With a new year comes a new season of anime, and although it’s going to be difficult to top my love for Yuri!!! on ICE, there are definitely a couple of good shows being released soon. Of course, March comes in like a lion will be continuing, and there will be more Digimon Adventure tri, but there will be other shows to watch too.
Admittedly, this list is dominated by second seasons, with three seconds seasons and two new shows, that I’m looking forward to, but the winter season seems to often be about second seasons. So, without further ado, here are my recommendations for the winter 2017 anime season.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
The year was 1970s. Fascinated by the performance of rakugo master Yakumo the 8th at a philanthropic show in a prison, delinquent Kyōji visited Yakumo immediately after serving his term, begging Yakumo to take him in as an apprentice. To his surprise, master Yakumo agreed without much hesitation, yet things progressed not quite as Kyōji expected (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
I recommended the first season of Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu last winter, and I have to recommend it again this winter. This next season is sure to please; unlike some of my recommendations of new shows, you can be sure that if I recommend a second season that the show must be good.
Rakugo kind of left its viewers hanging at the end of last season, and I’m looking forward to what happens next. A story within a story, Rakugo was a pleasant surprise for me last year. The story is actually mostly told sometime during the early Shouwa period (1926-1989) and comprises of many long sequences of rakugo, a traditional Japanese form of storytelling or monologue.
There’s friendships and a love story, and although the main characters’ backstories and childhoods are shown, this is a story about grown men, which is refreshing.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen is available to watch on Crunchyroll.
Yowamushi Pedal: New Generation
Sakamichi Onada is a wimpy high school freshman who loves anime. He initially wants to enter the anime club, but winds up joining the cycling club after meeting two classmates who are already famous cyclists. He undertakes the grueling training to compete in races, and discovers his own hidden talent in cycling (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
I’ve written about sports anime before, and this is one of my favorites. I actually never expected there to be a second season of Yowapeda, as fans call it, and I’m not entirely sure if I’m ready for another grueling season. But it should be interesting and perhaps will fill a gaping hole created by the absence of Yuri!!! on ICE.
Yowapeda, as fans call it, was originally created for a shōnen or teenage male audience, and yet it eventually garnered a large audience of teenage girls and grown women. It’s a bit of a time commitment, especially since some story arcs can last many episodes—a 3km stretch of road, for example, can take a group of characters at least three episodes to complete, and of course, along the way, those characters are talking and conversing and even having flashbacks to their past.
Still, the show is really inspiring and will probably get you moving!
Yowamushi Pedal: Next Generation is available to watch on Crunchyroll.
Tales of Zestiria the X (Second Season)
Sorey is a human youth who grew up among the “seraphim” (tenzoku), spiritual beings invisible to human eyes. He believes in the folklore that every human was able to see the seraphim long ago and dreams of unraveling the ancient mystery to make the world a place where people and seraphim can live together in peace. During a visit to the human capital, he becomes embroiled in an incident during which he pulls out a holy sword imbedded in a rock and ends up becoming a “Shepherd,” one who casts away calamity from the world (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
In the mood for a decent fantasy story? I was when I watched the first season of Tales of Zestiria the X. Based on the Japanese RPG series—which I haven’t played, but really want to—I’ve enjoyed what Tales of Zestiria has to offer.
There isn’t very much fan service, which is nice after my disappointment with Alderamin on the Sky, and the world-building is fascinating. I was especially intrigued by the archaeological sites that the characters visit, as well as the beautiful artwork that makes the world feel more immersive and real.
There was actually an anime film called Tales of Zestiria: Dawn of the Shepherd, which shows the events of the first couple of episodes, but is slightly different from the show. I feel as though the film mostly showed Sorey’s perspective, while the show gave us more of Alisha’s perspective.
ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka
In a world separated into 13 wards, with each ward having an observation division controlled by the organization known as “ACCA.” Jean is known as the craftiest member of ACCA (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
I don’t know a lot about ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka, or ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept., but based on the trailer, this show, produced by Madhouse, has potential.
Based on a manga series by Natsume Ono, the large cast of characters, which was what first drew me in, as well as the jazzy music and film noir-like style, are intriguing. It might be a bit like Joker Game or perhaps 91 DAYS.
The only work of Natsume Ono’s that I’m familiar with is Ristorante Paradiso, and I’ve only see that anime and not the manga. Available on Crunchyroll, Ristorante Paradiso a romance anime with a large cast of male characters meant for a female audience, so if that’s anything to go off of, perhaps ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka will be similar?
ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka is available to watch on Crunchyroll.
I really want to be excited about Occultic;Nine last season. After all, it was written by Chiyomaru Shikura, the creator of one of my favorite shows Steins;Gate. After watching the first episode, however, and stopping it halfway through (for fairly obvious reasons), I’m hesitant to recommend Chaos;Child.
Still, Chaos;Child is the sequel to Chaos;Head, which was decent. Of all the Science Adventure series, it would probably be my second favorite, although I did enjoy Robotics;Notes. And the trailer doesn’t contain any of the caricatures that were blatantly obvious in the trailer for Occultic;Nine.
Chaos;Child is available to watch on Crunchyroll.
What simulcasts will you be watching this winter?
Rine Karr is an Anime Writer at Girls in Capes. She’s a writer and aspiring novelist by moonlight and a copyeditor by daylight. Rine loves good food, travel, and lots of fiction, especially novels, anime, manga, video games, and films. She’s also the Chief Copyeditor and an occasional contributor at Women Write About Comics.
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