The year is rapidly coming to a close, and here at Mithical Entertainment we find ourselves reflecting on the wild ride that was 2017. Politics and the “real world” aside, there was some quality entertainment delivered this year, as well as some unfortunate disappointments. A handful of us have decided to share our top picks from the year, representing the very best of 2017.
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futabi Hen (Descending Stories)
Every season, dozens of new anime series wash over eager fans like an unrelenting tide. Of these shows, a handful often stand out. Yet, very rarely you have a show that stands out not just for its season, but for the medium as a whole. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu was one such series when it debuted in 2016, and its 2nd and final season, which aired in the early months of 2017, was a superbly beautiful capstone. Telling a story that unfolded over decades, with rich character complexity, and a particularly impressive cast of voice actors, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu’s final two episodes really drove the series home as one of my top series of the last decade. A spectacular journey that should not be missed.
My Hero Academia
It’s hard to talk about 2017 without mentioning the powerhouse series that was My Hero Academia finally making its debut. Taking many of the shonen tropes and executing them on an entirely different level, My Hero Academia showcased a purposefully constructed and well-paced universe, compelling heroes, a fantastic score and superb animation. It’s definitely earned the top spot on many lists, and for good reason. Looking forward to its continuation in 2018!
Best Video Game
Horizon Zero Dawn
This year we go to see some serious game studio failures, such as EA and its Battlefront 2 fiasco, and Bungie’s poor handling of the Curse of Osiris expansion, just to name the two most recent examples. Yet, there were also some surprises from relatively small studios as well. Studio MDHR released the immensely popular Cuphead, and Guerilla Games stunned gamers with their release of Horizon Zero Dawn. Previously known for their work on Killzone, folks weren’t sure what to expect as the studio developed an open-world action title.
Yet, when Horizon Zero Dawn finally arrived, critics and gamers everywhere fell in love. With crisp controls, breathtaking graphics and heart-pounding combat, not to mention a world rich with lore and history, Horizon Zero Dawn rapidly gained popularity following release, and has earned a top spot among gamers in 2017. Unfortunately, it had to compete with another heavy hitter this year – Nintendo’s latest Legend of Zelda entry, Breath of the Wild. For me, Horizon Zero Dawn still takes the top spot if for no other reason than the fantastic universe that it occupied. The idea of a post-apocalyptic society so far removed from the cataclysm that whole religions have evolved and matured in the time that had passed was unique and interesting. Aloy is a fantastic protagonist, and the graphics on the game really help set a new standard. My pick of the year, without a doubt.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
All that being said, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a tremendous game as well. Link’s latest adventure featured a broad and rich world with no shortage of things to do, with over 100 temples to explore and conquer, countless pieces of weapons and armor, side-quests galore and 900+ sentient seeds scattered about to find and collect. The combat was crisp and challenging, but remained rewarding throughout. Scoring high marks across the board, Breath of the Wild is certainly one of the most memorable and exciting Legend of Zelda entries we’ve seen in quite some time.
My Hero Academia
My favorite anime from this year has to be My Hero Academia season 2. MHA added more depth to a variety of already well developed characters. If the series ever wanted to pull the rug out from under the audience and kill Midoriya, there are still plenty of other characters that could fill the lead role and keep me coming back for more. Rather than fill the season with villains, the majority of the arc deals with the young heroes coming into their own. The tournament allowed for some fantastic matchups and showed off many new character abilities. Motivations were flushed out and presented in spectacular fashion. The few episodes that focused on villains were outstanding, especially the students’ encounter with Stain. With Midoriya finally learning how to harness All-For-One, season 3 is set to be the most thrilling installment yet.
Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
I know it didn’t come out this year, but I wanted to highlight Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood since I saw it for the first time this year. To be honest, most of the Anime I have ever seen, I watched in 2017. FMA stood out as the most engaging and satisfying anime I have seen to date. The character development is astounding. The voice acting could not be better. And don’t get me started on the phenomenal writing, animation and sound score. The Elric brothers’ story is unbelievably moving and powerful. I couldn’t help but binge watch the show with every free moment at my disposal. I have since started to rewatch the series and it’s even better the second time around. Plus now I understand all those depressing FMA memes out there now… Which is good and bad because a part of my soul died watching that scene… You know the scene. Yeah, that one.
In any case, I can’t wait to watch even more anime in 2018 and see if anything can dethrone FMA as my favorite anime of all time.. Sorry DBZ.
Best Video Game
Doki Doki Literature Club
My favorite game of the year was a huge surprise, Doki Doki Literature Club. This game came out of nowhere for me, but it impacted me more than any game has in ages. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, just play it without looking anything up. Oh yeah – did I mention it’s free?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild & Horizon Zero Dawn
My very close runner ups are Breath of the Wild and Horizon Zero Dawn. I know, I know, these two aren’t original to say the least, but what can I say? I love the Zelda series and this one was such a Breath of fresh air (no pun intended). Then of course there is Horizon and just wow, new IP?! You can hardly tell, the story really sucked me in and they did so many elements that were taken from previous games. Difference is they took those elements and made them borderline perfect.
Offering a fresh and comedic story, Aho Girl definitely takes the spot as best anime of 2017. With a great cast of characters and a vignette style of storytelling, Aho Girl manages to avoid feeling stale. The comedy is both childish and raunchy, but doesn’t ever feel too crude. All in all, the perfect anime to watch after a tough day at work.
Attack on Titan Season Two
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Best Video Game
The latest run and gun indie game came and shot me down with its amazing animation. Cuphead is a stunning masterpiece of a videogame. While the gameplay can feel a little repetitive, the original jazz soundtrack and hand drawn animations will leave you feeling captivated and nostalgic. It’s definitely a game where you come for the novelty and stay for the knockout.
Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria Simulator
Favorite Video Game
While I don’t have a clear-cut “best of the year” label to throw out, I do want to draw attention to a game that really pleasantly surprised me – Sundered. “Creepy” is a wonderful, but difficult atmosphere to achieve, and Sundered does a wonderful job at creating a beautiful world that makes the player question every new room and every noise in the distance. The controls are smooth and fluid – perfect for a platformer. At times I found the difficulty level a little frustrating (the occasional mobs that are unbeatable), but it added a little bit of desperation to push faster and further. A great game for anyone who likes a bit of mystery and Lovecraftian fare in their adventures.
Doki Doki Literature Club
Food Wars – The Third Plate
My favorite anime for the year has to go to Food Wars. I’m three seasons in, having binged the whole series in a month, and still wonder how an anime about cooking can be so exciting. It has a very nice balance of comedy and action (again, still not sure how) that really brings out the great characters. Not only do they face success, there are times where they even fail in what they do and grow from it. I can’t wait to see how the third season will turn out, but it’s definetly on my must watch list for anyone on the fence.
Best Video Game
Europa Universalis 4
Game of the year, is a bit harder. This being my most active year for gaming. But if you were to look at my steam account it would probably have to go to Europa Universalis 4. I’ve never experienced a game before that had so much replayability without altering a single thing on the map as a whole. With an active moding community to back it and regular DLC expansions and updates, the game never losses it’s edge.
That’s All Folks!
We wanted to thank our readers for joining us through this fun-filled year. As we move into a new name and new space, we look forward to transforming “Mithical Entertainment” into “The Geekly Grind”, and continuing to provide all of you with the best anime, video game and geek culture content that we can create!
Happy New Year Everyone – here’s to a fantastic 2018!