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Monday, October 9, 2017

Worst year in anime since 1998:

The last new show of the fall season is now available.

Children of the Whales:  For some reason this show shares a lot of similarities with Shinsekai Yori.  It doesn't seem to be by the same author so I guess it's just coincidence.  In any case, it was a good first episode.  A very different world from our own was carefully laid out before us, with interesting characters unique to their unique setting.  If I were to find fault with it, the only thing I'd mention is that the show felt a little pretentious.  Like everything it said was so deep and mysterious and interesting, and it was very smug about this supposed superiority over more regular, traditional anime.  Children of the Whales should only adopt that tone once it's better than Animegataris, not when it's clearly way worse.  But in an otherwise weak fall lineup, it's nice to have an extra show to prop the season up.  Pass.

Let's assume Animegataris is good enough to make the rankings.  Let's also assume the To Love ru ova is subtitled in November.  That would get us to 34 great anime franchises with additional content this year.

That's the fewest series represented in a year since 2008.  So in terms of quantity, this was a really down year.  2017 is no match for 2008 either -- that year featured Clannad, Da Capo II, Code Geass R2 . . . you get the idea.  It gets no easier in 2007 or 2006, which is full of Code Geass, Clannad, Kanon, Higurashi, Haruhi Suzumiya, etc.

The first time you can even make the case for a year worse than 2017 is 2005.  The problem is back then you had Full Metal Panic!, Basilisk, and the incredible Nanoha A's, so I'm not sure even that would fly.

What about 2004?  Well now you're back in the Chuunin Exam for Naruto, the original Nanoha, and Maria-sama ga Miteru. . . I guess you could make the argument for 2017, which after all has twice as many shows as 2004 or 2005 did, but really?  Was anything in 2017 as good as Naruto's chuunin exam or Nanoha A's?

The same problem exists in 2003.  Naruto's Chuunin exam, Scrapped Princess, Inuyasha, Full Metal Panic!. . .  Are there any comparable heavy hitters in 2017?

2002 still has Full Metal Panic, 1999-2001 has Crest of the Stars. . .I just don't know.  I can guarantee 2017 is better than 1998.  But after that, if I had to choose between any one season of Crest of the Stars, or everything that's aired in 2017, I'd choose Crest/Banner of the Stars.

The best thing that happened this year, Eromanga Sensei, #81 in my rankings, is comparable in quality to the 7th best thing that happened in 2008, Akane-iro no Somaru Saka, #83 in my rankings.  This is the grim reality we have to accommodate ourselves to.  We're looking at the worst anime has been in 20 years.

It's very subtle, because throughout the year there's been plenty to celebrate and plenty to love.  But if you want to talk about real game changers, the Michael Jordans of anime, this year is totally bereft.  The ending of Bakemonogatari was pretty lackluster.  There was nothing wrong with it, but it was just seven episodes and it involved the deus ex machina of dead people coming back to life.  Naruto and Dragon Ball Super are only semi-canon at this point.  One Piece hasn't been anything special in years.  Precure is in its worst season ever.  Fairy Tail didn't even air anything this year.  When all your heavy hitters are milling about aimlessly at the same time, there's very little left to point to.

In 2018 we'll have real series again -- Index, SAO, Fairy Tail, Full Metal Panic!, you name it.  Then you toss in the Olympics and the World Cup, and the sooner 2017 is over the better. . .

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