I expected nothing less. I expected a lot of fighting and shouting with quick doses of comedy, sometimes at the same time (Senketsu’s attack on Ragyo), I expected all the characters to have a moment to shine, well, that didn’t happen. The devas had some action until the midway point, then stayed to the side and commented, except, of course, for Gamagoori. I expected the fighting to turn several times, heroic moments by the, er, heroes, quickly followed by Ragyo or Nui chuckling before launching their counterattacks. I expected things to get bigger and grander, and I suppose it did, up to a point …
The final battle was between two people (four if you count Senketsu and Nui’s life-force), and while this was appropriate, it felt like a minor letdown, even if they added some over-the-top, inane slogans: “Clothes are clothes! People are people!” (We traveled 24 episodes for that?) It just felt like a waste to have everyone else back on earth, watching. Sure, we spent plenty of time with them before, and they all caught the plummeting Ryuuko and wound up in a naked heap afterwards, though, considering the theme of clothing in this series, that was a nice touch. Maybe I just like big fight scenes more small ones, but I figured Satsuki at least ought to have been up there with them.
The “clothing are clothing” business fell flat for me partly because I think Ryuuko already knew that. It may have resonance because she is both at once, but, really, the only revelation that anyone got this episode was Senketsu, and it was almost lost in the finale’s wonderful mayhem. Because he realized that he was also partly human (is that right?) he not only turns the tables on Ragyo, but becomes perhaps at peace, able to sacrifice himself for Ryuuko’s sake. … Maybe. I think he’d have sacrificed himself any time it was necessary. Maybe the creators figured that it was the final episode, so someone had to die, since Gamagoori didn’t (honestly, when he “died,” did anyone out there actually believe it?).
And the Mako/Gamagoori ship? What does Mako do? She asks Ryuuko on a date!? … Okay, I’m just joking and nitpicking now. I enjoyed the hell out of the final episode, though I preferred the first half, when EVERYONE was involved, coming up to save the day right when it was needed. Everything that made this show fun to watch was on display from the start of the episode. Like I said, I expected nothing less, Trigger knew we expected nothing less, and they did not disappoint. It’s been that way since episode one. They promised us grand, crazy action, and that’s exactly what they gave us. What’s more, they managed to ramp up the intensity through the last handful of episodes yet kept it watchable. That’s very, very hard to do. Applause to Studio Trigger, looking forward to their next series. But not quite yet. I need a breather.