Friday, 31 December 2010

Kuragehime - Episode 11 (Completed)

I mentioned last week that Kuragehime had too many loose ends to possibly tie up in a single, final instalment, and so it goes that the series comes to an end (bonus DVD-only episode aside) without cementing or closing off most of its major plot points.

Of course, the most pressing matter facing this finale is Amamizuka's future, courtesy of last week's cliff-hanger which left the building covered in scaffolding and ready for demolition.  Well, fear not, for it turns out that this was little more than an administrative error, although that said the fact that buildings practically next door are finding themselves bulldozed serves to add some more urgency to proceedings.

While Tsukimi's reaction to this impending "doom" is to create more of her jellyfish-themed dolls, Kuranosuke has far more faith in Tsukimi's abilities as a dressmaker (albeit a jellyfish otaku dressmaker), seeing that instead as the best way forward towards making enough money to buy the Amamizuka building before it's too late.  From here, the rest of the episode races through Tsukimi's surprising rise to fame (well, relative fame at least) as Kuranosuke enters her dresses to a fashion competition, seeing them net all of the top prizes into the bargain.  Come the end of the episode and despite this development, Tsukimi and company's home is saved, and we see little progress in any of the relationships between the major characters, although it appears that Inari's feelings for Shuu have taken an interesting turn if nothing else.

As endings go, I have to say that this felt pretty rushed, just as I feared as we moved towards the end of the series with little sign of most of its threads being resolved.  That lack of resolution is exactly what we were left with, although luckily it was at least delivered within an entertaining package - it was neither as funny nor as charming as its earlier episodes, but it remained fun and certainly wasn't a total disaster.  That "not quite as good" feeling does take a little of the sheen from what was initially an excellent series, but despite that Kuragehime was a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience throughout which worked well in everything it did and brought both laughs and smiles aplenty.  If only it had been given more time to develop to a more fitting finale, it would have been an unmitigated success.

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