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  • It's fair to say that so far, 2017 hasn't been the most exciting year for new anime.

  • I have enjoyed a number of new shows but nothing I would consider to be a year's best work.

  • Thankfully, the fall season is just starting and there's a handful of shows i'm excited

  • to check out.

  • Fall is generally one of the stronger seasons in the year so i'm going to have a look

  • at a number of the season's shows and put together a list of 5 anime from fall 2017

  • that are worth checking out.

  • The first series I watched was Kino's Journey, some of you might already be aware of the

  • original series, which is a personal favourite of mine.

  • It follows a pair of travellers as they visit different cities that all have distinct values.

  • The story explores these values with each episode, considering human nature and our

  • own society.

  • The original was very well put together with a really unique melancholic atmosphere.

  • But this one isn't a sequel or anything, more so a reimagining so i'm interested to check

  • it out.

  • And thankfully, the first episode was really strong.

  • Kino visited a town where murder wasn't illegal.

  • The build-up suggests that it would be an insane, wild west town but it wasn't.

  • Instead people used their ability to murder to instil order and peace.

  • It turned out that when given the choice to kill, most people just don't.

  • The story's are presented as old philosophical ponderings.

  • Using discussion and basic examples to present its idea.

  • Like in the first episode, Kino discusses the concept with a number of different people,

  • all with different viewpoints.

  • Then we're given a number of examples of how the idea is put into practice with firstly

  • the shop and then the murderer at the end.

  • Kino then summarises his discoveries and alludes to possible conclusions.

  • This is the kind of structure Kino's Journey follows.

  • It's not trying to tell the most heart-warming story or showcase the most realistic characters,

  • It's trying to explore fundamental questions about society.

  • Where the series loses out in relatability and realism it gains in unique storylines

  • and perspectives.

  • The visuals are probably one of biggest changes from the original and the area i'm most

  • worried about.

  • The series has drifted from the absolute simplicity of the older series, using instead a more

  • modern, refined style.

  • There's a lot of detail and fine line work that is quite a new addition.

  • There's also the implementation of CG that in some scenes, is quite jarring.

  • I think this new style maybe takes away from the allusive atmosphere.

  • That being said, the episode was directed fantastically.

  • The town is shot in this eerie artificial way, it really reminds me of the tv series

  • Westworld.

  • The highlight has to be the action scene at the end, so many great perspective shots that

  • kept me on the edge of my seat.

  • And the story was spot on, it was well structured with very few moments that felt out-of-place.

  • It considered its themes in a way that stays true to the essence of the series but doesn't

  • come across preachy.

  • I don't think everyone's going to like the series, it's going to be missing elements

  • that some people will consider essential for a story.

  • But for those that like Kino's approach to narratives, this will be a real gem.

  • It's definitely the first on my list of shows to check out this season.

  • Mahoutsukai no Yome was the next series I checked out.

  • This has had a interesting release, some of the episode had previewed in the summer season

  • at events and theaters but it's only now available to the public.It's a unique fantasy

  • series that I think will have a love/hate reaction from the community.

  • The first half of the episode is hit or miss to be honest.

  • The story stays very secretive and some moments are quite creepy.

  • It opens up with a really well shot sequence that seems to be a girl being sold at an auction.

  • The story references a lot of events that we're not aware of yet and we don't know

  • why or how she's being sold.

  • It looks like it could get really dark but the story shifts as they return to the mysterious

  • character's house.

  • It introduces a fantasy world with magic and mythical creatures.

  • I wasn't sure about the series until this point where the tone switches and the characters

  • open up.

  • We even have some lighthearted comedic moments that seemed a million miles away 10 minutes

  • ago.

  • Even now i'm not completely sure what kind of story this is going to be but the characters

  • are already intriguing.

  • One of the best aspects of the episode was the sublime background art, done by a studio

  • named Bamboo who've already worked on a number of series and have an impressive portfolio.

  • The backgrounds lured me into this mysterious world with their immense detail and beautiful

  • composition.

  • Aspects like lighting were used fantastically to create a really immersive fantasy setting.

  • Easily a highlight of the show so far

  • It's hard to say who i'd recommend this to specifically since we know so little about

  • the story dynamic but it was a very attention grabbing first episode.

  • Some of the elements were fantastic and the finale scene was breathtaking, if not a little

  • creepy.

  • I'm gonna have to make this the 2nd entry on the list.

  • Black Clover was next, and with Boku no Hero's recent episode impressing me, I was open to

  • another battle shounen, unfortunately Black Cover didn't scratch that itch, instead, it

  • made it worse.

  • It opens up by introducing our main character which might be one of the most annoying protagonists

  • i've ever seen, his voice actor does nothing but scream his dialogue, which is little more

  • than a collection of cliche hero phrases.

  • Which isn't helped by the abysmal written dialogue of the supporting cast, with moments

  • like the priest entering a scene and arbitrarily blurting out a plot point for no apparent

  • reason.

  • The more and more it went on, the more and more it felt like some kind of battle shounen

  • fan fiction.

  • Nothing of the happenings on screen seemed to relate to each other, things just seemed

  • to happen without any effect or purpose.

  • The episode manages to pull itself together for a short period during the middle as it

  • introduced its premise, but this is rudely interrupted by possibly one of the worst villains

  • i've seen in an anime for ages.

  • Again, it is like i'm watching a 15 year old's naruto fan fiction, which might even

  • be an insult to all the 15 year old naruto fans.

  • Our protagonist continues to screech out tag-lines like some kind of soundboard, then the episode

  • finally does something right..

  • And ends.

  • I wasn't expecting to be blown away by Black Clover, but I wasn't expecting it to be

  • that bad.

  • It has no self awareness and seemingly no grasp of storytelling.

  • I might check out a few more episodes out of sheer curiosity, but I don't know who

  • would enjoy this so it's definitely not making it onto my list.

  • I was hoping the next series wouldn't be as disappointing, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou.

  • And what a nice surprise it was, exactly what I needed after Black Clover.

  • It's an interesting little story that follows two characters as they explore a seemingly

  • abandoned world, destroyed by an unnamed war.

  • The characters seem just as clued up as us about what's happened to their world, which

  • makes all the little discoveries they make exciting.

  • It seems to be structured similarly to Kino's Journey, as the characters have a basic philosophical

  • approach to everything they encounter.

  • Questioning topics without the pre-established values of society.

  • And much like last season's Made in Abyss, there's a fantastic sense of mystery.

  • From the first episode, I might even prefer Shuumatsu.

  • The expansive, abandoned battlefield they explore is visually dull with no colour or

  • warmth but there's so much to read into, with every little detail hinting towards what

  • might have happened.

  • I think the episode's atmosphere was topped only by the fantastic episode direction.

  • This is Takaharu Ozaki's first time directing a full project and he's off to a fantastic

  • start.

  • He uses perspective shots in a way that i've very rarely seen in animation.

  • As if he's attached cameras to objects in the world.

  • This perspective shot of a bullet flying out a gun or in this scene where a camera overshoots

  • its shot as the characters play around on a plane propeller, are both great examples.

  • His framing and slow paced camera movement give the whole episode a mysterious undertone.

  • His style is certainly unconventional and it's hard to see how the episode would have

  • held up without it.

  • I'm extremely interested to see where they take this series, both visually and thematically.

  • I really like the duo's naive outlook on topics of war and i'm hoping they build

  • on that.

  • Without a doubt the next on my list of shows.

  • And the next series i'm checking out couldn't be further from Shuumatsu.

  • Juuni Taisen, a harsh, fast paced action series.

  • Showcasing 12 mystery characters in a last-man-standing situation where they essentially just run

  • around trying to destroy each other..

  • I was so conflicted as to if I wanted to add this to my list or not.

  • On one hand, the raw action and brutality of the series is right up my alley, but halfway

  • through the episode, the show got a bit bogged down with its backstory.

  • A little bit is fine, but for a show that's so ridiculously violent, it's hard to care

  • about the little details of the sub-plot.

  • It can't take itself too seriously when one of the characters is a machete weilding

  • bunny man.

  • Thankfully the episode ends well by disregarding any more backstory and just jumping into the

  • action.

  • If the series is just characters fighting from now until the end, i'd be satisfied.

  • The story doesn't need much depth to be successful, its strengths seem to lie in finding

  • creative ways to be brutal.

  • And sometimes that's fine.

  • The strong point of the episode would have to be the visual presentation, specifically

  • the animation.

  • Every second of animation in this episode was fantastically put together with seemingly

  • never ending fast-paced variation.

  • It made it a thrill to watch.

  • And the unique character designs, all drawn with a sketchy art style kept everything fresh.

  • This obviously isn't going to be for everyone and it won't go down in the history books.

  • It's a bit of a novelty series and could quite possibly fall apart at any moment, but

  • personally, I really enjoyed the first episode and already want to see the next.

  • Any show that does that has to be doing something right, so i'm going to add it to my list.

  • Children of the Whales was next, I went into it completely blind and it's quite possibly

  • my favourite of the season so far.

  • It tells the story of Chakuro, a boy that archives the happenings of a floating mud

  • turtle, sounds good already.