The year 2017 is nearly over, which means it’s time to revisit the best that anime had to offer during its winter, spring, summer and fall seasons.
Whether you’re an avid seasonal anime watcher who wants to take a look back at the highlights of the year, or you’re just a casual anime watcher who would like to know the best to come out of 2017, here’s our top 10 best new anime of 2017 (in seasonal order)!
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Fantasy
Aside from being the best-animated anime of the winter season (what else could you expect from KyoAni?), this funny and fluffy slice of life series also turned out to be way more emotional than anyone could have expected. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid has it all: a lovable cast (including the cutest dragon loli), good lessons about family and friendship, hilarious scenes, and a lot of heart. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid is the highlight of the Winter 2017 season, and definitely a Top 5 of 2017.
Genres: Romance, Drama, School, Seinen
2017's first romance anime also happened to be the most crude, pessimistic and bittersweet one. Scum's Wish takes the incredibly common romance school setting to showcase the ugly side of people in love: jealousy, insecurities, selfishness... If you're sick of romance series where everything is perfect and would prefer to see love and intimacy explored in a much more mature way, Scum's Wish is the anime for you.
Genres: Military, Magic
That one series that could only work in anime format: a middle-aged businessman is trapped in the body of a nine-year-old girl and sent back in time to fight for the Nazis during WW2. So, basically, a Nazi loli. Although the storytelling and pacing are a bit confusing in some points, the series does have its epic scenes that make it worth watching and some commentary on religion. If you're into military series, Saga of Tanya the Evil is a good bet, especially since it ended with a hint at a potential second season.
Season: Winter - Spring
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Magic, Fantasy, School
While it's true that Little Witch Academia failed to reward the much-anticipated hype of its predecessor movie/OVAs, the series was still popular and relevant enough to include it in this list. Also known as "Harry Potter: The Anime Version", Little Witch Academia is a carefree, fun story about three witches in a school of magic. A possible reason for its lack of impact? Probably the fact that Netflix killed most of the hype by not understanding how anime-watching habits work. Still, now that it's all out, it might be of your interest if you're into magic schools and Trigger's unique animation.
Genres: Romance, School
Tsuki ga Kirei was a sleeper hit for many, but also one of the highlights of the summer season for those who stuck with it for more than 3 episodes. While both the premise and its beginnings are average, Tsuki ga Kirei turned out to be a very realistic portrayal of what teenage romance is like. There's no cliché misunderstandings, overexaggerated reactions, or any other tropes you might have seen in these type of anime.
Studio: Kinema Citrus
Genres: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Mystery, Drama, Fantasy
Made in Abyss is considered to be the best anime of 2017. At the very least, it's the best adventure anime to come out in a long while. It features kids as the main characters, a rich world that can be as beautiful as it can be scary, and many, many dark secrets to unravel. Made in Abyss satisfies the thirst of those who miss the classic good old fantasy-adventure series where everything is about the thrill of the journey and the challenges of finding oneself along the way.
Genres: Romance, Comedy, School, Shounen
Perhaps the most unexpected entry of this list, both for its premise and length, and for the fact that it was quite underwatched. Tsuredure Children is a series of 12-minute long episodes featuring different high school couples. The series is the fluffiest romantic comedy of the year, and one that has left us many iconic scenes that have been giffed and shared over and over again. Oh, we also recommend watching the dub for a whole 'nother experience.
Season: Summer - Fall
Studio: Production I.G
Genres: Comedy, Sports, Drama, Romance, School, Shounen
Welcome to the Ballroom is the type of show that has it quite difficult to appeal to big audiences right from the start. Ballroom dancing is not the most exciting theme for an anime, but sports (and especially competitive sports) continue to be one of the biggest attractions for shounen viewers. Welcome to the Ballroom managed to make those viewers stay by doing things right: a likable cast, realistic problems for athletes, and an appealing art style and animation.
Genres: Action, Drama, Psychological, Sci-Fi, Seinen
Studio: Signal. MD
Genres: Game, Comedy, Romance
Competing with Tsuredure Children for best romantic comedy of the year is Recovery of an MMO Junkie. Adding the element of gaming and general geekiness, Recovery of an MMO Junkie turned out to be way more enjoyable than anyone could have expected. The characters are adults who learn that it's possible to live a fulfilling adult life with a stable romantic relationship while fangirling about what one enjoys the most, regardless of what society thinks of it. It's funny, cute, and a must-watch for MMO gamers!
As you can probably tell, we have not added any sequels to the actual list. However, we still want to add a few honorable mentions for the following series:
- The lovable idiots from Konosuba 2.
- The loveable sextuplets idiots from Osomatsu-san 2.
- The most criminally underwatched anime from both 2016 and 2017: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu 2.
- The sequel/spin-off that somehow managed to reinvent its franchise, Boruto.
- The miracle everyone had given up on Attack on Titan 2, which developed its side characters and brought many more questions for the third season.
- My Hero Academia 2, which delivered the classic battle shounen trope of tournament arcs while introducing more menacing villains for the future of the series.