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6th Annual GB AOTY Poll Results: Land of the (your show) Lost

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

“ 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

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
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
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
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