A lot of good shows are rounding the bend to a close this season, something that’s both thrilling and disappointing. However, much to everyone’s pleasure, a hefty group of bad shows are following suit, crashing and burning with reckless abandon regardless of previous quality. This is a post where I put my seldom-used power of clairvoyance to work predicting the endings coming up in around four weeks. I’ll also include how I think it should end, something that will most likely be terribly off the mark. Since this is for series not carrying over into spring, I won’t talk about Aquarion Evol or Mouretsu Piriates. So let’s retroactively fill our hearts with regret at what we’re about to do and get started!
Ano Natsu de Matteru
As the season’s premiere melodrama sharing enough similarities with Toradora and Onegai Teacher to give the least thoughtful anime fan pause for thought, a hefty weight has been thrust on Ano Natsu. If it weren’t for Remon, there’s no way it would be quite as good as it is.
How I Hope It’ll End: Everyone realizes their feelings for Remon, organizing a battle royale the likes of which the world has never seen for her heart. Remon chuckles knowingly from the sidelines as everyone viciously attacks everyone else. Ichika continues to be clad in form-fitting leather.
How It’ll Probably End: Everyone realizes their feelings for everyone else and angst angst angst. Also aliens. Ichika continues to be clad in form-fitting suits.
The biggest complaint that I have with this series is the apparent lack of focus. While it throws several elements into its story that work well separately, together they ruin any sense of suspense while leaving the characters too underdeveloped to really care about. It could be argued that this lack of tension and suspense was intentional on the creator’s part, but why would you watch something like that?
How I Hope It’ll End: Everyone dies in progressively more elaborate fashions, the curse turning out to be the ghost of a megalodon buried underneath the school. So then the show goes from cheesy “horror” and mystery to Sci-Fi Movie of the Week, with many more 50s dancing than your Sci-Fi usual fare.
How It’ll Probably End: The curse is resolved, our lead gets the girl, and our collective IQ drops another 4 points in general. At only twelve episodes, there’s not much to work with here from a horror angle, especially since it seems to think that what it’s doing is fine enough.
Black Rock Shooter
This show has been a mess from Day One. Nothing has gone right as it’s tried desperately to tug at our heartstrings with sloppy melodrama, easily being the worst thing airing this season. At least it looks pretty and the fight sequences are magnificent.
How I Hope It’ll End: Everyone except the counselor dies, while she proceeds to move to South America to found her own coffee plantation and convince angsty Argentinean teens that they’re worthless and will never amount to anything. Her star collection of mugs remains in use and becomes a world famous icon.
How It’ll Probably End: The power of love triumphs again, but only after hilarious death and overwrought crying! Incredibly drawn out fight sequence at the end promises to be the show’s attempt to apologize for everything it’s shown before, but we won’t accept that apology. Overwrought crying will ensue on the show’s part.
The odds have been stacked against Brave 10 delivering week to week, the apparent dearth of originality shining through more than its otherwise competent execution. Not much to say about this other than surprisingly decent, but not great.
How I Hope It’ll End: The ragtag group of warriors eventually finds the wizard that manages to tell them that what they desire has been in their hearts all along before fading to black for the last time. Everyone boos at the Wizard of Oz reference and Brave 10 goes down in history as that Sengoku-era troll that made people think something of worth was happening when in actuality it wasn’t.
How It’ll Probably End: The group meanders around in no apparent hurry until the last episode, where they’re beset by enemies from every walk of life. Then they find out with each others’ help that what they’ve been searching for has been in their heart all along and the power of friendship triumphs again. Then vomiting on part of the audience, which assumes that something of worth was happening when it really wasn’t.
Oh boy, more card games! If there’s one good thing about Chihayafuru, it’s the infectious sense of unironic admiration at people who slap cards into projectiles flying at mach speed. The fact that the character development is also better than average contributes to my overall enjoyment of this series when compared to others of its ilk.
How I Hope It’ll End: Chihaya eventually realizes that she doesn’t love Arata or Taichi, instead figuring out that she has a thing for me for some reason. She somehow becomes real and travels here, where we live happily ever after and this isn’t the most pathetic half-paragraph of wish fulfillment I’ve ever written.
How It’ll Probably End: Chihaya becomes the new Queen of Karuta, inheriting the previous queen’s Snowmaru shirt as well as her powers before she’s deposed years later as all tyrants are. When it becomes time to choose Taichi or Arata like we’ve been expecting her to do for the past 21 episodes, she takes the path that infuriates the audience the most since we’re all fickle bitches on the inside.
Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou
Nichibros as a comedy is B+ material. It has the occasional moment where a joke falls flat, as all comedies do, but the rest are thrown with such wit and grace that one can’t help but appreciate what it does for the medium. It certainly wouldn’t help if it weren’t surprisingly smart and self aware, but its sense of playful self awareness in everything from the High School Girls Are Funky sketches at the end to the one-off jokes in the advertisement screens gives it the feeling of something that’s both celebrating and panning its own medium.
How I Hope It’ll End: The high school girls overthrow the despotic and un-cute rule of the high school boys, ushering in a new era of psychotic high school girls screaming and hitting everything in sight. Because damn, that would be the best sequel hook for this kind of thing.
How It’ll Probably End: The high school boys muse about something inconsequential for an anticlimax, and we’re left with a vaguely Nichibros-shaped hole in our heart after it ends. It will be missed by many.
Never was there a story of more bullshit contrivances and plot twists out of nowhere than Guilty Crown, Sunrise’s answer to the notion that anything vaguely like Code Geass is bound to be good. And indeed, there’s nothing in this story that hasn’t been done before, albeit in less stupid ways. Still, definitely worth watching for the unintentional camp and pretty visuals.
How I Hope It’ll End: Shu realizes that his life is a farce and offs himself in the most dramatic way possible. Either that or the UN makes good on its promise to nuke the city, killing OH MAH SHOE in the process. Dan Eagleman makes a return and saves the rest of Tokyo because he’s the only likable character in the damn show.
How It’ll Probably End: JeShus dies for our sins by taking our crystal cancer upon himself and his new prosthetic, while characters drop off the face of the earth only to reappear as the lack of a plot sees fit. Explosions happen and possibly the only hilarious epidemic ever continues unabated until JeShus saves glorious Nippon.
The three words that best describe Highschool DxD: Tits tits tits. Anybody who doesn’t want this has likely cleared out by the end of the first episode. However, I’m one of the few not swayed who’s stuck with it for the simple reason that I want to watch everything that doesn’t fill me with hatred bile.
How I Hope It’ll End: Our male lead enters into the priesthood after realizing that he’s absolute slime and declares celibacy, before accidentally melting himself Wizard of Oz-style while accepting baptism. Nobody mourns him as he’s politely mopped up and used to water the flowerbed out front.
How It’ll Probably End: Generic Male Lead ends up the most powerful demon in existence, but doesn’t end up with his harem. Nobody sympathizes with him.
Inu x Boku SS
Well I’ll be damned, my prediction about this being some kind of blatant self-insert wish fulfillment hasn’t come to pass. Even though Soushi is still an obsessive creep over Ririchiyo to the point of parody, it’s clear that it’s not supposed to be a desirable position for her as his master. Interpretations may vary, but I’ve found it a surprisingly decent show that balances the supernatural and slice of life well enough to be enjoyable.
How I Hope It’ll End: As long as it doesn’t focus on Ririchiyo’s rich girl problems too much, I’m fine with pretty much anything.
How It’ll Probably End: It’ll focus on Ririchiyo’s rich girl problems.
Nothing this season is better than Mirai Nikki, no question about it. It’s not good when compared to everything else, but it’s good by its own standards and thus emerges higher for it. It’s something that’s a little convoluted, but it’s difficult to dislike the earnestness present. And if it continues like this while still ramping up the action, I can only foresee it ending in a way that will leave no party unsatisfied… so long as it avoids the supposedly horrible end of the manga. Which it likely won’t, seeing as it’s supposedly followed pretty closely.
How I Hope It’ll End: Yuuki continues to tear through the rest of the cast like tissue paper before being tripped up at the last minute by Yuno, who becomes the god of the new world. Things kind of go downhill from there, and she sits on a throne with her hands resting on two skulls.
How It’ll Probably End: Yuuki ends up just short of becoming a god because he’s still a pathetic child on the inside. Unintentional campy hilarity ensues.
If anything can be called “classy” fanservice anime, this is it. It’s smut of the highest order, and watching it does indeed make one a pervert, but it’s just so beautiful that it’s difficult not to watch. It helps that there’s some more simmering under the surface this time around than in Bakemonogatari, making it something that can be interpreted in addition to merely ogled at.
How I Hope It’ll End: Araragi further consolidates his relationship with Senjougahara and Kaiki continues to be delightfully despicable as he makes his return. I sincerely hope there won’t be any more incest, since the toothbrush scene was enough.
How It’ll Probably End:
Persona 4: The Animation
Regardless of where it goes from here, Persona 4 will most likely end up one of the best video game adaptations. The filler’s been pretty funny, the plot pretty good… so yeah, no real complaints on my end.
How I Hope It’ll End: I really don’t care, as long as Kanji ends up with Naoto.
How It’ll Probably End: The day will be saved, the culprit will be caught, and everyone will live happily ever after while Narukami remains nonplussed.
Senki Zesshou Symphogear
Unlike Guilty Crown, Symphogear’s so campy that it physically hurts. There are so many bad design choices, so much wrong with it, that there’s no way I can enjoy how gleefully bad it is. I mean when somebody gains powers out of nowhere and beats out the supposed heroines at what they’re supposed to do, you know the show’s shit. With that said…
How I Hope It’ll End: Pink Tie Guy becomes the protector of Tokyo because he’s a million times more competent than everyone else, Hibiki ends up dead.
How It’ll End: Hibiki dies, as is hinted in the first five fucking minutes of the first episode, most likely in an overly dramatic fashion.
Well, future commenter, fill me in. What do you think will come to pass as these series wind down? What would you prefer to come to pass?