Rating the Anime of Fall 2017

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The time has come for my season review.  The seven anime I watched rated from two to four and a half stars with only two shows receiving the same rating.  This is to say that my shows run the gamut from disappointing to near masterpieces.  Fall 2017 well rounded out a good year for anime: the quality of the shows were generally good even if nothing truly spectacular came about.  I’ll write more about this when I write about my top five shows of last year.  The shows below rank from least to greatest.

Without further ado, let’s begin!

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7) Dies Irae ★★

As a cross between Fate/Stay Night and Hellsing, this show boasted a unique atmosphere–one of the most unique of the season.  It also boasted some likable characters, and one really roots for the hero to overcome the immortal Nazis trying to massacre his city.  The above makes me sad that I cannot in justice give it more than two stars.  Though the plot eventually becomes discernible, the events in the anime tend to be scatterbrained and the tale descends into bloody and disturbing violence.  The flashback to Sister Liza Brenner’s past as the mother of Lebensborn was probably the most disturbing part of the anime.

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Despite my low rating, I’ll probably watch season two when it comes out.  Despite how poorly executed the anime is, it managed to make me invested in what happens to Ren and his friends.  At the same time, I foresee a point at which the show becomes to twisted for me to endure–like what happened while reading Hellsing.  Until that happens, I’ll hope for better next season.


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6) Code: Realize ★★ 1/2

I have less to say about Code: Realize than I did about Dies IraeCode: Realize is a classic example of a show which takes no risks and tells a standard story while making the characters decently likable.  One imagines the animators aiming for a 5/10 rating and happy they achieved it.  I can’t call myself either sad or pleased at having watched it.

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Well, I will admit to liking the costuming and backgrounds set within Victorian England.  I took a fair number of screenshots from this anime.  The visuals did add more much needed flair to the series.


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5) Love is like a Cocktail ★★★

This show was cute and amusing.  If anything was off about it, the married couple acted together like they were dating rather than that they were married–as MRNewman points out.  One gets the impression of the husband being the wife’s favored servant rather than her husband–though there is nothing domineering in their relationship.

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One of the main reasons I picked up the show was to see whether it would recommend any interesting cocktails–it did, but none a man would enjoy.  Nothing beats the manga Bartender in that regard.  I still enjoyed how cute and heartwarming most of these shorts were, and I found myself looking forward to each new episode.


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4) Blood Blockade Battlefront and Beyond ★★★

My writing in Fall 2017 Anime Thoughts reveals the reasons why this show disappointed me.  In essence, the sequel did not live up to the original.  Where the prior season had an overarching plot and meaning, the second tried to engross the viewer in the fights and worked on an episodic level.  Our hero, Leonardo Watch, worked much better within the scheme of the first show than the second.  I imagine that part of the reason Chain received more screen time in this season is because heroic types like her work better in an episodic show which attempts to be fun.

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Not that seeing more of Chain made me unhappy.

Still, it did turn out some fine episodes, the one with the terroristic bacterium and the one where K. K. attends Parent’s Day while providing battlefield support to Libra particularly stand out in my mind.  So, while not a bad show, I don’t have it in me to rate it higher than three stars.


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3) Kino’s Journey ★★★ 1/2

Yours truly rated the original four stars, so how did the sequel fall short?  The anime repeated episodes from the prior season, and one rather got the impression of this show being an advertisement for the light novels, which currently span twenty-one volumes.  (For English speakers, you’ll have to learn Japanese to read them.)  The original series struck me as a much more sincere effort to make a memorable show.

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Oddly enough, the most moving episode in the entire show featured very little of Kino and concerned the sufferings of a slave girl at the hands of people who did not appear to care either for her welfare or that they would get good service from her.  (This turned out very badly for them indeed!)  The episode delved into the idea of whether treating wicked people with kindness could change their hearts, and the episode answered this question quite negatively.

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*SPOILER IN PARAGRAPH BELOW!!!*

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On top of so much rehashed material, the crazy sheep-slaying finale was rather refreshing.  Only in anime could something like that count as a finale!  As a gun nut, I found it fun to see Kino’s M14 Rifle, Colt 1851 Navy London Model Revolver, Colt Woodsman Match Target Pistol, and Taurus Judge Revolver in action.  One day, I’d really like to own an M1A, the civilian version of the M14–which, to tell the truth, functions about the same way: most combat soldiers found the M14 ineffective at fully automatic fire and tended to keep the setting at semi-automatic fire.


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2) Recovery of an MMO Junkie ★★★★

Here was a truly heartwarming show.  Each character stood out as being eminently likable, and one roots heartily for the show’s main couple.  Jinto and Lafiel of Crest of the Stars used to count as my favorite couple in anime, but Moriko and Sakurai are truly adorable together.  I liked how the series was just long enough for all of the romantic tension to play out and could be absolutely hilarious at times.  If I could have wished for anything more from this series, it would be that the other characters’ stories would also have been told.  One can’t speak long enough about how likable the characters are in this show!


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1) Land of the Lustrous ★★★★ 1/2

At last, we reach the top of my list.  Many have raved about the CG animation and the visuals in this show.  After doing a little more research, I discovered that this show has been in production since at least 2013 and 2D animation was often mixed with the 3D animation in order to improve it.  Well, the result was well worth the wait!

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Each character stands out from the other in a way that’s seldom seen in anime.  It’s well known that things like hair color often indicate the kind of personality a character hasLand of the Lustrous may be dubbed a physiognomist’s dream, as each character’s physical appearance seems to mirror their personality.  Despite the large number of Phos’ fellow gems, one can easily remember each one by name.

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Outside of the show being a visual treat, the heroine’s yearning to find her purpose in life is something many people can relate with.  The barrenness of the place Phos lives as well as the constant threat of attack from the Lunarians give the world a very haunting feel.  At the same time, the lighthearted and friendly interactions between Phos and her companions add much needed warmed to this cold and cruel world.  The mystery behind the three humanoid peoples, what happened to humanity, and why the Lunarians constantly attack the gem people keep the audience fascinated.  I very much look forward to the next season of Land of the Lustrous–even if it takes another four years to make.

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What were my dear readers’ favorite from this season?

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11 comments on “Rating the Anime of Fall 2017

  1. Karandi says:

    I ended up really disliking Dies Irae but had a lot of fun with Land of the Lustrous. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! There are a lot of things to hate about Dies Irae, but I’ll hang on and see whether the next season can pull something good out of that mess. Land of the Lustrous is very popular and with good reason. I hope that the production for the next season gets as much loving attention as this one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • a991807 says:

        I started watching Dies Irae, but a couple of episodes in it seemed more interested in fan service than telling a coherent story. One of these days I wish someone would make the anti-Hellsing of anime. Something with all the good action but with the opposite themes. But I guess with the likes of Cadtlevania and Devilman Crybaby being green lit that’s unlikely.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The story of Dies Irae really only becomes coherent around episode seven. And, the story is not all that interesting: it’s essentially the same one as Fate/Stay Night.

        There might be a few candidates for “the anti-Hellsing of anime.” Hellsing tends to concentrate on the importance of power and implies that power is to be found in darkness. So, it’s opposite would have to include things like Providence or virtue being greater than power, true strength coming from goodness, and plenty of good action. Anime like this are out there, but I suppose that they always run the risk of striking audiences as corny.

        If you want to find an Anti-Hellsing, I can’t recommend the works of Leiji Matsumoto and Ashita no Joe enough. Book of Bantorra accomplishes the parameters above to a certain extent–though, I will admit that it’s been a while since I saw it and my memory is a bit fuzzy. There’s the first season of Blood Blockade Battlefront, Ga-Rei Zero (plenty of action there), Glass Fleet, Blassreiter, and World Destruction. These kinds of shows are few and far between to be sure, and I’m not sure if a vampire show exists of that type–maybe Trinity Blood.

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  2. Land of the Lustrous deserves all the praise, absolutely! I also followed Fate/Apocrypha and the finale to Welcome to the Ballroom this fall, both which I enjoyed immensely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of these days, I need to catch up on the Fate franchise. The last thing I watched was Fate/Zero, and three more series have followed that one at least.

      I’ve very much looking forward to the sequel of Land of the Lustrous. Perhaps the manga will keep me satisfied in the meantime.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Otaku shares their line up of shows from the Autumn season (2017) and their ratings, and more importantly their thoughts on each of the shows they watched. While […]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. negativeprimes says:

    Ancient Magus Bride, Recovery of an MMO J., and Elegant Yokai Apartment Life (which for some reason doesn’t get talked about much in the aniblog world) were probably the ones I looked forward to the most. Definitely a lot of decent shows this last season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m trying to get into Ancient Magus’s Bride. It’s a very beautifully animated work, and the scenario is pretty unique. I read the Elegant Yokai Apartment Life manga for a while and remember enjoying it a great deal. I might have watched the anime, but I wanted to watch new things. Still, the story is very good!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ancient Magus’ Bride suffered from not being English enough. I mean, the setup was that you were going to get a lot of English and European folklore, and then… suddenly it was all Shinto or made-up stuff. The Christmas story went wayyyy off track, too. I think they were maybe trying to get a The Dark Is Rising vibe, but it didn’t work for me.

        However, this may be one of those “Tolkien didn’t like mishmashed folklore” moments, and I may be too harsh on it. Certainly I liked all the early episodes. The Lovecraft cats were worthy of the Master.

        I liked Elegant Yokai Apartment Life as long as it wasn’t a school show. I’m getting really tired of school shows. I just can’t bring myself to watch them, if they are going to be angsty at all.

        Cocktail cracked me up. But I was pretty horrified by the lack of a sugar rim on the Irish coffee! That’s not obligatory, but it’s normal and easy to do.

        But it was very biased toward sweet drinks, wasn’t it?

        I loved MMO, but somehow I got behind on watching it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I was surprised by how English the first couple of episodes felt in Ancient Magus’ Bride, but one can’t expect an anime to hold an English folklore atmosphere for long. The anime Earl and Fairy perhaps does the best at keeping to English and Irish folklore throughout its story.

        I heartily agree on the topic of high school shows. You’d think that viewers would want more variety, but there must be enough addicts of this setting for such shows to keep making money.

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