Mekaku City Actors ends (to my surprise–I thought it was a two-cours show) happily, though I still don’t know what the hell happened.
So Marry, with the help of her friends, decides not to wish on a dream future, but instead face the real one alongside her friends, whom she was trying to save by making the wish. So if they’re all alive now, including Ayano, there’s no point of a wish in the first place, so why was she even considering it? If this is a dream world they all live in, doesn’t that mean, unless she changes it, the world will end? But there they all are, safe and sound, even Takane and Ayano. Takane seems to have taken Ene and her IT powers within her, to use when she wants, nice for her, incomprehensible to me, since I don’t know how she went about it. As for Ayano, god knows. And what about Tateyama? The real him claims that he’s been reunited with his wife, who is dead, so is he dead now too? That would be all right by me; I always liked the character, but if he’s happy, that’s great.
Skimming through Wikipedia I see that there are countless side stories and alternate paths to this whole thing. Maybe they combined some of them, maybe this was a straight-ahead story in the franchise. Either way, it was often confusing as hell. Shaft likes confusing the audience, but in the end shows like the Monogatari series wind up making some kind of sense to me. With this one I said “huh?” a lot while enjoying the visuals. On the plus side, the show had those visual, the entire Shaft aesthetic, going for it. Also, the emotional situation made its way through. Forget the bizarre story. The kids were confused and vulnerable, trying to make their way through a situation they had no experience with. That part came through and gave the series a humanity that appealed to me. So, a mixed bag. I wonder if the show is selling enough for a sequel?
Kanojo ga Flag wo Oreratara is almost as confusing as Mekaku, but it’s much duller and not nearly as good to look at. We learn in the big flashback that Souta was going to die on that ship, along with all those girls and a few men in suits who were trying to help him, and Sacrament shows up and offers to save them if he takes on all their deaths and make his life miserable for the rest of his life. Of course he says yes, though, frankly, exchanging seven or so deaths with only one must break some law somewhere. Then, in the present day, he needs strength to defeat the Angelus Gemini boss (a cruise ship with tentacles, a halo and a glowing hood ornament), the girls all rush to his aid. So, okay, they forgot him but met him again in their future. But then when the day is saved, Souta learns from Number Zero, who’s actually another Bladefield, that they’ve been forced to forget him again … only they don’t. Nanami brings him flowers, and later Akane. Huh?
Well, nothing much in this show is worth examining for long. Bad harem shows have scenes where each girl has to say “Yes,” or something, in their own way, one by one (good harem shows manage to avoid this), and this episode, hell, this series had too much of that. The girls were mostly deadly dull except for Nanami, who at least had a temper, though I also liked the android. The dark side of the show could have made a good contrast to the silly side, but when the contrast wasn’t jarring it was laughable. And the silly side never really topped the first episode, when Akane started sprouting flags in her head, the moment I thought the show might not be so bad after all. Sadly …
I haven’t decided whether to keep Mahouka when the new season begins and I have 10,000 new shows to peruse. I almost dropped it tonight after episode 13, except they finally got around to developing a few things, such as some bookmakers deciding to interfere, another jealous bloom, and the Third high school boys introducing themselves to Tatsuya and Miyuki. The plot might actually get going next week, that is, after watching Shizuku scoring 100 in the skeet shooting match that, I am told, doesn’t even require aiming, whats-her-name winning battle board by using magic to make the others fall into the water, which is apparently legal (you have to wonder why the other schools aren’t doing tricks like this), and Miyuki and Shizuku both winning icebreaker matches without breaking a sweat. And Tatsuya is, as usual, getting all the credit. There’s a point which I just get fed up, and the promise of an actual story next week may not be enough to keep me interested.