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I wasn’t expecting it, but I think this ending had a solid sense of resolution behind it. As always, it was a bit tenuous at certain points, but I thought that the episode did a good job of bringing the story together. I liked that the conflict was largely resolved with conversation. This series as a whole has been a challenge to watch, but it has been one that I’ve enjoyed taking on.
In a way, I think this arc also highlights the issue I had with the Imaginator arc. Unlike the other arcs, the Imaginator arc seems the most isolated from the rest of the stories, so it’s hard to grasp how it fits in. For this arc, there’s a clear reference back to the first arc, and it resolves a loose end in Shirou.
The power in this arc also seems to make the most sense for me. Shirou’s power is a straightforward projection of his own mental struggle. His own regret causes him to bring out the regrets in others. The other “enemies” had a similar personal link to their powers, but I think this one was the easiest to understand.
I also liked that the arc made Shirou out to be more than just a throwaway boyfriend for Naoko. He’s ultimately responsible for taking out the manticore in the first arc, but it didn’t have the right portrayal for an act of revenge. In this arc, I think we get the sense that he ends up as confused as we were, which leads to some personal problems.
That being said, I think that Keiji and Kyouichirou’s roles in this arc feel a bit weak. At the end of the day, what did Keiji even do? As for Kyouichirou, he largely seems like a red herring. My understanding is that his grand plot is just an invention of Kentarou’s mind, based on how he sees the King of Distortion. As a result, the overall purpose of the building seems unknown, which calls Kyouichirou’s purpose into question.
I feel the same way about Boogiepop’s entrance. While it’s cool to see that the King of Distortion turned out to be a relatively benign entity, it makes me question why Boogiepop appeared in the first place. My understanding is that the King of Distortion was never an enemy of the world. And so, Boogiepop would have only appeared to fight Zooragi, which was accidentally summoned by the King of Distortion. I guess it makes sense, but it doesn’t feel impactful.
Final Score: 7/10
Fun to think about, but it can be a pain to keep track of everyone in this series. Boogiepop is a cool concept too, but I think that the other powers in this series often come off as being underdeveloped.