Whew! Made it – last day of the year, last post for this season. As usual, the finales are a mixed bag. Some good, some OK, some… well, frankly, meh. Hit the jump and let’s run ’em down!
The shows that I am watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italics, and
strikethrough marks dropped shows.
Anima Yell! Ep 12
The big finale – the Cheer Competition. Despite various attacks of nerves, the Cheer Club manages to perform and not entirely embarrass themselves. Unsurprisingly, they fail to make it out of the preliminary round.
But in the end, they had fun. They made friends. They inspired others. The girls realize that despite failing in the competition, they won at life. And that’s a good thing indeed.
Bloom Into You / Yagate Kimi ni Naru Ep 13
That was… beautiful. Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m usually super-pissed at “read the manga” or “our battle goes on” endings… But Yuu and Touku’s relationship isn’t the big dramatic stormy thing that requires a big dramatic ending. In this specific instance, coasting into the final scene with the two of them on the train just works perfectly.
Yuu’s smile and the tentative yet bold way she took Touku’s hand says it all.
Yeah, I could say more, I should say more… But what more is there worth saying?
Bunny Girl Senpai Ep 13
Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai / Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl-senpai no Yume wo Minai
The emotional highlight of this episode occurred early on – with Sakuta’s desperate run in the rain as he mourned the ‘death’ of ‘his’ Kaede. The rest of the episode… was pretty much anti-climactic and wandering. Shoku puts in an appearance and basically calms him down by reading passages from Kaede’s diary. Mai gets upset and leaves over this, and it’s not entirely clear why. Because she couldn’t be there in Sakuta’s darkest hour? Because he hadn’t told her that Shoku had been there?
Even their reconciliation felt a bit forced… Because it was hard to feel that their relationship was ever really in danger. I mean, they’ve spent weeks building up how tight they are, so it will take more than a stony face and few terse words to convincingly convey that there was any real problem.
All in all, a fairly weak ending to what has been one of this season’s highlights. More than anyone else, Kaede deserved better than to be a side character in the rushed conclusion to her own arc.
Iroduku Sekai no Ashita kara / IRODUKU : The World in Colors Ep 12
They chose an unusual story line here… The business of Hitomi’s impending disappearance was entirely set aside in favor of concentrating on the cultural festival. But it worked wonderfully to concentrate our attention on the friendships she’s made during her time here, and her personal growth. (Especially with regards to her feelings for, and ability to use, magic.)
But then… the cliffhanger. They took our hearts right to the blinkin’ edge of bursting and then the credits rolled.
Iroduku Sekai no Ashita kara / IRODUKU : The World in Colors Ep 13
Thematically and dramatically, the episode falls into two parts… so that’s how I’m going to talk about them.
First up was the grand finale of Hitomi’s time in the past. It really emphasized the need for cooperation among her newfound friends to return her to her proper time. No man or mage is an island. But then it pulled a fast one… All her friends did was give her the power to follow her own heart’s desires. That sounds like I’m saying they subverted the intent, but quite the opposite! That she was (at least subconsciously) ready to return home, and in the end chose to do so was the whole point. She was sent to the past to recover her ability to see colors (a metaphor for awakening her frozen emotions), and with that accomplished she was ready. Not so much to lose her friends, but to confront the demons of her own past straight on and head held high.
But not so fast… Whatever her subconscious wants, her heart thwarts. She won’t, can’t, return to her own time until she reaches some kind of closure with Yuito.
And with that closure – she returns to exact place and time she departed from, and marvels in the colors. And there the episode started going off the rails… I loved that she connected with the friends (strongly implied to be descendants of her past friends) in her own time. The reveal of the connection across time between her and Yuito via the picture book was spectacularly done. But on so much else… they left us hanging. Grandma seemed more interested in sharing her own memories rather than current events. They never addressed the fate of her friends beyond a brief visit to a grave. (Almost certainly Yuito’s?)
Honestly, it left me disappointed.
And there you have it! My rundown of this season’s finale’s! What are your thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Think I’m batsh_t crazy? Drop a comment and let’s chat!
Looking forward over the next couple of weeks: I’m hoping to get a preview post out by Sat or Sun, but that’s just a hope. I’ve got some non-anime projects on my plate and they’re eating a lot of time. Also, from what I’ve seen, there’s nothing coming up that really excites me. But, there’s always hope and there hasn’t been a season yet where I didn’t find something.
Coverage of ongoing shows will resume whenever regular weekly posts resume. I can’t wait to see where Run with the Wind is going, and I’m anticipating Tsurune. Not so much Alicization… From a high level view, it’s making progress. But the actual doing is a bit of dull slog.
And, before I forget, Happy New Year!