Now that Spring has officially ended, let me do this traditional post.
With all the bombast (Kado, Bahamut S2, Little Witch Academia, Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2) this season produced, I found myself gushing over Tsuki ga Kirei which I always deemed as a second-tier. It would not have been higher than #3 in a normal season but gosh, the endings of my initial favorites crumbled so hard I have no choice but to put it on top.
Spring 2017 is okay I guess, it is much better than Spring 2016 in my opinion. Even the shows that should have been reviled (Eromanga-sensei and Akashic Records) pleased their respective niches big time. Then there’s The Eccentric Family S2 for those who seek quality shows even if that was a step down from the emotionally heavy and whimsical first season.
Now let’s rank these shows a bit, and bear with me as I rant on how my initial favorites ended up as disappointments in the end.
- Tsuki ga Kirei
- The Eccentric Family S2
- My Hero Academia S2
- Little Witch Academia
- How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend – flat
- High School Star Musical S2
- Shingeki no Kyojin S2
- SukaSuka – World End
- Seikaisuru Kado
- Shingeki no Bahamut – Virgin Soul
- Sakura Quest
- The Royal Tutor
- Re: Creators
- Granblue Fantasy – the Animation
Shows I will include in my yearend list: Tsuki ga Kirei, The Eccentric Family S2
Shows I consider decent: Anything above Shingeki no Kyojin S2
Show to skip: Hmmm? Every show has its strong perks this time, but Kabukibu! is probably the show you can skip and not lose anything.
Let’s just say Tsuki ga Kirei has one of the best endings of any anime this year. I sensed a bit of Makoto Shinkai in the finale and I was already fine if it took the 5 Centimeters Per Second route. Then somewhere along the line, the staff decided to pull a fairy tale that still feels realistic but incredibly poignant. No show made me bawl so hard this season, but Tsuki ga Kirei’s last episode almost reduced me to a love sick puppy. The series itself is a testament that good characters and plotting make up for a relatively dull premise. I swear to God I did not expect Tsuki ga Kirei would turn out to be the most solid romance I watched in recent times.
The Eccentric Family S2 had some slips in terms of its characters this time, but the nuances of the characters of Gyokuran, Nidaime, Yajiro and Kaisei made me love this in the end. There are episodes I can skip like the ones where Tenmaya has a focus but the ones that do not have are great. Hmmm? Did I just spot a plot hole in the show? I mean, Ebisugawa was supposed to be dead in episode 7 then he reappeared as the final boss in the finale. Didn’t Kaisei and Yasaburo watch his final moments when Tenmaya shot him? Why the hell is he around in the end?
Well, the ending nicely closed the show with a brawl that rightfully placed Benten to where she really belongs. My Hero Academia S2 is ranked this high just because it did not commit major blunders. Nothing much can be said this time except that Bones produced the ceiling of 2017 in a single animated moment with Deku and Todoroki fight.
While The Eccentric Family S2 managed to save itself in the end, Little Witch Academia decided to play the unnecessary trope (the result of that stupid soccer game) as a vital part of the climax. Hell, the first half of Little Witch Academia’s finale is so cliched I rolled my eyes in frustration. Guys, saving a country from a missile attack was cool 15 years ago. Without good homage, that is only a padding to the otherwise good show. Hmm? The second half boasted the best animation Spring has to offer, and probably this year. Seeing Akko and Diana defeat that monster missile was so enjoyable. Seriously. That being said, Little Witch Academia is really good, great even, but the quality of the episodes wildly fluctuate.
Then, I was pleasantly surprised on how How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend – flat proceeded with every character’s route and develop them beyond the tropes they were in season one. It could have been better if not half of the show is comprised of meta-humor that is hit and miss. I will probably kill myself for saying I love this back in 2015, but I am sincerely fond of that show this time around.
I am also ready to write-off the second season of High School Star Musical Season 2 then the magical ending came and I was okay with it in the end. Nope. It lacked the central core of its prequel and the urgency that made StarMyu success. I still stand by the fact that Ageha’s arc was too long and the training camp arc was too short so it isn’t still a sequel I wished this show sought in the end.
Then for my two most disappointing shows this season, I can only sigh because these were really promising in the beginning. Seikaisuru Kado is doing well until the finale. Seriously, I never thought that a single episode can shatter what it did good before and went with the gayer version of Samurai Flamenco’s ending without the nuance. Well, I appreciate the show has balls to kill the main character (my husbando is dead) but the freaking Namois-hen did a deus ex machina and made the next 8 minutes of the finale stupid. Also, did they really have to put an antagonistic vibe to zaShunina? I mean the dude just wants to eat data. Let him be! I honestly think Kado will be a lot more interesting if it just let the gay alien take the Earth to the anisotropic.
Lastly, Shingeki no Bahamut – Virgin Soul is going around in circles until its two most recent episodes. I appreciate the reverse persecution twist it pulled in the beginning, but grew bored once I realized the show cannot utilize it well. The pacing is also painfully glacial, that I think these are just stories lumped into a show then named it Shingeki no Bahamut. Favaro eventually appeared but the poor dude was brushed to the sidelines. Perhaps my biggest qualm is the more pronounced role of these annoying gods in the series. The first season fell apart in the end because of them, and they are also destroying the show this time around. Yikes. Am I going to watch the next half? Sure, granted the show is visually gorgeous most of the time and Charioce is uhm… hot (a low-key reason to watch it).
For the others:
- Shingeki no Kyojin is still uneven in terms of pacing but the action remains solid. Only that, ugh, the characters remain dry as bread and they spent talking and talking for an episode. Also, color me unenthusiastic with its overreliance on flashbacks. That really killed my enjoyment with this season of Shingeki no Kyojin. Oh, there’s a third season in
20202018, let’s wait until then.
- Sukasuka – World End can be reduced to the first and the last episode and it can be a contender for the best anime movie this year! Too bad, the third to sixth episode were a chore to watch because of the show’s poor world building while sacrificing the chemistry of our leads. The latter half is good but oh god the pacing is wonky. I think episode 11 should be halved and I wished we saw how Chtolly fought in the day she was supposed to die. I can have these instead of that annoying doggy ojou-sama that bitches half the time.
- Sakura Quest is quite boring when quiet but trite when it tries to bring drama. Will the series go anywhere in the end?
- Then there’s Re: Creators which is painfully tiptoeing the mundane with its dialogues and unnecessary drama. I still stand by the fact that Sota is damn useless, Alice is stupid and Meteora talks too much. Seleysia and Matsubara save the show from getting bad. Seriously, why Matsubara is not the main lead there? Ugh. Take note that I hate shows with ridiculously slow pacing when it could be faster and this show exemplifies that. Eromanga-sensei is kinda okay, but it is just another run the mill harem show in its core. I appreciate its no bullshit approach in teenage sexual urges though.
- GranBlue the Fantasy is visually gorgeous but there is nothing new with the show. It’s fine if you watch it but it’s also okay if you skip it. Then there’s Kabukibu! which has the better story with poorer visuals. Well, I still think the show is too padded for its own good. It can be a short while giving more impact now that we trimmed the boring parts.