2017 was another good year for anime shows, but it had more than a few bombs to balance out the brilliant and stunning. Despite great new shows like Garo-Vanishing Line, Black Clover, Juni Taisen: Zodiac War, and Kino’s Journey — some highly anticipated shows fell flat while others outright stunk. From poorly written story’s and boring episodes to cheap looking and poorly drawn animation, 2017 saw its fair share of bombs.
Along with the dumpy shows, were a handful of series’ that had incredibly high expectations. While these shows weren’t awful by any means, they were simply average. Despite their mediocracy, these were anime series’ that ranked high in popularity, but failed to deliver.
Anime set to release in 2018 looks extremely promising, however, with new seasons of Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, Tokyo Ghoul, Seven Deadly Sins, and Sword Art Online. Other anticipated newbies fans are looking forward to are Persona 5, Grancrest Senki, A.I.C.O Incarnation, and the Batman Ninja movie (which we hopefully won’t have to wait until 2019 for).
Positive notes to the 2017 anime year also included witnessing a broader western audience growth, along with a more public collaboration between western and Japanese production companies. It was also neat to see veteran writers, illustrators, composers, and producers getting the credit they deserve from the rest of the entertainment world.
But hey, enough with the chatter. Let’s revel in the biggest let downs and time wasted anime of this past year. From sequels to new content, here are the most disappointing and downright worst anime shows released in 2017.
20 The Incredibly Unappealing Story Of Hand Shakers
Considered by most to be one of the absolute worst anime of 2017, watching Hand Shakers was about as appealing as eating raw cauliflower without a dipping sauce. Directed by Hiromitsu Kanazawa and Shingo Suzuki, the show is about couples fighting against each other to gain a wish from God. They summon weapons called Nimrodes from their psyche by joining hands, and the last couple faces off with God.
Hand Shakers has plenty going wrong for it. The CG (computer graphics) were beyond awful, and we mean really bad. The music choices were poor, making the experience of watching it even worse, and the camera angles were jumpy. The storyline was super predictable, taking any suspense and throwing it out the window. Plus, the characters were bland and failed to capture the audience’s attention.
19 Disappointing: Alternate Timeline Holy Grail War In Fate/Apocrypha
I’m a huge fan of Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero, so naturally, I was super geeked about Fate/Apocrypha. The voice over work was done well and some fight scenes were great. But the biggest problem came from using an alternate timeline (which is often done when creative ideas run dry).
Fate/Apocrypha also has twice as many servants and masters (14) paired into two teams which are colored coded for some odd reason. With so many characters, it was difficult to identify with them, leaving a bland feeling after each episode. The creators also chose to speed up the storyline by allowing the heroic spirits to use their Noble Phantasms right off the bat. This made the battles too explosive, taking away the tension created by only using a Noble Phantasm when necessary.
18 From One Bad Season To The Next With Berserk
Based on the manga by Kentaro Miura and a sequel to the Golden Age Arc film trilogy, Berserk season two of the Hawk of the Millennium Empire Arc was not an improvement from season one. Decade long manga fans were thrilled about Berserk coming back, but were quickly disappointed by the shotty animation, a horrible soundtrack, and inconsistent CG.
The second season of Berserk gave audiences a weird blend of computer-generated animation with unnatural-looking scenes. Everything about the animation was awkward, from character movements to zooming in and out camera angles that left you feeling queasy. While die-hard Berserk fans are more willing to put up with the crappy animation, even they can’t tell you with a straight face that it didn’t have some serious flaws.
17 Punish Your Kids By Making Them Watch Forest Fairy Five
Forest Fairy Five is a kid’s anime based off an art book called Osoteki Kinoko Gijinka Zukan. Within the first minute of watching this anime, you’ll either have an LSD flashback or launch into a full-on seizure attack. The episodes are only 10 minutes long, but you’ll feel like you’ve been punished for a full 22 minutes. It’s so bad that you could put it on during a child’s time-out period and it would be worse than having to stand in the corner with your nose pressed into the wall.
From what we could tell, the story is about mushrooms and fairies in a land called Anime Kingdom. The voice over work was super cheap sounding, like it was recorded with actors calling in on their phones, and storyline was beyond boring. One reviewer commented that it was like watching the Teletubbies, but so much worse.
16 Over-The-Top Deviance Fails With Eromanga-Sensei
Written by Tsukasa Fushimi and illustrated by Hiro Kanzaki, Eromanga-Sensei is about two teenagers writing and illustrating light novels. Masamune Izumi is the writer and his secret illustrator turns out to be his sister Sagiri Izumi, who used the pen name Eromanga Sensei. The deviant comedic parts are funny at times, but it’s the only positive aspect of the series.
Fushimi made a mistake in putting too much focus on Izumi rather than Sagiri. And then made it worse by creating a pseudo-family-fun relationship between the two. The further into the series you get, the less attention the jokes get, making it more awkward than appealing. Unless you’re into this specific niche of anime, it’s best to take a pass and watch something else instead. Did I mention his sister is pretty young?
15 Horrible Adaptation From Manga With Clockwork Planet
Clockwork Planet is written by Yuu Kamiya and Tsubaki Himana, with illustrations done by Shino. The steam punk style story starts off with the whole world being run by clockwork. The anime fell very short of the manga series, making it seem like a completely different story at times. The steam punk style was essentially removed, and the story is easily forgettable.
Watching Clockwork Planet was more of a chore than an enjoyable experience, which is never a good thing. The character’s themselves fell flat and writing was downright atrocious. The season finale didn’t save or impress anyone, leaving audiences angry over its mediocracy and stunned that the manga was halfway decent. Add in bad animation and Clockwork Planet is one planet you’d be better off avoiding.
14 Disappointing: The Demon Inside Blue Exorcist Season 2
Blue Exorcist is an anime that had a decent first season but failed to deliver come season 2. The Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga resumes the story from where the anime splits off from the manga, essentially ignoring the last 8 episodes. While it’s truer to its original manga foundation, the character development in season 2 is poor because of the reset from season 1.
The biggest problem with the Blue Exorcist season 2 anime is that newcomers to the series will totally be lost and disappointed. Overall, it’s not a bad anime, it just wasn’t as good as most thought it would be. If you do invest your time, start with season one and maybe even do some reading of the manga (because reading graphic novels is just as entertaining).
13 Boy Blues With Super Lovers 2
If you’re not into boy love, then don’t even bother reading why this anime made the list. Super Lovers 2 isn’t on here because of boy love though, it’s considered one of the worst anime of 2017 because the writing and character arcs were downright boring and sad. Plus, having a full grown adult mess with a teenager’s emotions is a bit more disturbing than a normal audience can muster through.
Add in the story arc of Haru and Ren (the two main characters) becoming legal brothers, who are eight years apart, and are still who are pursuing a relationship, and this anime becomes very uncomfortable to watch. It should be noted that the brothers are also 8 years apart in age. The dysfunction carries over into every aspect of Super Lovers 2, especially with the characters making decisions most would never consider, even if you lived that lifestyle.
12 First Person POV Style Ruins One Room
One Room stands apart from other anime in that you never see the main character. The entire anime is shown through his eyes and in a first person viewpoint. While this seems like a neat concept, the style gets old quickly and it’s easy to lose interest in. It also doesn’t help that there is very little to no plot.
Each episode of One Room is only four to six minutes long and there are three stories told over the course of the season, with each story having a new girlfriend character. Not all anime lovers agree that this was one of the worst anime shows of 2017, but that’s mostly because they enjoy the first-person concept. Just because an idea is good though, doesn’t make the anime any less ill than it was created to be.
11 Pass On Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club
Curious about watching young girls learn to ride a bike? Even a young girl would be bored to tears watching this anime series. We’re not sure how this concept made it to production, but apparently, someone was on vacation or taking a seriously long nap. A children’s anime should be simple, but have something a child can take away each episode. The animation, however, was colorfully done and didn’t have a low budget or cheap feel to it.
With Minami Kamakura High School Girls Cycling Club, the only thing you or your child will get is a nap. The story is about a girl named Hiromi who meets Tomoe after crashing her bike. Tomoe takes it upon herself to teach Hiromi how to ride. Waiting for more? Nope, that’s it ya'll.
10 Disappointing: The Second Season Of Attack On Titan
Attack on Titan is a brilliantly written anime which captured hundreds of thousands of fans with its first season (me being one of them). This left season two as one of the most highly anticipated anime series’ of 2017. But the long wait didn’t seem to deliver the same impact as season one. Was there too much hype leading into it? Perhaps, but after the powerful first season, we believe the hype was justified.
Season three is set to release in 2018, and the word on the street is it will be what season 2 was supposed to be. Episode 12 of Attack on Titan titled “Scream” sums up the entire second season. There was no huge climax to the finale, and the overall feeling was one of unfulfillment. Get it together Wit studio. Thankfully, Tetsuro Araki and Masashi Koizuka are allegedly back in control for season 3.
9 Fan Service Unwanted In Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor
Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor isn’t considered ecchi, but it comes (no pun intended) painfully close. While a small amount of fan service can be tolerated, its baffling that Liden Films went so far down this road when they didn’t need to. The story had the potential to be engaging, and the magic concept would’ve worked great if it wasn’t for all the poor distractions.
Instead audiences were given cliché characters that fit the average anime trope. Akashic Records of Bastard Magical Instructor is about a magic school teacher whose lazy, but has a class full of students eager to learn. It’s not until a horrible incident threatens the school that the teacher decides to step up his magic game, taking his students by surprise.
8 Parody Flops With Renai Boukun Love Tyrant
Without including the awful live action version, Death Note is currently one of the most popular anime’s watched. Love Tyrant tries to play off the Death Note theme by having a book which forces two individuals to fall madly in love with each other regardless of gender. Instead of the book being called Death Note, it’s known as Kiss Note. Which would be fine if the characters had any depth to them.
If that cheesy explanation doesn’t turn you off, then perhaps the concept of the Kiss Note not playing a major role in the story will. The anime is highly repetitive, making the same lame jokes over and over again. Pile on a poorly written score and Renai Boukun Love Tyrant easily makes our list of worst anime in 2017.
7 Criminal Intent In My First Girlfriend Is A Gal
My First Girlfriend is a Gal is a Japanese manga series by Meguru Ueno. Nobody was expecting much from this anime, and it truly lived up to its expectations. Once again, the storyline is so disturbing that it's nearly impossible to concentrate on anything else. One of the lead characters (Junichi) is friends with a man named Minoru. Minoru is a bona-fide creep and should be behind bars. He has little girl’s homes marked on a map and becomes a kindergarten teacher.
While that should be enough to send most running the opposite direction, it gets worse when Junichi fits the creeper mold too. In what was apparently supposed to be a comedy, the anime comes off looking and sounding like a cheap creep flick found in a back-alley. If you get past the creep factor, you might enjoy the drama, but we doubt it.
6 Harem Clichés Take Tsugumomo Down
Tsugumomo is about Kazuya Kagami who finds out his mother’s kimono sash is an inanimate object that can come to life in a human form. The sash goes by the name Kiriha. The reason Kiriha came to life was to help Kagami’s mom with her exorcism duties. It turns out Kazuya also has a power within him to remove demon entities and is recruited as an amasogi exorcist.
Within Tsugumomo there are ethical issues that could have been explored, but instead, the anime concentrated on jokes and fan service. We won’t explore the plot issues based because you really don’t need to know. You might laugh a few times, but Tsugumomo fails on so many other levels that it lands right in the trash can.
5 Disappointed: Mashup Making Of King’s Game The Animation
King’s Game the Animation is about an entire high school class of 32 people who receive a message on their phones from an individual known only as King. Within the messages are orders that the students must follow, or risk being killed. Each message gets deadlier and more extreme as the series unfolds.
The opening sequence features Nobuaki, the only survivor of a previous version of this deadly game, with him screaming (there’s plenty of this through the entire series) as his girlfriend is chopped into little bits of human meat. If that opening image doesn’t rattle you, then we’re not sure what will. King’s Game was most likely trying to be like the Saw movies, but it left you feeling uncertain whether it was worth watching.
4 Couldn’t Get Past First Episode Of Dive!!
Dive!! is a young adult anime based on a novel series written by Eto Mori. The story is about a diving club known as the MDC (Mizuki Diving Club) with Tomoki Sakai being the lead. While most sports based anime for young adults tends to fall flat, Dive!! is a giant belly flop. The MDC is financially in trouble and sponsors are threatening to pull out. The only way the club can stay alive is if it sends someone to the Olympics.
For starters, we’re not sure when the Olympics became the standard for sponsored support groups, but we’ll give that a slight pass. It’s the horrible voice acting which really tanks this anime. Add an average job done with animation and very bland backdrops, and you’ve got another show not sticking the landing.
3 Kuzu No Honkai Storyline Misses The Mark
There were lots of mixed reviews regarding Kuzu no Honkai, which released in the winter season of 2017. It was supposed to be your atypical high school romance anime with a decent storyline and deep character development. Audiences instead received a bland and poorly written script. The score was decent enough, but the artwork was off the chains.
Sadly, animation can’t save underdeveloped characters with personality flaws that a teenager can’t relate to. The main redeeming quality to Kuzu no Honkai was the ending. It was fitted with a nice surprise and some gut-wrenching teenage moments, which were the only reason why this didn’t end up at the bottom of the dumpster. If you’re a tween looking for some relationship drama, this might be an anime you’d enjoy, but don’t hold your breath.
2 Idol Drama Makes Crumbles In Idol Incidents
Idol Incidents is about a parallel world to the one we live in today where Japan has more than its fair share of social problems. In an effort to save the country seven idol parties become Diet members and, by their song and dance, will rescue the nation. Idol Incidents was another 2017 anime that had potential, but couldn’t deliver on a decent final product.
The main characters will put you to sleep, and the anime can’t seem to decide which direction it wants to take. This just leaves the audience with a sense of anxiety that makes you want to flip to something else. Boring is the best way to describe this anime, but even that can’t sum up its overall feel. Ignoring the “cute” aspect, Idol Incidents is not worth the time.
1 Generic Foundation Supports Battle Girl High School
Battle Girl High School, also known as Battle Girl Project, is based on a COLOPL’s school action role-playing game. The story is set in the year 2045 with a world contaminated by alien invaders called Irousu. The only thing standing in the Irousu’s way from complete domination over humans is ordinary girls standing up to these creatures without weapons or an army.
The Shinjugamine Girls Academy is the focal point of this anime where the Hoshimori girls train to take back the world. Overall, there’s absolutely nothing special about Battle Girl High School. Bland characters and generic writing take any enthusiasm you had and knock it out of the park. There’s a twist at the end, but we’re fairly sure you won’t make it that far. Which is how this series ended up on our worst anime list of 2017.