In 2017 I watched a lot of anime and wrote about what I watched on a monthly, now it’s time to rank all of the shows to find which one was the best! So this is basically a top 12 list!
- New GTO
Before you get excited by the new series of Great Teacher Onizuka which you missed please note that this is a joke spot since it’s not really an anime. During JEARETTAS I did three episode reviews of this series pretending that it was a new series of anime with brilliant realistic visuals and animation along with 45 minute episodes.
So does the fact that it’s live action mean you shouldn’t watch it? Of course not! The show is actually really entertaining and has a lot more emotion within it. Having 45 minute episodes means you can get invested in the characters and develop each story arc more. Whilst the conflicts are very black and white it’s still funny and you’ll like it if you see the original anime first!
Here’s the three episode reviews:
- Kodomono No Jikan
If once this recommendation is over you suddenly hate me please read this post: https://mybrainiscompletelyempty.wordpress.com/2017/09/09/kodomo-no-jikan-addressing-criticism/
I’ve not seen an anime tackle the issues of paedophilia in a way like this. It feels like a “what not to do” type of show except it doesn’t realty end with any consequences. The 7 year old main character tries to seduce her older teacher and it uses comedy, emotional scenes and relatable stories to make an interesting yet pretty disturbing narrative. But those who know me understand that I thrive in cringe and discomfort (as you can see) during my anime’s so no big problems here.
And to those of you who didn’t watch this because it was over censored, ha-ha I watched the uncensored version! Oh wait, that’s not a good thing.
- B Gata H Kei
Much like the comedy of konosuba season one (where the joke was that the people were never leaving the town) the joke in this was that Yamada was never going to get the guy.
The idea of a girl trying to gain 100 sex friends in high school is hilarious when it’s not taken too seriously like in this anime. Even though she was voted best girl in her school she has trouble even finding one for reasons made pretty clear from the start. She’s approached by guys but is scarred by still having her virginity and doesn’t like not being in control. This means that she has to fulfil this task herself and as you can imagine it doesn’t go well for her.
She thinks that a weedy nerdy guy would be the easiest place to start but it’s probably in fact the hardest. Due to both of their awkwardness theirs a lot of confusion and misunderstanding but it’s all pretty funny anyway.
You can kind of understand the motives and opinions of both characters and its enjoyable watching everything pan out. The signs that they both love each other are fairly obvious but its funny enough to make you not care and enjoy their journey.
I wouldn’t recommend this to many people but if what I’m saying sounds interesting then check it out.
- Golden Boy
I reviewed every single episode of Golden Boy in JEARETTAS and it was great! This fan service comedy show has a main character who is exploring every single part of Japan on a quest to learn things and gain knowledge. In every single location he meets a cute girl and gets involved in their story and ultimately creates a group of women stalking him around the country.
While the plot sounds simple (which it is) the comedy is really entertaining and the lessons learned by the characters are important and come across in a really entertaining way. So it’s a mix of comedy and real life lessons which is a really cool mix!
8. Inari Konkon Koi Iroha
In this paragraph I’m going to explain why I watched this show because I think it’s funny. I listen to a podcast called “The Pro-crastinators Podcast” which has a certain mascot that nobody knew for the longest time. Nate (from the podcast) found the picture without knowing where it came from and put him as the mascot because he looked like a pro-crastinator. Well much later it was found out that he was a guy from Inari KonKon and I added it to my watch list. Much later I actually got round to finishing it!
So Inari KonKon was really good, entertaining and emotional. The main character recieves special powers from a god and they start hanging out together… and drama ensues. It has both romance and drama which interact really well. The story has two elements, Inari’s persuits of love and Inari’s relationship with the god. Both are done well.
The lessons Inari learns and friends she made at the end leads to a huge, brilliant climax which made me tear up inside. It was great.
Yes that’s right Inuyashiki was the best show I watched in December! I just liked it that much. To save content and my ideas for the full review I’ll just leave you with what I wrote last time.
At the start of this show Inuyashiki is in a terrible situation. His family hates him just because he’s old, boring and from the looks of it failing at his job. He suddenly is diagnosed with a terminal illness and will spend the last days of his life in misery with family who don’t seem to love him. It’s really sad. But then he’s unexplainably given a second chance along with superpowers!
This sudden tone shift is brilliant and I love the way we start to focus on other people’s problems and what Inuyashiki can do to help that really makes the show entertaining in my opinion. You could say that the show is about good vs evil but I feel like the journey is so much more complex than that.
Writing this has made it clear to me that I really need to get a full review of this out on its own, you should just trust me and watch this.
- Mysterious Girlfriend X
This show was brilliant. My first impression was pretty bad but the show turned it around by creating a really compelling story. I have plans to write an individual post about this in the future so I won’t go into any more detail here. Just watch as many episodes as you can before dropping it.
If you want mysterious Girlfriend X’s full proof method to getting a girlfriend you can find the post here: https://mybrainiscompletelyempty.wordpress.com/2017/03/27/how-to-get-a-girlfriend-mysterious-girlfriend-x/
- Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan
This comedy is brilliant and all of the short episodes are funny. If you like comedy anime at all you need to watch this due to the funny characters and moments that revolve around a psychic main character.
It doesn’t have much substance but it’s a cool and fun comedy which is why I love it so much.
If you really want full in depth details for why I liked this show so much I have a 16,000 word post explaining it all along with two follow up posts: https://mybrainiscompletelyempty.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/the-shiki-diaries-1-22/
What I love about this show is the conflict between humans and the others (don’t want to spoil too much) and how the monsters they fight can be humanised to the point where you start to question who the good guys are.
It’s a non-scary horror show with terrifying ideas and themes about the darkest nature of humanity. I really enjoyed this one!
Deciding my top three was very difficult for me. Whilst I loved Kaiji I put it in the third position because the second season wasn’t as good in my opinion, mainly because of the games they were playing.
Season one is a gripping story that you can’t put down as it will make you care that much. This show creates moments of extremely high tension and gambling with terrible fates for losing yet not great outcomes for winning (until the end) and he wins and loses enough for the outcome to not be predictable.
At the start of February I finished season two and I thought it was alright. The tense cliff-hangers have long lost its toll on my especially when they feel stretched out or unimportant. Not that it wasn’t good though, the camp was especially good when you got to theorise what Kaiji and the rest of the characters were plotting before the story arc was resolved. It was resolved in a brilliant and entertaining way making the build-up worth it.
The same is not quite true for the last arc. It wasn’t as interesting because it wasn’t a contest against a person, it was against a machine. This arc did entertain me as there was plenty of plotting, I just feel like it fell flat at the end. The last episodes focussed purely on a contest against a machine and it had far too much padding in it, I outright skipped most of two episodes just because of how similar they were. Besides this it did have a really satisfying ending which was fun to watch. I had plans to start reading the manga after this season but the way it ended made me not want to continue just because the ending was so good.
2. Hajime No Ippo
This series is the best sports anime I’ve ever seen and deserves a lot of praise for getting me interested in a sport I had absolutely no interest in and would never say I liked. The motivation and determination from the main characters as well as the stakes for everyone involved are brilliantly tense and hyper, creating a brilliant watching experience.
Contrasting most action shounen shows, every punch, movement and injury feels real and has a distinctive impact that shows every single action has consequences for the characters. The way Ippo and the rest of the cast are injured is brutal and feels human giving them a relatability which makes you just have to root for them. In most shounens the pain the characters feel isn’t expressed in a realistic way and they are able to get back up and give it their full strength. In Ippo this isn’t done, most of the struggle is to overcome their own pain in an attempt to knock the other guy down.
It’s not really the most realistic, with over the top sound effects, massive muscles in feather weight boxing and punches which should knock the opponent down straight away.
But it’s comedy, characters, action and time outside of the fighting is also brilliantly entertaining to watch and something I definitely recommend.
- Berserk 1997
Berserk is a brilliant anime that I’d consider a must watch for anyone who likes and enjoys anime. From the outside looking in this show appears to be some kind of dark, demonic action show but it really isn’t. There’s a lot of gore and action in most episodes however it never seems to be the main purpose and idea. It really feels like the characters are the most important part of the story and how they interact and react to each other in the scenarios that take place.
The world of Berserk is completely medieval and bad ass. The world feels very real and political and the drama that takes place during these politics is really entertaining and feels joyful to watch. It genuinely felt so gripping that no time at all had passed whilst watching the episodes! The world also feels structured. What I mean is that it doesn’t feel like the creators are randomly creating characters to place in the world, it feels like they already exist and the characters just run into them because they were in the right place at the right time (or normally the wrong place at the wrong time) which really creates an entertaining story.
The narrative follows the story of Guts, an extremely strong swordsman who has had a very difficult, traumatic past and runs into a band of mercenaries called the band of the hawk. It then follows the drama with the leader (Griffith) and the commander (Casca) as they go about their adventures in trying to achieve Griffith’s dream for the band of the Hawk.
The philosophy of these ideas and the consequences of them are a major theme of the series. The anime explores the consequences and benefits of war, ambition and purpose and doesn’t try to persuade you either way. It shows you the lives and events of the people in the war (which has lasted about 100 years) and allows you to draw your own conclusions and ideas about what’s going on.
The story gets continuously more and more dark as it progresses to an ultimate finale at the end which (without spoiling anything) is pretty good, that’s all I can really say.
All anime’s are pieces of art in one way or another with some themes or messages that are presented but this one feels like it’s on an entirely different level. Theirs clear purpose, themes and ideas expressed here that feel so very real and the work and ideas of the creators and manga author Kentaro Miura shine through in every aspect of this show.
A common criticism that I hear from the show is that it looks bad or that it has bad animation. Do not worry about this at all, the animation isn’t stellar but it’s not terribly bad. If you find the story and ideas that I’m telling you interesting then you really won’t care about the animation at all: I hardly noticed the low animation quality myself. The aesthetic and visuals are also brilliant, it really brings the story to life and the old animation look just adds to the medieval and old time setting in my opinion.
This anime has pretty much my favourite sound track. I love the atmospheric music which is prevalent in the slow calm moments of the series. Everyone loves “Forces” but I really like “Earth” and “Gattsu” is probably my favourite song of all time never mind my favourite track in an OST.
Overall this show is a gory action anime with so much more. It’s massively refreshing from the standard action show and explores really interesting themes that you might find yourself thinking about for your lifetime even if you eventually forget the show. This show is absolutely not for everyone and the manga is rated 18+, though as someone younger than this I can say that it’s not really worth that rating. Theirs tragic things but they won’t disturb you or creep you out if you have any tolerance at all but If you can’t stand the image of an anime character chopping a guy in half then you’ll be absolutely fine.
Just watch it. Simply just watch it. I could (and indeed I have) write(/en) far more words reviewing this telling you about how good it is but I don’t feel it’s necessary. If you like the idea of war and everything I’ve told you about then this is definitely an anime for you. I think it shows that this is my favourite show I watched this year when you see that I’ve written 19 separate posts about it! I just love it!
Thank you for reading, as always here is the league table, the last table you’ll see until we start it all again at the end of January!
January 2017 – Kaiji
March 2017 – B Gata H Kei
April 2017 – Berserk 1997
May 2017 – The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K
June 2017 – Golden Boy
July 2017 – New GTO
August – Inari Konkon Koi Iroha.
November – Hajime No Ippo
December – Inuyashiki