A Decade of Anime 2017

Anime of the Decade

Here we go and 2017 was the very first year I covered a whole year of seasonal anime on the blog. It was a big year but more than just watching lots of anime I was actively working to watch anime outside of my comfort zone. That meant there were a few odd titles that cropped up in my watch lists and some of them ended up being well worth the watch.

Some notable titles that didn’t make my final list include KADO (if only this one had ended as well as it began because that ending should be noted as one of the worst anime endings ever), WorldEnd, Princess Principal, Land of the Lustrous and Recovery of an MMO Junkie. Depending on your tastes in anime, all of these titles offer fairly good viewing but still didn’t manage to make the list.

The Rules:

No. 1: No sequels of any kind.

No. 2: Only one anime from each season which gave me 4 picks from each year.

No. 3: Other than 2019 anime, no matter how brilliant an anime was if I hadn’t rewatched it since it aired then it didn’t make the list. If I don’t like it enough to watch it more than once then it doesn’t deserve to be on an anime of the decade list.

Incidentally these anime are not the technical best anime of their seasons but are the ones I would pick if I could only watch one anime from that season. They are anime I loved, for whatever reason, and felt deserved to be remembered.

Best anime 2017 edition

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With its jazzy introduction, striking character designs and a plot that is woven throughout its entire run-time, ACCA was an anime that got my attention early in its season and held it all the way through. While not as thrilling as some anime and certainly light on action preferring instead to progress the plot through subtle character interactions and world build through food and clothing, ACCA still ended up being great fun full of colourful characters.

Of course the best thing about it is a very conclusive ending. The character lives go on but the central plot has been resolved in a satisfying manner and the point that needed to be made is made.

Where ACCA may fall down a bit is that it is a slow burn with small pieces of the puzzle gradually coming together. It isn’t a style of story telling for everyone and the more subtle characterisation isn’t overly attention grabbing though for those who stick around you will be rewarded with characters who have quite a lot of personality and depth bubbling away under relatively sedate exteriors. Honestly, I just really enjoyed this anime and could do with one like it each year.

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Sagrada Reset


Okay, I probably do need to defend this choice. This was an anime dropped by a lot of reviewers and I know my early episode reviews (particularly in the middle of the first cour) were not exactly flattering of this incredibly slow paced and awkward little story.

Actually I was downright critical by the end of the first cour and ready to drop the show. However, given I did make it to the end of the 24 episodes while this was airing I came to the conclusion even then that Sagrada Reset had an amazingly well structured narrative. You just don’t realise it until you watch the end of the series and see how every little piece does come together and even the seemingly most random and pointless conversation or object actually does have some purpose.

On rewatch, identifying all these little points along the way is actually very satisfying and while the stilted dialogue and very stilted characters are still a little hard to take, there’s definitely some merit to this one.

Ultimately, Sagrada Reset has flawed execution of what was a fairly ambitious narrative. While it does at times try to be cleverer than it is and it certainly could have presented the entire package with more enticing characters and visuals, having now watched this more than once

I do feel its an anime that will do better outside of seasonal viewing only it more or less vanished from discussion before it was even done airing. While there were certainly better anime in 2017, Sagrada Reset is one that has drawn me back numerous times since and despite my initial negative reaction to it I’m now in a place where on reflection I can say I’m very glad I watched it.

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Made in Abyss


There’s only one thing that stops me declaring Made in Abyss a masterpiece but it is a pretty bit thing. Largely it is that this season that aired in 2017 feels like a prologue to a story we still haven’t gotten to see. It is adventurous and fun with some fairly tense and dark moments as well as quite a dose of the grotesque, sharply contrasting with the pretty cute character designs, and yet the narrative really does feel like we are still just getting started when the anime comes to an end. Although these episodes have done a brilliant job of making you want to uncover the secrets in the abyss so some excellent points there.

Visually, this one is a work of art and the design of characters, creatures, and settings are truly spectacular. Work in some brilliant sound design and you have an anime that sets the right tone with sound and visuals more or less every scene and it is amazing what a difference that can make to immersion within a story. Honestly, Made in Abyss is just good and if it actually ended it would be one of those unmissable anime titles.

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Girls’ Last Tour

best anime 2017

The year that was 2017 closed out with this quiet gem of an anime, Girls’ Last Tour. This was an anime of contrasts. Cute female characters against the bleak end of the world setting. The upbeat opening song which included the girls dancing and even dabbing and then episodes where they declared things like making friends with hopelessness. The girls have no destination and merely travel looking for whatever they can find in order to keep eating and living. As they have no goal there’s no arrival at the end and the story is broken more into half-episode stories where the girls find or interact with something new and then they move on.

This one snuck up on me as I did not expect it to have the impact it did. Ten minutes watching the girls make music with tins and raindrops was actually truly wonderful because of how the visuals, sound and characters interact. More dangerous situation where the girls faced crumbling infrastructure or came across other survivors added a bit of variety into what was essentially a two girl story. While Girls’ Last Tour isn’t a perfect anime, it is one full of amazing moments that are each worth watching. If you missed this anime in 2017 you definitely need to give it a shot.

Anime of the Decade

2017 is done and I have two years left before I’ve covered the whole decade. However, before we get to 2018, let me know what your picks from 2017 were.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Check out my favourite anime from each year over the last decade:

Up Close with Jean Otus


This week I’m turning my attention to Jean Otus from ACCA. As an employee of the inspection department, ACCA, Jean gets the fun job of touring each district in the kingdom for the purpose of inspection (he also gets to eat some really good food). However, while Jean goes about his job rumours of a coup get stronger and in each district Jean is given a cigarette by people unknown.

Jean Otus - ACCA

Now, I’m not going to spoil the end of ACCA for people who haven’t seen it, though I strongly recommend you hop onto Crunchyroll and give it a go, if nothing else the theme song will have you bopping along for weeks. But, that does make it difficult to discuss Jean’s character in a huge amount of depth.

Jean Otus – Still waters run deep

One of the things I remember from when the anime was airing were the number of people who found Jean to be a bit of a boring protagonist. And you can kind of see why given his incredibly passive nature. Even his closest friend calls him out on it mid-way through the series when it becomes clear a lot of what is happening revolves around Jean but he just doesn’t seem to care.


However, Jean isn’t just an oblivious idiot. He’s incredibly observant and shrewd and while he isn’t particularly interested in the intrigue that surrounds him, he is most definitely aware of it. On numerous occasions throughout the anime we see that Jean navigates a tricky situation or pulls someone up short through his keen observations. It catches the other characters even more off guard because they don’t expect it from him.


While most of the characters have a set distance from Jean, determined through rank or position, Jean does have a younger sister who is more than happy to call him on his bad habits. Lotta is a bright ray of sunshine in Jean’s life and it is clear that he dotes on her more than a little.


There is also Nino who has been a persistent presence in Jean’s life and is one of the few people Jean lets the neutral mask slip with from time to time.

Jean Otus may seem like he is taking little action but for him, preserving the calm life that he has, is a priority. His actions, or lack of actions, constantly work to maintain his status quo and being pushed to do more or having to deal with things outside of that scope are things he works hard to avoid even if he never looks like he is putting in all that much effort.


An interesting and layered character, where there is definitely more than meets the eye, Jean ends up being a fun guy to follow through the political shenanigans of ACCA and provides an interesting perspective on the events as they unfold.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Top 5 Mystery Anime

Tuesday's Top 5

A lot of people love a good mystery. Okay, some people get frustrated and skip to the end when it is a book, but given the consistent production and sales of mysteries there’s clearly an audience. I’ll admit, I get frustrated when a mystery takes too long to get going, doesn’t give enough indication of where it is going, or the payoff ultimately wasn’t worth the wait, but when a mystery gets things right I tend to fall in love with the story.

Anime and mystery is a bit of a mixed bag and I will admit my choices of favourite mysteries are based entirely on my own enjoyment of the story as a whole. Which is why Hyouka isn’t on the list. I loved the first arc and first mystery but found everything after that a little less satisfying. The Promised Neverland I really enjoyed but not for the mystery elements, same for something like Erased.

However, as always, I’d love to know what some of your favourite mystery anime are and why so be sure to leave me a comment below.

Number 5: Sagrada Reset


Also known as Sakurada Reset a lot of people dropped this anime fairly early on and I’ll accept the reasons they gave. The character dialogue is really clinical and detached and doesn’t resemble anything you would actually encounter between normal humans. The pace early on is incredibly slow and while there are bits and pieces indicating a bigger picture and mystery it takes a long time to get going.

Despite that, the conclusion of this two cour series is perhaps one of the best conclusions I’ve come across in anime. Every single arc and story comes together and every hint or idea actually serves a purpose. While it isn’t a realistic ending by any means from a narrative point of view it provides perfect closure to the story and just made me want to watch it through again to see all those clues I missed. For me that’s the mark of a good mystery and this one ended up paying off.

Number 4: ACCA


If you’ve followed my blog for awhile you will know I really got into ACCA. The conspiracy focusing around Jean, the gifts of cigarettes, the plot to overthrow the ruler, all of it just really got me hooked and interested as I wanted to find out who was actually behind what was going on and how they would resolve it. This one ended up being a lot of fun and while it isn’t exactly driving toward a conclusion as we follow Jean about in his work and visit each district in turn, there’s enough going on and the characters are interesting enough to keep you engaged until the later episodes where the conspiracy takes a more central role.

Number 3: No. 6


Dystopian story where the government controls the news and people’s lives and those who question anything are arrested (or forced to flee) – that in itself is enough reason to be interested in No. 6. Throw in the mysterious plague with the insects that are killing people and you’ve got a whole lot of story to cover. I’ll admit, the conclusion to No. 6 isn’t as satisfying as I’d like. Everything comes together but that ending really just goes a bit off the rails as they try to wrap things up and go for the dramatic conclusion. Still, the journey to that ending is one that is well worth following with two characters that are just awesome to watch and a lot of social commentary packed into the mix.

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Number 2: Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni


It seems odd that there aren’t more horror mystery anime in this list but the bottom line is so many of them are either more psychological than mystery or the mystery they present isn’t overly satisfying. Something like Another does a great job setting up its mystery but ultimately we’re never given any answers for what has happened. Higurashi spends a lot of time setting up its various mysteries and through the various time loops we ultimately get answers for most of them. Whether it is the strange illness that sends people crazy, the murder of Rika, or even the motives of the characters, ultimately Higurashi explores and explains everything in a deeply satisfying manner.

Number 1: Shinsekai Yori


This one is another slow burn in the beginning as it sets up its world and characters but it is one that is incredibly worth the effort. In addition to just being beautiful to watch, finding out the secrets and lies that underpin this future society and seeing how the central characters react and respond to each reveal is truly a delightful viewing experience. While it isn’t the kind of mystery you can solve as a member of the audience it is one that presents puzzling inconsistencies and contradictions as well as strange rules and ideas that allow you to contemplate why they exist before the characters are forced to examine them closer and ultimately find out a series of truths that shake their understanding of their world. Truly delightful viewing even if a little horrifying at times.

And there they are, my favourite 5 mystery anime but as I said before, I’d love to know yours so leave a comment below.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime Produced By Madhouse

Tuesday's Top 5

There’s no doubt that Madhouse is a bit of a powerhouse when it comes to producing anime. They’ve got a large number of fairly big titles under their belt and the quality of so many of their productions is undeniable. That isn’t to say they don’t have any misses and those will need to be looked at eventually, but today is about celebrating my favourite five titles by Madhouse and this was one hard list to put together because I really did want to add a lot more than five. Ultimately I’ve tried to assemble titles that I think represent the range of shows that Madhouse has out there as well as ones that are truly just fun to watch.

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As always, I’d love to see what you would include on your list so be sure to leave a comment below with your favourite madhouse anime.

Please note: There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions: No Game No Life and Death Parade.

Number 5: The Irregular at Magic High School

This anime title didn’t have the broad appeal that a lot of Madhouse’s titles have but if you happen to like the story this anime is a really good one to watch. For a magic highschool setting this anime pulls out all the stops crafting a believable world where magic has been integrated with technology and with Madhouse’s attention to detail and great animation has really been brought to life in a truly beautiful manner. Whether the spells are simple or complex, the end result is gorgeous to watch and the fights are exciting and fluid. I really enjoyed this anime for its world building and I think I’m glad that Madhouse was behind this one because in the hands of a different studio it may have ended up decided less than impressive.

Number 4: Ore Monogatari (My Love Story)

I really love My Love Story because of its quirky take on the traditional high school love anime, but again I think part of what makes this show so special is the way it has been put together. The story itself is interesting but without the visuals and animation there was every chance this show would fall flat. Yet every scene draws you into the show and the characters and ultimately watching this is a pure joy.

Number 3: Trigun

This is one of those shows where the story takes awhile to get going so it is a good thing we have fantastic visuals (even if they are a little dated looking by today’s standards) and some really fluid animation to keep us engaged in the early stages where the show presents like a screwball western. Once the story gets going and the transition to dark sci-fi kind of takes over it is impressive how the show manages to remain cohesive but all in all, this is one of those slightly older shows that is worth watching. Vash the Stampede is a hilarious and tragic character who will often leave you scratching your head but when you get right to the end he will step up when needed.

Number 2: ACCA

No surprise that ACCA made my list given it was one of my favourite shows in 2017. It is a slightly off-beat political thriller (kind of) but also has a very laid back tone. Anyway, it all could have been a big mess and yet it became an anime that really held my interest assisted by its distinct visuals and very cool jazzy sound-track. While I wouldn’t describe ACCA as beautiful, it is quite a distinct looking anime and the animation suits the style fairly perfectly. It isn’t as flashy as some of the other titles on the list with less in the way of actual action to show off the fluid animation madhouse has a reputation for, but it certainly has style.

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Number 1: Death Note

Alright, it is a little bit older and from an animation point of view again there aren’t the impressive physical fights to show off just how great it is, and yet this show managed to make writing in a book look intense and amazing and created a visual tone that carried even the weaker parts of the story to fairly lofty heights (there’s a reason this anime is on most people’s must watch lists). With an opening that grabs your attention and is filled with visual symbolism echoed within the show itself (at least the first opening, let’s not discuss the second), and an intensity to every scene that is hard to come by with so many shows striving not to take themselves seriously, Death Note is well and truly worthy of my number one spot on this list even if the second half of the series isn’t exactly flawless.

And that is my list for this week but be sure to check back next week for a new list, or you can check out all of my Top 5 lists here. For now though, I’d love to know what you’ve put on your list.

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


If you enjoyed this post and would like to see Patreon2more great content on this blog, consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month.

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Another way you can support the content here is by buying a copy of ‘Thoughts on Anime 2017‘ as an ebook. It contains a selection of reviews, features and top 5 lists from 2017 and while the content is available free on the site, this is a great way to give a one off show of support for the blog. It is available for $3.99.

Finally, you can use the affiliate link to shop at Play-Asia.com ifPlay-Asia.com - Play-Asia.com: Online Shopping for Digital Codes, Video Games, Toys, Music, Electronics & more you are interested in anime, soundtracks, figures or games. Should you use the link and make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the purchase price.


Tuesday’s Top 5: Visually Interesting Anime in 2017

Tuesday's Top 5

The final top 5 of 2017 list and this week I am focusing on those shows that I just found interesting to look at for whatever reason. Maybe they were pretty or set somewhere interesting, or maybe they were just plain bizarre, but they are shows that when I think about them I remember the visuals as keenly as I remember the story or characters. I’d love to know which shows you found visually interesting in 2017.

Please Note – Some spoilers below.

Honourable mentions this week goes to The Laughing Salesman.

Number 5: KADO The Right Answer

There’s certainly room to argue that the mix of 2D and 3D as well as copious  amounts of CGI didn’t really go so great in KADO. I found it very interesting to watch but found the characters and their movements to be at times really unnerving. That said, the visualisation of the inside of KADO and some of the devices was really impressive. All and all, with an interesting story and characters, the visuals still managed to be a large part of what defined KADO as a show and it is something people remember after the viewing.

Number 4: ACCA

ACCA first caught my attention because of its character designs and colour scheme which aren’t exactly pretty but certainly are eye catching and at least feel a bit different from the norm. However, what earns ACCA its place on this list is that each of the districts Jean visits have quite distinct visual feel about them. As Jean travels around from episode to episode, the scenery is never dull and the world constructed in ACCA is one that becomes quite interesting and a lot of that is because of the way each setting is visually presented (though attention to small details in each of these settings also helped). Whichever way, while ACCA may not visually appeal to all, it was certainly distinct.

Number 3: Land of the Lustrous

This show is stunning and beautiful and captivating and pretty much any other adjective I can throw at it. While I’m not a big fan of CG Land of the Lustrous manages to use the style to create its own alien feel that fits perfectly with the story and characters being portrayed. This is a case where the visuals have been masterfully thought out to bring out the best of the story and it really should be celebrated. While I really don’t want every show to adopt this style, Land of the Lustrous shows us what possibilities are out there as we increasingly blend old and new technologies in animation.

Number 2: March Comes in Like a Lion (first and second season)

This one may not be as pretty as Land of the Lustrous, but the visuals get my attention for the simple reason that they do a lot of the heavy lifting in conveying the story and the emotional tone of the episode. Normally visuals are an after thought for me as a reviewer but in March Comes in Like a Lion it is the powerful visuals that need to be discussed more often than not because very little of the story is explicitly said but rather it is visualised through symbolism on the screen. How the show manages to continue to perfectly convey each moment is truly wondrous and the impact of these visuals is quite clear given how emotionally invested I’ve become in this show and these characters.

Number 1: 18if

For a show that ultimately isn’t very impressive as a story, the visuals are what will really stick. Each episode is a new dream and has a new art style and this makes for a fairly fascinating experience as you never really know what to expect from the next episode until it is upon you. Some styles are better than others, but overall, 18if remained a visual feast even when the narrative didn’t really hold up its end of the deal. As a result, it is the anime I found the most visually interesting throughout 2017 even if I didn’t think much of the anime as a whole by the time it was done.

Which shows in 2017 caught your eye?

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


If you enjoyed this post and would like to see Patreon2more great content on this blog, consider becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month.

Thoughts on Anime.jpg

Another way you can support the content here is by buying a copy of ‘Thoughts on Anime 2017‘ as an ebook. It contains a selection of reviews, features and top 5 lists from 2017 and while the content is available free on the site, this is a great way to give a one off show of support for the blog. It is available for $3.99.


Tuesday’s Top 5: Male Characters in 2017

Tuesday's Top 5

Following on from last week where I looked at my top 5 choices for best female characters in 2017, I now have my list of males. This list is always so much harder to write because there are more lead male characters and for some reasons more personality types for male characters which means the pool I’m selecting from is a lot larger making it harder to narrow down. Ultimately, same with the female characters, my choices come down to my opinion of characters I connected with, found fun and entertaining, and just really enjoyed spending time with. That said, I’d love to know your favourite male characters from 2017 so please feel free to share in the comments below.

Please Note – Some spoilers below.

Honourable mentions this week go to: Sakurai from Recovery of an MMO Junkie and Aram from Chain Chronicle.

Number 5: Yasaburo from The Eccentric Family Season 2

He’s mischievous, sticks his nose into everything, but cares deeply about his family, Yasaburo continued to charm as the narrator of The Eccentric Family. A tanuki who enjoys transforming and tricking others, as well as generally stirring up trouble, it is always hard to know how much of what Yasaburo does is planned and how much is impulsive, but it is clear that life will never be dull when Yasaburo is around.

Number 4: Todoroki from My Hero Academia

I’ll admit, Todoroki didn’t leave much of an impression during season 1. I knew he’d made it into the school on a recommendation but that was about it and I hadn’t paid a lot of attention. Season 2 made me pay attention to this character. He’s not as flashy as Bakugou and he certainly has emotional hang-ups and tragic back story character traits that would normally make him the protagonist in such a setting (unfortunately Midoriya has that position all locked up) but Todoroki is a fascinating support character in a show with a large cast of big personalities all looking for their moment to shine. Really looking forward to what Todoroki does next and really loving that just wanting to move forward hasn’t instantly allowed Todoroki to get over all of his baggage.

Number 3: Natsume from Natsume Yuujinchou Roku

Okay, this almost hurt seeing Natsume at only number 3 but I just couldn’t move him any higher on the list, which speaks volumes of the characters above him, but poor Natsume. Part of the reason Natsume isn’t number 1 is because a lot of the episodes in season 6 focused on the support cast of Natsume Yuujinchou. Which was lovely to see, but it meant Natsume himself didn’t get as much development and growth as previous seasons. While seeing where he is now was a joy, when I compare how Natsume was presented this season with the other characters on the list, I just couldn’t move him any higher. Anyway, still one of my favourite characters ever, Natsume is fantastic.

Number 2: Jean from ACCA

I know Jean didn’t exactly wow everyone with his very calm and unconcerned manner, but for me his subtle display of emotions and his carefully portrayed nonchalance in the face of political plots and conspiracies was wonderfully done. I really enjoyed slowly getting to know this enigmatic character and I really liked how he took control of the story toward the end where throughout the series it seemed like he was adrift and being pushed along by the whims of others. I could definitely stand to see a return of Jean though it seems very unlikely.

Number 1: Rei from March Comes in Like a Lion

Season 1 ending, season 2 beginning, doesn’t matter, they both aired in 2017 and either way, Rei is an awesome character. I have absolutely loved following Rei’s journey as he confronts his mental health issues and social anxiety and starts finding his way into the world (realising that interacting with others brings yet more issues and troubles into your life that then have to be confronted). Rei is one of those characters I can relate to, that I want to help, that makes me cry, that makes me cheer, that just draws me in makes me hang on their every word and wonder why they did what they did and want to watch a show again and again to see if I can understand the character better. My best descriptor for Rei: Unforgettable.

My favourite male character list is complete but who was on yours after 2017?

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Karandi James.


Tuesday’s Top 5: Opening Themes in 2017

Tuesday's Top 5

Last year I wrote my list on the top opening themes of 2016 and unsurprisingly Yuri On Ice’s History Maker took out the top spot. This year there wasn’t a single stand out song that really stuck with me, but there were lots of opening themes that really matched their show so it ended up being a fairly close competition.

My criteria for top 5 opening theme is mostly that the song could be listened to as a song by itself and still sound good without the visuals, though also had good visuals to go with it, that it matched the tone of the show, and that it got me ready to watch the episode. So here are my top 5 opening themes of 2017.

Please Note – There probably won’t be any spoilers in this list.

Honourable mentions this week go to: Recovery of an MMO Junkie, 18if, Chain Chronicle and Land of the Lustrous.

Number 5: Here from The Ancient Magus’ Bride

This probably shouldn’t need too much explanation but the song conjures up a sense of sadness and lonliness even while it seems to move us forward. The visuals also have Chise alone a lot of the time and yet surrounded by magic and beauty, even when it is quite dark. All and all, I really enjoy this theme each week and feel it compliments the show quite nicely.

Number 4: Rapture from Juni Taisen


One thing I noticed last year was that not necessarily liking the show doesn’t necessarily mean that I dislike the theme. Rapture is a definitely a case where it captures what I would have loved Juni Taisen to be. It really gets me ready to watch something truly special and then I found the episodes mostly leaving me disappointed. That said, it wasn’t like the theme was a mismatch. It is more the theme is aspirational of what the show was trying to be.

Number 3: Tabiji from KADO: The Right Answer

As much as I ended up disappointed by the ending of KADO I still loved the way the show presented itself early on and I love how the theme just prepared you for a calm viewing experience that was puzzling and made you think. Visually, the quality of the opening isn’t impressive, but it still looks gorgeous and draws you into the story as you try to link ideas and images that may not actually go together. Regardless of how the show ended, it was a theme that really stood out for its show and set a tone that was unique in its season.

Number 2: Shadow and Truth from ACCA

Now this was a theme I would have happily listened to over and over again. It’s boppy and upbeat but also just a bit intriguing. The visuals stood out and it really set the laid back and yet exciting feel of the show. Okay, maybe I’m just a sucker for jazz inspired opening songs because there were a few this year I really enjoyed.

Number 1: The Other Side of the Wall from Princess Principal

This one is exciting, thrilling, powerful and visually entertaining. It is everything you could want from an opening about an all female spy team back at the turn of the century in a steampunk like setting. Thematically relevant and hitting just the right tone, this was definitely the opening of the year for me.

Alright, over to you. What opening themes made you pay attention in 2017?

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Karandi James.


ACCA Series Review – A Unique Way of Planning A Coup


ACCA Overview:

ACCA tells the story of Jean Otus, an inspector who travels the 13 districts of the Kingdom of Dowa, who is about to get drawn into a whole lot of political intrigue. With rumours of a coup gathering momentum, what will Jean do? Probably smoke a cigarette.

I reviewed ACCA week to week so if you are interested in my episodic thoughts click here.

ACCA Review:

Those of you who followed my week to week reviews already know, I loved watching ACCA. It was a must watch every week and I couldn’t get enough of it. Watching it, talking to others about it, speculating about where it was all going. So, now that it is finished, what are my thoughts.


Unsurprisingly, I still think ACCA is truly an incredible story. I’ll go into detail later but, after getting to the end and thinking about it, I realise that the audience for ACCA is actually kind of small. The opening act moves almost terminally slow, the information is revealed as necessary during the second act but requires a lot of work on the part of the audience to put together, and by the third act the cards are on the table but for the final twist, which I found immensely satisfying but I can understand that many people out there my wonder what on earth the point of watching the show was.


So, I’m going to explain why I loved ACCA and why it is amazing. But I’ll also not be surprised if you tell me in the comments you dropped this early on, or it didn’t do much for you. This one is definitely a matter of whether you get into it or not, or whether you enjoy stories that slowly give out the details and allow you to fit them together numerous ways before it shows its hand.

First and foremost, the opening theme is perfect. While it isn’t the most striking anime theme music in history and nor does it pack much punch outside of the context of the show it perfectly sets the tone for the anime you are about to watch. Heavily influenced by jazz and yet not particularly fast paced the opening hints at a show that is laid back, just a little bit off-beat, but full of hidden intrigue, and that’s more or less exactly what it delivers. I must admit the opening theme was part of what made me so excited to start each episode.


Secondly, the characters really grabbed me. I know some people will disagree, but I found Jean Otus fascinating from start to finish. He is different from your usual anime protagonist being older, non-violent, no shouting of any sort, not a super genius or particularly amazing at anything, not incompetent, not the focus of a harem, etc, etc.

While some may dismiss him as bland, I found him to be a highly nuanced character and a lot of my enjoyment in the earlier episodes came from trying to figure out what was going on inside his head. Later in the series we get more of a look at him and there are moments where full and genuine expressions cross his face, and it all just works perfectly at fleshing out a character who feels very real.


However every character in this series, regardless of screen time (and some of them barely appear in two episodes) manage to feel like an individual. A character crafted with care and attention to detail. They fill the role they are given in the narrative but also add some truth to the world being constructed.


And that brings me to the third reason I loved this series. The small details. Everything in this story has purpose. Whether it is creating a distinction between one district and another, foreshadowing a later plot point, giving a character back story, every single detail is there for a reason. Some obviously carry more weight than others, but nothing is wasted. Even the excessive focus on food (do not watch this show hungry) serves the valuable purpose of clearly identifying districts and later creates links between characters who share a love of a particular type of food.


But my number one reason for loving my watch of ACCA is that at no point did I feel I was being talked down to by the narrative. They allow the audience time to process information and to put it together. Even when information is revealed they don’t feel the need to excessively explain how the new information fits in with the old. They just reveal it and move on expecting that the audience can and will make the connection themself. It’s been a long time since I’ve really found something that didn’t make me feel like they expected my memory was jettisoned every twenty seconds.


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All that said, I do have to address a few minor criticisms because no matter how much I loved it there are definitely some criticisms that are needed. Spoilers coming.


The big one that actually really rocked me was after they formally acknowledge (by having a character say it) that Jean was royalty, suddenly every character was just talking about his bloodline like it had been common knowledge from the start. While it did help steer the narrative along it felt like a very sharp turn in the narrative that didn’t get quite enough time to develop.


The other criticism I have is Lotta, Jean’s sister. While she is certainly cute and loves her bread, and she does at times progress plot points, I kind of felt like her removal from the story wouldn’t have harmed it in the least at most points. Okay, they would have needed a different portrait to draw the link between the Otus’ and the royals, and the whole attempted assassination plot probably would have needed to be scrapped but it didn’t serve all that much purpose anyway.

The Rail being infatuated by her storyline also could have easily been swept away. That said, if they did that, then a lot of the air time of the series vanishes, so I guess they just needed to do more with her character to make her feel a little bit more needed. At the moment she just kind of feels there.


As I said at the start, I fully understand why this anime won’t appeal to everyone so I won’t tell you that you have to watch it or that I don’t understand why you didn’t like it. However, if you haven’t given it a go and you wouldn’t mind an anime that has a fairly clever story and some great writing, then its worth checking out. I had a blast with this during the 2017 Winter season and I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more shows like it.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

ACCA Episode 12 – Terrific


ACCA Episode 12 Review:

While I suspect not all will be thrilled with the way this resolved, for me it was the perfect way to end this story. At all times, things have been pretty laid back and resolved without much in the way of violence, and for the coup to end the way it did works perfectly in terms of being true to the feel of the story and characters. It probably would have been unnatural for this to end any other way.

ACCA Episode 12 - Jean

There’s something immensely satisfying in seeing where the characters end up after the ceremony and while this journey was meandering at times, it doesn’t feel like any of it has been wasted. I fully enjoyed every moment of this story. You can read the full review here and I’m definitely going to rewatch this series later in the year just to see if it can stand up to a second watch (I’m still concerned that half the fun of this show will vanish when you know where it is going).

ACCA is available on Crunchyroll.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James

ACCA Episode 11


ACCA Episode 11 Review:

ACCA has been a great watch and while part of me wondered if the final episodes could deliver after the last of the mysteries seemed revealed, ACCA episode 11 answers the question with a resounding ‘yes’. Everything about this episode worked and continues to tie the plot together while continuing to give us highly nuanced and interesting characters.

A few points to touch on:

ACCA Episode 11

Firstly, Nino came back in one of the most dramatic ways possible. I won’t spoil, but this was actually the first action-like scene this show really delivered on and provided both a great reunion between Nino and Jean and pushed the plot forward. No tugging heartstrings just for a cheap emotional outcome. This scene was used with purpose and did no overstay its welcome as it was one of many major plot developments in the episode.


Secondly, Jean, who I have always found fascinating, actually emoted regularly throughout this episode and yet didn’t break from his usual stoic character. It is amazing how they made him seem more involved and emotional, while it didn’t seem like they’d just transformed his character for narrative convenience.

Thirdly, of course, we have the coup which is pretty much out in the open at this point. I’m still not certain whether Jean seriously intends to go through with the plan as laid out or if he has his own agenda and thoughts about how it will end, but he’s certainly letting things run its course at the moment. Still, a few of his lines this week made it seem as though there is one more secret to be revealed and I hope that I’m not disappointed.

And finally, the Prince is heading to Badon for the ACCA centennial (or whatever it is) and it seems like Maggie was trying to give him one last chance to not be a moron which the Prince utterly and completely threw away. Regardless of how the coup turns out, I’d really like the Prince to be brought down several pegs. Not necessarily killed (though I probably wouldn’t shed many tears) but at least soundly given a reality check.

Okay, I loved this episode and I cannot wait until next week.

ACCA is available on Crunchyroll.

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James