Japanese
Anime 1st episodes 2017: H
Including: Hand Shakers, Hell Girl: The Fourth Twilight, Heybot!, High School Star Musical: Season 2, HiGH&LOW g-sword Amamiya Brothers, Himouto! Umaru-chan R, Hina Logic: from Luck & Logic, Hinako Note, Hitorigurashi no Shougakusei, Hitorijime my Hero, Hozuki no Reitetsu
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Series: << Anime 1st episodes 2017 >>
Keywords: anime, SF, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 11 first episodes
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 13 October 2018
Listed under "L": Houseki no Kuni, aka. Land of the Lustrous
Listed under "M": Hajimete no Gal, aka. My First Girlfriend Is a Gal
Listed under "T": Henkei Shoujo, Transforming Girls
It's a movie: Haikara-San: Here Comes Miss Modern Part 1
It's a movie: Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari
It's a TV series compilation movie and I don't watch Haikyuu!! anyway: Haikyuu!! Sainou to Sense
It's a TV series compilation movie and I don't watch Haikyuu!! anyway: Haikyuu!! The Movie: Battle of Concepts
It's a TV series compilation movie: Hibike! Euphonium Movie: Todoketai Melody
They're Blu-ray extra mini-OVAs: Hibike! Euphonium 2 Specials
It's a bonus OVA episode for a show I'd already skipped: High School Fleet OVA
hand.shakers
Hand Shakers
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: at least the second episode
One-line summary: boy who loves fixing mechanical things has to hold hands and fight
I've since finished this and... I liked it.
I'd been gagging to watch this. It sounded like a treat. The reviews I'd read of this one were mouth-watering, with phrases like:
1. "This is the kind of anime that will have you literally begging for mercy."
2. "This isn't just the absolute nadir of the season - it might very well be one of the worst anime of the past decade."
3. "It came in dead last every single week in our user ratings this season, a first for ANN, even in a season that wasn't remotely short on hot garbage that just couldn't quite reach Hand Shakers's indomitable level of badness."
Obviously it jumped to the front of my queue, but I don't get it. What's meant to be so bad about this?
The show's aiming for visual style. There's a point-of-view shot for the protagonist (?) that's been rendered fish-eye style. The CGI is in-your-face and sometimes surreal. More than once, a giant goldfish swims past in mid-air. The episode's baddie attacks you with CGI chains. I quite liked all this, although I understand it's given some viewers motion sickness. The crowd scenes are particularly impressive, with far more people on-screen than you'd expect in TV animation. They're moving and acting independently. I'm pretty sure they're computer-generated, but it's still striking.
The story is fairly straightforward, although the plotting is disjointed. Tazuna's a schoolboy who doesn't like having to deal with other people and prefers fixing mechanical things. He's so fixated on this, in fact, that he's capable of making himself late because he happened to walk past a car that needed work. This is standard anime fare. Create a protagonist to appeal to the target audience, who are assumed to be anti-social loners. It's not particularly original, but it's not painful or anything and I quite liked Takatsuki Tazuna's scene with his student council president.
Later in the episode, he's going to get involved with: (a) people who want to fight for no reason that's clear to us at the moment, and (b) a girl in hospital who'll die if he lets go of her hand. That's going to be inconvenient over the course of twelve episodes.
What's bad? Well, the baddie's dragging around a chained-up girl on her hands and knees. That's sexualised in an unsettling way. The female characters' breasts are also distracting and silly. Otherwise, though, it seemed fine. I liked the visuals, although this puts me in a minority. The storytelling's not very organic and I've no idea what's happening in that fight, but I still want to continue. This show's been bashed so hard that I need to see what I'm missing. I'm sure the plot's about to fall apart, but what the hell.
jigoku shoujo
Hell Girl: The Fourth Twilight
Jigoku Shoujo: Yoi no Togi
Season 4
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: people send themselves and other people to hell
Well, that was dark.
Hell Girl can be summoned by visiting her website at midnight. She'll appear before you and offer a contract to have someone sent to hell and tortured for eternity. Anyone at all, no questions asked. Nice. The downside, though, is that you'll go to hell too. The only difference is that your victim will go there immediately, whereas you'll live out your life normally and just go to hell after dying, in the usual way.
This raises some questions. Firstly, isn't the whole process guaranteed to attract evil unhinged bastards? Sensible people who make good choices wouldn't be getting involved, by definition. Secondly, there's an issue of justice. Anyone could be a victim of this process. Even the world's most kind-hearted saint could still get sent to be tortured in hell for eternity. You just need someone to have it in for you. It could be for any reason at all. Maybe they think you're the one who ran over their dog. Maybe it's due to something you did when you were five years old, that you don't even remember.
This week's episode involves a girl (Mayama Shizuka) who's being bullied by text message. The episode itself is tackling (in a very dark way) the phenomenon of people who don't like social interaction and will be looking at their phones even if you're talking to them. (Another character suggests just not reading the messages, but Shizuka can't even attempt that.) Anyway, we feel sorry for Shizuka. She's in a horrible situation. However her chosen solution is, uh, not best and her judgement calls don't look too reliable either.
Yeeeesh. The show looks very good, if you're into that kind of thing. It's psychological horror. However I can live without twelve episodes of this in my life, not counting the three previous seasons. Sympathetic characters go to hell, through their own or other people's bad decisions. That's the show's format. I'm sure lots of evil people go there too, but... yow.
hey bot
Heybot!
Episode 15 (continuing from 2016)
24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: vulgar gag anime for children
It's the farting, puking comedy for kiddies with a closing title song about underpants! Come here for cheap gags! (This week they're mostly about Japanese New Year.) Untranslatable puns, culture-specific silliness and an unconscious man being revived by having something shoved up his bottom! The episode doesn't really have a plot and I'm less tempted to continue than I was after watching ep.1 last year, although the show's still amusing.
They also still have the "screw" thing. In Japanese, the word "screw" isn't a euphemism for "sex" and so this children's show can be screw-themed in a harmlessly innocent way. They play screwminton and have screw-driven robots. (Clockwork?) Everyone's always talking about screws, which in that language just means small grooved metal cylinders. In English... well, no. They're talking filth. That said, it's occurred to me that the English subtitles could have shown a little imagination and translated "neji" as "bolt", since a lot of these so-called screws are bolts. (They're not pointed. They don't have notched heads. They're nuts and bolts.) However the translators aren't even trying to avoid innuendo, so we have the following quotes:
Yoo-hoo! Say "screw"!
Screw!
Instead of sacred ropes, we have Screw Ropes!
For the coming year on Screw Island, let's loosen and tighten the Screw Pillar once again!
Start the New Year with a good screw here!
Yes, every year Screw Island is at the top of the world happiness rankings.
There's a detective sent to investigate the happiness of screwing. There's a boy who wants to be the protagonist and challenges Nejiru Nejiru to a duel. There's a blonde girl who wants to be the love interest. The regular cast are all under twelve. Mind you, there are also some amusing scuzzball robots, whose New Year wishes are things like "world domination!" or "I want to get money without working".
It's quite amusing. I like it, in a distant way. I could imagine someone watching a random episode because they'd heard about the innuendo storm, but I shouldn't think many people beyond primary school age would still be watching it the following week as well.
star-myu
High School Star Musical
Starmyu
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: pretty boys at stage school
I've since finished this and... I found it kind of anonymous. I preferred Season 1.
First thought: I bet I won't end up watching this. Look at the title!
Second thought: hang on, didn't I watch all of Season 1 in 2015? It was quite good.
It's exactly what you're imagining, but with musical numbers. I don't mean on-stage. I mean that this series is itself a musical. Every so often it'll stop the plot so that someone can express their feelings in song and dance. The first one (of two) in this episode has crotch-wiggling.
It begins with everyone saying hello to each other, including the twin sisters. It's only a cameo, but they made me laugh in Season 1 and it's nice to have at least some girls in what's otherwise a 100% male cast. Someone announces that "Tsukigami Haruto is my god." We also learn that there's going to be a stage show that includes five training roles reserved for second years who'll perform alongside their seniors. There will be auditions.
Nothing here surprised me and I certainly wouldn't have kept watching if I hadn't known the cast already from Season 1. I did, though, so I'll be watching the rest of this.
High and Low G Sword Amamiya Brothers
HiGH&LOW g-sword Amamiya Brothers
Season 1
Episodes: 5 x 1 minute
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: bobble-head Flash anime
High & Low: The Movie was a 2016 Japanese live-action film, but also part of a "comprehensive entertainment project" including movies, television series, a CLAMP manga, an original album and a live show tour. I'm guessing that this anime is part of that, but it seems awfully cheap. I was assuming that it was either improvised dialogue or real people being interviewed, but then a bird talked.
Two motorcycle couriers talk about their job. There's some dialogue that makes you go "I think that was meant to be funny". It's Flash-animated in the kind of style you normally only see in cut-price DVD extras. I couldn't force myself to watch the rest of this series even with only five one-minute episodes.
himouto umaru chan
Himouto! Umaru-chan R
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: hell yes
One-line summary: appalling slob of a little sister
I've since finished this and... it's perhaps slightly watered down from Season 1, but still great fun.
This show is great. I loved Season 1 and I'm sure I'll love Season 2 too. I was always guaranteed to watch all of this.
Our anti-heroine is Umaru-chan and she has multiple identities.
1. To the outside world, she's Miss Perfect.
2. To her long-suffering brother, she's a human leech, guzzling junk food and playing computer games all day. (This Umaru is so shameless that she's adorable.)
3. To her self-appointed blue-haired rival, Sylphynford Tachibana, she's ace gamer UMR.
This episode has all the usual fun, plus a soccer match in which one of Umaru's classmates appears to be an oni with horns. However there's also something very unusual for Umaru - insecurity about making friends. "What if I try to talk to people and they say no?" (They don't. She and her three friends, Ebina, Tachibana and Kirie, go home from school together.) There are some signs in this episode that Umaru's worst tendencies might be starting to come into conflict with some new-found empathy and being nice to her friends. I'm happy to see where this ends up going.
Hina Logic from Luck and Logic
Hina Logic: from Luck & Logic
Hina Logi: from Luck & Logic
Season 1 (but it's a spin-off)
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: antics at magic school
The parent show was a waste of time, but I watched it anyway and sort of enjoyed it. This looks like an even bigger waste of time and I'll be avoiding it.
2016 show: "logic" means "magic" for the teenagers who are defending Earth against the gods!
2017 show: mankind won. No more nasty invading gods. No one needs to fight monsters any more, which is oddly a slight problem when you've got teenagers with magic powers at a magic school. What should we do? Answer: run around like idiots and have two bath scenes an episode!
I'll give this show one thing. Its cast are bigger goofballs than the completely different cast of the parent series. However they're also a bit manic, which generally comes across as brainless. You want them to calm down. They have comedy traits, but at the end of the day they still seem one-dimensional and you don't feel as if you've got to know them. The protagonist is Liones Yelistratova, who's the naive princess of a small nation. She's loud, clumsy and unintelligent in a comedy way, but also enthusiastic and well-meaning. There's a girl who's obsessed with aliens, and... you know, I can't remember any of the other characters. They existed. It's just that I can't remember them. They don't matter.
I'd been intending to watch this show. I'd already watched Luck & Logic, after all, which set an embarrassingly low hurdle for any sequels or spin-offs. Beetles could have stepped over it, but this show didn't manage to.
Hinako-Note
Hinako Note
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: eccentric schoolgirls and drama club
I've since finished this and... it's okay, but forgettable.
It looks unremarkable, but nice. It's about some girls. The main character is a country bumpkin who's just moved to Tokyo and has a habit of turning into a scarecrow when nervous. (It's not a physical transformation. She just sticks her arms out horizontally and stops moving. Birds then fly up and sit on her, which you'd expect to be the opposite of what a scarecrow's meant to do.)
Other characters include a book-eating girl, a small maid and their landlord. This looks like a fairly generic anime, but I quite enjoyed this episode and half the cast so far have a quirk I've never seen before.
Hitorigurashi Shougakusei
Hitorigurashi no Shougakusei
Latchkey Grade Schooler
Season 1
Episodes: 10 x 3 minutes
Keep watching: yes
One-line summary: nine-year-old runs cafe, badly
I've since finished this and... it's a weird, charming combination of dark and light-hearted.
The screen's a weird shape! It's tall and thin. It's as if someone took a widescreen TV and turned it on its side. A bit of googling tells me that this anime was made for mobile phones.
Anyway, our heroine is a nine-year-old orphan. Her parents died and she's running a cafe, but she has idiot customers and no cooking ability. The only thing she can make is somen noodles (since she doesn't have the ingredients for anything else) and she's bad at that.
It's fairly unremarkable, but it's character-based and the people seem nice. It's only three-minute episodes. What the hell.
Hitorijime Hero
Hitorijime my Hero
Season 1
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: boys' love
I'm dropping this show mostly because I'm not in the mood. Nothing wrong with boys' love, but it's not what I normally choose to watch. Not enough girls in it. However I've read that this is actually quite a good series, even managing to avoid some of the dodgier pitfalls of the genre.
That said, though, I also found the episode a bit confusing. Everyone's got Anime Face, which means it can be hard to tell the characters apart and you'd need psychic powers to tell that Boy X is supposed to be more handsome than Boy Y. I'm used to this, obviously, but here the plot didn't help. Boy hangs out with criminals, although it looks as if he doesn't really want to. Other (notorious) boy beats up criminals, possibly for fun. Suddenly the episode jumps to a scene with younger boys. Is this a flashback to their school days? No, it's just different characters, as becomes clear when Notorious Boy walks in and one of the younger boys is his brother.
Everyone goes to school, including the criminals. (They're hanging around at the school gate, looking for their reluctant friend.) Pretty Boy joins school and girls pester Childhood Friend to find out if Pretty Boy has a girlfriend. Someone is a teacher. Eventually I think I sort of pieced together who's who (brothers, old friends, etc.), but then the episode ended.
It seemed okay, but equally it didn't sell itself to me. I'm not the target audience, though.
hozuki.no.reitetsu
Hozuki no Reitetsu
Hozuki's Coolheadedness
Season 2
Episodes: 12 x 24 minutes
Keep watching: no
One-line summary: deadpan workplace comedy in Hell
I watched Season 1 of this in 2014 and it was okay, but I hadn't been planning to continue if a Season 2 came along. This episode didn't change my mind. It's a comedy set in Hell, with a cast of demons, gods, torturers, etc. That probably sounds fun. It is. However:
(a) if you're not Japanese, you won't get all the cultural references. This isn't the Christian Hell.
(b) it's got no story and the cast aren't trying to be likeable. They're still memorable and fun anyway, after their fashion, but I feel as if I've done this series. I've seen thirteen episodes. That's enough. I don't think I'd get much from continuing.
This episode shows us Hozuki's childhood and plays with Japanese mythology. There's a Sazae-san joke. Hozuki's goldfish plants are still freaky and it all looks cool, but basically it's a dramatically static gag show. (Like the Zetsubou-sensei manga.) If you've never seen this, though, it might be worth checking out a random episode out of curiosity.