Monday, July 17, 2017

Initial Thoughts on Five Summer 2017 Anime Series


Listed below are the five new anime series that I’ve decided to follow this summer season (as far as the TV season is concerned; technically, it’s no longer summer where I am) on top of My Hero Academia season 2 and Re:Creators – spring anime that are still ongoing.   Of course, this doesn’t mean that these will be the only anime series that I will be watching for the rest of the year.  Dropping any of them from my viewing list is always a possibility, as well as picking up another anime down the line.  Anyway, I want to give some of my initial thoughts on these five after watching each one’s first two episodes.  Arranged in descending order of how much I enjoy them…

WELCOME TO THE BALLROOM
What’s it about:
Tatara Fujita is a middle school student that hasn’t figure out what he likes to do with his life.  But after a chance encounter, he becomes fascinated with the glorious world of ballroom dancing.

My initial thoughts:
I love sports anime.  But I never imagine that the next one I’ll be watching is about dancesport.  It’s quite an amusing development.  Anyway, it’s easily my favorite of the five so far, and it could also end up being my most favorite anime series of the year.  It has great promise and tons of charm.  It’s also appealingly similar to how Hajime No Ippo started out (seriously, it’s about ballroom dancing but the first thing that reminded me of it is an anime about boxing).  In addition, it has the best animation of the five.

KAKEGURUI: COMPULSIVE GAMBLER
What’s it about:
The students of Hyakkaou Private Academy are the children of the country’s wealthiest, most privileged, and most powerful.  As a result, their school culture is not much concerned with sports or academics.  Rather, they celebrate cunning, risk-taking, and perfecting the art of the deal.  This leads into the creation of a school hierarchy determined by the students’ respective reputations and performances as gamblers.  But one day, the status quo is disrupted by a newly transferred student – an enigmatic, intelligent, audacious girl who gambles recklessly for the sheer thrill of it.

My initial thoughts:
The premise is original and exciting, and the main character is very fascinating.  It maintains a sense of intrigue all throughout while masterfully peeling off the layers of this strange school and its new student in each episode.

SAIYUKI RELOAD BLAST
What’s it about:
It’s the latest installment of Saiyuki, continuing the story of Sanzo’s Party’s journey to the West.

My initial thoughts:
This is a delightful surprise for me, as I’m a huge Gensomaden Saiyuki fan and I didn’t know there’s a new series this year.  This anime’s protagonists are the best fictional foursome in my book, and I’m thrilled to see them once again bantering with each other, annihilating demons, and consistently ooze with swaggy, nonchalant badassery.  Per what the pilot thematically sets up, it looks like this new series is simply going to offer the same, old things that the anime has been known for.  And that’s totally fine with me.

RESTAURANT TO ANOTHER WORLD
What’s it about:
Western Restaurant Nekoya is a small Tokyo restaurant that serves Western cuisine.   It’s open during weekdays and closed during weekends and holidays.  However, it’s secretly open during Saturdays and welcomes various customers from a fantasy world who are able to gain access to it through different magical doors.

My initial thoughts:
So far, it has no overarching storyline or real action.  The episodes mainly depict various customers – both new ones and patrons – getting overwhelmed by how delicious their meals are.  Yet it’s extremely engrossing and delightful that way already.  Even if the anime’s simply like this for the rest of the way, I would already be satisfied.

NTR: NETSUZOU TRAP
What’s it about:
Yuna and Hotaru are two bestfriends that have begun a yuri affair behind their boyfriends’ backs.

My initial thoughts:
It’s weird that I decided to check it out.  It’s probably due to some residue of the curiosity I had for Scum’s Wish.  Anyway, two episodes in and it didn’t really do anything for me.  It didn’t have the initial thoughtfulness that Scum’s Wish at least had.  Unless something emphatic happens with its storytelling, I would drop this after a few more episodes.

No comments: