By Dustin Cabeal
Here are my picks for the Best Anime of 2017! You can see my Worst Anime of 2017 by clicking here, and you can also see the Best/Worst Movies of 2017 by clicking their respected titles. Be sure to check back for Comic Books later today and do tell me your picks, I'm sure my list will be argued and hated, but I'm sticking to it!
5. Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side
The thing about my list is that any one of my picks is suitable for the top pick. While On the Side ended up in my fifth spot, it could have easily been higher without any complaints from me. This show should have sucked. The concept of going back and showing with the Sword Princess was doing during the first season of Is It Wrong sounds like a clip show and a half. Instead, the parts that overlapped became these fantastic treats. Why? Because On the Side had its own full story to tell and further built the world. Often in stories, it feels as if just one story is happening. The one we’re following is the only one that matters, but this world is like a video game being played by many people, meaning there are a lot of stories worth following and seeing. On the Side makes the world feel alive and moving, but is also brilliant in how it lines up with the main series. The story plotting alone is worth putting it on the list, but add the excellent animation and fantastic character development, and it had to be on my list.
4. KonoSuba 2
KonoSuba will probably be my most contested pick on this list, but all those gifs I made that are used daily say otherwise. Frankly put, if you can make me laugh my ass off and still tell a great story, then you’re going to land on my list. There were weak parts of the second season, and it didn’t start off strong, but once it found it’s groove again, it quickly reminded me of why this series is so damn fantastic. If there isn’t a third season, I will be eternally disappointed in the entire anime industry. And now, this gif:
3. Welcome to the Ballroom
You can’t be surprised that Welcome to the Ballroom is on my list. After extensive coverage of this show on our podcast Super S – Anime Podcast, it had to be here. Dancing is a fucking sport! Not only was the animation amazing, emotional, and visually stunning all throughout this series, but the storytelling and character development were on par the entire time. It may follow the classic sports anime formula of introducing every nuance of the sport, but around the halfway point it moved away from how to dance and became more about, why do people dance. Which proves to be a complicated and personal question to ask and answer. Even if this doesn’t get a second season, the first season was a fulfilling journey into the world of dance with left me with a great appreciation than ever before.
2. In This Corner of the World
I shy away from several styles of anime that don’t resonate with me. In This Corner of the World tows the line and can fall on either side, but in the end, I found it to be powerful artwork. The visual storytelling is one of the greatest aspects of this film that takes a look at the normal people just trying to live and survive in Japan during World War II. It was an interesting look at a completely different perspective as it didn’t offer thoughts on the war and whether it was good or bad, but showed how families lived and survived. An incredibly moving story that I might even kick myself for not giving my top spot, but it’s one that everyone should check out.
1. Yuki Yuna Is A Hero – Season 2
What do I have left to say about Yuki Yuna? Probably the best accidental find of the year. The second season which was split between a prequel and a sequel led myself and my co-host of Super S – Anime Podcast to rush through the original series and follow up. It’s not that it flips the magic girl genre on its head, it’s that the storytelling and character development is masterful. Nothing is wasted as it all develops into a magical experience. That and the damn thing made me choke back tears and that pretty much always wins in my book. Usually, for my number one pick I would rant and rave some more, but I would just encourage you to listen to this episode and also this episode of our podcast to hear me go nuts on this show. Yuki Yuna is a series that stays with you, and the follow up is just as powerful as the original, if not more.