Better late than never! Talking about anime is losing out in priority to watching anime at the moment, as I try to clear as much of my stalled list as possible in preparation for a largely new lineup for 2017. Considering its mostly stuff I’ve dropped at some point or other, it’s made for entertaining enough viewing. 😛
Anyway, here’s my thoughts on *most* of the season’s final episodes – as usual, I won’t be posting a ‘Week 13’, but feel free to ask my thoughts on any 13th episodes in the comments (but no spoilers for Flip Flappers, haven’t watched that yet!)
1 – Shuumatsu no Izetta ep 12 (↑ 4)
2 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4 ep 39 (↓ 1)
3 – Drifters ep 12 (↑ 1)
4 – Flip Flappers ep 12 (↓ 1)
5 – Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku ep 12 (↓ 3)
6 – Yuri!!! on Ice ep 12 (↑ 2)
7 – Bungou Stray Dogs S2 ep 12 (↓ 1)
8 – Hibike! Euphonium S2 ep 12 (↑ 1)
10 – 3-gatsu no Lion ep 11 (↓ 3)
11 – Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari ep 12 (↑ 7)
12 – ClassicaLoid ep 12 (↑ 4)
13 – Lostorage incited WIXOSS ep 12 (↑ 2)
14 – Nanbaka ep 12 (↑ 5)
15 – All Out!! ep 12 (↓ 2)
16 – Bloodivores ep 12 (↓ 6)
17 – Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin ep 12 (↓ 3)
18 – Occultic;Nine ep 12 (↓ 6)
19 – Show by Rock!! # ep 12 (↓ 2)
It’s Shuumatsu no Izetta that surprisingly takes the #1 spot in this final Autumn post, with a fantastic final episode that just ended things off perfectly, in my opinion. A great aerial battle between the two witches, with Izetta making the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of her princess, and world peace… well, no quite ‘ultimate’ since they chickened out of killing her off, but I like her so I’m fine with that. The villainous Berkmann also survives, but Sieg isn’t so lucky, as his earlier killing of Jonas comes back to haunt him. That was unexpected! Tough competition meant that this series rarely ranked higher than 5th throughout the season, but I’m glad I picked it up considering how close I came to skipping it!
And so another part of JJBA comes to an end… so where’s our Part 5 anime adaptation anouncement!? 😮 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4 remains my least favourite of the four, though it certainly picked up towards the end. Whether that’ll be enough to grab it a good place in my Top 12 anime of 2016 list remains to be seen~ I was satisfied with the conclusion and Kira’s fate, and glad that no more of our heroes ended up dying at the last minute. Great bit of revenge from Josuke on Joseph at the end, with the wallet! I’ll certainly miss those characters and their wacky Stand abilities.
Bloodivores went through a bit of a recovery in my rankings over the past two weeks, thanks to some genuinely interesting plot and character developments, and decently directed action scenes (shame the animation quality wasn’t enough to truly do it justice). This episode was about as good as those two, and ended on an extreme cliffhanger with the appearance of Mi Liu’s mother from inside a giant monster. Then, it ended. Rather than a sequel announcement, we got a worrying ‘thanks for watching!’ message, that suggests to me we’re never going to see any of the series’ many mysteries answered. It was like Hitori no Shita all over again, but with an even more frustrating end point. I may steer clear of these Chinese-Japanese collab works from Emon in future.
Another series that didn’t really end was Drifters, and while that DID get a sequel announcement (and is probably popular enough to warrant it), the vague air date of 20XX means I won’t be holding my breath! Such a shame that they always end up adapting series that are still ongoing, leading to cliffhangers and anime-original endings, instead of going for series that are already complete… guess that’s not where the money is. 😦 Regardless, the episode itself was fantastic, and didn’t end on anywhere near as frustrating a cliffhanger as Bloodivores. Loved the series on the whole.
Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku falls slightly – the final showdown between Swim Swim and Ripple was great, and seeing Fav bounce around helplessly while trying to win over Snow White or Ripple at the end before being destroyed was a satisfying end to the evil creature. So two survived in the end… and its at that point that I realised how little the series had focused on or developed Snow White. Being the good magical girl who avoided conflict, she didn’t play much of an active role since the Magic Candies stopped counting for anything! So while the ending wasn’t bad, and I’m glad Ripple made it as well, I feel that all the characters I really cared about were dead by that point!
I’ve compared Lostorage incited WIXOSS to Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku throughout the season, as both featured cruel games with high stakes… I guess the lack of action and actual death meant that WIXOSS was always at a disadvantage, even without the whole ‘not understanding the card game’ issue I’ve always had. The Bookmaker wasn’t quite the great final villain I was hoping for either. That said, this series did do a better job of developing its main duo, so the ‘happy ending’ after the meh final battle felt more satisfying than that of Mahou Shoujo. I have to say I preferred the two ‘Selector’ series’ to this. Looks like there’s going to be another series, and the names don’t get any better (conflated?) – not sure I’ll bother this time.
All in all, I think Yuri!!! on Ice ended as well as it possibly could have done, and it ends the season way on top in terms of non-battle anime. While I’m sure I wasn’t alone in wanting Katsuki to win gold and for him and Victor to get married and live happily ever after etc etc, the frustratingly close defeat to his rival and namesake gives him a reason to keep skating and try again next year. Victor’s return to the rink makes things even better. People younger than me shouldn’t be thinking about retirement anyway. 😛 A cryptic message at the end means that a continuation isn’t out of the question – while part of me is worried that it could spoil a good ending, more of the same characters and great scriptwriting mean I’d definitely pick it up.
Also just missing out on a Top 5 place is the finale of Bungou Stray Dogs S2, largely because the fight against Guild leader Fitzgerald was over so quickly (though it was fantastic while it lasted)! The sudden hijacking of the Moby Dick by yet another organisation and new villain leaves things open for another series – as with Drifters, I’m rating this highly on the assumption that we’ll be getting just that. The best part of the episode was how they turned the destruction of the Moby Dick into an initiation exam for Kyouka, who now has full control over her powers thanks to Yukichi’s ability. All the closure that followed for this arc was satisfying, and I was especially happy to see Lovecraft survive. Infinitely better than its first series!
I expected the final episode of Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari to focus on Souta’s relationship with Poco, but instead it focused on his relationship with his father, aided by some magical tanuki flashbacks. Learning that his father wasn’t disappointed in him or his life choices must have been an emotional moment for Souta, just a shame they couldn’t have talked about it more while he was still alive. With these feelings passed on, Poco leaves. I’m still disappointed that the two of them couldn’t have stayed together somehow, though. A bittersweet finale, but it felt more happy than not. I found this series adorable, but there was a fair bit of substance to it in addition to just Poco’s cuteness. 🙂
I don’t know what I was expecting from Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin‘s final episode, but Guy did hint that a tedious, normal life would await Azuma and his friends if they defeated him… and that’s what happened. Given that most of the series took place inside brightly coloured glowing mechs, or islands in the sky, it’s easy to forget that this series isn’t set in some fantasy world where such things are normal. A year on, and they’re all split up, with some of them not having talked to each other since their adventures ended. If the episode was supposed to convey Azuma and Co.’s feelings of boredom, it succeeded! I was disappointed to learn of Banryuu Reoko’s fate, and aside from that, the only part I really liked was when the gang reuninted at the end. MEH.
Occultic;Nine‘s last episode made sense, and concluded the story well, with few questions left unanswered… as long as you were able to keep up with the ridiculously fast dialogue to follow what was going on. Part of me feels it should be well above Bubuki Buranki and Bloodivores for that reason. But, the pacing. Everything from the revelation of the true villains, to Gamon’s group devising a plan of action against them, to his carrying out that plan and saving the lives of his friends at the (implied?) cost of his own, was just rushed so much that I found I literally didn’t care about any of it. Not enough time was left for anything to sink in. Squeezing this potentially good series into twelve episodes was a big mistake.
However, the most disappointing final episode of the Autumn season for me, by far, has to be Show by Rock!! #. So the final boss, who was literally just introduced one episode before, finally appears… and is defeated by Maple piloting a giant robotic version of himself, of all things. I mean, I’m sure the implication is that the song performed by all five main bands won her over and made her remember how great music is… but what a lacklustre song. And couldn’t they at least have performed it in their adorable 3D chibi forms? There seemed to be far less of that in this sequel, guessing it had a fraction of the budget, in addition to a weaker story and less funny comedy episodes. And Cyan’s rushed departure at the end made even Occultic;Nine’s ending look well-paced! A truly disappointing sequel IMO, though thankfully fond memories of the first mean I haven’t put me off cosplaying Cyan, it’s a bit late for me to change costume ideas at this point!
And finally, here’s the average rankings throughout the whole season:
1 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4 (2.67)
2 – Drifters (3.33)
3 – Flip Flappers (3.42)
4 – Bungou Stray Dogs S2 (5.25)
5 – Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku (5.50)
6 – Shuumatsu no Izetta (5.58)
7 – Yuri!!! on Ice (7.75)
8 – 3-gatsu no Lion (9.18)
9 – Hibike! Euphonium S2 (9.33)
10 – Haikyuu!! S3 (9.40)
11 – Bloodivores (11.25)
12 – Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans S2 (11.33)
13 – Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin (12.08)
14 – All Out!! (12.83)
15 – Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari (13.17)
16 – Lostorage incited WIXOSS (14.17)
17 – Occultic;Nine (14.50)
18 – ClassicaLoid (15.83)
19 – Nanbaka (17.17)
20 – Show by Rock!! # (18.08)
A last minute #1 ranking wasn’t enough to secure Shuumatsu no Izetta a place in the green zone… what a recovery from Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku, though! Ignore its first three episodes’ rankings and it would have beaten JJBA, but it was the longest running series on the list that eventually came out on top. Everything in the Top 10 was brilliant, and the five that followed had their moments; not so keen on the Bottom 5. So largely an accurate representation of my thoughts on the season as a whole. 😀