Watermelons, we knew ye well.
Of all the shows this season, [C] probably has the hardest time trying to say what it wants to say. Mikuni carries out his plans and Japan is saved… somewhat. The same couldn’t be said for poor ol’ Singapore. Still, Japan wasn’t left unscathed. Beggars are on the rise, schools are dying (why bother holding a class if only a single kid shows up?), families are lost. After taking all of this in, Kimimaro finally tells Ms. Sato that he’s prepared to do anything because apparently what Mikuni has done is worse than ‘C.’
But is that true? Wasn’t the imminent collapse of the Southeast Asian district going to consume Japan as it did to Singapore? Or are we making some sort of principled stance that having no existence is better than an existence without hope (but what does this even mean?)? Mikuni is set up as the bad guy, but I can’t shake the feeling that Kimimaro isn’t much of a hero. The way the anime portrays it, Kimimaro finally makes his decision after seeing his coworker disappear and Hanabi degenerate into a mental wreck. Frankly, he comes across a little selfish here. What would Kimimaro had done instead to save the future and not have chunks of people disappear at the same time?
Or is there some third option unbeknownst to us all? — one that allows both the present and future to be saved. But if this turns out to be the case, it would feel like a cop-out after nine episodes of ‘present vs. future.’ It would be a little more daring for the characters of [C] to have to make a difficult choice where not everyone can be satisfied. It seems as though Mikuni did this, but seeing as how Kimimaro comes across as such an ubermensch shounen hero, there’s the uneasy feeling that the anime will the easy way out and Kimimaro will somehow save the day. Oh sure, he might lose Msyu so I guess that counts as a tragic ending for anime…
• The episode as a whole felt rather unfocused. The ‘C’ bits only took up half the running length of the plot. We then spent some time with Ms. Info-dumping (aka Sato) about what Mikuni has done and, out of nowhere, Kimimaro’s father. Much of the second half of the episode is simply Sato telling Kimimaro stuff instead of them having an engaging dialogue.
• Speaking of Kimimaro’s father, it sure seemed weird to suddenly bring this topic up again. Like my complaints with Ano Hana, I hate when stories revive seemingly dropped plot threads out of nowhere. It feels as if the writers decided “Whoa, let’s resolve this before we reach the conclusion.”
The struggles and sacrifices of the absentee father — despite being a common trope in anime, it is rather haphazardly developed in [C].
• I knew Kimimaro wasn’t going to kiss Mysu at the end. ‘Cause that would be different.
In fact, I knew he was going to kiss her on the forehead. I just had to ask myself, “What would a shounen do in this situation? Ah yes, be a dork.”
• What is the writers’ obsession with making Sato cram food down her gullet every single time she appears in the anime? Good lord, someone has a fetish for anime babes masticating.
• The bits in English were both poorly animated and acted.
A double whammy.
• So let’s try to get a handle on this rotary printing device that Masakaki summoned.
A dark hole appears in the ground, a pillar emerges from the sky and penetrates said orifice (tentacles also emerge), and white-ish, rainbow-y fluid gushes out. Already, it sounds perverted. Something organic is clearly pulsating while a shrill, high-pitch scream emits from the entire structure. Mikuni then holds a spherical object to his forehead, Masakaki cackles with glee, and black money swirls around them. This is all done to save Japan and yet it reminds me of a certain creation myth… coincidence? C’mon!