Yeah, this episode was rushed. At the same time though, I’m amazed at how much the creators managed to put in just this single episode.
Overall this series should have been better balanced in order to avoid this problem. I’d say, that stuffing episodes7, 8, 9 and 10 in just three episodes would have already done wonders, but this episode still was really enjoyable. It’s just that it didn’t resolve half of its plot and the things it did resolve were… yeah.
As for the cliff-hanger at the end of the previous episode: it turned out to be a mistake by a bunch of construction workers. In the end the problem gets solved in a way that does make sense in the end… but still remains questionable: Chieko’s mother just arrives with the message that she doesn’t intend to sell the thing after all. It’s one of those “why didn’t you say so in the first place!?”-twists at the ending, though granted this is a decent version of it: it was established episodes ago that Chieko’s mother’s phone was broken so she had no way of contacting them.
This episode also went back and forth between a fashion contest from out of nowhere at the same time. And remember that girl that Banba and Jiji ran into? She’s a supermodel and is at the same fashion show. Apart from a few “ah, I remember you!”, that encounter was never really used. At the same time we also see Shuu and Shouko who bump into each other at the same plane.
And don’t get me wrong, this was a very entertaining episode: the creators knew that they’d never be able to wrap everything up so they tried to stuff in as much as possible in this episode. Overall this is a series that doesn’t do well in terms of the big picture, but rather shines through its individual scenes and jokes, and that’s something it really was excellent at.
Probably the worst thing about this episode was that none of the romances were resolved. Shouko and Shuu were literally on a plane together when we last saw them, and the tension between Kuranosuke and Tsukimi is the same that it ever was. Unlike Shiki, which ended Perfectly, Kuragehime really should have had a normal time-slot to really show its best.
Next season’s Noitamina should prove to be significantly different: from a silly and over the top Josei comedy about cross dressers, we’re moving to a realistic and down to earth slice of life series about cross dressers and from a brutal horror show with lots of mystery we’re moving to a moe show with lots of mystery. Again, the question is whether they’re right for Noitamina or not: are their mangas small enough to fit within 11 episodes or will they be as incomplete as Kuragehime?
Rating: * (Good)