Tamayura: More Aggressive – 12 (Fin)

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Potte’s camera shutter breaks, so she has to surrender it to Maestro for repairs. She’s unable to take pictures of the Doll festival or with Kanae, who got into college and is back to taking pictures. The next day while Kaoru, Norie and Maon are off doing their own thing, Potte stays at home sorting her photos until her mom suggests they take a ride on her motorcycle. She takes Potte to Okunoshima and the spot where her dad proposed to her mom. There, her mom gives her a tearful thanks for being her daughter, and Potte thanks her in return. When they return home, the others are waiting for her. At Mitani’s commencement, Potte thanks her for joining the club and calling her president. Potte picks up her fixed camera, ready to take pictures during the Spring Break.

It’s something of a marvel that Potte’s old camera never had any problems before, but it’s an interesting move to shake things up by taking her camera away for most of the final episode. Her mom was never a photog, and when she sees that Potte’s just holed up in the house, she gets her out into the air to experience something without a camera for once; to see things with her naked eyes instead of through a viewfinder. In the last couple years, she’s seen her daughter grow an incredible amount and aggressively walk forward on her own two feet. She feels that both she and her daughter were ready to go to that spot where it all began: where her husband proposed, and led to the creation of the loving family that still endures and thrives even after his untimely passing.

Like last week as Kanae’s story was wrapped up and she gathered the courage to keep walking towards her future, this final episode was full of heartrending moments, and its characters aren’t afraid to tear up from the kindness of each others’ words towards one another. Throughout its run, this was a show that was full of love and its daily role in life. The love came in many forms, from Potte and Kanae’s love of photography, to the friends’ love of one another, to Norie and Komachi’s love of Kou, to Potte’s love of her father. The more she learned about the person he was and the live he lived, the more inspired she got to live up to his example. But as she’s a product of both dad and mom, Potte won’t necessarily live every great moment of her life to come through a viewfinder. Sometimes the camera breaks…and it’s okay.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

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Gatchaman Crowds – 11

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In the first half, one by one, the Gatchamen look back on their experiences with Hajime thus far, and comment on how much their opinions of her changed with time (except for O.D., who always thought highly of her). All of them are grateful to her for bringing our their better selves. In the second half, they put those selves to use protecting the city. Rui gets X back, and with control over GALAX returned, they can better coordinate the city’s evacuation. Hajime gives the Prime Minister online screen time to rally his citizens and implore them to join GALAX as free smartphones are distributed. In the middle of his speech he’s replaced on the screen by Katze disguised as him. He offers Crowds to all of the new GALAX users, most of whom take it, adding to the chaos.

O.D. may have been perceptive enough to see something in Hajime when she first joined the ranks of the Gatchamen, but the others don’t have the luxury of three centuries of sizing people up, so they first saw her as a ditzy, pushy, flippant, useless newbie. Of course, it was Hajime who got them out of their “caged bird” rut, forcing them out of HQ and onto the streets and on camera. Everyone had personal problems that were holding them back, but Hajime accepted them for what they were and gave them the chance to prove to themselves and others that they could still be great. This isn’t limited to the Gatchamen; her efforts also rouse Rui from his funk, and even gets the Prime Minister to believe in himself and step up. Hajime is fine with Rui’s dream of everyone being a hero, but sometimes even heroes need heroes; enter the Gatchamen.

And in a way, she’s the Gatchamen’s hero(ine), but can she save Tachikawa and the world from Katze? Rui, Umeda, and some of the Neo Hundred may have learned the hard way that accepting Crowds from Katze is a raw deal, but his Faustian tactics are ruinously effective on anyone scared or angry amongst the new Galax members, which is probably most of them. With all that stuff about becoming their own heroes, who wouldn’t press the red button and gain a superpower to use however one pleased? Katze is able to do a lot of damage with minimal effort, but if the world is destroyed, it won’t be by his hands directly; it will be by mankind, proving him right. Here’s hoping Hajime, Rui, O.D., and the gang can turn things around.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

 

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3 – 12

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After Sono defeats everyone else, Yura returns and goes one-on-one with her. They battle hard, attracting the attention of Rento and the others, who watch from afar and eventually rejoin the fray. They battle until the sun is almost down, but Yura changes the world by restoring daylight and temporarily turning Stella Women’s Academy into one huge airsoft school where everyone is a combatant. Afterwards, with Sono gone abroad, the C3 club is short a member again. Yura, hearing two new students disillusioned by their high school experience, decides to try to recruit them.

Last week Yura hit rock bottom, but only she could pull herself out of her rut, live with her past misdeeds, and reconcile with her friends and Sono in particular the best way she knows how: with an airsoft battle. There was really never any doubt that they’d forgive her; and Yura even learned to enjoy herself again without fussing over tactical details. We liked how the battle started off with just Yura and Sono, but the others couldn’t resist jumping back into the battle, making it an even more exciting 2-on-2-on-2 that continues all day until the bells toll its end. That is, until Yura decides otherwise.

Using her supernatural powers, she not only extends the day, but makes an army out of Stella’s entire 1,800-girl student body. It’s a stunning move that shocks her teammates, though not enough to be disturbed by how Yura came to possess such godlike powers. Perhaps wisely, the series has avoided long explanations about the nature of her power, but in our opinion, it would have been nice to see in operation more often. Instead we must be satisfied with her revising a small chapter in Japanese history and then giving her senpai one hell of a send-off. And once Sono leaves (saying she’ll wait for Yura), Yura makes it her duty to find a new member.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Servant x Service – 12

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Chihaya is takes three days off to make clothes, including Yamagami’s dress for her date with Hasebe. By the end of the stretch she’s exhausted, but Ichimiya takes care of her. The day of Hasebe and Yamagami’s date arrives, and he is smitten by her outfit. He takes her to a used bookstore she’s never heard of and a restaurant, but he’s called away by family business, so Yamagami suggests they have another date at a later time.The next day Hasebe is out of sorts, and when Chihaya, Miyoshi and Ichimiya ask him what’s up, he tells them the one who approved Yamagami’s name is his father.

It’s finally date time! And it went…fine. Other than ending early due to Hasebe’s family meeting Kaoru’s fiancee, things go off without a hitch. It’s a real shock to see Lucy not only wearing a dress and heels, but not wearing glasses; in any case she’s positively adorable, as we knew she would be. This isn’t a comedy of errors: this may Yamagami’s first date, but she’s an adult, and she acts like one throughout…mostly. Her only wig-out is when she’s overthinking things regarding Hasebe holding her bag. Hasebe pretty much a perfect gentleman, taking care of her at every turn. And in the end, they agree to do it again. Progress! Development!…in a slice-of-life! Good stuff.

Speaking of progress, Chihaya didn’t really make any in her mission to tell Touko that she’s dating her brother, though she does learn that Touko wouldnt mind her brother having a girlfriend, and that she’s studying and working hard to get out of her brother’s way. We also appreciate that Chihaya doesn’t do anything to sabotage the date – she even retreats with Touko when Lucy and Hasebe end up at the same cafe. She does warn Lucy to be on her guard, still convinced Hasebe is messing with her. But Hasebe acts exactly like Chihaya’s ideal of a decent man, and Lucy learns he’s serious about liking her. The only hurdle that remains is the rather unfortunate fact that Hasebe’s dad is the one Yamagami wants to punch…

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • We’re glad Ichimiya disobeyed orders to stay away and check in on Chihaya. Their scene together is very cute, especially when she tries to get something going, only to fall asleep on him (though he does have to spend the night because of this.)
  • If you’re on a date with a bookish girl like Yamagami, you’d better damn well take that girl to an awesome used bookstore she didn’t know about.
  • To her credit, when Hasebe suddenly takes Yamagami’s hand, she doesn’t go all spastic and panicky, but hears him out.
  • We hope the fact Hasebe’s dad allowed Yamagami’s name doesn’t make her hate or reject Hasebe. But he should tell her.
  • After having her shirt lifted up last week, Yamagami is on her guard next to Chihaya during the final episode preview.