Winter 2017 – Week 12. The finales begin…

Well… a busy, busy week as we swing into the penultimate and final episodes of the season.  Some shows close out strong, other just slink across the finish line…  and a couple just drop out of the race entirely.

Hit the jump and see what I thought, then let me know your thoughts down in the comments.  (Really the comments aren’t just about responding to me, they’re all about you and what you think!)

Demi-Chan – Ep 12 (Finale)

Well, we haven’t had any of the staples of a school comedy/slice-of-life (hot springs /beach or school festival), so Demi-chan serves up a pool episode.  To their credit, other than a brief moment with Sato-sensei, fan service is completely absent.  (Though the boy up in the tree trying peek into the pool while it was “reserved for the girls” was funny as heck.)  This ep was mostly all about the girls having fun while giving the viewers a last look into their nature as demis.  It had never occurred to me that Maki would never have been underwater (due to the danger of dropping her head), but the girls banding together to make it happen safely was charming as all get-out.  (Even though they snuck in a brief moment of “crushing on sensei“.)

The show ends not with a bang, but with giggles and splashes.  All-in-all an excellent final episode.

Fuuka – Ep 12 (Finale)

Fuuka has blown hot and cold all season… in the main because it couldn’t decide what it’s story would be.  That indecision continued into the finale.  Despite deviating from the manga, it never really did anything with that deviation.  Despite setting up expectations one way, they zigged in the final episode and went another.  (But not in a good way.)  And then they crapped it all off with a generic ending.

Meh.

Maid Dragon – Ep 11

Maid Dragon (despite ostensibly being a comedy) has always been at its strongest depicting quiet family moments.  This week, we were treated to an episode of practically nothing else.  (I’m just gonna pretend that Lucoa in a sexy low-cut kimono didn’t happen.)  Toru wins a kotatsu in a lottery in the shopping district, and our family spends practically the entire episode together under it…  only coming out when nature calls or customs forces it.  This segues into New Year’s Eve and Kobayashi and family taking part in the rituals surrounding it.  Though Toru is puzzled by some of them, as usual she’s in “what must be done must be overdone” mode.

This episode would have made a perfect finale…  so I can’t wait to see how they handle the actual finale.  Demi-chan presented us with a charming epilogue rather than a finale, but subtlety has never been Maid Dragon‘s long suite.

Masamune-kun’s RevengeEp 10-12 (Finale)

The episode started out strong enough, with Masmune-kun once again showing that (despite his pretensions otherwise) in his heart of hearts he’s actually a pretty good guy.  This gave us a strong set up for a nice denouement…  But instead we got a lame karaoke party as the writers desperately tried to fill time and run out the clock.  At the end of the ep, all I could think was “That’s it?”.

Scum’s Wish – Ep 11

Episode 11 was mostly about Mugi, which I expected.  And I expected Kanai-sensei to either propose to Minagawa-sensei or to definitely dump her cheating narcissistic ass.  What I didn’t expect was the proposal to be the centerpiece of the penultimate episode…  On the other hand, that clears the way for the finale to be all about our star-crossed lovers.   For the first time, despite the foreboding, I’m actually looking forward to an episode of Scum’s.  And not just because I won’t have it’s oppressive weight hanging over me all week…  They’ve done so well so far, I fully expect them to stick the landing…  I just don’t know what form the landing will take.

Seiren – Ep 12 (Finale)

Seiren wraps up Kyōko’s arc and the season as only Seiren can…  The first half of the episode was devoted to the school festival, checking in with pretty much every character to grace the screen in the last eleven episodes.  The second half was all about one of the lamest and most bumbling confession scenes ever aired.  But, as we’ve seen all season, Seiren somehow manages to make it work.  (Had any other show tried to pull this, I’d have been throwing things.)  Despite it’s odder moments (of which there were many), this is probably the strongest arc of the series.  The way they handled the awkward transition of childhood friends becoming romantic adults made the final (x years later) scene the most believable of the three.

So, there you have it…  the penultimate week of the season, and a whole raft of final episodes.

The current plan is to drop another post with the balance of the finales later in the week, and then a season review/wrap up/awards post as soon as possible after that.

3 thoughts on “Winter 2017 – Week 12. The finales begin…”

  1. I have fairly little to say about most finales:

    Demi-chan was nice, as you say.

    Masamune-kun was the sort of non-ending you sometimes get from ongoing shows. Want to know how things turn out? Read the manga.

    Had Fuuka gone the way of the manga, that would have been quite the surprise for me; would it have worked? I don’t know. What we got was rote. I do have to say, though, that Fuuka makes a pretty good frontwoman for a band. She has the energy and presence it takes.

    Maid Dragon… Yes, Lucoa’s sexualisation isn’t funny, but she would have been easier to ignore if I didn’t actually like the kimono (despite the way it was worn) and her hairdo. It’s a special kind of embarrassment you feel for people who are themselves incapable of feeling it. I sometimes have that feeling for the show. Luckily, most of the time it’s all good.

    Seiren… I have to give the show credit. The scene between Kyouko and our protagonist was just the right mix of familiar and awkward. It’s very hard to get this mix right, but Seiren excels at those moments. However, in the end it still doesn’t quite come together for me, and I don’t know why.

    Urara Meirochou had a pretty good wind-down episode (comparable to Demi-chan, the most important development has finished in the penultimate episode). Onsen episode, involving drunk adults, and an accidental scavenger hunt that allowed the audience to recap the strengths of each core cast member. Ultimately, it ended up quite a good, if unexceptional cute-girls-doing-cute-things show. I liked it better than GochiUsa or Kiniro Mosaic, at least.

    Rakugo had a strong run near the end, and ends with the start of the next generation of rakugoka. And it mixes up story telling and life in one final reveal that makes sense but isn’t actually confirmed – thus raising the question what we want out of stories, and how living – in some ways – is also a mode of story telling. What do we need to know? Love this show to bits.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I keep hearing good things about Urara Meirochou, but the first ep just stuck in my craw and I dropped it.

    Fuuka, yeah. That energy and presence was palpable from very early on, whatever the flaws in the show – her VA (Lynn) did a heck of a job.

    Like

    1. @Urara: The problems of ep1 don’t go away (they may get toned down, but that’s it). It’s also no must-watch. You’re not missing out. I just found myself surprisingly fond of it; that’s all.

      Liked by 1 person

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