I thought I would start of my first blog post with what I feel were the underrated shows of 2017. While everyone and their grandma is going to write about the best Anime of 2017, I would like to explain a different perspective of shows people may have overlooked.
2017 was quite a year for Anime, unfortunately I’m still catching up with a few shows so I’m still not done with some of them. I will say that 2017 was really a breath of fresh air in the industry, there were quite a few shows which really stirred up the artistic side of animation and stories which has been severely lacking in recent years. Now I will start off the list in no particular order. (Please note that each series in this list had to have started and ended in 2017 to make the list)
Studio: Silver Link
Genre: Harem, Comedy, Romance, School, Shounen
Summary: “As a child, Masamune Makabe once suffered greatly at the hands of a wealthy and beautiful girl named Aki Adagaki, who nicknamed him “Piggy” due to his chubby appearance. Seeking revenge against his tormentor, Masamune works hard to improve himself and returns as an incredibly handsome, albeit narcissistic, high school student. When he encounters Aki once again, he is prepared to exact vengeance.”
Yes, I know some of you might be thinking why? Isn’t this just another dumb shounen harem adapted series with an annoying MC who attracts all the girls? Well not exactly, I went into this show having low expectations. I never read the source and just went with my own visual instinct of “hey, the character designs look cute”. Boy, did it leave me surprised in the middle of the show. First off, the animation, which is done by Silver Link is shockingly good. Usually Silver Link does minimal effort from what I’ve seen, but they did exceed my expectations in that department for a 12 episode long series.
I’ll get one other thing straight which make the series enjoyable to watch, it’s the MC, Masamune Makabe. He’s pretty much on par of being as likable as Hachiman from Oregairu. He’s a narcissistic guy trying to get revenge on this girl he confessed to, they do poke fun at him a lot for his attitude of course. Yes, he can be a bit goofy when it comes to love but I think it’s normal for someone his age. Simply he’s not some average beta dude in a harem anime which we all see far too often from this genre. That alone is enough to make watching this worth it.
Surprisingly the characters genuinely have some depth to them and you legitimately get feelings for them in the middle of the show. Everything is well explained with the pasts for the main characters. It was quite funny how I hated a character at first and then finding out the reasoning behind her actions which ended up changing my mind completely.
It was amusing how I was trying out the show on a whim not expecting much but ended up finding myself being emotionally involved with the characters, each week felt long waiting for the next episode to see what happens next.
The only fault of the series I felt was the ending was quite a letdown after all the build up, kind of felt like a huge cop-out. Overall, I was very satisfied watching this and highly recommend people who liked shows like Oregairu to give it a try.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Drama, Romance, Fantasy
Source: Light Novel
Summary: “Putting his life on the line, Willem Kmetsch leaves his loved ones behind and sets out to battle the “Beasts,” terrifying creatures that have emerged on the Earth’s surface and now threaten humanity’s existence. In battle, he falls into an icy slumber and upon awakening 500 years later, finds himself to be the sole survivor of mankind’s annihilation.”
I felt sorry for this poor show, it was literally overshadowed by the big boys during the spring season. Sequels to Shingeki no Kyojin and Boku no Hero Academia, and the perverts were also busy with Eromanga Sensei, it was completely overlooked. I’m glad I decided to give this show a few episodes, the first couple of episodes admittedly feels like the MC is a pedobear with all these lolis he “adopted”. It was fairly slow at the start, I believe around episode 5 or 6 is where it really starts to get deep and emotional.
William and Chtholly are both very likable characters and seeing their relationship blossom throughout the series is heartwarming (and heartbreaking). This series takes an unexpected turn just when things were all easy going with some light action, you probably won’t be prepared for the emotional roller coaster you’ll go on. The series does a superb job at portraying William’s feelings and you even start to feel empathetic towards the girls, all the suffering they have to go through.
I also want to say the musical score in this show is amazing! Even if you don’t want to watch this show, you should really give the OST a try, especially if you love relaxing folk music. The animation is nothing to cough at either, although we expect this coming from Satelight. I had no issues with the voice actors either, they all did amazing jobs, especially with the emotional scenes.
The only issue I have with the show is the slow start felt wasted considering how heavy the show got in the middle and the end, I really wanted more. Although the series did end perfectly in my opinion, certainly is worth giving a shot.
Studio: Actas, Studio 3Hz
Genre: Action, Mystery
Summary: “In the early 20th century, the discovery of the substance Cavorite allowed the production of advanced military technology and steered the country toward conflict. London is now divided by a wall, and the Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Albion battle a silent war where espionage is the only weapon that can destabilize the enemy. A group of girls from the prestigious Queen’s Mayfaire school work as undercover spies for the Commonwealth. “
I went into thinking this was going to be like Anime meets Sherlock Holmes, not really expecting too much. However, the series really started to grow on me as time went on. The plot twists near the end was also refreshing and a nice treat. The animation isn’t anything too great at times, but for the most part the action sequences are pretty good.
What makes this show shine is when they start developing the main cast, learning about their painful pasts was quite tearful at times to be honest. I think the other strong points of the show is the chemistry the characters have, the way they can joke with each other despite being such a scary group of girls you don’t wanna mess with, you do really see they’re human beings.
Unfortunately I don’t have much to say about this series, although it was far from perfect. I think overall as an original series it’s certainly worth a look if you’re into steam-punk period type shows, it does a fairly good job.
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Seinen
Summary: “In the distant future, a new immortal and genderless life form called Gems populate the Earth. The 28 Gems must fight against the Lunarians, who attack them regularly to abduct them and to turn them into decorations. Each Gem is assigned a role, such as a fighter or a medic.”
I know I know, I know what you’re thinking; “Isn’t this show popular now?”. Yes and no, I still believe this show needs to have more credit than it’s really getting. I’m glad that at least it has become far more noticed than it did at the start. On MAL it’s rating started out in the 6’s and low 7’s even, people were so turned off by the CG animation.
Guys, please overlook the fact that it’s a CG animated show, in fact the CG actually improves the quality of the show. I also want to mention the backgrounds done by Yohichi Nishikawa are simply amazing and breathtaking, they’re so lush and vibrant to look at. The animation itself is done so well, each episode I watched I noticed the animation got better and better.
Now that I’ve got rid of the white elephant in the room, the story is something that people might be turned off of. It’s not the most easy show to get into, there’s a lot of symbolism and read-between-the-lines vibes to it. This show is not for everyone, it may be too “weird” or “different” for some to take. However if you love artistic shows with some philosophical fantasy in there, I believe you’ll adore this show just as much as I did. One final thing to note, as I have read the manga, I can say that the Anime is even better than it’s source, they really adapted it well.
Genre: Drama, Romance, School, Seinen
Summary: “To the outside world, Hanabi Yasuraoka and Mugi Awaya are the perfect couple. But in reality, they just share the same secret pain: they are both in love with other people they cannot be with.”
This show may have been quite popular for the most troll series but I’m giving a legitimate positive review on this show, yes I’m not even joking about that. Anyone who has followed me on Twitter long enough knows that I liked this show. Kuzu no Honkai is in the list due to the fact that it has such a bad rep that I feel is unwarranted.
If you have seen this series and thought it was ridiculous and stupid, that is fine and I completely understand your reasoning. I liked this show sorely based on how they were able to portray love in an “ugly” way. The feelings of jealousy and pain that comes with not getting what you want. The complicated feelings a teenager goes through when they start growing up and interacting with each other. The nonsensical things you’ll do along the way because you felt it was “right” at the time but later regret it.
I might be giving this show too much credit but I felt it did an amazing job at reminding me about the dark side of loving someone and that lust is not equal to love. There will be characters you hate, but overall they all have their reasons for what they do and the show touches on that subject nicely.
Sadly I feel this show could of been better if they had more time to depict everything, 12 episodes felt a bit too rushed at times. That pretty much is the one qualm I have with this show.
The visuals and music in this show are top notch, I love the style, it really feels like you’re watching an animated manga. However let’s make something clear, this is not some positive romance show with a happy ending, though I do feel the ending is bittersweet. If you’re looking for a shoujo Anime, this is not it.