JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders finale – Since it is the finale, it’s time for Dio to vanquished once and for all, and Jōtarō finishes him off for reasons true to his teenage-punk archetype. And since it’s the finale, it’s also time for a pause to reflect on the whole long adventure they’ve survived, and their comrades who didn’t quite make it.
But JoJo does have one last curveball to throw, as Joseph, moments after being pulled back to life by medically dubious means, decides that this would be the perfect moment to prank everyone into thinking that Dio has cheated death again. Luckily, Jōtarō knows that the way one tells one’s badass but flaky grandpa from a 120-year-old vampire is… “Weird Al” trivia?
This episode encapsulates the values that make the source manga a shonen classic: that heroic blend of equal parts strength, cunning, friendship, adventure, and WHAAAAAAAAAAT.
Does this series as a whole pass the recommendation test? It’s had its less-proud moments (Alessi and Mariah, I am especially looking at you), so I can’t recommend it unequivocally. It comes down to an individual decision about whether its spirit of adventure, off-the-wall creativity, and consistent technical quality are enough to balance out the gore and the occasional spasms of grade-school humor.
For me, it does. I’ve had a huge amount of fun, and I’d watch this again, but first I want to go back and watch the earlier story arcs. I hope more of this saga is yet to be animated.
Mikagura School Suite finale – Mikagura School Suite plays to its strengths this week, ending with another crazy-fun battle scene. To get there requires a deeply contrived plot twist, but I give it points for being frank about just how contrived it was.
And hey, that comment about Eruna’s heritage way back at the beginnning actually turned out to mean something. This show may drop plot points on the floor and forget about them for weeks at a time, but it has always picked them up again. Stepping back and looking at it as a whole, I have to admit that it did know what the hell it was doing all along.
There’s no denying the overall unevenness of the show, though. I can only recommend this for someone looking for a fun little diversion, or who wants, just once, to see an anime featuring a lesbian romance that doesn’t require the protagonists to die at the end.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan #12 – After a scandal probably engineered by Hermes, the high priest and his paladins flounce out of Ecbatana back to the last country they conquered. Guiscard sighs in relief, because there is absolutely no way that 10,000 elite troops under the command of someone who hates you settling into a fortified position halfway along your supply lines could possibly turn out to be a problem in the future, right?
Back on the road to Peshawar, a new pile of extras and their horses are slaughtered to introduce Alfreed (Ælfrid?) and give her a motivation for joining our heroes. At least she acts motivated, unlike most everyone else in this story; a couple hours to recover, and she’s already sorted out what she needs to do, how she’s going to start setting about doing it, and sounding out Narsus as an ally and potential husband along the way.
Yet another bunch of soldiers dies to provide a repeat of the Daryun-Xandes fight, with a smidge of added magic. All right, so there is actually a way to travel supernaturally quickly between the capital and the provinces. But it’s clearly new to Xandes, so my previous complaints stand.
And so will Xandes, probably. I’m not buying that he actually died there unless the recap shows him falling all the way to the bottom of that cliff and exploding.