Occultic;Nine 12 – Final Impressions

A fast-paced ending with even more new concepts to be introduced. The saving graces of this series don’t show up all that much in the finale – and it definitely needed it.

“We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together”

The end is here. This series really needed a spectacular showing for its finale to redeem a bit of problematic storytelling that has led to it. Unfortunately everything that has made this series problematic is on full display here as well. New concepts and ideas are discussed heavily in this episode, less as an explanation for why everything is the way it is, but almost as more exposition. Time travel has barely been mentioned in this series, but here it is the entire crux of our heroes’ last hope. Everything is just so convenient that it totally defies all reasonable storytelling expectations. Better yet, the ability to go back to before they died is held up as both the salvation and doom that drives the tension of this episode. There were already so many moderately interesting plot points leading up to this point that this feels solely like a means to ‘save’ everyone.

Ririka Nishizono is the strangest part of this episode, but also possibly it’s major saving grace. It is left completely open-ended, but she clearly experienced the series of events at least once before and is the whole reason most of the investigation even came together. Was she a force for good, or maybe a foil of some sorts? We’ll never know, but it’s probably best kept that way.

The ending here is just as fast-paced as the premier episode; miracle, failure, magic solution, explosion, the gang back together, all within a few minutes. Although it is clear that this ending was the plan all along (it is an adaptation after all), it somehow still feels like a bunch of conveniences strung together to form some kind of cohesive finish. The time travel doesn’t really factor in quite well enough to make a big impact, and the main bad guys really pose no threat to the infinitely powerful Gamon (and his dad). Everything that this series built to this moment is just kind of swept away by the fact that the good guys must win, with little reason beyond that. For having so many words explaining it, nothing here really needs explanation because it just happens. As for the final moments with the cast, it’s moderately heartwarming. The fact that Yuta doesn’t come back but remains as a timeless ghost of sorts is a great way to end, but the ends don’t always justify the means.

Episode Score
5.1/10 (Poor)

Summary: Everything in this series happens because it is going to happen. No other explanation is needed, but there are a lot of words none the less.

Extra thoughts:
– What does this look like?..
– Time is difficult topic. This is not handling it well.
– There has to be some explanation for a happy ending, right?
– She is not in more trouble than you. You’re dead.
– Because the plot wills it.
– Is that a dominator?
– A kiss is nice, but it really didn’t feel earned.

occulticnine-12-shoot-me-please

Final Thoughts

The Technical Stuff

We’re definitely not looking at the pinnacle of artistic animation or technical achievement here. Odd camera angles seem more like a gimmick to distract from some lazier motionless scenes plastered with rambling dialogue. On the other hand, the color and some of the sets are wonderful. The detail in both the cafe and the magazine writer’s room are the highlights of visual interest. This does kind of serve to remind us that there really aren’t too many actual settings in this series, and the ones we do see are re-used to the extreme. How many times did they have to meet in that park?

The Story

Oh boy. An ‘occultic’ tale that really crashes and burns. There were so many opportunities for this to go in the right direction, but at every good turn there was a bad one to follow. Every trope is on display, from actual Chekhov’s guns to nearly endless deus ex machina. Most things seem to just happen because it is convenient. Don’t even get me started on the time travel – if this series was already bogged down by too much useless dialogue and explanations, time travel was not going to save it. The ending doesn’t conclude much beyond the fates of our main characters. It remains unclear what actually happened to the ’emperor’ ghost, the time travelling manga artist, and the other 200 plus victims. Pretty sure they’re all still dead. Best not to ask any questions, right? The super-powered regular kid Gamon solved everything because it was his destiny.

The Characters

Several of the characters in this series are actually very interesting. Backstories are pretty well fleshed out for Aria, Miyu, and even Gamon. If there’s one thing that this series does right, it is the character-centric stories that carry some of the middle episodes. But where those examples stand tall, there is another that defies gravity. Yes, I’m talking about those ridiculous boobs that are nearly impossible to get by when trying to take the character of Ryoka seriously. And it turns out that she is a super important, non-comic relief character! I can understand being faithful to the source material, but this is the kind of thing that this series really didn’t call for. It doesn’t really feel like fan-service either – just an implausibility. Something in a series that seems like it is trying to be serious and have an explanation for everything but also the biggest unrealistic boobs that you could fit on to a girl before they become parody. Asunyan is great though.

Overall

It’s not exactly a failure, but it didn’t pass by much.

Series Score
5.7/10 (Barely Alright)

(Rounded to 6 for MAL)

occulticnine-12-end-card

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