When I first saw Kemono Friends, I realized it was the best CG 'anime' (if you can even call it that) ever made. However, I'm so averse to CG anything that I dismissed it as impossible to ever reach the level of a true great anime.
I also thought that by staying childish, the series would limit itself too much and it would never manage to say anything important.
I was wrong on both counts. This is a profound story with a lot to say about both humans and animals, about friendship and nature, about life and death (yes, I thought about qualifying this series under the zombie apocalypse genre). Being the sole human left in the world is a heavy weight. Children's show or not, this story doesn't hold its punches.
It doesn't matter if Kaban-chan eventually reunites with mankind at the end of the series. The fact is she lived alone in a land of complete desolation for a long, long time, which is inseparable from the experience of everyone else in the world dying. As far as she knows, that's the case, and that feeling is the same now regardless of what happens later.
Nor does the CG hold the series back in any way. The unique charming art style just makes the show all the more memorable. It feels like if they didn't move in such clumsy, halting ways, their characters would also lose a part of what makes them who they are -- Serval-chan is clumsy, Kaban-chan is slow and weak. I especially love Serval-chan ineffectually trying to grip things with her hands. The CG plays perfectly into scenes like these.
Kemono Friends has no weaknesses. The only complaint you can make is that, as a short series, it just doesn't have the emotional heft or intellectual weight to compare to longer epics with much larger problems and many more characters. But there's so much to be said for a short series that concentrates on just getting its job done and doing it right, compared to larger series that tend to wander off and waste your time. It may not be as good as longer shows, but it's far more flawless.
Kemono Friends also has one of the best soundtracks to any series ever. The music doesn't just fit the series, it practically makes the series all on its own.
For now I'll just put Kemono Friends in at the 189th slot. Once the season is over, I'll place it properly. At that time I can also revise BanG Dream's ranking downward. While the show is still great, it's not nearly as good as its first couple episodes, and a new, lower ranking would better reflect that.
Meanwhile, congratulations to Northern Kentucky for their first ever NCAAM basketball tournament berth. That's three newbies now.