Crisis averted! Our new broadband router arrived the day before Christmas, so I was able to keep up to date with everything after all. 😀 So as previously planned, here’s my thoughts on the final episodes of most series – not the ones that are continuing for 13 eps, or another season, but they make up less than half my lineup. No Osomatsu-san this week either, since that aired a recap episode.
Remember to also scroll past where my post would usually end, for another list, this time showing how each series fared on average over the whole 12 weeks. 🙂
1 – K: Return of Kings ep 12 (↑ 8)
2 – Noragami Aragoto ep 12 (↑ 1)
5 – Lupin III (2015) ep 12 (↑ 5)
6 – Dance with Devils ep 12 (↑ 5)
7 – Haikyuu!! S2 ep 12 (↑ 6)
8 – Sakurako-san no Ashimoto ep 12 (↓ 6)
9 – Yuru Yuri San Hai! ep 12 (↑ 3)
10 – Comet Lucifer ep 12 (↓ 9)
11 – Young Black Jack ep 12 (↑ 3)
12 – Shin Atashin’chi ep 12 (↑ 5)
13 – Ushio to Tora ep 25 (↑ 2)
14 – Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen ep 12 (↑ 2)
15 – High School Star Musical ep 12 (↑ 4)
16 – Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen ep 12 (↓ 10)
17 – Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry ep 12 (↑ 1)
18 – Peeping Life TV: Season 1?? ep 12 (↑ 2)
I’m glad that the final episode of One Punch Man finally saw Saitama engage in a real fight… or as close to one as we’ve gotten anyway. Even if he was holding back throughout, it’s an improvement on the usual one-hit-KOs! Definitely the best fight scene of the whole season, and there was plenty of the usual comedy too – I loved it when Saitama got blasted up to the Moon, and just returned as though nothing major had happened. 😛 I can see why this series got hyped up so much, but though it tops my average rankings for the Autumn season, it won’t be making my all-time Top 50. A bit too formulaic, and despite the large numbers of potentially interesting characters that got introduced, only Saitama and Genos got any appreciable development or even screentime. Now that all the introductory stuff is out of the way, though, I feel there’s potential for a second series to be even better.
Almost re-entering my weekly Top 5 is Dance with Devils – another series that got quite formulaic, falling into all the usual reverse-harem patterns, but the fact it had a half-interesting plot and a weekly dose of cheesy music meant it was always entertaining. The final confrontation with Lord Nesta and the vampires was genuinely gripping, and the series’ ending, bittersweet. What was that at the end with Loewen welcoming Lord Maxis back, though? Possible second series? Hard to imagine, with Ritsuka’s grimoire powers gone, but if it did get one then I’d no doubt watch it.
The final ep of Sakurako-san no Ashimoto was fairly good. The flashbacks to when Shoutarou met Sakurako were funny, with his understandably fast switch from admiring her from afar to phoning the police and accusing her of abducting old ladies. 😛 But after all the buildup for Hanabusa, who somehow connects such seemingly unrelated cases as Ii-chan’s mother’s death, the arsenic gas painting and the three crazy girls from the previous episode, I was left disappointed that we didn’t get to see them face him properly (even if the villain name ‘Sphenoider’ is ridiculous). Sadly, few series ever seem to wrap everything up nicely at the end anymore, and once again I’m left really wanting a sequel.
It’s hard to mess up the final episode of a purely comedic series such as Yuru Yuri San Hai!, since all it needed to do was make me laugh, so I’m not surprised it jumped in the rankings. The flower viewing was really amusing, coming to an abrupt end following a rain of caterpillars. Then we got to see more of Chinatsu’s drawing skills, though diluted, as the amusement club members collaborated on designing a ‘cool robot’. Plenty of the usual cute, nostalgic moments to round everything off. Nothing at all to complain about at all in this episode. 🙂
To be fair, Comet Lucifer did manage to wrap everything up in its final episode. As the ending theme played, we got to see what became of each of the characters in the years that followed their adventure, and that was all wonderful. It started out well too, with Felia being tempted into revealing the secrets of her powers by a fake Sougo. The plot was a bit all over the place, with too many twists forced into the final few episodes, and the final fight scenes didn’t look as pretty as in earlier episodes. But despite the flaws, I really did enjoy Comet Lucifer.
Young Black Jack also ended well enough – with all the dark sides to human nature and corruption in the medical field that Hazama has been exposed to over the past 12 episodes, compounding in the death of his first ever patient, it’s no wonder he grew up into the unlicensed, high-fee-charging and not-so-young Black Jack character of Tezuka’s stories. Not the most impressive single-episode of the series though, as Eri’s story felt a bit rushed, and her death was predictable. Great series on the whole, however!
Into the red we go, though ep 12 of High School Star Musical wasn’t all bad, just very generic. The outside stage (and all acts that were due to perform on it) got closed down due to the weather, but our main characters weren’t happy with just taking an exam instead, as they wanted to perform for a real audience. I was looking forward to seeing what sort of performance Team Otori would put on for us as the grand finale, but it just ended up being the ending theme, which was disappointing. I feel this series was overshadowed by fellow musical Dance with Devils for most of the season, but it was enjoyable enough.
Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen‘s final episode was a mess. As with the ending of the first part, it posed more questions than answers, but unlike the ending of the first part, we don’t have the guarantee of a continuation to keep our hopes up. Suddenly, the ‘thing in the box’ that was killing humans and vampires indiscriminately is revealed to be Kimizuki’s sister, who is both an angel and a demon? Ferid overthrows Krul, possessed Guren goes around stabbing everybody, and it all ends with Shinoa’s squad (plus Narumi and Mika) quitting the Moon Demon Company to do who knows what. All the weird pacing and twists of Comet Lucifer, without the attempt at closure. I’d still say it was better than the first part by a long shot, but I feel as confused as the main characters – what exactly is motivating the human and vampire leaders to work together, at the cost of the lives of their own people? We may never know…
Despite the fact that it ended conclusively, with no glaring plot holes, Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry was just a bit boring by the end. The interesting characters from early episodes got sidelined or defeated, the refreshingly honest romance also piqued too early, and that just left the selection matches for the Seven Star Battle Festival. Some of those fights were very good; this final one between Ikki and Touka was over in seconds. I thought it was well directed and surprisingly stylish in places, but probably one of the least memorable shows I picked up this season.
And finally, Peeping Life TV: Season 1?? I knew including this in my weekly rankings was a bad idea, as it’s just too different. On a really good week it made me laugh enough to justify rating it above other series, but for the most part, the basic 3D animation, lack of variation in format, and (in some cases) the chance I wouldn’t get a reference meant that comparing Peeping Life with more standard anime offerings was unfair. Still, it was different, and I like different! Here’s hoping it gets a second series, though if it does, I’ll be watching it on the side instead of including it in my main lineup here.
And as usual, here’s my average (mean) rankings for this season:
1 – One Punch Man (3.25)
2 – Subete ga F ni Naru (3.45)
3 – Noragami Aragoto (4.17)
4 – Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (5.50)
5 – Sakurako-san no Ashimoto (6.33)
6 – K: Return of Kings (6.83)
7 – Haikyuu!! S2 (8.08)
8 – Comet Lucifer (8.33)
9 – Young Black Jack (9.25)
10 – Lupin III (2015) (10.00)
11 – Dance with Devils (10.25)
12 – Osomatsu-san (10.73)
13 – Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen (11.17)
14 – Yuru Yuri San Hai! (11.75)
15 – Shin Atashin’chi (13.57)
16 – High School Star Musical (14.29)
17 – Ushio to Tora (14.92)
18 – Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen (15.42)
19 – Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry (18.43)
20 – Peeping Life TV: Season 1?? (18.71)
All very close this time around! One Punch Man’s average of 3.25 is quite low when compared with Rokka no Yuusha (1.67), Durarara!!x2 Shou (1.75) and Sidonia no Kishi S2 (2.17) from previous seasons. While we’re looking back, Ushio to Tora moved up a fair bit compared with the summer, but not quite enough to escape the red. The sequels for Noragami and Owari no Seraph far out-performed their first parts, and Haikyuu!! scored about the same, but Yuru Yuri San Hai! couldn’t live up to the high standard set by its second series.