Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Best and Worst Anime of Spring 2017

Best of Spring 2017: #1. Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul: A continuation set years after the original Rage of Bahamut Genesis Anime chronicles what happened after the failed rebellion of the demons and the ascendancy of Humanity under the ruled of a new soveirgn who is at war with the universe's divinities while allowing the enslavement of the demons. This series captures the swashbuckler of an epic adventure blending comedy drama and lovely fluid animation for a series that feels legitimately universal in it's appeal making this number one for the fact that it honestly feels both like a delightful throw back to 80s fantasy OVAs like The Heroic Legend of Arslan or Record of the Lodoss War and shows the growth technically from creaking massive golems and dragons to small bits of comedy intermixed with questions about where loyalty should lie and one episode of real character growth for an character that felt rather flat in season one while being able to balance the epic scale of the story with a real beating heart of humanity. Making for the best of the season for it's consistent quality. #2. Re:Creators This is a series that is meta textual question with in metatextual question about the nature of fiction what happens with fiction and deeper questions of moral responsibility all combined with an almost battle royal of characters from various forms of media with again like Virgin Soul an epic scale with occasional parts of real character building. Yet this is at number two mostly for the exposition heavy episodes as of late which do help ground the world but also grind whatever forward momentum the story has to a grinding halt. #3.Tsuki ga Kirei: Pure sugar encrusted romantic sweetness with a understated dynamic of showing two introverts in love although at times it feels like a route in a school days Visual Novel and sub par CGI and backgrounds distract from the often superb visual direction and understated and naturalistic voice acting. #4. The Laughing Salesman New: An reboot of an older series this one captures an world run by a kind of "Monkey's Paw" morality of poetic justice and while I thought it captured an amazingly grim look at people often times devoured by their own overweening desires. It never ended up being boring and I honestly wish it had gotten a second cour as it's episodic nature made for an easy way to get into while also capturing an old school feel for the visuals #5. Alice & Zouroku: An odd mixture of magical realism and grounded look at the importance of family and questions about the nature of humanity this is one of those odd little series that get lost in the shuffle with big prestige series getting most of the coverage and this si an honestly charming little series that may not be seen by many but had a truly tight emotional core if nothing else Honorable Mentions: Anonymous Noise: In many ways this is simply PG-13 Nana and that is not a bad thing by a long shot but overall this is a series that gets carried by the emotional momentum of the main love triangle and some truly strong and emotive singing and musical numbers Worst of Spring 2017: #1. Sakurada Reset: Oh wow this is like a junior high student's attempt at writing a "profound" novel with out having any idea of how people talk or interact while having a protagonist that if he where not made the hero of this story would be a villain on par with Light Yagami from Death Note. #2. Berserk: Everything that made the 2016 season of this stillborn artistic abomination has only been made worse with this season when it is not being numbingly brutal and grim-dark feels like an badly scripted D&D session by someone with no idea on how to write tension or drama in short this is the incompetence of Chaos Dragon without any of the endearingly awful parts to it #3. Girl Beats Boys: A trifling reverse harem short that will hopefully be gone and rightfully forgoten #4. Kabukibu: Classic on the cheap Studio Deen in short the Cheer Boys of this season forgettable but workmanlike #5. Armed Girls Machiavellianism: Cliché addled battle harem series with no real ending and one note charcters I was hopeing this would have been like Battle Vixens but instead it just came and went without any real impact cheep poorly directed action scenes and a cast that ranges from too good for something this bad to barely compentant Dishonorable Mentions: Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor:This had the potential to be a fun mixture of slacker teacher meets middle brow fantsy but instead it is simply a tiresome slog of cliché badly carried out and an overall shoddy product with nothing ventured or gained in the process only an 12 episode waste of your time and some stupid impractical "meme" school uniform for the female charcters. Worldend: This is an emotionally manipulative over written Anime that tries to force emotions out of the audience but hamstrings it's self due to it's superficially clever writing that forgets to give it's characters any kind of interiority. While having some truly dandy action direction in the last episode that is not enough to save this cloying mawkish mess of a series from feeling like an exercise in forced sentimentality Best Voice Acting Male: Genda Tessyo as Fukuzou Moguro (Laughing Salesman New): Having to take over from a established Seiyuu who having passed Tessyo had to play a charcter that comes off as both sinister and willing to help people and he nails it with an times loud, quiet, quiet, loud delivery making for an unnerving delivery Best Voice Acting Female: Saori Hayami as Nino “Alice” Arisugawa (Anonymous Noise): Saori Hayami is my favorite female Seiyuu mostly known for playing reserved princesses, rich girls, and prim and proper young ladies. In this she plays Nino an often awkerd withdrawn girl who has to deal with the scars of the past so seeimg Hayami play someone who is as quick to give a lme joke, sulk, or scream her feelings out is impressive. Also the singing while out of the normal "sweet spot" of Hayami's J-Pop ballads and uptempt dance number she captures the pain and angst of Nino while also making her utterly Adorkable this role combined with her turn as Yumeko Jabami in Kakegurui might help brake Hayami out the rut of her being typecast in "Princess" roles. Honorable Mention Female: Sakamoto, Maaya as Magane Chikujouin (Re:Creators) Best OP: Wonder Drive by OreSama: a Simple J-Pop song that captures the fun and whimsy of the series with the visuals reminding me of those in Flying Witch Best ED: Freesia by Know Name: Again another simple Pop song this focusing more on vocals than groove and making for a calm cool down for the chilled out adventures of the Sakuraquest crew

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