Miken: I know this is late, but I’ve put this off even two weeks after my reformat because of the disappointment this series has instilled in me. It’s not downright horrible and I figured that if I could force myself to go through all of K-ON! I had enough courage in me to finish this.
Episode 23: Beyond the Heart’s Darkness
Episode Rating: 7/10
I have to say that bringing in a vision of Mikage’s little sister worked really well — and since I know nothing from the manga after the end of the whole door-thing, I’m not sure whether this was in there or not. I don’t know if it’s my inability to bear Teito as a character or my sympathy to Mikage’s little sis since she has a pretty damn solid argument for hating Teito, but I definitely sided with her. Otherwise, this was just another cliched episode about overcoming one’s inner fears through love and friendship. I’ll give this series some slack and also say Ouida and Liam’s story was pretty touching…though only 2/10 (where Tokyo Magnitude was a full on 10/10 in that case).
So…yeah. An episode full of drawn out epiphanies that we expected ages ago — well, at least in Teito and Hakuren’s cases. At the very least, Ayanami didn’t waste too much time approaching the church yet again. Also — deus ex door! Honestly, that was a really weak way to set up for the final confrontation (?) at least until the sequel if anyone is crazy enough/blinded by the bishounen to sit through this inconclusive cliche-fest again.
Episode 24: The Justice of Those Who Lack Love Is…Oh Heart That is Stolen by Darkness, Forever…
Episode Rating: 6/10
Series needs to have less absurdly-long episode titles. Characters also need to talk less and fight more…but that’s just a personal preference. On the plus side, we learn that the Father who raised Teito was the 07-Ghost named Vetrag, and also sealed Teito’s memories and left everything on his shoulders. As for Teito himself, he’s decided to live for the sakes of Mikage, Father and…I forget. Kid needs to live for his own sake too, though…>:C
Also, Frau’s “battle” with Kuroyuri turned stale the moment the love/hatred conflict was brought up. As for Teito’s battle…nothing really battle-worthy happened. Just a buncha special effects and dodging and a whole damn lot of talking.
Episode 25: The Heart is Led by the Truth Repeated on the Other Side
Episode Rating: 7/10
Note to DEEN: If you’re going to use the upbeat OP song as an insert during the final battle, make sure the battle is actually faced paced enough to match the song. However, that isn’t my worst complaint…all the bad and good guys are stuffed in the same metaphysical realm and then Ayanami orders them to retreat. F*CK IT! He goes through all of that monologue-ing and buildup just to retreat!? NO. I will not take “protecting your friends” as a proper excuse! Now we’re right back where we started! You finally get off your freaking seat and yet you’ve accomplished nothing!! >:C
I hereby nominate Aya-tan as the worst villain of the year.
[Worst as in "does nothing villainous"]
After a nice little reunion between the Eye of Mikhail and Teito, our hero is finally forced to leave the church due to all the commotion. He leaves Hakuren, Castor and Labrador behind and heads off to Seele with Frau…Oh yeah — he’s a certified bishop now too! If they did this earlier, I might have actually felt like watching the last 3 episodes on time. This is much more exciting than the pseudo final battle between Teito and Ayanami…And we end with a ton of open ends that Teito points out himself that mostly involve the past and the Verloren/07-Ghost conflict. Sounds like a nice sequel hook? I sure hope it isn’t.
Overall Opinion? + Some more pictures
[Changing up the setup yet again to make it more organized and with *gasp* Actual Criteria!...Based off of MAL. >_>;;]
I went into this series expecting exciting battles and wondrous magical displays, but what I found were long drawn out — and usually cliched — monologues detailing numerous tropes that I feel like I’ve seen a million times before with nothing special added to its execution. It’s not to say that the series doesn’t play it well at some points, but those times are few and far between. For a series with a man already pinned as the “final boss” from the start, the general aura was almost sickeningly light at times. Instead of advancing the plot and providing the action expected of such a setting, I was faced with “Everyday Church Life” for a good portion of the episodes.
I admit a good portion of what drew me into the series was contributed by the art on promotional pictures. However, the style eventually lost its luster and the animation turned stale. Even when action and interesting angles were presented in the animation, I learned to expect the same things as usual — the Eye of Mikhail, some Zaiphon being thrown around and then some interspersed action from the bishops. Nothing really caught my eye towards the end of the series. Well, nothing but some pretty bad CG and Castor’s awesome fighting style~<3
[This portion of the review is pretty much a rehash of what I've said tons of times before...]
Despite the ups and many downs of this series, I really liked most of the soundtrack, since it fit the series well — and piano arrangements of theme songs are an almost surefire way to make a scene compelling for me. Other tracks were nice to hear in the background and fit well with the church setting. The OP and ED were both quite catchy — I especially liked the ED not only because of its violin intro, but also because of its soothing melody that fit perfectly well with the water-motif of the ending sequence. However, Noria’s “Raggs no Chinkoka” turned pretty dull after a few listens despite it’s nice calming factor as a lullaby (at least I hope it was intended to be like a lullaby……..)
Honestly, the only reason why this didn’t drop below 5 is because I really like Mikage and Castor…though the both of them really lacked character development because of a certain Teito Klein’s problems coming first and foremost. I know I shouldn’t really complain about the main character getting the screentime he deserves, but the supporting cast around him was just so much more interesting. In Teito, I saw the many overused cliches that I had grown to expect yet dislike at the same time. Royal Heritage? Check. Container for Almighty Power? Check. Troubled Past? Check x 3. Ability to call upon Deus Ex Machina at any time? Check…but what took the cake for me was that Teito spent so much of the series completely held back by his past — it felt like he was running a treadmill set to gradually get faster to the point where he wouldn’t be able to catch up…and then we get his obligatory epiphanies/flashbacks, and we’re right back where we started with yet another past problem creeping up at him…Also, we don’t really get anything about Ayanami’s direct subordinates. While they do act pretty cool from time to time, we barely get the names of half of them.
I sorely wanted to like this series, but my personal preferences and the general audience this show was aiming for must have been a (close) miss. While I do like bishies from time to time, this one just overdid it and relied on the fangirl factor 99% of the time. Plus — I expected action and a fair amount of blood, but I was given a boy trying to sort out his many troubles in a generally non-actiony show for its supposed genre. I suppose my expectations were a bit too high…
Series Overall: 6/10
Would I recommend it? Definitely not…unless the person was a blind bishounen fangirl