Summer is over and winter is coming, but before then there were some great fall anime that aired. Here are some of our highlights.
By far Girls’ Last Tour is my stand out show from this season. At first glance it’s so simple and as many put it “boring” but get past the first ep, the second, the third and so on and it’s truly something special. Yes I’ve said a lot of shows are special, but Girls’ Last Tour is a show that stays with you long after it’s over, I know I’m still feeling it every now and then. Something about this show just clicked for me and it all came together for an incredible experience. The atmosphere, the characters, their conversations, the music (ED of the season), the animation, this show offered so much outside the simple synopsis of a couple of girls traveling through what’s left of the world.
I think a term I used for this show was haunting beauty. It’s exactly that, beautiful yet haunting.The whole atmosphere and art play a huge role in this as they convey so many emotions across without beating you over the head about it. The ability this show has to take hold of you and draw you in and keep you there is amazing. Never did I think I’d feel so many emotions watching a show about two girls riding around in a Kettenkrad through a ruined world, but I did and it’s something that I won’t forget any time soon. Aside from the final ep, the other ep that comes to mind instantly is ep 9, Life. Wow that ep was just outstanding. I won’t say much about it, but man did that ep leave me in a pool of feels.
All in all it reminds me a lot of another masterpiece of a show called Made in Abyss that aired over the summer. On the surface it’s a simple story that many I’m sure bypassed because of the slow start and seemingly generic and boring story is had. Huge mistake. Do not sleep on these shows, you need to watch both as honestly they’re some of the, if not the, best shows that aired in 2017. So really Girls’ Last Tour surpassed all my expectations and completely blew me out of the water in ways I didn’t think were possible. Truly Girls’ Last Tour is a show you need to watch. When you look past the simple “boring” plot and really get into it, it’s a show you won’t forget any time soon. Bonus points for the dab.
Just Because! is yet another high school romance/drama show but for a nice change it’s more realistic than most anime. No that doesn’t mean it’s 3D or 2.5D or something, no I’m talking about the characters and overall atmosphere of it. It’s different as its way more down to Earth than other shows in this category and what’s probably what I liked the most about it. We’ve all seen the usual high school romance/drama shows but for a change this show took a more real approach and it paid off well. This is a very character and dialogue driven show so with a lot said but also lots unsaid too. The interactions between all the characters feels way more natural and you can really get a better sense of their feelings than most shows put the effort into showing. It’s an amazing coming of age story and excels in doing that. If this genre is something you like to watch a lot of, then put Just Because! on your list because you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Bonus points for being another great original show.
Net-juu no Susume, or Recovery of an MMO Junkie, was a show a million times better than I ever expected it to be. In an age where isekai anime has absolutely overflowed the market to the point where Re:ZERO and KonoSuba were the last things I enjoyed from the genre, I was sceptical when a friend of mine that I consider hard to please was talking about Net-juu no Susume like it was shaping up to be one of this favourites of the season about four or five episodes in, but when I watched it for myself I understood why.
The show wasn’t really an isekai show as much as it was a show about the kind of virtual lives I imagine a large majority of the people who watch anime in the first person are living. You make friends, you start to care deeply about these people, you worry about what they think about you, and sometimes you fall in love with them all without ever meeting them in real life. To people who don’t use the internet as often, the idea of that seems insane and even just saying it out loud sounds silly and a little bit irresponsible. So when Net-juu no Susume took the idea of representing that in a very respectable way in a very good show, it was a welcome sight. While, of course, the show had its many flaws and it started getting a little silly with its plot points towards the end, it was still a nice, heartwarming slice of life show that was nice and dare I say “relatable” in a way that hasn’t really been touched on in the same way before. (Also, “Saturday Night Question” was the best opening song of the season, I will die on this hill)
On the other hand, a show that had no right being as good as it was in any capacity was Imouto sae Ireba ii, or A Sister’s All You Need. The original work was by the duo of Kantoku, responsible for Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko and One Room, and Yomi Hirasaka, most notably responsible for Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, who created a show twice as trashy as anything else they’ve created prior while still managing to make it both an enjoyable comedy and a somewhat touching drama that somehow played all the right notes to make me care about each of the characters deeply. While it cut off at an extremely bad place after the first season, the journey to said extremely bad ending was still one I’m extremely surprised I was invested in as much as I was. By the end I hoped for the best for each of the characters and as absurd as the show was at moments, they felt like characters with a normal life they lived and each struggled through. On the other hand, I’m extremely curious about what an uncensored version of that show would look like…
Being an adult and watching anime gets annoying sometimes. Most anime have main characters in middle school and high school and while it’s nice to reminisce sometimes, it gets annoying to have to constantly go back to that time. And that’s why Net-juu no Susume is a good anime. It portrays actual adults and even a few college students playing video games. Most importantly the main character Moriko Moriyama isn’t the traditional MC. She’s quit her job and chosen to live the NEET lifestyle. The reason being she was burned out from her job. Japanese work culture is no joke, constantly working long hours and getting no respect even having to cover for your coworkers and boss. Sure they can give you more money but that doesn’t take away the exhaustion and the feeling of having no control over your life. And that’s why Moriko quit. It’s a beautiful more adult anime that I definitely can’t recommend enough.
Just like Net-juu no Susume we’re dealing with a more adult anime. Basically Itsuki Hashima is one of those ‘I love my little sister’ types but he’s got some uniqueness to him. He’s already an accomplished author in his early 20s and continuing his series. Most of the anime is about his writing as well as the interactions he has with his friends who are mostly in the writing business themselves. The series sells itself as a sis-con anime but all of the characters have surprising amounts of depth. Nayu is a natural talent with writing and loves to write but her books were inspired by Itsuki which leads into her feelings for him. Haruka is a writer who got shafted with his anime adaptation just being used to give newbie seiyuu a practice ground. And Itsuki himself, he’s got his reason for loving little sisters so much. It’s a show that appears to be a standard sis-con show but it surprises you as it goes on.
So, guess who only finished one show last season, me. Really starting to see a trend with these posts and my watch habits. But, I still have two shows to talk about, since both are still ongoing. So, they can’t be considered completed since they haven’t finished.
First up, and honestly the obvious one, for those who follow my blog or twitter, The Ancient Magus’ Bride. The OVAs got me into the series. Which made me get into the manga, and it quickly turned into one of my favorite ongoing manga. As for the show, I really enjoy it. It captures the beauty of the scenery rather nicely. Throw in the nice music at times, and obvious enjoyable characters and story making this a really great show. As an adaptation, it captures a lot of things from the manga and enhances them, making it a pretty solid adaptation. By the time the series is done, I honestly should consider thinking about my Top 10 anime, since it has been awhile and this show would fit nicely. I just really hope this second half does not catch up to the manga. Either way, this was easily my biggest highlight from the fall season.
Then there is easily the underdog from last season, Garo: Vanishing Line. This is the third animated Garo series. The first one was apparently great. The second one, was the total opposite. So, people have had doubts about this one, I mean, it wasn’t even reavealed to be a Garo anime until a few weeks before airing. Before it was revealed as a Garo series it was simply known as Vansihing Line, for almost three months. That is how much doubt there was in this series, because of the previous Garo anime. I did have doubts too, and did not think twice about it. I still wished to check it out, and wow. This show started off, just okay. But with each passing episode it just became more enjoyable. I do like how this series is going, the first is pretty much in one city, but after the first eight or so episodes, now they are on a journey across country. So, it is pretty interesting to see the change for more world building. Yes, it is a bit “Monster of the Week” style, but there is still a story made, either with the main characters, or the random people they introduce. This show became somehow really enjoyable in terms of action, and the few cases drama, when there was. I still have to say this show is the underdog for being a great series. Not a lot of people are giving it a shot after the previous Garo series being a disappointment, well, they are missing out. Plus, all Garo anime don’t require you to have the need to watch the previous one, so you can easily jump right in.
That’s all for the fall season! Lots of great shows to end the year on. Be sure to leave a comment with your favorites from that season!
Up next is the final part, we’ll each be listing our own Anime of the Year along with a show we’ve all agreed on, so like an Anime of the Year that we’ve all watched and liked. Should be good, so tune in next week Monday February 5th for our final Year in Review part!
See you then!