One show down, three more to go...
Yes, this week marked what I thought was Sangatsu no Lion‘s finale…after what seemed like so long and now we’ve learnt that it’s coming back in October…
When the show first came out in the fall season, the portrayal of Rei’s emotions, social anxiety and immaturity shone greatly; I mean, what do you expect from SHAFT? It wasn’t until the second cour that things began to really slip. By this time, Rei had recovered from his terrible cold, and was training for the Lion King tournament. When he fell at the first hurdle, it just took too long for him to think about his loss. Then came Shimada, who became a mentor to him, and who made it to the final (only to be slaughtered himself). I had anticipated that there would be no truly happy ending, but the road to it just felt so depressing.
This final episode highlights Rei’s loneliness one last time. Beginning a new second year (after having to repeat it due to his matches), he immediately notices the cliques that form within seconds and remembers that this happens every year. So it’s like a metaphorical light bulb when his teacher suggests a shogi school club; it’s one of those “why-didn’t-I-think-of-that-before?” moments. The show ends, after a flashback of a school trip when he was younger, on a good note; that there will always be people who are interested in shogi as much as he is, and that these same people are on a similar journey as him (training, trying to win matches, juggling shogi with social life, etc.). I quite liked how they sneaked in a reference to Galaxy Express 999 (even though it wasn’t really needed).
Leading us to another show that refuses to end; Fuuka has reached the point where it’s almost unanimous that it just should not have been adapted. Fuuka has gone solo, meaning The Fallen Moon has broken up after only playing one cover song (all the time!) and performing one original song. Nachi has decided to blame Yuu for the break-up…for some bizarre reason. Sara is off to join another band, bitter that the one band she genuinely enjoyed being with broke up after such a short time. Oh, and Koyuki decided that she and Yuu are better off as good friends rather than boyfriend and girlfriend. On that, I agree; she’s no third wheel, but she was never destined to be a first wheel either; just being friends works out best for both of them.
…and she has a beauty mark under her left eye. I never noticed that until now…
I don’t even care about the ending anymore; what I expected to happen in the show didn’t happen after all (more on that in the final season review, if you don’t know the manga), and has thus ruined the rest of the show…not that it wasn’t doomed from the beginning anyway. Yuu and Koyuki running off into the sunset forming their own musical unit won’t be happening, so will Yuu find Fuuka, make her change her mind, and run off into the sunset with her? I hope not, but considering the sudden change in story, I wouldn’t be surprised if it really does happen. The only character I have any feelings for now is Sara, who is still firmly in the background. She’s BFF on Twitter with Yuu (that family restaurant scene a while back was rather amusing, now I look back at it), so while they won’t be an item, I hope the two of them will be good buddies IRL.
Even if Fuuka has to stretch on a little more, at least I can find some comfort in Little Witch Academia, which continues to be awesome, and which has finally made some significant progress.
Instead of another mini-story, a lot of revelations come to light this week. Akko’s Shiny Rod turns out not to be just any rod; seven powers are sealed inside that can change the world. Also, Professor Ursula/Chariot’s past teacher, now a spirit, reveals that there is much more to Akko than we all realise. A little obscure, and echoes even more of Harry Potter, but at least it’s something. I had this feeling that the landowners would be some kind of main antagonist, but now after seeing this episode, we may not get one after all, and this whole Shiny Rod story may be the central part of the show. In these past 11 episodes, we have been shown that only the Shiny Rod can give Akko any real magical power, aside from her little wand making a light, or moving objects around. Now I’ve seen this, I’m very curious as to what the second half will bring. In Kill La Kill, the tables completely turned when the second half came, and Satsuki & co ended up turning on her mother to make one consistent story, as opposed to the mini-stories we had seen in its first half. Perhaps we’ll see the same thing here in this show. I hope that, by the end of March, we’ll know a little more. Chariot will reveal herself to Akko soon enough…it’s just a matter of when.
Now I’ve said my peace about a show I’m still very much enjoying this season, I’ll move on to my out-of-season show, which I’ve almost finished. The thrill of watching Chihayafuru has (for me anyway) almost disappeared now. Could it be because I know it’s almost over? Or could it be that I’ve become so used to the drama that it just washes over me? Episode 22 shows that Chihaya is definitely learning; in it, she faces the former Queen, Yumi Yamamoto, who used to have her own technique of contesting every card she lost. When she uses the same technique in her match, she beats Chihaya easily. Having been beaten by both the former and the current Queen, Chihaya almost accepts that becoming Queen herself is something that will never happen.
She is still too naive, too emotional and too headstrong. Both Shinobu and Yumi have their own techniques and have mastered them; all Chihaya has her ears and her reflexes…all traits that every competitive karuta player has. She is chasing after a dream that will never come true…although saying that, I don’t know the rest of the manga, and will not be watching the second season. Even though I have enjoyed watching it, Chihayafuru hasn’t been a show that has really stood out, like I was anticipating it to be.
My final Chihayafuru review will be next week, when I watch the final 2 episodes. Well…it has good character design, a good soundtrack, but why do they all have terrible dress sense?!