So 2016 was a busy year for me, especially the latter third of it. This means that, unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to actually focus on watching anime and staying up to date with the new and current shows. This is probably pretty apparent since a number of my first reviews of this year were from shows two seasons ago, having finally gotten a chance to finish them.
This season, though, is different. I finally have the time to actually watch more anime shows again, so that’s what I’m gonna do! The Winter 2017 season started at the beginning of this month, so now that we’re a few episodes in and have a better idea of how these shows are kind of going, now’s a good time to talk about them and see which ones are worth our time!
Special note: I will only be talking about shows that began airing this season. I didn’t watch a single show from last season, and there’s enough I’ve seen that started this season that I don’t feel a need to go back and give them a try.
So, let’s begin!
Akiba’s Trip The Animation
This show, I found because Funimation announced they were simuldubbing it. Although that alone shouldn’t be reason enough to start watching a show, I still decided “ehh, what the heck, I’ll give it a try”.
The story is about Tamotsu, an otaku who suddenly finds himself a superpowered semi-human being, who is tasked to protect the Akihabara strip, along with a small team of new friends, from evil creatures called Bugged Ones who want to take over the city. This team consists of him, a girl named Matome (who turned him into this superpowered state), and another girl named Arisu (who’s human, but seems to be along for the ride).
Akiba’s Trip honestly don’t sit completely right with me. I think it is mainly because I don’t exactly like Tamotsu, the main character. I don’t totally hate him either, but still, he’s selfish and doesn’t seem to know how to be serious. Arisu is probably one of my most favorite things in this show for me. Her bubbliness and that weird spinning thing she does to exit a scene is really fun.
Beyond that, the action is interesting enough, although the action scenes could perhaps go on for a bit longer. Everyone on the team is competent, but Tamotsu seems to get a bit more attention than everyone else. It also knows how to do non-action scenes fairly well, too, though. Bubbly Arisu tends to be the comic relief. In the non-action scenes, though, is where Tamotsu’s selfishness and other flaws really show themselves, and irk me.
It isn’t on the top of my “must see shows of this season”, but I’ll keep watching it for now. If you’d like to check it out, I suggest watching 2 episodes before rendering your opinion.
This is probably one of the shows I’ve been hearing the most about this season.
Looking at it myself, it seems obvious pretty quickly that this is a drama/romance show, revolving around male lead Yuu, and two girls: random new friend Fuuka, and childhood friend-turned-superstar idol Koyuki.
Of the two, the anime formally introduces Fuuka first. However, she really rubbed me the wrong way in the first episode; although Fuuka hasn’t been quite as abrasive since then, she still annoys me. Based upon first impressions, I like Koyuki a lot more, but she still comes off as a bit odd to me too.
I’ve gotten used to fanservice existing in shows, for the most part. When it gets really up there in your face, it’s a bit annoying, but all in all, I tolerate it. However, the whole “girl getting mad at the guy when she ends up in a questionable situation” is a joke in anime that I’ve really never gotten any enjoyment out of; the fact that this anime pulls this 3 times in two episodes… ehh…
All in all, though, this doesn’t seem to be that bad of a show. Bad introductions aside, Fuuka has made me curious to see what will happen with the main characters in the future; I can see myself getting swept up in whatever ends up happening next. However, I think I’ll put off watching this until after it finishes, to see if other people say it goes downhill or anything.
The angel Gabriel, after graduating school in heaven, moves on to the next step in her education: learning how humans act at an actual human high school. After arriving in the human world, though, Gabriel finds herself sucked into an MMORPG, believing that healing other characters is the right thing to do as an angel. Years pass, and Gabriel has become so irresponsible, she risks becoming a “fallen angel”. Her friend Vignette, actually a demon, convinces her to return to school though and try to get back on the right path.
Gabriel DropOut is a comedy series, and honestly, it’s like any other comedy anime you’ve seen before. Another demon appears, named Satania, and declares Gabriel to be her rival, despite being totally incompetent. Gabriel is an otaku slob, wanting to take the easiest way out of everything. The fact that the main characters are either demons or angels is the gimmick of this series. It’s not terrible, but it’s jokes aren’t that new when you get down to it, and I feel more bored watching it than entertained.
I’m not going to be continuing this one. It’s not something to avoid, but I don’t see it as anything special either.
I’ll admit the opening song and animation are pretty cool though.
Interviews With Monster Girls
This was actually not going to be a show I was going to pick up by myself, because I thought it was related to the Monster Musume anime series a few seasons ago; a friend told me I should check this out, though, and so, here we are.
In an alternate world, where certain people can be born with some supernatural characteristics, such as those of vampires, dullahans, or succubi, we meet Mr. Takahashi. He’s a biology teacher in a high school, and he’s had an interest in these “demi-humans”, and has wanted to be able to sit down and talk with them. However, since he never met any, he never really got the chance.
Now, all of a sudden, after meeting a new teacher who turns out to be a succubus, he also runs into students who are a vampire, a dullahan, and a “snow woman”. The coincidences of this first episode are beyond the range of believability, but I’ll let it slide. Mr. Takahashi gets a chance to sit down with the vampire student, after a random run-in with her one night, and he proceeds to interview her about how her life as a vampire is.
This is a pretty cute show, honestly. Even after one episode, I felt myself really enjoying it and wanting to watch more. I really like the interactions these various characters have; the unique situations these “demi-humans” have lead to some interesting dialogue and funny moments; this show doesn’t squander the potential it has here. I honestly think it’s pretty well-written, and I’m looking forward to continuing this throughout the season.
If I have any concerns, it’s what will happen later on down the line – after Mr. Takahashi sits down with the four girls we’ve met so far, where will the anime go from here? I’m hoping that we don’t end up with lazy, contrived situations that are written in just for cheap jokes or development.
If you’re looking for another show to add to your watching list for this season, and you haven’t given this one a look, I suggest you try it. I bet the first episode will get you hooked.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
The newest show to be animated to by Kyoto Animation, this series’s colors and designs are more flat and a bit simplified, rather than the shaded, super-realistic visuals of KyoAni’s past works.
A female dragon-turned-maid named Tohru falls in love with a programmer named Kobayashi, after the latter drunkenly stumbles into a forest and comes across Tohru, telling her that she can stay in the latter’s home. The next morning, she doesn’t remember a thing, but now she has a new roommate. Pretty quickly, they’re also joined by a younger dragon named Kanna, and Kobayashi now has to get adjusted to the new hectic life she finds herself in.
This show is a comedy series, and like Gabriel DropOut above, also works on a gimmick: the fact that most of the main cast are dragons. However, I feel this show really takes more advantage of the whole “dragons” thing, and its jokes get to me more and overall, this show feels more clever. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t strike it with every joke; I don’t think I like Kanna all that much, and Kobayashi and her coworker going into full otaku mode when they get drunk also has already gotten old to me, 3 episodes in.
Kyoto Animation’s visual quality is still on display here; Tohru as a dragon in the first episode looked really well animated and drawn. And, as a programmer myself, I find myself a bit impressed: the dialogue of Kobayashi and her coworker in the first few episodes sound like things in the same vein of what actual programmers would complain about.
In the end, even if it doesn’t hit it out of the park with every joke, this show’s probably one of the most entertaining things I’m watching this season. I won’t say everyone will fall in love with it, but if there’s one current show I would suggest people to check out, this one would be it.
Made by the team that created the “Makuro no Danshi” short-length series, they’re back with a similar premise. This time, the story revolves around the male protagonist being you, the viewer. The characters (well, character) talk to you, and pauses as if you were to actually respond to the conversation. It’s like a reader insert fan-fiction or something, except in a video form.
It’s a pretty okay show, and for being 4 minutes long, one can’t really expect something very deep or anything anyway. It’s rather simple, and it’s kind of cute.
I must say it does have some really pretty backgrounds at times (although the inside of the protagonist’s room in episode 2 looks very plain and subpar). I personally like realistic-looking backgrounds, so this show doing that is pretty nice.
If it’s something that seems interesting to you, give it a shot. I’ll probably keep at it simply because it’s 4 minutes per episode.
Another short-length anime series that I randomly stumbled across, this show revolves around Naruse, a girl who accepts a job at a nearby Italian restaurant, Trattoria Festa, because she needs some extra money. It’s here that she runs into a series of wacky characters and situations.
It’s what you should come to expect from a short-length comedy series: over-the-top wacky characters, everything going at a super-fast pace, animation and art that looks weird and inconsistent, and it’s all over in just a handful of minutes.
There really isn’t much to say about Piacevole, honestly; it’s a pretty alright show, and its jokes are also pretty alright. The animation and art is one thing, but it’s not really that glaring or out-of-place for a short-length show. All in all, it’s just pretty alright.
If you’re looking for something quick and funny, you can give this a shot. You may enjoy it, you may not. But with it only being a few minutes long, there’s no harm in trying. I enjoy it personally, so I’ll be continuing to watch it.
Seiren got me with a PV that I watched about a month or two ago by this point; it positioned itself as a romance anime where people are truthful with each other and themselves. This is the one show I was excited about going into this season.
So, after 3 episodes, this show didn’t exactly meet my expectations.
Seiren puts you into the perspective of high school boy Shouichi, who finds himself to be the butt end of Hikari’s teasing. The first episode awkwardly flounders around a little bit, but eventually gets across the point that Shouichi goes to a summer retreat camp with his best friend Ikuo to study for the upcoming university entrance exams, where Hikari also shows up out of the blue. There, the beginnings of a friendship blossoms between the two.
At times, I see this show falling into clichéd romance anime trappings. The animation quality is only okay at best, and there are specific lines of dialogue that don’t really make much sense. That being said, the moments where the characters are honest and straightforward with each other really make this show for me. I really enjoy seeing Shouichi and Hikari together. Looking past its surface issues, I am finding myself enjoying this show a decent amount.
I’ll be continuing to watch this through the season; it probably won’t result in anything that amazing or great, but I’m interested enough to keep going. I wouldn’t not suggest others to give it a try either, but I’d say to give it at least 2 episodes before deciding what to do. Honestly, though, I won’t be surprised if you decide this show isn’t for you, it does have some glaring problems.
There are some seasons where there’s just a whole slew of shows I want to watch, and I don’t want to give up on any of them because they’re all so good. That isn’t the same situation here, unfortunately; most of the shows I’ve tried are pretty much “okay” to “pretty good”. Not every anime season is going to be absolutely spectacular though, and honestly, it works better for my busy schedule to not pay attention to too many shows at once.
Hopefully through this post or in other places, you’ve found a few shows this season that interests you. If there’s any that I haven’t tried, or if you have another opinion on the shows I’ve talked about here, let me know in the comments!