Gen’ei wo Kakeru Taiyou – 12
「運命の選択」 (Unmei no Sentaku)
“Choosing Your Destiny”
I feel like I’m watching a master’s class in how not to do it.
Give In To Despair
So Cerebrum wants to mate with Akari. My initial reaction: ew. My reaction after thinking about it for a while: still ew. In all seriousness, I don’t know what to say about this – up until this point Cerebrum was the only character acting somewhat intelligently, but now he’s pulled from macguffin (trope!) out of nowhere and wants something that was, at best, only foreshadowed last episode. So that’s just badly done.
More than that, this episode showed how bad of a protagonist Akari is. Not only because either Seira or Luna would have been much better ones – they both got some character development, and Luna in particular would have made for a more interesting (if slightly Shinji-ish) story – but also because Akari is so passive. The first time around the dream thing she didn’t even try to save Fuyuna! She just hid under the covers until Fuyuna came a-knocking to get torched. And then there’s her fatal flaw, which boils down to “she cares too much”. That sounds like a clichéd joke interview question. “I care too much, I try too hard, and I’m too dependable.” Get out of here, no one can relate to that.
And seriously, will someone tell me why everybody instantly believes whatever Cerebrum says? He’s the evil murderous antagonist fer crissakes! With brains like these, they all deserve to die.
Why Is Any Of This Happening?
The Luna vs Seira fight came to nothing. They fought for a little bit, it looked like it would be important, and then they just stopped and were all okay. What was the point in them having fought? The story would have been precisely the same if Seira never went to see wolf-Luna, and we would have been spared the extra angst. Their little face-off was clearly thrown in to amp up the tension at the end of last episode, but it ended up being drama without point, purpose, or payoff. It was a waste of time.
For that matter, Ginka’s death was apparently the same. She comes roaring back just in time to save the day without a reason given. How would the story have appreciably changed if Ginka hadn’t gotten “killed”? She could have just been really banged up for a few episodes like the other two and it would have been all the same, except without all the extra (and ultimately pointless) drama. This too, was a waste of time.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, what’s the point of all of this? So many things happen that could have been easily cut, without even the argument of their being funny/touching/exciting/sexy to justify they’re existence. Scenes and plotpoints like these are just wastes of our time.
I Feel Nothing
I have come to like Luna as one of the few genuinely flawed and relatable characters in this series. What she was saved from a stabby death at Seira’s hands, I should have been happy. I was not. I felt like a huge opportunity had been missed, and not even Luna’s character development could make up for it.
Ginka was always my favorite of the main four because she was the one who acted the most like I felt I would in their situation, but when she reappeared I felt nothing. They made death in this world cheap without so much as an explanation, and they didn’t even have the decency to back it up with a dramatic sudden reversal or a great soundtrack.
I think many people want to get invested in a good story, to let themselves be pulled in and really experience the tale like they’re a part of it. I know I wanted to with Gen’ei. Unfortunately they screwed up so many times that I feel nothing when great reveals or tumultuous scenes happen, save for cold, dispassionate analysis so I have something to write to all of you. Probably a bad sign, that.
Looking Ahead – Let’s Get This Over With
For those of you still enjoying this series, I apologize if my rants diminish your enjoyment. For a storyteller like me, shows like this are an opportunity to learn what not to do, of which AIC is giving me a wealth of lessons. I’ll be back to my normal, non-ranty ways after one more episode.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Luna & Seira’s fight was pointless, Akari is a bad protag, & Ginka is okay b/c reasons. Someone’s gunna get fired for this show #geneitaiyou
- Why was Etia answering the phone like she owns the place when it’s someone else’s house?
- So Cerebrum’s plan is that she’s going to give up because it’s too emotionally painful? What is this, Star Wars Ep3? GAH!
- Did you catch how Seira said “the four of us” when they were flying? Even she didn’t think Ginka was going to stay dead.
- Sorry, this isn’t Star Wars, it’s Lord of the Rings. The Ents are marching!
For more from yours truly, check out my blog on writing, art, and the book I’m working on at stiltsoutloud.com.