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Posted by DocHaus (2765 posts) -
Hey, you try coming up with a clever subtitle on short notice!
Hey, you try coming up with a clever subtitle on short notice!

Welcome, Duders, to the 6th Annual Giant Bomb Anime Duders Anime of the Year Poll! Everyone in the Japanese animation industry is standing on edge for a small niche of people on a website catering to a slightly-bigger niche aimed at Western audiences to tell them which animes are actually the best this year. Though there weren't as many new hits that broke into the mainstream compared to previous years, the ones that did really stood out. This could also explain why the number of votes dropped to about 40 entries this year, down from last year's peak of 67.

As before, votes were weighed depending on their placement on each ballot: first place gets 5, second place gets 4, third place gets 3, fourth place gets 2, and fifth place gets 1. If there are any ties among the weighted vote, the entry with the most unweighted votes wins. If there are still ties after that, then the tied choices share the ranking. Though titles and quote excerpts might have been edited for clarity, the votes for each show remain unchanged.

I don't have much more to write for an intro here, so let's get to it!

The Top 10 Animes of All Time of 2017 (among those who voted on Giant Bomb)

10) March Comes In Like a Lion (18 pts)

No Caption Provided

A lighthearted story of a shogi player trying to deal with himself, a trio of sisters, and a bunch of cats. Admittedly I have not watched this one so here’s a quote from someone who did:

“March comes like a lion continues to stand out as a relatable and emotional story, accompanied by fantastic animation and a hint of the surreal art design Shaft is known for. You don't need to know anything about shogi to give this one a try” --@phoenicika

9) Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (19 pts)

I ask myself this question every day.
I ask myself this question every day.

The continuation of the Gundam spinoff involving child soldiers, space Yakuza, and life on Mars as the actions of the protagonists from the first season accidentally led others to ask “hey maybe this child soldier thing is cool, we should try it!” A lot of stuff breaks down and the ending is not very happy as everyone ends up losing something while trying to keep their organizations together. Definitely worth your time, though you should probably start at the first season.

8) Recovery of an MMO Junkie (20 pts)

No Caption Provided

A 30-year old woman chooses the NEET Life after burning out on her career, but her awkwardness at trying to form relationships with other people does not stop when she logs in. Unlike other anime with the “nerd stuck in fantasy world” premise, this one is less about the game world and more about the people using it as an escape, keeping it solidly planted in the real world. Also the twist of using adult characters instead of excitable teens makes it better.

“What starts out as a typical slice-of-life comedy ends up showcasing one of the healthiest and needed depictions of females in anime this year. What could have devolved into eye-rolling anime schlock, doesn't, and that is a damn miracle." --@zombiepie

7) Land of the Lustrous (22 pts)

Hey, stop judging me.
Hey, stop judging me.

I didn’t know much about this show other than it being about gem-people with 100% CGI animation. Surprisingly turned out a lot better than I expected, with relationships between gems, snails, and the mooninites that kept invading a strongly-implied post-apocalyptic Earth to turn them into pets or jewelery. It’s a world where even a fragile and brittle mineral like our hero Phosphophyllite can shine brightly with enough grit and polish.

“Land of the Lustrous has NO RIGHT to be as compelling and gorgeous as it is […] On top of this, the voicework and method of recording is *phenomenal*, and the themes of personal responsibility and failure ring truer than ever. I wasn't sold on putting this in my number one spot until episode 8, but it really blew me away...” --@peregrin38

“...it uses the CG to it advantage like lighting, movement, colors, and camera directions that others fail to take advantage of or use for cheap animation.” --@metalsnakezero

6) Interviews with Monster Girls (23 pts)

I hope it does.
I hope it does.

Vampires, Succubi, Dullahan, Yuki-onna, they’re just like us! A show about monster girls that’s surprisingly light-hearted, cheerful, and SFW compared to the more prolific counterpart from 2015 that kicked off a sort of renaissance of monstergirl anime and manga. In this one, a school doctor tries to understand the monster girls at his school a bit more, holding several one-on-one interviews with them.

“The initial impression for an anime with an English name 'Interviews with Monster Girls' might be the most anime-ass anime thing ever, but in reality it manages to tell compelling, heartfelt stories about the daily lives of their characters and is hilarious too.” --@imhungry

5) Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid (28 pts)

Ever do some crazy things once alcohol removes your inhibitions? Maybe you buy expensive things online? Drive your car into a guardrail? Work up the courage to ask someone out? Travel to the mountains and then incidentally pull out an enchanted sword from a dragon who is then forever in your debt and comes to live at your apartment as your maid?

Okay, that last bit sounds really weird, but it’s the beginning of a show that turns out to be surprisingly cheerful and heartwarming. An increasing number of dragons stop by our world and a frumpy IT worker with an alcoholic streak and few real friends ends up dealing with them as they come to live or work with her. If you’re feeling down, this show will cheer you up.

Also, please don’t include the Ilulu parts from the manga if there’s ever a sequel. Thank you.

4) Little Witch Academia (TV) (32 pts)

Starting with a couple of short films from Studio Trigger (the second of which went through a successful Kickstarter), LWA turned into a full two-cour series about a girl with few magic powers going to a magic school in a manner of classic Disney meets Harry Potter. Whimsical, light-hearted, and filled with lessons about not giving up on your friends or yourself, no matter what the odds are. Whether she’s trying to practice transformation magic, or encouraging a yeti not to read internet comments, Akko’s spirit and unyielding energy is quite uplifting.

“Little Witch Academia and Tsurezure Children were some of the few shows from this year that I watched with my siblings, which is one of the reasons I had such a fun time watching them.” --@lentfilms

3) Made In Abyss (46 pts)

My personal favorite from this season with some Ghibli-esque artwork and surprisingly mature storytelling. It starts with a relatively simple premise of a little girl and some sort of cyborg boy trying to find her mother at the bottom of the Abyss from which very few people have returned alive. However, over the course of their journey, they run into serious hardship that takes a great toll on them, both physically and mentally. With incredible and sometimes horrifying visuals on top of a wonderful soundtrack, you have to watch this show.

"Made in Abyss is the most compelling world in anime in years - even with the show being over and catching up on as much manga as I could find, I want to see more. Add to this one of the best soundtracks in recent memory and you've got something truly special. It also wins bonus points for making me so sad I couldn't cry in the ending. I wish you the best, kids, even though I know the worst is yet to come...." --@peregrin38

2) KonoSuba S2 (49 pts)

A continuation of the isekai (short for “nerd who gets reincarnated into a fantasy world”) tale with the worst RPG party ever, featuring an idiot goddess who can’t stop herself from pulling aggro, a masochistic knight who must brave an arranged marriage to a kind-hearted suitor, an overspecialized mage who continues largely ignoring a one-sided rivalry, and the arrogant asshole who has to deal with all of them. If you loved the first season, then this has a lot more of what you love. If you did not like the first season, then this probably won’t sway you otherwise. Personally, I’m here for the top-notch animation and mature dialogue.

“Very rare to find an anime that is consistently funny. And top that off with amazing animation, at times. The characters may be fools but they are fools with heart, something that is lacking in anime.” --@bigjeffrey

“Konosuba's cast of derpy idiots continues to be the best thing about that show, and it's fairly obvious that the voice actors are having a lot of fun doing it.” --@arbitrarywater

Finally, the #1 Anime of All Time of 2017:

1) My Hero Academia S2 (61 pts)

A wonderful shounen tale wearing its western comic references on its sleeve, My Hero Academia continues the tale of Midoriya/Deku learning to deal with being the successor of the greatest hero, All Might, and his US State-based special attacks. If you loved the first season, then this season has the good parts distilled throughout! There’s a tournament arc, old heroes emerge, and dangerous new villains threaten the peace of the world! I guess when your name is Stain, your two career choices are either acting in a Tide Pod commercial or hero-killer. Either way, you’re a villain.

“The second season of My Hero Academia is perfectly paced action/drama perfection. It boils the previous seasons' best ingredients into a delicious syrup I gladly slurped up.” --@zombiepie

Additional categories will be posted below shortly. Thanks to everyone who voted, and to those who are just tuning in, hope you find something you like in the list below.

Raw Vote Totals

TitleWeightedUnweighted
My Hero Academia S26117
Konosuba S24916
Made In Abyss4612
Little Witch Academia (TV)3210
Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid288
Interview with Monster Girls236
Land of the Lustrous226
Recovery of an MMO Junkie205
Mobile Suit Gundam Iron Blooded Orphans195
March Comes in like a Lion184
Gintama165
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu133
Blood Blockade Battlefront S2116
Attack on Titan S2114
Dragon Ball Super113
Tsuki Ga Kirei102
New Game S293
Tsuredure Children83
Owarimonogatari II82
Kemono Friends73
The Eccentric Family 273
ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.62
Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul62
Scum's Wish62
Aho Girl52
Gabriel Dropout52
Mr. Osomatsu S251
Sagrada Reset51
Senki Zesshou Symphogear AXZ51
The Night is Short, Walk on Girl51
Blend S42
Re:Creators42
The Ancient Magus' Bride42
KiraKira Pretty Cure A-La-Mode41
Magical Circle Guru-Guru41
Princess Principal41
Your Name41
Natsume's Book of Friends Season 632
Restaurant to Another World32
Saga of Tanya the Evil32
Masamune Kun's Revenge31
Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend31
Welcome to the Ballroom31
Gamers!22
Kakegurui22
Konbini Kareshi22
Blade Runner: Black Out 202221
Blue Exorcist Season 221
Grimoire of Zero21
Keppeki Danshi! Aoyama-kun21
Kino's Journey -the Beautiful World-21
One Piece21
Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor21
The Dragon Dentist21
Food Wars Season 311
Hozuki's Coolheadedness Season 211
Kizumonogatari III11
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#1 Posted by DocHaus (2765 posts) -

Best non-Anime Cartoon

No Caption Provided

In a result that will surprise few people, Castlevania takes this one by a large margin. With production values to rival some of the winners on this list, great action scenes, and a story that didn’t stray too far from the zeitgeist of the games, Castlevania is a good cartoon to watch regardless of whether or not you consider yourself a fan of the games. And in only 4 episodes too! Thankfully, it seems the trial balloon worked, as Castlevania's been approved for another season.

Unfortunately, I have to dock a few points for skipping an hour of Alucard demanding his castle’s architect remodel his home so it requires the dexterity of an acrobat and the endurance of a marathon runner just to get from the master bedroom to the kitchen. Maybe that will be added in the director’s cut.

Notable Runners-up: Steven Universe, Rick & Morty, Samurai Jack

Best Surprise

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With few new anime series breaking into the mainstream compared to previous years, the ones that did turn out to be pleasant surprises were few in number. However, of those that did offer an answer in this category, Made In Abyss just barely emerges from the pack to win this category. Everyone expecting some sort of light-hearted adventure based on the art style and the first episode were in for a real shock as the series progressed, and count me among those people.

Notable Runners-up: Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Land of the Lustrous, Recovery of an MMO Junkie

Biggest Disappointment

No Caption Provided

On the flip side, the votes for this category were spread out among a wide range of shows that were disappointing in some fashion. From this pile of refuse, Re:Creators ends up beating the competition by a sliver. A new series with the premise that flipped the increasingly-worn isekai genre where creations from video games, light novels, and other media with big followings start invading our world after one mysterious character goes horribly astray. It was also the first time that Black Lagoon creator Rei Hiroe had worked on an anime in a while.

How did it get so disappointing? Because you had characters that did nothing but talk to themselves and each other for hours on end, infodumping in place of actually showing what was happening in the story. On top of that, the answer to their problems was staring them in the face pretty early on, but because the main character decided not to tell anyone about the antagonist’s identity, people in their world had to suffer. They should put Meteora in a better series and just delete the rest of the show forever.

Notable Runners-up: Fuuka, Berserk, A Centaur’s Life

Best STYYYYYYYYYLE

That combination of art and sound that compliments or even overtakes the story and characters of a piece, a certain je ne sais quoi that is unquantifiable but also deeply a part of the work being examined. There were only a handful of shows that were nominated for this category, but Land of the Lustrous takes it, despite (or perhaps because of) being a largely 3DCG production. Just look at the scenes in this trailer:

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Or the appearance and theme of the Lunarians:

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Land of the Lustrous scored very high this year in multiple categories, and it deserves those plaudits, so here it wins the award for best STYYYYYYYYLE.

Notable Runners-up: My Hero Academia, Blood Blockade Battlefront & Beyond, Made In Abyss

“Please Stop”

This one goes to “shows with the premise of ogling one’s sister” in general and “Eromanga-sensei” in particular. We get it, you’ve never had a sister, now stop creating an imaginary one just so your main character can walk in on them changing clothes or drawing hentai for him or whatever creepy-ass setup you’ve got going. You’re ruining anime for the rest of us.

Notable Runners-up: Amazon’s Anime Strike (good news to those voters!), Isekai-type story setups

Your Waifu/Huzbando is…:

Y’know what? I’ll just post the list here and let you duders come up with the commentary on your own.

  • Aoyama-kun (from Clean Freak! Aoyama)

  • Astolfo - Fate/Apocrypha

  • ASW-G-08 Gundam Barbatos

  • Bulma, has been since I was young, RIP Hiromi Tsuru

  • Cheska (my actual waifu)

  • Darkness(Konosuba)

  • Froppy

  • Haruhi Suzumiya

  • I think (Froppy) from Hero academia is adorable

  • Jeff Gerstmann

  • Just Monika

  • Kaname Chidori

  • Kyoka Jiro

  • Makoto Kikuchi

  • Maria Cadenzavna Eve

  • Megumin

  • Momo Yaoyorozu

  • Moriko Morioka

  • Moriko Morioka

  • Nina Drango

  • Kobayshi obvs.

  • Ozen

  • Probably from an anime that came out 3-10 years ago.

  • Steve Harrington not from Anime but lets be real here he is the true Huzbando

  • The headphones girl from MHA

  • There is no God

Thanks to everyone who answered the meta questions as well. I'll get back to you when I have the energy to do so.

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#2 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

I'm surprised that Attack on Titan and Ancient Magus' Bride didn't get more votes. I can't complain too much when 3 of my 5 top picks (My Hero Academia, Konosuba, and Made in Abyss) came out on top.

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#3 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15715 posts) -

You know, of the like... 6 shows from 2017 that I actually watched, 4 of them ended up being represented on this list, so I can hardly complain. Not to mention, my pick for "Most Disappointing" was represented as well! More people need to watch Re:CREATORS, if only so that they can get as angry as I did at that show's second half. Uh, but otherwise, I definitely need to check out Land of the Lustrous and get around to that Boku No Hero Academia thing all the kids are into these days.

@golguin said:

I'm surprised that Attack on Titan and Ancient Magus' Bride didn't get more votes. I can't complain too much when 3 of my 5 top picks (My Hero Academia, Konosuba, and Made in Abyss) came out on top.

I bet that Magus Bride's absence can be explained by the poll going up in the middle of winter season, when it was only a few episodes in. I feel like Attack on Titan's absence kinda just speaks to how much of a (comparative) non-impact that second season made after 4 years of waiting.

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#4 Posted by Redhotchilimist (2963 posts) -

Ben Pack Presents Giant Bomb's Anime of the year 2017.

Good on MHA for killing it in the waifu category too.
Good on MHA for killing it in the waifu category too.

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#5 Posted by totsboy (496 posts) -

Surprised Attack on Titan is so low, the second season was incredible, very fast paced.

My Hero Academia went from an ok season 1 to a very very good season 2, the whole tournament thing reminded me of Yu Yu Hakusho.

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#6 Posted by Bowl-of-Lentils (1123 posts) -

Oh wow, I actually got quoted for Little Witch Academia, my personal favorite show from this year!

I think this is a very solid list. I'm a little disappointed stuff like Tsurezure Children and Kemono Friends didn't make the top 10 and there are some shows like Just Because that didn't finish until well after most people had voted so they were not mentioned at all. But a lot of my favorites from this year made the top 10 so I can't complain. Plus Land of the Lustrous won Best Style so all is right in the world.

Also, I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one that voted for Moriko Morioka as best waifu.

No Caption Provided

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#7 Edited by imhungry (1126 posts) -

Great to see Monster girls come in with a strong showing. I will continue my quest to come up with a way to recommend that show to people without sounding like a crazy person.

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#8 Edited by mezmero (3751 posts) -

I ended up abstaining from this voting. I just couldn't feel good about awarding anything this coveted GBAOTY title. If I'm being honest my top two would be My Hero Academia and Made in Abyss so thumbs up on that part of it. MHA is such a known quantity though, I thought it was great in the first season and showed so much potential so having it continue to be excellent isn't a huge deal to me. Made in Abyss however was a big surprise for me yet for as good as it is it's sort of depressing to think that no other new show came even close to wowing me this year as much as this short, perilous romp through a fantastical setting. Looking at most of the upper ranking prospects...big year for moe-xploitation I guess. Watched some of most of these shows and while they're generally not bad they were also not my cup of tea. Not sure about waifu material but Froppy/Tsu-chan is hands down the best girl.

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#9 Posted by Zeik (5195 posts) -

I still don't get the obsession over Froppy. Moriko Morioka though, I relate to her on a deep spiritual level.

So I've been meaning to ask this for awhile, but just how dark and disturbing and graphic does Made in Abyss get? Because I've been curious about it for awhile with all the hype it's getting, but my tolerance level for disturbing shit is probably lower than average. Madoka Magica didn't really bother me too much (although I did stop watching it like 2/3 of the way through) and Attack on Titan was also fine in terms of graphic violence, but I tried watching Inuyashiki the other day and I had to shut it off by the end of the second episode because it made me feel extremely bad inside.

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#10 Edited by Bowl-of-Lentils (1123 posts) -

@zeik: Made in Abyss gets pretty disturbing in the later half of the show. If you can handle Attack On Titian you might be okay but even I, who has a pretty high tolerance for violence, had to look away during certain scenes. The fact that all of this is happening to children doesn't help either. The show is good enough that I'd still recommend giving it a shot but be aware that it does get intense.

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#11 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (7832 posts) -

Gosh, reading this list makes me realize I missed out on a lot of good stuff this past year. And Froppy is adorable.
Also, I love that I'm like one of maybe two people who vote for One Piece each year.

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#12 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

@zeik said:

I still don't get the obsession over Froppy. Moriko Morioka though, I relate to her on a deep spiritual level.

So I've been meaning to ask this for awhile, but just how dark and disturbing and graphic does Made in Abyss get? Because I've been curious about it for awhile with all the hype it's getting, but my tolerance level for disturbing shit is probably lower than average. Madoka Magica didn't really bother me too much (although I did stop watching it like 2/3 of the way through) and Attack on Titan was also fine in terms of graphic violence, but I tried watching Inuyashiki the other day and I had to shut it off by the end of the second episode because it made me feel extremely bad inside.

I'm usually pretty good with heavy stuff in anime but the last half of the show gets pretty rough. It's not exactly graphic violence that does it. It's the disturbing content. Strangely enough the last bit of the show also has very heart wrenching moments.

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#13 Posted by clearandsweet (24 posts) -

Where is the other person who had Tsuki Ga Kirei as their AotY?! High five, duder!

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#14 Edited by Pilzi (108 posts) -

I want to be friends with the people that voted for Owarimonogatari and Princess Principal.

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#15 Edited by ArbitraryWater (15715 posts) -
@pilzi said:

I want to be friends with the people that voted for Owarimonogatari and Princess Principal.

I voted for Owarimonogatari, because I like anime where people stand around and have weird, lengthy conversations for entire episodes with trippy visuals and the rest of the time is filled with pretty much nothing other than the trashiest, most "oh no, now I'm on some sort of watchlist" fanservice your damn eyes have ever seen.

In all seriousness, I was surprised how weirdly sweet and poignant the conclusion to the story was. Monogatari is weird as shit, and I kinda love it, even if its lolicon/incest fixations make me want to take a long, cold shower every time that stuff pops up.

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#16 Posted by rmanthorp (4634 posts) -

This is all very good!

Moderator
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#17 Edited by NoneSun (807 posts) -

nah they did such a good job with that stuff in the first season, I hope they have Ilulu in all her glory if they do another season of Kobayashi :)

@zeik there is really only one scene in particular, in episode 10, and it's fucking brutal. Just close your eyes for a bit and you'll be alright, hell I even looked away, hit harder than a lot of real gore.

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#18 Posted by JoeDangerous (591 posts) -

User @zombiepie nailed it with the quote on Recovery of an MMO Junkie. That could have easily been schlock that surprised no one, but instead it was a light-hearted RomCom romp with a refreshing female lead. Great picks and winners, y'all! Glad to see Anime Strike in the graveyard so I can finally get in on what it offers.

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#19 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

I finally rewrote my list for 2017! It's a good way to look back and see how my tastes have broadened since the days of the Big Three (Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece).

  1. My Hero Academia 2 - The second season gives its amazing supporting cast the spotlight while still demonstrating how the main characters are pushing the series as the new shonen powerhouse.
  2. Attack on Titan Season 2 - If you forgot what it meant to watch Attack on Titan then simply watch the first episode of the new season. The ride does not stop with its improved pacing and the highs in the second season are still edge of your seat stuff.
  3. Made in Abyss - Don't be fooled by the art style. What starts as a cute story very quickly delves into a Lovecraftian anime romp of nightmares. Extremely gruesome scenes somehow give way to some of the most heart wrenching and heart warming moments of 2017.
  4. KonoSuba: God's Blessing on This Wonderful World! 2 - Comedy is hard. Comedy in anime is exponentially more difficult. KonSuba takes the now tired isekai genre and turns it into one of the funniest shows in years. Season 2 continues the season 1 tradition of being consistently funny in every single episode.
  5. Land of the Lustrous - Did you know a CGI anime show could be good? What if it could have an amazing cast of characters, a plot that makes you care, and actions scenes that rival everything that came out in 2017? This isn't Japanese Steven Universe, but it has cool gem girls in a post apocalyptic world.
  6. Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid - A cute and funny slice of life show about dragon maids. You will quickly learn to love dragon maids.
  7. Food Wars! The Third Plate - If you like Food Wars there is no reason to stop now. The third season strikes a nice balance of sexy, food, sexy food, and over the top shonen food battles.
  8. Welcome to the Ballroom - Dancing has never been this intense. Amazing plot and characters and it got my girlfriend interested in ballroom dancing.
  9. The Ancient Magus' Bride - A young girl is taken away from a terrible life and is shown a magical world that exists alongside our own. As Chise improves her abilities we see that magic is dark, mysterious, and extremely dangerous.
  10. Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler - I used to gamble and this show is a good anime representation of what it feels like to be in the moment of a high stakes game. The difference is that my gambling life did not include a school full of psychotic cute gambling girls that get off on the thrill of the gamble.
  11. Recovery of an MMO Junkie - An extremely cute show about a women in her 30s that quits her job to play an MMO. A very fun romantic comedy.
  12. Gamers! - A romantic comedy that has very little to do with actual gaming and everything to do with misunderstandings and miscommunications that create one huge love pentagon with the characters involved.
  13. Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season - This is my first Gundam series and I think the child soldier backdrop makes for an excellent mech show.
  14. The Saga of Tanya the Evil - God challenges a current day Japanese business man to a battle of wits and reincarnates him to an alternate World War 1 filled with magic. He now has to survive as a little orphan girl that rises through the military ranks to become a ruthless little girl killer.
  15. Love Live! School Idol Project: Sunshine!! - It's more Love Live Sunshine. Yohane is best girl.