It‘s the end of 2017 and in my opinion, we had a pretty good year. In my case, this year’s anime introduced me to new genres that I have never watched before and made me like Chinese anime which was hard because I’m used to Japanese dub and Chinese dub just sounds weird. Other than that this year provided us with pretty unique anime and characters. So yeah 2017 rocked!
BEST anime of 2017 (in no particular order)
Boku no Hero Academia season 2
For some reason, this anime didn’t get a place in last year’s “Sakuga City’s Best Anime of 2016” so I’m giving it a place on my list. It might be your typical shonen like Naruto, Bleach, etc. but we can’t ignore its success and ever-growing fan base, not to mention its great story and characters. It might be a bit cliché, where an underrated hero is fighting for recognition, but even clichés deserve a place in top anime if they are amazingly good. And Boku no Hero Academia is amazingly good.
The action scenes keep your eyes glued to the screen and the soundtrack creates the perfect atmosphere for suspense or intensifies the battle scene. Boku no Hero Academia is addictive, makes you want more and more, keeps your blood boiling through the whole episode. So you enjoy each episode 100%. Honestly, this show is one of the best shonen anime in history alongside Hunter x Hunter.
There are two things that I look for in shonen anime: first, an interesting story with actual development and second, awesome action and likable characters. Boku no Hero Academia has both. Characters don’t get power-ups from out of nowhere and there are actual limits to their powers which is a good thing because that way we avoid all those overpowered characters.
To tell you the truth, Re: Creators wasn’t even on my to-watch-list for the spring season, but when I watched the first episode I got hooked instantly. The whole concept of your favorite characters coming to your world and being able to meet them is a dream come true! Plus even if this anime has a variety of characters it didn’t forget to develop them. It’s surprising how the writer was able to do that. Anyway, this anime is one of the unique ones this year. It’s enjoyable, funny, has great action scenes and most importantly, even with a variety of different characters from almost every type of anime, this show was able to develop each character and explain the story solidly. This is a feat that not every writer is able to accomplish.
I must admit the only disappointing part was the ending. This entertaining anime ended in a plain way. I expected a more, I guess, flashy ending?? But other than that it was really good. It knew how to keep your attention and how to break your heart.
Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul
I was waiting for this ever since the first Shingeki no Bahamut. I was expecting a sequel to the first, but I didn’t get that. I should have been disappointed, but even if the sequel is kind of a standalone-ish story, it was good. It had its faults; the main character was one of those stupid characters that can annoy you and, without spoiling anything, some parts of the anime were really forced. Plus, even though I didn’t have a problem with one of the main characters (I actually liked him the best), most people hated him.
Well, if we look past those cons we get to enjoy a pretty fascinating story and we find out what happened to the characters from the first Shingeki no Bahamut. Also one of the best things about this anime is that it has one of the best built fantasy worlds. The relationship between races and characters just make everything seem alive. One character especially makes watching this anime worth it. His intentions are a mystery throughout most of the series; you can’t decide how to feel about him. It didn’t live up to Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis but as a standalone-ish it was great.
Okay, I admit this one might not be exactly “Best anime” material, but I feel it should belong here. I don’t usually go for shoujo anime, but this one captivated me. The drama in this anime felt real. The characters were your usual oblivious girl, cold glasses guy and a tsundere boy. Most people would call this anime mediocre at best, but I think it’s one of the best shoujo anime I have ever watched. Their feelings and their reactions actually felt real. I don’t know why but it’s one of those anime that I could actually identify with.
The only thing that didn’t sit well with me while watching this series was the music. I mean the songs they played. They all felt the same. For a music anime, the songs kind of sucked compared to something like Love Live School Idol Project. Furthermore, the animation when they performed… it kept jumping between CGI and normal animation which distorted the whole scene. Even if they didn’t do the jumping I don’t think it would have saved the performance since all of the scenes looked exactly the same… The directors and animators should have worked on that a lot more.
Kuzu no Honkai
Now, this is one of the most controversial anime this year. It’s about two high school kids who are in love with their teachers but since they can’t have them they decide to become a couple instead. It’s a seinen show, so there are a lot of ecchi scenes. I was never into seinen but this anime introduced me to the genre and made me actually like it. I really enjoyed the semi-dark and semi-psychological theme of Kuzu no Honkai. It was really different from what I am used to seeing in anime. I mean, usually characters are innocent do-gooders and watching them gets boring so it’s refreshing to see something new, something we haven’t seen before. This is what intrigued me the most and made me watch this series.
Then we have the art style! It’s cute, beautiful and endearing; I really loved it. The animation was pretty smooth too. Kuzu no Honkai is worth the watch. The story is heartbreaking and relatable. It’s not for everyone though. I recommend it to people that love angst, drama and have no problem with ecchi.
Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara
While the second season brought shame to the first season of Shokugeki no soma, the third season didn’t. They fixed the pacing problem and opted to stop trying to push as many arcs as possible into a 12 episode anime. This season we were introduced to many new characters and watched Soma grow more. I feel this anime deserves to be on this list because it just brings joy to everyone watching it. It’s hilarious, interesting, can keep a viewer’s attention and has ecchi. Yeah!
Anyway, it’s fun to watch characters in Shokugeki no Soma grow and face many challenges that they need to conquer. Soma is a good chef but not the best and it's really thrilling to see him grow with each loss or win. We can watch him practice his dishes and further develop his skills and that’s one of the best things about this anime-the character's growth. Characters in this show don’t just become good, they practice and practice. They are not overpowered either. So their stories and experiences feel more precious.
Quan Zhi Gao Shou
This is the Chinese anime I was talking about before. It’s just amazing. I mean the dub still sounds weird but it’s worth it! It’s not Sword Art Online if that’s what you are looking for. There is no strange harem that follows the MC and the problems that this MC faces are real-life problems. I really like it because it’s different from all the other anime and it doesn’t involve being trapped in a game, not literally at least.
There is a variety of characters and it is fun to watch them interact or fight together. They all gather around the MC because they acknowledge his skills. Don’t get me wrong, they might all be friends but this is no Fairy Tail. So they don’t win with friendship power, they win with skills and tactics. Oh, and did I forget to mention that every character in this anime is an adult? The protagonist is said to be between 25 and 26 years old. So anyone that hates all those cliché stereotypes is in luck. This is not some high school drama! This is an amazing anime! Even the battles look spectacular!
Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil
What’s so impressive about this anime that I put it on this list? The summary says it all. It’s not like this is the only anime where a guy gets turned into a girl, but this is the only anime where a grown-up asshole gets a second chance of life in a girl’s body in a country similar to Soviet Russia or Germany ruled by Hitler. She is not your typical MC because she is the villain of the show. Yes, finally an anime where our hero is actually a cold-blooded killer! I mean there are sooo many anime where the MC is like “Let's save the world” but not enough shows where the MC is a killer or an anti-hero. So it’s alleviating to watch something like this. God knows why but usually villains are far more interesting to me than heroes.
Story-wise Fate/Apocrypha is one of the best Fate series out there. Fate/Zero is the number 1 so Fate/Apocrypha is number 2. I liked Fate/stay Night Unlimited Blade Works, but just the animation since the story still sucked. Anyway, Fate/Apocrypha is confusing because there is no real villain in this series. It involves two groups of people fighting for their beliefs. There are parts that I don’t understand and don’t agree with, but it’s one of the few shows that gets you hooked on it so much that you can ignore all their faults. I think this kind of series would have worked far better without a main character, but they just had to have one.
Anyway, not all of the characters in this anime might be relatable, but the reason they are fighting is because humans always want something more and will stop at nothing to get it. It’s selfish but that’s humanity and that’s what makes this series realistic.
It’s different from other Fate series because there are way more characters in this one than in any other. That’s bad because they failed to use all of those characters; none of the characters were able to reach their full potential. But it’s still pretty damn interesting. The story makes you wonder who will win. Who should I root for? It’s confusing and bloody, but powerful.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season
You think you have a stone cold heart? We will see after you watch this anime. It is damn heart wrecking! There are so many characters to fall in love with! So many realistic issues, so much Drama! AND NONE OF IT IS BAD! It’s just one of those stories where there is no way you can ever hate it. It’s so damn addictive that you can't stop watching it even for one second. If this is your first Mobile Suit Gundam anime, which was the case for me, it’s one hell of an introduction to the whole Mobile Suit Gundam universe!
There is nothing light about this anime; everything is just so damn perfect! From story to soundtrack, it's just one hit after another. Surviving this series without shedding a tear is nearly impossible unless you are a psychopath.
Garo: Vanishing Line
Let’s be clear. The ONLY reason why this is in Honorable mentions section and not the actual list is because it’s not finished yet. It’s an amazing anime, there’s no doubt about it. It’s just that I don’t know how I will feel about it when it ends. Some series tend to be ruined towards the end. I hope it’s not the case for this one.
Garo: Vanishing Line might have started rocky, but right now it’s kicking. There are so many secrets and mysteries that makes the viewer want more. I’m dying to find everything out at the very end. Waiting every week for a new episode is torture.
I don‘t know if this series deserves a place on my list at all. It‘s an action based series without any real protagonist. You know how I said Fate/ Apocrypha shouldn't have a protagonist? Well, this one should. It lacks structure and story. It‘s just mindless action and fighting. We get a background story for each character but it‘s just background.... nothing else...The action is good at least.
I thought this was going to be great! But it wasn‘t. The MC sucked. Character development was a mess! Some moments make zero sense! Nonetheless, it was interesting and unique. I just don‘t think it belongs on the Best Anime of the Year list...
That‘s the end of my list.