I suppose I could wait until dishing on the episode itself to call this show a disappointment, but that is what it is. The shoddy serious plot handicapped a fun cast and a skilled director, and ultimately had no implications on how the story ended. There was a lot of pain and suffering to return to a status quo that would have totally still been maintained without said pain and suffering. Effectively, the whole of the nonsense that the people nominally trying to prevent a disaster caused resulted in the titular youmu being sealed (perfectly safely) right back inside of Akihito.And that wasn’t even the most bald-faced part of the script. The straight-up ass pull to revive Mirai at the end was considerably. In these past 3 episodes, she’s been dead, not really dead, dead again, and not really dead again. And that final example happened for no reason in the context of the story, beyond the meta one that the main heroine needs to be alive to bait people for a sequel hook.
I rag on Jukki Hanada for Mirai coming back at the end, but that’s ultimately a secondary detail. There was no binary choice that would have salvaged the show this late in the game. Regardless of whether Mirai lived, died, or died and was resurrected for no reason at the end, it remains a fact that the show spent a good half its run on a dramatic plot that was weakly justified, poorly handled, and not at all fun to watch. I’ll keep my fond memories of this show from the first half, but there wasn’t a whole lot in the second worth its weight.
There were some pluses to the finale. Akihito’s voice acting in the first two minutes may have been horrendous, but after that, the banter started to really flow between the two and the scene got progressively more comfortable to watch. The visuals were, as usual, well-handled; the ET shot with the motorcycle and the Lupin-esque climb up a 70 degree slope were a good deal of fun. I just wish there was even an average script behind it so I could remember it for those aspects.
Character Designs: 1/1 (Every cast member has looks that match their personality, and details in the design lend themselves to more elaborate fight animation.)
Soundtrack: 1/2 (The music is serviceable, but lacks either a strongly unique flavor or seamless integration with the scenes.)
Writing: 0/3 (Attempted a serious plot that was both generic and ultimately pointless, with extremely uncompelling villains. Even with the enjoyable first half, I can’t reasonably call what happened here a replacement level script.)
Direction: 4/4 (Showed off a great deal of visual sense beyond the stylish fight scenes, handling still-frame moments with care.)
Overall: 6/10 (Starts out as a fun series with potential and spends most of the latter half playing to its weaknesses.)
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