Saturday, 24 September 2011

Kami-sama no Memo-chou - Episode 12 (Completed)

Although little can be done for Ayaka, Narumi is still determined to get to the bottom of the addictive Angel Fix drug consuming the city - a desire which only becomes even greater as the creator of said drug, Hakamizaka, uses Ayaka's mobile phone to taunt Narumi for himself.

Given the use of Ayaka's phone, it doesn't take long for Alice to track down the device's GPS signal - more precisely, she pinpoints the location as a nightclub owned by the Hirasaki Group, which means that both Soichirou and Alice's band of assistants arrive only to find that the entire thing was a red herring, with Hakamizaka giving the phone to one of his cronies to throw them off the scent.

With their trail now cold, where does the investigation go from here?  A realisation by Narumi about the "angel's wings" often described by users of the drug leads him to the conclusion that the only way forward is to try the drug for himself - a harrowing experience given his already somewhat depressive state but one that does, nonetheless, ultimately lead them straight to Hakamizaka's "headquarters".  As the creator of the drug is busted (and left mentally broken by Alice for good measure), so Narumi also gets an opportunity to vent his frustrations upon Ayaka's brother Toshi in brutal form - scant consolation for his lost friend, as the final details of emerge of exactly how and why Ayaka came to jump from the school roof.  The case is solved, but even this knowledge won't bring Ayaka back - although in true cop-out anime finale tradition, all hope might not quite be lost for her future...

Just as it began, so Kami-sama no Memo-chou ends on a high, with every pun intended.  In all seriousness this was by far the strongest arc of the series after its excellent double-length opener, which made the most of the emotion poured into its scenario to keep the viewer's interest and bringing those emotions to the fore courtesy of Narumi as he struggled to cope with his own grief over the past couple of episodes.  While this story arc wasn't perfect (some of the aspects of plot progression here were a little too much of a leap for my tastes), it was still relatively powerful stuff despite its aforementioned cop-out of a final scene.  The real tragedy here is that the rest of the series failed to live up to the show's strong ending and climax, bringing us so much abject mediocrity when its setup held so much promise - promise that clearly could be fulfilled with just a little more effort, as its first episode proved.  Overall then, this is a series that will be filed under the "wasted potential" category.

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