With the start of the Fall Anime 2017 season, we say goodbye to the good and the bad of the summer to embrace the new experiences of October, although there are a surprising number of second seasons, new installments of series, and even reboots. Taking a mix of the familiar with the unknown, I sampled a few selections of what this season has to offer and came up with these brief impressions of the the first episodes of Fall.
The first impression that this show gave was very similar vibes to Mayoiga, which was the last sort of horror/mystery anime that I’ve seen. Given that Mayoiga was mediocre at best, it’s not a great first impression to have, and this series seems like it may be enjoyable in an over the top gore-fest kind of way if nothing else, but I don’t want to be too quick to dismiss Ousama Game after just one episode, even if the author’s name happens to be the same as the main character’s. All of this aside, it at least has an interesting metalcore opening in its favor.
Kino no Tabi (2017)
It’s kind of interesting that we’re getting a reboot rather than a sequel, but it’s also kind of nice in that I haven’t seen the previous adaptation in quite a while; the 2017 anime even looks like it will retread some of the same ground as the other anime in addition to presenting stories that haven’t been animated before. Many of the good qualities of the previous incarnation can be found in this one, such as its ability to tell a complete short story in each episode and its feeling of wanderlust and exploration. I think the atmosphere was established particularly well in this episode, as the townspeople seemed genuinely unsettling at times in stark contrast to their normally idyllic scenery. The use of parallels, in both the two immigrants to the country and in the two halves of Kino and Hermes’ conversation in the forest as bookends was also very nice. The CGI with Hermes looked a bit out of place at times, but the series’ storytelling can more than make up for that.
Houseki no Kuni
The CGI for this series looks a lot more natural than that appearing in Kino and even manages to look good both in and out of its action sequences, which is more than can be said for some series like Ajin and Knights of Sidonia. The lonely and beautiful landscapes give this post-human setting a mysterious feeling, which is only amplified by the comparison between the sparse population of relatively human gems and the otherworldly (literally) Lunarians. I also like the idea of following a non-combatant as the main character in a world where almost everyone else is fighting for their lives, which allows for some brief and intense action sequences to break up longer, relatively slower paced stretches.
Garo – Vanishing Line
The first episode introduces us to a knight named Sword who rides on a motorcycle that is also his sidekick and transforms by drifting his motorcycle in a circle. While I will admit that this can come off as a little bit corny, I love these kinds of tokusatsu shenanigans and the fact that they exist in a gritty urban style that’s a nice change of pace from the previous animated series taking place in medieval Europe and feudal Japan. Music-wise, the heavy use of electric guitar and drums so far is a pretty cool change, and the return of JAM Project, while expected for Garo, is always welcome. While I’m not familiar with the live-action series and Crimson Moon was underwhelming in comparison to Divine Flame, I remain fairly optimistic about this series.
Kekkai Sensen & Beyond
This was a great first episode to remind me of all of goofy action and antics that I enjoyed about the first season. It’s kind of nice to have a series with action in it that doesn’t take the action itself too seriously or make it the sole focus. As with the first season, the character interactions and joke delivery are what appeal to me the most, although that isn’t to say that the action sequences aren’t choreographed or animated well in comparison; in particular, the first episode starts out strong with Leonardo screaming about his new game console. Something else that I’d forgotten was how good the soundtrack was for both the previous season and this one, with a mix of jazz and hip hop that really fits the fantastic version of New York that’s a mixing pot for cultures both human and other. It’ll be hard to compete with the first ED, and it remains to see how many more liberties Studio Bones will take with the story (as they tend to do), but I’m looking forward to more.
Mahoutsukai no Yome
Other than reaffirming that I like the adaptation so far, there’s really not much to say beyond my other article which covers the first three episodes, which were shown in theaters. I will say that it was a little fun to identify all of the upcoming scenes that are hinted at in the opening, though, and that I’m always a fan of Spanish guitar and instrumentation. Interestingly enough, this is the only anime this season with source material that I am familiar with, although I’m tempted to add Houseki no Kuni to my ever-growing list of ongoing manga that I read.
With the possible exception of Ousama Game, I’m fairly optimistic about this season so far. 3-gatsu no Lion should be promising if it’s as good as its previous season, and Inuyashiki has an interesting premise, so with decent expectations for those two the Fall 2017 anime season is off to a good start.