Reflections on Anime in 2017 – The Best and The Worst of the Year (in my opinion and the reader’s choice)


No feature this week because it is time to announce the winner of the reader’s choice for Best Anime of 2017. Still, first I’ll share my personal picks now that I’ve had a couple of weeks to think, consider, weigh up and re-evaluate. I even had time for a binge of one or two of these shows just to double check that my opinion hadn’t changed. And now it is time. Time to announce the shows I felt were the best and worst of the year that was. I’m giving my lists of top 10 best and worst for 2017 and finally the results from the reader’s poll.

My rules:

  • I need to have watched the whole series (or as much as has aired in 2017 – I know some of these are continuing on).
  • My judgement is entirely based on the entertainment I got out of watching the anime (so I already know some shows are actually objectively not very good but I enjoyed them – or they are on the worst list even though they are pretty quality but they didn’t appeal to me).
  • Feel free to suggest your own top 10 best or worst in the comments.

Starting from the best.

  1. March Comes in Like a Lion (Season 2)
  2. My Hero Academia (Season 2)
  3. Natsume Yuujinchou (Season 6)
  4. March Comes in Like a Lion (Season 1)
  5. Girls’ Last Tour
  6. Land of the Lustrous
  7. Princess Principal
  8. ACCA
  9. The Ancient Magus’ Bride
  10. The Eccentric Family (Season 2)

March Comes in Like a Lion made the list twice due to the first season finishing in the Winter season and the second season starting in the Autumn season, however the show just continues getting better and better. While I feel bad that Natsume is only sitting in third place, that is probably a sign of just how much I enjoyed some of the shows this year and I couldn’t drop My Hero Academia season 2 any lower because it blew any expectations I had away and delivered a very solid season.

Some surprises on the list include Girls’ Last Tour and Land of the Lustrous. Both of these came out in the Autumn season and I was very surprised by how attached I became to these shows given neither really fits my usual style. Princess Principal was another surprising show that kind of won me over earlier in the year. Meanwhile, I’m kind of happy that ACCA held out out because I genuinely loved watching it even though I know it isn’t the kind of show everyone will like. I feel it really deserves a place on this list and I’m glad it didn’t get bumped off. I also feel bad that KADO did get bumped off. If I was judging these shows based on their first halves only it would have been number 1, but then it all just went so wrong.

Starting from the worst.

  1. Hand Shakers
  2. Dies Irae
  3. The Silver Guardian
  4. Chronos Ruler
  5. Knight’s & Magic
  6. Clean Freak Aoyama-Kun
  7. Katsugeki Touken Ranbu
  8. Tales of Zestiria the X (Season 2)
  9. Akashic Records of a Bastard Magical Instructor
  10. Granblue Fantasy

No surprises that Hand Shakers stayed at the top of the worst list, though Dies Irae was definitely fighting for a chance at the top spot for worst anime of the year.

The Silver Guardian and Chronos Ruler both ended up being fairly pointless with every little positive (they weren’t trainwrecks by any means but they aren’t exactly good). But, given I have to have watched the show for it to find a place on my list even though there are worse anime out there they don’t get on the final list.

From Knight’s & Magic on, the main criticism I would give all these shows is that by the end of the season I wasn’t enjoying them and was pretty bored. While they all had something that could have been really good and a lot of potential, they just never delivered an overall satisfying viewing experience.

The Reader’s Poll

This has been a twisty ride though the leader did keep its lead throughout. At one point there were only 4 points between the top 5 anime on this list but then a couple of shows got a boost in the last few days.

Right, no further delay.

The winner of the reader’s poll is…


There it is: Made in Abyss.


It definitely got a surge toward the end and I think people being able to access in on Amazon probably helped it along in the last couple of days. Still, My Hero Academia and The Ancient Magus Bride did fairly well for themselves. Poor Princess Principal kind of got overlooked for most of the poll and March Comes in Like a Lion and Girls’ Last Tour didn’t make a lot of headway.

Still, the reader’s have spoken and this poll received the most votes so far with 155 people participating. Compare that to last years best of 2016 which received only 55 votes and this one is probably starting to be a bit more reflective of the community. Thanks to everyone who voted and left comments and hopefully your choice came out on top but if it didn’t, there’s always next time.

With that I will say goodbye to 2017, but as you’ve probably noticed, my top 5 lists at the moment are covering some of my favourite characters, themes and visuals from 2017. This will continue until the first week of February and then I’ll finally come up with some new content and stop milking 2017 for every post I can get out of it.

Over to you: Which anime was your favourite or most hated from 2017?

Thanks for reading.

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Karandi James.


23 thoughts on “Reflections on Anime in 2017 – The Best and The Worst of the Year (in my opinion and the reader’s choice)

  1. My favourites/least favourites are already public but…I definitely agree with you on Hand Shakers and my favourite (Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen) didn’t even make the readers’ poll, which is kinda disappointing. I can understand there are a few reasons why not everyone liked it/didn’t give it a chance, but it does get a lot of positive buzz for a reason.

    1. It didn’t make the reader’s poll because I accidentally left it off the original poll for that season (so oops). I’ll try to cover most shows in the season polls this year so that doesn’t happen again.

  2. My vote went to Made in Abyss, so I’m glad it got the nod, though I wouldn’t have minded it if Academia or 3gatsu got it. Though I am curious on /your/ thoughts about Made in Abyss, Karandi.

    Worst title for 2017 to me has to be Dies Irae, just because there was so much hype behind it out of nowhere before it even aired, lol

    1. I have a review of Made in Abyss. A quick search or visit the Anime Series Review page (linked on the right) and you should find it. I enjoyed watching the show well enough, but I also wasn’t as totally captivated as some people seemed to be and the lack of ending definitely hurt where it stands at this point (much like Land of the Lustrous which was awesome but without an ending just kind of feels like it is missing something).

  3. Made in Abyss and Houseki no Kuni were my top favourites of the year. But there were a lot of great ones that got over looked, like Principal Princess. My least favourite is Dies Irae. I’ve never watched something so confusing in my life.

    1. I felt bad for Princess Principal in this poll. While I don’t think it was the best show of the season, it just didn’t get a look in sitting on 2 votes for the majority of the poll period and picking a couple up right at the end. Still, while it might not be the best show, it was definitely a good watch last year.

    1. Made in Abyss had it from day one. My Hero was only a vote behind most of the way but every time a new surge of votes went through (read, I annoyed people on twitter), Made in Abyss just stubbornly stayed ahead.
      While it isn’t my choice for top of the year, I have to admit in terms of buzz and what other people really talked about, Made in Abyss was probably a fairly likely winner. And it is why I do the reader’s poll rather than just declaring my pick the best of the year.

  4. There are a lot in your top that I have yet to finish/see. Especially March Comes in Like a Lion. I should get back on these. I haven’t even started Natsume…i really should get on that..maybe this is the season to start since I haven’t found many shows that appeal to me.

    Great list Karandi! 🙂

    1. Anytime is the time to start on Natsume. If you don’t believe me, check out Irina’s reviews on it.
      If you do try out Natsume, I’d love to know your thoughts.

  5. Knight’s & Magic was a huge disappointment. I’m a big mecha fan and though giant robots+fantasy=coolest thing ever. Instead I got a run of the mill mecha series mixed with every light novel adaptation of the past few years. Also, what the hell is with that apostrophe? Using improper grammer to stylize something is fine however, in this case, it feels like a typo someone missed.

    1. That apostrophe drove me crazy for the whole season. Every time I wrote the title I had to go back and put it in and it it really annoyed me.
      And yes, magic and robots should have been a fantastic mix and then it just couldn’t tell an actual story with pacing or ideas but just kept bouncing from one robot development to the next with a few fights to break up the tedium.

  6. No surprise about the winner: or in other words your favorite anime for last year. I am so looking forward to hopefully finally seeing that series this year. That said: I am really looking forward to seeing more anime this year in total 😀

    1. Watching more anime is always a worthy goal. My current goals outside of seasonal anime include actually finishing Hunter x Hunter before the end of the year and now binge watching the shows on Amazon that I haven’t been able to access on other services now that it is actually a possibility in Australia to do so.

      1. Well, those are some very worthy goals as well to be sure 😀 In March my blog will take on the anime theme, so I really hope to be able to watch a lot of series then (and of course feature them on my blog 😀).

  7. I’m super mad about Akashic Records, not just for the ‘read the manga’ ending, but also because it started off as something super promising and then just…dissolved into the same generic magic harem we’ve seen a million times over. Dropped rapidly for me as the weeks went on.

    1. I kind of hated episode one of Akashic Records because of Glenn, then it kind of grew on me over the first story arc. However, after that as you said, anything interesting about the show just dissolved.

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