Another year’s here, another year’s in the rear-view mirror. Even though my 2017 personally ended up less stressful than the previous few years, I still wouldn’t argue the notion that this past year was overwhelming, pessimistic, and frustrating.
…well, except for anime. I ended up watching more anime this year than I had in long time, and a lot of it was fantastic! From airing titles alone, I completed roughly 40 series and attempted around 30 more. Add to that a handful of superb movies and for me this year was anime’s best in recent memory in terms of both quantity and quality.
Whether you have a casual interest in anime or you breathe this stuff like oxygen, someone seasoned in ani-culture or someone completely oblivious to it, my goal with this spoiler-free 2017 Anime Year in Review is to give you a concise guide to everything I checked out from the past year and supply you with just enough background for you to determine whether or not you might dig each title. Obviously my opinions are subjective to my own personal preferences, and keep in mind that this is the one time each year where I really double down on the stuff I loved and hated. If you liked something I despised or vice versa, do not view any of what follows as a personal attack. It’s just my quick, probably oversimplified thoughts.
So here’s how we’ll do this. Instead of ranking every single show, half of which I didn’t even finish, we’ll leave the detailed, numerical spots to the top 10 and sort everything else by tiers of similar quality. Starting with shows I dropped after just an episode or two, we’ll work our way up from the most atrocious offerings to the most tolerable. After that comes the completed titles, using the same “worst to best” approach. I’ll also highlight some anime films that came out/I saw this year before rounding this off with more in-depth thoughts for my top 10.
Sound like a plan? I’m ready if you are. It’s not everything under the sun, but here’s what my 2017 in anime was like. Enjoy the walk down memory lane.
There’s just never enough time to go around, is there? The end of the year is slowly approaching, and I’ve already got loads of finals, holiday commitments, and other writing to juggle. Another list on top of all that seemed unthinkable. Hell, those annual Top 25 OPs lists I do take about two months of listening, writing, reshuffling, and editing before I even come close to a finished product, and that’s usually on top of all those other matters. Before now, though I’ve always been curious about doing an ED list too, I felt there was neither the demand nor the supply for one, since let’s face it, ending themes always get the short end of the stick. While a deserving OP is easy to rewatch, even during one-sitting marathons, EDs are usually less memorable, less addictive, and ultimately less talked about than their introductory counterparts.
But as I sat down in mid-October to run through my preliminary list of 2017 openings, I came to a surprising realization; this year has been uncharacteristically fantastic for ending themes. I could name several shows whose closing montages were just as well-regarded as their OPs, if not more so, and I didn’t want to waste the opportunity to do some of them great justice. After floating the idea and getting some warm feedback, I decided that if I were to ever do an endings list, this would be the year to try it out, and if I had any chance of completing it, I’d have to crank it out early. And thus, here we are.
So, 2016 has ended, and with its ending we have a chance to look back and examine all of the anime that came out this year. Now, 2016 actually ended a couple weeks ago, so I’ve decided to make it up to all you faithful readers out there by analyzing this year in the best possible way: By sorting my favorites into an numbered list, as well as having a quick look back at the Fall season.
“Why only the Fall season?” I hear you ask. Well, because I only wrote for this blog during that season.
So here’s the thing. Usually, my posts on here are directed towards people who already know what I’m talking about, those self-proclaimed “otaku” and anime junkies who keep up to date with the latest productions and headlines and just want to hear my opinions on them, no walkthrough necessary.
But writing with them in mind limits my audience, and for this 2016 recap, I want to be a little more inclusive. This article is for hardcore fans and anime newbies alike; those in the know can compare their year in anime to mine, while the casual watcher will be given an overview of everything I’ve seen from 2016 – one that, if I’m successful enough with this, will hopefully act as a guide to what I thought was and wasn’t worth watching.
I managed to finish just over 30 shows this year and give a shot to just shy of another 30 more. At a minimum, everything I watched at least one episode of has a name-drop below. Only the top 10 are properly ranked; the rest are categorized in groups sorted by how far I got through them (early drops, late drops, or completed/up to date), as well as what kind of impression they left on me. This will be a bit lengthy, so let’s just get right into it, starting at the very bottom with the immediately-dropped abominations and ending with the cream of the crop.