「運と 論理と/」 (Un to ronri to)
“Luck and Logic”
A nonsensical ending for a nonsensical series.
The scattered focus and empty quality of Luck and Logic’s final episode is a direct result of the show’s deepest flaws. A severe lack of substantial exposition, as well as poorly developed character motivations, allow for many of this week’s emotional beats to fall completely flat.
Over Before You Know It
First and foremost, the “climactic” showdown between our only two male leads came of as anything but. The conclusion of last week’s installment implied an epic confrontation between these two titans—powered up to max stats and ultimate power. However, the ensuing battle is mostly spent aimlessly clashing blades for not more than few a minutes, in a garbled mess of awkwardly animated CG.
Tsurugi heatedly argues with Olga on the invalidity of his ideals—of a Marxist equality between all beings—right before shoehorning in a message on the importance of friendship. Throughout these past few episodes, Lucifer and his master plan are depicted as an immense threat to the world, and one which our main cast has seemingly no threat in combating. So one could easily predict that Olga would redeem himself in some form or another if Over Tranced Tsurugi didn’t have the chops to. While I don’t fault the finale for ultimately taking this route, the development was very poorly executed. With close to no effort, Olga completely shakes off Lucifer’s control, essentially nullifying all the build-up and jeopardy which the entire final arc has spent construing. All the momentum completely cut off with little to no explanation.
Worse still, the reason is Olga’s strong intention to fight Tsurugi one-on-one. What? While there have been some hints at a somewhat close bond between these two, there has been absolutely no indication of one as intimate as this plot point implies, let alone one which involves a kind of friendly rivalry. To overturn Lucifer’s plan like that, the least the show could do was provide a persuasive enough incentive. Instead, half-baked character completely derails any profundity of engagement in this last fight.
I’m also left entirely disappointed by Olga’s supposed character arc. When Olga visits Lucifer in I guess a prison of some kind (?), he reveals that he’s grateful for the lesson in humility the whole experience has granted him, stating that he was previously far too confident for his own good. At the start of this final arc, I could see the promise of this resolution. However, by the time we were just two episodes in, Olga had been completely dislodged from the center of his own character arc—you couldn’t even really tell if he was Lucifer or himself for a long time because of how poorly and unclearly they’re depicted (something which I’ve gone in-depth on a few episodes back). As a result, there hasn’t been anything to insist that all the mayhem we’ve witnessed was perpetuated or catalyzed by Olga’s hubris.
What doesn’t help is the complete lack of consequence for his actions. Was his only punishment the presence of arbitrary orbs to keep him in check from going evil again? Seriously, is that it? The guy was responsible for the near-destruction of the entire nearby populace, and all he gets is a light tap on the wrist? Every character seems to have completely forgotten what the guy’s done, as they treat him literally no different than before. Hell, he’s even trusted with a position of leadership not but a week after his little fiasco. Even though I get that Olga has come around and learned from his actions, I don’t feel like Olga has learned anything. What should have been a productive few episodes to his development have instead fallen completely flat. He says he’s learned to hone his confidence, but what’s the evidence of this? What’s he got to show for it? The whole endeavor is just frustrating and disappointing given how promising it all started out.
And on that note, what a waste of a character Lucifer was. The entirety of the show’s run was spent hyping him up as some sort of catastrophic threat, and while the scope of his power was addressed, he’s defeated easily—almost instantly. Not only this, but we never got to know his motivations—to know him as a character. Who was this guy? What was his history with the goddesses? Why exactly was he even evil? All of his build-up just sort of tapered off into nothing. When we see him beaten and constrained in his cell, it’s implied that he deserves a great deal of compassion and sympathy from us, but the show made little to no effort to make that happen. And then he just disappears, with no explanation in sight (unless I’m just missing something?). So not only was he a severely underdeveloped character, but his power was easily overcome. He’s a deficient villain in every sense of the word.
More of the Same
Unfortunately, the show’s concluding moments weren’t any more redeemable. In the episode’s final scenes, Tsurugi and Athena are revealed to have lost their logic cards as a result of their over-trance, and therefore, have lost essential parts of their identity—for Tsurugi, his memories, and for Athena, her compassion. I’ve already stated before how the show has not done nearly enough explaining for all of the lore’s intricacies and logistics, and this is another case of the same. The show has only previously implied that each individual owns only one logic card, and they were never linked to anything but one’s ability to perform trance. Now they’re attached to various other attributes? Thus, these final developments arise seemingly from nowhere, and feel contrived.
Also, in the flashback sequence where Tsurugi and Athena resolve to over-trance—and Tsurugi subsequently leans over to Athena—it’s implied of course that they kiss. However the show has done so little to develop their romance that I was genuinely unsure for a little bit if they kissed—because I didn’t feel that connection. That sort of sentiment was felt for the entirety of their final moments together. Even with how clichéd and hackneyed the memory-loss routine has become, I still often find it disheartening and emotionally resonant when done well. Here, however, I was left unaffected. While I admittedly did become somewhat engaged towards the end, I did not feel enough of a romance to express the kind of genuine sadness and emotion that the conclusion wanted out of me.
Overall, a thoroughly disappointing end to the series, but one that you might’ve been able to see coming from a mile away. This episode is a result of the show’s worst flaws not fixing themselves—getting worse and worse until they spawned the convoluted, unfocused narrative we were treated to this week. Though much of the show’s production was especially impressive this week, wowing with stunning visuals and emotionally resonant tracks. However, they were not enough to save this finale from being anything but half-baked.
When Luck and Logic first premiered, I was genuinely surprised. The show’s jumbled premise and identity as a trading card adaptation seemingly spelt disaster for its quality. However, the debut episode turned out to be unexpectedly entertaining—impressing with its unique protagonist, subtle exposition, and gorgeous aesthetics. There was absolutely potential for a sleeper hit which transcended anything anyone expected out of it. I was in fact so taken aback that I decided to cover it—curious to see how the show would develop over the course of its run. I wanted so badly for this show to be good, and better than anyone expected. I was rooting hard for it.
And Luck and Logic surely was not without its strengths. The dynamics between the logicalists and their covenanters were often incredibly endearing, from Yurine’s younger/older sister relationship with Venus to Asuha’s maternal link with Artemis. The show even surprisingly introduced a new character that ended up being intensely likable—more so than I think anyone would expect.
However, since the show’s sophomore installment, Luck and Logic began to wane considerably in quality. While I always ever opposed to individual character development, the show executed each character arc vapidly and incoherently (aside from Nanahoshi’s). Furthermore, the series spent way too many of its run with these individual arcs, forgoing any larger and ambitious narrative until the final four installments. As a result of poor exposition and faulty character development, though, this concluding story turned out as unfocused and inadequately explained as many of its previous episodes.
That being said, I think the show has achieved far more than anyone expected. Despite its deep, inherent flaws, the show’s main cast is a delight to watch. Though many of their individual arcs were poorly executed, they still come off as familiar and likable people. This is likely largely a result of their adorable character designs, but the effect is achieved nonetheless. Furthermore, the show’s tone is far more subdued and pleasant than the typical relentless obnoxious energy and camp which characterizes card game-based programs. Even though the series has tail-spinned since the beginning (not counting a few impressive episode here and there), it’s not without any worth. Though I really wouldn’t recommend the show to anyone, I wouldn’t say that I was necessarily for the worse from watching it. However, I didn’t enjoy myself enough to give the rumored second season a chance when it comes by.