2017 Spring Premiere Rankings

By: Amelia Cook April 17, 201717 Comments

Another season of premieres watched and reviewed! There are a ton of shows this season and multiple big name sequels getting a lot of attention, so let us help you choose how to curate the rest of your viewing.

Which shows do you review? 

We don’t review shows that are sequels, shorts or for young children. This left 24 eligible premieres in 16 days.

The villain character in a long, military-style coat and hat, stands holding a sword in a circle of flying swords. Subtitle: "We still lack sufficient strength and manpower."

How do you write the reviews?

This time Dee and Vrai took on a number of the premiere reviews, for which I am extremely grateful. We don’t always like or dislike the same shows, or to the same extent, but I agree with their critiques absolutely.

Both Dee and Vrai will be paid, and once we have more funding I aim to set up our own version of ANN’s Preview Guide, to give our readers a range of explicitly feminist views for each premiere. We’re a long way off that funding goal, but it’s been a personal wish of mine since launch and I know we’ll make it happen someday.

Naoto, a teenage boy in headphones, smiles. Subtitle: "Are you supposed to be so sharp-tongued?"
Clockwork Planet

What do your reviews focus on? 

Now that more of us are reviewing this will vary (I rarely comment on animation because it’s neither my expertise nor my priority, while both Dee and Vrai have made comments about production values, for example) but as a feminist site it is of course essential that we raise any issues of feminist interest. When you read an AniFem review you’re likely to learn about female character designs, representations of queerness, analogies to real world marginalisation, and so on. If you think we missed something, please comment under the review and let us know!

Teacher Glenn stands in a shirt and tie, holding out one gloved hand, palm outstretched as he makes a declaration. Subtitle: "There's something I'd like to say about this commonplace, cliched turn of events."
Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor

Why rank them?

As always, the purpose of these reviews is simply to give our readers more information so that you can decide for yourselves whether or not to watch the show. There is greater access to anime than ever before, and we want to help you find anime you can truly love, without wasting your time on a show which contains an automatic dealbreaker, be it fanservice, homophobia, the sexualisation of children, etc.

Individuals can find feminist value in the unlikeliest of places, and we will never lead a boycott of a particular show, but we want to make it easier for you to get the most out of your limited time. The ranking is according to feminist merit rather than quality or personal preference, with shows containing feminist themes at the highest end and those containing anti-feminist themes at the lowest. We expect some disagreement and welcome debate, so if you have any objections to the order of this list by all means let us know in the comments!

Super-deformed royal tutor and prince, who is smiling, winking and doing the peace sign in front of a bright, flowery background. Subtitle: "Yay!"
The Royal Tutor


Feminist themes

  1. Grimoire of Zero : Core themes of power and discrimination with parallels to racism
    2. Sakura Quest : Challenging the princess narrative with an adult female lead in the workplace
    3. Kabukibu! : Overt acceptance of cross-gender performance
    4. Granblue Fantasy : Consistent emphasis on agency and consent

Feminist potential

5. Re:CREATORS : Powerful female characters challenging anime tropes
6. WorldEnd [SukaSuka] : Marginalised characters in a gender-balanced cast
7. KADO : Prominent professional women in the mostly male-led cast
8. Alice & Zoroku : Premiere hints at a much larger cast of female characters, including adults
9. Tsuki ga Kirei : Inevitable relatable character growth for the female lead

Harmless fun

10. The Royal Tutor : Focus on male characters
11. Atom the Beginning : Gender-balanced cast, representation of disability
12. Hinako Note : Cute girls do quirky things

Feminist red flags

13. Anonymous Noise : Female lead motivated exclusively by male characters
14. Twin Angels Break : Class S notes with accepted crossdressing, a little fanservicey
15. Sagrada Reset : Uneasy power dynamics, lots of mansplaining potential
16. The Laughing Salesman : Everybody is equally awful on the inside, but ugly women are the worst

The fanservice selection

17. Tsugumomo : Boob grabs never get old
18. Frame Arms Girl : Little girl robots, lots of exposed underwear
19. Clockwork Planet: Willing contractual servitude to a teenage boy, via finger fellatio
20. Seven Mortal Sins : Enormo-boob porn with mostly non-consensual touching

Pit of shame

21. Love Tyrant : Homophobia is bad
22. Akashic Records of Bastard Magic Instructor : Sexual assault is bad
23. Eromanga Sensei : Incest is bad

Worst anime of the season 

24. Armed Girls Machiavellism : A premise rooted in misogyny AND transphobia is REALLY BAD

Masamune smiles, looking at Sagiri in excitement. Subtitle: "[Did you say] 'Touch me there'?"

…But let’s just say it was an extremely close contest.

About the Author : Amelia Cook

Amelia is the editor-in-chief of Anime Feminist and a freelance writer for websites and magazines on film, television and anime. She has a degree in Japanese Studies and is working towards a master’s degree in film and television.

Read more articles from Amelia Cook

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