The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison

The Angel of the Crows


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A Wind from the Wilderness

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Year in Anime – 2017

My interest in anime has been rather lacking since 2013. Despite occasionally re-watching classics or catching up on stuff that I missed, I actually thought anime had become rather repetitive and dull, and I was rather saddened by what I thought was an impending death of a creative media. Three years later, it is a flourishing branch of fantasy, but I found both anime and manga were lacking in their representation on Fantasy-Faction. To fix this I am sucker punching my fellow contributors and readers of this awesome site with the best anime of 2017.

PS: I only considered anime that started in 2017 for this list.

PPS: These are listed in no particular order.

On with the Sequels

While there were a lot of sequels this year not all were up-to-mark, but these five shine.

KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! 2

KonoSuba 2 (cover)When Kazuma Satou died, he was given two choices: pass on to heaven or be revived in a fantasy world. After choosing the new world, the goddess Aqua tasked him with defeating the Demon King, and let him choose any weapon to aid him. Unfortunately, Kazuma chose to bring Aqua herself and has regretted the decision ever since then.

Not only is he stuck with a useless deity turned party archpriest, the pair also has to make enough money for living expenses. To add to their problems, their group continued to grow as more problematic adventurers joined their ranks. Their token spellcaster, Megumin, is an explosion magic specialist who can only cast one spell once per day and refuses to learn anything else. There is also their stalwart crusader, Lalatina “Darkness” Dustiness Ford, a helpless masochist who makes Kazuma look pure in comparison.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 continues to follow Kazuma and the rest of his party through countless more adventures as they struggle to earn money and have to deal with one another’s problematic personalities. However, things rarely go as planned, and they are often sidetracked by their own idiotic tendencies.

I rather fell in love with this series while reading the light novel, but the show is just as fun. Its attempt to make fun of the Isekai/Another World genre with not only aiming fun at the ridiculousness of the setting (which is to-be-honest has been done to death by now) but also at its character trope is fantastic. You won’t root for any of these characters because they are all selfish and obnoxious, and that my friends is the beauty of KonoSuba.

Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju

Descending Stories (cover)Ex-convict turned Rakugo apprentice Yotarou has finally taken the name of Yurakutei Sukeroku III, and with his master Yakumo’s permission has attained the lofty rank of shin’uchi. He assumes the name at a critical time for Rakugo, with audiences fewer than ever.

At the same time he has started acting as a husband to Konatsu, who is now a single mother. Yotarou thus begins the struggle to fill the role of Sukeroku, both as the future of Rakugo and as a part of Yakumo’s and Konatsu’s lives.

While not fantasy at all, I cannot help but enter this show to this list. It is rightly acclaimed as one of the greatest drama anime to be ever made. To all of the male readers out there please don’t get fooled its Josei tag; trust me you will love this show with its captivating stories and strong characters. This is a masterpiece of modern anime and a must watch for all anime fans.

My Hero Academia 2

My Hero Academia 2 (cover)At UA Academy, not even a violent attack can disrupt their most prestigious event: the school sports festival. Renowned across Japan, this festival is an opportunity for aspiring heroes to showcase their abilities, both to the public and potential recruiters.

However, the path to glory is never easy, especially for Izuku Midoriya—whose quirk possesses great raw power but is also cripplingly inefficient. Pitted against his talented classmates, such as the fire and ice wielding Shouto Todoroki, Izuku must utilize his sharp wits and master his surroundings to achieve victory and prove to the world his worth.

My Hero Academia returns for its 2nd season with its unique world and typical yet lovable cast of characters. While it may seem this show is riding on the superhero take-over that is currently on going in western world, this one is quite enjoyable and based one of the best shounen currently being published. With season three scheduled for Spring 2018, there is still time to catch up for people interested.

The Eccentric Family 2

The Eccentric Family 2 (cover)Kyoto has been populated by groups of tanuki and tengu for years, living alongside humans who are oblivious to the existence of these creatures. Yasaburou Shimogamo is the third son of an influential tanuki family who spends his carefree days taking care of an old tengu, observing humans through his ability to shapeshift, and dealing with the mysterious woman named Benten.

Behind the peace and tranquility, however, is a painful memory from long ago as Yasaburou’s father, head of the tanuki community, was killed and eaten by a group of humans known as the Friday Fellows. Uchouten Kazoku follows the trials and tribulations of the Shimogamo brothers as they struggle to avoid their own grisly demise while coming ever closer to unraveling the truth behind their father’s death.

Remember when I talked about 2013 in the beginning of this article? Well, in my opinion, the first season of this show is the best anime of that year. It had a wonderfully unique story, captivating visuals, vibrant characters and top-notch music to enrich the experience. Like the most other fans of this show I never thought of seeing a second season, but thankfully I love being wrong at times like this. Watch this show, it is way better than you ever expected.

March Comes In Like a Lion Season Two

March Comes In Like a Lion 2 (cover)Now in his second year of high school, Rei Kiriyama continues pushing through his struggles in the professional shogi world as well as his personal life. Surrounded by vibrant personalities at the shogi hall, the school club, and in the local community, his solitary shell slowly begins to crack. Among them are the three Kawamoto sisters—Akari, Hinata, and Momo—who forge an affectionate and familial bond with Rei. Through these ties, he realizes that everyone is burdened by their own emotional hardships and begins learning how to rely on others while supporting them in return.

Nonetheless, the life of a professional is not easy. Between tournaments, championships, and title matches, the pressure mounts as Rei advances through the ranks and encounters incredibly skilled opponents. As he manages his relationships with those who have grown close to him, the shogi player continues to search for the reason he plays the game that defines his career.

Another non-fantasy show. But this is also critically acclaimed and rightfully so. The second season is currently ongoing so I won’t say much about it.

Bringing Out the Newer Ones

Newer stuff is usually rather hard to find these days in anime, what with the attempt of the industry as a whole to make cash for the tried and tested trope. But here are some shows that break the mold and are enjoyable in a refreshing way.

ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.

ACCA (cover)ACCA—a national body of the kingdom of Dowa that provides public services to the citizens of the country—was established as part of the peace settlement between the king of Dowa and the 13 states of the country during a revolt. One hundred years later, Dowa is in a period of unprecedented peace, due in part to the ACCA system. However, rumors of a coup d’état start to surface. Jean Otus, the second-in-command of the inspection department of ACCA, is charged with inspecting all 13 state branches. What will he discover as he performs his audit?

Intriguing and mysterious, ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka is a politically-themed mystery that reveals a world of diverse cultures and lifestyles, with intricate connections between its characters, as the truth of the coup d’état slowly unfolds.

Starting once again with a series that is not fantasy, but trust me while this show gets a bit of time to build-up, it is quite an unorthodox yet enjoyable experience. I never expected to find any anime like this and I honestly can’t compare it with any other shows. Rather this one has a unique western feel to it. I also rather liked the political intrigue and pleasant music.

Girls’ Last Tour

Girls’ Last Tour (cover)Amid the desolate remains of a once-thriving city, only the rumbling of a motorbike breaks the cold winter silence. Its riders, Chito and Yuuri, are the last survivors in the war-torn city. Scavenging old military sites for food and parts, the two girls explore the wastelands and speculate about the old world to pass the time. Chito and Yuuri each occasionally struggle with the looming solitude, but when they have each other, sharing the weight of being two of the last humans becomes a bit more bearable. Between Yuuri’s clumsy excitement and Chito’s calm composure, their dark days get a little brighter with shooting practice, new books, and snowball fights on the frozen battlefield.

Among a scenery of barren landscapes and deserted buildings, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou tells the uplifting tale of two girls and their quest to find hope in a bleak and dying world.

This is a rather relaxing take on a post-apocalyptic setting. Sometimes depressing and sometimes hopeful this show, by focusing on only two main characters, tries to convey the notion of trying to be happy in a bleak and desolate world.

Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss (cover)The Abyss—a gaping chasm stretching down into the depths of the earth, filled with mysterious creatures and relics from a time long past. How did it come to be? What lies at the bottom? Countless brave individuals, known as Divers, have sought to solve these mysteries of the Abyss, fearlessly descending into its darkest realms. The best and bravest of the Divers, the White Whistles, are hailed as legends by those who remain on the surface.

Riko, daughter of the missing White Whistle Lyza the Annihilator, aspires to become like her mother and explore the furthest reaches of the Abyss. However, just a novice Red Whistle herself, she is only permitted to roam its most upper layer. Even so, Riko has a chance encounter with a mysterious robot with the appearance of an ordinary young boy. She comes to name him Reg, and he has no recollection of the events preceding his discovery. Certain that the technology to create Reg must come from deep within the Abyss, the two decide to venture forth into the chasm to recover his memories and see the bottom of the great pit with their own eyes. However, they know not of the harsh reality that is the true existence of the Abyss.

Made in Abyss has been met with critical acclaim and widely considered to be one of the best anime of 2017. And quite rightfully so; having a strong cast of characters, delightful music and an emotionally charged story that will make you think on it long after you have finished watching the show.

Land of the Lustrous

Land of the Lustrous (cover)In the distant future, new immortal and genderless life forms called Gems populate the Earth. The 28 Gems must fight against the Lunarians, who attack them regularly to abduct them and to turn them into decorations. Each Gem is assigned a role, such as a fighter or a medic.

Being only 300 years old, Phosphophyllite is the youngest of the Gems and has no assignment yet. They want to help to fight the Moon Dwellers, but are too weak and brittle for battle. One day the master of Gems, Kongou (Adamantine), assigns them the task of creating a natural history encyclopedia.

Having a fascinating world, which is animated beautifully, this show was always going to be interesting to me. The layer of mystery just adds to an already interesting concept.

Inuyashiki: Last Hero

Inuyashiki (cover)Ichirou Inuyashiki is a 58-year-old family man who is going through a difficult time in his life. Though his frequent back problems are painful, nothing hurts quite as much as the indifference and distaste that his wife and children have for him. Despite this, Ichirou still manages to find solace in Hanako, an abandoned Shiba Inu that he adopts into his home. However, his life takes a turn for the worse when a follow-up physical examination reveals that Ichirou has stomach cancer and only three months to live; though he tries to be strong, his family’s disinterest causes an emotional breakdown. Running off into a nearby field, Ichirou embraces his dog and weeps—until he notices a strange figure standing before him.

Suddenly, a bright light appears and Ichirou is enveloped by smoke and dust. When he comes to, he discovers something is amiss—he has been reborn as a mechanized weapon wearing the skin of his former self. Though initially shocked, the compassionate Ichirou immediately uses his newfound powers to save a life, an act of kindness that fills him with happiness and newfound hope.

However, the origins of these strange powers remain unclear. Who was the mysterious figure at the site of the explosion, and are they as kind as Ichirou when it comes to using this dangerous gift?

I will be honest, I am a bit biased in listing this show as Hiroya Oku’s Gantz was the series that got me into manga in the first place. I came to this show expecting the same kind of enjoyment and thankfully got it. With intriguing characters and over-the-top violence this show gets you hooked from the get go and never let’s go till the very end.

Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World – The Animated Series

Kino’s Journey (cover)When 15-year-old Kino is feeling weighed down by heavy thoughts, one thing always manages to cheer her up: traveling. Nothing fills her heart with joy like exploring the beautiful, wonderful world around her and the fascinating ways people find to live. However, Kino is not as helpless as her cute appearance and courteous demeanor suggest. Armed with “Cannon” and “Woodsman,” her trusted handguns, Kino isn’t afraid to kill anyone who would dare to get in her way. Always by her side is her best friend and loyal companion Hermes, a sentient motorcycle, who supports Kino through the sorrows and hardships of their journey. Together, they travel the vast countryside with the shared goal of always moving forward, and a single rule: never stay in one country for more than three days.

As Kino and Hermes encounter new people and learn the rules of their civilizations, they grow and find out more about their own values and virtues. But as Kino slowly discovers the world around her, she also finds herself facing dangers that linger within the vast unknown.

This is a remake of the original show and Kino’s world is just as captivating as I remember. Based on a light novel, Kino’s story is kind of episodic in nature while she travels through a richly imagined world. The show is quite philosophical at times and makes the viewer’s wonder about human nature and cultural differences among other things. This show and the original are must watches for any one remotely interested in anime.

– – –

While there were many other entertaining shows this year, which might be strong contenders for end of the year lists, I can at least assure my dear readers, that if you dive into the anime of this year armed with this list only, you will most definitely find something that will cater to your taste.

Did we miss your favorite pick for 2017? What are you looking forward to in 2018? Let us know in the comments!



  1. Avatar E.Maree says:

    Ooooh, no Ancient Magus Bride on the list Rakib? You’re missing out on a treat–it’s a really beautiful, Ghibli-esque fantasy world, though it tends to whiplash hard between fluffy relationship moments and super-darkness.

    Death is a reoccuring theme through the show and is approached from a lot of different angles.

    • …As a matter of fact I was quite torn about entering ‘Ancient Magus Bride’, as I have read lots of good things about it…I have watched a few episodes and am not really hooked yet…I guess I’ll try once again as you recommend it so strongly…
      …btw, may I ask about your other favorite series’ this season?

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