Let’s not catch our breaths just yet. 2016 may be wrapping up, but 2017 already promises a whole bunch of anime to get excited about. The year looks to be about pirates versus casino barons, gamers versus programs gone bad, and of course, Sailor Scouts versus flowers that could eat the galaxy. Keep these picks handy as you mark up your calendars.
One Piece Gold
You have to appreciate the directness of the sub-title. The ever selfless Luffy and his crew of daring Straw Hats sail into Gran Tesero, a pleasure isle that’s seemingly part Vegs and part Switzerland, being a neutral zone where pirates and marines can gamble together. It doesn’t take long for conflict to brew, however. The place’s proprietor/emperor, Gild Tesero, thinks his riches can buy anything, but our heroes are determined to show him that they can’t be bought. A self-contained jumping-on point that doesn’t require any prior knowledge of One Piece, this flick pits the Straw Hats against gold, both figuratively and literally. Even if there’s no price on their dignity, will the heroes be able to escape rivers of molten gold?
Sailor Moon R the movie
Sure, this picture came out in the 90s, but the English version left a lot to be desired, so now the crew localizing Sailor Moon Crystal is finally giving it the treatment it deserves. The movie’s a double feature, too. An opening short shows the Sailor Scouts in their civilian identities at a cafe, anxiously eavesdropping on a conversation about which scout is most popular. The main feature, though, shows that no act of kindness is free of complication. An innocent Tuxedo Mask’s childhood friend returns to gift him a powerful flower that’s grown into a world-threatening menace. After the Sailor Scouts have sorted out their popularity contest, they will have to rally to quell this unusually flowery foe.
Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale
A franchise ever on the cutting edge, whether that’s the business end of a broadsword, or some upgraded tech. Sword Art Online steps into in the arena of augmented reality, as Asuna, Kirito, and their crew use an “Augma” device to enter an entirely new game, “Ordinal Scale.” Or is “OC” actually that different? The questing band crosses paths with monsters who may be from the very first cyber world they were imprisoned in. Nothing is ever as simple as clearing the last level, of course, and this new features promises even more mind-twisiting i-generation intrigue.
Kizumonogatari Part 3: Reiketsu
The epic conclusion of a much-less-sappy vampire trilogy based on a series of “light reading” novels. In this case, the lead high schooler is actually a boy who’s survived an encounter with vampires. After he saved a wounded queen of the night and retrieved her lost limbs (eww), he subsequently found himself a minion in a phantasmal sub-culture replete with spirits, monsters, gods, and all sorts of other ghastly creatures. Last time, he had to contend with a trio of outlandish vampire hunters, but this outing looks to pose an even more ghastly challenge to our epically-unfortunate lead.
Hirune Hime: Shiranai Watashi no Monogatari
Forget 2017. Know what you’re doing in four years? This family fantasy is set just after the 2020 Olympics, following a high schooler who’s pretty bored with her day-to-day, and ever seeking escape in a dream world. Of course, when an unusual cover of “Day Dream Believer” is a fixture of the soundtrack, you can bet the lines between fantasy and reality are about to blur. With a blue stuffed animal at her side and a robot seemingly transformed from one of her dad’s old cars, our heroine flies to clouds. Though, the dream world may actually have some tough secrets about the real world. Could we have a more melancholic FLCL on our hands?
We might’ve missed some. We know. What anime movies are you pumped for in 2017?
Image Credits: VIZ Media, Aniplex, Shaft, FUNimation, Warner Bros
Featured Image Credit: FUNimation