Greetings! It is that time again. Another year of anime is in the books and it is that time when we all look back at the series which aired last year and pass on to everyone what we thought about the previous year. This year, I will be doing a 2 prong approach to looking at the anime from last year. First, I will give you my overall recommendations for the year. This is like a Top 10 list but I won’t be ranking the shows. These series could be considered finalists for Anime of the Year. The second part will be the 2017 Anime Awards which will include my pick for Anime of the Year. The survey for those awards (as I want to hear from you) will be open until the 15th and you can take it at the following link: https://goo.gl/forms/YkxyJhvBDGRkbA3p1

So I will be highlighting my favorite shows of the year and explaining why I enjoyed them. This will be split into multiple parts to make it easier for you all to read. So without any further delay, here we go!

Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

dragon maid

Long time followers of this blog are probably not surprised by this series being on this list. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is a series that helped 2017 get off to an amazing start and it did it by being a fun story with immense heart and awesome characters. Who doesn’t love Kanna am I right?  The series may not have broken the mold in terms of concept or story or lend itself to philosophical or intellectual commentary but it didn’t need to. It is a story about acceptance and discovering family and that is all it tries to be. What sets it apart from other series is the chemistry between the characters and realiastic situations between these fantastical characters. You forget that these characters are in fact dragons most of the time and that is a testament to the shows amazing writing. I’ve said this before but if you haven’t done so already- watch this series. Watch it now!

Blend S

Blend-S-PFI

This series from the Fall season while popular doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. This anime series has an amazing group of characters, great comedy, and a whole lot of charm. Maika, Kaho, Mafuyu, and the gang are just all loveable and play off of each other to perfection. The comedy is simple but not too over the top. It strikes the right balance between mature humor and wacky antics. let’s face it Maika’s “sadistic routine” could easily have gone a much more mature route. There are also plenty of heart warming moments with budding romances mixed in.  The series  perfect pallet cleanser to watch after many of the drama series that are currently popular. Let’s not forget about that insanely catching opening number. Gosh that song is incredibly catchy.  Yes it is a show about cute characters doing cute things and I am perfectly ok with that because the things they do are so damn funny.

The Saga of Tanya the Evil 

saga of tanya the evil full

The Saga of Tanya the Evil is a series defied all sorts of expectations. If one were to say that you would have a story about a young girl in the midst of a war- one would easily think of the Moe type series where you wonder: What cute thing will she do next?” If you were to ask that- you would be dead wrong. Tanya is the opposite of the many cute characters that the anime community has come to love. She is dark, cruel, calculating, and only out for herself. She is in fact the villain of the story.  That makes her arguably the most refreshing character from an anime in 2017.  Yet the story does an amazing job encouraging you to root for her anyway- and root for her you do. War settings are something that have been done many times before but the small additions and tweaks the series makes to this setting are enough to make the series stand out. A great mixture of action and a fascinating study of the dark side of human nature, The Saga of Tanya the Evil is an all time classic.

New Game!!

New Game!!

The crew of Eagle Jump came back for a second round of game making fun and this round is just as excellent as the first one. When season 1 aired originally, I’ll admit I underappreciated the excellence of this franchise. After a re-watch and a great season 2, I have seen the error in my ways. The characters first and foremost are the reason that this series shines. Individually and as a group these girls are all a ton to fun to watch (Hifumi is best girl) with mundane interactions between these differing personalities used for comedy gold. While obviously exaggerated, these are the type of experiences that we all experience in the workplace in some form and it is nice to see such things approached in a positive manner.Of course there are plenty of touching  moments mixed in as well just like season 1. This is simply a feel good series no matter how you slice it. This sequel season fell under the radar a bit due to the high amount of quality series this year and it is a real shame. However for me this was one of the top series of the year and one of my all time favorites.

The Ancient Magus Bride

ancient magus bride

I was fortunate enough to preview the first three episodes at one of Crunchyroll’s Movie Night showings during the summer and I knew then that series was going to be something special. Now we are into the second season of the series and I am glad to say that my instincts were right on this one. There is a lot of praise that can be given for this series. The series is beautiful not just on the aesthetics front but also in terms of it’s story and characterization. The journey of Chise and Elias discovering not only each other but what it feels like to have family is really pleasing to watch. The two characters have an amazing chemistry with each other. The world that is crafted in The Ancient Magus Bride is fantastical but grounded at the same time. It is easy to believe that such a world could exist right under our noses and that is a strong testament to the quality of the writing. I could go on for a long time about the merits of the series which will likely remain among a list of all time great series.

Tsuredure Children

tsure

Sometimes the simple concepts make for the best stories. That is certainly the case with Tsuredure Children which follows multiple couples as they confess their love and stumble through the early days of their relationships. You will find no complex plots, love triangles or poorly conceived drama with this series. Instead you just get scenarios which can very easily happen in real life and characters which you can’t just help but root for. You want these characters to succeed, find joy when they do and feel heartbreak when they don’t. The series captures perfectly the awkwardness that accompanies those early relationships. The episodes only clock in at around 12 minutes with each individual story being a fraction of that. That time is used is used to it’s full potential. Tsuredure Children is the definition of a non flashy series, but that simplicity allows it to simply tell a series of good stories. Give this a watch, you won’t be disappointed.

This concludes part 1 of my recommendations. Part 2 will be coming soon. What were your favorite anime from 2017? Please comment below. So until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off and saying see you next time!

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