Welp, here we are. In spite of everyone’s best wishes, the bomb’s been set – nobody wanted this, but this is where alienation has brought us. I’ve really enjoyed this show, and I’m confident it’ll end well, but I can’t say exactly what that ending will be. I doubt it’ll be happy – the context this show is stabbing at isn’t a happy one, and our actual world doesn’t offer any easy solutions to the questions of power dynamics and societal disconnect we’re dealing with here. All I’m hoping for is an ending that stays with you – I think one of art’s highest purposes is holding a mirror to the world, and I think Zankyou is as angry and driven a show as I’ve come across in recent memory. Let’s see it through to the end.
2:15 – Good shot choice. Even before any bombs go off, inciting panic creates casualties. Nine and Twelve are firmly “terrorists” now
2:41 – He has a pretty great smile
3:28 – In reality, most terrorists are never so conscientious, nor would they be able to get away with something like this for so long. Violence might be the only way to get people’s attention, but it’s nowhere close to a viable answer. It’s the last charge of a cornered animal
3:36 – This doesn’t actually make them any different from normal terrorists. It’s just with most terrorists, the means through which they tell us things are so horrific that whatever their message may be gets lost. But Zankyou is proposing that terrorism and youth activism are just different points on a spectrum that is dictated not just by your actions, but by how those actions are publically framed – not a hard point to make in a world with stuff like WikiLeaks
5:09 – Lovely background
6:54 – That doesn’t seem reflective of them – that seems more reflective of Shibazaki’s feelings. Nine and Twelve are very good at abusing technology to spread their message, whereas Shibazaki’s the one who constantly sticks to analog, and has to have technical things explained to him
7:11 – Alright, good, they’re addressing it. Along with the obvious problem of all hospitals going dark, and traffic accidents, etc
7:49 – The lighting reminds me of when Shibazaki visited the first project director’s home. A small patch of light in a world of darkness
8:02 – I love the music they’re using for this finale. No one is happy with this ending
8:59 – Great shot
9:25 – An echo of her earlier line, when he first rescued her. At that time, it felt like a freeing idea, like an escape. Not anymore
9:53 – Key line. Maybe some actual connection between generations could have prevented this
10:49 – Yep. Destroying the world still doesn’t make anyone happy, but this did
11:28 – What a moment
12:07 – And now the whole world is dark
13:26 – Aw, jeez. Instead of getting to tell the whole world what happened, this is all that’s left
14:20 – And now they actually get to be kids for a moment? This is kind of heartbreaking
15:11 – You’re killing me Zankyou
16:01 – “Broad daylight”
16:59 – Fuuuuuck nooooo. Nobody wins
17:30 – Again, perfect music choice. This is a sad, desperate moment
17:48 – A strangely beautiful shot
17:57 – Yep. They don’t actually care about the facility – that plays into their power
19:37 – Aw, it kills me
21:22 – All we got!
Whew. Yeah, that’s about as optimistic of an ending as I was expecting. It didn’t hit the transcendent peaks of the show’s best moments (Twelve and Lisa on the bike, the Ferris wheel scene, the first episode), but it ended well, and said everything it wanted to say. Nine and Twelve got their “victory,” but the ending doesn’t really provide any answers for the larger questions it raised – and that’s how it should be. I don’t know how we deal with the fundamental societal problems a story like this articulates.
This wasn’t a perfect show, but it was a very good one. An enjoyable, wonderfully articulated ride with a bunch of angry, very relevant themes. I’ll take more of these any time.