With the vast majority of the cast's major characters killed, maimed or dismembered by Yomi during the course of the series, it probably isn't too surprising to find that the grand finale of Ga-Rei -Zero- is all about Yomi versus Kagura... Although Noriyuki does put in an appearance despite being wracked by guilt over various things.
I mentioned in the last episode how what looked likely to be a long and massive battle turned out to be something of the more short, sharp variety, and this final episode of the series takes a similar approach - Rather than going on and on with an epic battle sequence, fighting is limited to relatively short, spectacular, high intensity skirmishes - And it works, there's no doubt about it. Ga-Rei -Zero- has frequently managed to put out some of the most spectacular action sequences I've seen in anime this year, and this big climax doesn't disappoint with plenty of moments that are simply a breath-taking mixture of speed, beauty and violence. Oh, and Kagura has a sword that can also fire bullets, a weapon that could only be made cooler if it also shot shurikens and lighting. While on fire.
Aside from pure unadulterated violoence, this final battle also has an emotional aspect to it of course, and this is handled well enough, albeit in an arguably cliched fashion of the kind we've seen before in everything from the Transformers TV series upwards. Still, I suppose if it isn't broken you shouldn't try to fix it, and I can't begrudge this series writers for finishing the show in the way they have, even opting to jump a couple of years in the future to show us how everything turns out (what have you done to your hair, Kagura? Change it back!).
In closing then, as far as I'm concerned Ga-Rei -Zero- is quite possibly the best action-oriented anime I've watched in 2008. Perhaps its biggest down-side was the slightly ponderous mid-section, but even this was watchable and helped to build the back story well enough, and to be honest considering the beginning and ending handful of episodes frequently kicked so much backside that my jaw hit the floor and carried on through several storeys below in awe, then I can forgive it such foibles. In fact, I can forgive it one Hell of a lot, because whenever Ga-Rei -Zero- broke out the swords and killer suitcases it was simply wonderful - Ridiculously violent, but delivered with almost balletic poise and grace that meant you simply couldn't tear your eyes away from the screen. There's certainly room for more of the Ga-Rei franchise in anime form, and I for one am hoping that this series was a significant enough success to encourage its production.