What are the best animes from the Spring season 2017?
It took a bit longer than expected, but I’ve finally finished all the anime worth watching from the latest season. Now it’s time to look back and choose the best of the best. Here are my Top 5 animes for the Spring 2017 season.
5. Atom: The Beginning
After the rotting inferno that was Young Black Jack, I became very suspicious of the “new prequels to Osamu Tezuka properties” genre (apparently this is a thing now).
However Atom: The Beginning definitely hits its mark. It retools its setting for a more existential, Ghost in the Shell-esque exploration of the what defines the soul, as the main robot of the series, A106, slowly becomes more aware of the emotions his creators imbued him with.
The human characters supporting this idea are fun to watch as well, even the selfish Dr. Tenma.
Unfortunately, there is a fairly slow section in the second half where it basically becomes Robot Wars: The Anime, but it quickly resets itself before the end.
The animation is solid, with great character designs and colour work, but occasionally gets a little too CG heavy.
If you’re into AI discussions and interesting episodic storytelling, then definitely give Atom a shot.
4. WorldEnd (SukaSuka)
It’s sad that a show which manages a little above competency within its genre is considered a high mark, but I’ll take what I can get.
WorldEnd is a great example of how sci-fi/fantasy/magic light novels should. No stupidity, no misunderstanding, no obnoxious casts, no socially inept main characters. Just a solid adventure story with an actual conclusion.
The series also dabbles in themes of memory and family, and they’re explored enough to resonate emotionally with the audience.
The animation isn’t that great, but it’s mostly competent, and the sheer vibrancy of the colours is definitely a plus. Throw in a Tatsuya Katou soundtrack that’s actually interesting for once and you’ve got yourself a solid anime.
Not great, but very much a step in the right direction for an oversaturated genre.
3. Alice and Zouroku
Alice and Wonderland-themed fantasy anime has become its own sub-genre recently, and Alice and Zouroku is yet another great addition to it. Much like other Alice-themed anime, this one is abounding with creativity that will excite you, instil wonder, and break any constraints of reality.
The darker subtext of the series also gives it an unsettling vibe that constantly has you on the edge of your seat, waiting for something bad to happen. Because Alice, Zouroku, and the other characters are so endearing and likeable, this makes these moments, and their eventual resolutions, all the more satisfying.
The cutesy character designs combined with contrasting sets of colour palettes amp up all the emotions surrounding these characters. Unfortunately, there’s quite a bit of dodgy CG, but it can be mostly overlooked, and TO-MAS strikes gold again with another quirky and off-kilter soundtrack.
If “Elfen Lied but less edgy and better characters” sounds appealing to you, check this one out right away.
2. The King’s Avatar
The King’s Avatar takes complete advantage of an untapped premise (competitive gaming) and explores it thoroughly. It tells its story concisely and with tremendous amounts of attention paid to details about world building and realistic dialogue.
Ye Xiu is one of the more compelling protagonists of the year thus far due to his mix of confidence and humility. The cast surrounding him is great as well, both supporters and rivals, and the way they mesh together to form a living world of gaming gives this series so much life.
While the character designs are strong, a lot of the animation can be a bit wonky. Shaky fight choreography and a ton of obvious CG are a bit annoying, but certainly not deal breakers, and I wish there was a more memorable soundtrack.
I’m anxiously looking forward to both the recently-announced second season and any other projects coming out of this studio in the future.
1. Little Witch Academia
Studio Trigger has outdone themselves yet again and given me a new addition to my favourites list. LWA has so much creativity and style jammed into its 25 episodes that every single entry is a joy to watch.
It also has a fantastically-executed theme of following your dreams presented in a fashion that allows viewers of all-ages to enjoy this series. Akko as a bumbling witch with a dream to inspire others makes her the perfect protagonist for this series, and the supporting cast around her is absolutely stellar.
Trigger continues to show off their high-energy and flexible animation style, accompanied by a mishmash of other styles for variety, to make this series an artistic wonder.
To top it all off, Michiru Oshima provides us with yet another fantastic fantasy score to bolster the raw emotions of each episode.
LWA is easily my favourite of Spring 2017, and, unless a huge sleeper hit comes along, it will also be my early pick for Anime of the Year. You absolutely NEED to watch this show, and can find a complete review here.
Overall, the anime Spring season was pretty alright, though also a bit disappointing in some aspects. Honourable mentions go to Armed Girls’ Machiavellianism for a great school battle story, and The Royal Tutor for making pretty boys anime watchable again.
Here’s hoping the Summer season has even more to offer!