…….OH COME ON!
Miken: First series of my lineup to finish this season and I can feel a ton of weight lifted off my shoulders since “Yaaaaay, one less show to blog!”
Not compensating for anthything…
So Kuniko and Mikuni are clones? And Ryoko (who I forgot was Atlas’ controller/interface/whatever) just needs another body to possess? Surely we haven’t encountered these tropes before! Sarcasm aside, this episode certainly did hit my expectations. Namely, it wasn’t particularly awesome, but it managed not to be a trainwreck either. Overall, I suppose I could give Gonzo a thumbs up for not screwing this one over.
My favorite character of this finale has to have been Karin. Her last-minute saving of the world by rewriting MEDUSA’s program was awesome in a slightly nerdy way. It was also cute seeing her let go of MEDUSA like that, especially when contrasted to her wild attachment to it and monetary wealth not long beforehand. In addition, the conclusion of her side of the story was sweet~ Not only do Zhang and Klaris actually physically drop in on her, but MEDUSA is revived in the form of a “child” MEDUSA who treats Karin as its mother. For those going “OH NOES”, you can rest assured that they’ve decided to raise this one up right. Baaaaw, those three four sound like they could turn out to be a cute family.
For Mikuni, I’m glad Sayoko finally decided to slap some sense into the kid. Sure she’s had it rough all her life, but she can’t have everything her way. Seriously, she’s been spoilt silly and no one dared to act against her for fear of being killed from the inside out. Still, Mi-ko’s parting gift for her was really nice. Her disease is now gone and she can freely roam the earth. My only regret is that she looses her heterochromia.
As for our heroine, Kuniko’s snapping of the spear was pretty awesome in that she completely misled Ryoko (and the viewer) for a second beforehand. Still, the excessive deus ex machina and “I’m a hero so this is bound to go right!” moments kind of make her less enjoyable of a character. Still, the mini-battle between Ryoko and Kuniko was pretty good, but the slow-motion felt a little overdone. In all honesty, I had hoped that Ryoko would’ve proved more of a challenge since she’s proven herself exceptionally cunning beforehand. Of course, with such a buildup, it’s only natural that she isn’t the true final boss.
Our only real casualties for the finale…and the 2nd’s only on a technicality
I’ll also admit that Takehito’s fake-death was pretty awesome in that he managed to kill Leon, who wanted to keep Atlas running, with the Daedalus. At first, I thought they were going for yet another “cheap death scene”, but it turned out pretty well. Still, he ends up dying anyways after setting off a big explosion…and his final vision was so cheesy.
After the credits, we’re treated to a nice shot of a clock tower, much like the one from Duomo ringing far above a sprawling city……..
For a finale, this was pretty nice. I do regret not seeing Kunihito fight, but that’s because I’m biased. Of course, everything seems set up in a way that includes excessive deus ex machina just to get everyone but Ryoko and Leon a happy ending. Of course, the ending was still cute, but still…
So yeah. The very obvious moral of the story? Humans should decide their future for themselves, free of restraint. Only then will the attain Shangri-La.
Miken’s Level of Enjoyment for the Episode: 8.3/10
The music throughout the whole series was awesome — it definitely gave off a nice balance between adventure and mysticism. For the finale specifically, since I’m a sucker for BGM versions of OP/ED songs, the piano version and slow version of the ending song fit in nicely for the final episode.
Visuals overall were pretty good. Sure, some shots looked pretty skewed and and stiff, but they still got the point across well enough. I still kinda wish the series was drawn in a way more reminiscent of the promo art, but it’d probably cost money that Gonzo doesn’t exactly have anymore.
The plot remained solid throughout. Sure, the series was prone to using many tropes that are almost worn out to the point of being cliches, but it was still good for the most part. Most episodes were easy to predict, but they still held a certain amount of mystery in them and could pull off a couple genuine surprises, like the killing of all of the girls at the prison and Kuniko’s resolve to burn Tokyo. Overall, the plot was serviceable but nowhere near amazing…par or slightly above par at best.
As for the characters, I can’t say I have anything to praise about Kuniko other than her being your typical overpowered idealist. However, most of the supporting characters were easy to either cheer for or hate with a genuine passion (when intended). Momoko and Kunihito are among my favorites for this series. The former definitely lightens up the series while also proving to be a loyal and valuable comrade. Meanwhile, the latter, while not getting as much screentime as I had hoped, has more questions as to what he can interpret as truly “right” and seeks to attain them while acting on his own. Over on the Dark Side — Ryoko wasn’t very creative for a villain, but she was definitely evil and selfish enough to provide entertainment as I guessed as to what she would do next…since she’s as predictable as my horrible aim at darts. While some characters did start to get annoying at times (ie: Karin and Mikuni), they managed to redeem themselves by the end and prove genuinely likable.
Final Series Rating: 8.3/10
That’s all, folks!