Agh, that was way too ambitious. With that, I don’t mean that this episode was rushed. This episode was well paced for the story that it tried to tell. On top of that, the direction was also as solid as ever, so there’s also nothing wrong with that.
Instead, this episode flopped because of basic storytelling. Mistletein has been built up as this unbeatable villain. Nothing could face her. At the start of this episode the creators had two very solid options to take her out: either fire that bullet once it charged up enough dreams, or kill the host. For some strange reason this episode found it a good idea to abandon both of these and end with a string of deus ex machina. That is nt how you use your build-up!
The bullet does get fired, but even that isn’t enough to kill Mistletein. And that’s the point where the writers realized that they wrote themselves into a corner and opt for the laziest solution: magically make Mistletein weaker so that she can actually get beaten. Suddenly from out of nowhere she actually takes punches, and to make matters worse: Yumeji also starts pulling random powers out of his ass. Oh, and Merry also conveniently gets the power to actually send demons back, in order to prevent destroying the dreams of his friend.
The weird thing is that this episode is contradicting itself horribly. Take Isana: this episode had a great moral at the end, about how the amount of dreams in the human heart was limitless. Having your dreams destroyed is bad, but you can recover from them. They could have done exactly the same with her and it would have made for a bittersweet yet very fitting ending. But no! She’s a cute girl and we can’t actually do things with her because otherwise the fanbase will whine!
All the while throughout this episode, the creators also refused to just kill off the host. That’s nice if you want to spread messages that killing is wrong. Only, at the end they just kill him anyway. I mean, he just disappears, completely unlike what happened to any other dream demon so far. What’s wrong with just showing him in the aftermath? It’s bizarre that this show wants so badly to be cliched that it actively introduces deus ex machina, just to get to these cliches, instead of getting an original conclusion by just letting things play out naturally. What the hell?
Overall, this series was a waste of potential. It was very good, and had an amazing first half, but Mistletein just was a bad villain. She’s just way too one-sided to make anything interesting happen. This show really suffers from being way too short. A very, very annoying trend that is the single biggest pitfall of anime in general.
I think that compared to other series that had to end early, the way that this series decided to solve it was below average. I can appreciate that the creators wanted to resolve the story, but they didn’t really resolve anything. It really would have been much better for this show to just continue with the manga and end somewhere in the middle. If that had happened, I would have been less annoyed than I am now.
Rating: – (Disappointing)