You may remember that I was going sightseeing in Kyoto. And I did. I strongly recommend it. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes, because you’ll do a lot of walking. Highlights included Maruyama Park, the old-fashioned Higashiyama district next door to it, and the Fushimi Inari shrine. My calves are still complaining about that last one. The tower and the Manga Museum are both worth a look, and you could get lost in the train station itself. I did, more than once.
And naturally, I had to stop here:
Six stops, I believe down the JR Nara line, at Kohata station, right across the street. I took a few photos of the building and proceeded to the nearby store, where they were promoting the Tamako Love Story movie and the next season of Free!. In fact, looking at the items in that tiny store gave you some idea of how the revenue is shaping up for them. There was still plenty of K-ON! merchandise to be found, trinkets, posters, art books, etc.. Still a good deal of Haruhi stuff, too. Even a couple pictures from Air and Kanon. But I was looking for Hyouka merchandise, preferably an art book, but all they had were a few postcard books and the like, probably the last of the stock (though I did score Chitandra and Ibara USB sticks). There was almost nothing from Nichijou at all …
All the while I was wondering what amazing work was being done at that moment on the two floors upstairs and back at the main office. Oh, that’s right: Tamako Love story and Free!.
So they just wrapped up a sequel, are about to release a sequel film and then air another sequel. Well, they do have something coming up farther down, but there’s no doubt that Kyoto Animation is in a holding pattern right now. For the past year, they have brought out well-crafted, clever works that display their trademark smart direction and top-of-the-line animation, and they’ve all been forgettable. I know Kyoani is not a company that takes risks, but they’ve brought out work that has surprised people before. The first season of Chuunibyou was the last really fresh work they did. Which leads me to the finale of season two.
There was no reason for Chuunibyou Ren. In the final episode, what happens? We expected Yuuta and Rikka to kiss, you know, on the lips, if only to get the other girls to shut up. There was more of this nonsense talk about the dark flame dragon being loosed. And what happens? Nothing. And that’s fine with them. I don’t mind these two shy adolescents not rushing in their relationship, but they covered this same ground earlier in the series. I feel almost insulted. If you’re going to have a sequel, have some kind of story! And don’t set up a good story arc and cop out of it by having all the characters act reasonably! Satone looked like a legitimate threat to the relationship at first, but in the end she was just too damn nice to interfere. So the show had nothing but sideshows like the Dekomori/Fake Mori Summer feud. But they had no idea what to do with Kumin, and Isshiki became so irrelevant that his running gag was that no one recognized him. Afraid to take the possible stories further, like Yuuta and Rikka are afraid to even kiss, the show ran out of steam long before the season did.
Well, I’ll probably watch whatever Kyoani puts out, because I admire their productions, and I’ll root for Amagi Brilliant Park whenever it comes out.