Wicked Anime’s Must-Watch Winter 2017 Anime
It’s a new year and a new season in anime, and there’s a lot to get excited about! From the most adorable anime girls to long-planned revenge plots to returning favorites, this season has definitely got something for everyone. Join the Wicked Anime crew and Nerdy Show members and affiliates as we highlight the winter 2017 anime YOU should be watching!
Jonathan’s Pick: Masamune-kun’s Revenge
Makabe Masamune was bullied as a child for being “the fat kid.” The bullying was so severe that he developed a complex to turn his outward appearance around and live as a shamelessly beautiful person. Given the opportunity to start over at a new school, he finds himself back in the presence of his first love and bully, Adagaki Aki. Luckilyy for Masamune, Aki does not recognize him with his new looks. He uses this to his advantage as exacts his revenge: to make Aki fall madly in love with him, and to dump her in return.
Why You Should Watch
This is one of the most well-written shows this season. With a plot straight out of early 2000’s American cinema, Masamune-kun’s Revenge adds a unique flair to the harem genre trope that’s gone wrong so many times in recent years.
The original creator of the series, Takeoka Hazuki, made every character unique. As a result, each brings something to the table when they enter the scene. Masamune is a different flavor of protagonist that anime fans are used to, regardless of series. There is this very fine balance between his arrogance and real-life charm. He’s the answer to fixing the character archetype of either being too timid or being so full of himself that you, as the viewer, can sympathize with why the other characters in the show hate him so much. The creator clearly knew what they were doing when creating their villain for this series too. Aki is such a delightful character we all love to hate, but also can’t help but fall for her charming flaws and naivety. This isn’t to say that some characters don’t feel a little run-of-the-mill at times and get a little trope-y, it’s not a perfect science, but I guess creators can’t stray TOO far from the anime formula just yet.
Speaking of which, there are a lot more panties in this show than necessary. Not a whole lot, but enough to make you ask, did they even really need it? It’s not that this is a deal breaker though; for the most part, the show does just fine on it’s writing alone. It’s pacing moves at such a satisfying rate that you get your fill from each episode.
While the show is pretty standard for the quality of animation nowadays, it makes up for it in character and costume designs. The facial expressions given to each character to match how they’re feeling in the moment is spot on. This especially true when a character like Aki is showing her weaknesses and we suddenly realize the front she is putting up.
In the start of a new year, this show is a stand-out breath of fresh air for its genre and should not be missed. While the show may not be the funniest, or have a top-of-the-line animation budget, it feels like it has all those qualities going for it because of the superb writing. Writing like this doesn’t come along very often, which gives me high hopes in watching this show to completion. And while I do have my fingers crossed for an unexpected ending, the obvious choice can be seen from miles away, which may be just fine in this show’s case. I didn’t choose the harem life, the harem life chose me.
Where to Watch
Andrew’s Pick: Interviews with Monster Girls
As is common knowledge to most of us, hundreds of thousands of yen are spent in tax dollars every year to fund scientists who are working on the complex mathematical algorithm that will one day result in the perfect, cutest anime girl for the betterment of mankind. But, while we are waiting for the formula to be perfect and complete, we get to see the improvements in new every season of anime that result in the newest and cutest girl to date. Thus, this season we have Interviews With Monster Girls.
The show is about a world where humans and monsters, known as demi-humans, peacefully live together in modern society. Amongst these “demis” are vampires, dullahans, succubus and Japanese folk-tale youkai! Normal humans however, don’t usually know that much about demi-humans and their daily lives. This is where high school professor, Takahashi Tetsuo, breaks almost every known school faculty rule to talk with and learn more about how they live in normal society.
Why You’ll Love It:
On top of being one of the funniest shows this season, it has to have one of the best characters dynamics I’ve seen. As the monster girls slowly become friends with the teacher, the more they start to become friends with one another. Individually as well, each character has their own distinct personality ranging from the shy quiet type we always see in shows to the boisterous loud type not really drawing any lines to what they say or do.
The vampire character, Takanashi Hikari (and current the top result of the famous Japanese algorithm), makes every scene fun to watch with her quirky facial expressions, over the top reactions and as she constantly forces other characters into situations they would never want to engage in on their own. The dullahan character, Machi Kyouko, is so impressive to watch as you try to answer the question, “what would I do without my head attached?” The succubus teacher, Satou Sakie, can be so pitiful as you watch her avoid all interactions with males as not to arouse them just with a single touch. The show certainly prides itself on being heavily character-based as each of the settings are often small with no real grand scheme to a greater story. The slice-of-life factor with a twist of monsters is a nice shift to what is usually a harem with bouncy boobs. There’s something so appealing about a show that just wants to have fun with what’s right in front of you as a viewer and doesn’t mind being a bit cute as well… or a lot cute.
Later, coming in on episode four, we will then get to learn more about Kusakabe Yuki, a snow woman from Japanese ghost stories, who is a quiet shy girl and isn’t favored by her peers. What will Takahashi-sensei learn about her? I for one am going to answer that question as I keep watching this wonderful show with all of its wonderful characters… I shall also keep my eyes out for the completed algorithm; it can’t be too much longer until the result is final.
Evan’s Pick: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
After a night of drinking, a young office worker named Kobayashi stumbles upon an injured dragon named Tohru. Out of the kindness of her heart, Kobayashi saves Tohru, and Tohru repays her by becoming a live-in maid. However, once the big-tailed girl sets up residency, other dragons start appearing in the normal world, causing Kobayashi’s life to be flipped upside-down.
Why You’ll Love It:
I’ve been a fan of Coolkyoushinja’s work since watching both Komori-san Can’t Decline and I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying. With those two shows being short 2-3 minute-long episodes, I found myself curious as to how well his humor can work on a more full-length sitting. Sure enough he found the perfect partner in Kyoto Animation, which has brought Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid to life in oh-so-many spectacular ways.
For starters the anime is very funny, as it plays with the trope of a mythical creature attempting to live life in a normal world (a backwards KonoSuba if there ever was one). Tohru quickly realizes that she can’t attempt to be in her personal norm while living with Kobayashi, meaning she can’t cook her own tail for dinner or literally suck on clothes to rid them of stains. The real fun of the show is when Kobayashi (and sometimes her coworker Makoto) get incredibly drunk, start ranting about maids and butlers, and Tohru finds herself smack in the middle of a cosplay tirade.
What makes Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid work is that it has set itself up with a tone that’s both humorous and adorable at the same time. The curiosity of Tohru’s friend Kanna aids with amplifying the more moéfied aspects of the show, and the fact that Tohru has already professed her love to Kobayashi gets rid of all that dumb are they/aren’t they babbling the shipping parts of the fandom just love to do. It also helps that the series is always filled with bright colors, detailed surroundings, and an animation style that blends pretty characters and goofy reactions perfectly.
This is Kyoto Animation back on their A-Game. Not since the original season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya has one of their shows engrossed me so much. The writing is brilliant, the cast & characters are great, and even Masumi Itou’s score is an amazing mixture of childlike French melodies and wild oompah that’d be perfect for any bar/bat mitzvah. In short: you need this lesbian dragon and her reluctant master in your life!
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid can be viewed on Crunchyroll, and has been licensed by FUNimation Entertainment.
Jessica’s Pick: Fuuka
Yuu Haruna is an introverted high schooler who finds it difficult to communicate with people in real life. Instead, he conducts the majority of his social interactions through Twitter. After moving to Tokyo, Yuu meets the enigmatic Fuuka Akitsuki, a girl who refuses to use a cell phone and still listens to music on a portable CD player. Together, the two fumble through the awkward beginnings of friendship, romance, and…bandmates?!
Why You’ll Love It:
For all intents and purposes, Fuuka is a show about a group of kids forming a band and trying to make it as pros. It has all the makings of a well-worn trope: an overbearing lead character, a reluctant protagonist, and a high-school setting.
But what’s remarkable about Fuuka is how quickly it overcomes that trope and evolves into something more meaningful. We watch as complex our main character, Yuu, develops over the course of just one episode. Introduced as a gloomy smartphone addict, he’s thrust into awkward IRL interaction with a girl who quite literally ran into him. A girl who then proceeds to break his phone, call him a pervert, and slap him across the face, mistakenly assuming he was taking panty-shots. A girl, who by all rights, he should never want to see again. And yet, he picks up a CD she accidentally left behind, on the off-chance he might be able to return it to her.
Surprise, surprise, this girl is in his class and once again gives him the cold shoulder. But Yuu, the enigma that is he is, continues pushing himself into uncomfortable social situations. He comes to Fuuka’s aid when he assumes she a victim of assault by an upperclassman. He pretends to be her boyfriend to help her get a collectible couple’s keychain set. And Fuuka, for all the front she puts on, is full of false bravado. The two both have their own walls built to protect them from society: Yuu with Twitter and Fuuka with music.
With each episode, you see their worlds continue to entwine as they begin to discover how they might better interact with society. Music is slowly becoming that medium, as the characters share and express their deepest feelings through song. And after binging on all 139 chapters of the manga two weekends ago (not recommended — major spoilers and full-on ugly crying), I can’t wait to see this beautiful adaptation continue to unfold.
And If You Have Time…
There are several other shows this season that, while not top picks, still deserve a special mention. So be sure to check out these other titles when you find yourself with a spare moment!
KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World! 2
Everyone’s favorite guild of assholes are back, as Kazuma, Aqua, Megumin, and Darkness set off to defeat the Devil King. However after the explosive incident that occurred at the end of season one, the douchebag quartet must first rid themselves of debt and seek to gain as normal a life as one could have in the Middle Ages. Will Kazuma and the gang rise from the ashes, or will they be forced to fall face-first into a pile of horse shit? Honestly, this is the anime everyone should be watching. After the first three episodes, KonoSuba has succeeded in performing the impossible task of being funnier than the first season. Giant toads, jerky lords, and even adventurers who’d sooner throw their comrades under…whatever the equivalent of a bus would be back then rather than risk their own necks are still no match for the NEET, the goddess, the pyromaniac, and the sadomasochist. If you haven’t started watching KonoSuba, do yourselves a favor and catch up to bear witness to the most hilarious romp through the Dark Ages since Blackadder.
Watch KonoSuba on Crunchyroll.
It’s one of those “it’s sad, but true” shows: you watch a successful student get sucked into the world of gaming and distances herself from her schooling and ultimate success… you know, as an angel. This show has a bright cast of character all with opposing personalities: angels that are dark or twisted, demons that shine, demon-lords that hold no authority, etc., which creates a show that’s exceptionally tongue-in-cheek.
Watch Gabriel DropOut on Crunchyroll.
Saga of Tanya the Evil
If you’re in need of some good animation, you’ll find it here. Tanya the Evil is by far one of the strangest and most perplexing shows this season, following a 9 year old military leader as she sheds blood across an alternate universe World War I battlefield. The action scenes are superb and the animations are top notch for this season. If you can get behind the concept of following an evil adolescent killing machine, it is most certainly worth your time.
Taking place in the same universe as the Amagami dating sim, this rom-com series follows high school student Shoichi and his relationship with three female students. We jokingly like to refer to it as “Awkward Boners: The Anime.” You’ll see what we mean…
Watch Seiren on Crunchyroll.