Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi - 12 (End) and Series Review

So with this episode, one of the strangest shows of the year ends in a strangely conventional fashion.

Hoshizora closes its run with a straightforward romantic conclusion that settles on exactly the pairing predicted from the first episodes. There were no hints of an Ayumu end (not even a brocon joke), very little humor, and not many surprises. Since the odd, even somewhat perverted nature of this series was what kept me watching, that's a little disappointing.

As expected, Kazuma ends up with Ui. I'm fine with that, as to be honest I never thought the romance in this show was developed enough to make me care very much one way or the other. It does make you wonder when more time wasn't spent developing Ui beyond a very superficial caricature, though, if she was destined to be "it" at the end. Ibuki, Madoka and even Hina really got much more development than Ui - and then, the shaft.

The entire finale played out around the summer festival (which had to make things even harder for Miko Madoka). In a clever tie-in to the race from way back in episode 5, Kazuma finds out he has to be the town's Ogami for the festival, as the top-ranking boy in the race. The Megami is to be Tsumugi, both roles central players in the Matsuri events. In fact, there's even a tradition of the Ogami and Megami confessing to each other during the festival.

It becoming so obvious now that even the on-screen characters are becoming aware Kazuma and Ui see eye to eye, Tsumugi takes it upon herself to fake an illness so that Ui will have to step in and be the Megami for the Matsuri. This leads to a confession scene as the two face off from opposite sides of a bridge on their respective Mikoshi, and Kazuma lets it be known how he feels. Ui awkwardly follows suit, and the rest is history.

As I said, depressingly convention end to a really unconventional series. If you except a couple of horny teens hijacking a sacred Shinto festival for a summer confession, there wasn't much untoward happening here. No sex, no debauchery, no shotacon... None of the naughty antics that made Hoshizora kind of fun even when it was being blissfully stupid. Was there any point to all that Ayumu buildup at all, other than simply a reason for some odd humor? Apparently not.

This was certainly a show I could watch with by brain on autopilot, and there's nothing wrong with that. For an anime based on a dating sim there was really very little romance in it, right up until the last couple of eps. At it's best this show was being silly, stupid and innocently filthy. It had a kind of determination to it's weirdness that I really admired. I couldn't have ever told you this was a smart show, but for much of it's run it was an enjoyable one. Every episode was good for a decent combination of laughs and groans.

I only wish Hoshizora had ended as it lived, as a shining beacon of perversity. What will remain in the memory after the show if long gone certainly won't be the half-hearted romance between Kazuma and Ui, but the twisted humor and genuinely baffling tone of the first eight or nine episodes. As if sensing this, the director gives us as a last eyecatch yet another disturbing Ayumu image. If only the rest of the finale had been as disturbing.


6 comments:

  1. Is this show worth watching to the end? I was watching up to mid season where it seem to me that the romance is not going anywhere.

    P.s. What the most suitable profile to apply to for a fast posting rather than selecting the profile myself every time?

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  2. Hey, Ikaze. To your 2nd question first, I'm not sure - are your posts being delayed? I have the blog set to accept comments from anyone.

    In terms of Hoshizora, that's a borderline thing for me. I will say this - the show behaves much more like a traditional romance adaptation over the last few eps, so if that's what you were missing in the first half, I'd finish it. In my view, the humor loses some of its steam and the show becomes much more conventional and that's not all a good thing.

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  3. No, my post is not being delayed. I was just wondering if there is any way for the computer to remember my name as lkaze without having to choose the profile EVERY single time i comment!! Also if possible could you take away that test "are you human" to comfirm my comment?
    IMHO, it quite annoying. Sorry for being a bit frank.


    I see, i suppose i can go ahead and finish them if i had so very free time. Thank for you help.

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  4. I think "Are you human" may be something Blogger throws in there all on its own - it certainly isn't a setting I chose.

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  5. I hope the OVA for this show turns out to be the true ending to the show that reveals that episode 12 was just a dream that Kazuma had the night before the festival. Would like to see an OVA ending with Ibuki, because I felt she was completely tossed aside for the "default heroine" (Ui). Hope OVA has another type of ending and it's not just filled with fan service.

    P.S I've enjoyed reading several of your post and will look forward to reading more of your impressions over at RC. GL.

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  6. Thanks, WLX. Personally I hope the "True End" is a completely random sequence of inexplicable comedy and service, and ends with Ayumu winning. I want the viewers to be as confused and annoyed as possible!

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