Finales: ACCA-13 and Youjo Senki, and Maid Dragon 12
ACCA-13 gives us a splendid finale which had me grinning through most of it, right after the moment Mauve stepped in and explained to Schwan that this coup business was nothing more than a public demonstration of his vulnerability, so please take care of yourself, okay? At first it didn’t feel right that Schwan would announce his confidence and support towards ACCA, I thought he would be too resentful and stubborn, but then I realized that this was a show of force, that he COULD be removed and he knew it, and all he had to do was let things continue the way they were, apart from Furawau. It took the look of surprise on Lilium and his countrymen’s faces for me to realize I wasn’t the only surprised by these events, though unlike the Furawau people, I was grinning throughout.
The whole scene was a marvel of understatement. Even the crowd didn’t overreact (that whole scene was a bit weird in that they were in the middle of a big ceremony which fizzled into explanations and flashback moments, and the crowd didn’t seem to think anything was strange about it). Most of it was a key line here and there, mixed with shots of various characters, smiling or looking blank in the background, and it worked so well. All you had to see were their static facial expressions to get a full idea of how they felt now and the part they played in this non-coup. Especially Jean’s smile. I KNEW he had something up his sleeve, I just hadn’t realized that everyone else was in on the game.
And so it ends up deliriously happy for everyone. Mauve becomes the director, a job she didn’t pursue but seems happy to accept. Jean and Lotta are almost certainly happy that no one learned their secret. Nino is free now but seems unable to let go of Jean … I think he and Lotta ought to hook up, myself. The “bad” characters are unpunished. The oldest princess even welcomed Lotta, connected as they are by blood and no longer rivals. Lilium is quite happy in independent, prosperous Furawau. Yep, every district and person within are happy. No surprise. For all the intrigue going on, this show kept a light touch throughout, with the country in the shape of a bird, and all the food that everyone loves to eat. It’s one of the reasons I kept watching, that and they dolloped just enough plot on in every episode, and I was curious about what all the districts looked like. I know there won’t be another season of this, but I wish I could see more of that bird-shaped continent.
Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon 12 is not the finale. Next week they’re going to throw some plot at us in the form of some new dragon, and I wish they wouldn’t. This week looked to have even less of a story than last week, but there was the omrurice to prepare and flashbacks to consider … I would have enjoyed just watching Tohru going through her day if that’s what they wanted to do, but it was nice to see the flashback to when she and Kobayashi met. The second flashback, with the bandit, was interesting with its thought that people can happily become servants if it’s their choice to do so. Right there it’s a good episode, but then they hint that we might see the bandit girl again next week, maybe not. Either way, with the new dragon showing up to cause trouble we’ve probably seen the last slice-of-life bits for this series, at least this season. Too bad. I think it would be fine for the show to end with the lack of story we’ve had recently. Rather fitting.
Finally, a week late, comes the finale of Youjo Senki, where nothing blows up, there are no battles, and no one dies. On the other hand, Tanya might have broken her record for number of evil faces per episode, and that’s mostly in the final scene. First she’s pissed about not utterly destroying the Republic forces, to which higher-ups say “Give it a rest,” until they notice that the survivors are forming up in the south. So it’s war! All over again!
At this point we get a lot of talk of peace, the nature of it, and how the Empire and others try to achieve it by forcing as much violence on those they see as enemies as they possibly can. Tanya says it, then, later on, in a crazy speech of her own, the daughter in the USA (United States of Arkansas, heh) says pretty much the same thing, though she adds talk about God’s grace while showing her crazy yellow eye. So now you know who’s going to duke it out with Tanya next season, if there is one.
If there is, I’m not so sure I want to watch it. The depictions of war, its justifications and ethics, were treated superficially but well, however, it was sunk by Tanya’s elite crew of soldiers who destroyed everything in sight and hardly sustained a causality, and I only suspect more for the next season, and that Tanya will manage to kill Sioux. The question of faith and rationality wasn’t much better, as simplistic as the talk of war, though for an anime show it did pretty well. However, because it is an anime show, a work of fiction as they remind us at the end, both sides shrink to a battle between one superbeing and another. You can yank more ideas out of its metaphors, but I don’t know if the show can support any more. Well, if they get another season I’ll probably give it an episode or two.