The season’s almost over, which is good since there’s really only one show I’ve actually been enjoying watching. It’s been one of the weakest seasons I’ve watched in a long time, and I’m only finishing most of these because I’ve invested too much time to stop now.
1. Sirius the Jaeger (10)
Things are not moving as fast as I thought they would, but everyone is slowly gathering in the same place for the climax of the show. Turns out the rest of the crew only took a detour to Dogville to pick up a macguffin that has never been mentioned before. Eh, sure, whatever.
After Klarwein’s goofy ghoul army has been disposed of, the rest of the episode mostly deals with Yuliy meeting with and seeing flashbacks of his father. The flashbacks flesh him out a little, but there’s not a whole lot in there that’s new. Yuliy’s determined to free his father from being bound to the Ark, but it’s not clear how he’ll actually accomplish this.
All in all, it was fine but not great. Not sure how many episodes are left, because there’s too many characters who all need some sort of resolution.
Episode Score: 7.0
Season Average: 7.05
2. Angolmois (11)
The final battle has started, and it’s quite a bloodbath. I really wish this show had better production values. It’s not a good sign when an action show is at its best when it’s just people talking because it’s harder to ruin with stiff animation and poor direction. A bunch of characters die, but the issue is that most of them weren’t developed much, so while they might’ve been likeable I wasn’t super invested in their survival.
Episode Score: 7.0
Season Average: 6.82
3. Hanebad! (11)
I’m so tired of this shit. The only saving grace of this episode is that the match has finally started, but to get there we had to sit through 3/4ths of an episode where nothing really happens except reinforcing that, yes, Ayano is a crazy asshole.
I just want Nagisa to win. That’s all I really want out of the show at this point, and I don’t even trust it enough to give me that much. Ayano might’ve been fine as antagonist for Nagisa, but as a main character she’s just so unsympathetic. We get this whole story about her and her mother, but it doesn’t get developed at all. It’s the same thing this episode. Uchika tries to act like she didn’t ditch her daughter for years and come back out of the blue, and Ayano avoids her. The grandparents seem unconcerned and just ignore it. What am I supposed to get out of all this? Is Uchika really just a sociopath who doesn’t understand human interactions? She says she came back home because Ayano is good at badminton, but that’s dumb. And it’s double dumb if you try to spin that into some dramatic storyline.
Ayano clearly needs to be taken down a peg, but the show has made it abundantly clear that this is only allowed to happen on the court. And so we get another round of Ayano antagonizing everyone while they just stand there and take it. Great team spirit, guys. Elena does get fed up with it and tries to talk to her, but she doesn’t make much of an attempt at solving anything. She still feels like it’s her fault Ayano turned out this way, because she’s the one who made her join the badminton club. And so we continue to wallow in misery.
Episode Score: 6.0
Season Average: 6.59
4. Planet With (11)
Five years have passed since last episode. We get to see what happened to all these characters I never cared about, while building up to a final battle I don’t really care about either. I usually like time skips, and it’s pretty cool to see how the characters changed over time. Plus you have several years’ worth of story development to unravel. That’s something I really enjoyed in 20th Century Boys, for example. But in Planet With it feels like nothing happened during these five years. They were all just passing time until the dragon wakes up.
Episode Score: 6.0
Season Average: 6.32
5. ISLAND (12)
Well, that sure was an ending.
After seeing an old photo of Kuon and the infant Past-Rinne, Setsuna suddenly figures out that Kuon might actually be Future-Rinne. Presumably based on the visual resemblance, but in that case I don’t know why he never noticed this before, because she hasn’t visibly aged since then and still looks exactly like Rinne.
So after realizing that Kuon may be his lost future lover, the very first thing he does is of course to go and ask her about it. Haha wait no, that would be silly. We have to milk this shit for an entire episode.
So instead Setsuna investigates on his own. He pretty quickly discovers that she really is Future-Rinne because she has the same improvised wedding ring. She’d followed him into the past, but due to poor luck she happened to wake up years earlier than him and ended up being taken in as a maid by the Ohara family. We get a quick rundown of what happened and it glosses over a lot of things, so it’s hard to get everything straight. When Future-Rinne came back, she was already pregnant with Setsuna’s child, and that child is of course Past-Rinne. She gives this Rinne her own name, but I’ll get to that. The Oharas ended up adopting Past-Rinne as their daughter to be the family heir. But then the real Kuon passed away, and her husband made Future-Rinne take her place and name. Uhm, okay? It’s suggested that Past-Rinne wanted it to be like this because Future-Rinne is her real mother, but why did she have to take the dead wife’s name too? That’s just creepy. Sure she’d already abandoned the name Rinne after giving it to her daughter, but surely she’d been using a different name since then? Or did everyone just call her “that weird maid”?
The reason she no longer wanted to be Rinne in the first place was because Setsuna wasn’t there with her. It’s all not very clear, but it does say that when she first arrived on the island, she remembered nothing but her name, so I guess her memories just came back to her randomly at some point? But then when Setsuna did return, she was upset that he didn’t recognize her. Because… he’d lost his memories, just like she had. So she could’ve just told him who he was immediately and spared us the entire show. It’s also not explained why she’s a recluse who lives in a dark room and doesn’t talk to people, except for all those times when she did the exact opposite of these things.
All of this is pretty much delivered in a big infodump so we don’t get much time to dwell on it. We do get a strange scene where Setsuna goes “Oh THAT’S why I feel so weird about Rinne and want to protect her. It’s because I’m her father”.
Next, we see Setsuna explaining everything to Karen and Sara, including how he’s a time traveller from the future. But then suddenly Momoka shows up to tell them they’re wrong. Wait what? She doesn’t even live on the island. How did she just show up out of nowhere? But anyway, stop the presses, because there’s no such thing as time travel! At least, not travelling backwards. You see, we’re not actually in the past, we’re in the future. What? It turns out that at some point in the future, the timeline resets and history repeats again, so time is linear but cyclical. And the time stasis device allowed Setsuna to sleep through this event. Why does this time reset happen? Dunno, it’s not explained. I guess it’s not important. Why is the device immune to this cosmic cataclysm? Dunno, it’s not explained. How did Future-Rinne know what number to enter on the stasis device to ensure they’d sleep through the remaining future and all the past we skipped? Dunno, it’s not explained. How did both Setsuna and Rinne get washed up on the beach instead of waking up within the stasis machine, when Setsuna did exactly that when he went to the future? Dunno. It’s not explained.
But anyway, Setsuna finally goes to tell Kuon that he remembers everything. Kuon, however, just want to forget about it all. At this point, her primary concern is to make her daughter happy, and her daughter likes Setsuna. Uh… is… is she really implying that he should hook up with his own daughter?
Thankfully Setsuna manages to convince her not to go for the incest ending, and they get married and live happily ever after. It’s kind of funny, actually. Instead of any of the three main girls, Setsuna’s true love is the character we only really saw for two episodes (unless you count Kuon’s scenes, but they hardly ever interacted). But then again, the two Rinnes were basically the same character, just like the two Saras and Karens. I thought that was supposed to be some sort of destiny thing, but then for Rinne it’s explained by them being mother and daughter, and there’s no such explanation for the other girls. So why are future Karen and past Karen the same person with the same name? Is it just a coincidence? Ah, whatever. It’s all over now. Setsuna and Rinne are reunited, and the island is saved.
Wait a minute… No, it isn’t. The island isn’t saved at all! What about the dystopian ice age future? What about the endless time cycles? Aren’t we going to do anything about that? Remember: all the way back in episode one, Setsuna remembered three things he came back to the past to accomplish: to save a girl, to save the world, and to kill someone. The killing part turned out to be a bullshit red herring, he saved Rinne by doing nothing, and he didn’t even try to save the world. Job well done.
Episode Score: 3.0
Season Average: 3.71