This summer season was rather bare when it came to anime premieres. Personally, I found the best shows of the 2017 Summer season to be those that had another cour to its season (My Hero AcademiaRe: CreatorsRage of Bahamut: Virgin SoulBoruto, etc.). There were a few diamonds in the rough that made some impact this season, to the point where I think some would be interesting to air on Toonami. While it wasn’t the most optimal in choices in the overall simulcast landscape, a lot of the better shows (in my mind) this season happened to air on Anime Strike (which has its issues, as well as a smaller audience compared to other streaming services). I could get into a whole different topic about the limited number of viewers Anime Strike probably had, but that’s not the point of this article. Anime Strike had a lot of phenomenal shows that I do hope receive a dub, whoever picks up the license (especially whoever gains the home media release rights to Re: Creators). Many could easily air on Toonami and win a lot of fans.

Re: Creators

This was the big one. Re: Creators was the series that many were talking about back in the spring season, and for good reason. It was an anime original that explored the idea of what would happen if popular anime, manga, and video game characters transported to the world they were created from. That alone lead to an interesting concept, considering the types of conversations each creation wanted to have with their creator. Instead, we follow Sota, who wishes to be a creator but seems to either have lost his nerve to create or doubts his abilities to create. He is then in the middle of a battle between different creations and does his best to support the creations who want to save the world.

The visuals in this series were stunning. The music can be played on repeat day after day. The fight scenes and choreography of this series did not disappoint. I can go on and on about the technical merits of this series, as I felt it never failed (even though I’m sure some episodes didn’t look as crisp as others). However, what pulled me in was the script. The script for Re: Creators was the best thing about the show, which was able to convey the struggle that artists face when they doubt themselves. Sota doubts his ability. He’s afraid that he’ll never be as good as a friend of his, to the point where, when people started to gang up on his friend saying that she either stole her work or isn’t that good, Sota took a little satisfaction from that.

Another aspect that I didn’t pick up on until later that the script did a great job with was what ANIME NOW! writer Richard Eisenbeis brought up about being able to confront “our” creator. All the characters that surfaced in the real world had a chance to meet with their creator to discuss all sorts of things (besides Metoroa). Some wanted to know what motivated them to make such a horrible world where they have nothing but hardships for the entertainment of the masses. Which is something that you could easily relate to with the kind of tragedies that happen in the world today. Each character had a chance to ask their unique questions to their creators to hopefully find the answer, why.

Re: Creators could easily be one of the best shows of the entire year when you put everything together. You have all of the aspects that anime fans want, with fights, music, animation, etc. Being able to make you think on all different aspects of life, like what we’d say to our creator, or making sense going into a world you know nothing about, made this a natural selection for this article. It has everything that makes anime a pleasure to watch, and I think it can resonate with the Toonami fan base. Not to mention, the premise of the anime certainly feels like a breath of fresh air compared to all the shōnen series that have been on recently. The dub of this series premiering on Toonami would be a dream come true and one I hope a lot of fans ask (politely) for the block to air.

Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul

Another sequel series tops my list and one that is vastly underrated when it comes to publicity. Rage of Bahamut: Genesis was an enjoyable series that offered both action and comedy (and had a phenomenal dub) by FUNimation. It’s a story that takes place back in Medieval times, where Gods, Humans, and Demons all fight for supremacy. Thanks to what happened in the first 13 episodes all seemed right in the world. However, the new king of humanity finds the power to control both demons and Gods and then shifts the power dramatically, as well as out of order. In Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul we follow Nina, a young girl who travels to the capital city for the first time to see what the world has to offer.

What instantly pulled me into this series was how likable Nina is as the main character. She’s relatable, with how she gets embarrassed around attractive men, but also offers traits that male viewers enjoy (namely her dragon strength). Nina is also very expressive with her face, which made things either cute or funny. She quickly became a character who I wanted to root for, whether it be a battle she was in or her romantic situation. It was easy to tune in week after week to find out not only how the story progressed but how Nina would evolve as a character (especially talking with Jeanne about the topic of love).

For the show overall, the action and animation look either the same as the first season or even better. And I was pleased that Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul brought back those extended dance scenes that I equate their series too. This felt instead like a continuation that didn’t have any hiatus in between. To go along with that, the drama within each battle undoubtedly made things even more entertaining (especially when we reach the end of the series). Both the animation and choreography were tremendous and something that I think a lot of anime fans were looking forward to if they had seen the first season.

Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul also brought back all the essential players from season one, which produced a massive grin on my face when each one made their triumphant appearance. The returning characters stayed true to how they were in the first season and added an air of familiarity that felt satisfying. So fans of the franchise shouldn’t have any reservations about checking this series out. As those at Toonami Faithful have said, Toonami has become a bit of a “boys club” and adding a series that brings in a great female protagonist is something that I will get behind.

*(You can watch this series on Amazon’s channel Anime Strike)*

Made in Abyss

Much like Re: Creators, I heard a lot of hype about this series before jumping in (and how many were saddened that it was an Anime Strike exclusive). Seeing how much I enjoyed Re: Creators, I decided to watch Made in Abyss and was blown away like others who watched this series. As the staff writers at Anime News Network mentioned after the first episode, it has enormous appeal to viewers when there’s a mystery that’s just begging to be discovered. Wanting to know what was in the Abyss or what we could expect from it was all it needed to sink its fangs into you. To which this series does in spades. All it took was one episode, and I was immediately hooked. I found the premise interesting as we are taken to a world where an organization does all it can to find out the mysteries of the Abyss.

It was discovering more about the Abyss that had me excited every week. I wanted to know what Riko and Reg (our main heroes) would learn as they descended the world of the Abyss. And learning about each layer of the Abyss, the creatures that dwell within it, and the repercussions of descending was enjoyable to watch; it was the friendship of Riko and Reg (and later on Nanachi and Mitty) that put a nice bow on the series overall. Going into a new environment alone can be terrifying and it was nice how both characters knew that and began to rely on each other to keep themselves alive and safe.

However, the aspect that I think many fans would enjoy the most is how amazing the levels of the Abyss looked. Many layers had all kinds of surroundings and were so multifaceted that it would probably take around 4,000 to 6,000 words to clearly describe each one. The creatures that lurked around left me speechless at times and the imagination that Made in Abyss captures is truly special. The scenery was impeccable and was such a treat to watch every week.

As for its fit on Toonami, this can be looked at as a stretch pick. It doesn’t have as much action as some fans might like. However, when looking at series like Lupin the Third Part IV or Michiko and Hatchan, I think Made in Abyss does enough to warrant a selection. It makes you think about a lot of topics that can bring a tear to your eyes. It has many disturbing twists and turns toward the end that will make you an emotional wreck. I think it’s important to have more diversity of shows that make fans feel an abundance of different ways, instead of the same old story you get from the shōnen hero punching the face of an adversary. It becomes a dark series and one that can be tough to watch, but I think it’d be a welcomed pick, considering how good the series is.

*Warning: Where the series left off leaves you wanting more and I have no idea if another season will be made.

*(You can watch this series on Amazon’s channel Amine Strike)*

C.J’s Top 5 of the Summer Season 2017

1). Made in Abyss
2). Welcome to the Ballroom
3). Princess Principal
4). Classroom of the Elite
5). Gamers!

C.J Maffris is an editorial writer for Was there a show that C.J might have missed? Feel free to send in your Summer simulcast suggestions in the comment section. You can follow C.J on Twitter @SeaJayMaffris



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