March 29th, 2014.
It All Comes Together; Nothing Ends
Wow, it’s ending, right? There’s a novel announced already, and I had been capable of reading Japanese, I’d have ordered it in a heartbeat.
Well, time to talk about the finale. It’s time for a showdown between Kate and Asuta’s father. Time for a confrontation between one who makes her organization into a family, who finds power to be joyous, and one who does it because he must, though he suffers from it. Kate finds life to be vibrant, while Asuta’s father finds them to be completely without flavour. He really should stop smoking. Makes everything taste like ashes.
And on his way is our reluctant protagonist, the crazy pragmatist. Jimon Asuta. Who you’ll choose is obvious, butwhy? What is it you really wish for? Honestly, last episode his portrayal of his father made me feel for his father, and made me realize Asuta doesn’t hate him, but hates the position his father is in.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Discussions on Conquest and Power:
1) Episode 12 (and the finale at that), and yet both Kate and The Governor refer to “They” and “Them”. Well, one shouldn’t expect this series not to pull fast ones over us, considering in episode 10 we’ve discovered most of Japan had been conquered by Tokyo :P
2) Governor to Kate, “Time to stop this game of conquest, missy.” And then Asuta tells his dad, the Governor, to stop being so immature. The father’s words, his ridicule, is thrown back in his face. He is what he stands against, such as being inhuman when throwing that at Kate.
3) Hm, the people in the shadows, the shadows of their cigarettes. Is this the “shadowy organization” controlling things from “the shadows”? Are these the “important men striking deals in smoke-filled rooms”? ;-) Regardless, so did the smokers pick up smoking to counter Kate, or did Kate strike against the smokers because from them her opposition comes? Yasu…
4) The Governor consumes his cigar, and his fellow smokers burn out, not even a husk is left. What’s going on here?
5) The smoke the Governor breathed to power up the robot, the smoke filled with the life-force of his “allies”. It reminds me of the smoke they fought when they went to reboot the Udo Root. This smoke contains all of one’s fears.
6) Kate’s idea of conquest versus the Governor. Early on in this episode the Governor said Zvezda were trying to conquer the territory. That’s the Governor’s method – occupy the land, and thus all those who are upon it. Kate wishes to meet, embrace, and make every person in the world her follower. She will conquer the people, and thus the world they live in. Not just that, the people are the world.
2) It’s All Coming Together:
1) Oh shit, these are Natasha’s parents, providing technology to the Governor. This is a fight against one’s past, this is a fight for one’s future. This is tying up all the threads of this show :O
2) Kaori and Goro kissing one another. Well, that’s one way to put the past to rest and embrace the future.
3) Asuta using Galaktika? I guess his Conqueror level went above 5! He has his answer, and the answer is he wants to conquer the world. One could say that all those who run away from the world do so because it would not conform to their wishes, but now Asuta isn’t running away, and is willing to mold the world in his shape.
4) Oh wow, the origin of Plamya’s epithet, “She who burns even crying children,” I must admit, I teared up here. “You can cry, but then wipe away the tears and smile.” – Plamya, a mask that when Itsuka wears it, she can’t cry, lest Plamya burn her. Plamya, the mask of power hiding the fragile Itsuka behind, who will burn her weaker self and forge her anew.
No wonder everyone here is wearing masks, they all have a self they want to put behind them. Well, what of Kate, though?
5) See, in this show, everything that happens stays happened. Here is the tank company that Kate had conquered in the first episode. Nothing is thrown aside, in Zvezda. Every thing and every one has their place. No deus ex machinas, only pulling together what had been there before.
3) Building Upon the Past – Forging for the Future:
1) The milk protecting her from the smoke was somewhat pulledout of nowhere. Leave it to Asuta, our man in the show to point it out. Well, he’s forgetting that episode Kate conquered milk.
3) The milk had been conquered, the backflip had been conquered! Nothing had been for naught! It all meant something! I’ll be honest, I cracked up and laughed here.
4) All is well that ends well. Family, together, food.
5) Asuta’s father, now working for Venera. But is that enough? Does he truly have ideals? Otherwise he’s still only a functionary who can’t reach anyone’s heart.
6) “Some people will consider me a nuisance, so what? If they want their lazy version of a utopia, they can stay shut up in their own world. The future doesn’t wait for anyone.” Wow, just wow. It’s true, many images of utopia are peaceful places where people get to be lazy and do nothing, and where nothing truly matters, due to being post-scarcity. Silly people, the future is things happening, and Kate’s gonna jump on you and wake you up from that silly dream. Utopia is a rowdy and messy place. Utopia is family, and family never leaves you alone.
Ah, another “Star-girl”, and such a girl also appears on the cover of the upcoming novel!
8) Sly Kate is sly, and Asuta is still a free man.
Shorter Notes / Asides:
- This show’s message, in a single line. “This world is crazy and fickle. It’s useless to try and conquer it.” – Wait, so why did you take over Japan?
- “Anti-Kaiju weaponry,” in case you hadn’t noticed, this is Japan, where such a statement makes perfect sense, especially for the governor of Tokyo ;-)
- Man, this robot versus monsters bit is so 50s :)
- The KuruKurus combine to become powerful. They embody teamwork and family-ties. It’s only fitting that the one who splits them apart is Yasu, the betrayer.
- LOL, a robot growing through a “growth-spurt”, this show is so crazy :P
- An Udo-filled vending machine, consumed by Galaktika. Welp, was nice knowing this world.
- Behold Venera, for she is Venus, a star shining in broad daylight, come upon her power.
- Gang’s here, we’ve lost Yasu, but we’ve gained White Falcon and White Robin.
- Badass biker Venera, complete with a time-freeze and subtitles.
LOL, “Does she even have a license?!” – But since it’s important to care for your family, Kate even flashes him her license.
- Seems the Governor finally found something to give him pleasure, which is holding philosophical discussions(?) with Kate.
- ED song, but we still have 7 minutes to go. You can’t trick me!
- “White Light makes even less sense than Zvezda” – Yeah, what are they even there for? It’s like magical girl girlscouts ;)
- That innocent look on Kate’s face as she presents to us “Mature Kate”.
Post Episode / Show Thoughts:
The finale opened up the space for another season, and it seems consistent with the cover of the upcoming novel, which they could adapt to an anime. I mean, they still hadn’t conquered the world, which the first episode had shown us. Also note, there is a statue of Kate, but it’s surrounded by rubble, and the man doing the salute, which seems to be Asuta, seems to be old. Things might still get messy in the future.
I often say in my write-ups for finales that I want to speak of the episode before I speak of the show as a whole, but that doesn’t make sense here. This episode had tied up all of the show’s threads, and continued its themes, so we may as well discuss this show as a whole.
The show had moments of high hilarity, yet it never became an abusrd show, not only did every thing had meaning, without becoming pretentious or overworked, it maintained its logic. Not just internal logic, but things had meaning and carried on. What happened, stayed happened. There is still a lot we don’t know, and don’t understand. Even if we can understand the symbolism of the travel to the ancient ruins underground, and Kate’s transformation, then understanding why they happened in the world, or how, or what’s real wasn’t always clear.
Not that it truly mattered, because the show not only had heart, but it was coupled with good writing, which is beyond clever.
T’was a fun ride, everyone! I’m giving i 8/10. It was crazy, it was fun, it was thought-provoking, and it even made me tear up at times. It was something special, a sui generis show. It’s an 8 though, because… well, because! :P Scores are always somewhat arbitrary anyway ;-)