Well, the last few days have been most unpleasant, so it’s appropriate first I put Kyoukai no Kanata to rest.
The whole thing felt rushed. It LOOKED good, as usual. Akihito and Mirai’s big battle at the end great eye-candy, but the things holding it up felt routine and the end perfunctory. Akihito had to battle his inner demons, or accept them, maybe, in order to force that part of the dreamshade back into himself. The stuff with Mirai felt a little better. Akihito got to rage against her decision to pass on and give him a normal life, if that’s possible for him, and that set up a truly tragic situation. She made the decision to die for him, he refused the gift and tried to save the both, but, um, she was dead already. OR IS SHE!?
The other story had just about everyone else (save Ayako and Ai, who briefly join Akihito and Mirai’s fight and then aren’t seen again, like the show had forgotten about them) square off against Miroku, whose reason for destroying the world is that he’s part dreamshade himself and therefore evil. It’s also revealed that Izumi also has a dreamshade, so we get some “You’re the same as me!” bullshit from the former while Izumi tries to kill him and fails, until she succeeds, just like that. Also perfunctory, but Miroku was so annoying I was glad to see him go.
Now, about the ending. I was saddened by Mirai’s death but was about to tip my hat to the show for sticking to the only logical ending. Only it didn’t. Suddenly she’s there on the roof and Akihito’s putting glasses on her. Or maybe she was a memory, or a new type of dreamshade, they don’t say. So we have to assume we have a miraculous resurrection on our hands. Or maybe Kyoani hates unhappy or bittersweet endings. On the other hand, there’s a lot in the finale that begs for a sequel. I mean, it was a big finish and all, but so much was treated in a “we’ll tell you later” way that you can’t help but wonder. I would like to see more. The characters have developed enough, and are diverse enough, that I think they could continue killing dreamshades or each other, hell, it’s the only justifiable reason for bringing Mirai back. And if they do, I hope they can explain things a little better.
Kill la Kill, on the other hand, while it’s not ending, finishes up the current arc in spectacular fashion.
Since the show thrives on action and energy, the best moments, and there are a lot of them, can’t be described. But imagine that they took the best parts of the series so far, the wild art, the music (it felt like a greatest hits of the series so far), the action that keeps topping itself, and concentrated it even further than before. Add to that Ryuuko’s uncontrollable rage and Mako’s sheer, er, whatever she has, brilliance at living maybe, both turned up to eleven, and it seems wrong for me to quibble.
I was wrong; it looked like it was indeed Nui who killed Ryuuko’s father (though he got her eye for it, good to see she’s not invulnerable), but I’m sorry I am. I don’t mind adding additional characters at this stage, but Nui was just dropped in there with no warning. Ryuuko didn’t even have to discover the truth for herself; Nui just walked up and said “I did it.” It feels clumsy. Well, maybe it was the best way for the series to move to the next stage, where we’ll probably see a lot more of Nui, not to mention Nudist Beach and whatever other little plot thingies are hanging.