One of these times a seemingly weak anime season will actually be as bad as it looked going in. I thought the streak might end with the Summer 2017 season; however, once again, I missed several quality series in my initial estimation and this season turned out to be a pretty decent one. It was far from being one of the best but it also was far from being the worst. Of the fifteen series that I watched this season, six were good enough to warrant inclusion on a best of season list. How did your favorites fair? Read on to find out.
September’s fading summer warmth is one my favorite times of the year. The cool nights are prime sleeping weather and the days are still warm enough to keep wearing shorts and t-shirts. It is also, incidentally, a good time to give my sinuses a break from all the stuff that the AC or heater like to kick up. This month also marks the last chance for the currently airing anime to grab our attention and hopefully stave off decent into the pit of oblivion that more than 90% percent of the anime will fall into – forgotten – as soon as the new season of anime starts up in October.
Every time I think an upcoming season of anime looks terrible there turns out to be more than a couple of surprise hits that save the season. The Summer 2017 season was no different. It wasn’t a perfect season by any measure. Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul finished well below expectations and the storytelling of Re:Creators never was able to match it’s inventive setting, to name two disappointments. Who knew, on the other hand, that a show with a name like Princess Principal was going to be so good or that Nana Maru San Batsu, a show about high school quiz bowl, would so quietly become a title I looked forward to watching week after week. This season was also the first time in about two years that I was able to watch every currently airing anime that I wanted to as it aired.
To celebrate, I’m going to do a pair of season in review posts. The first will feature my picks for the season’s best in a number of categories like Best Characters, Best OP/ED, and Best Animation. The second post will feature a countdown of the top shows of the season and will be published once all the possible placing shows have finished airing for the season and I’ve had time to write it.
Now onto the awards.
I would like it explained to me what, exactly, happened when the surviving characters of Altair’s failed rebellion walked through that portal in the final episode of Re:Creators. Because I think I watched them kill themselves.
This depressing thought snuck up on me the other night, as I walked to my refrigerator for a drink, after being generally happy with the final episode of Re:Creators and mulling over how cutting Altair out of the show completely would have made for a much better show. I tried to deny this thought and couldn’t. (Either thought, really, Re:Creators would have worked better as a slice-of-life series without the presence of Altair but that’s not the purpose of this post.) I slept on it and still can’t find the fault in this depressing idea. I had not intended to revisit Re:Creators after writing such a long post last week about the problems this show had; however, I was not expecting to watch a number of cast members getting spaghettified in some sort of cosmic blue portal of death.
I will not rage.
After 20 episodes I realized that Re:Creators was somehow going to find a way to under-perform even the meager expectations I had about it’s telegraphed ending. I can’t pretend I was shocked, surprised, or even offended about how poorly executed the creators of Re:Creators resolved the central conflict of the series in episode 21. In fact, the only feeling of surprise I had while slogging through episode 21 was finding out how little I actually cared about how the show was going to resolve itself; I thought I was more invested in this show than I turned out to be.
Then again, maybe if all the likable characters weren’t killed or completely sidelined from the show, I might have cared enough about Re:Creators to feel the need to rage about this ending. Instead, I feel disappointed that not even a decent ending could have been salvaged from this show.
So, I will not rage. I will, however, lay out some of the reasons why Re:Creators was a disappointment.
August was a bit of a slow month in Animeland; several of the better shows took a break when their TV slots in Japan were filled with some sort of competition. On the plus side, this gave the other series a better chance to be noticed before the season got to far along. Were these series able to take advantage of this opening or did the bigger name series continue to hog the attention?