Banjo’s Top 5 Spring 2017 Anime

by BanjoTheBear

Little Witch Academia (TV) / Episode 1 / Akko seeing the Leyline

Which anime beat out the competition this Spring 2017?

I’m just now finishing up Spring 2017 season, but I’m slowly catching up!

It takes me so long because, to me, every anime deserves a shot. I don’t care what it is; I will give it its fair shake and try it out. From a dramatic story about two unfortunate people to a kindhearted tale about a grandfather and his granddaughter, I find it important to approach everything with fairness and respect and professionalism. It’s how I’ve always behaved as a writer and critic, and it’s how I’ll continue to behave for as long as I take part in this awesome medium.

Thus, with fairness in mind, we look back on this season and all that it offered. I myself tackled and reviewed eleven series in total. Of these eleven, only five earned a spot on this list, and just one claimed the prize of Best Anime of Spring 2017.

The Rules

First, I am an advocate of an anime counting in the season in which it completed. Meaning, whether it is fantastic or not, an anime like Sakura Quest has no place in this list. However, it does have a shot for next season’s list. On the opposite end, an anime that ended in Spring 2017 does have a shot since it concluded in this season despite starting the season (or seasons) prior. Something like Little Witch Academia counts since, despite starting in Winter 2017, it concluded in this season.

Second, the selection process is pretty straightforward, using only three factors. I start by comparing the baseline scores I initially handed out. If a tie occurs, I take into account the more specific scoring I do behind-the-scenes. If another tie occurs, it then comes down to the total level of enjoyment I got out of the anime themselves. Nothing fancy, but the result is a list that fully and accurately represents my feelings on the season as a whole.

Third, each anime has a personalized review that demonstrates why it deserves to be here in the first place. Simply click on an anime’s name to be linked to its review to read my complete thoughts on it. For every review that I wrote for this season, follow this link to my Spring 2017 Reviews page!

With all of the introductions, formalities, and rules out of the way, it is time to get to my Top 5 Spring 2017 Anime!

5. Renai Boukun

Renai Boukun / Episode 1 / Guri, Yuzu, Akane, and Seiji together

Romance and comedy coalesce in Renai Boukun, a story about a blue-haired guy and the multiple ladies that make his life a bit crazier than normal. While the angel-and-demon premise never fully materializes, the laughs available derive from all manner of sources: interactions, running gags, references, callbacks, quips, background jokes, subverting, and much, much more. A fun opening track gets the audience smiling before each episode, and the “degraded” visuals boost the hilarity of its scenes where possible. Some characters are more interesting than others, but this harem connects together as a big conglomerate thanks to their love-centric personalities. And no tyrant could deny otherwise.

4. Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2

Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2 / Episode 1 / An up-close frame of Eren's eyes

With a stomp and a roar, Shingeki no Kyojin Season 2 returns audiences to the land of Walls, Titans, and 3D Maneuver Gear. It also brings with it those traits that made the series so insanely popular in the first place. Hype moments. Awesome music. Big twists. Cool artistry. The narrative still refuses to answer even the most basic of plot questions, going so far as to pile on even more for the audience to worry about in the near future. Nevertheless, the increased focus on the side characters present new opportunities to explore, and the fun that backs this project in general has not waned in all these years. Thus, from one attack to the next, it refuses to let up anytime soon.

3. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭ / Episode 4 / Utaha and Eriri sit on a bench together

Contrary to its name, Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata ♭ rounds out its experience with a major step in the right direction. This sequel trades in most of its meta-comedy chops for tighter character focus, creating stronger drama that reels the audience in and demonstrates a maturity in the writing overall. While the visuals (thankfully) do not stray far from the same engaging designs and style, the new theme on “separating the art and the artist” gives the story not only a purposeful idea to explore but also a set of events that many creators out there can possibly resonate with. The final conclusion is yet to air, but suffice it to say that this anime is anything but boring.

2. Little Witch Academia (TV)

Little Witch Academia (TV) / Episode 2 / Sucy, Lotte, and Akko flying away together

It’s usually best to view life with a glass-half-full perspective. Little Witch Academia would certainly agree, showcasing that dreams are meant to be pursued no matter what. Championing expressive animation, a host of interesting characters, and a wonderful OST, this story about the “magic” within everyone (which I explored in my essay, “Little Witch Academia and Thematic ‘Magic'”) concocts scenes that bring laughter, tears, and a whole lot of heart. Akko, the star of this tale, brims with positivity and optimism, embodying the core of the thoughts at hand. And, on that note, Megumi Han also delivers a defining VA performance. Altogether, neither little nor academic but a downright wholesome experience.

1. Tsuki ga Kirei

Tsuki ga Kirei / Episode 3 / Akane and Kotarou sitting side-by-side

Gently taking first place, Tsuki ga Kirei channels simplicity without compromising on execution whatsoever. The young romance that blossoms between Akane and Kotarou promises realism and beauty, crafting a journey for the two that shapes them through courage, difficulties, and of course sweet, sweet love. The soft artistic direction complements the content therein, the music harbors immense emotion, and the various moments — from beginning to end — leave an impression that will last for years to come (if not indefinitely). Alongside its poetic title, it does almost everything right, and so it most deservedly earns the title of Best Anime of Spring 2017.

And that’s it! As always, I want to thank each and every person who supported me throughout my reviews for this season. Ya’ll constantly reach out with a ton of nice messages and many a kind word, and I’ll always be eternally grateful for such amazing thoughtfulness.

Summer 2017 best be ready for my wrath! :3