There are five ways an anime can end: Ugh Bang, Ugh Fizzle, Planetes Bang, Planetes Fizzle, and no ending.  (Note: In this context, Planetes means “good” because Planetes had the best ending ever.)

You’d think that the Ugh Bang and Planetes Fizzle types are very rare, but that certainly wasn’t the case this season.

The finale of Angel Beats was reminiscent of the last episode of Air.  Air finished its mediocre run with a final episode that was confusing, stupid, and confusingly stupidly tear-jerking.  I had no idea what I was feeling sad about because it simply did not make sense.  Angel Beats made a bit more sense, but any idiot could tell that P.A.Works was reaching real, real far for the drama.  Trashing Kanade’s entire character, giving Otonashi some lame romance crap (Hinata was a hell of a lot cooler), and inserting some last-minute, out-of-place comic relief all for some fake tears on the audience’s part?  Give me a break.  This may have been a hell of a finale, but it was a hell of a finale.

Of course, that’s not to say that the entire series was good.  No, no, no.  the entire series sucked.  In a nutshell, it was too many characters, too little time, and too much shit humor.

On the other side of the scale lies Arakawa Under the Bridge, a masterpiece of a show.  Yes, the last episode may have been a gag-filled episode, but hey, that’s good enough for a gag-filled series.  I’m still not sure what Arakawa has been trying to say (as in, the themes).  Shinbo and Nakamura (original creator, who’s actually female.  How cool is that?) may not be trying to say anything in particular, but something in the show resonates deeply with me.

When it comes to shows I love, it’s really hard to write anything meaningful, so I’ll leave it at that.  Arakawa for Best Anime of 2010~

When Durarara!! first aired, I criticized it for being nothing close to Baccano!.  And with this severely disappointing finale, I stand by that.  Durarara!! had too many characters for its own good.  By the end, it became impossible to fit them all in and claim that they were all more or less important.  That traffic cop showed up twice, Simon didn’t do anything, and in the end all we got was some stupid fistfight sparked by a minor character whose most distinguishing trait is that he sits in the passenger seat of a van.  I sat in a passenger seat of a pickup before.  How come I’m not important?  Does it have to be a van?  I wonder if the color of the van matters…

FMA:Brotherhood was all HELL YEAH, AWESOME material until episode 63.  True, it is hard to justify any win over “God” other than by some sappy power of ______ (friendship, spirit, soul, humanity, etc.), but I’d’ve liked to see a real battle with Father.  Where’s the total GAR-osity of episodes 50-60?  give that back!  I want my action back!

Arakawa for Best Anime of 2010~

7 Comments on “”

  1. mefloraine says:

    Bleh, this anime season.
    I regret watching most of the things I wasn’t originally planning to watch (read:nothing), except for Arakawa, which I did enjoy. The last episode was…basically not a “last episode”, but then again, there is a season 2 coming! (Right? Yes.)

  2. Hogart says:

    While I won’t argue against someone’s gut feeling, I am kinda interested in figuring out why you’d feel this way. Angel Beats and Durarara were similarly convoluted and over-filled with characters, but I didn’t feel that Durarara’s “ending” had any less bang. I know there’s more to Durarara, and the ending for this particular (and bland) story-arc was adequate. I don’t know what can be done to salvage or continue the wishy-washy and bland ending of Angel Beats, and I find that I don’t particularly care. In that regard, I feel Durarara came out on top for me. But they don’t seem that much different to me, so what made Durarara fizzle? Was it just that you had higher expectations for it?

    Also, I’m honestly just happy to see some wind-down and closure in FMA:B. It’s about damn time, and there’s been enough GAR already. If it concludes without falling on it’s face, it will still be concluding a great series. That’s probably why I’m surprised you felt it fizzled compared to Arakawa’s ending. Nothing’s really happened in the series yet, and it was just more of the same stuff we’re used to. It had no highs to aspire to, unlike FMA:B, so I’m guessing it’s just another case of lower expectations being met?

    • fangzhao says:

      Well, I certainly did have high expectations for Durarara!!, but they disappeared after episode five or so. After the build-up of episode 23 culminating in Anri, Mikado, and Kida seeing each other, you’d expect some crazy plot in the finale, but it was all “I’m sorry,” “No, I’m sorry,” and “No, damn it! I’m the sorry one!!” Total downer.

      Plus the villain (rather, scapegoat for conflict-resolving purposes) turned out to be some no-name side character. I can’t even remember his name. It’s that Blue Square guy who broke Saki’s leg.

      I think Scamp does a better job at explaining things than I do, though:

      Actually, it’s kind of an xy-plane diagram. I thought Arakawa to be even more fizzle than FMA:B. Regardless, I like my action shows to be actiony all the way to the end. Code Geass and Gurren Lagann are my clear favorites in that aspect. I was hoping for some crazy stunt in FMA:B, but episode 61 was the climax of the action, and it just got less and less exciting from there.

  3. Hogart says:

    Yeah, I must’ve crossed wires reading your graph in the second case. I can see why you’d think it was more “ugh” than Arakawa, given what you’ve said. It certainly is more “consistent” in tone to the rest of it’s series than FMA:B is (so far). IIRC, though, even Gurren Lagann ended not on an action note but a bittersweet one, no? Oh what does it matter 🙂

    I guess I didn’t mind Durarara’s “I’m sorries” any more than the fake-feeling tears in Angel Beat’s conclusion.. especially Otonashi’s whole love confession. I guess that would have been ok as a downer/comeuppance ending, but then they had to try to reverse it in the end, which made the whole second half of the episode feel hollow, like it was saying “just kidding! that drama was completely pointless, like the rest of the drama in this series!”

  4. glothelegend says:

    I actually laughed during the last episode of Angel Beats.

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