Kate and the rest of the crew clash with the governor for the fate of Japan, and one day the world. It still fails to make a goddamn lick of sense.
Oh Zvezda, you never stop being the most confusing show I’m watching this season. And this is a season in which I’m watching Kill la Kill. That says a lot doesn’t it? Alas, unlike Kill la Kill, Zvezda has none of the consistency as we witness the climax of this strange tale. Asuta’s father reveals himself to be some kind of smoke demon thing, capable of exhaling noxious gas that can weaken Zvezda members and only Zvezda members…or something? I seriously still don’t get it. Also, way to come out of left field without any foreshadowing. If you want to start introducing last minute twists to the plot, it kinda helps if you at least had something hinting at it. Alas, Zvezda plays too fast and loose for things like that, so instead we get a rather flashy fight that is even more style-over-substance than the show usually is.
Turns out Roboko managed to survive capture since she was busy switching bodies at the time. How convenient! And suddenly that chick who looks a lot like Itsuka is in love with Goro, who’s conveniently still alive. Super convenient! And Yasu held onto the real doll while accidentally giving a counterfeit to Asuta’s father? Mega convenient! Really, there’s no point in me even bothering to summarize what happened this episode since it’s literally just a sequence of contrived coincidences that happen to favor the good guys. Throw in some utterly random comedy elements in the middle of the supposed epic climax, and you have a final episode that is literally all over the place in terms of execution.
In the end, I still don’t really get what Zvezda was trying to do, and with the anime finished, I’m still confused as to what I actually watched. With some loose ends unaddressed, a pretty unsatisfying conclusion that doesn’t even explain the aftermath of the fight, and a looming new opponent on the horizon, it seems that Kate’s conquest as only begun.
My journey with Zvezda has been tumultuous to say the least. Lacking the sheer enthusiasm of Kill la Kill or the unabashed insanity of Nobunagun, Zvezda occupied a rather odd niche in the anime I decided to watch this season. With a cast that never truly shined with the exception of Goro and a couple others, I found it hard to identify or root for any of the characters. Hell, by the end, I almost found myself wishing Asuta’s dad had won. Asuta is by far one of the weakest protagonists I’ve watched this season, especially compared to the strong personalities that were brought to the table by everything else this season. His wishy washy motivations and weak influence on the actual narrative made him feel like a bystander to the entire thing, acting as little more than a cipher for us into the weird world of Zvezda. Kate and the others aren’t much more interesting either, and as of this moment, I still don’t get what Kate’s deal is. Is she immortal? The manifestation of something greater? A delusional little girl? I don’t mind it when a show is ambiguous, but Zvezda is obtuse to the point where it actively interferes with my enjoyment.
That said, Zvezda isn’t truly terrible by any means. I couldn’t dare compare this to the likes of ImoCho or Diabolik Lovers, anime which truly live up to the label of “worst fucking anime ever.” Boasting an interesting art direction and some genuinely good animation, Zvezda was a good looking show from start to finish. Unfortunately, said art direction was equally questionable as it was interesting. I still think Kate’s design is a primary example of what is wrong with anime fans and otaku. Here’s a character who could actually be interesting in the right hands, and instead she’s rubbing her naked body all over the main character. Let me remind you, immortal or not, she looks like a child. I’ve had people attempt to explain that Kate is actually a subversion of the loli-appeal character, but it’s hard for me to take your subversion seriously when the anime does everything in its power to prove you wrong. People have complained about Kill la Kill’s questionable character design and fanservice. All I have to do is point them to Zvezda to remind them that there are far worse things in this medium.
I will not remember Zvezda in the years to come, unless I’m trying to reminisce about anime I covered for the blog that I didn’t enjoy. With an unsympathetic cast, a lackluster narrative, and pacing that’s all over the place, it’s certainly not going to endear itself in my memories. In a normal season, Zvezda would just be below average. But this was a season filled with some truly remarkable anime, and it makes Zvezda’s failings all the more apparent. I can’t say I was disappointed since I had no expectations, but I can’t say I had a particularly good time either. With an ending that hints at future adventures of Kate’s conquest, I will have to decline on witnessing any more of it.