Top 10 Best Seinen Anime for 2017 [Best Recommendations]

What a year it has been for 2017! We have finally received so many long-promised sequels, some better than others, and there have been many a good newcomer. Today we are going beyond genres to look at the seinen demographic and what it brought us over the past year. The great thing about Seinen is that it is not limited to genres since it is one of the big four. What do we mean? Well, there are four target demographics selected for when a manga/light novel/anime are made. Namely, they are Shounen, Shoujo, Josei, and Seinen. From spies, robots, and dragons, to desolate worlds, battles, and demi-humans, the Seinen genre has been good to us. So get your snacks, get your drinks, and hunker down as we take a trip down memory lane looking at the top seinen anime of 2017.

10. Demi-chan wa Kataritai (Interviews with Monster Girls)

  • Episodes: Jan 2017 - Mar 2017
  • Aired: 12

Tetsuo Takahashi is a high school science teacher with a passion for something out of the ordinary. He is really into ajin, or demi-humans. You see, in this parallel world to our own, demi-humans exist in a few different forms. There are vampires, dullahans, snow somen, and even succubi. However, for Tetsuo, even though he studied demi-humans in college, he never really had the chance to work with them. Demi-humans are a part of our society, but they also have blended in well for the most part. All of that changes one day when Tetsuo finds out that all four types of demi-humans are in his school. He really gets a lucky break when they even start coming to him looking for help and advice! Thus begins his interviews with monster girls.

Demi-chan wa Kataritai really left an imprint on the anime community. With it’s funny yet likeable characters, funny moments, and the tackling of social issues, smiles were left on the faces of viewers all over the world. The anime took itself seriously enough to confront social issues like bullying and exclusion–some argue that this was a veiled LGBT metaphor–while also maintaining it’s innocence and upbeat tone. If you were a Hikari fan or a Sakie fan, one thing is for sure, the show was a great run from start to finish that never really let down the viewers.

9. Seikaisuru KADO (Kado: The Right Answer)

  • Episodes: Apr 2017 - Jun 2017
  • Aired: 12

Kojirou Shindou is a master negotiator who works for the government and is extremely well-respected. While taking off on a flight for an overseas trip with his assistant Shun Hanamori, a massive cube materializes out of nowhere over top of the plane and comes down onto the ground. Fearing the worst, the world believes that this massive cube has destroyed the plane and the people on board. Rather, they have just been absorbed by Kado. Inside, they meet Yaha-kui zaShunina who takes on the form of a young man. He has questions about earth and needs help. It is now up to Shindou on how to navigate this dangerous situation as his former boss now becomes the entity he is up against. Can he do it and save the world?

KADO was honestly, a rather unique look at alien invasion. While the story started out fast, we were given a very interesting look at the world beyond us. Everything continued to take a step forward as Yaha-kui introduced more inventions into the world including something that would generate infinite energy. While definitely very heavy on the science fiction side of things, there are people who will love the action later on as well as the art. The show took over two years to make and it shows in the unique, quality art.

8. Warau Salesman NEW

  • Episodes: Apr 2017 - Jun 2017
  • Aired: 12

Fukuzou Moguro is a rather unique businessman. He has but one thing that he wants to do: he wants to fill the emptiness in people’s hearts. That’s it. No strings attached. So, each episode he meets someone in want or who is unsatisfied. He then offers his services for free, as that is his rule; he will never accept money. Then, the person is off to find the thing that will fill the void in their hearts.

Inevitably though, somewhere along their journey, his clients always break the one rule that he will give them in regards to breaking his services. With a loud “don!” he ends up granting their wish that they truly want, but at a very steep price that they can no longer get out of. This then highlights the moral shallowness of society. In fact, Warau Salesman NEW is a fantastic look and critique of modern Japanese society as a whole. If you enjoyed this anime, be sure to check out the original as well that aired way back in the late 80s to early 90s!

7. Fate/Apocrypha

  • Episodes: Jul 2017 - Dec 2017
  • Aired: 25

This is a new addition to the fate series in that this takes place in an alternate universe where the Fourth Holy Grail War never was. In fact, the Holy Grail disappeared somehow at the end of the Third Holy Grail War and has not been seen for decades. One day, the Yggdmillennia family announces that it is no longer part of the Mage’s Association as they have the Holy Grail. Confused and annoyed, the association dispatches assassins to get the Grail, but all are killed. Now, unlike all Holy Grail Wars before, two sides will summon seven servants each to take down the other side. The Great Holy Grail War is now beginning.

Honestly, Fate/Apocrypha is an evolution of the series that makes for a very interesting discussion of topic. The base material and stories are still here meaning that the roots it has in Seinen still exist. However, the art has become softer and there are more likeable characters. The reason in doing this is because children in Japan are getting into the fate series. Thus, in order to appeal to new fans, they make the art softer while making characters like Saber and the Rider of Black appeal to younger audiences. This is all the more appealing to the larger fanbase of fate fans who have been around for years. It’s a great watch even if you want to only see how the series has evolved. One thing’s for sure, the juggernaut has no signs of slowing down.

6. Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou (Girls’ Last Trip)

  • Episodes: Oct 2017 - Dec 2017
  • Aired: 12

Crawling along the abandoned landscape is a lone vehicle. The two occupants are Chito and Yuuri and their vehicle is a Kettenkrad. They scavenge for tools and food and along the way, they do manage to meet people, but they are few and far-between and are almost always eccentric. Yuuri is clumsy and uneducated while Chito is analytical and a bit shy. However, today too, they have to explore more in search of answers, how the world became the way it is, and if there are more people like them.

Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou is essentially what seinen can be sometimes. Long, thought provoking conversations about absolutely nothing, or everything, while somehow moving the story along. There is not an abundant amount of plot because the conversation between the characters about life before, life after, and their current lives entertain us, the viewers. As they crawl through the dead cities, we can only wonder what life was like when it was bustling and what happened to make them hollow shells now. We won’t spoil the ending for you, but it is heavily symbolic and really does sum up the series well. Check it out for yourself!

5. Houseki no Kuni (Land of the Lustrous)

  • Episodes: Oct 2017 - Dec 2017
  • Aired: 12

Next up is the anime that has the community SHOOKETH and is currently in the running for most underrated anime of 2017–and of recent years depending on whom you ask–Houseki no Kuni! Set into the far future, humanity is gone. Kongou-sensei (Adamantine) runs a facility of gems. These humanesque beings are the personifications of actual gems like Diamond, Amethyst, Bort, Jade, and more! The youngest, at only 300 years old is Phosphophyllite. Phos, as they are known, is so weak that just about anything will break them. When the lunarians come to attack the gems and bring them back to moon, Phos is upset that they cannot do anything. So, they start to question whom they are and begin to break rules, and threaten to lose part of whom they are, all in the pursuit of strength at first, and then the truth.

Houseki no Kuni shocked a lot of viewers as the original premise and information released really was not that notable. However, it only took for a few people to check out what it was, for the viewership to learn that we were getting a story evolved well-beyond what we could have perceived. From its presentation of the gems as gender-free in that they appear as girls but speak as boys, to the fact that they wear mourning clothing constantly, there are gems–no pun intended–tucked throughout the series that ensure that even if you only came for the art, you stay for the story and subtle development of characters. Not to mention too, this series brought the popular seiyuu from the Hibike! Euphonium series, Tomoyo Kurosawa back into the spotlight with her characterization of Phos. There are so many fascinating aspects to this seinen series, that everyone can enjoy more just by delving in a bit beyond the surface.

4. Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon (Miss Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon)

  • Episodes: Jan 2017 - Apr 2017
  • Aired: 13

Kobayashi works hard in her office. As she gets ready to step out her front door one day, she is greeted by a dragon eye. Thinking she is hung over, she looks away, and then back and realizes that there are no traces of alcohol left in her system. She is staring down a massive dragon! Apologizing, the dragon transforms into a cute maid named Tooru. Befuddled, Kobayashi cannot recall how she met a wounded Tooru in the woods while drunk and invited her over. Tooru moves in and offers to be her maid. Becoming very protective of her, Tooru makes sure that no one comes close to Kobayashi, but that changes when another dragon named Kanna appears. Her back against the wall, Tooru convinces Kobayashi to let Kanna stay and then before she knows it, many strange otherworldly beings are coming to reside in her home. Her days of boring, simple life are over.

Besides giving us Kanna, the gift that is too pure for this world, and spawning 10000 memes, the series took a sharp left on the forced quasi-lesbianic relationships that come with anime dominated by female characters, and gave us one that almost resembled a sort of warm, nuclear family. Kanna is the child, Tooru is the doting wife, and Kobayashi, while still a woman, became the father-like figure having to explain how many things worked in this world. While KyoAni has definitely struggled post Haruhi and Lucky Star, they really have rebounded with a winner in this masterpiece. Then, to top it all off, we have Violet Evergarden on air in Winter. This seinen gem is a masterpiece and honestly, missing it would be a crime.

3. Kemono Friends

  • Episodes: Jan 2017 - Apr 2017
  • Aired: 12

What happens when there are no humans? Japari Park is one such place. There, humanoid animals, who simply refer to themselves as “Friends” live in what appears to be a mini world or zoo. One day, Serval meets a friend whom she cannot classify nor has seen before. Their name is Kaban. Then, Serval takes Kaban around Japari Park meeting other friends as well as seeing famous locations within the park. They are headed to the library where they should be able to find answers on Kaban. However, not all is as it seems.

In order to talk about Kemono Friends, we have to talk about the story that is untold; namely, how did these humanoid animals get here? They spend the whole series alluding to things but not a whole lot is explained and we will not lay it out here for everyone to see. However, the series really did, much like with Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon, take the idea of a fantasy anime that looks like children should be watching, and make it into something more moving and far reaching than the viewer could have ever imagined in their wildest dreams. Kemono Friends was an instant hit among otaku and only exploded in further popularity when it was re-broadcasted and aimed at children. However, with something this well-liked, there has to be some controversy.

Going for the messiest stunt kween of 2017, Kadokawa, right towards the end of the broadcast, decided to remove the director Tatsuki, from the series. This led to a massive outpouring of anger online against Kadokawa and nothing but adoration for praise of Tatsuki who did not even know he was being removed from the work he had created. Tatsuki, to this day, is actually doing very well for himself and just released a new anime that shot to #1 on the amazon sales chart right after it was announced. Meanwhile Kadokawa’s problems only multiplied. Had the anime not been a hit with children, it would have been fine since otaku only have a small voice. However, since it exploded in popularity with children, all of their parents became aware of what Kadokawa had done. In order to mitigate the problems that continued to arise, Kadokawa quickly announced a second season had been ordered. However, since that announcement almost a year ago, there has been nothing but radio silence. Apps, games, cds, and books though continue to be released in a grab for money. Let’s see what Kadokawa does next for the series. One thing is for sure, Tatsuki has confirmed he is not coming back. However he is onto do bigger and better things we are sure and he will be back with something new!

2. Inuyashiki

  • Episodes: Oct 2017 - Dec 2017
  • Aired: 11

Ichirou Inuyashiki leads a pretty crappy life. His wife ignores him, his kids can’t stand him, and his only source of happiness is his dog, Hanako. One day he goes in for a physical exam and finds out that he has stomach cancer with only a few months left to live. In the depths of despair, Inuyashiki wanders to a park, but a bright flash of light later, he has a brand new robotic body that allows him to essentially become a weapon of mass destruction. Unsure of what to do, Inuyashiki decides to help others with his newfound power while Shishigami, another individual who was also given a new body, uses it to terrify society. Thus rises the greatest and most unlikely hero rises, an old man in his fifties who will never die and is an android.

To be honest, there must be very few people alive who have not seen this anime and even fewer who have not even heard of it. Inuyashiki was an adrenaline ride starting in episode two and didn’t stop. True to the more “action” side of the seinen demographic, Inuyashiki holds no punches with its violence and gore. It even tries to take things a step further to show us the anguish that Shishigami faced at the loss of his mother. This pushed the viewer to sympathize with him to the point that he almost stopped appearing to be evil. While the series may only be 11 episodes, it was a damn good ride that leaves you incredibly moved yet satisfied by the ending.

1. Princess Principal

  • Episodes: Jul 2017 - Sept 2017
  • Aired: 12

The final entry on our list brings us to a series that is so seinen, it could be the epitome and definition of it in a dictionary. After Cavorite was discovered, many countries went to war and that happened in London where there is now a Kingdom on one side of a wall and a Commonwealth on the other. In the latter sits a prestigious school known as Queen’s Mayfaire, a school for the well-to-do young lady. However, the school is a front for a certain spy organization which specializes in murder, lies, betrayal, assassination, and deceit. Five unlikely girls are the heroes of the Commonwealth: Ange, Chise, Beatrice, Dorothy, and Princess. Today too, they are on a mission to help assure the existence of the Commonwealth.

Normally, seinen falls into the line of an all-girls cute anime like Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? or into an action heavy series like Inuyashiki. Princess Principal expertly toes that line as it gives us suspense, action and murder, with dramatics and tea time. Honestly, the mixture of this series is grounds for confusion for most anime fans who went into it expecting only one side of the seinen demographic but happened to get both. The series kept us on our toes the whole time as we did not want to miss a single moment, and it is a good thing we did because we were met with quality entertainment. Truly, from start to finish, this is the seinen anime of 2017 that shows us that not only is seinen all over the place, it can do whatever the hell it wants and still call itself seinen. That is what makes Princess Principal so good and our favorite seinen anime of 2017.

Final Thoughts

With Princess Principal bringing our list to a close, we wanted to ask you, the reader, what you thought about the seinen anime that we got in 2017. What were your favorites? Do you have reservations about any you have seen, or are you happy with what you caught? Be sure to let us know down below as we look forward to what 2018 is bringing us in shounen anime! Till Next Time!

Fate-Apocrypha-wallpaper-563x500 Top 10 Best Seinen Anime for 2017 [Best Recommendations]


Author: Nagareboshi

American by birth; international by choice. I am trying to bring attention to one of my favorite causes; me. I translate by day and write by night. Aspiring polyglot. My dream would be to be the personal translator for Amuro Namie. Other than that, my hobbies include languages, weightlifting, sleeping, karaoke, GOOD coffee and music. When I’m not doing any of the above, I am most likely laughing hysterically at Willam Belli videos or EV farming. I ain’t gunna Rupologize for it neither. Waifu are Shirai Kuroko & Euaerin.

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