Kuragehime – 11 (END)
「ジェリーフィッシュ・オブ・ドリームス」 (Jerīfisshu obu Dorīmusu)
“Jellyfish of Dreams”
Well what an incredibly anticlimactic solution to last week’s cliffhanger huh? To be honest, I didn’t give it much thought, and sadly, I don’t spend every waking moment wondering what the next episode of Kuragehime will reveal, but I seriously expected the Amamizu-kan to be a plot milestone this time. That said, the episode managed to tie up the series rather nicely, faithful to the manga or not (I wouldn’t know).
Since the Amamizu-kan wasn’t the real focus anymore, the direction turned to Tsukimi and Kuranosuke, with their jellyfish dresses finally going somewhere. It felt a little quick the way they went from nobody to partaking in a fashion showing, but I guess you could thank the ridiculous coincidence that the girl from the last ep was a model and chose them because she recognized Banban-san (and other reasons I’m sure). The contest was a big character movement for Tsukimi, as she realizes Kuranosuke just may have changed her, with metaphors of jellyfish memories flung left and right all throughout. At this point, it seems all matters of Shuu are dropped, and Kuranosuke is still in denial that he likes Tsukimi. While a lot of these issues are left hanging, the jellyfish dress plot still manages to give a good conclusion without feeling cheated. Compared to the first episode, Tsukimi’s gone far, starting up a pending relationship with Kuranosuke and their intertwined “destiny,” and has maybe understood a little more about her mother’s words.
Inari and Shuu have not been forgotten either, and I am quite amused at Inari’s complete change in character after being slapped. It’s cute that she’s completely filled with thoughts of Shuu, acting like a teenager in love again, starkly contrasting her previous mature and sexually manipulative self. Again, despite the interesting development, they’re left off traveling in an airplane together into the unknown.
And in the end, the Amamizu-kan plot returns with Chieko’s mom showing up for a somewhat “full-circle” feeling. The appearance of her mom looking almost exactly like Chieko forced me to pause the show to recompose myself, but the news she came with removed the worry that the Amamizu-kan was going to be sold (which was actually never really played off as a huge problem). I’m not too sure how that affects them still needing to buy the place, but with Inari busy rekindling her one sided love fantasies, I don’t know where the story could go. As mentioned last post, the timing of the plot for the series finale is impressive, and even courageous in anime’s usually constrictive and difficult pressures to make decisions based on business. But as expected, check another one down for a quality Noitamina show.
Similar to Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, the two shows I started off blogging this season were pretty much last minute choices. While I had a little taste of what PSG was before beginning, Kuragehime had me going with nothing except pictures and descriptions. However, the first episode was nothing short of intriguing, and I soon realized I had landed on a good series.
So let’s rattle off the obvious. Kuragehime had a great plot, several of them in fact, nicely told throughout each episode, probably mostly in thanks to the experienced director of DRRR!!. “A great plot? Since when was that impressive?” Well, since it’s so difficult to find these days. In addition, the characters were probably the best part of the show, perhaps even outshining the story they were within. The whole cast is absolutely charming, and even though most of them stayed relatively the same development wise, they gave the show a lot of spunk. The story really liked throwing the characters against each other in different situations, usually leading to a lot of laughs, and a general good time.
Kuragehime is sort of like the definition of a solid show. It does everything well, but nothing really “incredible,” highly due to the extremely limited time slot of eleven episodes to tell its long and still ongoing story. This doesn’t mean that it’s in any way mediocre, as it’s like reading a really good book, but only up to a semi climax. The lack of completion many may feel from the last episode is inevitable, and I came into the episode fully prepared for that. Although the directors decided not to pull off a stunt to finish the show with a bow on top, the plot ended at a great point, providing what I thought was enough of a conclusion to satisfy. Animation stayed pretty consistent throughout, but if you’ve read my posts, you’ll notice I’ve never really cared to talk about it, as it’s just not that important for this show. The same goes for sound as well, but the soundtracks are fitting, and I grew increasingly attached to the ED song as the weeks went on.
For those that have been waiting for this series to end before starting, rest assured, the eleven episodes provide nothing but quality entertainment. You may not get the greatest ending of all time, but you’ll more than likely leave with a smile on your face, perhaps even wanting more. For my own full-circle, I’ll have to interject by saying the series did become a diamond by the end, if only just without a ring, being still beautiful, just not complete.