Believe it or not, this post isn’t necessarily late. I actually wanted to write this a year after this particular Seasonal Sawce. Pretty neat, right?
(How many of you believe that?)
Okay, so, the following anime I watched in their entirety as they aired from October to December 2017. Gonna be ranking them from my least favorite to my most favorite. Without further preamble, let’s get into it!
Oh, man. This right here…this might be the biggest disappointment in terms of anime for me in 2017. I saw that Nisioisin name and got excited. I saw those absolutely awesome character designs and got hype. I read the death battle set-up and got all sorts of ready. I watched the whole thing and really, really wished I’d watched something else in its place.
It’s just dull. And straight-up ugly sometimes. One episode randomly switched between 2D and CGI animation, and there had been nary a bit of CGI used in the show previously. There was a two-parter covering the most uninteresting characters in the show, and those episodes looked rushed and choppy. It’s like they blew their budget on the very first episode and went, “…Who the f**k said we had to do 11 more episodes? We thought the leftover funds were booze money!”
Pretty cool characters and powers consistently let down by shoddy animation, poor pacing, and just a general disinterest in the source material. I’m not saying the original is better since I haven’t read it, but the Juni Taisen anime is getting a 4.5 out of 10 from me. I know it seems a little high for how I was talking, but I’m a generous sort.
I can’t really say I was letdown by this show. I think. I dunno. I didn’t expect it to be that good, but I also didn’t expect it to be so boring. Okay, it’s not always boring, but it could’ve used some tuning up (and I’ll check that off on the pun list for this post). The two main characters being rivals because they’ve fallen for the same guy is fine. That was a good joke because we never even see the guy’s face. He’s irrelevant. But then he shows up and ruins the joke. I didn’t think I’d miss the two-parters focusing on different teams and their problems from the first half so much. Boy howdy, did I, though.
Once the joke is over for the main girls, the other teams are way better and more interesting characters. Even the two announcer girls! And why didn’t we get an episode that was just Mao and Hitomi on a date? Those two are gold. Sure, I wanted some more sports in my sports anime, but I knew the focus here would be cute girls. So…focus on the cute girls more. Give ’em more time and more things to do. Don’t just throw them to the side once you’ve given up.
I’ll give it a 5.5. It’s fine for a cute girls doing sports things show, but there has got to be better out there.
Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World 2017
This might have actually been beneath Two Car had it not been for a few spectacular episodes. In particular the penultimate eleventh episode which is essentially Kino’s origin story. That was some fine anime right there. Aside from those standouts, though, the 2017 adaptation of Kino’s Journey is a wee bit lackluster.
Themes and messages tend to get lost in adaptation sometimes, and you’re left wondering what the point of those adventures were. I also don’t feel Kino’s characterization was consistent. Couldn’t put my finger on it, but she felt like a different character every now and then. Also, she was only barely in her own show for a majority of the time. Another group of travelers tended to take up a surprising amount of screen time.
Either a 6 or 6.5 for me. There are a handful of genuinely great episodes, but the rest felt middling to decent.
Food Wars! The Third Plate
Third Plate was on track to surpass Second Plate, and all in all, it probably did. The second season of Food Wars! suffered from an incredibly rushed tournament arc and tacked on aftermath. Season three here had a decent beginning, awesome middle, and then just kinda fizzled out at the end. Yeah, Souma’s duel with the First Seat of the Elite Ten felt kinda superfluous. I really don’t think these one cour seasons suit Food Wars! at all.
But, like I said, those middle episodes was Food Wars! at its finest. Erina’s father returning and overthrowing the current regime, the iron wok of Central coming down on the school, Souma essentially beginning the revolution all by his lonesome…. Good stuff, man. Good stuff! Wish what came before and after were of similar quality, though.
It’s a solid 8. I mean, it’s Food Wars!. Of course it’s good.
Now, it’s actually time for my number one. Yeah, that’s right. Only five this time! I love it!
Recovery of an MMO Junkie
I like me some rom-coms, but I love me some good rom-coms! And Recovery of an MMO Junkie is one of the goodest. Or best, if you want to get all correct-y grammar-y over here. All joking aside, though, yeah, I love this anime to bits. The soundtrack, the look, the characters, the relationships, the humor, the set-up, the pay-off, the all the stuff…. I love it. And it’s about adults! How f**king weird is that?!
It also helps that Moriko Morioka is one of the top contenders for Best Girl of 2017. Actually, if she represents the fall season, then we can get Karen Tendou of Gamers! for summer, Akane Hiyama from Love Tyrant for spring, and Sakie “Succubus Sensei” Satou hailing all the from winter in Interviews with Monster Girls and have them all compete in a TOURNAMENT to crown Best Girl of 2017. I mean, physical strength gives the edge to Akane, so maybe if they have, like, a debate TOURNAMENT? Maybe?
That aside out of the way, not only is Moriko a great main protagonist, but Sakurai is a wonderful main love interest. Guy’s kinda smitten with her and is just the picture of a gentleman nerd most of the time. Not the bad kind of gentleman nerd. The actual decent person good kind. His best friend/foil/romantic rival/wingman Koiwai is a surprisingly fun character, and all their guildmates bring their own set of fulfilled characteristics and lives to the tables.
It may not have had the most satisfying conclusion for a rom-com, but with only ten episodes and one for-funsies OVA, Recovery of an MMO Junkie did a remarkable job of presenting an immensely likable cast in a pretty real and heartfelt yet fanciful story. This one’s a 9 out of 10 for me.
That’s gonna do it for this round of Seasonal Sawce. If I’m being real here, I probably won’t write another post until the next Seasonal Sawce, but I always hope for better. Gonna try and knock out at least one graphic novel a week this year, and I may or may not write about each of them.
Peace out, and stay bizarre.