Anime roundup 12/30/2021: Foreign Aid

In this week’s viewing: Ranking of Kings mounts a rescue operation, The Faraway Paladin tries out the Fantasy World Bank approach, and more!

Rumble Garanndoll finale – With all three battery girls charged up and Hosomichi entirely into the fight, Arahabaki is in its strongest position yet. The problem is that now they are dangerously close to overclocking the Garanndoll, just as happened in the Asakusabashi incident, which could mean disaster for everyone.

It’s Mimi who saves the day with a well-timed slap and a clue-by-four. It wasn’t letting passion get out of hand that caused the explosion, but Yamada being unwilling to admit his feelings toward Mimi. “Your heart was too small” is how Mimi puts it. Hosomichi has been repeatedly described as “a shell of a man”, but that means he has lots of room for his feelings toward Rin, his business partnership with Yuki, and his familial bond with Misa.

With the True Country’s best roundly defeated, there’s room for one more revelation, which is that our Japan has been cut off from the rest of the world since the invasion, but many of the members of Arahabaki are people who have snuck in from other countries anyway. When Hosomichi offers to help Akatsuki at the end, it’s not just that fandom has defeated the mundanes who want to crush it, but an international alliance from a world that has mostly figured out large-scale peace is willing to help another world find its way out of endless war.

So Rumble Garanndoll is able to pull its themes together and make a statement decisively with a minimum of direct speechifying, while still leaving an opening or two for another season. It’s a beautiful end to one of the best works about fandom I have ever encountered, one which has sadly not gotten the attention it deserves. This finishes as a solid must-watch.

(FunimationWakanimShahiid AnimeLaftelBahamut Anime Crazy)

Ranking of Kings #11 – Daida has found a new friend in his void of exile, but she’s actually the villain. Adult Miranjo has some new friends too, but they’re a crew of fighters she’s spring from the dungeons of the underworld who are going to help her enforce her takeover of Bosse’s kingdom. That’s okay, the guardians of the underworld are riding to the rescue with Bojji. Unfortunately, they plan to execute their own takeover.

Just why everyone is so excited about the prospect to claim the kingdom is hinted at in Daida’s flashback. Bosse has built a strong, prosperous city-state where even a blind and deaf man can enjoy going about his day unmolested. The implication is that not every kingdom is like that.

The flashback also means that Bebin has been working for a long time to get the idea through Daida’s thick skull that his brother is someone to be supported rather than defeated or discarded. Just about the only person now who doesn’t turn out to have had Bojji’s best interests at heart, other than Miranjo, is Dōmas. You have to start wondering why on earth he was assigned as Bojji’s trainer. Even working with Hokuro, a strong and able-bodied man like himself, he seems to be failing utterly as Hokuro wishes he could find someone to teach him a more appropriate fighting style.

The glimpse of Miranjo’s past is horrifying, but raises more questions. Who were the people who tortured her, did they have an actual reason or was it just for the lulz, and why was she convinced she was going to be a princess? It all smacks of someone being punished for, in the eyes of the people who hurt her, trying to rise above her station.

Ranking of Kings is continuing onward until March, so here we will leave it for now, to be picked back up after the winter premieres.

(FunimationWakanimbilibili)

The Faraway Paladin #11 – Will gathers up supplies and followers and marches back to Beast Woods. There, he proceeds to place the villagers in debt and start imposing his own rules on them.

This is all framed as helping, but it sure comes across as tone-deaf in this day and age. I mean, the author has set it up so that Will has provided the villagers with enough of a resource boost that they should be able to pay off the debt soon, but even in a bog-standard fantasy a good ruler just sends help without demanding payment, and even in D&D paladins are supposed to be performing acts of charity.

Will’s capitalist reign is cut short when a sortie into demon territory nearly ends with a TPK at the claws of a chimera. Will discovers that his spells can be interrupted and his friend can be poisoned, so when he wakes up afterward he decides the problem is he’s too awesome for those around them and he needs to go solo the entire demon next. I have no idea how that logic is supposed to work other than the author desperately needs a crisis for Will to recover from at the very end with the help of his companions.

This should have been the last week of this show, but the unplanned recap last month means the finale has been pushed to January 1. A look at that will appear at the end of the end-of-year post.

(CrunchyrollShahiid AnimeBahamut Anime Crazy)

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