Ending on a cliffhanger is unforgivable. Either Episode 12 of Masamune-kun’s Revenge is just a hint to a possible second season, or I will never forgive the series for not giving us a conclusion to the only theme that kept the plot going forward, that revenge we’ve all been waiting for.
Japanese Title: 死んでもマイクを手放すな
Endings are always the hardest part. The audience expects to bring closure to a story that he invested his time in. The problem with this episode was not the absence of a real finale, but the inclusion of the most climactic scene awfully close to the beginning. I had already assumed that Masamune was going to the stage as the Prince. We all knew that there was a kiss coming from that scene during the opening theme. I was expecting a long episode where the stakes would be high with the two opposing forces going back and forth in a game of wits. I expected to learn what happened in the past and maybe Adagaki finding out the truth about Masamune. I was hoping for a grand scene where either Masamune succeeds in getting his revenge or ends up falling for Adagaki; then we could have a perfect fairytale ending that would have suited with the Snow White theme.
Instead, the series decides to brush off all the most important points right after that kiss. What happened to the bonfire dance? What happened to Kanetsugu and Adagaki’s engagement? Who the frak is Kanetsugu (ok we know who he is, but maybe we don’t!) For a series that used the ‘revenge’ theme for its trump card, there was no revenge at the end.
I secretly hoped that the second part would bring the ‘finale’ that the last episode must have, but I was deceived once again. I was deceived by the popularity of the anime and the prospect of a second season. I was waiting for Masamune and his revenge, and instead, I got a ‘Don’t be sad… We’ll be going to Paris for the second season.’ I feel cheated by the first romantic comedy that was actually good enough to watch in its entirety. For 12 episodes of revenge planning, the finale didn’t offer a single plot point resolved.
Instead, we got a karaoke scene.
Karaoke Songs: It wasn’t bad, the karaoke scene. It had its fun moments, especially in selecting the songs (see below for a special Themes & Trivia section!). It was an insert special that felt out of place, and if I had to guess, then I’m sure that the REAL last episode was very different from the one we saw. It was a bitter pill to shallow, but at least we’ll always have Paris (since that’s where the second season is going to take place. Or the Blu-ray specials. Anime God, please don’t let it be just specials.)
Hadapure: I was told that the manga gives more context to the in-anime anime called Hadapure. The theme song that Aki and Neko sang was referenced a few times before, especially at that episode where Aki cosplayed during her date with Masamune. Her cosplay was a little too similar to Honoka from PreCure, expect that she was called Whitening.
Themes & Trivia
Standing Room: An event is described as standing room only when all of the chairs in the venue are occupied, leaving only flat spaces of pavement or flooring for other attendees to stand.
Specials: AniDB lists two special episodes, but I have no idea where they are included. Probably Blu-ray specials. I will let you know when I learn more.
Karaoke: I’m sure you already know what a karaoke is. Did you know that it’s a compound word that comes from the Japanese words for ‘empty’ (kara) and ‘orchestra’ (ōkesutora)? Karaoke comes in many forms, but the most popular form that we see in anime is that of the karaoke box. Like in the episode, it is a room that contains karaoke equipment for hire. There are karaoke venues in Asia that are exclusively offering this service along with food and beverage amenities.
Alternate Ending: Did you know that there is an alternate ending theme and sequence made especially for the AT-X broadcast? Here it is:
AT-X’s ending theme is titled ‘Manazashi Silent’ and it is sung by Ayaka Ouhashi (Aki Adagaki) and Mimori Suzuko (Neko Fujinomiya).
Extra: The Karaoke Songs!
As promised, a few words about the karaoke songs!
Futaba Tae: The class rep sang the opening theme ‘Wagamama Mirror Heart.’ It’s funny that they had Futaba sing the theme, because the original performer is Adagaki Aki’s voice actress, Oohashi Ayaka!
Adagaki Aki: Adagaki-san sings ‘Yuki no Hana’ from Mika Nakashima. The song was the most popular pick at karaoke boxes in 2004. You may also know Mika Nakashima as Nana Osaki from the famous live-action adaptation of Nana! It has also been officially covered by numerous artists including Joi Chua, Park Hyo Shin, Seo Young Eun, Han Xue, Vincy Chan, Eric Martin (Mr. Big’s vocalist), Hayley Westenra, Hideaki Tokunaga and Gackt. Park Hyo Shin’s version was an insert song for the popular Korean drama I’m Sorry, I Love You.
Fujinomiya Neko: Neko-chan sang a very famous song from the 2000 Japanese TV drama Oyaji. The song is called ‘Goodbye, the one I love most’ (Sayonara daisukina hito) by J-pop duo Hana*Hana, formed by Izumi Kojima and Makiko Ono.
Koiwai Yoshino: The sad song that Yoshino sings is ‘Amagi-goe’ (Walk Over Amagi Pass). It’s the 45th single by Japanese singer Sayuri Ishikawa. It’s the perfect song for her unexpressive face.
Aki and Neko: The insert song ‘Hello Hadapure’ feels like the opening theme song for the second season. It had no purpose other than to forebode the continuation of the series.
Masamune-kun: Masamune chose to sing the ending theme by ChouChou, ‘Elemental World.’ Too bad we haven’t had the chance to hear him sing. I don’t know how bad his voice was, but it certainly beats mine.
What else is there to say about the final episode? I was disappointed (to the extent that I can get disappointed over an anime series that wants to convince me to buy its Blu-ray disc) but not disappointed enough to not acknowledge that it was fun. It could have been worse, and if they did decide on a second season the night before, then this episode does make sense, I guess. We just have to wait for the official announcement.
Dead or Love?
We are left with this cryptic message which probably means that Masamune is going to give it his best to realize his revenge plan in the next season. You better brush up on your French because the gang is going to Paris!