Saturday, 26 December 2009

Darker than BLACK: Ryuusei no Gemini - Episode 12 (Completed)

At the end of its penultimate instalment, I found myself wondering aloud how this series would manage to close all of its plot points happily with only one more episode left to run. Well, my questions were answered by Ryuusei no Gemini's grand finale I guess, but.... ow, my head!

I suppose I should be used to the tangled webs of Darker Than BLACK these days, and generally speaking I'd like to think that I am, but this concluding episode of Ryuusei no Gemini was so dense in its twists and turns and so happy to leave questions unanswered that it's difficult to know where to begin.

Needless to say, much of this episode was about the perhaps inevitable meeting of Izanami and Izanagi, which played out against a backdrop of betrayal and shifting sides, with Shizume in particular revealed to be working for the CIA. Meanwhile, Hei survives the perils of Hazuki's "lightsaber" attacks for long enough for it to become clear both that he didn't kill Youko and that ostensibly they're both on the same side. While Hei is taken to Yin's location, it seems to be too late to stop her Izanami incarnation from wreaking havoc... or is it?

On the other side of the story Suou, Shion and July all have big parts to play, as this trio all end up within Hell's Gate - A place where their wishes can be granted, but at the cost of losing something else in the process. What happens from here is... well, pretty confusing at best, so hopefully someone else can do a better job of explaining it all than me.

I have to admit, I can't help but feel that this final episode of Ryuusei no Gemini has taken a bit of the polish from what has been an otherwise enjoyable series - While some elements of it make sense to me, and others clicked into place shortly after watching, I'm left feeling somehow unsatisfied, as though there's a big hole in my understanding that I can't quite put a finger on. In some areas this is understandable (with an OVA on the way which will doubtless mesh in to aspects of this series, and the obvious space left for a possible third season some time in the future), but I suppose I just expected a more "solid" ending. Maybe a second viewing will do this series climax more justice, and I can't deny that regardless of this ending I've enjoyed the series as a whole a lot, but right now I feel like I've just eaten Christmas dinner but someone forgot to cook the stuffing - It isn't enough to leave me hungry, but I feel like I've been stripped of an important part of the overall experience.


Yeong Shiong said...

Nice anime and a great review. Thanks for the hard work. I truly wish that an OVA can be done to answer those questions.

Ephemeria said...

Seconded. I love reading.

Actually, I was quite satisfied with the ambiguity of the ending. The more I think back to it, the more I begin to see sense in the tangled mass of plot threads, both tied up and left hanging. I guess I'm not much a fan of perfectly resolved stories, but then I've never been a fan of stuffing either.

Topspin said...

I didn't mind the open ending, because this is a series that doesn't really need closure. I do agree that the ending for Suou seemed kinda blaise given all that buildup, but it was workable and a decent side-story to the main franchise.

I'm with others, hoping they release an OVA that gives a few solid hints as to what the hell this Izanagi/Izanami nonsense is all about (beyond the obvious).

My only real gripe was that the side characters felt really shallow this season, especially golem guy and lightsaber girl. Not to mention that seemingly pointless magician.

Canne said...

I was expecting more conclusive and explosive ending, too, and all I got was a puzzling, dreamy ending. It got better after a good deal of thinking though.

Hanners said...

I actually spent a long walk this afternoon thinking about the end of this series, and I think I have a better handle on it now - It somehow feels a little more satisfying having done that.

Alex said...

Hanner~ You understand it now? Great!
How about a post where you walk those of us who are slower on the uptake through it...