I apologize that this is a little late. I have also been very busy with school and work. I am graduating soon! I plan to post my Master’s final project about Japanese education on here when it is finished 🙂
Although I usually watch cutesy shows with a lot of girls and yuri, some of the ones I watched in Winter 2017 do not fall into that category (most of them do, though). Without anymore delays, let’s review all of the shows I watched for Winter 2017, highlighting the best and worst.
Best Overall– Urara Meirochou
This came as quite a surprise. Even though I liked the first episode, I wasn’t sure how the series was going to hold up because of its questionable fan service. I fell behind on it for a while and ended up marathoning most of it. And strangely enough, it ended up being my favorite. What drew me in the most was the premise. I practice fortune telling in real life and to have a whole anime dedicated to its many forms (not just Japanese fortune telling, but other kinds from various cultures) was wonderful. It also showed witchcraft in a positive light, which is extremely important in my opinion.
On top of this, the story was solid, even though this is a slice-of-life anime. There was character development that illustrated the girls maturing and coming to terms with their own personal identities. Parts of the story also became pretty dark. Other than this, it has all of the other elements I can’t resist: a cast of adorable, lovable female characters; many cutesy and chibi moments; and a decent amount of yuri. The art and backgrounds in this show were also fantastic. My only real complaint for this series is the fan service, but it does become a little less obnoxious as the series goes on.
If you want an adorable, yuri-ish slice-of-life anime that is a little more story driven and goes a little deeper than other SOL anime, definitely check out Urara Meirochou. Overall, I give it a 9.5/10.
Runner Up- Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
This is also quite a surprise because I assumed that this was going to be my favorite of the season. This series is right under Urara Meirochou; it just turns out that Urara had more elements that resonated with me on a personal level.
That being said, Kobayashi did have a lot of important and refreshing aspects. Not only did the show have obvious yuri themes, but it also critiqued Japanese culture’s emphasis on conformity. Instead of being weary of those who are different, the show teaches its viewers (and Miss Kobayashi herself) to accept each other, and, that, despite our differences, it is possible to still live together harmoniously. It is a very poignant theme in today’s world and I found it very uplifting. I plan to write more about the show’s themes in the future. I also applaud how the show was able to incorporate so many different allusions to mythical folklore about dragons.
Other than that, the show was sweet, funny, and overall very enjoyable. It is another slice-of-life comedy that is a must-watch for yuri fans, but I would really recommend it to anyone who wants to smile and laugh. Overall, I give this series a 9/10.
As a side note, Toru is life. And don’t forget Kanna.
Worst Overall- Chaos Child
I tried. I really did. I tried so hard to like this show. It started out on a good note, and even though it was a little rough around the edges, I wanted to give it a chance. The story got a little better in the middle and I had hope once I watched Episode 8, which revealed a lot of essential information.
However, after that episode, instead of getting better, the show got worse. It was a complete mess. There were so many loose ends and plot holes. And even though they explained the reasons behind the murders and the killer’s intentions, it just wasn’t satisfying in the end. There was not enough build up to make me fully understand or really care about the characters, which made the “conclusion” very ineffective.
This show had an interesting premise and was able to create some amazingly creepy moments, but it fell short in the end. If the show were longer, it (probably) would have been able to fully flesh out the story more and connect all of the pieces. Or maybe if the plot wasn’t so unorganized, twelve episodes would be enough. I plan to eventually check out the source material, so I can see how the story is really supposed to play out.
I don’t recommend this show. It may interest you if you are a fan of horror, but I don’t think it is worth the time, unfortunately 😦 Overall, I give it a 5/10.
Most Surprisingly Good- Interviews With Monster Girls
If you read my comments from mid-way through Winter 2017, you will see that I didn’t have the best opinion of this show. This is because the harem aspects of the show irritated me to the core, especially since the young teenage characters go gaga over an older teacher. The show has so much potential that it doesn’t need to rely on that kind of cliche. I never finished the manga because of this, but I decided to continue the anime since they did such a good job of adapting it.
And I am glad I did. Although two of the characters still have crushes on the biology teacher, the show focuses less on haremy moments and more on the development of the characters. This show also has themes of learning to accept that every person is different and the demi-chans learn that their unique identities make them special, not dangerous.
In terms of a slice-of-life anime, this show is definitely a little more mature. I like how it discusses sexuality in a serious manner, rather than using fan service as something to laugh at. I recommend this show to someone who wants a slice-of-life that is a little more thought-provoking than other silly SOL shows, like Anne Happy. Altogether, I give it a 9/10.
Most Disappointing- Konosuba 2
Although I did enjoy Konosuba 2, I didn’t like it as much as the first season. The show always used fan service as a form of comedy, but I felt like the second season used much more, and I found some of it distasteful. This could be because the story focused more on Darkness and we all know how Darkness is >.> I’ve nothing against her and actually really like her, but the animators loved to make her the center of anything sexual.
I also didn’t enjoy the story as much. Again, maybe because it was more centered on Darkness. I swear, I don’t hate Darkness. But I would have liked there to have been a more even portrayal of all of the characters. Like, the part with Aqua’s followers was funny, but why are they so insane, and how did Aqua turn out to be… well, Aqua?
Maybe I am just bitter because there wasn’t a lot of Megumin this time.
If you want a crazy comedy with cynical humor, or an isekai adventure that is very different, check out the second season of Konosuba. It gets a 8/10 from me.
Shows To Give A Second Chance-
DON’T HATE ON SCHOOL GIRL STRIKERS! Many people were panning this show from the very beginning. I, on the other hand, really enjoyed the silly antics of the show’s quirky cast. It is true that the show has a typical premise, and, at first, does not seem to have anything special about it. Is the show innovative? Not necessarily, but it does have some unique elements, in my opinion. The first half of the show focuses on the girls honing their powers, but something silly is incorporated into every episode. The first few episodes are like a slice-of-life comedy, only with battle involved. I liked seeing the girls in strange battle situations, such as using a volleyball as a weapon.
Toward the middle of the show, the story becomes more focused and is actually well-executed. There are a lot of threads that become interconnected and I found the small intricacies interesting. I plan to write about my theories on the show’s ending when I get a chance.
Again, is it groundbreaking? No. But I recommend for anyone who wants to see slice-of-life combined with action, silly comedy, or some yuri. It also has a lot of well known voice actresses from this genre, which makes it nostalgic.
Despite its flaws, this was is one of my favorites. Like, ever. (Don’t judge me). In my heart it gets 328482 out of 10. Realistically, it gets a 7/10.
I noticed a lot of people dropping or ignoring this show because they found it strange or unbelievable. The truth is that the premise is really odd and preposterous. But that is what makes the show so enjoyable. You have to embrace the weirdness and laugh at the anime because it is a convoluted paradox. Idols are acting as politicians- they are young and have no political background. They use cuteness, songs, and flashy shows to win over the audience rather than rhetoric. However, in the show, the idols are the good guys, and the real politicians are the bad guys because they are very narrow-minded. It’s backwards. And yet, you can’t help but root for the idols because they represent being kindhearted and pure.
I recommend this show for fans of idols, or anyone who wants to laugh at the extremely tumultuous political climate we live in right now. It is very relatable in a very strange way. Altogether, Idol Incidents gets a 7/10.
Other Shows I Watched
Read more about my opinions about Winter 2017 in the second part of this post, which will discuss my favorite and least favorite characters from the season. Keep an eye out for Part 2 (whenever I get around to writing it) so you can learn more about these shows:
- Gabriel Dropout
- Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club
- Masamune-Kun’s Revenge
- Blue Exorcist Season 2
Shows I Never Finished, But Will Attempt To At Some Point
ReWrite Season 2
Did you agree with my overall impressions? Please comment below to let me know what you thought of these shows, and whether you agree or disagree with me.