So that was…an ending, I guess. I am genuinely not sure what to make about any of this. Last week I brought up how I did sort of like the show’s dramatic beats but I also felt like no effort was being placed at all into actually explaining to the audience what the hell was going on. It’s like everybody was talking as if the audience was already expected to know about a lot of conversations that either did not happen on screen or things that were going to be elaborated on down the road. I was OK with this approach at the time as long as the show paid off that setup. However, by the time we got to the end of this episode and the “fin” text showed up on screen, I was at a loss for words regarding just how little I understood. Seriously though, I am genuinely trying to rack my brain to figure out what exactly everyone was fighting over.
So the angels wanted to eradicate demons for the sake of angels in heaven right? I’m guessing part of all their attacks in the real world was to draw Maou and everyone to Ente Isla so it would be easier to take them out because of how the magic system works in this world. It just feels like a lot of planning and four-dimensional chess just for a relatively bland final confrontation. None of this was helped by the overall presentation which, yes, has always been subpar at best but when the show is trying to go for some kind of epic standoff moment, everything just feels so lifeless at best and generic at worst. I think that last word is the thing that bothers me about this finale, it feels so generic.
For a franchise that accrued a lot of goodwill with anime fans at its inventiveness in comedy over flipping the script regarding typical good versus evil tropes, it does just feel like we boiled everything down to the good guys fighting the bad guys on the rooftop. Yes, some of the conspiracies got resolved, especially those revolving around Olba but everything else got resolved so quickly that I feel like I kept blinking and missing major parts of the explanation. Then when the episode ends with the promised family dinner amongst everybody, we don’t get that promised explanation as to how everything tied together. This means that the thing I was most worried about regarding the past couple of episodes ended up happening.
Why is Gabriel tied up in their room and how did they manage to subdue him so easily when he was kind of the person they had the most trouble with capturing throughout the entire season? Did we ever get an explanation as to why Maou never seems to truly evolve into his demon form in Ente Isla? Or was that supposed to be his demon form at the end? Because it sure as hell didn’t look like it due to the lackluster presentation! What about Emi’s Mom who got all this buildup in the first half and now we get nothing? What role does the landlady have in all of this?
It feels like the show got needlessly complicated for things that it didn’t need to get complicated about and then tried to boil down the actual interesting stuff into very simple tropes. Which is a shame because I did like some of the emotional beats in this finale. I like the fact that Emi finally apologized to Maou and seems to fully be comfortable with opening up to him like a friend even though Maou tries to simplify what are probably very complicated feelings that she’s going through. I also like the conversation between Emi and her coworker at the end about how they don’t know much about each other but that’s also because they don’t ask. That’s a surprisingly really grounding conversation for all the crazy, traumatic stuff that’s been happening.
However, that’s just twenty percent of an episode that just feels like nothing. I think this finale perfectly sums up my feelings about season two in that there are glimmers of things that I like regarding some of the humor and characterization. But on the whole, I think it missed the mark in recapturing where the initial appeal of season one was. There were moments where it could have run with the plot additions and character building in a way that was consistent with season one but the overall narrative progression and lackluster presentation just left me feeling like I was watching a boat slowly sinking after it ran out of gas. I was initially thankful the series managed to make a comeback at all but I also feel like we wouldn’t have missed a lot if it never came back and it pains me to say that.
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