I was so eager to catch the conclusion of this epic that I decided to break the usual schedule. Look for some surprise review choices, tomorrow.
Anyway, we’ve come to the end of one more long-form series. Before I get to the nitty gritty nitpicks, I’ve got to say that this was one of the most consistently satisfying shows I’ve watched for this column. Aside from some mild confusion about that one non-sequitor episode with the asteroid zombies, there aren’t any large factors which I had to either put up with, get over or otherwise wish an alternative for.
With that in mind, I’ll get a couple light critiques out of the way right now for this finale. First and foremost, it’s a real shame that the crew pushed the deathly suspense button a couple times too many. In order of occurance…
- It was genuinely shocking when Jin was seemingly axed by the Shogun assassin on the pier.
- It was mildly surprising when Jin returned to save Fuu from that assassin.
- It was a little eye-roll inducing when Jin survived to his suicide attack to make good on his vow to Mugen.
- It was honestly groan-inducing when he returned a third time to live off a happy ending with everybody.
And the same could be said for Mugen’s own series of surprise survivals. Dude walked away from a stabbing, a gunshot and an explosion? That’s pushing it, man. And it’s a shame, because the duels in this were gloriously intense and the emotional moments very pointedly moving. I don’t subscribe to the notion that this would’ve been more meaningful if they’d gone and ahead and offed everybody… but you still can’t have it both ways.
I was gearing up to praise this show for having fearsome and effective villains - - and then we find out that even the Sunflower Samurai’s caretaker survives a close-up stabbing? What works in this episode makes up for what stumbles, certainly, but I almost feel like the hand of some outside interest here, pushing for a happy ending.
Still, a better conclusion than BEBOP’s. Stay tuned for a whole Vice Pit comparing and contrasting the two, soon.
Watch this episode, "Evanescent Encounter, Part 3” below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.