April 7th, 2011
Even in the end, the music in this show sucks.
Oi vey. Myst deserved so much better than to be taken down by "If I believe and dream that I can be stronger… and never give up… I can win!" You just gotta believe. Hell, just for backing off when the team started their counter attack to swallow
Vivi Parade, she should get bonus points. It’s a crying shame how often the speech about wanting to be stronger works in anime too, but this was particularly fabricated out of nowhere. Yumeji didn’t have the intelligence to punch Stripeypants when he ran up. He leaped into the air and headbutted him. This guy is not fit to even hold a sword, let alone fight against someone like Myst on relatively even footing. Plus, I really hate just about every part of how they handled Kawanami and the magical gun of melodrama. Leon fought Myst for about 15 seconds before she killed him, making him the last piece. Then she fires it, goes brain dead, and Myst shrugs it off until about 18 minutes later when it becomes the deus ex machina that yanks Vivi back out of her stomach. Aaaaand the whole brain rape thing with the gun is okay for her since her life sucked before and she can just do new things. That’s… uh… That’s quite the epilogue. I guess it’s better than Stripey McPants’s epilogue of "Oh, he left."
Of course, I wasn’t expecting much out of this ending anyway. Some fighting, Myst tossing Yumeji around, and then hand waving to explain it all away. There was the hand waving, and Myst being as great as she always is, but instead of fighting, there were flashbacks while Merry was trapped in the flower of despair (seriously) and Yui playing air trombone in the background. Why was Yui playing air trombone? I have no goddamned idea. Maybe it was because the violins in the orchestra at that point had gone so out of control that they sounded like the buzzing of a thousand angry bees. There was some fighting, and it would have been fine for an intermediary episode, but very little of it was anything more than a shot of someone dashing forward, then a closeup of air before a sword or fist passed through it, then shots of characters jumping away from each other or looking surprised. Then once it was time to end the show, a couple attacks connected and that was that.
Final thoughts at the bottom.
(Whew. 8 shows in one day! I can’t wait for next Thursday to do it all again with four more Thursday shows along with any carry-overs from today. Thank god I’m a grad student.)
This started aggressively mediocre and stayed that way from start to finish. It did have some interesting visual direction at times, but it was poorly made, pacing was awful, Yumeji was utterly useless and served no point, and Merry was basically a female Touma in a belly shirt. Villain? Punch it. Other things going on? Sit on the sideline and do nothing. Great. The production was easily the weakest part of it, especially the music. It was just incomprehensible at times and despite them clearly making it obtrusive, it rarely fit into each scene. Meanwhile, they still never even got around to explaining why John Doe was after Yumeji, which was the bloody hook to the show’s whole introduction. Did you just forget about him, JC Staff?
It’s a pity too because most of the rest of the cast is fairly strong. Yui and Engi provided some much needed direction and purpose to the show and Myst was a solid antagonist. The writing surrounding what she was doing made little to no sense, but she was a cheerful psychopath that the show actually built up and was a serious threat to the good guys. It’s amazing that this is one of the few shows I can say that for this season. Unfortunately, even all that was diluted by the awful pacing and random clown/ubervillain that appeared and was dropped. Kawanami was also interesting as a cypher for awhile too, but the ultimate reveal and direction they went with her was extremely disappointing.
Overall, meh. There are some high points at times, but they’re extremely few and far in-between. It was a better show by the end than when it started, but still little more than average… under the right light… after a few drinks… of absinthe.