I forgot I wrote this up back when this episode had just aired and then forgot to finish it, and now I don’t feel like writing a whole review (maybe some day though) – so here’s my thoughts on the ending of this nice little HanaKana series.
Up to this point, Kawai Complex was pretty enjoyable, had beautiful art with a really unique (sometimes oddly surreal) color palette and style to it (especially the eyes, which were done really nicely) and just felt good to watch. However, the studio apparently didn’t budget their funding very well – and oh boy does it show. The FINAL EPISODE of the show looks like complete shit, especially in comparison to how great the ENTIRE REST OF THE SHOW looked. There was not a single drop in quality in any of the prior episodes and the conclusion, of all episodes to let this happen on, is the “gurren lagann episode 8” of the show. I could see doing this the episode prior or at some point randomly in the show, but there’s absolutely no excuse to do this for the finale. It’s clear they fucked up and didn’t think ahead, resulting in a situation where they reached the last episode and could barely scrape up enough cash to get it done at all. This is unacceptable and not how you bring a show to a close – especially not one that had such a focus on its beautiful visuals. By the way, all the pics in this post are from the other episodes, not the final one, which is why they look so nice. To put it simply though – the art in the final episode looks like a low budget hentai from maybe the late 90s or early 2000s, and was indistinguishable from them aside having no sex (albeit it did try to sexualize hanakana’s character by making her drunk and wearing nothing but her panties and bra, but the art was so bad it wasn’t sexy at all and was just terrible to look at).
Aside that, I had one other issue with the ending – this being tied to the actual events instead. While it was “acceptable”, it was beyond just cliche and left some possibly extremely stupid possible holes in it to ruin what little we did get. First off is the fact we don’t even get an IMPLICATION of real romance between them – all we get for the ‘big event’ is exchanging phone numbers. Even for anime this is fucking stupid and means nothing, this is something even the most generic of romance shows typically have happen in like episode 5 as a good moment for the lead in feeling they’ve gotten one step closer to their overall goal…but in this case it’s the entire finale. I’d love to say that the relationship between the two of them is clearly becoming special in some way or another, but it really doesn’t happen. The only thing he’s done is managed to become her friend because he started out being nothing. Sure, it’s a step forward, but not one to use as your finale. Or, if you must do that, then at least put some kind of hint that it’s HEADED TOWARDS being an actual romantic relationship. We got nothing of that sort. Getting a girls phone number does not mean your dick is going to be sopping wet covered in her juices in a week, it means absolutely nothing when you live together in the first place.
On top of all of that, we have no legitimate signs that hanakana is interested in the MC whatsoever. She’s happy that she has a friend who shares hobbies with her and isn’t a crazy slut like that girl she befriends – but that’s about all we’re given any evidence of.
Now it’s been awhile, but there are a few parts in the final 2 episodes where she gets defensive after the loli accuses her of liking the MC and some other times where she’s very blushy with him as well. That has to mean SOMETHING, right? No. If you’ll try and recall the story in the last chunk of episodes, she has been reading romance novels thanks to the shitty girl friend she made. This girl has proven time and time again – and the show itself says so as well EVEN DURING THIS ARC IN THE STORY – that she takes on the personalities and emotions of the books she reads, no matter the genre. It’s also something proven throughout the show. So this leads to the “possible holes in it to ruin what little we did get” because all of her jealousy, “no way he likes me”, blushing, and so on are pretty much 100% likely to be simply her acting “in character” with the novels she’s currently deep into. Not only that, but she even outright says she’s never read romance novels before, which would mean it’d be unsurprising to see them affect her more than the other books had up to then.
It is only AFTER she starts reading those romance novels that she shows ANY interest in the MC, meaning the entire fucking last episode was not only a waste full of dumb shit and abysmally low standards for animation and art quality, but also was just a total and complete farce.
The show overall was still alright (not outstanding, but I didn’t regret watching it at all) but this definitely ruined the ending and the feeling I get when thinking about the show. Luckily it was a pretty forgettable series, so whatever.