Anime Summer Season 2017: First Impressions

2017 summer anime first impressions

It’s that time of the year again, so enjoy our First Impressions of the summer anime season that just started~

Netsuzou TRap
Studio: Creators in Pack • Genre: Drama, Yuri

netsuzou trap anime
As you probably know from my First Impression post dedicated only to this show, I was a bit disappointed. Now, after seeing 2 more episodes of Netsuzou TRap, my opinion hasn’t changed, and I in fact settled with the thought that this one will simply not be as great as I was hoping it would be.

Let’s just say that other than the fast pace and the low-budgety animation, I guess I’m missing the feeling the manga gave off. Even if the anime shows exactly what is presented in each and every chapter, the feeling and atmosphere present in the manga is for some reason completely absent in the anime version, even though this kind of media should be perfect to amplify these things even more. Ah well, no use complaining about it. It’s still definitely worth watching, and who knows, maybe it’ll get better from here on.


New Game!!
Studio: Doga Kobo • Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life

new game season 2
It’s almost a crime I forgot that the second season would air this year, so what a pleasant surprise to find out that our favorite game development team would get to work on yet another game this season~

So far, it seems that the cast will stay the same (I’m only at episode 1), and I’d much appreciate it if the characters we already know and love would stay as the main cast, though I guess seeing a few new faces wouldn’t hurt either. In any case, this is a definite must-watch for me, and I can’t wait to find out how this season will play out for them~

Let’s hope for quite a bit more yuri subtext here, too!


Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ
Studio: Satelight • Genre: Action, Music, Sci-Fi

symphogear axz
Even though I was a little late to the Symphogear party, I made it just in time to catch AXZ, and through the first episode, it’s still the Symphogear we all know and love. Michael Bay-esque action remains the name of the game, and even though I thought it was a somewhat underwhelming episode (thanks to the ordinary soldiers that serve as the enemies), things certainly look to be on the upswing.

With Finé long gone and Carol and her Autoscorers no longer in the picture, who the new antagonists will be is the big question, and at the end of the episode, we finally get a glimpse of them. Belonging to the Bavarian Illuminati (!), these new characters have some curious backstories, and it seems like this organization has had a hand in all sorts of nefarious activities throughout history (including aiding Carol), so it seems like they might be a worthy adversary. Then again, they’re the Illuminati, so of course they are.

And it wouldn’t be Symphogear without some yuri subtext, and there have already been a few references that hint at another yuri-tinged season to look forward to, so hopefully that will continue. Overall, I trust that this will be another worthy entry in the franchise, as long as the crazy, over-the-top action keeps coming.


Kakegurui
Studio: MAPPA • Genre: Drama, Mystery, Psychological, School

kakegurui
Every now and then, I get a bit tired of seeing the same old types of anime, so getting something a bit different like Kakegurui is just what I needed to get the summer anime season started off right. Focusing on the high stakes dealings in an afluent private academy, Kakegurui puts a dark twist on the world of gambling, and in the first episode, we end up with something far more compelling than your average rock, paper, scissors match.

The main character, Yumeko, is every bit as crazy as the above screenshot indicates, and because of that, this looks like it’ll continue to be a pretty interesting watch. It doesn’t hurt that this anime looks quite good as well, so watching Yumeko play the twisted card shark and hustle and manipulate these other students is something that I’ll continue to look forward to as the season goes on.

On a side note—and it might end up being nothing at all—the OP has a distinct yuri flavor to it, so that’s something else that I’ll have to keep an eye on, just in case~


Made in Abyss
Studio: Kinema Citrus • Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

made in abyss anime
Based on the PVs, this looked like an anime that might deliver some good adventure, and so far, things look really promising. Taking place in a city with a giant pit in the middle of it—aptly named the Abyss—students of Belchero Orphanage are involved in cave raiding, which sees them explore the depths for ancient relics that provide valuable income to the orphanage. While spelunking, perpetual troublemaker Riko is saved from certain death by a strange, cyborg-like boy, whom she sneaks backs into the dorms and returns to health, setting the stage for a grand adventure to explore the mysteries of the Abyss.

In a short amount of time, this show has built a wondrous little world, and I’m looking forward to seeing what becomes of the extremely cute and charming characters, including Riko—who already has my vote for best girl of the season—as well as the amnesiac bionic boy, Regu. Although it may initially look like an anime that skews to a younger crowd, it seems that there might be enough drama and hardship forthcoming that Made in Abyss will also appeal to an older set.

I think this show has a lot of potential, so it’ll be interesting to see if it can put everything together and deliver an adventure that fans of the genre can really get excited for~


Princess Principal
Studio: Actas/Studio 3Hz • Genre: Action, Adventure

princess principal anime
I’m probably not alone in saying that I enjoy me some spies, so getting an anime with a strong emphasis on espionage is pretty great. Set in an alternate Europe at the turn of the 20th century, advanced technology has helped the Kingdom of Albion emerge as the greatest world power since the Roman Empire. However, revolution has split the kingdom into two nations that are separated by the London Wall, the Kingdom of Albion and the Commonwealth of Albion. Now, ten years later, London has become the front line of a war fought between the nations’ spies.

It’s not everyday that you see an anime set during this time period, and for me, it’s definitely part of the appeal. The industrial setting looks great, and with the addition of cavorite—a nod to H.G. Wells—there’s a sci-fi edge to this show that’s kind of unique. Also unique is the fact that the main group of spies in question are schoolgirls, which is a bit hard to believe, but whatever. A lot of the time, action-oriented shows with teenage protagonists (like the aforementioned Symphogear AXZ) go easy on the violence, with careful consideration being made to avoid them killing other humans, but not here. It seems that outright murdering someone isn’t shied away from, so even though these spies may be young, Princess Principal is still trying to embrace a somewhat more mature vibe.

So far, the show has done a pretty good job of balancing all these different elements, and if it can keep that going, this might end up being one of the under-the-radar gems of the summer season. At the very least, it’s something a bit different, and in an increasingly “me-too” anime landscape, that has to count for something.


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17 thoughts on “Anime Summer Season 2017: First Impressions

  1. Princess Principal surprised me when I watched the first episode. I wasn’t expecting much from the show but found myself oddly caught up in it. I haven’t caught up to the most recent episode yet but I’m definitely keen to continue with this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same for me. I thought, “Oh. They’re spies and they’re teenagers? Cute.”

      But it’s surprisingly enjoyable and mostly serious to boot. What a nice find~

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really enjoying Princess Principal! I have high hopes since it’s done by the same studio who did Flip Flappers, and that was my favorite show last year.

    I also had the exact same reaction to Netsuzou TRap. I didn’t expect to be amazed or anything, but at this point I think I’m just going to stop watching it 😦

    Kakegurui looks

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    • I don’t think I’ll stop watching, but I’ve even come to the point where i’m just not looking forward to watching it, even if it’s yuri, which is sad…

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  3. My thoughts on NTR are basically still fully in line with yours. It feels sort of like a “greatest hits” version of the manga where a lot of the nuance and feeling is missing, and this really hurts because, frankly, there’s not really a lot of nuance in the manga to begin with. I’ll still watch it because I want to support yuri any time I can but the adaptation just feels sort of “cold.”

    New Game is odd for me this season. It feels different than I remember it from season 1, and the yuri hinting almost seems forced this time around with basically every character given a designated partner that they are being pushed at every scene they’re in. I can’t say I hate it but it almost feels formulaic as if a direct response to the fan response / social media heat they saw last time around as opposed to something organic.

    Kakegurui is very good for the crazy but just isn’t coming across anywhere near as smart or clever as it could/should be. It’s enjoyable but way more style than substance so far.

    Made In Abyss and Princess Principal are straight up must watches, and are actually both well on their way to being instant modern classics.

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    • I actually thought the same thing when I started watching the New Game season, though I quickly found out that I was just one of the unlucky ones that watched too early and ended up with some super shitty and random subs that sometimes just didn’t make any sense… guess it’s a little different from your experience though 😛
      Still haven’t finished episode two, but we will see how it will play out.
      I also don’t know it it sticks to its manga, who knows, maybe they changed things up a bit in order to appeal more to the viewers.

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  4. This season is awesome for New Game!! alone. loved the first season and season 2 is great so far as well! Feels like the manga and anime are upping the yuri from subtext closer and closer to full on yuri! 😀 NTR is ok for me on the principal of it being yuri alone. just wish the story were better and the episodes were longer. Have to wait untilthe Citrus anime for really great yuri anime 😀

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  5. Princess Principal is, thus far, the show of the season for me. I finish work pretty late when the fansubs for it are released but you can bet the whole work-day I’m just looking forward to seeing how my favourite rag-tag group of spies deal with their next case. Really interesting, brilliant writing thus far and the setting is definitely unique, and built-up quite well. I especially like the setting-briefings at the beginning of episodes. There’s also a subtle yuri-love-triangle building, but low-key.

    Kakegurui and MADE IN ABYSS are fighting for the #2 slots IMO (also I’m not watching any sequels). Kakegurui has these crazy over-the-top visuals and facial expressions, and a cool setting that plays out with a lot of tension. I think MADE IN ABYSS is going to be a Madoka Magica esque show, as in, cutesy and fun but gonna get real dark real quick.

    NTR is a straight-up adaptation with the bare minimum effort put into making it shine, and kinda bland and generic music. Thankfully, the source material is decent enough to make it not-terrible, and they haven’t changed anything (yet) to make it worse. It’s a shame you’re finding it disappointing. I personally didn’t expect much from it so I didn’t get my hopes up. Citrus on the other hand…

    I’m also watching Fate/Apocrypha, which is better than UBW but worse than Zero thus-far. Despite it’s cool setting, it’s putting the bare-minimum into its characters. Thankfully it’s a 2-cour so maybe it’l pick up.

    I dropped Welcome to the Ballroom because I struggle to identify with the giraffe people. xD No seriously, I like ballroom dancing but I just found the show a little dull. I think it would be less generic if it wasn’t focusing on a beginner, because any chance he has of making it to the big-leagues within the shows short time-frame is ridiculous and frankly a little insulting (and I know it will go there thank-you foreshadowing)

    AHO-Girl is dumb (I hesitate to say fun) but not unwatchable.

    Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu has pretty boys with swords. Not lots of character to it, and the plot is moving very slowly, but it’s not quite unwatchable either.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I like all the ones I’m watching, so I don’t know if I have a favorite yet, but the first three you mentioned are really good~

      Someday, I’ll watch all the Fate series… just not anytime soon. 😀

      For a brief moment, I wanted to watch Welcome to the Ballroom, but I just lost interest at some point. Reactions seem to be mixed, so I guess it wasn’t a bad decision on my part.

      I can live without watching Aho Girl, even if it is short. Same for Touken Ranbu. *shrug*

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve enjoyed New Game!! thus far. Loved the first season, and so far the second one has started out fairly well!

    I’m not a huge fan of 4-koma manga, but Tsurezure Children is just so darn cute and I love it too. I’ve enjoyed the manga, and the anime adaptation has followed right in suit.

    Fate/Apocrypha is okay, and maybe it’ll get better when there’s more content to see. Gamers! is another cute one.

    Honestly, I haven’t cared for NTR in the slightest.

    Man, my thoughts are all over the place, but I’m too lazy it explain anything today.

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  7. This season I’m enjoying Centaur no Nayami. I recently read the manga and it’s quite entertaining to say the least. you guys should check it out because there is a yuri couple as one of the side characters and a lot of yuri undertones. The third episode *spoiler alert* shows that yuri couple kissing too. 😀

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  8. I agree with shrikes, right now this show is full of yuri subtex and kisses :3 You should give it a go because besides NTR I would say it has the most cannon yuri scenes I have seen in awhile!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I had been meaning to give Princess Principal a try but the synopsis blurb didn’t make it out to be terribly interesting. I figured “Meh” and started watching because of this post and… WOW. I’m hooked.

    Now it’s 5 stupid days of work (that don’t seem to pass quick enough) and a weekend before I can get my next fix of this show. =P

    Like

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