The weather is hot, the sun is shining bright, the days are long, yet here we are cooped up inside watching anime.
Here are our highlights from last year’s summer season.
While Kakegurui was picked up by Netflix for some still uncertain 2018 release, if you had the chance to watch S1 then you’ll know why I’m listing it as a highlight from this past summer. Wow, what a show this was. Aside from the obvious sexiness and general insanity of this show, what stands out the most for me is the phenomenal voice acting done by Saori Hayami as the lead character, Yumeko Jabami. She absolutely nailed this role and watching her voice this crazy gambling obsessed high school girl was a real treat each week. I don’t usually talk about the voice acting of a show too much, but you really have to for this one. Along with this amazing voice acting, the show offers lots of crazy gambling fun, lots of sexy moments, and great art too. MAPPA brought this show to life really well and the overall look of it is very nice. While the summer season had many great shows to watch, this is one I highly recommend checking out.
Do I even need to say why this show is a highlight for me, I mean come on, it’s Symphogear. Sadly S4 was never licensed so pretty much everyone missed it, but if you were able to brave the waves of the high seas to watch this one, then you’ll know why this season really doesn’t need much of an explanation. It honestly amazes me how far this show has come and what’s happened each season. At first it was kinda a silly musical battle show, but as S2, then S3, and now S4 rolled around, oh man did this show turn into something incredible. I’m not even joking when I say Symphogear is up there with my all time favorites because this show, this season in particular, just took everything about this series to the next level. I know that’s hard to imagine as every season seemingly does that, but man they really did for S4 and I can’t even begin to think of where things will go in S5.
My winner for AOTS, Made in Abyss is an amazing show that everyone needs to watch. I’ll admit I was slow to really get into this show and there were times when I felt like dropping it, but if you stick with it then you’ll be greatly rewarded. I think ep 10 is what I’ll remember the most as that was by far the most brutal ep I’d seen in a very long time. Like yeah, I’ve seen characters suffer in shows before, but never to a point where I had a hard time watching. Not that it’s a bad thing because it gets the point across well, but man it was really hard to sit through that ep. From there on the show had a much different feel as the journey took a much more serious turn. While the story is far from over (S2 hype!!!) the final few eps start to bring to light the darker elements of the story as things ramp up for what should be another thrilling season. Honestly though, go watch this show right now!
My runner-up for AOTS, Princess Principal was a breath of fresh air. Studio 3Hz might not be a house hold name, but do not sleep on their shows because you’re missing out big time. Another original show here, Princess Principal takes places in early 20th century London and follows a group of high school girls who are actually spies working for the Commonwealth. While the pacing and eps being shown out-of-order might throw some people off, if you stick with it it’s really an enjoyable show. True the ending could have used some more conclusion if they’re not planning on more, but at the same time it’s one of those shows that doesn’t really have a definite end, more of a the battle continues type end. Either way the show really is something different from the usual shows and deserves the time and attention. Plus it has the best OP of 2017.
Being a fan of this series, my choice in this show as one of my favourites from Summer 2017 shouldn’t be a surprise: Owarimonogatari 2nd Season. While the season was shorter than I like, it was just as interesting as every and marked the beginning of the end for this series. There isn’t much I can say without spoiling, but the longer episodes (despite being an overall shorter season) fit the kind of story being told and the overall plot felt like one that was rightly going to be wrapping up what was started many, many seasons ago. The small parallels that this season draws to Bakemonogatari was also an excellent touch that I appreciated a lot. I’m glad that even as this show is wrapping up, the quality of each season hasn’t dropped at all and is remaining what made the series good in the first place.
Another show worth mentioning is New Game!!, as it was another stand out from Summer 2017 that I liked quite a lot. This season felt a little worse in ways I can’t quite put my finger on, but slightly worse than a season I liked a lot is still a season that I liked a lot. I’d be very curious to see the series continue from here, as unlikely as it is, considering how well the ending closed the doors for any future seasons, and overall I had a lot of fun watching the two seasons.
Restaurant to Another World, an anime from the Summer 2017 anime lineup, was a good one. Falling into the similar group of Koufuku Graffiti (I will never stop plugging it and it’s been 3 years), Shokugeki no Soma and now Restaurant from Another World, a lot of good anime that give you a lot of good food porn. Although Restaurant from Another World is more similar to Koufuku Graffiti, the beauty of the food and the feeling that you want to eat something afterwards is the same. All of the characters are cool and their designs are good, coming from all of walks of life from the other world. They are from royalty to warriors to prisoners. Some have issues on their side of the door, but they all come together to eat good food.
This anime made me redefine Saori Hayami and Miyuki Sawashiro. I’m more used to seeing Saori Hayami do sweet and polite roles, and Miyuki Sawashiro doing more tomboy roles but seeing both do something so unique from their usual was excellent. Saori Hayami was so beautiful going crazy as Jabami Yumeko and Miyuki Sawashiro was excellent being the cold and calm Kirari Momobami. The art was excellent especially since the art was important to conveying the emotion in the scenes. Kakegurui’s characters express themselves heavily through their eyes and their faces. It makes them all look crazy and shows off their own form of gambling insanity and it’s beautiful. I would definitely recommend it. It’s also going to get a second season.
Well, as much as I would like to talk about New Game!! and how it easily has the best final episode out of all the shows that aired a second season, mostly since that although it caught up and the manga does continue, it felt like a proper ending. But, no, I was also going to mention Restaurant to Another World, but so this post doesn’t get too many repeats, I got two others worth mentioning.
Now, I am not even sure if it would be considered an anime. If anything, heavily anime inspired. Castlevania, which was only 4 insanely short but amazing episodes which aired on Netflix. Despite being based on a game, well, typically with game adaptations they have a tendency of being boring, not giving enough about the story, or even being so boring to the point that I had to mention the fact it is boring a second time. This was different. The creators are using the third Castlivania game as the base for it. Which, they really liked and knew they did not want to screw this up.
The four short episodes were non-stop action. I told myself I was not going to see them all in the same day, well, I did, and regretting it since the second season is not going to air until this summer, at least it will be eight episodes. But, once that second season is out, this is one show I would highly recommend. Although, it was heavily anime inspired, it certainly was one of the best the summer season had to offer.
Knights’ & Magic being the other series I would like to mention. I feel indifferent by it, although, I would love to talk about The Reflection, I had more problems with that show than this one. This series had some ups and downs. I mostly am referring to the pacing, since it covers 7 volumes of the light novels in all 13 episodes. Still, although there was that pacing issue, it did make up at times since this show would have been a lot slower if it didn’t. I mean, yes in one episode it jumped 3 months and then a few moments later jumped ahead another few months. But, there was still plenty of action and mecha fantasy fights to make up for it. I mean it blended both the mecha aspects and fantasy and magic aspects together nicely. My only other biggest complaint stems from how Knights’ in the title is possessive to the AND, which makes no sense. Either way, it was certainly a fun show, and I certainly would think about picking up the light novels if they were to come to the west.
That’s it for the summer season! Lots of great shows aired during these three months, so be sure to leave a comment below with your favorites!
Up next we’ll bring the year to a close with the fall 2017 season. Look forward to that post Monday January 29th!
Thanks for reading, see you next week!