Episode 12 Production Details
Episode Director: Rie Matsumoto (Episode Director on Yes! Precure 5 episodes 14 and 24 / Storyboard and Episode Director on Saint Seiya Omega episodes 3 and 10 / Series Composition and Storyboards on Kyousogiga)
Storyboards: Rie Matsumoto (Episode Director on Yes! Precure 5 episodes 14 and 24 / Storyboard and Episode Director on Saint Seiya Omega episodes 3 and 10 / Series Composition and Storyboards on Kyousogiga)
Script: Kazuhisa Furuya (Series Composition on Kekkai Sensen)
After that cliffhanger I would not have expected such a long wait on the finale. Three and half months later (October 3rd) the conclusion to this incredible supernatural series finally airs! The cause for the delay was because BONES originally intended on this finale to be longer than a thirty minute time-slot permits. Finding a broadcaster to air it can be problematic due to other series and programs signing for a specific time-slot, from weeks prior to even months ahead of air time. Typically, anime studios will delay an episode due to not finishing the animation in time. I would imagine that would cost them an additional fee or a recap episode. Now I can see why a recap episode was paramount to production. The question is does this long hiatus bode well for Kekkai Sensen‘s ending or does this tone down the excitement?
This had to be one of the best endings of 2015–BONES utilizing all of that extra time certainly paid off. Six animation supervisors, four assistant episode directors, 58 key animators, and 24 2nd key animators. Delivering jaw-dropping visuals throughout the entire 46 minute runtime! There wasn’t a single frame that contained a drop in quality! Terrific music including classical music references throughout. On a delivery front, the music was chosen wisely. The build up is strong from the first half! Showcasing at least the first five minutes or so of “Polovtsian Dances” from Alexander Borodin’s opera “Prince Igor”. Providing an emotionally-charged collection of scenes in order to build up Libra’s fight throughout the city and Klaus’ battle against the King of Despair.
Kekkai Sensen blew my expectations out of the water with this episode! Instead of adding in extraneous sub-plots to re-introduce Hellsalem’s Lot after a near 4-month absence the creators committed to the ending they intended on from the get-go. A story about love and peace [an honest homage to Trigun].
Mary and William were loved by their parents, that when the Great Collapse occurred they set up a barrier inside of White (Mary). Tragically we know now that she had actually died from the collapse and explains why throughout this series she can’t ever go outside Hellsalem’s Lot. This is where William comes in; why he wanted to keep her close inside the hospital at all times. The King of Despair’s presence explains why White betray’s Leonardo, offers the all-seeing Eyes of the Gods. Despair [inside of Black] shooting White in the chest removes any barrier that is left protecting the city is further indication that White knew exactly what and who she was from the very beginning that she met Leonardo. A nice tie-in to the first episode’s conclusion!
I wish they’d have given an episode focused solely on Chain Sumeragi. Her interactions with the rest of the cast are humors and it’d be great to see her backstory.
Remember the God of Chow back in episode 10? If you’ve been paying attention you’ll notice how Leo can perceive the dead. The finale, here, highlights this point and puts it right in front of us to understand that he’s more than just an ordinary guy. He’s something special and more a part of Libra than he ever has been before!
While this episode concludes White and Black’s story it does a fine job establishing that Leo’s story within Hellsalem’s Lot isn’t over. It is only just beginning. Both Leo and Black have confronted reality due to the choices they’ve made. A city that is between two worlds with varied aliens and humans living amongst the main cast shows how important the characterization in these series needed to be. As devastating it was to lose White for both of these men; this moment in the final scenes of Kekkai Sensen allows for them to become more human than they ever have before.
Rie Matsumoto is a spectacular director. She clearly is a fan of the old days of Japanese anime–Kyousougiga was loaded with a variety of colorful visual elements! The direction she chooses is spastic and very inventive. She came up with the story of White and Black for Kekkai Sensen and original creator Nightow oversaw the project! Her style has a similar fashion to GAINAX’s first few animated works especially Gurren Lagann. Also, I’d say that Kekkai Sensen is very reminiscent of Cutie Honey’s three-episode OAV opening sequence, how characters are introduced on-screen and how they interact with the world around them!
I believe this is one of the best anime narratives in recent years. They took an original adaptation and created a faithful interpretation based on Yasuhiro Nightow’s original manga. After seeing this, I’d like to see her adapt either Warainaku’s Keyman-The Hand of Judgment or re-adapt Atsushi Ōkubo’s Soul Eater.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10