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The Best and Worst Anime of Winter 2017

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Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Ok so I am of two minds here. The best show I saw this season was unquestionably Rakugo. However, my favorite was Kemono Friends. I just enjoyed watching that show so much.

The worst is obviously Hand Shakers though. Not only poor quality CG animation, but badly animated CG animation, like characters would randomly pop in on screen out of nowhere and similarly disappear before they fully left the screen. It just looked like it was done by people who were using CG for the first time.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:33 pm Reply with quote
but there was just something so unsettling about the unseen protagonist interacting with the girls, his/our gaze lingering where it oughtn't and the characters onscreen seeming aware of it. It felt like an uncomfortable (to me) fantasy given life, and it unsettled me for days after I saw it.

Let's face it, it would be more unnatural if the guy managed to keep eye contact the whole show. Straight/Bi men's eyes are going to wander, it's just a fact of life. Telling us to stop would be like telling a fish not to swim or a bird not to fly.

And sadly I guess it is just a fantasy to have the girls being understanding of this and not treat us like potential rapists because our gaze lingers.

But for the most part One Room was just a cute and innocent show. Definitely needed to be a short show, though. Don't think I could take 20 minutes of that POV.

As for me, I guess I'd say Tales of Zestiria season 2 is my favourite. For worst I guess I'd go with Hand Shakers. Not because I actively dislike it or think it's absolutely terrible, it's just the weakest show I watched this season.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:43 pm Reply with quote
My favorite show this season is without a doubt Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid because it combines two of my favorite things Yuri and Dragons a winning combination in my book. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:49 pm Reply with quote
My favorite two shows would be 1.Saga of Tanya the evil and 2. Konosuba and worst would be Scum's wish simply because it was so boring I had to bail in the first 10 minutes. Hand shakers was bad too but I at least made through the whole 1st episode.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:51 pm Reply with quote
I can't wait to start watching Rakugo. I stop watching its first season because of time and then this new season appeared, and all I've heard is amazing things. So I'm really looking forward to it after I finish March comes in like a Lion.

My AOTS is Maidragon. Sweet, fun, warm, amazing characters, beautifully animated. Yep, it was the best.

My runner ups are Demi-chan and Konosuba. Although it stumbled during the middle, Demi-chan ended really well and went back to its nice understanding of minorities, although in some minor degree (Yuki is best demi). And Konosuba 2 was actually better than the first season. The group feels like a family, albeit disfunctional, but it was great seeing them working together. And that finale blew me away. Aqua really is strong, huh?

My choice for worst of the season is Gabriel Dropout. Each episode had only 5 minutes of good content and the other 15 were only the same tired jokes you see in other slice of life anime. Even its personal jokes got boring and repetitive by the end. So yeah, Satania was fun at first, but then she gets tiresome.

It was a very surprising season! I didn't expect to like some of these shows the way I did, especially Kemono Friends, which is the biggest surprise of the season. I'm looking forward to the next season!
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:53 pm Reply with quote
Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid certainly caught me off guard in a way that I would hardly have deemed possible, simply through its quieter moments wherein the titular character contemplates how her new relationships deliver her safely into adulthood.
Interviews with Monster Girls had the apparatus to say something equally resonant, had it not been for the the obstructive dynamic between the concerningly flawless main character and his students. Too often it succumbed to allowing the latter become mere objects of study for the former, presenting this imbalance as the development of agency and self-worth even though better, less interventional means were at its disposal.
It is a beautiful thing when a character figures out their place in the world through their own power and blossoming social competency, whether human, dragon or dullahan. Both shows exhibited such feats, but sadly to differing degrees.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:54 pm Reply with quote
Far and away my favorite of the season is Scum's Wish. An absolutely beautiful show that could have so easily been a trashy disaster, but it refused to condemn its characters for their messy emotions and questionable-at-best actions. Its final statement seems to be that even if you're a disaster of a person you still deserve to love yourself and find happiness in life, and I'm really appreciative of that.

Runner-up should be Rakugo Shinjuu but for a few reasons Season 2 just didn't click with me the way the first did. It's still excellent and totally deserves the praise it's gotten, but I connected with Iron-Blooded Orphans' second season way harder during its final cour. That show is way messier, but something about its characters and their desperate, unhealthy ways of trying to survive in a burning meat-grinder of a world just stuck with me, and I'm both anticipating and dreading the finale this sunday.

Worst is Hand Shakers because of course it is. Look at it. But I want to give special mention to Fuuka. The show had one job - follow its source material and turn into a hacky, ridiculous car accident of a story, and it couldn't even do that. Just a big, fat waste of everyone's time.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:54 pm Reply with quote
Something tells me I should probably watch Rakugo Shinju at some point.

My favorite anime of Winter 2017 is, undoubtedly, Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. I absolutely love it, and, like Jacob, it's become my favorite KyoAni show (with Nichijou and Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya as my 2nd and 3rd favorites, respectfully). I'm also really enjoying the FUNimation's Dub, with inspired casting like Leah Clark's Kobayashi and Sarah Wiedenheft's Tohru and... pretty much everyone else really. I honestly wish more people would give the dub a shot, but that sounds kinda selfish, right?

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:18 pm Reply with quote
Top pick: Scum's Wish. Giving it to this one due to the sheer amount of feelings and introspection it gave me. After each episode I found myself thinking about my own characters and writing, and how to approach a character's terrible decisions with respect and nuance. Interesting stuff!

Runner up: Dragon Maid and Rakugo. Both are so good in very different ways. I couldn't choose. The former made me laugh out loud, even on repeated viewings, and the latter was just a work of art.

Spirit Pact. It seemed right up my alley in content, and I really liked the art style. What an obnoxious letdown Sad
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:02 pm Reply with quote
First of, I am not surprised that Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju is dominating the best category among the critics. This second season was still great, but not as great as the first season. It is still early in the year, but I expect SGRS to remain in the top 5 best and the end of the year.

These are my picks for Winter 2017:

Best: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju 2
Runner up: Scum's Wish

Worst: Fuuka

Last edited by angelmcazares on Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:10 pm Reply with quote
Best: If you asked me in the beginning of the season, I would have said Gintama but by the end especially the last two episodes or so, Rakugo surpassed it personally. Many words have been written already singing the shows (well-earned) praises so I'll leave it at that.

Runners-up: Gintama if it wasn't apparent. Rakuyo is definitely one of the best serious arcs in Gintama and my only complaint is that it isn't continuing aside from reruns. After that is Scum's Wish, a show that made me feel in ways no other show has despite not having an adolescence like that.

Worst: Hand Shakers obviously. A landfill fire of this magnitude doesn't come along often and like Rakugo, much has been said on this point already. For the runner up, I'll agree with Rebecca's choice, One Room, especially the middle arc. I'm not against incest in anime but the first person POV just made it gross. It makes it eminently clear that the guy is skeeving on his what 12 yo sister, no two ways about it. Smiral is definitely the master of skeeve at this point, not that that is a good thing.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:50 pm Reply with quote
Best: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
Runner-up: an (odd) tie between Gintama and Scum's Wish
Worst: this is actually pretty hard since i haven't watched any of the shows people put as their "worst"...sooo, does Trickster count? It finished this season after all...
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:13 pm Reply with quote
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.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:22 pm Reply with quote
That gif at the end XDDDDDDD

But yeah, in terms of original shows, I think it's pretty certain that Miss Kobayashi was the season's best anime. It might be the perfect excuse for me to check it out, but I'll have to split it among all the other shows I'm trying to watch.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:35 pm Reply with quote
Top pick: KONOSUBA Second Season. To make a simple explanation, I'm a huge HUGE fan of Slayers, I watched all of its material possible, and I still love it till today. Sadly, part of my disappointment with Slayers is not being particularly good at handling serious issues and making a bit of a bad mix with the humour (TRY and Evolution-R being the exception).

However, KONOSUBA knows that its own serious business side is mostly a support for the comedy and the characters' relationships and personalities, and it constantly hammers at being aware of that. I could not give a serious damn about most of the villains here if they didn't make me laugh my ass off or having such quirky personalities.

Also, one of my visually favorite anime, I will fight anyone who dares to say that the animators are lazy or that don't care because for the love of Kikuta and Shinya Takahashi I'll kick you in the nuts.

Runner-up: If Sangatsu no Lion doesn't count, then Little Witch Academia, they're pretty tied-in anyway. I love the introspective world of Sangatsu no Lion and how it constantly takes shots to destroy my self-esteem. With LWA I have a conflictive relationship because I love the concept and the world (and all of the characters, honestly), yet I always feel sad how this is not the full potential of a show directed by Yoh Yoshinari, showing quite a lot.

Honorable mentions: Akiba'Strip. I know this wasn't a big hit around here but this show was supr fun for me, very silly and quirky, it was like a less mean spirited version of KONOSUBA in the same day KONOSUBA aired so that was neat. Demi-chan hits a little higher for me in how it tackles the idea of pedagogy and the cast is overall adorable, ended way better than expected. Dragon Maid is very good but I feel like there was potential for even more interesting stuff.

Oh yeah, Rakugo is good, but not nearly as dramatically relatable for me.

I can't name any other for Worst than Hand Shakers, so I'll go with the most disappointing: Scum's Wish. After episode 10 and 11, I didn't want to watch anymore, it felt pointless and shallow. Luckily, episode 12 made reminded me that most of the series has been worth the time, but sadly it left a very bitter taste in my mouth.
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