Anime Spring 2016, Week 13

This is the end... my only friend...

This is the end… my only friend…

This is the end… My only friend…

1. Ushio to Tora

Kore de SAIGO DA!

Kore de SAIGO DA!

The key word here is “finale,” and this episode really felt like the biggest, most epic finale one could hope for.  The only way this anime could have been better is if it had 13 more episodes in the middle to flesh things out and improve the pacing.

This episode… pretty much had everything.  You had everyone coming together and taking part in the battle, you had the ghosts of fallen allies getting their shots in, you had epic action, epic music, and one of the most hatable villains in history get a much-deserved beatdown.

Also husbando protecting waifu.

Also husbando protecting waifu.

Any remaining plot threads were neatly tied up, and even some unexpected character resolutions wrapped up, like the siblings that created the Beast Spear, and we finally found out what happened with the samurai that sealed Tora away in the first place.  It seems that since Hakumen was born from Tora’s body, burying the Beast Spear in Tora’s body camouflaged it from Hakumen… and that’s also how Ushio and Tora hid the presence of the Beast Spear to deliver the final blow against Hakumen.

When Tora finally disappeared, everything around the event and the words describing it kind of hit home because the viewer is hit with the realization that “this is the end.”  “We have to say goodbye to Ushio and Tora.”  And to be honest, it’s hard to say goodbye, even if it’s kind of my second time doing so.

All that just to taste his mother's miso soup. What have you done for YOUR mother recently?

All that just to taste his mother’s miso soup. What have you done for YOUR mother recently?

 

2. Sousei no Onmyouji

It's time to TAKE OUT THE BASARA!

It’s time to TAKE OUT THE BASARA!

Like I said, when Sousei no Onmyouji is good, it’s really fucking good.  And when it’s bad, it’s god-fucking-awful.  Naturally, they put out all the stops for the finale, even if there were some disappointing elements in it.

In one of the weirdest teases, Rokuro and Benio come together and pull off some kind of awesome combined talisman attack while the opening song plays, signalling that this is an awesome epic moment.  The attack damages Basara, but even their best is only enough to inconvenience him.  He decides to let them live, however, because he was entertained.  He looks forward to fighting them again when they’ve improved, or maybe after they’ve given birth to the ultimate Miko.  Whichever works.

The power of friendship and resolve has failed.  It's time for the power of love.

The power of friendship and resolve has failed. It’s time for the power of love.

This run has been… weird and frustrating.  The manga readers often say that the anime is using too much filler and the manga is much better.  Honestly though, some of the attitude I’m reading from the readers kinda makes me not want to read the manga out of spite.  Anyway, I’m about 50/50 when it comes to the blatantly fillerish episodes.  I rather think the anime had some great Kegare investigation fillers – it’s when we get romance comedy fillers that the show tanks the hardest.  It seems that in the actual plot-relevant episodes where Rokuro and Benio’s relationship gets closer, I actually find myself rooting for the two.  But when they’re blatantly thrown at tired devices meant to tease a relationship and end in a gag, it’s damn near unwatchable.  Here’s to hoping the showrunners learn some lessons.

3. Boku no Hero Academia

Plus... Ultra.

Plus… Ultra.

Hm, what can I really say?  The finale was about what you should expect.  It kind of followed a formula, so there weren’t any big surprises… except maybe how hilarious and cathartic it was seeing Shigaraki getting shot.

This fucking guy right here!

This fucking guy right here!

Heartwarming moment of the episode was things coming full circle with All Might admitting that Midoriya saved him.  We also get a parting scene reflecting on all the students of UA and how the future may be in good hands… but it’s just a tad bit flat because we didn’t really get to know many of them all that well.

After the credits, we see Stain, and, weirdly, the most hype frame of the episode:

All we needed to know.

All we needed to know.

4. Sailor Moon Crystal Infinity

Usagi died for your sins.

Usagi died for your sins.

I just want to say I love that this season exists.  I really do.  It was the best Infinity adaptation I could have hoped for.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about poor execution.  Now, this finale wasn’t bad.  At all.  But as a finale it could have been better.  Much better.  With very few adjustments, really.  Basically, I’m saying someone dropped the ball.

The biggest and most noticeable flaw is the way the episode follows the previous one.  We ended the last one with Saturn lowering the Silence Glaive, signalling the end of the world.  We start the final episode… with a rather lengthy recap, which is frustrating as all hell since we want to fit as much content in a final episode as possible, and even Sousei no Onmyouji, which, as far as I’m concerned, is notorious for its obstructive recaps had no recap during its final episode.  Then we get the opening with the first version of the song.  It’s an anime staple, so sure.  Even if it does take up another minute and a half.

Literally the only reason they bothered was because they needed Saturn in the final shot.

Literally the only reason they bothered was because they needed Saturn in the final shot.

So five minutes in and we have zero new content.  Swell.

Next, we see YET MORE SHOTS of the senshi in despair.  That dramatic glaive-lowering?  Didn’t really do jack shit.  We’re just looking at more of the same destruction from before she lowered it.  They should have done SOMETHING to portray that lowering the glaive had an immediate and dramatic effect.

Next, Usagi wakes up to… the opening song.  This by itself is fine, but we literally just heard it two minutes ago.  And as the song plays, Usagi… just floats and gives the senshi new outfits passively.  It’s… kind of a miscue.  She doesn’t actually do anything to warrant the song playing.

To be honest, the best part of the entire episode is the epilogue that leads into Dream.  Though it is a horrible tease that we don’t see Helios like in the manga.

Turns out it was just the ice cream truck.

Turns out it was just the ice cream truck.

Then we end with Eternal Eternity just because… it was clearly the best ending.

Now, here’s the list of things I would have changed:

  1. No recap.
  2. No opening.
  3. Show the planet about to be fucking destroyed right after Saturn lowers the glaive, then have Usagi’s “resurrection / awakening” scene happen, and the light she gives off protects and regenerates the world.  That way it’s MUCH clearer to the audience the difference she makes in this whole situation.
  4. Use the opening animation (with the first version of the song) as the ending sequence so we get that final shot of Saturn as part of the senshi, AND you get the “full circle” theme (which is the entire point of using the first opening during the final episode) in proper.

Really, it’s not rocket science.

SMC-Maracas

5. Ace Attorney

My heart.

My heart.

This was probably the best Ace Attorney episode of the season, proving me right when I said their efforts would be better put to use making original episodes.

In a strangely heartwarming retcon, we find that Larry didn’t steal Miles’ lunch money – he found it in a dog’s mouth.  When no one claims the money, he uses it to treat his newfound friends out, and we see some nice bonding with the young trio.  It IS a bit jarring that Larry’s kid voice sounds too old… and, well, annoying as fuck.

Anyway, it establishes that the three have matching Signal Samurai keychains, and that’s the bond that links the three even in their adulthood.

As a finale, it’s pretty lackluster.  The role of the episode is definitely transitional, and we don’t really learn anything about the young trio’s relationship that stood out in a satisfying way.  Though I will say that loli Franny was pretty amazing.

Oh my....

Oh my….

Wait, how fucking old was Von Karma when he had her?  That’s just… Wow.

6. Kuma Miko

Well, no new episode.  It ended with episode 12, remember?

I feel like I should still say something though…

The artist of the original manga had some words to say about the ending, and its shittiness is approaching legendary status.  Like, disavowing any connection bad.

That sad part is that its infamy stops just short of being memetically bad like School Days.

That sad part is that its infamy stops just short of being memetically bad like School Days.

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