It’s time for a quiet, introspective analysis of the consequences of revenge, and how you should react to it. There sure are a lot of bullets flying still though. This pretty much closes out the Summer 2016 season, so look forward to the preview of what we’ll be covering here at Clouded this fall!
Episode Review: “Slipping Through the Dirty Sky”
Quite the bro-trip to end out this odd series. With all the action on the Angelo-Vanetti side coming in the penultimate episode, this was a rather interesting study of revenge and the consequences, or reactions, to it. We all know revenge doesn’t leave much for the avenger after it is completed, but it can be hard to hear it summed up so obviously. In this case, Angelo really didn’t leave anything after the fact for his life to go on in any meaningful way. But Nero is right, we don’t need a reason to live, we just live.
The one thing that just didn’t seem to work in this episode was its use of non-linear time. Besides the flashback to 7 years ago, which is of course acceptable, the fact that it didn’t just present the series of events in order after the playhouse definitely confused things. It was hard to tell how much time exactly had passed, and when jumping between Nero escorting Angelo out of the city and then suddenly shooting from a car, it was a bit of a mess. Once the episode got to the trip to the ocean proper it dropped the flashbacks and worked quite well.
This kind of wind-down episode is good for a little introspection. What would you have done if someone destroyed your family right in front of your eyes, and you could do nothing to stop it? Both main characters know how this feels now, but they both had slightly different thoughts after the fact. Nero has the benefit of observing someone else’s reaction to it though, and the mayhem it caused – and it’s not like Angelo has much of anything left to destroy anyway. These bits of nuance to the characters of the show add quite a bit to what had been built up over the season, and it seems like a great note for each of them to go out on.
It’s hard to express how appropriate that ending was. It kept teasing over and over that it was going to show what actually happened between the two of them on the beach. Maybe a little blood in the water or a trick with the footprints, but it just left us hanging. It’s the exact kind of thing anime has a hard time doing these days – leaving something up for speculation or discussion. There always seems to be a tease for the next season, but this was definitely not that. We already got the true ending to the story with the confrontation by the fire the night before. What actually became of Angelo is irrelevant.
8.8/10 (Very Good)
– Not exactly how most would describe Florida.
– All ammunition was saved for this episode.
– Bullets don’t ignite gas tanks.
– Shell Power.
– This guy has a permanent smirk. Who would trust him?
– He probably didn’t kill him.
There isn’t too much to say about this revenge plot wrapped in The Godfather style and direction. I made numerous references to the clear inspiration, from the pacing to the music. But the series definitely stands on its own. The story is clear and interesting, and the characters have a lot too them by the end of the run. As for the plot itself, we could pretty much see the need for twists and turns to keep it interesting, and they all worked quite well.
On the technical side, this series wasn’t overly impressive, but it also didn’t need to be. The animation was average, with the dull colors of prohibition America and plenty of blurry, dark scenes. The slow pacing helped smooth a lot of this over, as if we were watching a comic strip in motion. Voice acting had a lot of range, with a little bit of comedy here and there to lighten it up from the crushing weight of mafia drama. Fango was the most notably interesting voice out of the lot. And back to the constant Godfather reference, the music was exactly as you would expect for this kind of setting – light jazz combos, guitars, and a slight Italian influence in the musical language. It never detracted from a scene, and was clear in its purpose.
The main thing a series like this has going for it is that it’s not like everything else on the season lineup.
Final verdict: A risky concept for modern anime. It took its time and built a proper revenge story, then executed it properly. Not exactly the most amazing series in recent memory, but definitely worth the time.
7.9/10 (Not Quite The Godfather)
(Rounded to 8 for MAL)