The finale of Tsurezure Children has basically two scenes, the first being a comedy-ridden sports festival soccer tournament where we see most of the couples we’ve been following interacting on the pitch and on the sidelines. Sort of touching base with them one more time. Most of the relationships don’t change, but we get a good deal of Chiaki/Kana’s complicated situation as the latter insults the former until he saves her from an errant ball, more “hmphs”, then she cheers him in a strange way and he gets inspired. After that we turn to the sweet, heartwarming part, the last class before summer break and everyone wants to go to the beach, except Takano doesn’t want to go if Sugawara isn’t, and vice-versa. Who’s going to break through this? Let me just say I was pumping my fists over the outcome. Happy about Chiaka/Kana, too, but really those two ought to take better care of their phones.
So not every couple got to the finish line, and there’s no indication we’ll be getting a season two, which is a damn shame. This was a consistently funny and sweet show throughout, and, with Made in Abyss, a highlight of my weekly viewing. It juggled countless relationships and made them all interesting and fresh to watch, partly because, while every couple’s issues were different (an amazing feat right there), they were always recognizable. And while this show was a comedy, it wasn’t cruel to any character. The kids are new at this, they are awkward, they make mistakes, and I rooted for them to push through that and to get what they want, and I’ll say it again, it’s a damn shame we won’t get to watch them succeed. I want a second season!
Which leads me to Made in Abyss 12, and while this one has another episode to go, a long one, I hear, it too will end and have me sobbing in frustration. Back up on the surface there’s a strange curse that kills off children on their birthday, except Kiyui recovers, to the shock of Jiruo. So this is the “True nature of the curse” that the episode title is named after, not the nature of the abyss curse, well, they’re probably related. The episode jumped from this scene to others. until a shocking request from Nanachi at the very end, which I won’t spoil. Every one its own was effective, but didn’t work with the other scenes as well as they could have.
Anyway, we jump to Nanachi explaining the latter curse to Reg in ways I really didn’t understand, except a cloth covers you. Then more confusion as Nanachi has Reg take on that orb piercer by thinking something weird and jumping sideways. … Wait, if he used his blaster, why didn’t he fall asleep? And a very odd vision (flashback) at something distorted looking through an eye-hole. With hindsight it was the scariest moment of the episode. All of these things, topped by Nanachi’s request at the end, didn’t mix well, but at the very least there’s more weird things about the abyss for us to ponder, and there’s what Nanachi asked at the end.
Princess Principal finishes with a stumbling episode where we learn that the revolutionaries’ plot is to drop the cathedral ceiling on the queen, and then Princess will, I guess, assume power and start the big changes, or the plot fails but causes enough unrest that the Republic invades. Not sure of the logic of either, really. Meanwhile, the other girls regroup and even Ange makes it back, only to have Dorothy trick her in some way that matters to no one. Anyway, the girls provide just enough trouble that the ceiling dropping (done with a key in a lock) doesn’t happen, everyone escapes, Ange and Princess reconcile, L returns for unexplained reasons and kicks the general out of his chair, and the girls hang out in Casablanca. But what about the revolution now? The rebels Princess talks to seem unsure whether to rebel or to obey her orders. In other words, it’s a half-baked episode full of missed opportunities for fun (the ceiling, for example) and unexplained details.
I bet they’re angling for a second season, but I’m not sure the show deserves one. Most of the episodes were stand-alones that didn’t do much for the big story arc, such as it was. And when they finally came up with one, it was a mess. It’s too bad because this was a potentially rich world full of possible story ideas and an excellent steampunk aesthetic, and I rather liked all the characters in it. If they had worked on a bigger overall arc, and they had two unfriendly nations to work with, it could have been much more interesting. Instead, they chose to focus on the girls themselves. As I said, I liked them, but they weren’t enough to carry the series. This show was a regrettable miss.