Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Nabari no Ou - Episode 26 (Completed)

After being gripped by the first few episodes of Nabari no Ou, I really didn't think that I'd reach the point where I'd be glad to see the end of the series, but glad I am, and then some.

In a way, this episode summed up everything that was wrong with the series as a whole, and only served to prove how shot to pieces the pacing of the show was. After somehow ending up with most of the meat of the series finale in episodes twenty-four and twenty-five, in reality there wasn't much left for episode twenty-six to tie up, and this was basically done and dusted in the first few minutes with Miharu finding Yoite, asking him what he wants to do with his future and banishing the Shinrabanshou from having anything to do with him again.

So, the rest of the episode basically catalogues Yoite's decision to carry on living rather than having his existence erased, after which point he takes up knitting. No, really, I'm serious. We also get to see all of the other characters in an almost sickening roll-call of "Happy happy, joy joy" moments, which would have been fine for a couple of minutes for the end of the series, but twenty whole minutes of it was, quite frankly, torture, which left me wondering if the Shinrabanshou could perhaps reappear to end my own existence rather than watch that interminable ending.

I've made this point far too many times already in my coverage of this series, but it's really the only point I can make at its conclusion - This series should only ever have been thirteen episodes long. I can't help but think that this somehow ended up becoming such a labour of love for its writers that they couldn't see the wood for the trees, as this is exactly the kind of show that needed a ruthless hand to relegate much of its content to the cutting room floor to make for a fresher, faster-moving series. When Nabari no Ou put its mind to it everything worked rather well as a kind of "thinking man's Naruto", but this was all let down by its dreadfully plodding pace and seemingly completely pointless episodes that showed us so much but told us so little. At the end of the day, you shouldn't have to watch a series knowing that only every other episode will be any good, but that's exactly how sitting through this show felt, and to be quite frank it completely ruined both its concept and ambience, which is a real travesty if you ask me.


Anonymous said...

I thought I kinda like this series. Haven't read the manga so can't compare but I like the art a lot. I got stuck at episode 18 after fan sub ended and don't know where to go find the rest of the episodes. I guess they will come out eventually and just wait for them.
Anyways, just got here while searching for episode 18 onward and just dropping a comment. Your reviews are great and keep up the good work. :)

Hanners said...

Thanks for the compliments!

To be fair I do have to give the artwork some kudos, it has remained pretty good throughout. I think all the official fansub groups got told to stop what they were doing by the owners of the series around episode eighteen, so you'll have to dig around to find the rest of the show.