Horizon 25, Polar Bear 26, SKET-Dance finale

Actually, he delivers a pretty good speech.

It’s frankly impossible to describe what happens in Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II 25. It’s almost nothing but battling and more battling. Perhaps the highlight was when the Musashi crew grows despondent and Chancellor Toori, still naked, offers to come over and console them. Be fair, Toori proceeds to give a good rallying speech, and after that the Musashi crew’s rally (in order to avoid Toori) pushes the Tres Espana forces back, but Tres Espana rally as well, and we got a free-for-all! Actually, a lot of the episode had people on both sides fighting bravely for their cause, even if I couldn’t figure out what their causes are all about.

Even Tenji and Nenji get involved in the action. I can’t remember for sure but this is maybe the first time they’ve done anything productive in either season. And the Indian guy. Just about everyone is involved in one battle or another. We spend a lot of time watching Bertoni duke it out with one of Tres Espana’s head guys. Money is thrown and batted away, spells are cast, and the Espana guy gets flung off the deck by his own men before Bertoni’s final blast of cash. There’s a mecha battle between Naomasa and, er, whoever. Look somewhere in the episode and a character is either fighting or about to.

The most compelling, though I don’t know why, is Tachibana (one of my favorite characters though I couldn’t tell you why) going up against Futayo, sort of a last stand for her, defending her beloved Muneshige’s honor (because Futayo doesn’t know what the word “sex” means), and losing, rather easily, I thought, considering how formidable she’s been in the past. There was something tragic in watching her armaments and weaponry stripped away one by one. On the other hand, it means that this whole war is now closer to completion, and that’s fine with me. This show is fucking exhausting sometimes.

The first half of Polar Bear’s Cafe 26 was a bit chilling. Poor Full-Time Panda’s doing side jobs because he has a third child. Maybe because of that the zoo brings in an enthusiastic Temp Panda and, in the spirit of modern-day corporate scare tactics (“It’s just a competition” they always say) have a contest to determine which of the three pandas is the cutest. The second half is far better when Wolf, Tiger and Lion have a reunion at Grizzly’s bar and talk about their families, jobs, and their ebbing youth. What happened to the good old days when they were wild predators? It’s already good stuff, but it gets even better when beloved long-lost rapper 469MA appears before them, the greatest of the white rappers. Ahem.

Bye guys. It was a good run.

Finally, we say goodbye to SKET-Dance after 77 episodes. I didn’t write about it that much but I looked at just about every episode. As usual for series that run as long as this one it had its ups and downs. The downs usually came when it tried to get too heartwarming, and for a show about a do-gooders club it did this quite a lot. There was also the inane, laughable past histories they had to deal with. Himeko’s wasn’t bad, but Switch’s story was so ridiculous that I thought nothing could top it. Then came Bossun’s backstory, the less said about it the better. But when not dripping with sentimentality the show was fun as hell. Bossun and Hime were a great combo, especially when they got to cut loose verbally on something weird, like Ramon’s manga or Tetsuji’s (or Switch’s) inventions, with Switch’s dry, robotic asides providing the topping. When on a roll, the strangeness we saw onscreen coupled with the SKET-Dan’s shouting incredulity came so fast it bowled you over. Alas, the final episode is nothing much. A heartwarming story. Saaya confesses to Bossun but they leave it at that, and every character shows up, but they didn’t get to show off their eccentricities. Not enough time, I guess. Well, it was a good run.

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