Anime roundup 12/23/2021: Sputtering Out

In this week’s viewing: Two okay finales, and more on the way.

Muteking the Dancing Hero finale – With the black tide rising and Neo San Francisco itself melting, everyone who can rushes to help Muteki. But it comes down to just him, DJ, Ceo, and a dance-off for the very fate of the world.

That segment was excellent, and I can forgive a lot for Muteking leaning back into its premise like that at the very last moment. But there are a few too many loose ends and last-minute swerves to say it really nailed the ending. The last-minute reveal about Muteki’s mom, all the buildup with Naomi that never went anywhere, the same for Suteking, and it never did get around to clarifying DJ’s remark about why he was staying at Grandma’s house. It doesn’t feel like setup for a second season, either, just casualties of yet another rushed anime production.

Vivi is also apparently killed for good after throwing her last and greatest pitch, but given the number of times she’s been apparently dead and bounced back, we can all just imagine that she gets up again, heads back to the arcade with her kids, and is out there being fabulous again while Muteki is hanging out at his favorite diner.

As an overall series Muteking is fun but flawed, but the fun will outweigh the flaws for many people.

(FunimationWakanimBahamut Anime Crazybilibili)

Irina: The Vampire Cosmonaut finale – Lev’s entire life now is a scripted presentation where he is honored by the Zinitran leader, reunited with his proud parents, and paying respect to the glorious motherland which has allowed him to become the first human in space. When he’s had enough, he decides to rebel and tear the cover off the entire charade, but even that turns out to be according to someone’s plan.

Whether the finale of Irina is a collapse into hopeless romantic cheese or not depends on whether you actually believe that Gergiev has suddenly become a friend to vampires and a reformer against purges. Which I don’t. All along it’s been very frank about the fact that Zinitra operates on lies and purges. So I think Gergiev decided to go along with Lyudmila’s idea for keeping Irina alive for her propaganda value, and his rejection of purges will last until, oh, about until he feels like doing another purge. In the meantime, Lyudmila also scores some points against her political rivals, and now the heroes of the hour owe her one. If anyone has gotten a happy ending out of this, it’s her.

So Irina closes by being true to itself, both as a romance and with its setting. While the story is far from over (there are currently seven books in the series, with this show covering only the first two), it’s a good enough place to rest for now.

While it’s impossible to completely forget its moments of cringey light-novel-ness, this is a solid series overall. Recommended for all space geeks with a weakness for historical costume dramas.

(FunimationWakanimShahiid AnimeLaftelBahamut Anime Crazy)

Rumble Garanndoll #11 – While General Tanaka is off motivating the troops by being cute as a button, Rin and the other battery girls pull out all the stops to bring Hosomichi back. And Hosomichi is finally ready to admit that he isn’t just a disconnected, hollow person, and he does care. And, he’s not the only one who’s ready to admit that.

Humanizing Munakata is not something I would have expected or even thought possible at this late date, but there you go. When he tells the sad story about the cat, he’s admitting that he isn’t just preserving an income stream, he actually cares that Hosomichi survives. And after his Han Solo moment… well, I’d still like to see him get punched, but maybe not as hard as before.

There is a whole lot of punching in store for the True Army, at least, now that Hosomichi is reunited with all the battery girls and coming up with even more powerful powerful forms for the Garanndoll. I expect it’s also going to turn out to be a huge mistake on the army’s part to have left Ukai unattended inside the convention center, even if they did think he was securely tied up.

(FunimationWakanimShahiid AnimeLaftelBahamut Anime Crazy)

Ranking of Kings #10 – Bojji’s training is complete! Despa takes him and Kage out for dinner, where a group of thugs just happens to turn up and give Bojji a chance to show off his new skills. This will later turn out to be because they’ve been hired by Despa, and the head of the king’s guard is in on the plot somehow too. Bojji still has far more people rooting for him than he realizes.

So his new fighting style is essentially combat acupuncture. Bojji doesn’t have to be strong, he just has to poke people in the right places and occasionally use their momentum against them. So far so good for physical combat, but he’s going to be up against someone using magic. I don’t doubt that Despa is smart enough to have taught Bojji how to counteract at least some magic, but how exactly remains to be revealed.

Despa also notes one other thing that Bojji has going for him, which is absolutely a superpower in this story: the courage to believe in others. So many people have first looked like his enemies but turned out to be on his side. That is probably going to do more to defeat Miranjo than any amount of fighting skill.

(FunimationWakanimbilibili)

The Faraway Paladin #10 – Will finally gets clearance to post some recruiting flyers in the nearest mercenary-infested bar, and gets at least one nibble. His church connections come in handy as well, as it looks like he has help from a fellow priest.

It’s back to D&D mechanics as the party is obviously picking up a fighter and a cleric. On the other hand, the material with Bishop Bagley is some nice character definition, showing that he’s a decent guy who has accepted that being in charge means having to do a certain amount of schmoozing. He has a few wise words for Will about not flaunting his power, which Will seems to take to heart but will probably be ignoring again next week when the story calls for him to do a whole lot of things that only he gets to do.

We’re now up to the traditional six people in the party, just when the season is almost over. Next week should be he finale, but word is that this show is supposed to run for 12 episodes, and with the recap episode a few weeks ago that pushes the last episode into January.

(CrunchyrollShahiid AnimeBahamut Anime Crazy)

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