Wednesday, January 02, 2019

10 Second Anime - Senran Kagura Shinovi Master - Tokyo Youma-hen - Episode 12 [END]


Yumi's fight with Fubuki draws to a close. Asuka and the other shinobi girls work together to defeat Rasetsu. Season Finale.


#12 - "HOMETOWN"

Meh.

A couple of things got a meh out of me in this otherwise satisfying conclusion. First, we got a phone call from the veteran shinobi that they sealed the big youma hole at the volcano. At least last episode they gave us a static shot of some of the shinobi teachers and the one graduate with the abs, but we had no descriptions or depictions of what was going on in there. Not even any speculation that it was related to the little hole that Fubuki tried to open up that was closed by Kagura. Meh.

The other meh thing was that sword and shield medallion that belonged to Kurokage.


Look at that sword! Throughout this whole show I wondered with there was a broken sword in behind that shield because of that extreme angle. But no. It was just a really curvy sword... Come on. Even after Yumi pulled the little sword out, that curve didn't match the bottom of the shield. This was the most important symbol inside the whole season of this show and this was what they came up with? Meh.


Geh.

I guess we can't really complain that there was only one short scene of NSFW nudity.


The reason we shouldn't complain about only getting Asuka's nice boobs with youma sealing darkness underneath was because they've been giving us the incredible nudity packed hot springs epilogue in the end credits since the second episode. That's also why we shouldn't complain about getting straight back to a Christmas Day epilogue. We've had our fun for 11 straight weeks - be grateful and enjoy.


Hmm.

There were two things that I was looking out for to get a satisfying conclusion. The first was what Rasetsu's motivation was. We saw the backstory and how she carried Fubuki away from the shinobi trying to kill her mother, but what was Rasetsu's relation to little Fubuki before that? We got our answer with Rasetsu explaining to Asuka that Fubuki's mother saved her life and she was her companion after that. Good enough.

The second thing I wanted to see was how Miyabi's convictions about killing youma were going to be resolved with Asuka insisting on her more difficult path. Sealing a youma is a de facto death sentence since they can't return to this plane of existence, but it does have that side effect of hurting the user's heart. We didn't get a real answer if that goes away like fatigue or something, but we've seen the risk is using too much "life force" at once will drain the user all the way to death, like what happened to Fubuki's father.

Having Homura join Asuka in sealing Rasetsu's bigger form was a good catalyst for Miyabi to show off her final form too and come to terms with the Fuma Korin sealing as a good way of avenging her parents. Apparently, her mother had told her she can't attain true strength by fighting for revenge, so she remembered that and, uh, stopped fighting for revenge. I suppose we just ran out of time in getting loli Miyabi flashbacks, but that sentiment is a common one in these ninja type stories, so it passes the credibility barrier.


Heh.

Well, that answers that. What if the shinobi doesn't even have enough power so that the youma can break the Fuma Korin? The life force is only given at the point of the youma's disappearance, so until then, play on!


Rasetsu was always a BBW, but this is ridiculous.

Girls can learn things by just looking at someone do the same thing over and over? Where the hell has this practical idea been in anime all this time?

Oh, I don't think putting Yumi under ice is going to kill her, Fubuki.


Fubuki is a good girl! No lewd, er, warm hand-holding for her!

Miyabi joins Asuka and Homura in their sealing party. Can't get strength by fighting for revenge... Okay, okay, "true strength." There? Feel better now, Miyabi?

Yumi wants to stab people with a hot sword! For justice! Wait, that doesn't sound very good... Wielding her sword with compassion? I think I'm getting the hang of this shinobi justice thing.

I love Kagura. No words when fighting. Just "hah!" and stuff happens.

Hey, the teachers won at the volcano too. Can we show you that? Nah. They did some kind of sealing too, but probably more like how Kagura did it.

Yay. Captains' triple fist bump! Not a euphemism. Yet...

The Gessen girls want to take a bath - cue the end credits! Oh, I guess we've already seen that stuff for 11 weeks now.


Yes, Yozakura. You totally have to wear that sexy Santa suit. At least we've seen how Yumi looks in it, but we didn't get a good look at it here.

Ryouna's idea of jingle bells isn't exactly right, but maybe if she called it tingle bells...

Ha! The Mikaguru sisters had to blow up a snow man with fireworks. They are at a temple, so why not?

Back to part time Santas for the Crimson Squad. Got to sell that discount cake on Christmas Day!

Yumi seemed to think Fubuki returning the sword and shield is a good thing, but what if Fubuki comes up with her own shinobi justice that isn't about warmth, true strength, or protecting the weak? Senkou and Gekkou will probably want to hold hands again.

That sword is not curved enough to fit the angle of its exit point. It looks off to me.

Yumi's idea of a ninja is pretty good - a snowflake that disappears, but you know it was still there. That's more like an image or a symbol, but it's also inspirational.

And we go back in time for the fun hot springs epilogue after everyone was friends after the big fight.



Final Thoughts.

I've waited a long time for the next season of Senran Kagura, I was not disappointed with the levels of fan service. We got uncensored versions of the games in anime form! It was great!

Unfortunately, the storytelling was only mediocre. The good parts were how almost every plot point had a foreshadowing element in previous scenes. The bad parts were how the contemporaneous scenes lost exposition development to the necessary flashbacks. I felt at times that we had about a season and a half of story to tell because of the competing philosophies of justice that needed to be explained in the first part of the season when Asuka was the mystery that needed solving. It was almost like they stuck a season two and three together to make this one.

However, I can't complain that much. Emotionally, the music and dialogue delivered the plot to the important action and ACTION scenes. The animation was also good, with very few character faces getting off-spec in the middle of the season like most anime does. There was a noticeable drop-off in movement and energy in the scenes after the fourth episode or so, but that can be almost explained away by the amount of talking involved to explain flashbacks and side events. I would rather not have a lot of sitting around talking for anime, but if you draw a pretty girl doing it, I'm okay with that. Just make sure that image looks good, though, which was sometimes a problem in the middle third of the season.

Thankfully, Senran Kagura was the fall season's true ecchi show, which got an automatic pickup from me. Add in the nice girls, their beautiful shapes, and almost total lack of dudes, and this fit the cute girls do cute things naked genre very well. Plus, they have to sell that new video game coming soon. I enjoyed it, but I liked the first four episodes the most. The animation crew had to make up for the lack of Gessen and Hebijou girls from five years ago, which they did with one OVA, but that was obviously not enough. My only knock was that they saved the Hanzo girls way too late, which meant a lot less screen time for their fan service. Still, I understand they gave us a whole season of them from before, so let's spread the boobs around.

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