March 29th, 2008
And what’s not, is solved by sloppy kissing.
Since I don’t have Kimikiss to play with this week, I went ahead and fully summarized the final episode. It wasn’t really that poor, but drama is still not this show’s strong selling point. There were a few cute moments, but come on… we know that Ren’s not going to get fired, that he’s going to either make up with and/or prove his independence and that Shinra will forgive him, regain her lost spirit
and defeat Queen Beryl. This is not a plot driven show. If you’re expecting twists, turns and development, you’re in the wrong place. So then, we just sort of go through the motions to resolve all of it. At least we got to end with some comedy towards the end. Half a loaf is better than none.
Final thoughts at the end.
Shinra looks out over the city, thinking that she’s a daughter of the Kuonji and this is her place.
Ren lets himself into Shinra’s room with a drink. He sees a photo of her father and loses himself. He spills the drink all over her papers. Shinra demands to know what he’s doing.
After the OP plays, Shinra announces her intention to fire Ren. Mihato says that she’s going to also resign. Miyu demands an explaination and Shinra throws out her completely ruined papers. The others ask for some time, so Shinra excuses herself.
Mihato washes Ren’s clothes as they talk about what happened. He tells her something happened on the date and then… he flashes back to running into his father. Daddy tells him that they’re the same, violent people, and Ren flashes back within his flashback to his violent acts as a butler. His father continues, telling him that he’ll take everything from him. Ren tries to tell him to stay away, but he lacks conviction. His father puts his hand on Ren’s shoulder and he recoils… but then he walks off.
Ren tells Mihato it was nothing and leaves. Miyu’s waiting for him outside. She gives him some encouragement and tells him that she’ll do what she can.
The next day, Shinra is rehearsing as usual. When she gets home, Yume makes her comfortable with a backrub and a drink. Shinra sees right through her and tells her that Ren’s fate is up to her. Yume relents and leaves, but not without saying that she doesn’t like Shinra like this.
Miyu then stops by and basically throws herself at Shinra, saying that she can do what she wants with her as long as Shinra keeps Ren. Shinra flips out for a minute at the ultimate temptation. She gathers herself up and refuses Miyu, who excuses herself.
After she goes, Shinra realizes that she’s become scary as of late. She takes out the photos of her with Ren and smiles. She remembers back to Ren being smooth… and Ren blowing it. She starts laughing at the situation with tears in her eyes and remembers that thing that she forgot.
The next day, Shinra announces that Ren may stay… with a blush. Everybody celebrates. Ren will be on probation again though. He thanks them all in tears, but Venis is quick to beat him down on general principle.
At night, he stares at his cell phone, thinking that he needs to protect them all, especially Mihato.
Shinra’s stripping when Ren comes in. The two talk out their issues. Shinra reminds him to watch her and then maybe he’ll understand. She then excuses him, remarking to herself that the honesty hereabouts is still somewhat lacking.
In the morning, Ren is sweeping when his father walks up. Ren takes him away to talk in private, but Venis et all see them go.
Ren pleads with his father to leave them alone. He even gets on his hands and knees, but gets beaten up. He keeps begging for them to be left alone. Shinra and Venis watch on as Ren gets beat up. Venis finally interrupts them. She goes to check on Ren, who is sobbing and just wants to be left alone.
When his father mentions Mihato, Ren gets up and goes to Shinra. She tries to talk some sense into him, telling him that he’s not the same as his father, that’s a lie. What is Ren going to do? Venis takes the opening to punch his dad, but poppa punches Venis back. Shinra runs over to help Venis.
Daddy is about to attack them, but Ren stops him. He grabs his father’s fists and then throws him down and punches him while saying that he’s different. He’s not violent. Ren picks him up by the collar and is about to punch him again when Shinra calls him to attention. Ren tells him that he’s different. He walks over and kisses Shinra’s hand. This is his family now, the Kuonjis.
The rest of the Kuonji clan comes running up, including bouncy Mihato. Daddy says to do as they will, so Venis beats the crap out of him. The Colonel reminds them that it’s time to go to the concert, so they and Ren leave.
Mihato and Miyu tagteam daddy for the finishing blow, telling him that he really is a lonely person. DeNiro electrocutes him and then blows him up for not being honest with his feelings.
He finally relents and says that he really is lonely. Mihato tells him that if he promises to be a better person, his family might come back together.
Before the concert, Shinra tells the players that they’re here to enjoy themselves and starts conducting. She thinks to herself that she might not know what a daughter of Kuonji’s place is, but this is Shinra Kuonji’s place. Her teacher is happy she found her spirit again. Ren listens to the music backstage.
Thunderous applaus. Yada yada. As Shinra leaves, Ren is waiting for her with a towel. She’s surprised, but as he’s saying it was a huge success, she leaps on him with a kiss. Ewwwww saliva trail. That was unneeded. She trots back for the encore while Ren faints in lovesickness.
Some time later, Ren gets a washbasin to the face after walking in on Venis in the bathroom. Punishment from the other ladies, etc etc. Business as usual in the Kuonji house. Miyu even starts using him as her private doll for dressing up and then whipping.
He escapes, but runs headlong into Yume and Shinra also demanding his attention.
Ageha also parachutes in to get a piece of Renmeat. Koujurou jumps out without a chute. Shinra also takes the chance to feel up Ageha while Yume sits forgotten in the corner. The rest of the cast invades as well, even the S&M girl.
As the ED credits start, Mihato and Ren visit their mother’s grave. Their father comes up, cleanshaven, and the three pray together. He waves to them as they leave.
Piano version of the OP plays as we see shots of apparently a Kuonji vacation to a hotspring resort or something.
Back at the mansion, Miyu refuses to eat the cream off Shinra’s finger, so Yume does. Jealousy. Jiiiiiii~
Assorted other training. Etc etc. Business as usual… again.
Let’s touch on the drama side first. Some of it (the Yume episode) was hamfisted and relatively awful. Other parts were a bit better. Like I said waaaay back when, I liked the light touch they used to introduce Ren and Mihato’s situation. Unfortunately, by the time we reached the end, that light touch became a 50 ton hammer. It’s fine to have and tell a story admit wacky fanservicey antics, but a story should be paced, introduced, developed, etc… not just thrown together in a couple minutes and called good. This is a complaint I have with a lot of comedy shows actually… why do you even need drama or a plot? People didn’t start watching it because they were drawn to Ren’s struggle against his belief that he’s a violent person… people started watching because it was funny. Well, and maybe for Mihato’s secret compartments.
That said, when it went for jokes, it was rather funny. It didn’t have the dark biting sarcasm of Zetsubou Sensei, but good old fashioned humor, just unpredictable enough to keep it fresh and amusing. There were very few jokes sight gags, usually opting for slapstick without too much cognitive dissonance required (:glares at Hayate:) and it didn’t take itself seriously at all during those times. It was just plain fun. Hear that? Fun. It’s something that I don’t think too many studios have that anymore, outside of maybe JCStaff’s Shana-tan or Shaft in general.
So I’m somewhat split here. I really loved the screwball comedy episodes, especially stuff like episode 12 and the whole beach training ordeal, but the drama stuff was just really unwieldy at best. The show had a lot of energy and creativity when it was trying to make you laugh, but it tried drama, everything was pretty lifeless and honestly trite. It wasn’t overall a particularly poor show since I did get quite a few laughs out of the comedic episodes, but there’s just such a sharp contrast between the two sides of the show that I really feel like the writers felt obligated to throw in the drama just to stay relatively in touch with the source material. Still, I don’t regret keeping up with it on a day full of other good stuff, so points in its favor for that at the very least. I’m still relatively confident