Fall 2020 – Week 12 – The Finales!


End of the year, end of the season! Before we turn the page let’s look at how everything turned out. Hit the jump, let’s run ’em down.

The shows that I’m watching are in bold, shows my wife and I are watching together are in bold italicsstrikethrough marks dropped shows and (*) marks shows that are watched but not regularly reviewed.

Adachi and Shimamura Episode 12
Adachi to Shimamura


The writers made the curious decision to simply run out the clock and leave everything more-or-less undecided. Normally, that bothers me. But here, it worked out pretty well. No, they aren’t really a canon couple – but they did take a few important steps towards each other. Or, at least Adachi did. Shimamura is at least looking in that direction but still hesitant to commit. It would have been unheralded and out of character otherwise, and that would have been really annoying.

Iwakakeru! Sport Climbing Girls Episode 12

If I had to describe the episode in a word, it would be “rushed”. All the awful pacing problems come home to roost when they have three rounds of the finale, three main characters, and the excess of side characters to cover in one episode. We didn’t even get an epilogue, to see the girls in their victory.

It’s actually kinda sad, the series started with all the parts for at least a workmanlike sports series… And it tripped over it’s own feet and fell on it’s face. It seems that most seasons there’s a show I’d love to go back in time and tell myself to drop… This season, Iwakakeru! earns that crown.

TONIKAWA: Over The Moon For You Episode 12
Tonikaku Kawaii: Fly me to the Moon

As many slice-of-life(ish) shows do, Tonikawa also simply ran out the clock. They could have gone for some big drama with Chitose, or finally tackled some of the mysteries they’ve hinted at… But I don’t think one episode would have been big enough to do either satisfactorily. Instead, a classic “date at the festival”. Usually used to start or display a relationship, here it cements and confirms the relationship. Quiet happiness rather than drama of some kind. I think it worked just fine.

Tentatively, I’d say of all the single cour series this season – Tonikawa is the one I’d most like to see a sequel to. Maybe a little more [not comedic] drama, but not going too far outside the lane it’s established for itself.

Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle Episode 12
Maou-jou de Oyasumi

I have mixed feeling about the final episode. I like how they re-affirmed just how much she’s made the Demon Castle her home. I certainly enjoyed the show overall, even as it got a bit repetitive… But it feels unfinished somehow. Unsatisfying.

I can’t quite put my finger on it. And that bothers me.

Strike Witches: Road to Berlin Episode 12
Dai-501 Tougou Sentou Koukuu Dan Strike Witches: Road to Berlin

I didn’t expect any surprises from the finale, and I didn’t get any. Miyafuzi saves the day, and we barely even got an epilogue…

Ah well, I guess I can’t actually complain. It’s not like I didn’t know what I was in for. They set the pattern way back in season 1, and have stuck to it like glue ever since.

With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun Episode 13
Inu to Neko Docchi mo Katteru to Mainichi Tanoshii

The best part about episode 13? It’s not actually the finale – turns out Inu to Neko is actually two cour and will return in a couple of weeks. YAY!

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And, that wraps it up! Time to get cracking on my anticipation post I imagine, look for those over the next week.

How do you feel about the endings? What show(s) would you like to see a second season of? Drop a comment and let’s chat!

10 thoughts on “Fall 2020 – Week 12 – The Finales!”

  1. You are right with Strike witches we are essentially watching Season 1 all over again. I think its the journey in Strike Witches that matters not the conclusion given we know what is likely to happen in the end. I did enjoy the animation quality of the finale which was head and shoulders better than any other Strike Witches effort and many other air/space series also. They seem to hint at the end that further series will be eventuating since there are still neuroi hives still in existence. Plus is 2021 we are getting the Luminous Witches series. You wanted a change up? You got it….We’re getting Witch Idols…..

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    1. (Replying to both for convenience…)

      Idol… Witches… OK, somehow I managed to miss that. And you’re right – it is different. Can’t be any worse than horse girl racing idols. (Can it?) And yeah, I caught the reference to other Neuroi hives too. Can’t let the franchise run out of steam just as it’s getting rolling again!

      I haven’t seen enough sports anime to be convinced they do better with 24 rather than 12 episodes. But I have seen enough to know that a lot can be done with 12. Aokana and Scorching Ping Pong Girls both managed it. And the former in particular had a larger main cast and a larger secondary cast than Iwakakeru!. With what they had to work with, I think the key problem is the spent too many episodes on the first tournament. Everything after that felt rushed.

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      1. Looking at the more successful sports animes of the past few years that Ive seen, Haikyu, Major, All Out, Major 2nd, they have all run 24 episode seasons or two seasons of 12 episodes (such as “Haikyu – To the Top!) to complete the story line. Some sport anime do well with 12 episodes – Scorching Ping Pong Girls was okay but its ended before they made the nationals they were aiming for. Same with Tamayomi – that was relatively well paced (despite its other problems) but ended after their first big match and their fate whether they made the nationals remains unknown – its probably unlikely to get a second series to conclude its story so it all is left hanging. The 24 episode arc means the studio can afford to stretch out, develop story lines and characters and set up a story line pay off episodes episodes ahead. Haikyu! is one show that does that particularly well. I think it is a far more effective medium than a twelve episode series. I agree Sport Climbing Girls had the issues you said it did but I think that could have been avoided and it would have been better suited to a 24 episode run. But then I dont know what the constraints on the studio making it were, so maybe 12 was all they could do?

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  2. Iwa kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls had me in two minds throughout it’s season run. Sports anime usually do best with a 24 episode run which allows them to develop character and immerse the viewer in the sport at hand. Iwakakeru! Sport Climbing Girls of course didn’t have that luxury and tried to do too much in a short number of episodes. Still, it was an interesting show which informed me somewhat about a sport I had no idea about. A second season could be entertaining but its unlikely to get one I guess.

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  3. I had no problem whatsoever with Sleepy Princess‘s finale. I actually liked her mum; I have a hunch she plays the ditz, with that last comment of hers. I can see how it would be unsatisfying, though: too much plot to ignore, too little to matter? Something like that.

    I was fine with the Adachi/Shimamura ending, too. Generally, I’ll have to admit that I found the show got a little repetitive in its later episodes, but it’s still easily near or at the top of the season. And Tonikawa was just fun.

    Surprisingly, the finale of the season (in terms of plot only, not the entire episode) goes to Akudama Drive: a show set in a rather typical setting puts a hapless protagonist together with a band of villains to various degrees, and together they end up fighting the system, more inadvertently than by design. The show never forgets that our group are actually selfish and to some degree horrible people. They don’t win, they don’t lose. Things spin out of control into utter anarchy and destruction, and it works.

    Magatsu Wahrheit remained pretty good to the end, but unfortunately it ended, if I should hazard a guess, roughly 2/3 into the story. Oh, well. It also ended a with large-scale destruction and the type of destruction was horrifying in a way I haven’t seen in a long time. For me, it beats Made in Abyss, because it’s less confined and more… casually cruel.

    Maesetsu was really, really great. And to think that after one episode I thought I’d enjoy Fruittart more. That must have been one of my gravest double-misjudgement in my anime-watching history. The characters grew on me bit by bit. It’s a show that knows where its going and gets there at a leisurely stroll, but it’s all purposeful. Really fun show. “Maesetsu” actually means “Opening Act” (I’m so used to “creative titles” that I don’t even consider anymore that the English titles could be straight out translations), and that’s what the girls achieved at the end of the show: they got a gig as opening act for a popular team.

    And Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear actually nailed the ending – going from the public to the more private in a move that was actually well-fitting to the theme. I needn’t have worried.

    Also, happy that the cat/dog anime is a two-cour.

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    1. re: Sleepy Princess Yeah, the mom knew exactly what was going on, and seemed OK with it because her daughter was OK with it and seemed happy.

      I’ve heard lots of good things about Akudama Drive I’m highly tempted to add it to my never diminishing backlog.

      Maesetsu was really, really great.

      I just couldn’t get over that awful (at least to me) first episode. You haven’t said much over the course of the season, but it sounds like you really enjoyed it.

      I was fine with the Adachi/Shimamura ending, too. Generally, I’ll have to admit that I found the show got a little repetitive in its later episodes

      Can’t disagree… I’m more than happy with what we got, but I kinda expected things to go a little differently after Shimamura confronted Adachi’s mom. But it wasn’t really about the moms… And at least the space-loli played a lesser role as the series progressed. I don’t think the show would have been nearly as good otherwise.

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  4. PSA: This week’s episode of Shingeki no Kyojin had a fairly crucial post-credits scene, so be sure to go back and watch it if you skipped it. The next episode (which doesn’t air until 1/10) might break the internet.

    Concur with Dawnstorm on Akudama Drive. On top of its other good points, it tells a complete anime-original story in 12 episodes, and they absolutely nailed the ending. My choice for AotS since I consider Shingeki no Kyojin to be a winter 2021 series that just premiered a bit early.

    Munou na Nana was a series I almost dropped 3/4 of the way through the first episode and I’m very glad I didn’t. One of the better head-fakes in anime this year. The anime did not adapt all the manga but did manage to come to a satisfying conclusion. My AotS runner-up.

    Yuukoku no Moriarty got a lot better as the season went along, especially after introducing Moriarty’s antagonist (who needs no introduction). Season 2 premieres in April and I’m looking forward to it.

    Golden Kamuy had a solid season 3 as the setting shifted from Hokkaido to Sakhalin and a slew of new characters were introduced.

    Was pleasantly surprised by Jujutsu Kaisen as I was expecting a fairly generic shounen battler.

    I have made my peace with the endings (or lack thereof) of Adachi to Shimamura, Tonikaku Kawaii, and Maou-jou de Oyasumi… the former was what I more-or-less expected going in, and I had no expectations whatsoever for the latter two. It just is what it is, I guess.

    There wasn’t really anything to Inu to Neko Docchimo Katteru to Mainichi Tanoshii, but I did complete it… the very short episodes definitely helped this one; I didn’t feel like I wasted a lot of time on it.

    I dropped Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, Maesetsu, and Majo no Tabitabi but heard here and elsewhere they got better and am reconsidering. I was just watching too many series this season to keep them all.

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    1. PSA: This week’s episode of Shingeki no Kyojin had a fairly crucial post-credits scene, so be sure to go back and watch it if you skipped it. The next episode (which doesn’t air until 1/10) might break the internet.

      I saw it… I always check when the ED starts playing and look for post credits. Even though I’d already been spoiled as to the Soldier’s identity, that was something. I can’t even imagine what’s coming next.

      I dropped Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, Maesetsu, and Majo no Tabitabi but heard here and elsewhere they got better and am reconsidering. I was just watching too many series this season to keep them all.

      I haven’t heard anything to convince me that Majo no Tabitabi got ‘better’ per se. Lots of people trying to convince others they were wrong to drop it, or that it wasn’t actually that bad, but not better. (YMMV of course.) To me, “not worth my time” is every bit as valid as “it sucks” as a reason to drop a show.

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  5. I dropped Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, Maesetsu, and Majo no Tabitabi but heard here and elsewhere they got better and am reconsidering. I was just watching too many series this season to keep them all.

    I found Majo no Tabitabi to be the most disappointing show of the season, so if someone didn’t like the first episode and was happy with the direction it took from then on, I could see it getting better. Most, if not all people who like the show I know liked it from the beginning, though.

    I don’t know when you dropped KKKB. If it’s after episode 1, it got better in the sense that it never pulled such a stange decision (the unacknowledged out-of-order events) again. And the show’s thematically consistent to the end, which isn’t something I could have told you early on. But basically what you see early on is all there is to it. I’d say if you dropped it there’s little reason to come back to it. The one exception is if you dropped it after episode 1 AND hesitated.

    I’m not sure I’d say Maesetsu got better as a show; I think I just missed that it was good all along, interpreting stuff in terms of genre tropes and dismissing them. All those things do pick up the genre tropes, but the show’s competent, and little things early on pay off later, and eventually there are so many of them that the momentum carries you along. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s very, very good. I also think I’m biased towards the show, since it’s Gokumi and I tend to click with them. I tend to like even their lesser shows, and even when they make me cringe (I’m not sure I’ve met many other people who like Lance’n’Masques).

    Honestly, I’m not sure I’d recommend picking up any of the shows again, though remembering Maesetsu for a rainy day might not be a bad idea – and, who knows, the New Year anime break might count, but even though I imagine there’s a sizable backlog – I’ve never met an anime fan without one… I’m rambling, aren’t I? I’ll see myself out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed KKKB it more or less stuck to its central premise and provided entertaining adventures for its ursine main character. It kept it simple with sound anime production which made it easy to like. I thought it one of the better shows of the season.

      I also enjoyed Kami-tachi ni Hirowareta Otoko (By the Grace of the Gods) which was a pretty typical isekai that was always quietly off centre. Where else would a downtrodden salary man die and be reincarnated in a magical world where he starts…. a cleaning business powered by slimes?….

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