Posted by: Leek | January 9, 2018

Little Girl Anime Power Rankings – 2017 Awards and Final Point Tally

I’m really off to a great start this year in terms of getting things out on time. At least it’s still within the first full week of the month, right?

Can you believe this is the last one you’ll ever see?

I almost put an Ako screenshot in every panel, but I figured someone would accuse me of foul play.

Just like every year, I tallied the points over the year, and again at the end of the year. There was actually zero mistakes made this year, but I thought I spotted one and felt really dumb when both my tallies ended up exactly the same. Life is wonderful in that way.

Seasonal Episode Awards

The following awards have already been distributed and mentioned in previous posts. But I’ll go over them one more time to both reiterate who won them and why. Also, you can finally see who I considered the runner up. Remember these awards were worth 10 points each.

2016 Opener Award

Winner: Mahou Tsukai Precure!
Precure is always in a good spot to take this award at the beginning of the year simply based on the fact it has always ended in January for the past few years. That means the first episode of the year is always guaranteed to be part of the finale or build up to it. Mahou Tsukai was still doing a bit of explanation during the week, but it put the final foot down that the magic and non-magic worlds could most likely not stay connected. The series had been dropping a lot of hints throughout the series that Liko and Mirai couldn’t be a happy family forever, but this was more or less the real confirmation episode. And it was really that feeling of, “They’re really going to do it,” that made it incredibly satisfying.

Runner Up: Rilu Rilu Fairilu (Season 1)
Fairilu had a pretty run of the mill episode by Fairilu standards, but it was also not up against any real competition. Stars was doing recap and PriPara was having one of the worst arcs of it’s lifespan. But Fairilu’s mini version of Frozen was still an amusing, if not silly, watch.

PriPara Award

Winner: PriPara
The final season of PriPara’s original series consisted of some it’s worst writing, so I wasn’t too surprised to see it win it’s own award one last time. And it really did need it as PriPara raked in it’s lowest final total (it barely broke 200) at the end of LGAPR’s third season.

Runner Up: None

Christmas Award 2016

Winner: Rilu Rilu Fairilu (Season 2)
Fairilu tied with Precure previously for doing similar takes on present delivery last year, but this year went even further into the holiday Christmas special with the kid with the special present request. Overall, it was really heartwarming and screamed Christmas special. Actually, this episode is probably the most Christmas that LGAPR has ever gotten. No show even came close to deserving it as much.

Runner Up: Aikatsu Stars! (Season 2)
Much like Fairilu, Stars generally tried to build off of it’s Christmas episode from the previous year. I don’t think it was the greatest episode, but it did a good job of breaking out the tree and mistletoe. I could try and address every aspect, but let’s just be honest and say that Ako and Kanata’s little Christmas romantic moment was probably the closest Stars has jumped to any romantic moment. If this was any other series that was a confession and kiss scene just waiting to happen.

End of the Year Merit Awards

Just like last year, I decided to do the end of the year merit awards again. Remember that some shows ran past the New Year, so they are completely valid to be mentioned here. I’m naturally putting weight on what showed up for the majority of the year though. These all award the winner with a +10 point bonus.

Best Leading Character

Winner: Rin (Rilu Rilu Fairilu S2)
There were three complete main character shifts this season of LGAPR, but none of them really felt as great as the addition of Rin. It’s kind of unfair because her and Karen are really two parts of one brand new main role addition to the series, but I decided to hand it particularly to Rin since she is the one that gets guaranteed screen time every week. And the direct connection that Lip, Nozomu, Karen, and Rin all share allows for a dynamic relationship between the first and second season of main characters.

Runner Up: Yui Yumekawa (Idol Time PriPara)
Yui did one thing that PriPara has never done by actually giving the series a main character. I had always complained that Lala felt weak and overall incredibly irrelevant as a main character outside of finales. But Yui is actually the big mover in Idol Time. She really does stand behind and support all of the major cast and all of her actions actually have a large impact. The amount Yui has going for her character is great, and it really keeps her from feeling anywhere near boring to watch.

Best Supporting Character

Winner: Ako Saotome (Aikatsu Stars! S1/S2)
If there is one character who put Stars on their back during rough times, it was always Ako. Ako had very little impact on the series during the first season, but slowly got a rush of episodes as the season came to a close. This would be continued into second season when she got one of the larger backstories of the poster four idols of the first season. And while I feel a lot of the Stars cast members tend to get burdened with character inconsistencies, Ako is generally the one who always seems to give the expected reaction. But I primarily hand the award over to her specifically for her relationship with Kirara in the second season and all the small developments over time that told a backstory that was often more fun to see than the main plot.

Runner Up: Ciel Kirahoshi / Kirarin (Kirakira Precure A La Mode)
Due to the nature of how heavily she was involved with the main plot, it’s probably a stretch to call Ciel a supporting character, but I did it anyway. Everything Ciel contributed to Precure, whether it be her backstory or her brother, led to a lot of the more golden story arcs and amusing situations. Much like Ako, I put a lot of Precure’s success on Ciel, and I don’t think the series would be a fraction of what it is without what her character contributed.

Best Opening Song

Winner: STARDOM! (Aikatsu Stars! S2)
I don’t know if it was STARDOM! or just how amazing the second season of Stars was out of the gate, but I quickly fell in love with the song. I don’t think I’ve felt incredibly strong about any Stars opening, but STARDOM! was the one song to lure me into buying Aikatsu CDs again, and it did feel good to have that desire again. I was legitimately pretty sad when the second half of the show came about as I knew I would have to part ways with hearing it every week.

Runner Up: MUSIC of DREAM!!! (Aikatsu Stars! S2)
So let me say my piece here that I rotated around every opening and I could not honestly say I like anything other than the Stars openings. And I did feel like I would be cheating if I threw Mahou Tsukai’s opening up here since I already handed it the same award last year. But in case you were wondering what I would consider putting here other than just Star’s second opening, it would have been that.

Best Ending Song

Winner: Shubidubi☆Sweets Time (Kirakira Precure A La Mode)
I actually would put either Precure ending up at the top here, but I did really love the direction of the second opening. It’s upbeat, it’s catchy, and it always cheers me up even if the episode itself was lackluster. I’m also just glad they brought back Miyamoto to sing endings after she returned from her sick period. Since I did really love Doki, it makes me feel like a part of it is still living on in the current series.

Runner Up: Mori no Hikari no Pirouette (Aikatsu Stars! S2)
Much like Precure, I feel like both Stars endings are pretty interchangeable here. I just put a preference on second ending in this case because the animation paired with it is incredibly cute. The ending is in part being performed by Aria’s character, and I think the whole storybook nature of the animation is perfect with that in mind.

Best Finale

Winner: Mahou Tsukai Precure!
No, the last episode of Mahou Tsukai is not the actual finale of the series. And even if you consider it to be, I would have still put it in this position over Stars. Mahou Tsukai may have not had an epic final battle, but that was never what the series was really about. The entire series was built on the relationship between Mirai and Liko, and that is 100% what the end of Mahou Tsukai was out to address. There were a few things I wanted done different in the episode, but it didn’t change that it was set up perfectly and had overall amazing execution.

Runner Up: Aikatsu Stars! Season 1
Even if Stars itself had some rocky buildup to it, the finale for the series did a good job of closing out the era of the previous S4. And, even if Yume got a little step closer to one objective, it was still a good sign that she had a long ways ahead of her to achieve her true dream. I don’t if Stars was a series that could ever have a finale that could top Mahou Tsukai, but I do give them credit for putting the cap on a series that really struggled to figure out what it wanted to do until the end.

Best Single Scene

Winner: Mirai and Liko Part Ways (Mahou Tsukai Precure!)
If there was any one scene this year that made my heart collapse inward like a black hole, it was the separation scene in the center of Mahou Tsukai’s finale. The final moment of promising to reunite followed by Mirai slowly returning to Earth as all magic just slowly vanishes from her world is crushing. And there’s really that feeling of, “What happens next” after all of it that keeps your eyes glued to that episode. This one scene alone might have ruined 2017 just because nothing could ever come close to it.

Runner Up: Elza Goes Crazy (Aikatsu Stars! S2)
Okay, so Elza doesn’t actually go crazy, but it’s about as close as she’ll ever come. Elza is really an enigma when it comes to Stars because you just never know what side of her you’ll be seeing. But her obsessing over her newly obtained dress under the moonlight by herself was one of those scenes you would have never expected to see from the Aikatsu franchise (outside of a joke episode). I don’t know how many more faces of Elza we’ll see before the season ends in 2018, but I can only begin to imagine.

Lazy Award

Winner: Idol Time PriPara
Nothing really changed with PriPara in terms of it’s live structure, and Idol Time has unfortunately carried on the flame from the final season of the original series. There’s room for one live every episode, but there’s not room for two to three as well as additional add-ons to make lives even longer. I really don’t want to see a bit for bit simulation of the games, and, since Idol Time has been legitimately fun to watch, I prefer if they fill more time with dialogue and not recycled lives.

Runner Up: Kirakira Precure A La Mode
If Idol Time is guilty of doubling down on eating time with recycled content, A La Mode is just as guilty. The actual problem is that A La Mode decided it wanted more team attacks throughout the whole series, and that led to absurdly lengthy finishing moves. I don’t need to see every damn animal every damn episode. Usually Precure would try to cut down animations so they don’t last along, but they really just threw their hands up with A La Mode.

Sick Day Tally

This section merely adds in the points that were left out until now with concern to the “sick day” rule. There’s not much to see here other than a simple point count.

Aikatsu Stars! Season 1 / Aikatsu Stars! Season 2
Sick Days: 2
Point Bonus: +5

Mahou Tsukai Precure! / Kirakira Precure A La Mode
Sick Days: 3
Point Bonus: +0

Rilu Rilu Fairilu Season 1 / Rilu Rilu Fairilu Season 2
Sick Days: 2
Point Bonus: +5

PriPara Season 3 / Idol Time PriPara
Sick Days: 1
Points Bonus: +10

End of the Year Ranking Awards

These awards are given based on various achievements in the actual rankings. Due to it putting more value on performance overall, I decided these awards are worth 20 bonus points each.

Get Out of Jail Free Card
Awarded to the show that was in fourth place the most times in the weekly rankings.

    • Winner: PriPara Season 3 / Idol Time PriPara

26 overall fourth place finishes.

    • Runner Up: Kirakira Precure A La Mode

11 overall fourth place finishes. I didn’t write Mahou Tsukai there because naturally none of those were it’s fault.

Number One
Awarded to the show that was in first place the most times in the weekly rankings.

    • Winner: Mahou Tsukai Precure! / Kirakira Precure A La Mode

18 overall first place finishes. A La Mode owes it’s predecessor a lot for starting the year with four straight when see how close the Runner Up was.

    • Runner Up: Aikastu Stars! Season 1 / Aikatsu Stars! Season 2

17 overall first place finishes. Poor Aikatsu gets denied some big points by just one week.

Consistent Finisher
Awarded to the show that held the longest streak of finishing in the same place in the weekly rankings.

    • Winner: PriPara Season 3 / Idol Time PriPara

Finished in fourth place 7 weeks in a row.

    • Runner Up: Mahou Tsukai Precure! / Aikatsu Stars!

Both managed to spend at least 4 weeks in first place.

Bottom of the Pile
Awarded to the show that held the longest streak of finishing in fourth place in the overall rankings.

    • Winner: PriPara Season 3 / Idol Time PriPara

Spent 35 consecutive weeks in fourth place.

    • Runner Up: Kirakira Precure A La Mode

Spent 14 consecutive weeks in fourth place.

King of the Hill
Awarded to the show that held the longest streak of finishing in first place in the overall rankings.

    • Winner: Mahou Tsukai Precure! / Kirakira Precure A La Mode

Spent 35 consecutive weeks in first place.

    • Runner Up: Idol Time PriPara

Spent 17 consecutive weeks in first place. I bet you didn’t see this coming.

Year End Point Tally

So now that all the awards have been handed out, who really stood at the top of the rankings by the end of the year? The winner is…

1) Idol Time PriPara – 186 Points
2) Kirakira Precure A La Mode – 142 Points
3) Aikatsu Stars! – 113 Points
4) Rilu Rilu Fairilu – 103 Points

The end of the year awards were originally created because I was seeing patterns that would lead to the overall rankings becoming rather boring to watch and wanting to shake things up. Unfortunately, the rankings had become so polarized with PriPara usually being a landslide behind everyone that it just barely caught up even if it was raking in 50-80 bonus points. And then the remaining big points were often going to a show that was already at the top, this means that the middle of the running always got screwed over.

But Season 4 has started very unpredictably and with every show on general equal footing, the awards had a lot more impact than usual. Precure managed to rise two positions and is now the show that is closest to overtaking PriPara’s gigantic lead anytime soon. So it really will come down to how everything does in the upcoming season. Even if things start unbalanced, I’ve never felt that the rankings are undeserved at the end of each season. And we’ve seen large points gaps get closed very fast when shows are doing well or struggling. We’ll only be running through 3/4 of it, but 2018 should be a very interesting year.

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