The final season finales are in the can… so let’s hit the jump and let’s see how they stack up.
Just as a reminder, shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics.
Maid Dragon (Eps 11-12)
Episode 11 was pleasant enough, mostly a flashback that finally tells us the whole story of how Kobayashi and Tohru met and how they came to be a family. (Cue the Brady Bunch theme.) The final scene gives a hint that something big and bad is about to happen.
Episode 12 – The finale. Starts off with “just another day”, ominous given the final scene of Ep 11… and our expectations are met, the big bad is Tohru’s father and he’s come to take her back to the Other World. And then, the first big disappointment of the episode – Kobayashi barely reacts at all. We’re treated to a montage of her re-establishing her old life, and other than the scenes with Kanna they concentrate heavily on what seems to be Kobayashi missing Tohru’s domestic services. (And rapidly returning to her previous slovenly habits.) She mostly seems tired and resigned.
Tohru breaks free and return to our world, and Kobayashi finally shows some emotion – happiness and surprise that Tohru has returned. When the Emperor of Demise (Tohru’s father) shows up to fetch his wayward daughter, Kobayashi defends her – even when the Emperor wounds Kobayashi with magic. The Emperor and Tohru return to the other world to duke it out… Kobayashi shows up riding Kanna (in her dragon form), walks between the two and speaks some platitudes… The Emperor gives up and flies off. After Tohru professes her love to Kobayashi they return to our world and in a montage travel to visit Kobayashi’s parents. Fade to black.
The subtitle of this ep was “It Was the Final Episode Before We Knew It”, and honestly it shows. They tried to hit the family moments that have characterized the best of the show so far – but fell badly short.
Scum’s Wish (Ep 12 – finale)
What a mess. Honestly, I was massively underwhelmed by the finale… Most of the show was consumed by a six month time skip in which virtually nothing happened (made more confusing by mixing time skips with flashbacks). During the skip, and for the bulk of the episode, they concentrate on the irrelevant activity of a school festival. For a show which had set such a high bar for emotional involvement, there were only the briefest moments and they seemed to be determined to get through those as quickly as possible.
But they did slip in a few hints and some idea of how things are turning out… Hanabi has definitely moved forward, receiving a confession from a classmate and turning him down very gently. Ecchan is struggling, but moving forward and her and Hanabi’s relation seems to be returning to an even keel. Even Noriko got a brief moment in the sun, and she’s broken out of her shell in a big way.
Mugi? The poor guy barely appears at all, and they hint that he and Hanabi have parted ways.
Overall, very disappointing.
Well, there you have it… The last of Winter 2017’s shows. I hope to have an overall season post up in the next few days, but Friday half the day will be taken up going to see Your Name so that might delay things a bit. (Not to mention I’ve been lazy and haven’t written as much of them as I should have by now.) I also need to get the next batch of Premieres watched/written up. Busy, busy, busy…
2 thoughts on “Winter 2017 – Week 13, the final finales”
Hm, it seems we reacted very differently to the final epiosde of Maid Dragon. What I saw was this: on hearing the news, Kobayashi immediately goes into shock (developing a nervous tick). From then on, she zombies her way through life, paying little attention at work, messing up her housework (partly also because doing what Touru did makes Touru’s absence stand out more). While still in this sort of stupor, Touru returns, which must have been pretty confusing, emotion-wise. I completely and utterly loved how they handled that.
That said, apart from Kobayashi’s emotional reaction, the finale seemed a little rushed; could have used more than one episode.
I drifted out of Scum’s Wish a couple of weeks ago, so the finale didn’t really get the chance to disappoint me, but it did feel oddly stilted. I always have a problem with shows who keep their mood too constant, and this was angst from beginning to end, with little to anchor you in anything outside that mental state. For a while it was a very uncomfortable watch, but after a while it just exhausted me and I slipped into boredom. I’m not really sure what to make of this finale. For what it’s worth, Mugi and Hanabi parting ways was, I thought, always in the cards, but the way they handled it reminded me of a monologue in a staged play (and that after contrived coincidental meetings?). “Mess” is the right word, I think.
In my defense I was sick and grumpy, and that certainly affected how I viewed the episode. Your interpretation is a good one, but I still don’t think they sold the emotions as well as they did in previous episodes.
Scum’s… I’m glad I watched, but I’m equally glad it’s over and I’m free of it.