PULSAR’S TOP 5 WINTER ANIME OF 2017
I’ve decided this year to do things a little differently with my “favorite anime” lists. Instead of just doing a year-end top 10 list, I’m going to do a Top 5 every three months at the end of the season (anime seasons run quarterly, as opposed to once a year like with American TV). This way I can highlight more shows, plus it will be when all the episodes are online and you can watch the shows from beginning to end.
Without further ado…
#5: INTERVIEWS WITH MONSTER GIRLS
This is a cute little slice of life/comedy series about a biology teacher who is fascinated by “demi-humans,” aka monsters. He happens to have three students who fall into this category (a vampire, a dullahan, and a snow woman), plus a fellow teacher who also happens to be a succubus. He convinces the girls to do interviews with him about what their lives are like as monsters, not just for his own curiosity but to figure out how to be a better teacher for them.
If you’re expecting risque ecchi shenanigans like on shows like Monster Musume, you won’t find them here. What you will find is a surprisingly sweet and charming show featuring some extremely likeable characters (the succubus teacher who tries to hide her physical charms by wearing a tracksuit, which of course only serves to get people’s minds racing even more, is my personal favorite).
#4: GABRIEL DROPOUT
A hilarious comedy about an angel who graduates from angel school at the top of her class and is sent down to Earth for post-grad work… only to become obsessed with video games and turn into a lazy bum. Meanwhile her best friend, a demon fresh out of demon school, is entirely too sweet and responsible to be a good minion of Satan.
Throw in a fellow angel who is actually a complete sadist, and a fellow demon with delusions of grandeur, and you’ve got the recipe for some seriously funny times. Satanichia the would-be queen of the Underworld damn near steals the show. If you’re looking for some laughs this is a great show to check out.
#3: KONOSUBA - SEASON 2
If you haven’t seen Season 1 of Konosuba, stop what you’re doing, go watch it, then come back, apologize, and watch Season 2.
The four most inept, narcissistic, delusional adventurers in anime are back and funnier than ever. Imagine “Its Always Sunny” type humor mixed with D&D style fantasy world tropes. The jokes are nonstop with this show, with some fantastic voice acting (especially from the voice actor for Kazuma the main character). Even when the animation sometimes slips in quality, it actually makes the show FUNNIER.
I really hope we get a Season 3, I need more of the adventures of my explosion-obsessed mage, useless goddess, masochist knight and Kazutrash. I needs it, maaaaaaan.
#2: MISS KOBAYASHI’S DRAGON MAID
An office worker gets drunk one night and misses her train stop. She ends up wandering into the woods and coming across an injured dragon. After helping the dragon out, she offers to let the dragon stay with her… then goes home, sleeps it off, and completely forgets about everything.
The next morning, guess who’s at her doorstep?
Calling this show cute would be the understatement of the century. It’s absolutely adorable, with the dragons stealing the show with their shenanigans. The animation style is great, with tons of colors and great character designs. There’s a genuine sweetness to the show that’s never forced or cloying. And did I mention the show is about A FREAKING DRAGON MAID?
#1: SCUM’S WISH
I had a hard time deciding whether or not to give this or KOBAYASHI the number 1 spot. If it came down to which show I had more fun watching, it would have been KOBAYASHI hands down. But that isn’t a fair way to judge this show.
Make no mistake: Scums Wish is NOT a pleasant show. It’s one of the most emotionally draining experiences I’ve had watching an anime. The subject matter alone will likely turn a lot of people off, and I imagine there will be people who like every other show on my list and hate this one. But that’s okay.
The show is about two high school students who appear to be the perfect couple, but it’s all an act: they’re actually in love with other people, people who they can’t have (their teachers), and are using each other as physical substitutes to fill the emotional void.
A lot of love stories (in anime and other mediums) like to pretend that love is always fun and pleasant, and even when things get bad, they work themselves out in the end. This is not one of those shows. This show will remind you just how horrible love can be: unrequited love, loving someone who hates you in return, knowing the person you love is only using you as a replacement but going along with it because you think it’s better than not having them in your life at all. The characters in this show are all flawed, and some of them do awful things to each other… but in the end, I desperately wanted them all to end up okay. You’ll have to watch the show to find out if they do.
As always, these are just my personal top picks. I’d love to hear what your favorite anime of the year so far are.
P.S. I know Little Witch Academia is missing. I’m waiting til the season is done to add it to any lists I do. I’m sure it will end up there.