Sakura’s Picks: Best Anime Series of 2017

Anime

May Contain Light Spoilers

With the new year starting up, there’s no better time for a rundown of the best anime of 2017. 2017 has brought us sequels to both colossal series such as Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia and critical darling along the lines of Rakugo and Eccentric Family. Even Pokémon got an immensely refreshing new series in terms of animation in Sun & Moon. As with any “Best Of” list, my list is based on pure opinion and should be taken lightly as it’s a list of anime that I enjoyed this year. With all that said, please enjoy this collection of outstanding 2017 anime:

Alice

9. Alice & Zoroku

Director: Katsushi Sakurabi
Studio: J.C. Staff

Alice & Zoroku is a series about a light-hearted relationship between a grandfather, Zoroku and a young girl, Sana. The story centers around Sana, an orphan girl belonging to the research facility as an experimental test subject, and nicknamed “Red Queen” due to her immense power despite her youth. After escaping the facility, Sana finds herself in the middle of Shinjuku. Zoroku and his own granddaughter, Sanae, takes Sana in after sympathizing with her, later adopts her as his own granddaughter. Although there’s a few action scenes, the series is more on the slow side in terms of pacing. A lot of the scenes show Sana trying to live a normal life while trying to avoid the people at the facility from capturing her. If you enjoyed Flying Witch, you’ll probably enjoy this as it’s done by the same director.
Available on: Crunchyroll, Funimation (Dub)

Boruto

8. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations

Director: Noriyuki Abe, Hiroyuki Yamashita
Studio: Pierrot

I didn’t have a big expectation for this series as I grew up watching Naruto/Naruto Shippuden. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the series so far way more than I thought. The series follows the next generation of shinobi at the academy, just like in the Naruto series. Since I didn’t read the manga, I was about to be disappointed in the series during the first few episodes since it looked like those kids shows where the protagonist defeats an enemy every episode. Luckily that wasn’t the case. Personally, I actually enjoyed Sarada’s and Mizuki’s back stories more than Boruto, mainly because Boruto sometime comes off as snobby or a know-it-all. Although I’m sure as the series progressed, his character development will be better.
Available on: Crunchyroll, Hulu

Sakura Quest

7. Sakura Quest

Director: Soichi Masui
Studio: P.A.Works

I’ve watched every single P.A. Works anime series since Red Data Girl back in 2013 so I wasn’t going to miss out on this series. Sakura Quest is about a young grad, Yoshino, whose been looking for a job in Tokyo but has met a series of rejections. She ends up getting a job to work with the tourism board of the economically struggling Manoyama village as their “Queen”. She later finds out that she was hired based on mistaken identity and the job lasts for a year as opposed to a day like Yoshino thought. Anime tourism has been becoming popular, which P.A. Works featured in Kuromukuro, featuring the prefecture of Toyama. I felt like Sakura Quest was a great show for a Slice of Life but can feel slow time to time when they dragged out a problem.
Available on: Crunchyroll, Funimation (Dub)

Tsuki ga Kirei

6. Tsuki ga Kirei

Director: Seiji Kishi
Studio: Feel

This was probably the only romance anime I’ve watched in 2017. Tsuki ga Kirei is about two junior high students who are in the same class for the first time and they become more closer as they talk to each other on LINE. Since they’re both shy kind of people, they connected way better when communicating on LINE and were very shy and cute when hanging with each other. I think watching them go through hardships time to time, as it’s their first relationship, made this feel more realistic than most romance series.
Available on: Crunchyroll, Funimation (Dub)

Attack on Titan

5. Attack on Titan Season 2

Director: Masashi Koizuka
Studio: Wit Studio, Production I.G

The second season of Attack on Titan finally aired last year and it definitely was worth the wait. This season focused more on the other characters such as Christa, Ymir, Reiner, and Bertholdt and their back stories. There were way more suspense in this season than in the last season, mainly due to plot twists. I think Eren character development was strong in this season since he became somewhat more mature compared to the first season. Hopefully we won’t have to wait another 4 years to get a new season.
Available on: Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu

food wars

4. Food Wars! The Third Plate

Director: Yoshitomo Yonetani
Studio: J.C. Staff

Food Wars! came back for a third installment, just a year after the first one. This season starts off with the Moon Banquet Festival where the students are invited to set up a booth demonstrate their cooking to customers for a period of five days. For Soma, of course, had to go challenge one of the elite ten in Chinese cuisine. Other notable character developments are Erina and her father, Azami. Food Wars! is definitely one of the more unique series when it first came out because there weren’t any series that followed cooking with a suspense/action way. This season was meant to have 24 episodes but they decided to split it into two, so the second part is airing in April 2018.
Available on: Crunchyroll

blue exorcist

3. Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga

Director: Koichi Hatsumi
Studio: A-1 Pictures

Blue exorcist was one of the first anime I’ve ever watched back when I started watching them around 2011. I was so excited to hear that they made a second season, about 6 years after the first one. The start of this season might be confusing to some people since the first season had an anime original ending. So the second season picked up from episode 17 in the first season. Since this was the Kyoto Saga, the series focused more on Suguro, Shima, and Konekomaru, which was great since they needed more character development.  I felt like the ending was dragged out a bit, mainly because if Rin defeated the Impure King, that would be the end of the second season. Overall it was a great comeback for long time fans of the series.
Available on: Crunchyroll, Hulu (Sub and Dub)

re creators

2. Re:Creators

Director: Ei Aoki
Producer: Shizuka Kurosaki
Studio: Troyca

This was probably one of my favorite action anime I’ve watched in a while. It has a pretty unique concept, usually we see anime where the main character enters a fantasy world but in this case, anime characters enter the real work. This is an original series and it follows a high school student named Sota, who dreams of writing his own light novel. While watching anime to look for inspiration, Sota accidentally get sucked into the screen where he meets Selesia and mystery girl in a military uniform. Sota immediately returns back to the real world but not without bringing Selesia as well. The storyline of the anime is complicated so I won’t go any further. What makes this anime a gem is the animation during the fight scenes as well as the music, done by Hiroyuki Sawano, known for composing for Attack on Titan, Seraph of the End, and Guilty Crown. This series is available only on Amazon Prime but luckily there is no longer a double pay wall as Amazon dissolved Anime Strike.
Available on: Amazon Prime

welcome

1. Welcome to the Ballroom

Director: Yoshimi Itazu
Producer: Tetsuya Kinoshita
Studio: Production I.G

Now for my number 1 anime of 2017, Welcome to the Ballroom was a personal favorite because of the relatable characters and storyline.  The story follows a high school student named Tatara Fujita, who didn’t know what to do in the future nor had any hobbies. He accidentally entered the Ogasawara Dance Studio after Sengoku, a champion dancer, saved him from the bullies, and becomes hooked with dance. Watching Tatara grow as a person from being a timid guy to a someone who can stand his own ground through dancing was amazing to see. Tatara comes off as someone you want to root for since he’s putting 100%. Also dancing with different partners such as Chinatsu and Mako helped his dancing and confidence. This series is also on Amazon Prime, which no longer has a double pay wall due to Anime Strike.
Available on: Amazon Prime

I hope you guys liked my top picks from 2017 and if you didn’t, write a comment down below listing your favorites of 2017!

Sakura Harano
Japanese entertainment centered 🌹 a フェアリーズ and Camila Cabello fangirl

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