2017 was the year I decided to seriously invest in anime. Back in 2016, I had little clue on how people were consuming anime, watching only the trending anime on social media like Erased, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Yuri on Ice, and Mob Psycho 100. I was not really attached to anime yet until I fell in love with the Little Witch Academia OVAs on Halloween 2016. Captivated by the character Akko Kagari and the Disney-like animation, I sought for more LWA content.
Learning that there would be an upcoming LWA anime series on January 2017, I wanted to get into the hype train for it, joining the many LWA communities in places like Discord and Reddit. Eventually, I learned about seasonal anime, where MyAnimeList helped me get a better picture of what was airing right now. I followed the hype for Demi-Chan and Dragon Maid. Soon, I delved into deeper territory like Fuuka and Seiren. Quickly getting used to the method of anime distribution by Spring 2017, my life became mostly about watching as much new anime as I could.
Looking back to every 2017 anime I finished, there were SO MANY anime that I adored. There were so many gems, that I want to share my personal list of 30 anime worth watching. Some anime I list here are ones that I loved. There are also some anime here that did not strike my tastes, but I can see others loving them more based on execution and the value it offers.
I rank these from least to most personal favorite. Note: Just because I rank them this way, it does not mean the lower-ranked anime are any less worth watching.
In a school where student supremacy matters and gambling is the means of survival, Kakegurui aims to greatly entertain by demonstrating the psychotic nature of gamblers in the many games that occur. The main character Jabami Yumeko is a joy to watch because of how she approaches gambling. She may seem innocent at glance, but when the gambling games begin, she becomes a totally obsessive nut that pleasures at the biggest risks taken.
Each new gambler that Jabami faces is more insane than the last. It is the utter insanity of its characters that make Kakegurui great. The actual gambling aspect is relatively weak though, as stakes start to feel less threatening as episodes go by. But, if you are one that loves entertaining characters and can get past that single issue, you will have an amusing time with this anime.
27. Tsuki ga Kirei
Tsuki ga Kirei is a simple, yet adorable tale about two middle-schoolers that develop their romance through silent communication. The relationship building is slow, yet is directed in a way that feels very natural for the narrative. The lovers, Kotarou and Akane, go through various life struggles such as love-triangles, gaining courage, and achieving dreams.
The more the two communicate in the narrative, the more I rooted for their love becoming true. The overall execution of these elements is pretty solid. There are hardly any issues for me, aside from the occasional CG animation of background characters in a few scenes. For how unique the direction is for a romance, Tsuki ga Kirei is definitely worth your time.
26. Sakura Quest
Wanting to help out a dying local area, five cute women team up to gradually reinvigorate the town of Manoyama back to a very popular visitor attraction. Sakura Quest is an anime that does a fine job at investing me into its subject matter. With decent character development, down-to-earth tone, and interesting background exploration, there was enough interest there for me to keep watching to the end.
While Sakura Quest is decent all around, the pacing for the anime can be too slow for others to tolerate. Backstories/exploration tend to take the bigger spotlight, rather than characters actually contributing to the cause. I really wished contribution and development were equally distributed with tight pacing so that watching the efforts of Yoshino and others feel more rewarding. Still, I highly recommend this anime. You might find the slow progression of the building town plot to be very suitable.
25. ATOM: The Beginning
ATOM: The Beginning is a modernized prequel to Astro Boy, detailing the back-stories of the Tenma and Ochanomizu before they built the robot Astro. Even if you have not read or watched the iconic series, ATOM is a great experience on its own. The main character’s personalities and their bouncy relationship is the main hook, settling their differences in philosophy through emotional character developments and the robot fights their prototype A106 faces.
There are some notable issues with ATOM that might have others to lose engagement. The storytelling can feel plain sometimes, occasionally having scenes that do little progress for the narrative. The supporting characters do not contribute much aside from being tools for progressing the Tenma/Ochanomizu relationship. But, if you can tolerate those problems, you will find a pretty awesome character-driven anime with decent action and good storytelling.
24. Kemono Friends
Despite how jarring the CG looks for visual presentation, Kemono Friends is one of most surprisingly anime I enjoyed in 2017. What keeps the anime intriguing is the world lore and back-story hidden in its light-hearted narrative. There is a special charm to this show and I could tell that the staff put craftsmanship into its decent storytelling and cute animal characters.
In my personal opinion, this anime is best watched with pals. Being able to share the experience of finding hidden, mind-blowing secrets in scenes with friends enhances the overall enjoyment value you will have for this anime. Watching it alone is not as fun. If you are looking for a fun and adorable time with engaging surprises, Kemono Friends is a must-watch anime.
23. Welcome to the Ballroom
I have debated several times whether I should add Welcome To The Ballroom to this list. I expected the animation to be consistently solid for this shounen sports series about dancing, given how Yuri On Ice was able to keep me very interested in ice-skating with its fluidly animated body movements. While the animation did not reach my expectations, its daring sharp art style/presentation/sound and solidly developed characters did enough for me to be constantly entertained by the dancing.
Tatara, the main character, does start with a blank slate personality. But as the journey of his ballroom career continues, he develops into something great. More interesting characters are gradually introduced, dynamically fascinating relationships are created, and the dancing action gets more intense. Seeking for a shounen anime that will get you interested in a random sport? Welcome to the Ballroom will do a great job at that.
What seemed to be a typical ecchi harem, Tsugumomo turns out to be a shockingly pretty good action anime. Its utilization of Japanese culture is what made me very curious to watch it. The concept of tsukumogamis (Objects that become human-like with souls over a long period of time) fascinated me greatly as I watched more. It made me want to learn more about the various abilities of tsukumogami and the world Tsugumomo offers. Towards finishing the epic final episode, I wanted more.
Tsugumomo gave me one of my favorite characters in anime ever, Kiriha. Enjoying this anime will depend on your toleration for ecchi elements. It happens very often to the male MC (Kazuya) and it can be an immediate turn off for those that just want to see more lore, backstory, and action. If you do happen to finish the anime and really like the content Tsugumomo offers, I urge you to read the manga after. The manga has god-like art and becomes an amazing ride as the story delves further.
21. Aho Girl
Aho Girl is a good treat! I had a wonderful time spending my precious time with Yoshiko, laughing at her stupidity, her banana obsession, and the troubles she causes for her friends. Her vicious nature allows for some really funny gags, especially with the moments when A-Kun attempts to stop Yoshiko’s madness. Aho Girl is essentially a comedy of stupidity versus sanity that executes its humor very well.
Your sense of humor will ultimately depend whether you will continue watching this anime. There are some that will loathe Yoshiko’s dumbfounded personality and find the comedy unfunny, while others like me will enjoy and appreciate the wackiness of this main character. I really want to see a second season of Aho Girl. With the manga ending early 2018, there is likely enough to adapt more Yoshiko greatness.
20. Restaurant to Another World
Being part of the overfilling isekai genre, you would expect Restaurant to Another World to be your typical average anime. But, this is not the case. This anime is just a simple, comfy set of many tales about creatures/humans from various worlds coming to a restaurant for some good food. The pleasant soundtrack, presentation, and direction immediately gets me immersed in its atmosphere and in the mood to eat. The way side-stories are integrated as an emotional build-up for the food serving scenes is great and gives the anime a unique charm.
I do not find many flaws with Restaurant to Another World because I feel everything is executed decently. If there were anything to complain about, it would just be me wanting to learn more about the main characters and seeing them develop closer relationships. I would not mind seeing more heartfelt restaurant stories from this anime with another season. I could definitely use more nourishment.
19. Magical Circle Guru Guru
Magical Circle Guru Guru is a pretty silly comedy series about two kids that go off an adventure to seal the power of Giri, in an RPG-like fashion. Most of the humor in ranges from making fun of RPGs, childish jokes, and a bunch of randomness. Personally, this series did not make me laugh as consistently as I would have hoped. Not because of the type of jokes it offers, but because the humor was fast-paced.
To be clear, I think the pacing and humor are well-executed and appropriate for this kind of show. It is just that for me, I just did not have enough time to sink in all the types of jokes that go by very quickly. Now if the humor and pacing is something right up your alley, I think you will absolutely adore this. I believe this series deserves to have more recognition, despite my personal preferences. This is why I put Magical Circle Guru Guru on this list, for anyone that might enjoy its humor.
18. Youjo Senki
This anime is about a loli with magical powers fighting in a time of world war, who becomes a commander to have her country become one of the most dominant nations in power. That premise sounds ridiculous, and it is, but it is a lot of fun because of the main character. Tanya is a merciless little bastard that will do anything to prove her skills to Being X, the mysterious being who gives Tanya supernatural abilities.
The motivations and tactical methods of Tanya are so absurd and hilarious, that I wanted to see her dominate more battles as the series progressed. Youji Senki starts out really slow in the first episode, but once I watched the second episode that gave Tanya much-needed character exploration, this anime hooked me. Looking for a war anime mixed in with some craziness? Youjo Senki will be a treat for you.
Gamers, despite its title, does not actually focus on gaming itself. Instead, the focal point is the relationship of gamers and how their awkward natures lead to many hilarious misunderstandings. The way the misunderstandings keeps building and building to create many complicated-to-explain relationships makes Gamers one of the most well-crafted romantic comedy anime out there.
I vastly enjoyed most of the time I spent laughing at the hilarity of the relationships, although the ending did sort of confuse me. The final episode felt out of place given Gamers‘ overall story structure. Although, this direction shift was not a deal-breaker, since episode 11 gave me a satisfying conclusion to the relationship madness. If you are looking for a comedy that constantly builds up its humor and hilarity to a great degree, Gamers will fulfill your needs.
Blend-S is about a group of maids in a cafe, who serve their customers with a unique characteristic attached. For example, Maika (shown above in the middle) serves in a sadistic, yet unusually pleasing fashion for the benefit of her customers. The premise is utilized for comedic purposes. With the many different maids that join the cafe, Blend-S delivers its humor in a pretty refreshing way.
My only complaint is that I wish character development would be lightly present because its premise also opens great potential for character progression. Some of the later introduced maids like Miu and Hideri do not get enough time for their share of comedy. Blend-S rather spends its last episodes focusing on the relationship between Maika and Dino (I did not mind this too much though). Looking for a slice of comedy with a unique spin brimmed with adorable girls, Blend-S will serve you right.
15. Gabriel Dropout (A.K.A. Satania the Anime)
This anime is your ordinary slice-of-life, except with heaven and hell taking over. When an angel named Gabriel visits Earth and later becomes a hikikomori from playing too many video games, angels and demons come down to help revitalize her lifestyle. These devout cute girls approach everyday activities in so many hilarious ways. Gabriel Dropout is definitely worth your time, but Gabriel and others are not whom actually matter.
What actually matters is Satania. Satania is the devil’s miraculous little daughter that wants to cause trouble for others, but ends up failing at her plans 100% of the time. This demon is the freaking star of the show for me, and her every attempt of being evil is top-tier hysterical. When I finished this anime, I was sad that there was no more Satania for me to consume. Satania will make you the happiest human on the planet. If you are not first watching this anime for our beautiful goddess Satania, you are watching Gabriel Dropout WRONG!
14. KADO: The Right Answer
Have you ever thought about the progression of humanity? As a species, we have slowly evolved in terms of technology, morality, and politics that has helped us become “better” people. What if humanity could advance greatly in just a short span of time? KADO has that answer. What makes this anime so interesting is that it covers many topics on how humanity could advance, using special tools that further enhance human capabilities.
The more interesting part of KADO is how humanity and the main characters react to having such growth. Each character is handled maturely and has a unique personality that explores a different side of KADO, ranging from news coverage, researching, to handling negotiation for this mysterious gift for humanity. I do not want to give away too much away. This blend of covering human advancement topics with humanity’s reactions to KADO is what makes the anime a seriously intriguing watch.
13. Princess Principal
What I initially expected from Princess Principal was a slice of life about cute girls doing spy things for fun just based on the promotional poster. In actuality, this is about cute girls doing spy missions like conducting assassinations, keeping close-watches on political matters, and other kinds of espionage. I was shocked by how progressive and intriguing the story was.
The way the characters conduct missions, show fun personalities, and display their unique skills gives Princess Principal a lot of entertainment value. With its cool steampunk setting and fancily adorable character design, it gives the anime strong originality. Princess Principal is a must watch for any anime fan desperately looking for a creatively amusing thriller.
12. Made in Abyss
This is a one-of-a-kind, straight-forward, emotional, immersive adventure. The world of the Abyss is packed with exciting places, dangerous creatures, and countless explorers that hides various secrets and mysterious powers. Two adventurers, Riko and Reg, go down the abyss’s deepest layers to find what they are looking for, not knowing the darkness that awaits them.
I will warn those that might go in blind to keep in mind that this anime will have nightmarish content awaiting you, but it is worth it. In my personal opinion, this anime is a must-see for EVERYONE. Made in Abyss has great animation, beautiful presentation, heart-pumping character development, and a very euphonious soundtrack that melds into one of the most incredible experiences ever.
11. Kino’s Journey
Kino’s Journey‘s premise is fascinating and simple to explain. Kino and her talking motorcycle travel to different countries, but here’s the catch. Each country has their own interesting set of rules and conditions for stopping by their place. What makes the premise wholly intriguing is Kino and her mysterious morality towards these countries. The very fun part is guessing whether Kino will commit immoral or moral actions in the places she briefly stays in.
The actions Kino/other characters do make me think about many things about morality in general and what would it be like if I lived in that country. The only complaints I have with this anime are the episodes that feature Shizu. His character was fine in his debut, but his moral actions towards the countries he visits are generally pretty boring. But, the execution of the other episodes featuring Kino are thankfully fantastic to make up for an overall solid experience.
To me, Animegataris is an overall pretty good celebration of the anime medium. It consistently entertained and capture my emotions with its heavy utilization of anime for character development and humor. It starts from a solid show about passionate otakus forming close friendships to ending with an insanely ridiculous meta extravaganza.
If you are a hardcore anime fan, there is no excuse for missing Animegataris. I had a joyful time writing my impressions about each new weekly episode in great detail on Twitter, Reddit, MyAnimeList, and Discord. Honestly, I really want to see another season of this anime so I can spend more beloved time with lovable characters like Minoa and KaiKai.
9. Land of the Lustrous
Land of the Lustrous is unlike anything I have ever seen in the anime medium. The most notable aspect is the use of CG. The 3D animation is very smooth, the camera movement is expertly utilized, and the elemental textures are superb that helps greatly define several characters. The world and storytelling are just as incredible. This anime takes place in a fascinating land, where human-like gems are the remaining, near-extinct species and must defend their lives from invaders called Lunarians.
The human-like gems are filled with personality and unique characteristics, introduced incrementally as the story progresses. The main character, Phos, is the most interesting gem. She makes this anime fun and gripping because of her reckless actions to the world and characters, helping create substantial development and strong narrative for the character. Every component of Land of the Lustrous is integrated perfectly, hitting the right chords for me to be seriously submerged into the experience.
(*Can I also just mention that the soundtrack for this anime is incredible. This is the best OST I have listened to since Little Witch Academia’s OST. The orchestration is incredibly atmospheric and perfectly composed. I haven’t listened to a perfect OST like this since MOTHER 3 and UNDERTALE.)
From the beginning to the end of Inuyashiki, I was hooked. The premise surrounding two humans becoming robots in a realistic setting fascinated me. There is the good guy Ichiro Inuyashiki, an old man who strives to be a selfless hero helping the community. The other is a psychotic teenager Hiro Shishigami who decides to selfishly use his powers for killing. Both of their ideals and utilization of powers fascinate me on a moral level. It is executed in a way that feels grounded in reality.
The contrast of these characters is nearly as intriguing as the rivalry of Light/L in Death Note. There are some rough areas in the anime such as the CG and the middle part of the story that nearly destroys Hiro’s fearful demeanor. Which thankfully, his character stays afloat right after. Inuyashiki is a simple, refreshing what-if story that does an excellent job at grabbing my emotions and consistently entertaining me. Urging for an extremely unique action anime, this anime will give you a “BANG!” for the buck!
7. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is an adorable tale of two very different individuals. Kobayashi, the main character, is an extremely efficient working adult that has a cynical outlook on human society. Tohru, a dragon that becomes a human maid for Kobayashi, views society as a new hope for her dangerous species. The way these characters slowly establish their different viewpoints on humanity to create trusting strong bonds throughout the series is what makes this anime so good.
The playful art style, presentation, and soundtrack give Miss Kobyashi’s Dragon Maid its own distinct identity. The side characters do a solid job at adding to the anime’s whimsical experience, notably with Kanna/Riko. Fair warning, there are several sexual elements present in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid that might leave some people uncomfortable. If you can get past that, I think you will have a very pleasant time with this delightful slice-of-life.
6. The Royal Tutor
This anime is about a brilliant tutor named Heine Wittgenstein, who is sent by the king of Grannzeich to train four different princes for one of them to reign in the throne Although the premise seemed pretty mundane, The Royal Tutor really surprised me. I did not like the cast in the first episode, but as characters progressed thanks to Heine’s nifty teaching strategies, I started to grow attached to them all.
The anime’s strongest assets is its characterization and character development. Despite the princes and tutor generally feeling typical in personality, they shine brightly when they interact with one another. The Royal Tutor is insanely good at blending these characters together to create an abundance of solid comedy and emotional moments. I was very unhappy when I finished the last episode because I loved every main character. This is a high recommendation for those that are craving for a magnificent cast of lovable characters.
5. Girls’ Last Tour
This anime is an adorable mystery slice of life about two girls traveling around an apocalpytic wasteland, surviving together to see what their lives has to offer left. At first, I watched Girls’ Last Tour for its strong element of “cute girls doing cute things”. But as the episodes gradually became darker and tense, I started to notice that this anime was more than just a cute show. I began to love perspectives of the main characters, Chito and Yuuri, on how they view the collapsed society of Earth.
These two have an entirely blank slate, often questioning many human-made things modern society uses lying on the ground. What these girls speculate, say, and think towards these “foreign stuff” gives me very intriguing viewpoints that makes me question my utilization and consumption of various things. With Girls’ Last Tour‘s deep, subtle themes and consistently adorable moments, it is why I put this anime to such a high degree of greatness.
4. Interviews with Monster Girls
I made an in-depth article explaining why you need to watch this anime, but I will keep it brief here. The story of Interviews with Monster Girls takes place in a time where demi-humans, people with the characteristics of a monster, have slowly become accepted in modern human society. Demi-humans are similar to human beings, but they are in need of special services to integrate into society. They have their own distinct set of personalities, issues, and traits that create a diverse cast of interesting characters that feel very genuine and benefit my attachment to these characters.
Part of the reason Interviews with Monster Girls excels is mainly because of Mr. Takahashi, whose primary objective in the story is to conduct interviews with various demi-humans to help to give him a good understanding of each demi-human. Watching him discover new things about demi-humans through thorough conversations can be very intriguing, hilarious. and emotional. If you are looking for a slice-of-life anime with great character building, in-depth character exploration, and a small unique twist, I highly recommend Interviews with Monster Girls.
3. A Sister’s All You Need
From the first two minutes of the 1st episode, A Sister’s All You Need might seem like a show to immediately avoid due to the fan-service, incest nature. But the true premise of this anime is not that. What it actually is about is exploring the struggles and reality of a light novel author named Itsuki, who is obsessed with writing little sister stories. It is all executed in a down-to-earth, yet light-hearted and comedic manner that formed an unusually powerful connection with me.
Each episode focuses on characters playing board games, hanging out, and finding ways to progress their jeopardized career in the light novel industry. The former in particular might seem very uninteresting at first, but they help largely develop character relationships in various surprising ways. The cast of characters is the real spotlight. Nayu is the most endearing with her bold, shameless love for Itsuki. All of them have their own weird tastes, yet feel real and are very empathizable. A Sister’s All You Need is probably the best sister anime I have seen. I daresay everyone must watch this.
Out of all of the anime I have seen this year, Re:Creators has the most creative premise ever. The idea of creators meeting their own creations is a fascinating idea that has an endless pool of possibilities. It is a premise that normally fan-fictions would be capable of doing. I could tell that the actual creators of this anime put a lot of heart into making this concept because there were lots of interesting ideas explored. Re:Creators explores many interesting relationships and conversations between creators and creations.
These conversations are really interesting because you get see the creations ask their opinions and questions about why their story is the way it is. Creators can get life-threatening criticism from their own creations. Through these conversations, it helps the creator improve their personal development and fixing their flaws as a story writer. It is an unexpected way of character growth that I really enjoy and can connect to.
Creations also get their own development through the realization of being a fictional character. Each development is very unique as there are creations of various genres that deal with situations in amusing and sometimes meta ways. I feel the story created in this anime is such a huge feat accomplished by how many elements play an interesting role in Re:Creators. I will note that this anime is dialogue heavy, so Re:Creators might not be for everyone. But if you can handle it, you are in for one of the best experiences ever.
1. Little Witch Academia
I have poured bottomless love for Little Witch Academia throughout its airing. I joined many communities that had a healthy amount of LWA fans I could talk to. I made a Twitter account dedicated to the main character Akko’s range of expressions, created a free folder of thousands of Akko content, and created an Akko face poll for the LWA fandom to vote on. What are the underlying reasons I put Little Witch Academia as my biggest personal favorite of 2017?
One of the core reasons is the animation, design, soundtrack, and presentation. I think this is Studio TRIGGER‘s best looking/sounding anime yet. The way characters and backgrounds are designed. The way the soundtrack uses its orchestral vibes. The way characters breath exquisite life through animation. They are all conducted in a way that gives Little Witch Academia a very strong charm, heavily reminding me of the whimsical and fun nature of 2D Disney animation.
The biggest reason is the main character. Atsuko Kagari is by far one of my favorite characters of all time. The expressive energy/positivity she brings through animation/personality is incredible and admirable. She might seem annoying to others because of her many failures, but when she tries her best in practicing magic, Akko is incredibly admirable and relatable. She is one that I constantly rooted for throughout the entire series, especially when it came to her relationships with Ursula and Diana.
The other side characters are pretty great too, each one having their own flavor of personality and charm. My personal favorite has to be Sucy because of her mischievous behavior and Lotte for being such an endearing bookworm willing to help Akko in her time of need. There are issues I have with the series, despite the #1 ranking. The story progression can often feel a bit too slow paced during its second cour and the animation is notably lackluster in a few episodes that can make LWA feel empty at times.
But, I think this anime does enough good to make me forgive those problems. Little Witch Academia overall is the best anime of 2017, in my opinion. The simplistic storytelling, immersive presentation/world, strong charm, playful animation, wonderful soundtrack, and lovable characters make LWA one of the greatest experience I had in anime ever. I urgently need this anime to get a second season as soon as possible. Without any new LWA content in the possible future, I would be astonishingly unhappy.
That is all of the new 2017 anime I feel everyone should give a shot at. I had a fun time reflecting my thoughts for each entry, and I hope you are convinced to watch at least one of them. If you watched any of these anime, let me know your thoughts on the comments below! If you are curious to learn more about my anime preferences, check out my MyAnimeList profile. I am hoping 2018 will provide a strong selection of new anime that I can recommend to you!