16 CommentsYear in Review / By Scamp /

2017 Anime of the Year awards and top 10

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It’s the last time I can use a Tanya face to lead a post, so let me have this one. At least until they announce a season 2. Hello? Anyone?

2017 was a year of incredible originality and imagination across anime…a line that will soon look very silly when 4 of my top 10 are sequels, one of which being about kids with super powers going to a special school for superheroes where they compete in a tournament arc etc. But asides from that, so many of the best shows this year were things I genuinely feel like I’ve never seen anything like before, which after watching some 1000+ anime in the past 10 years is a seriously impressive feat. Like, two of these top 10 are CG animated. What kind of mad world are we living in?

Some quick note: Only anime that ended in 2017 are elligible, so no March Comes in Like a Lion because it quickly stuck in a new season before the year ended. Also no Owarimonogatari this year because I’m not caught up, but since a Monogatari has been on almost every single one of my anime of the year lists, I’m sure it won’t feel like it has missed out too much.

10: Little Witch Academia

0B6B6B09-A3E0-4187-A4AF-0BCA14B31A38Trigger usually do complete nonsense, balls to the wall series, so to have them make a family friendly, wholesome, Harry Potter series is kind of surprising. They do it so well though and it’s a real joy to watch each week. Their bubbly animation is maybe the best its ever been. Like the TV short and movie before it, ultimately Little Witch Academia is an entertaining popcorn magic flick that I mostly forget about once it’s over. But I wanted to give it props at the end of the year for what it achieved in nailing precisely what it was trying to do and be the kind of thing you could show anyone between the ages of 4 and 84 and they would enjoy it, which is why it edges out stuff like Princess Principal and Inuyashiki.

9: Kado: The Right Answer

609B56EC-463B-43CA-BF21-3F153BEF2C62This series is here because it nails the part of science fiction where it presents new technology and talks about how it could impact humanity. It’s not just “what if robots had feelings” type thing too, but concepts like unlimited energy source or complete control over gravity.  Not just that but it goes into what do you do when the information is made public, how it’s made public, who controls these new technologies. It’s a proper in depth look at how the world would react to these truly society shaping technologies, from nation states to the whole meaning of communication. The actual story and characters they build around that aren’t amazing and the CG won’t win over any naysayers the way a certain other CG anime did this season, which is why it’s down in 9th. Also the ending is kind of nonsense. But for what it did for science fiction, I kind of love it.

2017’s 2018 Anime of the Year

Fireball Charming

IMG_0877My annual award for best anime that didn’t finish this year was originally going to go to March Comes in Like a Lion, but then I remembered I gave it the award for 2016’s 2017 anime of the year, and just because it hasn’t ended this year either doesn’t mean it’s allowed to win the award two years in a row. Then I remembered Gundam the Origin is still airing and that thing is still awesome and people should watch it…but wait, that was 2015’s 2016 anime of the year. Darn! Well, I guess this vote is going to Fireball Charming because somebody has to cry to the world about how only one episode has been subbed so far. Please, somebody, sub it. You have like 6 minutes of fansubbing to do to cover the whole thing!

8: Girl’s Last Tour

949B2CB9-86E8-4DC5-869E-3D507CD341D5In the year where the actual Kino’s Journey ended with the main character running over angry sheep in a burning field, it was nice to have a series that did what the original Kino’s was able to do. These two girls travelling through this world, meeting strange and interesting people, and contemplating the meaning of life, the nature of humanity, the futility of existence, so on and so forth. It’s a bit unsubtle and on-the-nose at times (you can’t eat a tank lol ok thanks for that obvious war is bad metaphor), but I didn’t mind that so much. The points it made were usually interesting and generally stuck with me, which made the obvious nature of them less galling. One character wandering through the dark after contempating life after death, looking for her friend, and wondering if this is what death is like, actually stuck with me. Also they have wonderfully blobby faces and dab in the OP.

7: Shouwa Era Rakugo Shinjuu Season 2

5D2164C7-1C99-494C-9417-22CFA01B667CFor my anime of the year last year to drop down as far as it has says something about how disappointed I am in the second season of Rakugo. Yeah I know this is the end of year, what are the best anime of the year post and I should be celebrating all these series. And yes, Rakugo is still an unparalleled exploration deep into the mind of complex characters through a backdrop of a developing Japan both socially and technologically. The constant internal struggle of Yakumo and his depression fueled by the loss of his friend, coupled with the fantastic directing and imagery, meant every scene with him felt like it hit like a truck. That all said, even at its best, all it was doing was reminding me of how much more I cared for the first season. Plus the ending reveal makes me want to forget this entire anime even existed because it destroys Yakumo’s character and oh god let me move on before I change my mind and take this off the list entirely and replace it with Kemono Friends or something.

Best OP/ED

Attack on Titan Season 2 ED

While it may not be an ED that I would stick on a driving playlist or anything, the new ED for Attack on Titan sold me on the tone of the series more than anything the show itself actually did. This image of a medieval, dark ages painting of a violent world of fear and mythical creatures we don’t understand. Where our fear of what we perceive to be the very real violence and pain of death brings us levels of crazed devotion. All with this slightly haunting, off-key tune. It worked so well together that I wanted to give it a shout out in the end year anime awards.

6: My Hero Academia Season 2

566790EE-9D7F-4A11-ADDE-39E0D06FC8EBAs I alluded to earlier, in a year where we have so many anime brimming with originality, to see My Hero Academia stroll in and pretend we won’t roll our eyes at a bloody super hero story set in a magic high school with a school games tournament arc is presumptuous to say the least. Yet here it is because god damnit, it worked. I fell for the tournament arc hard, got so invested in who would win each fight. I fell for Todoroki’s arc so hard, my grumpy little ice boy and his angsty teen ways rebelling against his asshole dad. I still got pumped to watch our floaty girl go all badass to try beat Bakugo, who by the way can go sit his explody arse on a cactus because fuck him. While I will cross my arms and refuse to let it rise higher than 6th, I must also begrudgingly admit that the shounen school battle formula still works really well sometimes.

5: Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond

884098BF-67B5-437B-AD55-455595E8AE1CThe first season Blood Blockade Battlefront had a fantastic tone and characters with the mad city they lived in and watching them interact with the world and the characters was constantly entertaining. Shame the story was so terrible it dragged the entire season down. Next season removed the hugely talented director, which might have improved the story but I was worried it would remove the joy and colour the series had for its directing. Turns out I didn’t need to worry because the new director basically copied her style 100%, keeping the same sense of mad flowing action with ridiculous goings on that everyone just sort of flows with. As for the story, well they basically ignored that and turned it into an episodic piece, which worked a lot better. If it had a good story tying everything together it would be a contender for anime of the year, but since we tried that and it failed, this is an acceptable alternative.

Most Disappointing

Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Souls

473BFE0B-8223-49DE-99AD-D328A544DCBFKino’s Journey was tempting here, but Rage of Bahamut infuriates me more because it seemed like maybe they were getting it right this time. But nope, it followed the same trend as last season with a strong start and great characters before Jean is introduced and she sucks and the story turns out to be bad and by episode 12 the whole thing becomes kind of forgettable. Except this one was twice as long so instead the line graph continued down and down and into the core of the earth as it got worse and worse and worse until by the end it was literally defending genocide and having a main character abandon the planet and everyone she ever cared about in order to follow her hormones so they all live happily ever after. Fuck you Bahamut.

4: Attack on Titan Season 2

319D0E25-DE3A-4093-AE67-D17EDED8AD76I wasn’t sure if the few years break we had from Titan would ruin it for me. I would lose the hype and fervor that surrounded the first season and instead join the cool kids in throwing pithy remarks at it from the sidelines. Turns out nope, I still really like Attack on Titan. I enjoyed how much time we spent on random side stories because they really helped flesh out how different people in this world react to titans and fight their own fight. The twists are wacky but remain internally consistent in a way I dig while continuing to add interesting layers to the characters and the world. It has that good anime shit like when the armoured titan starting throwing smaller titans at our hero which was a good jump-out-of-seat-shouting “fuck yeah that’s so stupid I love it” moment. It also had the single most anti-climactic reveal of all time that did the full turn from being so terrible it was actually genius. And then maybe continued around to being awful again. I don’t know, but this show is great and long may we spend 90% of the time laughing at these giant deformed naked dudes and 10% of the time utterly terrified by them.

3: Land of the Lustrous

4735C6F0-C261-4CA7-8135-0FD464E5A363I have criticisms of Land of the Lustrous. It feels like it is being made up as it goes along, the directing gets too excited sometimes and spins the camera way too much, and Sensei is kinda creepy. But all those complaints bounce off it because it is this year’s poster child for what a stunningly unique, original anime can do. It’s about a land of immortal androgynous crystal people who fight off Hindu cream creatures who travel from the moon via the method of sky ink blots. Who came up with this and let me peer into your wonderful mind. On top of that it has great characters, particularly our main character who is both entertaining and yet depressing. Following her arc of self-loathing and progression through that has kept a solid through-line even as new elements are introduced at random. More than all of that, it’s the first full CG anime that is actually improved for being CG and will open the flood gates for so many pretenders who have seen how it can be done and will seek to emulate it. God knows how they will though. It took an island of gems with fantastic bums to make CG anime work, how the fuck do you replicate that?

Worst Anime

Fart Gorou

B111ABFE-AA81-45A0-B1E6-ADD756B61AAALook, I’m not saying I expected more out of an anime about a guy with a talking fart. In the past I’ve given this award to things like Big Order, something that had to work really hard to be as bad as it is. But I’ve also given this award to Vampire Holmes because sometimes you have to acknowledge that minimal effort crap that utterly baffles you as to why it was made. This got subbed on Crunchyroll! Some poor translator had to write about farts and then stare into the eyes of the cute idols in the ending song and wonder how they feel about dancing with a 3DCG dancing fart. This studio previously did Yami Shibai so it’s not like you can’t make good low-budget short stuff. When I think about Fart Gorou, I think about the writers and animators whose ideas for short anime aren’t being broadcast to international audiences with cute dancing, real life idols being hired for the ending song, and think how they must feel when they see Fart Gorou and wonder why they even bother with life and maybe they should give it all up and instead do something less depressing like maybe work in a funeral parlor for orphans.

2: Tanya the Evil

491DE338-779F-447E-9441-9770BED2ECC2From the second episode’s opening I was sold. How were you going to justify this story of sending an asshole salaryman back to Magical world war 1? By making it about the nature of corporate sociopathy, the refusal to believe in the illogical and the arguments of an atheist with God. Also let’s do this all through a surreal sequence of static bodies, babies and nearby pigeons talking to our frozen protagonist as he is about to get hit by a train. All right Tanya the Evil, you’ve got me interested. What follows is a fantastically written story of how the psychology of corporate Japan fits remarkably well in the authoritarian regime of a military country in total war. Also the directing and animation. Studio Nut, what kind of debut was this!?! Every little touch, from facial reflections in mirrors to clever scene cuts to the directing in action scenes, it’s truly brilliant and elevates this series to a whole new level above most everything else this season. It was a lock for my anime of the year until a certain something else came along.

1: Made in Abyss

01ACB11D-863C-4331-AEE0-A125DD92B526This decade I have dolled out three 10/10s on my MAL page. Made in Abyss made it four. It’s a truly incredible anime that I’m struggling to even know where to start giving it props. Directing, animation, characters, both main and minor. How it does cartoony humour and pure horror and well as gut-wrenching sadness and the wonder of adventure. It’s a series I want the most detailed almanac for to give me a guide on the creatures of the abyss. I want a science book with fake bloodstains on that tells me how the abyss works and what the curse does at different levels. Its image of the abyss as a fly catcher that draws you in but you can’t escape remains one of the best images of an anime world. Even little outside details like the travelling caravan doctors that visited the town were fantastic. All while carrying a hugely strong story with memorable characters that never lost its humanity nor its hope even in its grimmest moments. It was unflinching yet delicate with the harshest of topics. It…had an uncomfortable fascination with child nudity and bodily functions that I can’t entirely fob off with it being a highly personal journey taken by children that strips then down to their most private levels that they have to bare everything to each other. But even so, Made in Abyss is one of the greatest anime of all time and easily my anime of the year for 2017.

Reader’s Choice Poll

Best anime that ended in 2017 (choose 3)

  • Land of the Lustrous (16%, 88 Votes)
  • Made in Abyss (16%, 85 Votes)
  • Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu 2 (10%, 53 Votes)
  • Tanya the Evil (6%, 30 Votes)
  • WorldEnd: What do you do at the end of the world? Are you busy? Will you save us? (5%, 28 Votes)
  • My Hero Academia 2 (5%, 26 Votes)
  • Kobayashi's Dragon Maid (3%, 16 Votes)
  • Little Witch Academia (3%, 15 Votes)
  • Girls Last Tour (3%, 15 Votes)
  • Eccentric Family 2 (3%, 15 Votes)
  • Kemono Friends (3%, 14 Votes)
  • Owarimonogatari 2 (2%, 13 Votes)
  • KonoSuba 2 (2%, 13 Votes)
  • Princess Principal (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Recovery of an MMO Junkie (2%, 12 Votes)
  • Attack on Titan 2 (2%, 11 Votes)
  • Acca (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Tsuki ga Kirei (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Other not mentioned here (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyond (1%, 8 Votes)
  • Scum's Wish (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou 6 (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Tsurezure Children (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Love Live Sunshine 2 (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Kakegurui (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Eromanga Sensei (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Juuni Taisen (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Just Because (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Interviews with Monster Girls (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Inuyashiki (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Re:Creators (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Blend S (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Classroom of the Elite (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Children of the Whales (0%, 1 Votes)
  • New Game 2 (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Fate/Apocrypha (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Gamers (0%, 1 Votes)
  • Kino's Journey (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Knights and Magic (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Welcome to the Ballroom (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Masamune's Revenge (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 196

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Bloody hell was it close between the top two. Can’t say I have any problems with the readers this year. Apart from that long title light novel adaptation. The hell are you guys thinking with that one?

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16 Comments

  1. Red Bear
    Posted December 31, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Did you watch beyond the first episode of SukaSuka?

    It wasn’t really about raising the kids, nor are they the main focus. It was more about finding salvation and happiness, and fighting against cruel circumstances.

    It ended up being a great tragedy that even made Twitch chat cry for whatever that’s worth.

    • Adamar
      Posted January 1, 2018 at 1:29 am | Permalink

      I did, but it really felt like the show peaked with that first ep Scarborough Fair montage.

    • Anon
      Posted January 2, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      “…that even made Twitch chat cry for whatever that’s worth.”

      Literally nothing.

  2. Shikamaru
    Posted January 1, 2018 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    I haven’t commented on this site for a long time, but I’m still reading it.

    What about Inuyashiki? Did you watch it? I think only reason more people didn’t vote it because there were just that many better anime this year. It’s still really good if you ask me and it has good score on MAL too so I’m not the only one who enjoyed it.

    Is there going to be Top 10 Anime Moments of Suck 2017? As much as I enjoy the season previews and anime of the year lists I still enjoy that list even more.

    Happy new year!

  3. AH
    Posted January 1, 2018 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    I know you didn’t care much about it, but I truly believe ID-0 was better than Kado in the long run. Less sophisticated in a sense yet better foreshadowed its over-the-top parts.

  4. Funso
    Posted January 1, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    I’d be curious to see what the results would be if you did that same poll, but remove the 3-vote limit. I personally had about 7 shows that I had an incredibly hard time deciding between. My guess is that the top 2 say where they were, but a few of the other great shows further down the list would jump up quite a bit (BBB&B, Girls Last Tour, Attack on Titan, etc).

    Also, Fireball Charming was the previous season. The untranslated one is Fireball Humorous.

  5. Mormegil
    Posted January 1, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    If it weren’t for the author’s, uhh, fetishes, Made in Abyss would be perfect. Apparently, the manga is even worse in that regard. That being said, still my favorite anime of the year as well. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the last episode.

    Man, didn’t even know there was a fart anime on Crunchyroll. I don’t even remember seeing it lol.

  6. Nagisa33
    Posted January 3, 2018 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    I dug The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl, Made in Abyss, and ACCA with The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl being my favorite by far. It was a wild ride with silly characters and even sillier situations, very much like The Tatami Galaxy. The visual style was enjoyable as well.

    I switched to the manga for Abyss and I watched the anime. I was just so excited to learn more of the world and its secrets. The direction for the anime was fantastic, especially with the final episode.

    ACCA was enjoyable with an easygoing vibe throughout, displayed through its characters. Also it had beautiful pastries.

    Attack on Titan was a another one I was digging and, like Abyss, I was excited for answers so I switched to the manga. It was another wild ride. The writing’s a bit spotty though I kept rolling with it and I found it enjoyable. I’m looking forward to see what happens!

    I still need to check out Land of the Lustrous, Napping Princess, and Lu Over the Wall.

    Thanks for the blog as usual. I appreciate your posts.

  7. DarkEnergy
    Posted January 8, 2018 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    I’m so glad Made in Abyss is #1. I fucking called it. Check my comment from July 19, 2017: http://thecartdriver.com/summer-2017-anime-first-impressions-princess-principal-my-girlfriend-is-a-gal-gamers/

    Where would these shows rank in Scamp’s Top 30? Also, what happened to the Top 30? http://thecartdriver.com/top-30/

    Off-topic: What do you guys think about Otaku Coin? https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/press-release/2017-12-28/tokyo-otaku-mode-considering-otaku-coin-ico-designed-for-the-japanese-anime-industry/.125822

  8. Posted January 9, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Watching Made in Abyss was so exciting. It single-handedly dragged me back into watching anime after an x-year hiatus, and I’m still chasing that high months later. What an immersive, inventive, and addicting show.

    On another note, sayo-onara!

  9. JC-Staff(Not that)
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    For me the biggest disappointment was Inuyashiki, not because I loved Gantz (It’s average at best), but cause of its premise and promotional material. The first 2 episodes were lightly disappointing, but it was still a “good” show, after that, it run out of ideas or something, maybe could have worked aa a oneshot.

    I’d like to name a few “honorable mentions” which had problems but were very fun anyway. Like Acca, Garo, Princess Principal, and Uchuten Kazoku 2.

    Also, I’m surprised to see SukaSuka so high in the voters list, Come’on surpassed both Academias, the Titans, Blood Blockade and Monogatari among others. Surely it was very nice for a Fantasy-Harem-moe anime, besides, when your competition is the awfully boring Grandblue Fantasy you’ll look even better in comparison. Even so, it’s still a classic otaku anime, and not even the best of the year in that genre

  10. Nigouki
    Posted January 11, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I give in. I guess it’s a good thing I held out on Tanya the Evil, because now I can go back and watch it since there isn’t much this season for me to watch anyway. The way you describe it already sells me on the idea.

  11. Posted January 19, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Good list.
    Girl’s Last Tour is awesome one for me.

  12. Kamui leo
    Posted January 19, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Looks little bit intertesting let me take a look at it today xD
    btw you check it out this?

    and here today i posted xD
    Haifuri Episode 4: Maidens in a Pinch!

  13. zuper_cb
    Posted January 22, 2018 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    Tanya the Evil was so good, I was impressed. I kinda stopped watching MAL 3 episodes in so…was it that good?

    Rage of the Bahamut was disappointing AF.

  14. beep
    Posted February 8, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Are y’all alive…?

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