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MM! – 12 (END)

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「クリスマスの願いごと」 (Kurisumasu no Negaigoto)
“Christmas Wish”

I can’t say I’m too surprised that the finale focused almost entirely around Mio, but I feel a bit cheated by the way they slipped in a completely unexpected development and made me sympathetic towards her sadistic character. Mio isn’t as nearly an unbalanced tsundere as Taketatsu Ayana’s other lead role this season either, so I even got a bit teary-eyed when I saw her crying. It was one of those anime moments that warranted another character stepping in to say, “zurui yo” (that’s unfair), before breaking down in tears themselves. Unfortunately for me, there was no character to take the contagious emotional outpouring from Mio’s tears, since they were ones of joy after everyone threw a last minute surprise birthday party for her. What was really sneaky was how this development came at the very late stages of this finale, after the vast majority of it was spent in a very lighthearted manner where the Second Volunteer Club and co. ended up competing against one another to grant a cafe and a cake shop their Christmas wishes. It started off as a counterproductive effort with the stores right across from one another, but quickly became a heated competition when Michiru upped the stakes by making Tarou the prize. Ah, the always “dependable adult” in the group comes through for us again.

All I was really anticipating from that point on was some incidental Tarou x Mio development when the two of them went undercover to scope out the competition care of the couple’s game that Yumi unknowingly had them play, along with the fan-service from all the girls and our two traps. However, Mio’s usual tendency of getting carried away and dragging everyone into her pace quickly went wayward when a birthday party reservation reminded her of her own one. They made it pretty clear that something was up when Mio bowed her head and politely asked everyone to help salvage their oversight, but the scene with Mio quietly singing her own name to “Happy Birthday” was a real eye-opener for me. Namely, I wasn’t expecting them to throw in something relatively profound that late in the episode and completely change direction with the remaining time. Despite the brevity and almost cliché revelation that Mio never celebrated her birthday because she’s always been alone, it worked really well in providing that emotional dimension to the story that goes beyond the teases surrounding Tarou. What’s more, it served as Tarou’s moment to do something really nice for Mio, and earn another soft spot in her heart because of it.

Granted, it went back to a rather silly affair when Tatsukichi sacrificed Tarou to buy them some time to setup the clubroom for the last minute surprise, but I did get a really good out laugh from Tarou having the balls to keep up the scornful act of spending an entire day with a flat-chested girl and really put Mio over the edge. The fact that it was for a good cause and not a stupid idea that Mio had come up to cure Tarou’s masochism made it feel like a worthwhile stint too. Credit goes to Tarou for pulling out the confession fake-out to buy even more time, before really ticking her off by confirming that she’s really as flat as a board. Anyway, that entire last third of the episode really came as a pleasant surprise, even though it ended with Mio’s Christmas present to Tarou being a stomping with a full upskirt shot (see the video). In terms of providing a fairly satisfying conclusion to a series that never intends to address the whole masochism thing, it delivered in that regard and left off with the impression that their “struggles” will continue on. The “Happy Birthday, my holy day” song by Ayana was a nice touch as well.

 

MM   12   40 MM   12   41 MM   12   42
MM   12   43 MM   12   44 MM   12   45

ED2: 「Happy Birthday, my holy day」 by 竹達彩奈 (Taketatsu Ayana)
Watch the 2nd ED!: Download, Streaming ▼

Final Impressions:

I never expect too much from the romantic comedies that XEBEC adapts, and I approached their most recent one in much the same manner. I was well aware what I was getting into after doing my research, so there wasn’t much in the way of surprises. Looking back now, this series was more or less the slapstick laughs that I was anticipating, and one that never got too serious in the relationship department. Still, it gave us a few interesting developments over the course of its short twelve episode run, with Arashiko’s earnest side being my favorite. In comparison, I found myself caring less and less for Mio when her superiority complex was so prominent and her ideas to cure Tarou’s masochism got sillier and sillier. I did appreciate how she would throw Tarou a bone at times and show that she cares about him though, as it rounded out her character and made her fit the tsundere stereotype she was intended to. Tarou on the other hand was a fairly useless male lead given his “illness”, yet came off as a fairly respectable one when a certain club president wasn’t setting him off. It did take a while to get used to Fukuyama Jun‘s masochistic portrayal of him, after which it was easier to take notice of his better traits. Part of the reason why I liked rooting for Arashiko is because she sees the good in him as well, even though she’s unlikely to win against Mio in the long run.

While this series isn’t anything to write home about, I do feel that it’s decent offering given the type of series that it is. Much like in the finale, it had its moments where there was an extra dimension to it that puts it slightly above the norm. Combined with the wide range of characters, including one eccentric cross-dresser played by Satou Rina, it also managed to keep things interesting every episode. At times, it got pretty ridiculous with things like Tarou going Super Saiyajin with his hentai powers; however, it was those very over-the-top moments that ultimately defined the series for what it is. Naturally, it won’t appeal to a lot of people, but if you know what you’re getting into and have enjoyed something similar, MM fits the bill better than even I thought it would. Just don’t expect Tarou’s masochism to be cured, as that would eliminate the very plot device that the entire series is founded on. Arashiko curing her androphobia? Now we’re talking.

December 18, 2010 at 7:26 am
24 comments »
  • December 18, 2010 at 7:39 amEx-00

    Nice withe End :ninja:

  • December 18, 2010 at 7:50 amAlec

    another one of those endings again.

  • December 18, 2010 at 8:00 amAlvord12

    This aired already? Oh well… at least we got to see more of Mio-sama! ;)

    • December 18, 2010 at 12:14 pmShirt

      yeahinoright?! I was surprised too. haha

  • December 18, 2010 at 9:18 amfluidity

    Ah damn, that kind of ending really feels awkward, it makes you ask for more…
    Nevertheless, it was a fun ride, the series that is.
    Hopefully they’d put up an OVA to really wrap things up and give us a stable ending for the show.

  • December 18, 2010 at 9:37 amcshin9

    One less series to blog.

  • December 18, 2010 at 9:41 amIrational Promise

    “The fact that it was for a good cause and not a stupid idea that Mio had come up to cure Tarou’s masochism made it feel like a worthwhile stint too.” I think you mean ‘stunt’ not ‘stint’.

    I’m looking forward to watching this. <3 Shame nothing is definitive but- it is that type of show.

    • December 18, 2010 at 3:01 pmDivine

      No, I meant “stint”.

  • December 18, 2010 at 12:06 pmOmega

    Another anime ended. Looking forward to winter 2011.

  • December 18, 2010 at 12:13 pmShirt

    WAI! I can’t watch it yet! T_T

    You guys are really timely this week! Or do you guys just have some kinda vacation? Haha either way, the post have been coming in very quick. :D

    • December 18, 2010 at 12:27 pmShirt

      omg I just saw the full size ♥Noa picture♥. 8D She was holdin’ out on us!! <3

  • December 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm♛Croosboy♛

    What a gift Mio. well another series ended.
    in the romance dep 6, in the laugh dep 8, animation dep 8.
    in all 7.

  • December 18, 2010 at 6:44 pmjrj

    …well, it is over…
    I am more hoping for an Arashiko ending though :(
    but the birthday party was touching.
    Hope they might add a second season and more Arashiko :)

  • December 18, 2010 at 7:22 pmNadavu

    Watched up to episode 8, then dropped it. can’t remember the last time I dropped a series so late into its run. I really liked Arashiko, so that’s probably why it took me so long to give it up.

  • December 18, 2010 at 8:28 pmDragonite88

    Well season 2 is on its way so we only have to wait couple months. I wonder what will replace this show. I enjoyed everything. and Fukuyama Jun what a great seiyuu. He has done so many voice this fall i lost count of how many shows i heard him in.

  • December 19, 2010 at 1:18 amElie

    Yet another one of those series that starts with something and ends with nothing.

  • December 19, 2010 at 2:45 amPhosphatide

    It’s almost like whenever Fukuyama Jun does a romance series as the male lead, there will be no winning girl.

    Friggin’ ToHeart2.

    • December 19, 2010 at 4:22 amFlamingYu

      even is LoL Heroes?

      • December 19, 2010 at 4:23 amFlamingYu

        in*

        mistype “n” and “s”

      • December 19, 2010 at 8:12 pmPhosphatide

        Is there a point in the story where his character and a girl become a confirmed couple?

        If not, then there is no winning girl. There is only unresolved sexual tension.

  • December 20, 2010 at 4:33 pmnot fair

    thats not fair, i wished there was a second season, i mean this is so stupid, if they dont release a second season ill burn them alive !!!!!!!!!!!!! Mio is the best!!!!!!!

  • December 20, 2010 at 9:20 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    http://randomc.net/image/MM/MM%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2017.jpg

    *chants “It’s a trap” over and over and over again*

    http://randomc.net/image/MM/MM%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2019.jpg

    Ahh, much better… ^_^ XD

  • December 21, 2010 at 2:04 amalex

    so this was the equivalent of NGE 26 for MM! and Mio :)
    *I think I saw pantsu*

  • December 21, 2010 at 5:05 amkoja

    where’s the epic pantsu shot of the series???