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Posts Tagged ‘Kemono Friends’

2016 didn’t really end when it became 2017 and this hellscape of a world continues to get increasingly stupid and hostile, but hey! At least the anime was good.

These are my favourites from this year! I’m only including series that completed this year (i.e. if it’s a multi-cours series, it gets counted if the final cours aired this year. So March Comes in Like a Lion counts but March Comes in Like a Lion 2 does not) and films if I actually got the chance to watch them this year. Why top 14? Too many good shows, and I couldn’t cut any of them. It’s been a good year for me!

Without any further ado, let’s begin.

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To call Kemono Friends the ‘dark horse’ series of 2017 is to undersell it to the point of wilful misrepresentation; it’s one of the most absurd, bizarre, and triumphant success stories in the medium ever. The scale of its reception has led to a wide influence and a deep interest, and thanks to that I couldn’t pick just one ‘moment’ from this year to talk about – in the interest of giving even a moderately fair representation of its saga, I’ve had to go with three!

First, we need to start at the beginning: the collective international realisation of “wtf, Kemono Friends is actually good”. Even now the series is a hard sell, so imagine what it was like seeing that on the spring lineup. Here we had a CG anime based on a failed mobile game about animal girls (so a cheap cash-in on a cheap Kantai Collection bandwagoner), with a premise that suggested nothing of note was happening. Digging deeper revealed that the team working on it were tiny and not known for anything, and one of the two main characters would be voiced by a newbie. The only slightly promising thing about it was that the character designs were done by the same person who designed Sgt. Frog, but that wasn’t exactly widely known (or, for that matter, cared about). To be honest, most people – myself included – just skipped it as soon as we saw it was going to be CG, because rarely has that resulted in anything visually appealing. So it went ignored.

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