The GDB Power Rankings: Summer 2017, Week 1

Welcome to the Giga Drill Breakdown Power Rankings, a new feature we’ll be adding to the site! Every week, Buggy, Urtag, LittleCrow, Taluun, and Watashi will be tracking their thoughts on the season by ranking their five favorite episodes from the week.

This week covers the start of the season through (roughly) July 8th.

Buggy

  1. Kakegurui (ep1)
  2. Made in Abyss (ep1)
  3. Tsuredure Children (ep1)
  4. Knight’s & Magic (ep1)
  5. Vatican Miracle Examiner (ep1)

Kakegurui had the strongest premiere for me, with a style reminiscent of Prison School and the tension and mind games you’d expect of a show about gambling. However, it was Made in Abyss that actually had me most interested in what the series would do moving forward. It has an absolutely gorgeous and interesting world that I can’t wait to see more of, and I expect it’ll be the strongest contender this season’s best show.

As for my other shows this week, Tsuredure Children is a cute comedy whose jokes really landed for me, Vatican Miracle Examiner is a premise fairly unique for anime that has me curious, and Knight’s & Magic, despite looking generic at first glance, just has a ton of heart to it that I can’t help but get behind. I don’t expect amazing things from any of these like I do with my top two, but they were enjoyable enough that I’m happy to see where they go.

Urtag

  1. Welcome to the Ballroom (ep1)
  2. Kakegurui (ep1)
  3. Restaurant to Another World (ep1)
  4. Knight’s & Magic (ep1)
  5. Tsuredure Children (ep1)

Welcome to the Ballroom is probably my most anticipated show of the season and episode 1 has delivered on the hype for me. Kakegurui also had a strong opening episode to introduce the main character and the insanity that goes on at the school. The facial expressions that the rival character makes were legitimately insane and portrayed her well. Restaurant to Another World has so far been my favorite SoL show this season. The maid and the restaurant owner are a great duo.

A show that surprised me was Knight’s & Magic, I had initially wrote it off as another fantasy isekai story but the first episode intrigued me and I hope that it continues like this. It also had better animated mechs than most shows. Finally we have Tsuredure Children which combined the right amount of romance and and comedy that left me feeling satisfied, with all the confessions out the way I look forward to see how the couple’s progress.

LittleCrow

  1. Welcome to the Ballroom (ep1)
  2. Made in Abyss (ep1)
  3. Kakegurui (ep1)
  4. My Hero Academia s2 (ep14)
  5. Restaurant to Another World (ep1)

Welcome to the Ballroom and Made in Abyss are really on the same level. Both offer gorgeous, expressive animation and a deep world mythos ripe for exploration, though in different ways. Everything about the two was an absolute treat from beginning to end, but Ballroom edges out to number one by virtue of having a MC that’s a touch more relatable, at least for me. I’ve never cared to actually learn to ballroom dance before, though I do enjoy seeing it performed, but Welcome to the Ballroom and its young, earnest protagonist make me want to try.

Kakegurui gives us a new anime with an aesthetic very similar to Prison School, and equally as fetishist. It wouldn’t surprise me if the mangaka, art lead, and/or studio were the same. My Hero Academia is back for its second cour with a new OP that I’m not too keen on and a fantastically fun ED. While the overall episode wasn’t too great, it did its job of old character reintroduction and new character introduction well. Finally, what appears to be this season’s “iyashikei” in Restaraunt to Another World, offering a look into a small professional chef’s interesting dual lifestyle as he serves both humans of our world, and at night the denizens of a fantasy world (including a dragoness!).

Taluun

  1. Made in Abyss (ep1)
  2. LOVE and LIES (ep1)
  3. Knight’s & Magic (ep1)
  4. Welcome to the Ballroom (ep1)
  5. Fate/Apocrypha (ep1)

Made in Abyss was a show that I expected to love after looking over the staff and they did not disappoint for me. It was filled with gorgeous shots whether they were of the entire community, the abyss, or just the interior of a build. Alongside the art it had very memorable songs throughout, especially the insert song near the end. It had an almost haunting tone to the music accompanied with a very strained voice that sold me on the characters’ fear of the pit.

For the remaining shows I would have to say LOVE and LIES, Knight’s & Magic, Welcome to the Ballroom, and Fate/Apocrypha. LOVE and LIES has beautiful characters and has high school characters who actually act like high school kids. Knight’s & Magic was a show that I didn’t expect to like but it was so sincere that I couldn’t help but be enthralled by it. Throw in a cute childhood friend and I’m sold. Welcome to the Ballroom was everything I expected it to be; great characters, inspiring conclusions, over-the-top determination and some slapstick gags. Fate/Apocrypha gave us some very well animated sequences in the intro as well as a bit of a spin on the traditional holy grail wars.

Watashi

  1. Welcome to the Ballroom (ep1)
  2. Kakegurui (ep1)
  3. Made in Abyss (ep1)
  4. Fastest Finger First (ep1)
  5. Tsuredure Children (ep1)

My favorite manga of all time has finally received an anime adaptation by Production I.G, and they have truly perfected it. The perks of the medium are fully utilized, and I will be damned if I ever hear footsteps that sound as crisp as in Welcome to the Ballroom.

Kakegurui is another series that I am familiar with the source material, and also happens to be one of my favorites. I was initially turned off by the choice of Saori Hayami but her good side comes out as each gamble heats up. I love the energy, by both her and the series as a whole, and I believe this to be one of the prime examples of excellent farce.

Made in Abyss’s world is easily the most interesting I’ve seen from this season. Though I have major issues with how some of the characters look, I am already inclined to list this among the greats when it comes to background visuals. This world is gorgeous, both on a creative level and the aesthetic.

Fastest Finger First is almost exactly as how I predicted it to be. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It is a sports series through and through, most easily comparable to Yowamushi Pedal, or Chihayafuru. What distinguishes these series from each other the most are the sports that they play, and I am completely sold on the idea, as well as the execution here. Just a very overall strong series.

The only other show I enjoyed in this first week of Summer 2017 anime is Tsuredure Children. Not to take anything away from it, of course. This collection of short love stories is such a simple idea but I am already a fan. The most obvious comparison is Honobono Log, which would just as easily fit into this series. This series basically just has to keep churning out a heartfelt story or two each week, and I will stay captivated.

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