Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse – 24 (END)
「白い闇」 (Shiroi Yami)
Going into this episode, there admittedly wasn’t much room to maneuver in terms of what could’ve been done. The way the previous episode ended and the fact that the source story itself is incomplete pretty much forced this finale to be straight forward, and it was. We get Major Christopher’s plan to control the Scarlet Twins backfiring and leading to his own brutal death, which ultimately leads to the berserk rampage we were pretty much all expecting at this point. Yui and Yuuya combine together in some great action scenes to bring them back to their senses, the Infinities (with the help of VG and Stella) take down the laser class in order to free up the skies for American bombers… and all is fine and dandy.
To say the least, the end result wasn’t particularly awesome (well, the action scenes were pretty good), but the fact of the matter is Total Eclipse’s finale ended up wrapping things up quite nicely. From what I’ve heard previously, this “terrorist arc” didn’t really have any openings for a proper conclusion, which in turn led many to wonder just exactly how the series would end. As we see now, it took a little bit of anime original modifications (at least, I believe it was, as I don’t think the Berkut was ever meant to show up at this point)… but they managed to do it. Granted, some of the major threads still have question marks, but the bottom line is that this episode did feel like a finale. Every one of the characters return in some shape or form… they’re all going their separate ways and moving on… there were some odes to the past (Latrova’s words, Yuuya’s arrival, Yui’s first impressions)… and they even managed to slip in that epilogue bit that was based on the PV for the TE game too.
All in all, there really is admittedly not much to say here in terms of the episode itself. It was just one of those straight forward finales that wrapped everything up with a nice bow tie, while setting up for the potential for more in the future (and the PS3/XBOX game to be released early next year). You’ll find my final impressions after the End Card.
P.S. Loved how they bought back the second ending theme this episode. I was hoping it’d make its appearance here, and they definitely didn’t disappoint in that regard. :D
If there’s one thing about any series, it’s that whether you like it or not typically depends on your own preferences and viewpoints. And for me, I feel that assertion fits particularly well with Total Eclipse. Because the fact of the matter is, there were two faces to this series.
Going back to some of my comments from earlier in the season, the fact of the matter is that Total Eclipse was originally intended as a sales device. However, after becoming much popular than ever anticipated, genuine effort was put into expanding the series (whose original material hit episode 7) and making it a proper iteration of the Muv-Luv universe. In this context, it can be said that Total Eclipse succeeded. The shift to the Kamchatsky arc heralded a noticeable improvement over the first arc, and despite not being anywhere near as good as the original trilogy, Total Eclipse did manage to at least give first time viewers a glimpse of what the Muv-Luv universe offers. Yes, there the abruptness of the shift was pretty obvious in terms of both the tone and the character development, but considering the fact that the original beginning was already there and set in stone, they did a fairly good job. And this is what I mean. Total Eclipse is a story of two faces: the one we got before the shift and the one after the shift. I personally liked how things managed to pick up despite its shaky beginnings (and the its anime original first 2 eps), but there are others that aren’t as forgiving, and would penalize the series greatly as a result. Notably, this in turn leads to my next point, which further emphasizes how one’s view affects how their opinion on this series.
From the perspective of a typical viewer trying to judge this series (as objectively as possible), one could probably agree that most would consider this series as something wasn’t anything particularly great or a masterpiece in any sense. At the same time—provided the viewer doesn’t have any major aversion against Sci-Fi or Mecha—one could probably agree that Total Eclipse wasn’t a particularly bad series either, as there were still elements that made this series worth watching at times too. Combining this with the fact that many first time Muv-Luv viewers seemed to be disappointed by the lack of BETA compared to their expectations, and it’s probably accurate to say that the bottom line was the show ended up pretty average—neither leaning toward success or failing in terms of being judged as an anime alone.