And with this, Kenji Nakamura shows that he can direct a climax. heck, I’ll go out on a limb here and claim that this was his best episode since Bake Neko. This episode…. I have seen too many unbalanced series up till now, so I really didn’t think that this show would be able to do it. This show was ambitious; there’s no doubt that it would have been even better had it had 24 episodes. Many shows preceded it: Fractale, Kuragehime, Eden of the East, Toshokan Sensou, Moyashimon, and Jyu Oh Sei: all didn’t seem to understand that they only had 11 or 12 episodes. And yet this show knows its limitations and tries to make a rushed, yet exciting and interesting compromise.
This ending left stuff unexplained, but it did give the key questions a satisfying answer. I especially like how this was resolved: in the end the financial district collapsed because the yen it was based on collapsed. It wasn’t even Kimimaro who ended up solving everything: it was the golden teeth guy who brought it down. Apparently that would also cause the world to reset itself. Mikuni probably didn’t chose this option because he was afraid to lose both his sister and his money. He kept clinging to the present, which is why he was able to so easily sell off his future.
Oh, and that fight. That fight between Kimimaro and Mikuni was absolutely wonderful. The animation and direction made it into an epic ending, the type that I stopped hoping for because there are just too many shows who promise this, and end up too mundane. This was bold, daring and excellent to watch. This is really what I’m looking for in action scenes.
Thinking back, Kenji Nakamura has always had a knack for endings, but it still came as a surprise as to how good this episode was. It was obviously rushed, but it didn’t break my suspense of disbelief. Of course series that are completely logical and explained are wonderful too, (and again, C would have been even better if it got the chance to explain all these things), but the kinds of shows that test the boundaries of suspense of disbelief, yet never actually cross them are awesome too. Although with those shows you really delve into “your mileage may vary’-territory, since everyone has a different suspense of disbelief.
As the final twist, I really liked that in terms of the big picture… nothing really ended up being solved. In the new world, there just was another Financial district lending out Midas Money. Kimimaru&co didn’t really change anything, they just prevented one guy from destroying countless futures.
Overall, if this wasn’t Noitamina and gotten its length doubled, it could have been better than even the likes of Madoka Magica. Unlike most rushed series though: this series rocked. It had its problems, it didn’t have the best acting, but it had more than enough to make up for it.
As for the next Noitamina: Summer will have two adaptations, while Autumn will have two original series. With that, the writers are really going to have to pay attention to make everything fit, and end at the right moment. For examples of how to do this right: Sarai-ya Goyou, Genji Monogatari and Hourou Musuko. As for Usagi Drop, the guy behind the series composition will be a complete mystery, so we can’t say anything about that, yet. As for No6’s Seishi Minakami: he’s more of a really, really good writer than a good pacer: some of the shows he wrote and adapted are perfectly paced and fit really well in their time, while other are either too long or too short, with the biggest offender being Shigurui, who just ended. If the story itself is any good though, he is the guy who can make it even better and that’s why I’m looking forward to it. But yeah, I am not going to expect the endings for the upcoming Noitamina series to be as good as the two we got to see with C and Anohana.
Rating: *** (Awesome)