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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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 07:08 AM)
    @Kaiser: I warned you about Eva and what it would ensue. I honestly think the original series is an unfinished mess of hodgepodge ideas, but among the heap of imperfection was a true spark of genius that is worth more than a million cookie-cutter shows that are ‘perfectly adequate’. I also don’t disliked Nasu either, that’s why I used the haters of them as seemingly one group of anti-intellect Shonen fan fodder.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 07:02 AM)
    Wait … wtf? I leave for a bit to drink some absinthe with ‘re m8s and watch few F/Z episodes and they think we’re salty at eachother? And they call us petty? Gimme a break. We get into arguments all the time, but have a level of mutual respect. And then before they use to called us a den of circle-jerkers who just agree wot eachother and enforce our biases. Seriously, wtf?
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 06:31 AM)
    @Mike Unfortunately, I’m thinking about dropping Fuuka. Not that I’m not a fan of Kouji, but this one is just…too uninteresting to me. The drama and characters are almost all uninteresting besides Fuuka, and Kouji killed her off near the start…
  • mike
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 06:05 AM)
    @Kaiser I remember Aku no Hana’s anime adaptation being very controversial, what with the rotoscoping.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 05:55 AM)
    I always saw aku no hana as more of a trainwreck/dark comedy, the manga at least, first and foremost.
  • reaLjustified
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 05:54 AM)
    @;( I had to motivate myself to read through that series at first because the protagonist was so unlikable.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 05:51 AM)
    Maybe things helped, but that creative person always existed in these people.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 05:50 AM)
    I guess what I am saying here is that Anno, Lynch, Jodorsky , Von Trier Gilliam may not have required crazy/drugs to be as creative as they are.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 05:47 AM)
    I bring this up because I recall my aunt saying that initially she felt if she stopped drinking the creativity would go away, but she ended up being wrong and now claims it was always in her.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Sep 5. 2015 05:46 AM)
    Off topic, but I really meant to bring it up earlier, really really is the creative process truly helped by substance abuse or madness or is it really just always there in certain people before those two things even enter the picture.

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