Keeping Anime Great is really tough when the previous years have all been so stellar. Just keeping par with the luminaries of the past is a miracle. Thankfully, the people behind Koutetsujou no Kabaneri are doing their part by making a (sequel?) (spinoff?) (something?) in 2018. At the very least we know it's going to be an anime. You would think they would go ahead and tell us it's the second season, but maybe they're not confident enough in the product to go that far. For all we know it's some dumb ova. In any case, it's a step in the right direction. The place where the first season ended didn't really feel like an 'ending.' Everything was still awful and none of the protagonists had achieved any of their dreams yet. If this new animation project is done right, Choo Choo no Trans-corpse could go well above its current #113 ranking.
Alongside Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card Hen and Kira Kira a la Mode Precure, Koutetsujou becomes the third anime guaranteed to be keeping anime great in 2018. Let's hope the announcements start speeding up as 2017 goes by.
What's guaranteed so far for 2017? Is next year also in good hands?
Naruto, Precure, Fate/Etc, Code Geass, SAO, Bake-(etc)-monogatari, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, Full Metal Panic!, Dragon Ball, One Piece, Berserk, Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru, Shingeki no Kyojin, Tales of Zestiria the X, Kyoukai no Rinne, Rewrite, New Game, Wake Up, Girls!, and Ero Manga Sensei are already set in stone.
That's 19 series, compared to the 43 that have already appeared in 2016. So we still have a ways to go before 2017 is safely up to par. There's a good chance that stragglers from 2016 that weren't translated yet will also appear though -- things like Planetarian's movie, Your Name, Akatsuki no Yona, Dimension W, To Love-ru, Fairy Tail, Kin-iro Mosaic, and Assassination Classroom.
That's eight more shows, which would get us up to 27 series.
Let's be really pessimistic and say only one good unknown newcomer arrives per season, for a total of four more shows. That gets us up to 31.
After that, we just have to hope that some of the 'to be scheduled' sequels, like Steins;Gate 0 will actually come to fruition some time this year. The winter 2017 season is set, but spring, summer and fall are still totally up in the air. If so, we're already at a respectable level of 35-40 great shows.
So is 2017 in good hands? Yes, definitely. Will it match 2016? Doubtful. 2016 was a bumper crop, so it's time to start lowering expectations again lest we get burned. I'm more worried about 2018, what with only having three shows guaranteed to be airing. Japan needs to consult my 100 strong anime wishlist for some inspiration, or they aren't going to have any jobs left to do come 2018.
Meanwhile, 2016 continues to prosper, with the latest Danmachi ova already translated. It's nothing special, but Danmachi is one of the best shows not in my rankings, so it's still worth checking out.