inspired as before. Or is it just me?
10. Seikaisuru Kado
What I like: Forget the action – Seikaisuru Kado is owning the negotiation angle nicely thanks to the dynamics of Shindou and zaShushina. Kado has some pretty good dialogue here – and it’s worth to watch this show solely for that.
What I do not like: I kind of get why Toei decided to use CGI in this show but damn, the moments where you should be saying wow! were replaced with eek!. Morever, why am I sensing a Kiznaiver type of twist here? I mean, it is not bad but the show you may be borrowing a plot is one of the most gorgeous looking last year!
11. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata – flat
What I like: I daresay this season is better than the last, thanks to the focus away from Tomoya to the members of his harem. Two proper episodes in and I am not annoyed with this show. That says a lot given my intense hate of it last Winter 2015. Utaha and Eri got their moment so I hope we can have a Kato episode sooner or later. This should be good.
What I do not like: For every serious Saekano moment, there’s also an equal attempt with comedy and meta-criticism that are mixed at best. Moreover, is it just me or this season this Saekano looks worse for an A-1 Pictures show?
12. Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu ka? Isogashii desu ka?
What I like: The first episode gave me hope that I will get another Grimgar here in terms of the poignant take on a dystopian fantasy setting. It was great that I ranked that as one of the three best Spring 2017 openings.
What I do not like: Then the second episode destroyed the delicate nature the first episode built. Talk about some drastic turn from hope to sheer disappointment. I know it is a Light Novel adaptation but is it necessary to put fanservice in the most inappropriate times?
13. GranBlue Fantasy – the Animation
What I like: Well, I am a sucker for shows with simple plot so GranBlue Fantasy succeeds in that way. The production values are also good, I mean – the artwork feels refreshing to the eyes as long as these misfitted CG visuals aren’t on the screen. I could wish for some more world building though.
What I do not like: I kind of wish we get the background of the antagonist like what Shingeki no Bahamut is doing. It did not, so I get a pleasant show – more or less. Moreover, the show could use less dialogues because GranBlue’s is kind of meh so far.
What I like: I think I am gonna stay for a little longer in this show since the most recent episode showed potential. They are now a kabuki group so let me see how DEEN will pull this in the next weeks.
What I do not like: This show is a snooze inducer, seriously. I am half asleep just by watching it and the animation is really abysmal. Also, none of these characters work for me. Damn it!
Then that’s it! I am done with the ranking! Given my loooong vacation this week, I might be able to create a post or two. Pray for me as I watch NANA. My poor kokoro may not be able to withstand the drama.