「もう一度スタート地点」 (Mouichido Sutaato Chiten)
“Back To The Starting Line”
It may not happen a lot in this genre, but sometimes there are shows that manage to do a great job at wrapping things up while leaving just enough in the air to keep your imagination going. Stella no Mahou‘s ending this week did just that and more.
The Pre-Final Impressions
I think we’ve said just about all we can say about this show. From my posts to your comments, we’ve been on this SNS-bu train together and even though it may have come to an end, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Before I dive into the final impressions though, let me just ramble a little about this final episode and just why I think it may have been one of the best ones of the series. Giving us the payoff getting to see Stardust Intenzione completed and on display felt so good. Especially with some of the things we had to endure to get here! But what may have been even bigger than that was seeing a refortified Tama tackling the monster known as The Summer Comiket. Completely different than the girl who was at Stella no Mahou’s release, it was like watching a baby chick grow into a more mature but still rather small chick. Jokes aside, I personally think the show did a great job with how it handled Tama’s growth all the way to the very last minutes of the show. Sure, there were some bumps along the way but there were definitely more positive moments that made up for them.
When it comes to this last episode, I loved all the little things the story went out of its way to highlight before it came to a close. We had Yumine and her expressive BL moments, Teru-senpai randomly appearing and subsequently getting shut down by Iino, and HOLY COW we finally got to see some of that old Japanese family money show up. All-in-all, not too shabby for a finale.
With that out of the way, let’s jump into the final impressions!
As I said earlier, I think we’ve all said just about all we have to say about this show. We’ve commented on our likes and dislikes each week and I doubt this last episode changed much (Minaha was doing so well until the end!). That said, the more I thought about what my “final impressions” of this show were, I kept finding myself thinking about the epilogue of Tama taking charge of the SNS-bu’s next game. Because, I guess if you were to sum Stella no Mahou down to its barebones, it’s a story of a girl who is a little lost in life and is trying to grab the reigns and do something on her own terms. And honestly, if you were to compare Tama from episode one to episode twelve, I’m sure we can all agree that she’s definitely found the strength and courage to tackle her goals!
Anyways, thank you to everyone who’s been keeping up with the posts! I hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did and I hope you found some meaning of your own throughout all of this. In any case, I’ll catch you guys around the bend with the start of the Winter 2017 season! (Secret Note: I am so excited for Demi-chan and Maid Dragon (Kobayashi-sanchi no Maid Dragon). WATCH IT WITH ME!)
Except for Tama, none of them actually sell me as a high school girl in game making club at all.
Feels more like male otakus in college doujin circle ala Genshiken.
And maybe that’s why it’s so hard to find any of them as cute (except for Tama)
I would be in that same camp except I’ve seen so many girls in high school (and maybe even earlier) do some crazy things.
Girls can be the best otakus 🙂
so basically what you’re saying is that you’ve never met any actual female otaku, or girls in general, because you have no idea what they’re “supposed to” act like
Now those are some mighty fine telescopes for spying. You know, had I known Minaha’s family had that kind of stuff around last episode, I probably would have changed my mind and thought “No, go more in depth with her family, maybe they have CIA levels of monitoring to keep an eye on Minaha, really get into the wacky hijinx” but what I saw with here is more than enough to suffice. Also, hey, they really suppressed the beach aspect of this episode, show’s playing so much with audience expectations lol.
And the ending, I’m slightly mixed on. I’m fine with Tama ending things on a note of learning a lesson to share with her friends, but doing the “making games to make people smile” line, it feels like we kind of retreaded the path of Tama learning what drives her for a third time now. But it’s only just that delivery that bugs me, because seeing her tell that to her friends and how they’re fully willing to back her up and she seems fully committed to her new drive and she’s in charge, that’s all nice stuff to see how far along she’s come since the start and something to make me feel less like we’ve treaded familiar ground.
And overall, it’s a very nice and pleasant show to watch, it does have its (personal-ish) share of flaws with overindulging in jokes a little too long and having characters not have the most common sense so it can teach a lesson (That whole IM deal, oh jeez, now I’m retreading that ground noooo), but its heart is in the right place to be very good lessons to people who wants to pursue in interest in creative/developing mediums.
It’s really more deserving of a higher score than it has as of this post. My theory on that is Stella happened to air the season right after New Game! so you had two shows tackling a similar medium close to one another. And I’ll say that I really enjoyed New Game!, even though that show had some pacing issues near the end for me, it had a frantic energy to push its humor at a pretty consistent rate. And I think that’s the major trade-off. It was funny, but never delved too much into the game developing aspect. Stella reverses that a little, not to say it wasn’t funny, but it had stronger emphasis on the heart to have a character figure out where she wanted to go in life, other people help act as a guide to her, but eventually, she makes that push to decide what she wants at the end and everyone supports her; all while they go into that process of what each person’s responsibility is in making a game, and the joys/sorrows that come along with it.
They’re very different beasts, New Game! being more “Humor with a side of game/character development” and Stella being more “Game/character development with a side of humor.” Maybe people were expecting Stella to be a spiritual followup to New Game!, maybe the jokes never hit for them, maybe it felt too slow to them, but I’d almost want to chalk it up to inconvenient timing and me wanting to be overly speculative about the possibilities of “in an alternate timeline.” 😛
Anyway, wow, I majorly detoured during those last two paragraphs. >_> tl;dr show is good, has weak parts but the strong parts really shine above them, wished it was hyped just a pinch more, really glad about the coverage you put into this, Takaii, and boy, I’m looking forward to seeing how those two shows in particular fare for next year!
Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts!
Overall, I was pretty happy with the ending. Seeing how the past few episodes before this one went, I went in with the proper expectations and was left feeling pretty full.
I AM TOO. THEY’RE BOTH SO GOOD.
I wonder who this is marketed to and if it is making back the money it cost to make?
Ah this was such a good show but this episode was kinda bittersweet because it was the last episode and it was such a good one.
The payoff was great because we see a very different Tama compared to how we started this series. Minaha still needs to chill out but at least she’s become a positive influence by now. Seeing their game sell so well without any silly drama that usually accompanies such episodes and then oddly kind of ending on a beach episode was quite different. Have to say though that seeing Honda want to take the lead with her own game was not only heartwarming but also extremely satisfying and left me with a sense of fulfillment many anime lack.
All in all, I think that this show deserves a lot more attention than it got and gets my vote for underappreciated anime of the year. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it the dark horse but it was definitely much better than one would expect. It had it’s problems but it also had a lot of heart, a lot of soothing cuteness, gentle humor, and characters we came to love. I don’t regret watching this show one bit and can’t recommend it enough to other creative folks who maybe need to watch something to get their drive and motivation back while enjoying some feel-good cuteness along the way.
Watching this show every Tuesday makes my day complete. Now, I will miss this show a lot.