16 February 2017

The halfway point - What should you watch of the anime Winter Season 2017

Well, this week most anime of the current season have reached the halfway point. So let's have a quick look at what I'm watching at the moment.

So if you ask me: "Do you love this winter season's anime?", my answer is as follows:

Ms. Kobayashi's Dragon Maid - Surprise hit of the season

  • Genre: Gag anime, Supernatural slice of life.
  • Studio: Kyoto Animation - Directed by Yasuhiro Takemoto
  • Legal stream: Crunchyroll & Funimation (worldwide)

Probably the surprise hit of this season. Ms Kobayashi is a 20-something IT'er who incidentally invites a dragon over to stay at her place. Now Ms. Kobayashi has to train her dragon to fit into society... by dressing the dragon up as a maid. Did I mention that Ms. Kobayashi is an otaku?

It's charming and hilarious. Also, the lead is a female IT'er. That's already rare enough in reality, so seeing this in anime is something to cherish.

Recommendation: Definite must watch!

Full review: Here

KonoSuba Season 2

  • Genre: Fantasy Comedy
  • Studio: Studio Deen - Directed by: Takaomi Kanasaki
  • Direct continuation of Season 1. Read my review of season 1 here
  • Legal Streaming: Crunchyroll (US only)

Season 1 was amazing, this one is great as well, although the typical Deen lack of constant quality is showing itself more in this season than in the previous one.

Recommendation: First season is a must-watch. If you've seen that, this is a must-watch as well.

Blue Exorcist - Kyoto Arc

  • Genre: Shonen action with supernatural elements
  • Studio: A1 Pictures - Directed by Koichi Hatsumi
  • Sequel to: Blue Exorcist (2011)
  • Legal Streaming: Hulu & Daisuki (worldwide)

Never thought I'd see a sequel happen to an anime that's over five years old at this time. But here it is!

Readers of the manga have pointed out that the Kyoto arc is the most interesting story arc from the Blue Exorcist manga, so I'm glad we actually get to see it become animated after all.

Also, this gives hope to other anime that ended years ago to possibly get a sequel (wishful thinking). We'll first see how this goes.

On a side-note: Yes, it IS necessary to first watch the original run. You'll miss out on too many story elements if you haven't watched the original.

Recommendation: For those that have seen the original, this is a must-watch sequel.

Youjo Senki (The saga of Tanya the Evil)

  • Genre: military action, with supernatural elements
  • Studio: NUT (yes, you can apply your "deez nuts" jokes now) - Directed by Yutaka Uemura
  • Legal Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation (worldwide)

The title literally translates to "The Military Chronicles of a Little Girl". While both English titles are technically correct, they are still a bit off. A correct title would be: God Vs Tanya - "Yes, I know you exist. But still: F**K YOU!"

Story goes as follows: A salary-man gets killed by a fired co-worker, but "god" gives him a second chance in a different world where magic is a thing. God's catch: he is reborn as a little girl in this universe's Germany just prior to World War 1. God isn't going to stop punishing Tanya until she admits belief in him, while she just waves her middle finger and gives a psychotic smile.

Interesting story, amazing Opening and Ending Song (the best I've heard this season).

Recommendation: Yeah, a must-watch

Full review: Here

ACCA: 13 Territory Inspection department (ACCA 13 in short)

  • Genre: Military slice of life?
  • Studio: Madhouse, directed by Shingo Natsume
  • Legal Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation (North America only)

The daily life of Jean Otus, the second in command of the inspection department. His role is supervising and visiting all 13 districts of the DOWA kingdom (which is weirdly enough shaped like a pigeon that's pooping).

This anime probably has the greatest soundtrack this season. It's jazzy and aloof; much like Jean himself.

The story however is a bit lacking. There's lots of story potential, but most of it just sizzles out on a low note, which is making many people hate this anime.

I personally am going to keep watching it, just in case it gets better. But I have low expectations.

Recommendation: You can easily skip this one.

Full review: Here

Koro-Sensei Quest

  • Genre: Gag manga, short anime
  • Studio: Lerche, directed by Yoshito Nishouji
  • Legal Streaming: Crunchyroll, Funimation (North America only)

As a fan of Assassination Classroom, I was fascinated by this gag spin-off. But oh, dear. How do I put this?... It's just not funny.

The characters are reduced to one comedy trait. The problem is that most of those traits got tiring by the end of the original series, and thus they're tiring to watch here.

Karma has bad luck, Nagisa looks like a girl, Kaede has a flat chest, Isogai is a poor man's knight, and so on... The jokes just repeat themselves over and over again. They were bad the first time you saw them and remain bad every time they repeat them (and boy, do they repeat them A LOT).

A few unexpected jokes made me chuckle, but that's about it. Most of the time I'm just staring blankly at the screen, thinking about better things I can do with my life.

Recommedation: SKIP IT! Forget it exists. Rewatch Assassination Classroom instead or so.

Full review: Here

Shouwa Genroku Rakugou Shinjuu Season 2

  • Genre: Drama
  • Studio: Deen (no, really!), directed by Mamoru Hatakeyama
  • Legal Streaming: Crunchyroll (North America only)
  • Direct continuation of Season 1. Read my review of season 1 here

It's good, but not an easily accessible anime. If you're more into typical shonen action series, you'll probably find this boring.

It's like a typical oscarbait movie. High quality story, but rejected by the masses. Season 2 is a direct continuation of season 1 but is set in the current day era instead.

Recommendation: If you liked season 1, watch season 2 as well.


  • Genre: Samurai "police" series
  • Studio: M2, directed by Shigeyuki Miya
  • Legal streaming: Amazon prime (worldwide)

Somebody named this: CSI Samurai and I found it very fitting. It's a typical "police" series, but it's set in the Edo era. The episodes are kind of stand-alone. The tone is dark and realistic (not in a good way, though).

The first episode was a miss, though the following episodes kind of grabbed my attention again. The animation is great. The stories are... okay, I guess?

Though you notice that this was created for a tv drama first. It breathes live action more than it can say "anime".

Recommendation: if you like Samurai series and/or police series like CSI, you can give this one a watch.

Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation

  • Genre: Sports
  • Studio: TMS Entertainment, Directed by: Osaku Nabeshima
  • Direct continuation of Season 1. Read my review of seasons 1+2 here
  • Legal Streaming: Crunchyroll (worldwide)

This new season starts shortly after the second season (Grande Road) ends. We get to see how our characters handle the period of time post the inter-High Road Racing Tournament and this includes the shift of our main cast from first-years into their second year.

Yes, this means saying goodbye to the third-year senpai's and introducing new first-years. All in all, it makes you wonder how everybody will do in the inter-high without the trio of Kinjou, Todoroki and Makishima.

My recommendation: Watch the first two seasons (the in-between movies can be skipped) before watching this one. You will miss out on certain things if not seen.

Fate/Grand Order: First Order

  • Genre: Action, supernatural fantasy
  • Studio: Lay-duce, directed by Hitoshi Nanba
  • Legal Streaming: Crunchyroll, Daisuki (North America only)

This is a special that came out around new Year's eve (so technically this winter already, I guess). While studio Ufotable is busy with creating the Heaven's Feel movies (#hype) and studio Silver Link is busy with the Kaleid spin-off (which is meh), the studio behind the Sinbad anime and Classroom crisis now tackles the Fate franchise. This incarnation is based on a mobile game released in 2015... in Japan only (a hit and miss).

And this anime is... okay. It's too short to be anything but an intro to something more. There's a rumor that at least one more special will follow later this year. And that will be necessary, because as it stands this anime is forgettable (while it does have nice production value).

My recommendation: Wait until more specials come out, then watch them together. If not, then skip this.

Plan to watch somewhere this year:

  • Little Witch Academia: Recently saw the first short movie and absolutely loved it (the animation! So amazing). May watch the rest later on.
  • Tales of Zesteria the X: Quite positive reviews. Some say it's even better than the game it's based upon (really?) I liked previous "Tales of" series, so I might pick it up somewhere this year.
  • Gintama.: Rumored to be the last season of Gintama (we'll see. Knowing Gintama, that might be a prank). Will watch when I finally catch up to the rest of the previous seasons.
  • Yowamushi Pedal New Generation: Lots of sports anime are quite good. May pick this up somewhere later this year. But I'll have to watch all the previous Yowamushi Pedal's first I guess.
  • Scum's wish: Widely praised for portraying toxic relationships in a serious manner. May watch this.
  • Interviews with Monster Girls: While not initially interested in this, it got good reviews throughout. May pick this up later.

Will NOT watch:

  • Hand Shakers: This anime has earned the label "Total Trainwreck". EVERYTHING about it sucks. So a definite no-go. Although there's that passion of watching anime that are so bad it's good...
  • Akiba's Trip: Enemies who can be defeated by ripping the clothes of their bodies... and most characters are female, and it's set in Akihabara. So total fanservice anime with little substance (that's based on a game). SKIP!
  • Chaos;Child: Sequel to Chaos;Head, which wasn't very good. I might be wrong, but this one doesn't really trigger my "must watch" bone.
  • Masamune-kun's revenge: Rated "garbage. Yeah, not touching this one.
  • Seiren: Rated "forgettable, bland and quickly dropped by those who bothered reviewing the first episodes. Not worth it.
  • One Room: Otaku Pandering at its worst.
  • Fuuka: Started of generic and bland. Slowly devolved into worse.
  • Super Lovers 2: Nobody understood how this got a sequel. Rated as the worst sequel of the season.


So that's the anime I have watched (or plan to watch). Have to admit, I'm quite pleased with the current line-up. Didn't expect much, but quite a few good hits.

Did you watch these anime? Do I need to watch more? You can always let me know.

Until next time, V out.


  • 17/02: Small edit: Added legal streaming availability.
  • 23/05: It was on my "planned to watch" list, so I've finally watched and thus added Yowamushi Pedal New Generation.

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