As we enter November, we are about 4-5 weeks into the Fall Anime Season of 2017. Having surpassed the 3-episode rule, it’s now safe to start pointing at what might be the best and the worst of this season.
The Good (…or the Better than Expected)
We could not start this list with any other anime. Inuyuashiki is already considered Anime Of the Season by many. And for several reasons.
For starters, it is by the creator of Gantz. And while not many might have liked that series, it’s got a solid reputation in the community. Second, there’s the shock factor (Episode 2 already has a place in “the most WTF anime episodes of the year.”)
Adding its seinen tag, the lack of censorship, and the plain brutality of the story, the series hasn’t left anyone indifferent. Lastly, it’s got an unconventional main character: an elderly man that we would all die for.
Inuyashiki mixes different elements such as alien technology, morality, age, and the responsibility that comes with having power. Be warned, though: this series is not for the easily offended.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride
The Ancient Magus’ Bride is not as talked about as it could have been, but those who are still watching keep loving it. The reason is that the series released the first part in three separate OVAs a year ago, so most viewers had trouble following it or remaining interested in it over time.
If you have time, give it a (second) try. The truth is, this is quite the unconventional story. At times it might seem slow, and some aspects of it might disturb some viewers.
Others might love it precisely for those reasons. The only thing we can say is that the story of The Ancient Magus’ Bride is deep and unique, and Wit Studio is doing a great job in highlighting the fantastic, magic and comforting elements in every frame.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie
Every season has that one average-looking anime that turns out to be a hidden gem. This is the case of Revory of an MMO Junkie. There are countless anime about online gaming (Sword Art Online, No Game No Life), as well as isekai series (Re:Zero, Konosuba…). This series puts those two genres together and gives them both a spin. For one, both the online and offline life have the same amount of screen time and constantly influence each other. And secondly, the characters are adults.
Recovery of an MMO Junkie is especially relatable for MMO gamers, but any fangirl, shut-in, or nerd will also see themselves in the character of Morioka. The series is funny, entertaining, and it even has some deep moments in which the characters reflect on their life choices, and how they feel about their unconventional hobby. Surprisingly, it might also have a candidate for best pairing of the season.
The Bad (or the Disappointments)
So much for “the new Naruto”!
It was hard to judge whether the Black Clover anime adaptation would be a success or not. On the one hand, classic battle shonen has a very well-established fanbase. The stories are simple and straight to the point, they have universal values we can all agree on, and they have a good mix of drama, comedy, and hype moments.
It’s easy to like them. On the other hand, it’s a genre that’s been so deeply explored; it’s hard to surprise viewers at this point. If you know how to follow the shonen formula and add in a unique touch, chances are you’ve got yourself the new Shonen Jump success.
In the case of Black Clover, the author knew how to follow the formula, but forgot to add that extra touch. And while the series does get better as the story goes on, you just have to take it for what it is. That strategy might somewhat work for a manga, but it hasn’t worked for the anime (at least, not so far: it will have 51 episodes!).
The pacing is all over, some gags and reactions get repetitive and boring pretty fast, and… well, there’s the thing with Asta’s voice actor. Our advice? Just wait for that My Hero Academia Season 3.
There wasn’t much hope for Ousama Game, but some viewers were still willing to give it a chance. That’s mainly because there aren’t many good horror anime, and Halloween was around the corner, so it fit the “spooky-fall vibes.” The worst parts of this series are its poor art style, and overdramatic reactions from characters. Of course, that’s not enough to just categorize a series as purely bad, but it still falls from the good horror anime us fans have been waiting for a long time now.
Some horror trainwrecks actually manage to gather what I call an “ironic fanbase”, which is basically a group of fans who keep watching only for the memes (Mayoiga, Another…). Ousama Game can’t even accomplish that. If you had it on your binge-watch list at the end of the season, you’re better off reading the manga.
Kino no Tabi (2017)
OK, hear me out first. Kino no Tabi is a wonderful novel, which already had a solid anime adaptation in 2003. When reports of Kino no Tabi getting a second anime series came out, fans jumped in excitement to get a sequel that turned out to be just a reboot. And that’s how we’re judging Kino no Tabi in this post: as a reboot.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with reboots! Some series have greatly benefited from it, but that’s not the case of Kino no Tabi. The 2017 version doesn’t improve on the previous series, and it doesn’t even make the original work justice as an adaptation.
If anything, this version is worse: the art style changes damages the beautiful/eerie contrast the series is meant to evoke, the horrendous CGI for the (relatively important) bike scenes doesn’t help, and the way they water down some of Kino’s monologues is just disappointing.
Once again, Kino no Tabi 2017 is not a bad anime – in fact, you might enjoy it if you like this type of series, or if it’s the first Kino no Tabi content you have seen. Unfortunately, most fans of the original series are simply, well, disappointed.
Finally, other anime that are either worth mentioning, or performing just as expected:
The sequels!Food Wars Season 3, Osomatsu-san Season 2, March Comes in Like a Lion Season 2, Kekkai Sensen & Beyond (although some are not enjoying the episodic formula).