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Annotated Anime Late Edition: Spring '10 Week 12

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Welcome to your Late Edition of Annotated Anime, where spring seasons get their denouement on.

This week, Fullmetal Alchemist punches a climax right through the chest, Bleach hacks in a rocket launcher, Arakawa Under the Bridge breaks a man-to-dad stalemate, and Seikon no Qwaser sneaks in a last sip before season 2.

If you've somehow missed our recaps for this week's other shows, get thine self to our Early Edition!

Ben Huber

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Episode 63


 
While last time it seemed as though Father was pretty much done for, he does try to recoup his losses and goes for Greed's Philosopher's Stone one last time. Ling tries to hold on to Greed, but the homunculus lies to Ling at the last second and sacrifices himself to save the prince. His last attack turns much of Father's body into weak charcoal, giving Ed the perfect chance to attack, punching a hole clean through Father's gut. All of his remaining souls pour out, and with nothing left to help control the god inside him, his body turns in on itself and Father disappears into nothing. However, unseen to the rest, the homunculus inside the flask meets "the truth" or God, and is shut behind the huge stone doors, struck in eternal despair.

Given that Al sacrificed his soul for Ed's arm, Ed is torn up and is trying to figure out a way to bring his brother back. Hohenheim offers up his life, but is refused. Instead, Ed opens up the Gate of Truth and offers up his abilities as an alchemist. With his truth left behind and his skills gone, Edward arrives back in the real world with Alphonse (and his body). So we really do get a happy ending.

Well, not entirely happy, but I was content nonetheless. Hohenheim visits Trisha's grave for one last time, and after a few final words, passes away with a grin on his face. One last episode next week will give us complete closure, and it was nice to see the time taken to give FMA a proper ending, considering that final episodes are usually pretty rushed.

Josh Tolentino

Bleach episode 276

Most of this week's dose o' duelin' is spent showing off how powerful Barragan is. How is this guy not the Primera Espada?! Especially when you consider some future, manga-foretold events. Well, I'm not about to question Kubo's numbering schemes.

Oh, and it turns out that Soifon's Bankai is a rocket launcher. Now that's character development!

Jeff Chuang

Seikon no Qwaser episode 24



The final piece of the series gives some closure to our characters as the bad guys are no longer in the picture. What would people do now that there are no reasons to stay together? What will Teresa do when she gets reassigned? Or Katja? And more importantly, what will Sasha do?

All the while, Mafuyu has to deal with the fact that her boobs are now back to normal size--during the summoning of the hidden castle her breasts has enlarged to Tomo-class, and it seems the magic has wore off. How will Mafuyu cope with the shock to her delicate self-esteem? ...With a lot of free medical supplements, of course, from Miyuri. Naturally some of these are really weird and are probably not FDA approved.

The important part of the episode is the date. It turns out Sasha will take Mafuyu on a date before they say goodbye. The usual stuff happens and breasts were sucked, but there was a cute kissing moment! 

And if you didn't hear from the grapevine, all of this is set up for season 2--at the very end of the episode, after the special ending clipshow (different between the censored and uncensored versions) featuring the first opening song, we see the older Sasha and Hana, attending college as transfer students. It all seemed very weird, but I guess this boobs show is going to season 2!
 
Mike LeChevallier
 
Arakawa Under the Bridge episode 12
 

 
Like a sudden bolt of lightning accompanied by the discordant boom of thunder, we've reached the penultimate episode of Arakawa Under the Bridge. Speaking of loud, dramatic kinetic flashes in the sky, the cold opening this week prominently featured precisely that. The creative team behind this show has once again topped themselves with the astonishing level of depth, visually and emotionally, they put into these pre-OPs. We've dealt with wishes, fragility, birth, love, fear and now acceptance for something you can't fully understand. Nino, holding a massive fishing rod with lightning bolts as the bait, tells Ric to let go and come down from his place amongst the rainclouds. He has a new life now, with her, with the people under the Bridge. Ric is still Ric, but he's a new evolution of Ric who is willing to make changes; to learn what life can be like when you sever ties to the negative. This episode is all about a crossroads, for Ric and for his father.

Within just the first few scenes of Bridge 12, I got a real endgame sort of feeling that I had not experienced up until this point. It seems as if Ric's personal letdown at the end of episode 11 has put him into a hardcore stalemate with his stubborn father. Ric is stuck in a pretty deep hole here, without much hope and filled with the same unnecessary fear that has been instilled into him since his childhood. The Bridge folk won't have any of this, though. They convince him to get back on his A-game, each in their own respective manner. Maria, no doubt, has the most hilarious methodology in this sequence. She puts part of Star's mask on Ric's head, coaxes both Ric and Star up onto Ric's deck area above the river and forces them to jump off it (actually, she kicks them off). Why in the hell does she do this? Well, because she's Maria and she's f*cked up like that; but also so everyone under the Bridge can make wishes upon the human shooting stars. Over and over and over again. Guess what? It works. Nino's wish comes true, and Papa Ichinomiya's plans are foiled--his contractor unexpectedly drops out of the project. I thought it was extremely poetic to have the only real wishes to come true be granted by wishing upon something biological and not celestial. It truly speaks volumes for the relationship that has developed between Ric and the Bridge Community. At first, they all seemed so strange and foreign to him. Now, they're his new family.

Furious at the situation, Mr. Ichinomiya finally decides to head down to the Bridge himself and sort things out. At the same time, there is a mysterious samurai type dude from Ichinomiya's hired contracting firm who heads off the Bridge as well. We never do see that guy again for the rest of the episode. He seemed relatively significant, so I'm guessing he'll show up in the finale.

The scenes with Ric's father at the Bridge played out very differently than I had originally been imagining. I really thought it would be a straight-up, balls-to-the-wall battle of wits between two generations of the Ichinomiya clan. Nay. It was something better, actually; something far more moving than I would have ever surmised. Remember the very first scene from the very first episode where Ric (then Kou) meets Nino? His pants get hung up on one of the bars of the bridge? Nino gets them down for him with her fishing pole? Remember? Of course you do. It was awesome. Now, picture that same scene with Ric's father instead of Ric, and Nino already having gone through all that she and her unorthodox lover have gone through. Nino, with her literally inhuman level of innocence, teaches Ric's father a life lesson about connecting with others without really even putting any stress upon her words. Nino is so delicate, so pure, that she evokes a few sound (albiet, slight) moments of affection from Ric's father; he even likens Nino to his (ex?) wife, Ric's mother. In the end, Mr. Ichinomiya leaves the Bridge before making contact with Ric. He also bequeaths his pants to Nino. There's a lovely line that comes later about Nino "having the pants" in her relationship with Ric that had me applauding with gusto. Ric's father also gets arrested by police for exposing himself in public. That was just perfect. I always wondered why semi-nude (or full-nude, for that matter) people on the streets were never arrested in anime. To have something like this occur in Arakawa Under the Bridge is even more perplexing, yet hysterical at the same time.

After Mr. Ichinomiya departs, Ric, still downtrodden about his failure to buy the Bridge land, as well as sore and cold from being kicked off the bridge so many times by Maria, faces even more verbal abuse from the pink-haired she-devil. Maria is one cold, hard bitch. I've never seen someone quite as effortlessly heinous as she is. A character for the record books to be sure.

The episode concludes with a super, super cute scene where Ric finally develops the quality testicles required to place a call to his father. The REAL number this time. Little does Ric know that Nino, still with Papa Ichinomiya's pantsu, comes into possession of the receiving call (the phone was in the pants). Now, if only Nino knew how to work a cell phone.  She eventually is able to turn it on and hears a frantic Ric boldly telling his father that he is tired of taking his bullshit, and that he is going to stay with Nino forever under the Bridge. O. M. G. The smile upon my face was ear-to-goddam-ear. Classic moment. It almost felt as the the whole series could just end right there. Nino's face captured the joyous momentum of the exchange with just one blink of her enchanting blue eyes (yeah, yeah...I'm totally in love). Satisfying as I may have been with that specific denouement, we've still got one more episode to go, and from the preview it sounds like some seriously outlandish antics (yes, even more so than the ones we've already witnessed in 12 episodes of this show) are going to take place. I'm down. I'm down, down, down. Like a motherf*cking falling star.

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures


 


 



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