March 22nd, 2012
Man, why must you do things wrong to the very end?
What?! Shu lives!? He’s supposed to have the good graces to die off in the end. Not live on with a robot arm. And get cake at that. You did not deserve cake, Shu, although it is amusing that it’s years later and he’s still moping in the park by himself listening to his dead girlfriend. *ahem* That’s all epilogue though. Let’s cover the more interesting parts of the show first. Like how Tsugumi was fighting off the bomber in a hacking battle by wiggling her butt and… I am not even exaggerating here… jerking off the console while his attacks thrust against her face. Then a third wheel shows up and empties his gun all over the grinning bomber’s face. Suck on that sexual imagery, Aquarion.
Jenova Manna has awakened, been rejected by Shu, and begun dancing the Ballet of Doom while opera plays, infecting the world’s life force and turning everybody into crystals. Shu manages to defeat Sephiroth Gai thanks to Inori’s magical intervention, which transfers Gai, Shu, and Mana into the Crystal Dimension where the bad guys disappear. Then Inori wanders out, covered in crystalies, so he sucks all the crystalies of the world into them… except that as I mentioned before, he survives it because apparently Inori has the power to suck them all into her instead and then explodes in sparklies. Hilariously, part of the crystalies being absorbed means all the voids disappear, so the betraying whore gets shot up as the dramatic triumpha fancy-pants music plays. Just in case you thought that someone might not get their just deserts. This show is the best comedy.
Okay, so most of that probably was about what I expected from the show’s ending besides… you know… the handjobs and death ballet. I probably should’ve expected that though. Inori’s death/Shu’s survival was really the only vaguely surprising (important) thing here as it tooled along to its expected ending. As with most of this season, the action was okay, but pales in comparison to anything it did in the first half and overshadowed by the nonsense anyway.
Final thoughts at the bottom.
Honestly, what’s there left to say that everybody doesn’t already know? That makes me want to buck the trend and say mostly
backhanded positive things about it. If nothing else, this show has done a wonderful job uniting people from all walks of life in mocking it. Besides that, never let it be say that it wasn’t at least fairly technically well-made. The first half far outshined the second though, particularly for slick action. I think they may have realized that it wasn’t the super awesome megahit they were going for and scaled the effort they were putting into it back… a lot. Even at its worst though, the music was good and aside from a few hilarious awful moments of art that more added to the experience than took away from it, the art and animation were solid. It’s also a great example of how doing things is always better than not doing things… SHANA. It also did a very good job of everything being constantly in action and moving. There was rarely a dull episode. Take any of them singly, and you might mistake it for a good show.
All this is admiring the trees while trying desperately to ignore that the forest is full of toxic waste and the topiary has been cut into the shape of a giant dong. If the overall writing had been solid, this would have been a great show. Even saying that the writing is terrible is probably an understatement. Things happen, then are forgotten an episode later. Characters do things for completely incomprehensible reasons, not to mention seem to gain and lose magical powers based on the tides. Shu is of course, particular note, never crawling out of his self-loathing hole (although the existence of Black Rock Shooter set a new bar for sheer unrestrained teenage angst that unwittingly elevated Shu a notce or two) while they continued stacking more and more nonsense onto him from amnesia to being the preordained savior of the world from space chicken pox. All the technical production in the world isn’t going to do you much good when your characters and writing are simply incomprehensible, and unlike many shows, it’s not just some major plot point or deus ex machina where things fall apart, it’s pervasive through the entire thing.
So no, it is not a good show, but it would be the perfect kind of show to get some friends together, make yourself a gallon of Navy Grog, and then spend the whole thing getting drunk and making fun of it. There are far far worse sins a show can commit (and frequently do) than being nonsensical. Production’s good, characters and writing do not make an iota of sense from one episode to the next. Perfect for an alcohol addled mind to enjoy.