Our Top Four Spring 2017 Anime Picks

After days of plunging into spring 2017's deep, dark anime coal mines, I have emerged with a few diamonds… and some sludgy crap I'm still trying to wash out of my clothes.

Recovery of an MMO Junkie

There was a lot of sludgy crap.

Watching through the 52 anime we showcased in our spring 2017 anime preview, four anime stood out to me as innovative, moving or binge-worthy. Check out our picks:


Inuyashiki

Genre: Drama, sci-fi

Studio: Mappa

Where to Watch: Not yet available in Australia

Plot: An elderly man who has little to live for is diagnosed with cancer. As he's crying alone, a supernatural explosion encompasses him. When he wakes up, he's become a state-of-the-art mechanical killing machine. After he encounters a teenager who met the same fate and turned evil, the man decides to fill the emptiness in his life by saving others.

Why watch it? The sense of deep psychological discomfort Inuyashiki inspires reminds me of a Satoshi Kon movie (Perfect Blue, Paprika), which means it's at points hard to watch, but ultimately very, very good. Its pacing is slow enough to build emotional tension, but in its quicker moments it delivers on adrenaline. Slice-of-life moments centred on the elderly protagonist are deeply heartbreaking, which made me fully appreciate how brave he is to devote himself to justice.

Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World

Genre: Adventure, fantasy

Studio: Lerche

Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Plot: In this reboot of the psychological 2003 anime of the same name, we again join the androgynous traveller Kino and his talking motorcycle as they bike to idiosyncratic countries and learn the strange ways of new people. Armed with a .44 revolver, Kino stays in each town for only three days and two nights as a rule - long enough for him to question his own principles and values, but not too long that he'd be tempted to settle down. Kino's mantra: "The world is not beautiful, therefore it is."

Why watch it? Kino's Journey is a triple threat: Badarse, thought-provoking, and full of wonder. I love how the show's gorgeous animation and careful plot pacing make me more open to considering ways of life so different from my own.

Urahara

Genre: Comedy, sci-fi

Studio: Shiroguma, Inc. and EMT2

Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Plot: Japan, and specifically Harajuku, a district famous for kawaii fashion, is taken over by a race of aliens without culture. To defend their beloved Harajuku from having its culture sucked up by the invaders, schoolgirls transform into psychedelic magical girls to defeat the aliens, who explode into cute food.

Why watch it? This one's a doozy. There's a talking prawn tempura sidekick. The aliens are floating pink, sucky, bell-shaped things. One of the magical girls fires a cannon twice her size. This is a pink pastel, Lolita acid trip of a show, and it's about girls defending the rich culture that they helped create from empty beings who want to steal it.

Recovery of an MMO Junkie

Genre: Fantasy, romance, slice-of-life

Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

Plot: A 30-year-old woman named Morioka Moriko quits her job and downloads an MMORPG she quickly becomes addicted to, where she meets an adorable, kind-hearted girl avatar who helps out her "hot boy" avatar. Outside of the game, Moriko encounters a charming salaryman whose good qualities remind her of someone else's...

Why watch it? I'm a sucker for shows that pull off a good plot set in an MMORPG. And it's just so cute. The MMO sequences are funny, tender and exciting in equal parts. Outside of the game, Moriko's life is a comedy of errors. Recovery of an MMO Junkie is easy to watch and, days after binging its first few episodes, I'm excitedly waiting for the next.


Honorable mentions: Black Clover (great show, too much yelling), The Ancient Magus Bride


Comments

    Kino's Journey, sure.

    The rest of these picks though...

      The original was really enjoyable, looking forward to checking out the new version.

        New one is pretty much exactly what you'd expect it to be. Big animation improvements, new cast works very well.

      The only one I've seen is the MMO one, and I'm hooked. Been watching it with Dani and every scene results in us looking at each other and her saying, "It me."
      Can't wait for the next episode.

        There's a number of really good shows this season. It's one of the better ones in quite a while IMO.

    Saw a review for the original Kino's Journey so I'm interested in watching it. Hope it comes to AnimeLab as it is my preferred anime service.

    Recovery of MMO Junkie (its other english title is better) is okay... but the story already getting too overly clique with the coincidenced of chance meetings in life (5 chance encounters with the characters being overly oblivious of each other). Kind of waiting to see if the sexual ambiguity of digital transvestites (to play and rpg the opposite sexes in game) pays off or crashes.

    Poor "Guru Guru" goes unnoticed. Such a great parody of '80s RPGs

    Last edited 26/10/17 3:02 pm

    I agree that these are a great watch, personally I'd recommend BlendS over Urahara, UQ Holder over Black Clover and Ancient Magus Bride over Kino's Journey.

    noah fence but how is Houseki no Kuni (land of the lustrous) not on this list and Inuyashiki is??

    The description for Inuyashiki is inaccurate. It's not a supernatural explosion that kills Inuyashiki and Shiro is an alien spaceship. Also the author said that it's his take on Astroboy. Sorry but that description annoyed me. Also these aren't spoiler as you learn about them REALLY early, as in the first chapter. Unless the show is going to take the slow approch that this author is known for. He is WAAAAAYYYY into his use of detailed drawings on a digital background. Sorry for the rant.

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