Summer 2017 Anime Guide Part 2

Here we are again, continuing our look at this season’s anime shows. Be sure to look at part 1 if you haven’t already. http://aniroute.com/guide-to-summer-2017-anime-part-1/

Made in Abyss

Worth watching: Yes

I hear people talk about anime studios a lot, but one that seems to be left out of discussion far too often is Kinema Citrus. These guys have blessed the world with some of the best anime of recent memory, like Barakomon, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 and Is the Order a Rabbit? But for some reason they don’t seem to have a very big fan following. I’m hoping this will all change soon though, because their new show, the awkwardly titled Made in Abyss, looks fantastic. What we have here appears to be a lighthearted adventure with fun characters and some sort of mystery. The premise doesn’t matter that much though, because the show looks so great. The character designs, the environment designs, the monster designs and much more all add up to bring us the most uniquely beautiful visuals of the season. I can already tell I’ll be tuning into this every week.

Dive!!

Worth watching: No

Yes, I know, it has two exclamation points and no, it’s not a second season to anything. That’s right, despite the confusing name, this series is the first season of a sports anime centering on a diving club. The conflict comes when the club comes under financial strain but its parent company agrees to continue funding the club under the completely reasonable condition that they have a member qualify for the Olympics the following year. I feel a bit bad for giving this show a no, since on a surface level there isn’t anything technically wrong with it. It looks fine, the premise is pretty exaggerated but it still has stakes and an interesting setup, but nothing about the show really stands out. Not helping this show stand out is the way it’s clearly chasing the same swimming male fanservice demographic that made Free! So big back in 2013, even the names are similar. If, for whatever reason, you were really itching for an anime about diving I don’t think I’d recommend not watching this series, but as it stands there’s just no reason to watch it over the other much better shows running alongside it.

Aho-Girl

Worth watching: No

This show is about a really stupid girl and her friend who always sticks with her despite apparently hating her. I guess that’s supposed to be funny but I just find it confusing. Why is the girl passing grades despite the preview establishing she gets 0 on all her tests? Why does the friend stay around the girl if he hates her? Why is the stupid girl eating bananas all the time? Is eating a banana supposed to be funny? The preview to this show was only 30 seconds and I’m more confused than when I watch a David Lynch movie. If this nonsense doesn’t convince you to turn away from the show, then the sheer annoyance the girl’s voice brings will.

The Reflection

Worth watching: Yes

I’m not saying this show is going to be good, but it’s an anime made in part by legendary comic creator Stan Lee, so a fanboy like myself is going to watch it almost out of obligation. Even if you don’t read American comics, this show should still be worth a look out of raw curiosity. As far as I’m aware this is the first time an anime has tried to adapt the style of American superhero comics and cartoons and it seems to be doing a good job of it.

Vatican Kiseki Chousakan

Worth watching: Yes

I really like science, a lot. Therefore, any anime focused on science is going to interest me, so it’s no wonder I’m looking forward to Vatican Kiseki Chousakan. This is a show where two scientists from the Vatican go around investigating claims of miracles and determining if there was actually a scientific explanation behind the events, or if what happened really was supernatural. It sounds like a winning formula and I’m excited to see if I can solve the various scientific mysteries before the end of their respective episodes.

Cleanliness Boy! Aoyama-Kun

Worth watching: No

I’m a big believer of giving credit where it’s due, so I’ll just say right off the bat this series seems like a very good looking one. With that being said, past its visuals there doesn’t seem to be that much. This is a comedy series where the joke is that the main character is a soccer player and a neat freak. That’s the entire joke of the show and while it’s not a bad one, it’s also not one I see being able to carry a series. Some jokes are worthy of being the centerpiece to an entire show and others are better off as quick Saturday Night Live skits. Unfortunately, this premise falls into the latter category.

Saiyuki Reload Blast

Worth watching: No

I have a bit of an issue with adaptations of Journey to the West and that is that there are so damn many of them that whenever I try to watch one I immediately begin comparing it to all the other interpretations of the story, which usually means whatever I’m watching comes up short. Such is the fate of the Saiyuku series, an adaptation of a manga that started all the way back in 1997 and has had numerous anime adaptations released to a resounding “yeah, that was okay”. I suppose if you want a decent action anime and none of the other ones on this list have connected with you then you may want to check this out, but otherwise you’re much better off watching the 1986 Chinese TV version of Journey to the West.

Centaur’s Worries

Worth watching: No

I remember reading a preview of the manga this show is based on in one of Seven Seas’ other licensed publications and liking it enough to read a few more chapters. It’s nothing that will blow your socks off, but it is a very charming highschool story that just happens to star mythical creatures. But I quickly grew bored with the main cast’s adventures as nothing ever really progressed beyond the first handful of chapters and I think I’ll have the same experience with the anime adaptation. The final nail in this show’s coffin in my opinion is the fact that it’s being animated not by a Japanese studio, but by a Chinese one. This show comes to us courtesy of Haoliners Animation League, known for legendarily cheap and crappy cartoons like Chu Feng: BEE and The Outcast. You haven’t seen them? Good, don’t see this either.

Hitorijime My Hero

Worth watching: No

Remember in the last part where I mentioned that we’ve been getting a lot of yaoi? Well, proving my point is this season’s Hitorijime My Hero, a spinoff of fellow yaoi series, Hitorijime Boyfriend. I hear good things about it from people who like yaoi, but I am not one of those people so all I see is something to avoid.

Nora, Princess and Stray Cat

Worth watching: No

I’ve mentioned a few times that I don’t pay attention to shows with minimal promotional material available, but this adaptation of the visual novel of the same name doubles down on that problem by not even having a decent amount of information available. I can’t find any information anywhere on what the schedule, length or even the studio behind this series is anywhere on the internet. So screw it, if they aren’t going to tell me what the show is, I’m not going to watch it.

Princess Principal

Worth watching: Yes

I’m a sucker for spy movies so I find it pretty disappointing that we haven’t had much in terms of spy anime aside from last year’s also disappointing Joker Game. Thankfully Princess Principal seems like a much more promising example of the genre thanks to its bold colors and interesting 19th century London setting. It also seems really violent, which is probably what really seals it.

703X Fastest Finger First

Worth watching: No

When I talk about a show that’s already aired it goes without saying that I judge it by the strength of its execution and not just by its premise. But as you can see from this guide, I have no shame in judging an unaired show on premise seeing as I don’t really have much else to go on. I say this because 703X Fastest Finger First is a show about quiz games. Do I even need to explain why I’m not interested? Even if I did care about quiz games, I really don’t see the advantage brought by bringing a show about them to animation. Unlike Welcome to the Ballroom, which focuses on something I don’t care about but is perfect for a movement based medium like animation, I really can’t think of any reason why this story would make an interesting anime

Skirt no Naka wa Kedamono Deshita

Worth watching: No

Another romance for this season, though this time around the twist is that the guy is a crossdresser. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against that, but neither the premise nor the 5 minute run time appeal to me. Just what is it with this season and romances with unusually short running times anyway?

Hina Logi: From Luck and Logic

Worth watching: No

Remember last year’s Luck and Logic? Me neither, but here’s a spinoff of it anyway. Even barring the relation to a show I don’t care about, it’s very difficult to find much appeal in this show. The visuals just look ugly and the colors are so bright and oversaturated that it hurts my eyes when I look at them. And I’m colorblind.

Konbini Kareshi

Worth watching: No

I knew going into this that I would have to talk about shows I won’t watch just because their premises won’t appeal to me, but I never expected one of those premises would include the words “love story surrounding a convenience store”. This is just a weird idea no matter how I look at it. Not a good weird idea that makes you wonder how someone could have created something so unique, but instead the kind that just makes you question why anyone would think this was an interesting idea.

18if

Worth watching: Yes

Now here is the good kind of weird. 18if is a show that dives into the realm of surrealism and if the previews are any indication it does so brilliantly. Animated by the extremely talented Studio Gonzo, this show seems like one that’s worth watching for the visuals alone. From the bizarre perspectives to the clashing colors to even the unique art style this is the kind of series that will absolutely draw in fans of the visually intense.

Battle Girl Highschool: Battle Girl Project

Worth watching: No

Have you ever seen such a redundant title? I’m honestly not sure if they did it as a joke or not, but it’s ridiculous either way. As for the show itself, there isn’t much to say about it. It’s based off of a Japan-only mobile game and if you know how well those sorts of adaptations turn out you probably understand my apathy. Also, the main girl is blatantly ripped off from Space Patrol Luluco.

Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ

Worth watching: No

Does Symphogear even have any actual fans? This franchise is right about to premiere its 5th TV series in just as many years and in all that time I’ve never met any fans for it. Sure, I know people who’ve watched it but normally a show going on for this long is indicative of a large supporting consumer base and I can’t remember ever meeting anyone who’s genuinely invested in it. I mean, I didn’t hate the few episodes I saw, but I never thought it was good enough to last as long as it has. I couldn’t even be bothered to sit through the entire first season, so I see no reason to try the latest one.

Yokai Apartment no Yuuga na Nichijou

Worth watching: No

The thing about shows that center on yokai is that there are so damn many of them. I’m honestly surprised that last season came and went without having one because of how ubiquitous they seem to be. This show doesn’t look terrible, but you’re much better off just watching Yokai Watch or any of the dime-a-dozen other yokai shows.

We’re almost done with this guide, so come back in the next part. Will we even out the positive:negative ratio?  Will it finally be the finale? I don’t know, I haven’t written it yet.

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Will Bertazzo Lambert
Will Bertazzo Lambert has recently risen above doing nothing but watch anime all the time and has now taken up talking about it on the internet. He hopes you will listen too, since he intends to talk for a long, long time.