Welp, last week of the season. Some shows triumphed, some shows floundered, and some just stopped producing new episodes. Let’s run it down!
Kill la Kill 24: Kill la Kill managed to top my expectations in one way while kinda just barely falling beneath them in another. On the positive side, this episode was actually very thematically coherent – it basically focused entirely on “people shouldn’t be defined by what they wear, however people choose to represent themselves, they are beautiful.” This was something the show has occasionally taken interest in, so it was a fair endpoint, even if the show’s obviously still pretty scrambled idea-wise. On the negative side, I actually kinda wanted this episode to go bigger than it did – it had a bunch of beautiful shots as always (and lots of much-appreciated friendship-fanservice between basically everybody), but considering the fights never have any stakes, I was expecting it to get a little more absurd than it did. That’s not really a valid complaint outside of the context of anything but Gurren Lagann, though, so I guess I can live with it. I’ve kinda learned to take my enjoyment where I can get it with Kill la Kill – it’s a fair piece of pop entertainment, but it lacks the focus, insight, or emotional truth to go beyond that. In the end, I’d call it somewhere around a 6/10.
Chuunibyou Ren 12: My god, this episode was bad. So, so, so very bad. So monumentally bad. Episode 11 was bad too, but only as a disappointing finale to a half-baked story arc – this episode basically represented everything wrong with this season, acting as one more cynical betrayal of everything that made the first season great. Characters reduced to slapstick props. Romcom cliches in full effect. Pandering bait that leads nowhere. It started out as a default romcom episode, which was already a great disappointment, but, I mean, that’s what this season has been. And then of course we go to the bathhouse for a little fanservice. And then we leave the bathhouse with a few choice gay panic jokes. And then we reach a contrived confession-bait, at which point I was already perfectly confident in how the show would end. Aw shucks, those crazy kids almost kissed! Go get ‘em, guys! TUNE IN NEXT WEEK, DRONES. God, what a cynical, meaningless, insulting waste of time this season has been. Fuck you, KyoAni. 3/10.
Witch Craft Works 12: Witch Craft Works ended in Witch Craft Works fashion – with an awkward and largely meaningless central plot, a bunch of great individual moments, and a last-minute save by the Tower Witches. It was actually kind of funny comparing the last battles of this show to Kill la Kill – though WCW’s style is pretty mundane, the fight choreography and understanding of weighted conflict is just miles ahead of Trigger’s work. And though the ending didn’t really resolve much of anything or even make a huge amount of sense, I wasn’t actually disappointed – I’ve never watched this show for the plot, after all. It was funny and kinda visually compelling and always a pleasant ride, basically everything I could ask for from a generic popcorn show. 6/10.
Nagi no Asukara 25: This episode had some Chisaki-Tsumugu scenes and that’s all I’ve got to say about it. I am drama’d out – Nagi no Asukara has been spinning in its wheels for most of a season now, and at this point it’s just tiring watching these characters retread these conflicts. It was pretty crazy when the first Ofunehiki turned out so poorly – having the second one turn out poorly in pretty much the exact same way is… well, actually a very NagiAsu thing to do. This is still a fair enough show, but dear lord did it need a harsher editor.
…and that’s actually all I’ve got for now. Both Sekai Seifuku and Samurai Flamenco have also ended, but I’m planning on writing essays about both of them, and so I’m saving their last episodes for this weekend. Which is kind of a nice feeling – I get to begin the next season by finishing off my two obvious favorites from the winter.