Posted by psgels on 10 January 2007 with categories: Night Head Genesis

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You know what? I’m surprised to say it, but that actually was a great ending. It’s strange, as I expected this series to fall into the pit of predictability, like so many other series did before it, but no. This actually is the second series, after The Third, that introduces a whole new arc in its semi-final episode, and actually pull off a great ending. Why did these shows avoid the thing that strikes almost every series?

I think a major point is the building up, as strange as it may seem. Usually, a show has one big climax, where the final bunch of episode work towards. Side-characters are sacrificed in order to focus to the main character, tension builds up, and things are starting to look really bad. And that’s where the problem lies. It’s so hard to make something new and fresh out of that, when these three things have already been decided. You really need a series of the calibre of Noein or Utena to really make something worthwhile out of it. Most shows, obviously, don’t have that calibre.

The thing that made Night Head Genesis so fresh was that this ending focused on some newly introduced characters, instead of the usual main characters. Naoto and Naoya are just there, doing their thing to save the world, nothing more. By making the stakes in this episode higher than ever, but focusing on something other than Naoto and Naoya, the creators did make sure that this was an appropriate ending for this anime.

The fact remains that usual endings are just way too limited. Most of them exist to show how much certain characters have grown (Good Witch of the West, for example, or Makai Senki Disgaea). Others show one major character, usually a protagonist, who has some serious issues and threatens to do something stupid (Ouran High School Host Club, NHK ni Youkoso, Magikano). The thing is that this character has to be brought back to senses, in one moment, when the climax is at its highest. That’s obviously not an example of good character development. These things take time. And there is of course the ending where the great evil has to be defeated. The problem here is obvious: the great evil has to be defeated, otherwise the ending won’t be conclusive. It becomes way too predictable. These endings have to rely on how well developed and emotional their characters work. Like I said. That’s difficult.

I loved how this episode didn’t make the worst possible scenario come true. Naoto did his thing, he made sure that the earthquake wouldn’t trigger other earthquakes, and he did this in advance. When the earthquake comes, okay, things rumble a bit, though the tension isn’t as high as when something unexpected happened which would trigger even more earthquakes, but it’s so much more realistic and enjoyable. And not to mention that the creators found another way to provide a nice twist in the ending. Not by having a main character fight for his life, but by actually killing off one of the newly introduced side-characters. Even though he’s been introduced on such short terms, his dying words were great.

And god damn, Shoko. Only now I realize that the creators really “killed off” one of my favourite characters. She really isn’t coming back. That is SO sad for her. While this ending doesn’t beat the endings of Noein, Utena or The Third, this one definitely goes into the file of “succeeded endings”. I’m glad to see that this anime avoided the pitfall that strikes almost every other anime. I’m glad to have seen this series, even though it doesn’t enjoy much popularity.

4 Responses

  1. asdf says:

    one thing you have to understand is that this is a prequel to an old show, so the ending isn’t allowed to be definitive. this is merely the ‘genesis’ of the story

  2. Manon says:

    Yes I read it is based on an old japanese tv show. But about the anime, I couldn’t agree more with your findings/opinion.

  3. Alex says:

    This series is a killer. It’s a nice orchestration of dark ambience in a world already in total desintegration but with a new x-factor that will rebalance it thru the will of 2 fucking nice guys with fucking nice powers hehehe

  4. Kasumi says:

    thanks for the spoilers ^_^

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  • Friend
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 07:48 PM)
    Is anyone going to review the YuruYuri OVA?
  • Zo
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 07:40 PM)
    Man all your writers are lazy as horseshit. This blog sucks.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 03:44 PM)
    @Emma, Can’t. Ninja said he wanted to review it.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 09:55 AM)
    Or as we Persians call it “Yalda’s Night”.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 09:55 AM)
    Happy winter solstice y’all!
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:47 AM)
    Though Aidan this is your chance to throw up a full review as a blog post that isn’t for an ongoing series.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:37 AM)
    Wait, ha I’ve figured it out, most of his work I couldn’t give a toss enough to get immersed in the plots either. Though yes I got immersed in Saya, which really goes to show that if a story is good enough to me I should be able to be fairer and not be too hard on the characterization.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:32 AM)
    Even though his works alienate me with their poor characterization, still still I was able to not care about that issue in Kikokugai and Saya no uta.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:24 AM)
    I forgot to say also a few pages back it needed more action scenes also. I could honestly see myself getting distracted from the thinness of it if there were more.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:24 AM)
    I wasn’t tying Gargania and Aldnoah. Hell Gargania was a step in the right direction for characters. Problem was that Gen only gave an outline. It Gen can’t write characters then he should leave them to other people and just handle story structure and the plot. It worked pretty damn well for Fate/zero.

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