Good friends, except that time they got rich.
I did not expect the anime based on the free-to-play mobile game to spend its season ridiculing and satirizing gacha systems and gambling more generally, but here we are. Right? That’s about the last thing I expected from a series like this, but it’s to its credit that it chose this route, because playing the premise straight would have been what it started off seeming: a serviceable if forgettable generic fantasy adventure. Which, given that the character designs and art are what first drew me to this series, wouldn’t have been all that bad. But it wouldn’t have been as memorable as what we got, as an anime that seemed determined to bite the hand that feeds it.
For much of the season, Last Period was the silly, happy, fun little fantasy adventure it seemed like it would be. They visited all the different realms; they met a bunch of lively characters; they had a swimsuit episode, a rich episode, an extended Higurashi no Naku Koro ni parody episode, and a gambling addiction episode. Er. And the characters were all good too, with Wiseman in particular turning out far better than I expected (they started off looking like a Team Rocket expy, and ended up … as that, but with more depth and personality arrived at in only a few episode. Good!), with their eventual camaraderie with Haruharu and especially Lulululu warming the cockles of my heart. D’aaawww! I also really enjoyed the dynamic between Haru and Choco, even if their promise was never really explained. It was still fun.
But it was when Last Period focused on skewering the very idea of gacha systems that it really did something special, such as in the aforementioned gambling addiction episode. After Kakegurui showed the darkness of gambling in such a delightfully over-the-top manner, I didn’t expect to see it tackles form another angle so soon, but Last Period did exactly that. Not in a particularly deep manner, it’s just the series’ source as a free-to-play mobile game that makes any commentary on the subject it makes particularly impactful, and it went beyond a few odd jokes. When the final boss monster arises explicitly because of the abuses and inequities in mobile game gacha systems, that’s saying something. It’s also funny, and shows that the producers at Happy Elements have a sense of humor about the whole thing—or they didn’t know what they were greenlighting. I hope it’s the latter, because that’d be even funnier.
There were some misfires, such as the alternate world episode where they visited other Happy Elements games, which was good at the time but was bewildering in how they didn’t bother to resolve it, and just popped up the next episode with everything having returned to normal. The entire plot of the home office testing Erika and Haru’s crew was also mega dumb. But for each of those few missteps, we got several episodes like the Sonya saga, which hinged on a bad Apple vs Android joke and another about exploding Samsung Galaxy phones. I loved it!
Last Period -Owarinaki Rasen no Monogatari- was not what I expected going in, but I enjoyed what I got even more. It’s a fun little show. Maybe give it a shot if you haven’t already. Funyu~
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