Nowhere near a great ending, but this also wasn’t a complete disaster. Really: this ending had both its good and bad parts.
Let’s start with the bad points: the climax of the series looking much more like an anti-climax. This is one thing that the creators of the anime just got wrong and it was a flimsy way to end the series. I can imagine what they wanted to do: bad guy sacrifices himself, the person that the lead character looks up to gets mortally wounded and so the lead character summons his inner powers in order to get rid of it. This was told very sloppily, though. It just doesn’t fit in the story. What really would have fitted much better was to exit this series with an exciting chase scene that involved all of the important characters.
At the same time though: that short climax did allow the aftermath to be very good. I mean, this series did not magically bring back Gauche’s heart, but explicitly stated that Lag gave him a new purpose in life. I mean, that pretty neatly wraps up his story here and I applaud the creators for that. Sunni meanwhile has the chance to recover (probably because she only got half-eaten by the cabernet), but again I like how the creators didn’t magically make her better, and instead made her recovery something that could happen over time, if it even would have happened at all.
Overall this series left some questions behind, but with most of them I actually don’t mind that they were unanswered. Lag’s mother for example had no business being inside this climax: there just wasn’t enough time to really focus on her character in detail, and instead this series gave enough hints to who she was and why Lag ended up the way he did. The rest of the details, we can fill in for ourselves. This episode has this “life goes on”-theme that I appreciate a lo. I’ve certainly seen much worse endings than this.
In the end, the big mistake that the creators made is that some of their key ideas just backfired on them. Of course the climax of this episode was one I’m referring to, but the biggest of them all was how they decided to put Gauche’s return at the end of the first season. I can definitely understand why they did it: the finale of the first season was one of the best hooks to a second season I’ve seen in a long, long while. At the same time, though they had to waste a lot of time in order to accomplish that, and because of that they ran out of time near the end when it became clear that they only could get 50 episodes.
If the creators would have chosen to continue with the story of the manga, I do think that I would have whined a lot more at this series, simply because there is no way that it could have been wrapped up in time. What the creators did here is commendable. It’s just a shame that they just aren’t the best storytellers.
Rating: * (Good)