In this week’s installment…
We’ll have a more official farewell to the Summer season later today, but we say good bye to a few other favorites in the Late edition… well, for now as Durararararara is scheduled to return for the winter and Working!!! has promised a special hour long grand finale.
Miss the Early Edition of the Roundup? Check it out here for our coverage of:
Ushio and Tora, Miss Monochrome: The Animation 2, Classroom Crisis, School Live!, Prison School
Durarara!! X2 The Second Arc
Artemis: This was a good episode – probably the best from this second arc since its first half. I admit I had been a bit worried about how the finale would go, because even if there’s still the third and final arc slated for January, it would’ve been a shame to see all that slow build-up of previous episodes wasted on a lackluster season finish. I guess I should have had more faith; whatever its other failings, Durarara is a show that knows how to create great tension and then let it out in ways that are creepy, entertaining, and often both at once. I felt this episode was a pretty great example of that, with of course the added bonus that it left plenty of material to be explored next time around.
Marlin: I came out of this finale with a much different point of view. I saw all this potential for at least one good confrontation, but in the end we got another episode of everyone fluffing their feathers and having the only fight scene be between Aoba’s brother and Walker, not exactly top tier characters. I did enjoy getting more insight into Mikado’s mindset, and showing just how much he’s slipped from where he started, but we didn’t get to see a whole lot more of the consequence of that. I’m still super excited for the confrontations to come, but I couldn’t help coming out of this episode feeling like it was too much of an anticlimax.
Artemis: … Did anyone else find that final scene weird? I found it weird. To be honest, I’m not even really sure what Souta’s mother is doing in this show to begin with – you could take out pretty much every scene in which she’s around or being alluded to, and nothing about the rest of the story or its characters would have changed. And no, I don’t expect that upcoming OVA to resolve anything to do with that. That aside though, this was a cute and perfectly satisfactory finale which wrapped up the franchise nicely, and I’m happy enough with that.
Marlin: I have a terrible feeling that this is going to be a very unsatisfying conclusion. Everything that has to do with Souta’s mother just wreaks of the insipid nonsense that dragged this show down in its initial seasons. Turning this last relationship into some sort of quest where Souta needs to be “saved” is absolute nonsense and is an insult to all the good character development they had accomplished all season.
Gatchaman Crowds: Insight
Jel: We’ve seen a lot of terrifying things throughout two seasons of Crowds and yet I’m not sure anything has been as intense as Hajime getting serious. She’s been completely even tempered and carefree for every second of her screen time until now, so it was quite jarring to see her explode once she found something she felt was worth risking her life for. While the moment wasn’t as grand as OD’s fight with Katze at the end of season 1, it was still pretty powerful. The rest of the episode ties thing up nicely but I couldn’t help but feel that overall the finale was just slightly anti-climactic. It was basically “here’s what happened last week” in the first half and a mobile device poll in the second. Not exactly exciting final battle material. That said, I still enjoyed the conclusion and the overall message and presentation made Insight one of the best series we’ve seen all year.
Marlin: I have to agree with Jel about the first half being a bit disappointing. As I said last week, the viewer could pretty much figure out what happened knowing the way Hajime is, so it seemed unnecessary to pad time like this. However, once it got to the poll I think it was really the culmination of insight‘s entire message. By trying to make an atmosphere without pressure, they will continue to get extreme opinions. It’s how things always will be, and for the health of a free state those extreme opinions might be necessary, even if they seem hurtful right now. Also, the most important thing about what the Gatchaman did was try as hard as they could to make each person think internally about this decision instead of making a rash judgement. As you can see, there were still votes for “Let the Gatchaman take care of Gel.”, but it was a much smaller percentage. They succeeded in making the people take back responsibility for themselves, and while things will never be perfect, hopefully more and more people will take out of this the lesson that one has to be informed to be a positive force for change in an era rapidly changing social norms and highly reactionary democratic politics.