The 4 Best Anime of Fall 2017 (So Far)

If engaging and heartfelt series are your thing, these are the picks for you.

Pine Jam

Over 50 anime series premiered in fall 2017, some of which sounded promising, most of which didn’t. For every anime sure to entertain like Food Wars!, there was a Two Car or Dynamic Chord, series which sound fine, but probably aren’t worth watching over anything else.

Inverse spent days sorting through everything fall 2017 had to offer, and came away with plenty of enjoyable series. Early into Season 3, Food Wars! hasn’t yet reached its former thrilling heights, even though it’s still enjoyable to watch. And, other anime we’re planning to continue watching like Juni Taisen: Zodiac War and The Ancient Magus’ Bride did interesting and exciting things, but weren’t able to captivate us in the same way as the following four shows. These are all series which have already managed to be touching and engaging in the best ways, so if you’re looking for something new to dive into, you should definitely check them out.

Black Clover

What It’s About: Two orphaned boys — Yuno, a magic genius, and Asta, who has no magic ability — compete with each other to become the Wizard King.

Why You Should Watch It: With its generic shonen plot, annoyingly yelling-prone main character, and slightly slower pacing, Black Clover isn’t exactly the greatest anime series ever. But in spite of all this, it’s one of the shows we’re most excited to check out on a week to week basis. The show’s core shonen traits — Asta’s never give up attitude, him proving people were wrong to underestimate him, and his rivalry with Yuno (which is just as refreshing and endearing as trailers made it out to be) — are a lot of fun, and we’re eager to see the show’s world continue to open up. This anime isn’t going to change the minds of people who are tired of the shonen genre in the same way a series like My Hero Academia might, but for those who aren’t, there’s a lot to enjoy here.

Where You Can Watch It: Crunchyroll, hulu, Funimation (dubbed).

Girls’ Last Tour

What It’s About: Two girls give each other the strength to survive as they traverse a post-apocalyptic world in their Kettankrad motorbike.

Why You Should Watch It: Despite the two girls being pretty much alone in the series, the show doesn’t lean into any feelings of despair or sorrow over the people and world that were lost. Instead, Girls’ Last Tour is a hopeful and charming series that makes everyday conveniences like taking a bath or doing the laundry into something special, without coming across as heavy handed. Plus, beyond there being some kind of event that ended civilization as we know it, the world of Girls’ Last Tour diverges from our own in significant ways, meaning there’s more to discover in the series than some message on what it means to be alive.

Where You Can Watch It: Anime Strike

Inuyashiki Last Hero

What It’s About: Ichiro Inuyashiki is a 58-year-old man who feels ignored by his family. When he’s diagnosed with stomach cancer, he goes off to cry alone, only to be caught up in an otherworldly explosion along with a teenager. He wakes up to discover that his body has been completely replaced, and he’s now an advanced killing machine, allowing him to save people and feel like he has a purpose. Later, he finds out that the teenager who was there when the explosion happened has also been transformed, but is using his newfound powers to kill people, setting the two against each other.

Why You Should Watch It: At times, Inuyashiki seems like a moving, slice of life anime. But right around the corner is a world of senseless and disturbing violence, an aspect of the series that shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with the work of the Inuyashiki manga’s author, Hiroya Oku, who created the brutal Gantz. A unique take on origin stories that is as preoccupied with its villain as it is with its hero, Inuyashiki is not to be missed.

Where You Can Watch It: Anime Strike

Just Because!

What It’s About: As a group of students prepares for the end of high school and beyond, a transfer student they were classmates with in middle school shows up and changes their lives.

Why You Should Watch It: Heartfelt anime set during high school are a dime a dozen, and Just Because! is very much just that, even if it mixes things up by setting most of the action so far during winter break. But what it lacks in originality it more than makes up for in the authentic ways its characters interact. Like the rest of us, they don’t always say (or know) what they feel, often hiding behind an overly cheerful sticker on a phone messenger. And when they do, it doesn’t go as planned. As you might have guessed, Just Because isn’t a series composed of big events one after another, but something slower-paced, with room for longing glances and pensive stares. It’s a sensitive and almost melancholy snapshot of a time rife with change, hope, and regret, and easily one of the best anime of the fall.

Where You Can Watch It: Anime Strike.