New Entry on Christmas List: Six elf maids who are also a small army…
I guess appropriate for the finale, Outbreak Company’s dramatic cycle was reversed this week, our last episode. It was the first half of the show that held the truly intense drama, while the second half was more or less the land of sunshine where all the pilots have parachutes. Which is to be expected in a finale, after all.
In fact the very first scene is three special forces trying to (kidnap? assassinate?) Shinichi. A pretty damn good fight sequence erupts when Petrarca’s maid reveal themselves. Only they aren’t just maids, they are Petrarca’s secret service.
And of course this is where my theories about the ineffectiveness of Eldant magic against Japanese military power is thrown out the window when one of the maids literally Neo’s the bullets shot at her from machine guns at point blank range.
But whatever. It’s elves in maid outfits kicking ass and taking names.
Matoba is dragged before Petrarca. She lays out in no uncertain terms: If Shinichi vanishes for any reason, Japan will be expelled from Eldant.
So it would seem the Japanese government chose to offer arms to that resistance group from Episode 3, and they attack the capitol. While these guys divert the Eldantan army, the school is attacked by more Japanese special ops. Naturally, it’s a trap.
But Shinichi’s retainers are after him, with Miusel taking the brunt of the drama, holding up a falling bookcase with her magic as she tries to revive an unconscious Shinichi, reiterating in more direct terms the values she tried to get across last episode, with Elbia beating up the soldiers, who have guns, with her bare hands, in some pretty inspired fight sequences.
Throughout this, Minori has realized that the government considers HER compromised as well. She should have been the one to take out Shinichi, but they didn’t even tell her. And again at Matoba’s tent, she hears the plan, and apparently convinces him to let her go save Shinichi (since Matoba is there as well at the end). Minori saves the girls. Of note: It seems Minori has her own issues with being a shut-in. That or has no family, as she is deemed “expendable” as well the same as Shinichi. Perhaps a small jab at sexism? That a female shut-in has a better chance of writing it off their resume because, hey, she’s a girl, maybe she was doing important things like being engaged and quitting her job. Like proper Japanese women should. Maybe? Maybe that’s looking too hard for subtext, regardless of its accuracy. Still, Minori seems to be much more “normal” and able to wave off that awkwardness, although…her boy love stuff isn’t exactly hiding it very well.
While this is going on, Petrarca is worried about Shinichi more than she is about the capitol grounds. She sends little eye-owls to be her eyes and ears (and voice if she chooses), where Shinichi demands to speak with the man in charge of the program. DUN DUN DUN!
Ah, but now we see the trap was playing into an even bigger trap! Petrarca had this entirely sorted out. As we’ve established, she has spent the entirety of her rule averting civil war. That is her singular goal: To never let things reach the point where anyone feels their only course is armed resistance (unless they are just being stupid, as she was with the terrorists, who it turned out were correct, though. Huh.). Some weasely backstabbing politicians are no match for her. Shinichi has a very frank conversation with the probably-cabinet-member in charge of the whole operation. And Petrarca hears everything through her spying owl, which no one checked for since they weren’t informed that Petrarca had mastered Japanese.
To put it shortly: She outmaneuvers everyone with nefarious intent. The series ends rather amicably, and mostly as I expected. Japan is under no illusions they can exploit Eldant anymore, but they do still stand to make a lot of money, so they’re content to leave things as they are.
Anime being anime, I can’t say I would have expected Shinichi to renounce his citizenship and become an Eldantan (after all, no sane Japanese person would ever want that, she said with a hint of sarcasm), go all Last Samurai on us for the lulz, but I guess this wrapped up as expected. I think my only criticism is…well…just read this review. It was stuff happening to get story out of the way. Story that probably should have been more emphasized earlier than the final two episodes. There just wasn’t any time to explore everyone’s opinions on the matter. Really this final segment is about Matoba, Shinichi, and Petrarca (to a degree). Everyone else felt woefully underutilized, and I would have very much loved to see more from Miusel, Galius, Minori, and Elbia. I know they all would have had their own unique views to give this a complete picture.
Series over. A fitting, if not exactly mind-blowing, finale. See you this winter in the series recap.