In 3-gatsu no Lion, the first of the shows I’ve been continuously recapping has ended and with many shows now on their penultimate and final episodes this next week, the Winter season is just about over. Though I’ve only just started comprehensively looking over the upcoming shows, I can’t say that there are too many that excite me despite how many I’ll likely end up watching. Little Witch Academia will be rolling over and so I’ll have that at the very least. Thankfully 3-gatsu will be returning this next October however, by next week, we’ll be saying our final goodbyes to Rakugo Shinjuu and ACCA.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen
If the number of climactic episodes is any kind of metric by which to judge the quality and greatness of a show, then Rakugo Shinjuu has lapped its competition. For the second week in a row, Rakugo Shinjuu has delivered on an episode so fulfilling and brimming with cathartic meaning that it may as well have been the last episode we ever see. Unlike the grounded resolution of the previous episode, this one was far more removed and dreamlike. It’s a quality the latest episodes of the show have been dipping their toes into and it emerged as fully formed concept this episode. Despite its fantastical nature, each scene and heartwarming character interaction felt like it genuinely belonged in the show and without such a narrative convention, I don’t know that any other ending could have delivered in such a wholesome way. I think this episode delivered on a lot of inevitability such as Sukeroku’s final performance and the various reconciliations that happened. It was a beautiful ending and all that remains is for the final episode to look forward.
3-gatsu no Lion (March comes in like a lion)
Though 3-gatsu never really betrayed any hints that its episode count was dwindling to an end, the short vignette this episode along with its closing scenes was as good as sendoff as any. I really did enjoy the visual metaphor of the train and the implications of the ticket because it added an additional layer to Rei’s relationship with Shogi. As many other people have noted, the lack of the Kawamoto sisters in the final episode was a bit of a glaring absence though I suppose the penultimate episode did have a rather strong scene revolving around them. All the same, it’s not like we’re saying goodbye to 3-gatsu forever anyway. Rei has changed and developed substantially however, in regards to several aspects of his life, he still has a long way to go. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next installment.
ACCA: 13-ku Kansatsu-ka (ACCA: 13th Territory Inspection Department)
As ACCA nears its own close, the coup d’etat at last rises to the forefront of the show’s narrative. With ACCA’s upcoming centennial anniversary, the many key players will soon converge in one place and the ultimate climax of the show will begin and end. I wish we could have gotten more insight into Furawau which feels shallowly explored in juxtaposition to last week’s comprehensive investigation into Pranetta. Most of the critical information regarding Furawau stems from its history, its people’s interest in regaining control of its resources, and Lillium’s ultimate vision for what the coup should accomplish. I miss the contemporary understanding of the district and would have liked to see a bit more of its populace rather than all of these backroom meetings however, given our episode count, I suppose we have to keep moving towards a resolution. ACCA features a lot of different character interests and it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top in this final episode. I hope we can fit everything into these next 20 odd minutes in a satisfactory way because the build-up has been wonderfully engaging.
Little Witch Academia
Phaidoari Afairrynghor! Little Witch Academia really opened the floodgates this week in terms of information and though its procession was dotted with romantic contrivances, this episode did mark a pretty exciting and purposeful development for the show. We’ve gained intermittent insight over the past 10 episodes into some more overarching narrative elements however episode 11 gave that prospective, long-form narrative a definitive face. Finally, we can start asking some questions. Who are the Nine Olde Witches? What is the Grand Triskelion? How does this all tie together in regards to Chariot and Arcturus? I wish we had introduced these things a little more gradually rather than all at once so that they felt more ingrained within the world of the show but given proper focus from here on out, I don’t think this will ultimately be a problem.
Akko was presented with the chance to obtain her dream this episode though had to weigh her ambition and desire against the memory of her misadventures and the friends she shared them with. Akko’s refusal to this proposition doesn’t necessarily tell us anything new about her however it serves as a powerful and implicit reaffirmation of what exactly fulfilling her dream means to her. In her quest to become a great witch, she will never sacrifice her individuality or lose sight of what she values. It’s an affirmation emblematic of Little Witch Academia’s passion and energy and though it’s delivered within a rather convenient scene, this episode was a sincere spectacle all the same.