Winter 2017 Season Wrap, Part 2

In the hopes of shedding my winter gear and moving into the spring, I’ve decided to continue on with this second part of my season wrap. I may or may not give my final thoughts on Tales of Zestiria the X after the last episode airs at the end of the month (05.13.17 edit: Zestiria review can be read here).

Overall, this winter season treated me remarkably well, with a couple of gems I would include in a top-30-of-all-time list. It’s not often that a series comes along I can definitively say exemplifies the possibilities of anime as a medium for storytelling, or that transcends its art style in such a way that anime skeptics can still appreciate. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu and ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka are two such titles.

In addition to these pillars, there are also several shows that have already become cult classics, such as Kemono Friends and Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon. These anime understood and executed their roles perfectly, capturing the hearts and loyalty of their audience almost from the beginning. Maybe I can’t provide a synopsis about either to a non-anime viewer without raising some eyebrows, but that doesn’t change the fact that these characters had a powerful impact on me. Shows like Kemono Friends remind me to see the best in myself and others no matter how bleak the surroundings. That’s a particularly important reminder these days.

  • ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka
  • Gabriel DropOut
  • Kemono Friends
  • Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
  • Kuzu no Honkai
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season
  • Onihei
  • Youjo Senki

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Straddling the Border with Onihei

Onihei is another winter 2017 anime that I almost skipped over in my seasonal selection, but thanks to the recommendation of a reader, I tried it out and added the anime to my weekly viewing. The period drama has roots in a late 1960s novel by Shoutarou Ikenami, and has been adapted into various mediums, including theater, television, manga, and even an arcade game. Despite the stories taking place during the Edo period, they impart messages and emotions that resonate to this day.

The anime takes an episodic format, with each week providing a new case for “Demon Heizou” (“Onihei”), leader of the Arson Theft Control. While there are some recurring characters, each week presents new faces. Episodes usually start with the conflict of the introduced character, such as a noble thief running from Arson Theft Control, then getting caught by Onihei. Next comes Heizou’s investigation into the matter, and later his confrontation and resolution of the main conflict. While each of these episodes thus far has wrapped neatly into almost perfect packages, they also support a belief in the gray zone. No story has just one method of telling, and not all acts can be categorized as white or black. There is always another point of view to hear, and oftentimes an act for good results in evil. This plurality also defines Onihei, who at times plays the hero, and at other times the villain.

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Winter 2017 Set Menu

20 anime, only three of which are ongoing! Ackkkkk! Somehow I’ve overloaded myself again, despite my excitement for the year dimming at the winter’s less-than-groundbreaking offerings. The good news is that I have more time now to devote to analysis and blogging, so you can look forward to more frequent editorials and, hopefully, some recipes. While there are no food-centric anime this season, I have faith that delicious dishes will still make their appearance. This is anime, after all, where the Japanese devotion to the culinary arts reveals itself whether you’re looking for it or not.

I did try a handful of other winter shows and dropped accordingly. Most notable drops include Hand Shakers and Fuuka, each of which I kicked after only two minutes. Let me know what you’re excited for this season, and if you think I’m missing out on anything!

  • ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka
  • Ao no Exorcist: Kyoto Fujouou-hen
  • Demi-chan wa Kataritai 
  • ēlDLIVE
  • Gabriel DropOut
  • Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon
  • Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2
  • Kuzu no Honkai 
  • Little Witch Academia (TV)
  • Masamune-kun no Revenge
  • Minami Kamakura Koukou Joshi Jitensha-bu
  • Onihei
  • Seiren
  • Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
  • Tales of Zestiria the X 2nd Season
  • Urara Meirochou
  • Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation

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