「問題児たちが白黒はっきりさせるようですよ？」 (Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Shirokuro Hakkiri Saseru You Desu yo?)
“It Seems That the Problem Children Prove Who’s On Top?”
This finale had a bit of everything I’ve come to love about Mondaiji.
Perhaps one of the biggest principles present throughout the entire series has been fun and enjoyment. In the Little Garden combat is a sport, and despite its sheer intensity at times, this always comes across crystal clear in all of the battles. It’s quite comparable to DOG DAYS in that sense. All of the participants seem to strive to enjoy themselves, particularly the core trio. At times, it’s almost as though death is not a risk – to be honest, I half expected that it would be revealed none actually died from the mist and it was merely an empty threat. Everyone appreciates and respects the talents of the adversaries – there aren’t really any hard feelings, even when these opponents were painted as ‘evil’.
Almost all of the characters had their moments to shine in this finale, be they friend or foe. In his almost evenly matched battle of brute strength against Weser, Izayoi demonstrated his raw power, survivability and intelligence – all the key traits he’s demonstrated in the series so far. Asuka showed off the strength of her will and her dominance over others while competing with the equally gifted Ratten in a battle of ‘giant robots‘. And the majority of the cast came together for one final push to take down the Demon Lord herself in spectacular fashion. Each side showed no hard feelings at the conclusion of the duels – only Black Pearcher seemed to feel any resentment. There was nothing but respect and acknowledgement. It certainly felt like a fitting concluding battle for the series – like the culmination of everything we’ve seen so far. It even tied in various threads left lying around since earlier in the season, such as Izayoi’s marketing strategies and Shiroyasha’s dominion over the sun.
I have exactly one gripe with this episode and it concerns what I just wrote about. What happened to You’s place in this finale? It seemed like the perfect time for the trio to come together for the finish and You’s absence, particularly during that final battle against Black Percher, was somewhat disappointing. Sure she was sick and still managed to save one child from harm, but I’d expected more – it feels wrong for her to have played such a minor role in the conclusion of the series despite being such an awesome character. Despite this, her traits did show through – that simple kindness and nobility along with the stubbornness to persevere and take action in spite of her condition. Yet I’m still bothered that she didn’t play a larger part when even Sandora had a chance to shine.
The conclusion of the episode was perfect. I’ve long been a sucker for these types of epilogues, where an ending theme plays over scenes suggesting what’s to come. There’s something beautiful about it – it leaves things open so that we know there’s more in the future, but at the same time it feels like a solid conclusion to the story. It doesn’t have to continue from here. And in the very end, things come full circle – a letter falling from the sky in a brilliant tribute to how the series began. I love it when shows do that kind of thing.
tl;dr: @MoombaDS – #Mondaiji goes out in a spectacular fashion. Truly a worthwhile finale!
- Black Percher is so nonchalant about blocking Izayoi’s attacks.
- That rage!
- Weser seems like he would’ve been quite a bro. I would really have liked to see the adversary trio join the no names.
- The moon always makes a spectacular stage for final battles.
- I was kind of touched by the final revelations surrounding the Pied Piper tale. It was nice to see it have a somewhat happy ending after all.
ED2: 「ぼくたちの星座」 (Bokutachi no Seiza) by 佐土原かおり (Sadohara Kaori)
I’m going to get it out of the way right from the start. If you’re actually reading this you’re probably aware that I enjoyed Mondaiji a lot. I’m pretty sure it’s easily my favourite show of the past season and I’m sad to see it come to an end so quickly. I actually have rather conflicting feelings on the issue of length. It felt right – the series didn’t feel rushed, nor did it feel drawn out as it might have had they adapted the same amount of material into twelve or thirteen episodes. But at the same time, I wish there was more purely because it was such an enjoyable show to watch. No other series in this season has held quite as much entertainment value nor hooked my attention quite so easily as Mondaiji did. It was spectacular right from the start and it held to its high standards for its entire run – there was never a dull moment.
On the surface it might have originally appeared to be a generic absurdly-titled light novel adaptation. It turned out to be anything but. The story was definitely a little generic at first and never quite broke out of the mould in general, but it was the characters that really shined and carried the series all the way to its conclusion. There’s really something about over powered individuals and the way the trio were portrayed as being extremely different despite all sharing an almost equivalent capacity for sheer brutal force. While the plot was simple, it was definitely handled well – threads were tied up nicely and there was a lot of clever thinking in the use of themes and how everything was brought together for the conclusion. There was no complexity for complexity’s sake (there wasn’t really much complexity anyway).
The incorporation of myth and legend into the storyline and its role in the Little Garden was a nice touch. I’ve always been quite a fan of the subject and many fantasy works like to draw inspirations from it, but I felt that Mondaiji handled it exceptionally well, especially in regards to the latest arc and its use of the old tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. It made for an excellent method by which Izayoi could make logical deductions about the abilities of adversaries and how best to combat them while also providing a stronger connection between the individual worlds. Not once did it feel like lazy storytelling as can sometimes happen when you’re utilising large parts of pre-written material.
Perhaps one of the most important aspects I should comment on given that this was a show which prided itself on action is the art and animation. Diomedéa did a fantastic job – there was always impact in the battles and the visual effects were spectacular and imbued with a sense of awe. There was very little in the way of ‘quality’ either – none of the terribad in-between (or keyframes either) animation that has been cropping up so frequently in so many other shows this past season. Perhaps this is yet another beneficial effect of creating a ten episode series as opposed to drawing it out for a full season! There was never a moment that Mondaiji was not pleasant on the eyes.
On the audio front, high quality was maintained. Hamaguchi Shiro brought us a spectacular soundtrack complete with all manner of cues which never failed to bring out the best, whether in combat or the more playful and light-hearted moments. The seiyuu excellently fulfilled their roles in bringing out the personalities of each of the characters too, with special mention going to Sarah Emi Bridcut for doing so well as Asuka despite it being her first role in anime! Every casting choice felt perfect.
Throughout the entire series, it managed to keep the comedy fresh – even if the main centrepiece for it tended to be Kurousagi, the jokes were never re-used to the point of feeling stale. There wasn’t an overreliance on fan-service either, which is a little surprising given how things often played out. Perhaps the most unexpected, yet most welcome deviation from the current trend was the complete lack of the harem aspects you usually expect in this kind of light novel adaptation. It was rather refreshing that the only romances hinted were straightforward and that Kurousagi and Izayoi made a fantastic implied couple. All in all, it was a series that didn’t play out quite the way many might have expected before it aired. I for one am quite satisfied with how everything played out! I can only hope for a second season sometime in the future!