「最後の虚構」 (Saigo no Kyokou)
“The Ultimate Fiction”
So Kotoko posits her final solution – and it builds upon the weaknesses of her previous arguments to present an extremely tempting point of view which proves impossible for Rikka to hold back – with the masses latching onto this new idea that Nanase Karin committed murder and has been alive all this time. Kotoko also blends in facts to make her lie that much more believable. And you know, I could find myself believing it too.
One thing that confuses me to some extent is how Rikka didn’t anticipate the future where Kotoko pulled this trick onto her. Kotoko strawmans herself to win the argument over Steel Lady Nanase – and to me, it feels like Kyokou Suiri is just this one giant shitpost from 4chan that’s been brought to life in anime form. Perhaps that’s an extremely uncharitable take, because the series possesses genuine intrigue when it’s provided in bitesize and digestible chunks. But with any good thing, too much of it can make you sick. And that’s exactly what the Steel Lady Nanase arc has done with me – made it so that I’ve had enough of this mystery, even if I was invested in its ultimate outcome.
「秩序を守る彼女」 (Chitsujo wo mamoru kanojo)
“She Who Defends Order”
Let’s cut to the chase, and I expect my opinions to be divisive – though I can see the merits of both praising and criticising these 12 episodes. We can agree to disagree if push comes to shove, and I wouldn’t be surprised either. My biggest gripe with Kyokou Suiri is that it styles itself as a mystery, setting up arcs in such a way too. Only to dispel with the idea of actually getting on with solving the mystery, in favour of coming up with compelling logical fiction to explain away phenomenons – leaving their mysteries unsolved for the most part. That was less of an issue with the arc where Kotoko had to assuage the giant snake, as to why a murdered corpse would be dumped into her lake. That was so short there wasn’t time for the honeymoon period to expire. Whereas that time elapsed with the Steel Lady Nanase arc, making it quite unpalatable to me, and unsatisfied too that we never actually got the answer for a mystery which received a significant buildup.
Sure, we reached a resolution where Steel Lady Nanase was an urban myth that got vanquished. That is pretty satisfying in itself, and I definitely enjoyed what the last episode offered. However, there was undeniable relief mixed in. I was happy to see that the series had finally run its course, and I wouldn’t be continually edged out week on week as to whether the situation would be resolved. And there’s a minor hole somewhere that’s filled with my disappointment too. Kyokou Suiri could have been something more if they decided to go both routes – creating logical fiction WHILE solving mysteries – though I suppose the latter would undermine the former, which is the base premise of this entire series. And at least we left off on some really sweet moments between Kuro and Kotoko – an extremely wonderful dynamic which really helped carry the show through its lull phases.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and following this series till the end – and apologies for these delays too, coronavirus, a new job and spring previews can really take their toll.
I gave up around half-way through the series as the “arc” dragged on because it felt like little progress was made per episode.
Compare that to the most recent example to stick in my head, Lord El-Melloi II Case Files did a similar thing with basically just one arc animated, however it felt more engaging and less stale as things progressed.
Lord El-Melloi II Case Files has the excuse of having intense action scenes to spice up the episodes, while Kyokou Suiri’s setting doesn’t allow such over-the-top displays of combat. On the other hand, Iwanaga Kotoko is a much more interesting lead character compared to Gray (whom I found annoying).
In the end, even though it was dragged out quite a bit, the conclusion was satisfying. Saki gets some closure (and starts eating meat), while we see that Kurou does deeply care for Iwanaga despite his dispassionate exterior.
Forced myself to finish it and while my first impression was that this might be an easier to digest (at least for me) Monogatari like show, the final arc dragged it down so much, then I completely lost interest. Disappointing.
I was excited for this because I remember enjoying the manga, in which the scanlations stopped right at the start of the Steel Lady arc for a few years so I was looking forward to finally seeing where the story went from there. But honestly after seeing how the arc actually did stretch out I don’t feel like I’m missing out anymore
I stopped at episode 8, because Kotoko knew, this whole time, that it was Rikka behind all this, and didn’t bother to mention this earlier? And she came to that conclusion because of the art? I know there’s no mystery in this anime but come on. It probably doesn’t bother you, but for some reason, it just really PISS ME OFF.
Look, this series isn’t for everybody. I said that earlier. If someone told me that they didn’t like, or even hated this series, or found it boring, whatever, I wouldn’t be offended. It’s eclectic for sure.
That said, I love this kind of series, and enjoyed it very much. It reminded me a lot of durarara at the end, and before you all crucify me for that, let me explain. It delved heavily into the way that people in modern day view information through the lens of the internet. Posting online, people take things sorta for granted, and analyze information in very different ways than if it was right in front of you, or in a textbook. The only other series that approached the internet in that kind of interesting way, that I can think of right off hand is durarara, and it was a lot of what made season 1 so interesting for me.
Again, many won’t enjoy the constant talking, and what little action there is being just a setup for more talking, but I personally found it very entertaining, and while I really don’t expect a sequel, I’d certainly watch it.