Every year, over a hundred anime series are released in Japan. Many of these anime releases are lackluster, with boring stories, cliched characters, and not much to recommend them overall. Other anime releases are much better, with top quality production values, fabulous artwork, great storytelling, and fascinating characters.
If you are a dedicated fan of anime then you are probably already looking forward to the new releases this season. These anime releases below are some of the best from the winter 2017 lineup and look like they will stand out among the rest, with fun characters, interesting storylines, and good production values that anime fans around the world are sure to love. Even better most are streaming on Crunchyroll, Funimation, or Netflix in the United States.
Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 (KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World! 2)
One of the most anticipated releases from Studio Deen, the second season of Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! is sure to be a hit with fans just like the first was. This anime tells the story of Kazuma Sato, who suffers a tragic and seemingly fatal accident at the hands of a slow moving tractor. Even so, the main character awakes to find a stunningly beautiful young lady by his side. This vision, who claims to be the goddess Aqua, offers Kazuma Sato the chance to visit another world but he can only take a single possession with him which he decides should be her.
Their antics through the world thrilled watchers of the first season and the funny adventure should continue in the second, with Kazuma Sato and the goddess Aqua continuing their journey. This fantasy adventure looks to be one of the best and most fun releases of the year, and it is already garnering a great deal of attention.
Masamune-kun no Revenge (Masamune-kun’s Revenge)
Vengeance is a common enough theme in the world of anime, but it looks like Masamune-kun no Revenge is giving it a somewhat unique spin on it and is one of the most anticipated anime releases of the season. This tale of vengeance and redemption follows the exploits of Makabe Masamune, an overweight child who is relentlessly bullied and otherwise tormented by a girl called Adagaki Aki. Determined to one day get revenge, the main character embarks on a journey of self-exploration and personal transformation. Emerging as a new person, Makabe Masamune is now popular and wildly successful, but he has not forgotten the troubles of his youth. This tale of revenge and redemption is sure to be a hit with anime fans looking for some nice drama.
Kuzu no Honkai (Scum’s Wish)
This highly anticipated anime release follows the story of Awaya Mugi and Yasuraoka Manabi, a pair of 17-year-olds that at first glance appear to be the perfect couple. But looks are deceiving, and there is a deeper world lurking beneath the glossy exterior.
Both sides in this seemingly happy couple are smitten with others, hopelessly attracted to would-be partners who show no interest. This complicated love story is destined to be great for lovers of the drama and romance genres, and it is one of the most highly anticipated anime releases of the winter.
Little Witch Academia
Little Witch Academia is another widely anticipated release in the world of anime by Studio Trigger and is a bit unique as it is licensed by Netflix. In Little Witch Academia Akko Kagari is a girl who joins a magical school for witches called Luna Nova Academy. There she and her classmates get into trouble as they meet a dragon underneath their school and accidently release it. If you are a fan of the original movie or the sequel The Enchanted Parade you should give this show a shot as it looks to keep up the excitement. If it comes close to the quality and storytelling of the originals you should be in for a great time watching these witch’s antics.
Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon (Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid)
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is another show with an interesting twist on a cliched premise: in Dragon Maid the main protagonist Kobayashi saves the life of Tooru who then pleads to repay the debt, but unfortunately she also happens to be a dragon in human form. Tooru looks down on humans but does what she must to repay the debt even though she doesn’t always do a great job of it and Kobayashi just wants to be left alone and in peace. It is being made by Kyoto Animation Studio, which is known for their high-quality storytelling and production values. If anyone can make a funny, engrossing anime it is Kyoto Animation Studio so this is a must watch for almost all anime fans.
Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Interviews With Monster Girls)
Interviews with Monster Girls is being made by A-1 Studios (the same studio that made Sword Art Online) and they aren’t exactly a popular studio for many anime fans with their slightly more generic animation style and sometimes subpar storytelling, Interviews with Monster Girls looks like it may be a more redeeming creation by them as it has an interesting premise. In Interviews with Monster Girls demi-humans like vampires and succubi known as “Ajin” live in somewhat harmony with humans, and teacher Takahashi Tetsuo is interested in learning more about them. It looks to be more about the characters and their lives and just being a fun time.
Tales of Zestiria
The first season of Tales of Zestiria was a success, so it is only fitting that the second season is also a highly anticipated release of this season. The second season of Tales of Zestiria picks up where the premiere season left off, with the action taking place on the fictional continent of Glenwood. Set in the middle of the open ocean, Glenwood is home to all manner of adventures, and each of these stories is likely to unfold during the coming season. Whether you are already a fan of the show or brand new to the world of Glenwood and its inhabitants, you are sure to appreciate the art and artistry of this fascinating anime series.
The world of anime is more popular than ever, with fans from around the world. And now even Netflix and Amazon are partaking in the licenses of new animes, not to mention Crunchyroll hitting over a million paying subscriptions which should help bolster the quality and range of animes. What was once an obscure Japanese import has now gone mainstream, much to the delight of anime lovers everywhere. The coming year promises to be great for anime fans, and these top releases listed above should be a good place to start with this year’s releases.