Summer 2017 Anime Round-Up

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Summer 2017 Anime Round-Up

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 24 Sep 2017 - 15:37

I've ceased doing the season previews because I generally wait at least 3-4 episodes to see what folks are saying before I start a show and anything I am watching week-to-week I discuss in our Discord. However, since the season is about over, I figure I can do a closing round-up of what I was watching week-to-week and then add on with the stuff I'll be binging.

I have to say this was one of my favorite seasons in memory, mainly to there being three really solid original animation productions (Re: Creators | My Little Witch Academia | Princess Principal). Original animation productions are rare enough these days as almost all the effort is in adaptions of popular light novels and manga that are "safe" bets. And considering most such original shows do very poorly in Japan, the chances of them actually being green-lighted are lower and lower every season. 

Re:Creators - A
High school student Sota is watching the anime Elemental Symphony of Vogelchevalier when he suddenly finds himself drawn into it. When he returns to his world, the heroine of that series, the warrior-princess Selesia Uptiria, comes with him. They soon discover that this is not an isolated case, as several characters from anime, manga, and video games are being transported into what they call "the realm of the gods" by the mysterious girl Military Uniform Princess. Some Creations seek to meet their Creators, while others have more hostile purposes.
My favorite show of the season mainly due to it being a totally unique premise not seen in anime to date and it being the only two-cour story given two cours to tell it. That it was also generally executed quite well helped along with it being somewhat of a treatise by the creative talent involved on what it is to be a creator of artistic media. Started strong, stumbled a bit in the middle, but had a titanic finish even if Made in Abyss was a better story, overall.

Little Witch Academia: The Series - A
In a time when magic is on the decline amid society, Atsuko Kagari is a cheerful girl who enters Luna Nova Academy in order to accomplish her dream of becoming a witch like her idol, Shiny Chariot. Shiny is a famous witch who disappeared from public view many years ago. On her way to school, Kagari meets the kind Lotte Yanson and the mischevious Sucy Manbavaran and the three become friends as they share a bedroom in campus. At the academy, Atsuko soon discovers she is in serious disadvantage compared to the other girls since she doesn`t come from a magical family and is required to learn the magical curriculum from scratch. Having found an item that once belonged to Chariot, Atsuko must discover how to activate and properly use the mysterious Shiny Rod as she hopes it might lead to finding out what has truly happened to her vanished idol.
The first half was Trigger at their finest, while the second half showed some studio maturity. If you enjoyed the OAV and movie, this is a no-brainer as it's friendlier than those two.

Made in Abyss - A+
An enormous pit and cave system called the "Abyss" is the only unexplored place in the world. Strange and wonderful creatures reside in its depths, and it is full of precious relics that current humans are unable to make. The mysteries of the Abyss fascinate humans, and they head down to explore. The adventurers who venture into pit are known as "Cave Raiders." A little orphan girl named Rico lives in the town of Ōsu on the edge of the Abyss. Her dream is to become a Cave Raider like her mother and solve the mysteries of the cave system. One day, Rico starts exploring the caves and discovers a robot who resembles a human boy.
If you see one show this year, make it this one. It started fluffy, but by mid-point it was full on serious and Episode 10 was one of the most traumatic things I have ever seen in anime. Reiko's seiyuu is a newcomer, but her performance in that episode should earn her whatever Japan's answer to the Emmy's are. Episode 11 and 12 dial it back a bit, but the final double-length Episode 13 was superlative.
Princess Principal - A-
Five girls live in 19th century London, a city within the Albion Kingdom divided into east and west by a large wall. The girls serve as undercover spies enrolled as students at the prestigious Queen's Mayfair school. The girls make use of their individual abilities to remain active in the underground world of disguise, espionage, infiltration, and car chases.
I had no real intention of watching this one, even though it was penned by Ichiro Okouchi, who did Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, which I generally liked. But he also did Code: Geass, Guilty Crown and Valvrave the Liberator - all of which I did not. And yet damn if he did not pull it off and pull it off really well. An interesting twist is that they treated it as a two cour series, but only showed one cour of episodes - and those they showed out of order except for the final two (Episodes 11/23 and 12/24).

Tsuredure Children - A-
Young love—it takes many unique and fascinating forms that flourish as children begin to mature into adults. From being unable to confess to not knowing what real love actually feels like, various obstacles can arise when learning about romantic attraction for the first time. But underneath all that, young love is something truly beautiful to behold, leading to brand new experiences for those young and in love.
A really delightful show about four middle-school / high-school couples. It could have been your usual wacky 4-koma rom-com - and there is plenty of that - however there were some surprisingly deep observations on adolescent affection and infatuation. Fair warning - as the manga is still ongoing, there is no real resolution to any of the couples, but that's fine by me since it leaves room for a second season.

The following are not Summer 2017 shows, but I did watch them in August, so. Razz

Tsukigakirei - A
Akane Mizuno and Kotarō Azumi are two third-year middle school students who become classmates for the first time. Akane is a member of the school track team and Kotarō is the literary club president who loves books and wants to become a writer. The two seem an unlikely romantic pair, and the people and situations around them make that possibility even more difficult.
Adolescent romance anime are so common you can't swing a Tanuki plushi without hitting at least half-a- dozen a season, but the generally flawless execution and likeable, believable characters put this one right at the top of the genre. The ending was hopelessly romantic, but at that point, the investment is deep enough that it only brings teary eyes, not rolled ones.

Saga of Tanya the Evil - A-
Tanya Degurechov used to be one of Japan's elite office workers, but because of a wrathful god, was reborn as a little girl. She has blonde hair, blue eyes, and nearly transparent white skin, and she flies through the air and mercilessly strikes down her opponents. She speaks with a young girl's lisp and commands the army. Tanya prioritizes optimization and career advancement above all, and she will become the most dangerous entity among the Imperial Army's sorcerers.
An interesting twist to have the protagonist and the antagonist the same character.  If it does well enough to warrant a second season, I will be there.

Brave Witches - B+
The Neuroi, an enemy of mankind, suddenly appeared mainly in Europe in the 1930s. Only girls with special magical powers called Witches could confront the Neuroi who were difficult to destroy with ordinary weapons. In 1944, the Neuroi nest above the republic of Gallia was eradicated, and safety of western Europe has been ensured. The allied forces earnestly began planning for an oppositional operation towards central and eastern Europe. An order to scramble is given to the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing "Brave Witches" whose base is in Peterburg within the Orussian Empire.
Effectively a sequel to "Strike Witches", taking place five years later and focusing on the 502nd Joint Fighter Wing in (St) Petersburg, Orussia.
The Good: Cute Girls. Cool aerial combat. A lot less fan service than the original. Cameos by some of the 501st members (who have since been disbanded back to their home armies)
The Not So Good: Silverlink handled the animation for this one and while it was serviceable, it does not hold up to the work GONZO did in the original. The final arc is pure boilerplate anime storytelling.
The verdict: A worthy installment in the genre, but not as good as the original.


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