KARNEVAL – 12
「ニジの約束」 (Niji no Yakusoku)
“A Niji’s Promise”
It’s time to get this show on the road.
If last week’s narrative decisions felt rather off point, then this week makes a 180 turn to focus on the upcoming finale. Pretty much everything about this episode screams “final confrontation”, and I find it rather amusing that this is possibly the most plot focused episode in the series outside of the Twins arc. We’ve been hearing about Karoku all season, for example, and seen him a few times, but it isn’t until now that he really starts making a difference on stage. The wheels that have been creaking slowly into place are now finally rearing to go, and I’m more than a little pleased about the general execution of this episode.
To go off on a quick tangent, one of the things I like about the Josei and Seinen genres is how versatile they are. They tend to incorporate many characteristics from other genres and present more of a gray area than a purely stereotypical one. This is more noticeable in Karneval as of late, especially in the heavy use of action elements during this final arc. Though we often see Yogi or Tsukumo in action, there’s a real shounen-like finality to this whole infiltration of Khafka, and the animation for the fight scenes is quite the treat too. It’s that traditional portion of the narrative where all the right people start kicking ass, and even Nai has his moment of unknown ability to flaunt, and I like that in a show that’s equally parts fabulous and ridiculous. It feels good to touch down on something that’s still ostensibly Karneval but much more focused than usual, and I’m glad we’re getting that for the last two episodes.
In any case, it’s time for Circus to actively march on Khafka, and it’s almost amusing how easily they get on premises. It does make me wonder why they wasted so much time looking for evidence when they clearly had some means of getting in there for a while now, but that aside, there’s plenty of great action going on here. Between Tsukumo, Gareki’s newfound tech skills, and the general ability of the first and second ship armies, Khafka is overwhelmed almost too easily. But even then, things aren’t bound to go completely smoothly. For one thing, Azana has strangely turned traitor at the last minute, a surprising development if ever there was one, and Karoku only compounds his mystery when he’s shown holding hands with someone suspiciously like himself. It’s clear that even though we’re heading for the end, Karneval is still comfortably itself, spiraling gleefully in a frenzy and holding on to its secrets to the very last.