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Hagure Yuusha no Estetica – 12 (END)

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「世界が君を見つめてる」 (Sekai ga Kun wo Mitsu Meteru)
“The World is Watching You”

The end of Hagure Yuusha’s here and what better way to finish things off than by having Akatsuki choppin’ the dragon in half, Final Fantasy style? Phil finally bites the dust with a little bit of help from Miu and Haruka, and all’s fine and dandy—or is it? Seems like there’s trouble in Alazzard, and Misty’s in a bind. True to his word though, Akatsuki hears her cries and makes his way toward the other world. Not to be left behind though, he’s joined by Miu, the Class Pres, Izumi, and ultimately Haruka and Motoharu too.

And that’s where the series leads off. It’s pretty much the typical “series end” episode that ends the current arc while setting up the foundations for future ones but… in this case, it doesn’t seem like there will be a sequel. There just don’t seem to be enough sales to warrant a continuation, for better and for worse. Like any other series in this position, there’s just the reality that some questions won’t ever be answered, and that’s the case with Hagure Yuusha. It looks like we’ll never actually see how the story ends up, what COCOON’s plans entail and how they’ll play out, or Motoharu’s relation to Scarlet Dusk and their counter to COCOON either—unless of course, you decide to read the source material.

And well, this is exactly why I ended up having mixed emotions at this ending. The episode demonstrated some of the potential of the series, but with it came the reappearance of its flaws as well, as the series just can’t seem to develop things in a proper manner. There’s just that potential there… but also the flaws that offset it too. It just leaves you wondering which part you should be betting on, and it leaves you torn as to whether or not to give it the benefit of the doubt or not. And it goes doubly so when the ending gives you a bunch of reveals and insight into side plots and the future, which were admittedly intriguing. I personally hate leaving things hanging, and as such, part of me really wants to see how the story develops… but I just can’t decide between whether or not a sequel would be worth the time investment, even if they did make one, just because I feel like the flaws would just rear their heads again and offset everything.

Either way, it’s that time of the year again. The time where series start ending and we begin our transition into the next season. Hagure Yuusha’s anime run probably ends here and ultimately leaves a somewhat sour after taste as a series that just hit short of the mark. Final impressions after the new ED sequence animations.

Full-length images: 28, 34.

 

ED1.12 Sequence

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Final Impressions:

Going into the season, I was admittedly intrigued by Hagure Yuusha no Estetica. The action, magic, and kick ass protagonist screamed potential for me, even with the fanservice element. And with the first few episodes, some of that potential was present. I mean, Akatsuki’s first few appearances screamed atypical hero/protagonist, as he was armed with a plethora of kick-ass skills that few have even at the end of their respective stories. Yet here was Akatsuki, armed with “end game” level powers from the start, and ready to throw the fantasy genre on its head, especially with his perverted antics. Surrounding him were a fairly decent cast of characters, including the daughter of a demon king he defeated (what irony it was!), and a bunch of female magic users too.

However, as the series progressed and the plot started moving on to darker, more serious aspects, Hagure Yuusha began missing the mark. And perhaps, it was not more obvious than when Episode 05 came along. You know, when they spent the entirety of the episode in the mall shopping for lingerie? Yeah, that one. Granted, the fact I disliked this episode was partially my fault for underestimating the sheer amount of fanservice that came from the series and that some viewers seemed to have enjoyed it (especially learning how to put on a bra), the fact remains that you just can’t afford to spend an entire episode on such antics in a one-cour series—especially when you’re trying to attract viewers into your adaptation of a fairly long series that will require viewers to stay on for more than one-cour to really get into things.

But in the end, that was just a rather small miss, and a subjective one as well. The other episodes of the series had a much better balance of fanservice to plot development after all. However, this would ultimately reveal what would be the major problem with this series as a whole: the fact that the positives aspects would be constantly outweighed by the negatives. And the perfect example would come in the now infamous (at least to me) Episode 10, where the creators (for some inexplicable reason) thought that fitting in a climactic fight, character development, and a rematch in the span of 20 minutes would be a great idea. Not only did the rematch end up revealing that both Akatsuki and Phil were holding back the whole time, rendering the first fight pointless (not to mention how anti-climactic it was in the first place), it also made the character development of Miu and her interactions with Akatsuki exceptionally forced. What could have been a great emotional development and a special episode in general, was turned into a disaster, and it was a formula followed in the final two episodes of the series, where great action and potentially great dialogue/development were ruined by improper placement or the act of developing itself. In the case of Episode 10, the end result was an episode that could be summarized as one filled with a malarchy fight, Miu suddenly jumping off a cliff in an emo state, and forced development that garnered no real emotional reaction. A real long cry away from what could have been a darn awesome fight followed by quality, tear-inducing character development.

And yes, I understand a lot of people reading this are probably going: “But you shouldn’t be expecting much from the plot of a series such as this anyway!” And to this, I’d normally say yes. However, Estetica differs in that it shows that there is indeed a deeper plot beneath everything, especially since this final episode hinted a lot at future, major plot points. Furthermore, it had all the factors to make something good out of, which makes it just that much worse that it wasn’t properly developed. In addition, the typical fanservice series only last about one-cour and even then, still have a barebones plot that gets solved. Estetica’s main plot hasn’t really even been revealed up into this point, which indicates its attempt at being a series that is at least partially plot-driven, and thus doesn’t put it into the territory of a “typical fanservice show”. As such, I feel it’s fair game to actually put some expectation into Estetica’s plot, which just didn’t deliver.

Ultimately, Estetica will go down as one of those series that just missed the mark (and by a fair bit). It seems like part of this is at least due to the fact it’s an adaptation, but I have heard it is at least fairly close to the original source material. I have also heard that the future chapters are a far cry better than what has been shown up to this point, but I just don’t see myself wanting to continue the source material to see. There is a chance I will however… just not at this point in time. At least though, the fanservice elements seem to be here for those that want them, but just those elements won’t do (at least for me) when surrounded by a plot that failed to deliver and reach its potential.

And well, that’s about it I suppose. Sadly, the series just didn’t end up the way I expected, and this probably goes similarly for many of you out there. At the very least though, I have to say thanks to everyone reading this for following my coverage to its completion (whoo, second full show completed)… so “Thanks!” And I hope you’ll continue following my coverage of other series in the coming seasons, which will consist of at least Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, Jormungand 2, and the Naruto Manga in the fall.

September 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm
32 comments »
  • September 22, 2012 at 1:47 pmKTNO

    That was far more enjoyable than I first thought.
    Even without the fan service.

    • September 22, 2012 at 2:55 pmPIGLET

      Accel world and hagures endings were very……..

      • September 22, 2012 at 10:45 pmKusabi

        …awkward?

  • September 22, 2012 at 1:47 pmSilentCid

    Hey it didn’t missed the mark I got my weekly fanservice out of it…

  • September 22, 2012 at 1:55 pmjrj

    Hey Zephyr, first of all, I should say thank you a million for covering this show to completion! I really appreciate your effort despite its flaws… :)

    the ending made me raged… this has to be the shortest boss fight ever (or at least for all that I can remember so far)… but since I have read the LN, I could have seen this coming, which is really sad since the main plot, as you said, is just getting better… So maybe I shouldn’t had so much hope in the first place :(

    I know this is not the best place to say this, but I would argue that instead of letting the show getting a weird after taste here, for all of you interest in the story, read the source material the LNs… a lot more are in there and I can say they are quite interesting (especially all the revelations in vol.4-5 where the main party headed to the other world)

    but alas, I will miss the show and miss the so ass-kicking perverted Akatsuki on screen…

    • September 22, 2012 at 2:41 pmjrj

      oh, I wanted to say despite the show’s flaws, not your post’s flaw (not that there is any I can think of)…

    • September 22, 2012 at 3:01 pmPIGLET

      The boss fight was a complete waste of time.

  • September 22, 2012 at 1:56 pmlilu

    It has an interesting setting. I wouldn’t mind to see a documentary about it rather then watching the main group’s journey since it’s so obvious that Akatsuki is going to win.

    • September 22, 2012 at 2:01 pmjrj

      actually… let me just say that Akatsuki had a near death experience in that arc without spoiling the details… and his foes became more and more powerful in the LN… so don’t think he can cut all who stand in his path like cutting tofu…

      • September 22, 2012 at 3:42 pmWaka

        spoil using tags, ALWAYS! i love reading them

  • September 22, 2012 at 2:14 pmasus

    Does feel very incomplete to me overall, but it was a good ride. Don’t think there will be more sadly. I can look forward to High School DXD season 2 though!

  • September 22, 2012 at 2:31 pmUnajuuphile

    The way this thing ended is begging for a second season. I don’t see this show as a finished one, I want a second season.

  • September 22, 2012 at 3:14 pmSilivious

    I want a 2nd as well, but sales have to be good enough to make it. =(

  • September 22, 2012 at 3:25 pmacolyte

    The ending was.. interesting? In terms of being open ended, that is..
    It allows for many developments. I quite like the show, although I can’t rate it high.
    To me it feels like a setup. If this is an adaptation, it really feels like it’s just thrown together to get on with the plot.
    A second season would be interesting though – we’re left open with possible roles in the upcoming developments, between Babel, Akatsuki, his group of merry friends, and the other world.

    I pretty much agree with you, Zephyr, and thanks for covering this show :)

  • September 22, 2012 at 3:57 pmBenz

    Quote “I have also heard that the future chapters are a far cry better than what has been shown up to this point”

    True, later chapter is actually much more interesting than the first 3 novel which is shown her in 12 episode, beause is a bit drama and story telling of the plot, you be like ” god never thought the truth of the war was like that”, I also think they didn’t do so well with this adaption because of the same reason many novel adapt anime suck is because they rush, normally 12 episode equal to 2 novel but they cramp everything here from 3 novel material. So yea whatever happen happens, at least I enjoy it while it last plus I always got the LN to keep me up with the story so I know what happen next.

  • September 22, 2012 at 5:54 pmSuppa Tenko

    I feel like it would have been much better if they skimmed off on some of the earlier episodes and skipped to the allazard arc.

  • September 22, 2012 at 6:00 pmRasen

    I can’t shake the feeling that there was actual potential for this anime and that the LN is much better. As it is, this adaptation was a whole lot of nothing coupled with fights with minimal animation. I enjoy fanservice, but just like how you can only eat so much ice cream before vomiting…..

  • September 22, 2012 at 6:32 pmovit

    well give good news, bad news, & seem more to go on it.

    good news
    everyone is safe cause boss block phil-dragon blast & tell miu believe in akatsuki give a wrist band & also vice pres as well.
    yea boss slay phil-dragon everything all fine.

    bad news
    Alazzard world yea bit yikes since probs monsters, demon, etc going wild since phil-dragon is slayed with phil’s owner is shock.
    with princess listy seem ok phil is gone but probs attack cry for boss & he on the way.

    hmm news
    secret meeting going seem like more hmm on boss akatsuki & want ready plan Y.
    kaido sorta sneak help boss with chains & oh spy with council members to watch boss.

    etc
    miu reveal her secret to shorty & lesbian after boss grab miu’s “fun size” so all in travel to Alazzard give kaido chain himself along wtih vice pres grab in too cue the adventure continues.

    & odds so must for s2 happen really where else main guy such a BOSS.

  • September 22, 2012 at 6:58 pmewok40k

    Well, the Omniscent Council of Vagueness (T) had its dose of, erm, vagueness, and our Maverick Hero is going away back to the world of Alazzard (with his harem , plus a Mysterious Minion (T) in tow).
    I am torn between Akatsuki being Boring Invincible Hero and the series having potential to develop: the Council and its Y (Yuri? Yaoi?) plan, the Alazzard problems with demons and Miu’s potential ascendancy to lordship over them… It looks like all we have been teased to read the LN’s. I sense the LN’s can be much better than anime in this case.

    • September 22, 2012 at 9:28 pmovit

      well at least BOSS akatsuki is not like medaka cena aka Medaka Kurokami the john cena of medaka box?

      cause akatsuki handle everything like a BOSS.

  • September 22, 2012 at 7:44 pmAnza

    I’m somewhat surprised they went this way with the ending, I’m assuming it follows the LN’s but considering the lower interest in this show I expected a happily ever after anime original ending if anything, I like how it was set up and hope someone ends up translating the light novels soon.

  • September 22, 2012 at 8:29 pmSilivious

    If you want a translation of it, you’ll have to implore the fine folks on Baka-Tsuki to translate it. =/

    • September 22, 2012 at 11:13 pmjrj

      or read Chinese translation if you are able to… so far Chinese translation goes to vol.8, and Japanese original goes to vol.9

  • September 22, 2012 at 11:57 pmJ-Luke

    There is a possibility of this being a 2-cour series that has a break midway; I don’t think this episode would have ended the way it did if it was only a 1-cour.
    I also can’t help but wonder where this confident statement of DVD’s not selling well is based upon; the first DVD/BD volume has not even been released at the time of this writing…

    • September 23, 2012 at 1:48 amlilu

      Preoder points, their are at the bottom and I can’t blame them, Dragon fight was dragged too much, second episode, lack of ecchi, no good fights – no good animation. The saving grace are settings and that harem MC doesn’t afraid of girls.

  • September 23, 2012 at 1:06 amTingster013

    This must have a second season, I want to see Akatsuki going to Alazzard and f**k everyone there!!! And the Babel thing have so much to develop, so please 2nd season please!!!

  • September 23, 2012 at 4:40 amVaan

    The last episode is definitely lacking. The boss fight is definitely short but they intended to do so to set things up for a possible 2nd season. I’m looking forward to the 2nd season as Akatsuki and the rest are going to Alezzard. Good to see Haruka joining in as well.

    Would be interesting to see Listy’s reaction when she hees him surrounded by girls…and a guy. I would give this series a decent score just because Akatsuki is one hell of a baddass characters and not a wimp compared to other harem leads.

  • September 23, 2012 at 1:52 pmMegas

    That’s my BOSS for ya – the ONLY good thing about this series. The author of this wrote the LN with smoke & mirrors. ALL of the characters in this are 1-dimensional writeoffs except for BOSS. This anime has it’s flaws & all but BOSS makes up for it entirely for not being a jelly-filled keem sack.

    As for its style & continuation. Its not exactly a breath of fresh air, its more like a hurricane blowing down those 4 walls of F-in SOS MCs. There are 5 other harem anime this season which feature those Sack-O’-S* MCs. They’re all a waste of time & definitely don’t need or warrant a second cour. But does that mean this needs a 2nd – the door is open but I have no idea how they’ll start it from where they left off & not make it look like Dog Days + 1000 tons of BOSS & ecchi.

    I would love to see BOSS go maou on all those fools in Alezzard but that will remain a pipe dream for now.

  • September 23, 2012 at 9:38 pmEntrav

    This anime was fun to watch and the plot isn’t too terrible either. It still has some nice developments for later. Waiting for season 2 now.

  • September 26, 2012 at 10:25 amAkatsuki

    Theres 1 pic thats not working

  • October 16, 2012 at 1:17 amkatmos

    it was an amasing anime, and I personally think it has the same potential even as Bleach… but only if they make it right…
    I mean, look that the biggest profits came from the long-series…you just can’t make a lot a lot of money from a short serie-anime, and one without very much publicity either…There were other series with lots of publicity and profit, even if their subject wasn’t too good – I’m talking about that Pokemon and Sailor Moon things.
    Make it well, and it will sale big-time!

  • December 13, 2012 at 9:41 amAnon

    Does anyone have a link where this Light Novel(Hagure Yuusha no Estetica) is translated and can be read online? The cliffhanger is maddening!!! lol