Friday, March 31, 2017
Best and Worst Anime of Winter 2017
My best of The Winter breaks down as Kemono Friends being the best thing I saw this season another series would at this but I will get to that when I get to the worst of list. Kemono Friends was something I dropped five minutes in when it first came out with it's hideous looking CGI but I Picked back up after I saw it was getting something like four to five threads a day on 4chan and started watching it and I came away charmed, comforted, and emotionally invested. Bad Iyashikei and Slice of Life Anime are the emotional and aesthetic equivalent to doing heroin in that it basicly obliterates any enjoyment of the series and reduces your brain to "mush." Kemono Friends never had that effect I cared about Serval and Kaban's adventures wondered what the world they where in really was and over all felt satisfied with everything when it ended. Kemono Friends may not be a profound series but it is emotionally impactful and for me that means something. Honorable Mentions: Interviews With Monster Girls this is both for the over all kindness of the series and that I could actually see this as an honest representation of an alternate universe treatment of "special needs" students. and having been in Special Education through all four years of High School it all felt eerily familiar to me. KonoSuba Season 2: Season one was my pick for best of the year this season only didn't end up best because Kemono Friends ended up being an all around better show due it's to it's "x factor". In short KonoSuba Season 2 is simply a solid continuation of an already great series and I tend to try and reward out of left field series or originality more than continuations of already good continuing properties. The Saga of Tanya The Evil: This seriously could have ended up being some sort fo weird offensive revisionist history but instead it ended up being a bleak look at war and questions about perception versus reality and the place of logic and instinct in life and ethics. It's not something I expected to enjoy as much as I did because I am not a military Otaku I don't hate military things it's just never been a burning interest of mine. The only thing that keeps this from being higher on the list is that Studio Nut had a few production delays and if these had not been in the series this would have been my best of the season. Seiren: Simply put this is the kind of goofy and cute awkward kind of Romance I like and while parts of it feel like a repurposed version of Amagami SS the sort of bumbling awkwardness is what made this so fun for me. Worst of List this is the one where I fall on my proverbial sword also it's only three because I don't like writing about stuff I dislike as it's frankly draining : #1. Scum's Wish: Let me say up front that I actually liked the ending to this series it gave me an ending to a romance Manga and Anime I have been silently clamoring for, for years. That being said the journey to get to that destination is not worth the trip for me. This for me is something that falls into that rare category of outright offensive Anime and Manga I can forgive something for being technically inept. Yet this series had characters that where so lost in their own heads that at one point they felt dissociated from their own bodies and physical actions it honestly boarded on an kind of solipsism. If you are looking for an kind of atypical romance series that does not feel so in love with it's own characters misery I'd recommend Arakawa Under the Bridge as an alternative. #2. Hand Shakers: This is a disaster in every aspect of the word not even the occasionally Jazzy Hip Hop influenced score of Goon Trax could save this CGI abomination from the slag heap. #3. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen: Yeah that part of the ending killed it for me this caused the show to suffer what I call "The Identity Crisis Effect" named after the DC Comic that retroactively killed any enjoyment of Silver Age Comics for some fans. This is a term I apply to series that have an ending that retroactively ruin any enjoyment I had of the series. Rakugo may be a technical masterpiece Akira Ishida and Yuu Kobayashi may have turned in some of the best performances of their carriers but ultimately it is all ruined because of one oblique reference the final episode of the second season. If this doesn't bother you or you can like it in spite of this fine but for me it's a solid no you almost had me Rakugo and than you went and pulled that so no just no. Best Seiyuu Male: Akira Ishida despite my problems with the series Akira Ishida turned in a master class of understatement, charm, and world weariness that was a treat to watch each week. Best Seiyuu: This would have gone to Yuu Kobayashi on the strength of her Rakugo performance alone but if episode Eleven of The Saga of Tanya the Evil had not happened and Aoi Yūki had not allowed Tanya's sneering mask of contempt to slip in her line delivery it would have all been Kobayashi's to have undeniably. Yet Yūki won out in showing one of the few truly vulnerable and human moments for the otherwise unflappable Tanya combined with her over all performance which in retrospect had more range in comparison to Kobayashi's which on reflection had one crowning moment of genius after two seasons to work on a character Aoi Yūki had one season to work on a character who was in many ways irredeemably evil and vile. While also having to play on the charm of being a supposedly "innocent" little girl who also has the memories of an older person from an different time period. Aoi Yūki had the harder job and had to make a character who looks like an adorable blue eyed raccoon and make her not only intimidating but worthy of respect and even hard won admiration.