Basquash! – 26 (END)
In response to Slash’s basket, Dan passes the ball to Rouge and lets her score. As they continue playing, Dan realizes who Slash is, but that doesn’t slow him down any. At around this same time, Yang launches the Legend Bullet with the Moon Cannon, and it arrives right around the time Dan is making a dunk. Recognizing Dan as the legend, Slash uses his Bigfoot to deflect the Legend Bullet, thereby saving the moon. The Ultimite on the moon appears to activate as well, but this is short lived, and the power disappears. The failure depresses Dan, but after Navi suddenly arrives with a new pair of shoes, Dan hears Iceman bouncing a ball, and this motivates him to continue trying. With the new shoes, Dan continues playing against Iceman, and everyone else refuses to give up as well.
In the middle of this, Flora realizes the voice she’s been hearing has been coming from the Legend Bullet, and she’s able to communicate with her family back on Earthdash through the Ultimite. She also figures out that the legend is not just one person, but everyone, and Miyuki’s grandfather explains that the rise of everyone’s consciousness has an effect on the Legend Bullet. If they activate the Ultimite on the moon with the Legend Bullet, then the Ultimite on Earthdash would be restored too. As the others join in, Rouge catches the Legend Bullet and throws it at Dan and Iceman. The two then fire the ball towards the goal, and at the same moment, Navi, Sela, Flora, and Falcon shoot their balls as well. This leads to the moon’s orbit returning to normal, and both words are saved. In the aftermath, everyone goes back to Earthdash, and Coco starts walking again. Life goes on for everyone else, and Dan and Iceman continue playing basketball.
Well that was disappointing. I can really only name one good thing about this episode, and that was that they used Citron’s After The Heart Rain song from the recent album. It was a good change of pace because I was dreading that they’d use the opening song again. Other than that, I really didn’t enjoy the finale – it felt rather rushed and wasn’t satisfying at all. For starters, Slash reverted to being a child, but we never found out what happened to him after that. Navi, on the other hand, is a character I thought would play an integral role in the story given his moon giant background, but all he did was appear again to deliver some shoes and give Sela a happy ending. And then the actual climax was completely lackluster and very abbreviated. Dan and Iceman and the others shot their balls, and that’s all that was needed to save the worlds and go to the epilogue.
Arguably the biggest problem though is that Dan essentially ended up with Iceman. That’s right, Iceman. So much for all that DanXRouge and DanXMiyuki development – Dan ends up just playing basketball with Iceman. In a way, it’s like Macross Frontier’s finale all over again with Alto not having to choose, except they didn’t even bother addressing the issue here. They show Rouge playing basketball by herself and Miyuki working in the garage and that was it. The sad thing is that Falcon and Violette even got more concrete development than Dan and Rouge did this episode. Aside from all that, there were a bunch of little things they could have shown to make the epilogue better, like showing Coco actually standing and playing Basquash, or showing what happens between Haruka and James, or what Flora decides to do with her life. The fact that they didn’t address those kinds of things suggests again that they ran out of time.
Basquash has been a series of highs and lows. In the beginning, I thought the basketball theme was a bit silly, and I felt the story lacked direction for a long while, but I became much more excited about the plot and the characters in the second half, around the time the new OP and ED began. There was a lot of potential there, but unfortunately, most of it was wasted in the end. I’m sure the director change part-way through didn’t help things either. On the plus side, there was some pretty good music in the series, mostly coming from the talented trio voiced by Tomatsu Haruka, Hayami Saori, and Nakajima Megumi, and I still adore Spanky’s character. That’s not enough to carry the show though, and in the end, I find it hard to recommend Basquash to anyone unless they’re really desperate for a mecha series and don’t mind the basketball theme.