Witch Craft Works – 12 (Fin)

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Witch Craft Works follows Noragami with a similarly tepid ending; wrapping up the Weekend arc with a load of miscellaneous magical mumbo-jumbo, while frantically jumping from one place to another tying up loose ends. We got way more tell and not enough show, but in the end, the show had kinda backed itself into a corner where technicalities had to be employed to explain why both Honoka and Kagari survive and save the day.

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We will say we liked the effect of the city and its people being restored all in one fell swoop after Honoka agrees to sacrifice his life in exchange for Evermillion’s power. Turns out she merely transferred the power Ayaka had been using back to Honoka by annulling their contract. But it’s hastily restored and Ayaka is revived. It’s a reiteration of a problem this show had for its entire run: a lack of palpable danger and risk.

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Meanwhile, Weekend is out of mana and defeated, and gets captured by Chronoire on her way out. Then Chronoire and Kazane (who healed up much faster than Weekend predicted) fight it out, because they have a past, or something, and everything returns to normal, including Tanpopo’s gang challenging Ayaka to fights that they then lose badly. Presumably it also means more of Kasumi fighting Ayaka for bro-time.

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This was a case where the buildup of the last couple weeks was better than the payoff, but we were kinda expecting that, so we don’t feel particularly ripped off. The lush, whimsical visual style and guy-as-the-damsel dynamic sustained us till the end, but Witch Craft Works never really got better than its first couple episodes, due to ultimately lame villains and way too many extraneous side characters.

Rating: 6 (Good)
Average Rating: 7.167
MyAnimeList Score: 7.43

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Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta – 12

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The guns have ceased, and the inhabitants of Isla are safe under the aegis of the Holy Deus ex Machina Empire. The Sky Clan even offers a truce that will give the Isla a clear course to The End of the Sky, provided they hand over one thing: Nina Viento, whom they regard as their messiah. There’s neither discussion about what they’ll actually do with her nor assurances they’ll keep their word, but that doesn’t matter to Claire, still in Amends Mode: if there’s a chance she can protect Isla by doing this, she’s doing it, period. For all we know, it’s what she was always meant to do.

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It looks like a win-win deal for everyone, except, of course, our love birds, who only just learned one another’s identities and found that their love outweighed whatever hatred or guilt they had harbored in their hearts previously. To give them practically no time together after that and split them up again with all due haste, while given adequate explanation, still signifies a certain sadism on the part of the show’s writers. Sorry kids: politics and duty trump your quaint romance!

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The last days before Claire is shipped off to the Sky Clan are really a flashback, preceded in the cold open by Kal leading the other pilots to their last sortie before reaching the aforementioned End of the Sky, clutching the pendant Claire gives him before they part ways. Their goodbye is pretty sad, but also optimistic. After floating the idea of flying off together (no dice, says Claire; that would be running from her duty), Kal pretty much accepts that she’s leaving. Claire insists to Kal what Ari insisted to Claire: that this isn’t goodbye, only “smell ya later.” We’ll believe that when we see it. Still, Kal and Claire’s promises to each other to do their duty and meet again is supported by Ignacio, who’s going along to continue guarding her.

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One gets the feeling after seeing what he can do in the cockpit, Kal’s earned a smidgen of Ignacio’s esteem, to the point he challenges him to hold to his promise to Claire. We also see that Ari is kinda upset that Kal loves Claire, but resigns herself to reality, just as Kal and Claire do. Six months later, Isla reaches the End of the Sky, which it flies into and is destroyed, along with the setting up to this point. All that’s left is to do…er…whatever it is they were planning to do after Isla was gone. The show…hasn’t really explained that.

7_very_goodRating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • In the cold open, Benji’s arm is no longer bandaged, but we’re assuming the different-color glove means he has some kind of prosthesis on, because he definitely lost a hand last week.
  • Claire never got to meet the Empress of Levamme, who the representative said had a similar air about her as Claire.
  • We honestly thought this was going to be the last episode of the show. That’s what we get for believing MAL’s episode count prior to this week. So we can’t help but think of next week as a bonus.
  • Ari’s eyes are missing when her back is turned to Kal after jumping off the swing, a surefire indication she’s not okay with something.
  • Along with Oreimo’s Kousaka Kirino and SAO’s Kirigaya Suguha, Ari is the third sister character vocied by Taketatsu Ayana who appears to have the hots for her brother (though Kal isn’t related by blood). It’s good to have a specialty!
  • That being said, we’re in pretty uncharted territory with the couple broken up and Isla gone. Hopefully things won’t get too weird, random, and inexplicable in the finale.

 

Weekly OP: K

The audaciously-titled “K”, which aired in Fall 2012, made one hell of a strong first impression, but never quite cashed the checks it wrote in its gorgeously funky first episode. In a very good Fall 2012, that meant it ended up ranking seventh of ten shows.

That being said, it was still decent enough watch, and visual and aural style was certainly never its problem. To whit: K’s stirring, righteous opening theme, “Kings” by Angela, always got us fired up.

Life imitating art in Crimea

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It’s come to our attention a certain newly-appointed government official in a certain recently-annexed (and still internationally unrecognized) autonomous republic in far eastern Europe has caused a bit of an internet sensation all her own (she even reacted to it).

The republic in question is Crimea, and the official in question is Natalia Poklonskaya. We wouldn’t be surprised if former Ukranian PM Yulia Tymoshenko was also the subject of anime fan art (Hint, she is.)

You’re more likely to see impressively-uniformed stoic old men sitting behind microphones at press conferences in the real world, but attractive young women in high military/government positions are far more plentiful in the world of anime. In the past few seasons of shows we’ve been watching alone, there have been a bunch:

New JOIR PM Sashinami Shouko (Valvrave)
Fleet Commander Ridgett (Suisei no Gargantia)
Lt./Capt./Deputy C-in-C Amane (Majestic Prince)
Director Chouno Ami (Girls und Panzer)
1Lt. Takamura Yui (Muv-Luv Alternative)

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As for Poklonskaya-chan, we couldn’t help but compare her more specifically to a young woman who has also been recently installed in a similar role in a similarly annexed territory, namely Secretary Shirasagi Miki, formerly White Egret of White Light, now working for Tokyo Governor Jimon and overseeing the annexation of West Udogawa.