The GILM Awards 2017 Favorite Anime


Favorite Anime

What anime couldn’t you stop binging? Which one had you looking through twitter for that good fan-art? Here’s your chance to let everyone know!

For an anime to qualify it has to have completed a season in 2017. This includes shows that started a season in 2016 and ended that season in 2017. If you are nominating an anime, you are arguing for what that show did within 2017, not the show as a whole.

The discussion is now in your hands! Bold the name of the show, don’t start or continue arguments, and we’ll see ya’ll on the 10th!


Q: Uhhh, sorry to ask, but... what are the GILM Awards?

A: Nothing to apologise for! Just head over to our pinned topic if you need a catch up! You can also find details on the process for the awards here.

Q: How do I nominate something?

A: To nominate something, you have to write it in your post and bold it, ideally at the top of your post. If we don’t know what you’re picking, we can’t count it. You get one (1) nomination. For a game to be eligible for the voting phase, it must have two nominations.

Nomination: X)
(Rest of Post, full of lists and good takes)

You can make a list as long as your arm, just be clear. We welcome thoughtful posts about how you made your decision and discussion, as long as we keep it positive and respectful.

Q: I disagree with someone else's choice!

A: As per our Code of Conduct, be considerate about other people’s perspectives. There’s no need to puff out someone else’s candle to make yours a little brighter. Negativity is only going to hurt your case for what you love. What’s said in the thread stays in the thread. The mod team frown deeply on people taking disagreements thread-to-thread, like bringing up a user’s nomination in a previous category in a case against the present one.

Q: Someone already nominated what I wanted to, what do I do?

A: We still want to hear your thoughts! Be mindful of what has already been nominated, but as always, this topic is a conversation, so feel free to share your thoughts on what has been nominated.

Q: When does the nomination process end?

A: The period of time to make your nominations will end 12/10/2017.


Princess Principal
Much more than cute girls doing spy stuff, it involves a strong female cast, warring nations, interesting storytelling, stunning visuals with a steampunk aesthetic and memorable sound track that fit with the setting.


Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2 motherfucker.

This is the conclusion to one of the finest anime I’ve seen, but also one of the hardest to get people to watch, and for basically no reason because it’s clearly so good. The focus is on rakugo, a high-energy storytelling and comedy blend that involves one person portraying multiple characters. For this reason alone, the voice acting quality in this show needed to be unbelievably high and it meets this requirement. Exceeds it, actually, because even though I know I’m watching a character in an anime just sitting on a stage, I’m so drawn into the performances that I become an audience member.

The jazzy soundtrack that rises and falls during the performances and tender moments between the characters off-stage, the beautifully lit scenes and detailed animation, everything about Rakugo feels like a show out of time.

We start in a time period where Rakugo is a thing only old people like, and follow a young person who loves it, watching how he almost single-handedly revitalizes this art form with the help of his master. The central characters of this series are so passionate about the art of Rakugo, and when they try to deny this or stray from the art for their own personal reason, the power of their love for it always draws them back in, and watching this show as a creative person, it definitely resonated with me.

It’s a one-of-a-kind show about an uncommon art form that you really need to learn about.


anime of the decade, Kemono Friends

I think it’s really (genuinely) inspiring that this awkwardly animated cg show with no budget ended up being like, a top 5 anime of all time for me. The characters are super endearing, it’s about a fun journey, the music that plays when a Cerulean shows up is great…
Plus, after a few episodes, you start to realise there’s some messed up stuff going on in the background (sometimes literally) and it actually manages to balance “light-hearted fun show about friends” and “probably the post-apocalypse” really well. The last few episodes are one of the few pieces of media that can consistently make me cry.
Having to wait a week between episode 11 and episode 12 was hell, though.


I will second Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2

Mello said pretty much everything i wanted to! It’s a fantastic show that more people should really watch. But i’d defintely recommend starting with season one or you will be pretty lost haha.


EDIT: given that this already has two nominations and I made this post before episode 8 of the series I nominate later in this thread, I’m changing my nomination from this post and have unbolded the nominated title. I wanted to leave my initial post in-tact, though, since others have already read/liked my comments. Sorry for the confusion!

Just as NieR: Automata made me cry more than any media in recent memory, Made in Abyss made me feel genuinely, truly, uncomfortably unsettled - but in the best possible way.

I’m a huge fan of deep sea exploration and have been ever since I was a kid. There’s something endlessly fascinating to me about the overtly hostile and alien nature of these spaces where life persists in spite of intense pressure, expansive darkness, and landscapes ranging from volcanic to desolate to stranger-than-fiction.

Made in Abyss for me captured the same fascination that keeps me up at night, watching livestreams of deep sea exploration, but also mixed in the uncanny horror elements that make fictional worlds compelling beyond the limits of reality. Not only am I desperate to explore the worlds of Made in Abyss further, I’m also terrified. I worry for the safety and well-being of the characters, I worry for what will be revealed about their humanity (or lack thereof), and I worry most of all for whether or not I’ll be comfortable staring these things in the face in the same way I worry that too many visions of viperfish will haunt my dreams the next night. Combine all of this with one of my favorite soundtracks and some amazing voicework, and Made in Abyss is a tough show to top in 2017, at least for me.

EDIT: also the hour-long finale wrenched my gut worse than anything else this year, ugh


Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid

Sometimes the way an anime makes me feel in a particular moment in my life is the one that has the most profound impact and lasting impression on me. Such is the effect of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, a 13 episode long endeavor into what could be one of the most genuinely heartwarming anime of the year.

The comedic brilliance of the writing certainly outweighed any of the fanservicey elements found within the show. The slice-of-life interactions with the “something more fantastical” was presented in such a way that was entertaining and fresh. What’s more, identifying with the main protagonist Kobayashi and the unfamiliarity of experiencing such a tender and genuine love from both friends and the “more than friends” certainly hit home for me as it may have done so for others.

That alone made this anime something worth watching.


March Comes in Like a Lion
I’d call it criminally underrated but I just don’t know if enough people have even seen it to even rate it in the first place to transcend public critical consensus. It’s so richly deep, beautiful, sorrowful, happy, every emotion wrapped into one and visually stunning (background art, char design, animation, style). A beautiful, slow yet gripping dive into depression, isolationism, and imposter syndrome and how characters move past it, get wrapped up in it, come to help each other hinder each other, etc. The narrative is mostly hopeful and heartwarming but without sacrificing reality. There’s so much more I can say but my highest recommendation can come of the three sister characters, who are so richly realized and important to balance out the show’s grim self-loathing aspects. It’s all about characters building themselves back up from something broken down and has the most empowering/impactful feeling moment-to-moment scenes this year.


3Gatsu No Lion is a story about how depression is a fight you go back to, every single day, an agonizing, draining thing. But at every turn, it shows why you continue to fight . And you see how the battle, slowly but surely, is won. It’s genuinely the most important show I’ve watched in a decade, in terms of media that affects my own mindspace. I’d definitely offer caution to anyone prepping to watch it: it absolutely does not sugar coat how hard life can be. It doesn’t do anything for shock value, instead it brings you back to the stage in your life where you just didn’t want to get out of bed for four days because you were sad.


I’d probably throw in with Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid as well. Kyoto Animation’s direction is becoming peerless relative to other TV anime studios. Probably why they seem like they’re shifting completely into movies–which unfortunately means we might not get more Kobayashi.

Tough call, though. I went through the seasons to try and pick out the stuff that I thought was legitimately “award conversation” good (outside of some of the fluff that I enjoyed but wouldn’t want to make an argument for) and ended up with:

Winter: Little Witch Academia, Gabriel Dropout, Kemono Friends , Rakugo
Spring: Hero Academia 2, Uchouten Kazuku 2
Summer: Gamers , Made in Abyss
Fall (that will finish in 2017): Land of the Lustrous, MMO Junkie , Girls’ Last Tour , Kino no Tabi


seconding Kemono Friends

everything about this show and the circumstances that created it are so unbelievably unique that i’m pretty sure people will be talking about it for years to come. the fact that the show itself was also good is the cherry on top of what is already the greatest underdog story in media this year.

as a final plea to get anyone who hasn’t yet seen it to check it out, i recorded a 3 hour spoilercast on it, on what is normally a video game podcast, after convincing both hosts to watch all 12 episodes with me (my 3rd rewatch at that point) the day before we recorded it.

edit: for anyone who isn’t familiar with the story behind the show, a brief synopsis.

Nexon (yes, that Nexon) used to own a mobile game in japan called Kemono Friends. it was a standard gacha-type game where all the cards you collect were girls with outfits that resembled animals. the designs were all done by Mine Yoshizaki, the author behind the long-running Sgt. Frog. an anime was greenlit for the game and contracts were signed and staff were attached to the project, including a lot of big-name voice actresses. then the phone game got cancelled, mere months before the show was to air. on a beyond-shoestring budget and with little to zero support from Kadokawa, the company that owned the property, director Tatsuki and his team of about 10 people managed to finish the show, with Tatsuki single-handedly writing the script, directing and animating (by estimates stated from other staff) about 90% of the entire show on his own. and the result was remarkable.


I would say Uchoten Kazoku season 2 or the Eccentric Family in english. Though I also really liked Made in Abyss.
On the surface Uchōten Kazoku is a very Ghibli-esque story about a family of Tanuki living in modern Japan: mythical style Tanuki with transformation power. It’s a very lighthearted narrative that doesn’t linger on drama but the more you watch it the more and more complex and nuanced the relationships of the characters become.
It’s a very unique story that doesn’t rely on anime tropes, looks beautiful, and walks that thin line between entertaining and being thoughtful without faltering.


Made in Abyss is tough to recommend. It’s a show in what I call the “Narutaru Genre” that features young, child-like characters descending into a living hellmaw that will eat them alive. It’s based on a manga that indulges at times in inappropriate creepiness, it features at times horrific violence (especially in the second half.) And while it ends on its strongest episode, the story as a whole remains incomplete until season 2.

That said: plenty of very good anime aired in 2017, but nothing else airing on TV resonated with me like this show did. It’s a true example of how direction and interpretation can transform material: the shock horror bits remain, but the staff (who’ve worked on projects from Ghibli films to the tv adaptation of Monster) ground it in carefully evoked, recognizably human pain. The series itself ends on a moment of uplift that, if not a conclusion to the story itself, feels cathartic and fully earned. Add phenomenal background art and one of the best anime soundtracks of at least the past five years, and you have A Show I Really Connected With! (even tho I think others are justified in finding it tasteless and abhorrent)


Little Witch Academia

While the franchise had two short films in 2013 and 2015, the anime didn’t come out on Netflix until June 2017 and in Japan at the start of the year, in January. Not sure if having previous installments in earlier years disqualifies it, but seeing as the anime and the movies are two separate stories, I have some hope.

Little Witch Academia is one of those things I can easily and whole-heartedly recommend to anyone who wants some lighthearted fantasy about friendship, mistakes and how you learn from them. The anime takes place at Luna Nova Academy, a school that teaches magic to each generation of witches. Unfortunately, the presence of magic isn’t as prominent in the world as it once was. Adding to that, modernization makes it difficult for the witches to even convince people that they have something of value to show the world.

The main character, Atsuko “Akko” Kagari, decides that she’s going to become a witch after witnessing a show done by Shiny Chariot, a witch and showoman determined to use magic to make the world a happier place. While more old-fashioned witches tend to look down on Shiny Chariot and the spectacle she made of magic, that doesn’t stop Akko from deciding to use her own magic to make people smile. She quickly meets up with two new friends, Sucy Manbavaran and Lotte Jansson, and together they set out on their journey of magical learning in Luna Nova.

I’ll admit, before watching this series, it had been a while since I bothered with anime. I find it tedious, mostly because I can read much faster than I can be shown something, and at heart, I am an impatient queer. That said, Little Witch Academia managed to convince me to actually give a damn about anime again, and it was just such a nice watch too. There are some animes I’ve watched where I struggle to recommend it to friends, either because of gore, sexism, fanservice, or other things that might make them uncomfortable or upset. I don’t need to worry about that with this series. It’s not complete fluff, and it manages to get it’s message across really, really well.

I like it a lot!!


Edit: Welp, Dragon Ball Super is out so ignore me!


Nomination: Dragon Ball Super

I’m not really into anime (the only other show I watched this year is Little Witch Academia), but the current arc of Dragon Ball Super is one of the best in any Dragon Ball series and I-… I like Dragon Ball a lot…

Plus, they introduced not one but two badass female saiyans, something I’ve wanted since I was 9.


ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.

I have not seen many people talking about thins anime. And I guess there is a reason for it: it’s slow-paced, nothing really is going on and tension comes from interactions between characters. But I was kind of sad that not many people were watching it. It’s a well-written, well animated show that looks weaker than other anime that came out this year, but it sure touched a string in my heart.


Castlevania (Netflix)

If this counts as an anime, I pick this show. The only other new this year anime I’ve seen was Dragon Ball Super and I’m not sure if that came out in 16 or 17.


Seconding Little Witch Academia

This is such a sincerely uplifting show in so many ways, I just fell in love with it.


Princess Principal
"Steampunk Totally Spies" sounds like pulpy garbage but this show really proved itself and became something stylish, special, and heartwarming. Every production aspect you could care to name from the intricate backgrounds to the jazzy music are stellar and polished, it utilizes anachronistic episode ordering to great effect, and above all it takes meticulous care not to fall into the pitfalls everyone expected to see from “all female cast” and “spy thriller drama”. Instead, Princess Principal takes care to address and even reverse those tired anime/James Bond tropes to tell a story that’s distinctive, modern, and emotional. It’s an incredible follow-up by Studio 3hz to last year’s Flip Flappers and I can’t wait to see what they pull out next.

No offense, this happens in basically every anime of the year list, but Precure which runs for a year and ends each season in January is only eligible for consideration of its last 4 episodes by the rules as written. There isn’t really a good way around this, but the 2017-2018 Precure season is getting noticed in a big way so we might have to deal with that next year.


This might change (depending on how my watchings of both it and Princess Principal go) but holy fuck Made in Abyss is good so far.