I haven’t seen Sidonia or BBB‘s yet, so at this moment DanMachi has delivered the best finale of the season.
It was far better than I expected, and yes, it had draggy moments. Early on when the adventurers (even the bad ones) were regrouping and then flinging everything they had at the goliath, arrows, swords, incantations, the kitchen sink, bits of string, shouts, etc, you knew it wouldn’t work because Bell wasn’t in the battle yet–he had been sent back to fight smaller beasties. Also, it was far too early in the episode for killing blows yet. We had to be satisfied with the occasional attack that stopped the goliath, only for it to regenerate and start his rampage again.
And there was the bit after Bell had had enough of being in the background and stepped up to the Goliath for the second time. His attack was effective (Firebolto!) but insufficient and left him nearly dead (rescued by Ouka). Then dream speeches from his father and from Hermes about what a hero was all about, and the super-duper magical hero strike spell Bell suddenly had.
But from the moment Bell woke up and was given that weird sword, everything came together. Supporting characters, speaking their motives (mostly to atone for bad things or prove something to themselves), gave their biggest best shots, got battered and rescued in turn, until it was Bell’s turn. It was a terrific buildup, and what made it even better was that the Hero’s Strike didn’t finish the job. Bell had to do that in his old way, almost a coda, running, leaping, using that knife. And immediately, with no dramatic pause, the lusty cheers rose up, because hundreds of people were watching.
I can’t think of a better way to finish the series. Kudos to the creators for putting their best work into it. I will quibble and suggest that they could have put more work into some of the earlier episodes, but this was meant to be a silly, fun adventure series without the biggest budget in the world, and they did well with the uneven source material. Not great, but certainly good enough to keep me watching. There’s certainly going to be another season, even if Hestia didn’t have those ribbons, and I’ll be happy to watch it.
Nisekoi‘s finale had no big story to wrap up. What plot they do have was forgotten awhile back, and they’ve been been spinning their wheels with character studies since. Last week it was Onodera, this week Chitoge. In the first half Chitoge loses her iconic ribbon. All of Shaft must have gasped in dismay when they read that bit in the manga–they play with the image so much–but she gets it back with a minimum of slapstick, after briefly turning into a nice girl and freaking Raku out. In the second half she considers confessing but quickly realizes it ain’t gonna happen. The best bit was her father’s story about how he and her mother met. But overall the episode was sweet, and not overly so, because this is Shaft after all. As for another season, well, as I said, it’s Shaft, and I watch just about everything they do.
… If there is one I hope they remember about the locket and all those keys.