Okay, so contrary to what I first thought, the Suppon arc is going to take up three episodes. That makes me all the more curious to that mysterious final episode through which the creators are going to close off the series (please! Heitai!), but as the final multi-episode arc of this series, Suppon’s story works really well. For the biggest amount of drama, the creators could have chosen to save Mario or Joe for last. Instead, they chose the much more mellow and melancholic Suppon: a guy who really embodies the major theme of this show through and through.
And frankly, I like it that the creators used the least sappy story for last. This series always had its cheese problem: despite its excellent plot, it’s the reason why I’m never going to rate this show as a masterpiece. Still, it is one of those examples which really makes up for its cheese. Out of all of the arcs of the second half though, I find the Suppon arc the most interesting. That’s not to say that the other arcs didn’t stand out, though: Mario’s was the most intense, Joe’s was the most heart-warming, Cabbage’s was the funniest and Baremoto’s made the best use of the flaws of its character. They all had their own way in which they stood out, and that’s what made this second half work so well.
As for the Americans… yeah, they were decent I guess. The biggest problem was that they were portrayed like most thugs in anime: without much of a personality (except for that one boxer guy perhaps). The voice actors actually got their accents quite right and it wasn’t like the usual Engrish here. But at the same time, you can really hear that this dialogue was written by a Japanese, and then translated to English without trying to make it sound natural from the mouth of an American. But yeah, this is just me, saying things. I have no idea how natural anime sounds in the ears of Japanese people.
Rating: ** (Excellent)