The Ones Within season finale – Before embarking upon whatever nightmarish torture Mr. Paca has in mind for Game 10, the players are given a bonus stage where they can gamble in all sorts of creative ways. It’s all free of consequences, except for the moment when Akatsuki almost gets dropped into eternal oblivion. Rested and relaxed, they trek onward to— whoops, out of time!
There are a few different ways that an anime adaptation can end when its source material is still in progress. One is to stretch, compress, or shuffle story elements so that the story hits a reasonable resting point. Another is to create an original ending out of thin air, enraging purist fans and guaranteeing calls for a lucrative remake once the adapted story finally ends. Or you can do what The Ones Within does, and sail right off the end of the season with no attempt at all to tie things off.
This was not the standout show of the season, but it’s had some good character work and a lot of little inspired moments of animation. It’s been good enough for this turn of events to be annoying, at least. If it hadn’t suddenly cut off like this, I could give it a mildly positive recommendation.
Its fate is now in the hands of the Japanese consumer market. If the DVDs or merchandise sell well, we might get the rest of the story someday. If not, that’s that.
Granbelm #12 – For the final stage, the Magiaconatus conjures up a Kelly Freas-esque wasteland. There Mangetsu and Shingetsu have their final stand against Suishō, who has seen all this over and over again in the last thousand years. Her experience allows her to easily guess the plan: Mangetsu will sacrifice herself as a distraction, to allow Shingetsu to make a run for the crystallized magic.
The plan still works, though, and Mangetsu goes out in a literal blaze of glory, just like she wanted to. But as Suishō points out, Mangetsu’s done nothing more than play her assigned role. Now Shingetsu has arrived, emotionally, where the Magiaconatus wanted her to be.
Suishō also claims now that she is merely obeying orders too. The story she told Anna’s sister a few episodes ago made it sound like she won the tournament, became the one and only mage, and enjoyed it so much that she wanted to keep replaying it for all time. Now she says she was appointed the final boss by someone else, and even after a millennium hasn’t been able to prove herself worthy of being the mage.
So who was that person, or was there just some miscommunication in the writing room? Hopefully it all gets straightened out in the finale next week.
Dr. Stone #12 – Ginrō’s silvered spear is not a result of the incredibly deadly thing Senkū was talking about last week after all, just a necessary instrument for finding it. It’s hydrogen sulfide he has his sights on. Metaphorically speaking, anyway, since it is not only spectacularly poisonous but completely invisible.
Fully explaining the danger involved turns Ginrō into a quivering wreck, but spurs Chrome into his first act of insubordination. Senkū has had no trouble assigning other people to handle things they’re good at until now, but sending someone into mortal peril with an untested new invention is apparently a step too far for him.
Only a long argument with Chrome and an unexpected burst of courage from Ginrō convince him that other people should be allowed on the expedition. When it’s all done, conquering the most dangerous hurdle of the whole sulfa-drug project has forged a new bond between them, the sort that results in a lifetime friendship and an endless supply of slashfics.