First Reactions: Arpeggio of Blue Steel 12 (End) and Quickie Scores (9/10)

Before this episode I was perfectly willing to stick the show with an 8 or a 9 for an effective variation of comedy and combat that had a first gear that it wasn’t always in. Thankfully, this was one of those episodes that took the decision well and fully out of my hands. While the structure of the climax smacked very heavily of an anime-original story, the spectacle dial was cranked up to the highest level and we ended up with action scene after action scene that probably would have broken the show’s budget had it been a non-3D anime.*

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First Reactions: Kyoukai no Kanata Episode 12 (End) and Quickie Scores (6/10)

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.

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First Reactions: Dangan Ronpa Episode 13 (End) and Quickie Scores (9/10)

Based on the formula it had followed thus far, I felt I had a pretty good idea of where Dangan Ronpa was going with its ending. I was wrong; the ending packed a genuine twist that flipped the premise on its head, tossing a bunch of huge endgame plusses for the show into the pot.

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First Reactions: Free! Episode 12 (End) and Quickie Scores (8/10)

The two biggest unresolved plot threads of Free going into the final episode (Rin’s suspension from the relay team and the effects on his and Haru’s burgeoning rivalry) closely shadowed one of the show’s bigger strengths (its strong cast) but weren’t exactly playing to the show’s big strength; its kinetic visual sense. Given that, the direction the ending went wasn’t a huge shock. Though it was admittedly not one hundred percent something that I had anticipated, it still went down the right pipe.

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First Reactions: WataMote Episode 12 (End) and Quickie Scores (7/10)

The ending for this series was very much its twelfth episode. It opened with a recap and ended with a loop to the beginning, showing a main character who made no real progress as a person. It wasn’t a conclusion that was difficult to predict, but it does again highlight the biggest weakness of a show that expects one character to carry the entire show on her back with only a bunch of situational humor as a sidekick. As it is, it’s a fun show, but by no means the best comedy of the year (or even the season).

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First Reactions: Muromi-san Episode 13 (End) and Quickie Scores (9/10)

This episode had everything I liked about the show stuffed inside. What a great way to go out for what’s definitely been my favorite show of Spring 2013.

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First Reactions: Devil Survivor 2 Episode 13 (End) and Quickie Scores (6/10)

Well, Devil Survivor 2 is over now. That was a very standard cookbook ending, and only a few things happened that were really worth commenting on.

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First Reactions: Blast of Tempest Episode 24 (End) and Quickie Scores (9/10)

In an ending that was typical of everything the show has done prior till now, we got excessive combat, Shakespeare quotations, and plenty of toying with expectations. It’s been a heck of a ride for a show I almost quit on 4 months ago.

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First Reactions: The Unlimited – Hyoubu Kyousuke Episode 12 (End) and Quickie Scores (8/10)

As is the standard form for spinoffs with no direct ability to influence the main plot of a series, The Unlimited’s ending didn’t exactly break new ground. But it sent things off well enough to do job #1: entertain the viewers.

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