Spring 2017 – First Episode Roundup

There is a lot of anime on offer this season. What kind of start has it gotten off to? Let’s check out some first episodes!

As there are too many new series each season to get full, weekly reviews from Clouded – as I clearly need more staff and far too many shows not worthy of following – this seems like an interesting way to get a handle on more than just what gets picked up.

Sure, it might be about 4-5 episodes in to the new season by now, but better late than never! Without further ado, here are some quick looks at a few Spring 2017 series premieres!

Alice to Zouroku

A double episode? What is this witchcraft? Well it turned out to be quite a ride. Reminiscent of Elfen Lied but with far less ultra-violence and nudity, this premiere stokes some embers of sci-fi action and a heartwarming slice of life, but doesn’t really deliver on either of them. The charming nature of Zouroku and Sana’s relationship is fun right off the bat, and probably the reason to keep watching this show. As for the action, it is so heavily CGI dependent in some truly horrible sequences – but it kind of grew on me a little by the end. It just seems so odd how the car could be mostly 3D CGI and then suddenly properly animated, while the visualizations of the psychic powers were at best average.
First Episode Score: 6.8/10 

Atom: The Beginning 

Definitely one of the stand-out series of the season, Atom: The Beginning is a prequel to the extremely well-known Astro Boy or Captain Atom that has spawned numerous TV series, games, movies, and beyond. This entry is just absolutely beautiful, with a similar call-back to the classic art-design of its origination kind of like the fantastic Gundam Unicorn. It’s quite a sight in glorious HD. The plot and setting are quite interesting as well, with the explosive development of robotics following a large catastrophe. This series follows the exploits of Dr. Umataro, Ochanomizu, and their ‘robot with a heart’ A106 through the development of AI and the path to the creation of Astro Boy. If that doesn’t sound cool enough on its own, the show is super heartwarming already and bound to be full of action. The animation and use of 3D CGI are masterfully done.
First Episode Score: 9.2/10

Attack on Titan S2

This series probably needs no introduction. If you have yet to be caught up in the insanity that is Attack on Titan (or Shingeki no Kyojin for the purists), it’s about time to binge. Pretty much everything that was the first season is back here in a similar manner – crazy high-tension characters, dope action scenes, beautiful art and animation, and comically slow scenes in-between. It feels like more of the same, and that’s great. There are so many great plot moments, twists, and revelations to be had this season. The newly re-hashed OP is not good though, but the ED is fantastic in its creepiness.
First Episode Score: 8.5/10

Clockwork Planet

I had interesting expectations for this as well. The concept is really quite out there and unique, with the entire planet being made of clockwork or automata. And in a way, that concept delivers, but a lot of other parts of this first episode fall short. In kind of the opposite situation as Alice to Zouroku, there are a few truly beautiful moments of 3D CGI here, like when RyuZU’s body opens up, but the rest of the animation and character designs are sub-par at best. Although the setting is intriguing, the story is shaping up to be a typical male MC finds a robot girl that is tied to him forever kind of deal, but at least 20x more shounen than something like Chobits and even less compelling than C3.
First Episode Score: 5.2/10

Eromanga-Sensei

This one is certainly going to be popular for all the reasons you would expect. A high-school light novel author is paired up with an illustrator that he’s never even met, and they somehow do great work together. In a totally unrelated part of the story, he has a ridiculously moe step-imouto, that is not related by blood *cough*, that hasn’t come out of her room in the year since their parents died in an accident. If you haven’t written the rest of the plot by this point, I can’t help you. And if you feel as if you’ve heard this somewhere before, you’ve probably seen Oreimo, by the same creator. Despite my best intentions to be a wholesome and upstanding citizen, this series is just way too cute. The art and character designs are fantastic and the characters are played very well. The second episode really cements the comedy of the series, and the inevitable romance. Oh, did I say that they’re not blood related?
First Episode Score: 7.8/10 

Sagrada Reset

I could barely even sit through the whole first episode. Not without some trepidation, I had decent expectations that this series could be another interesting entry in the psychic-powered high school kids save the day genre. It might be a little deeper than that, being one of its few redeeming factors, but the pace and animation and art just bog this down so much. It all feels so oddly cheap and lifeless.
First Episode Score: 4.0/10 

Tsugumomo

This feels like a bit of a cross between Tenchi Muyo (or its many related series) and Inuyasha. It reminds me, especially through the OP, that I haven’t really watched any demon or spirit-based shows in a while – slice-of-life or otherwise. But there is one clear reason why I had to watch this. The voice of Satania (Oozora Naomi)from Gabriel DropOut returns as the tsukumogami Kiriha and puts pretty much the same kind of spin the character. Its a little bit supernatural, a little bit ecchi slice-of-life, but overall it seems to blend quite well. The only character design that really matters is nice and the action scenes seem promising.
First Episode Score: 7.0/10

Thanks for reading! What series are you watching this season? Tell us in the comments.

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