What’s the show? Release The Spyce, Episode 12 (Finale).
So how’s this episode? As an episode of Release The Spyce, its fine, it’s good, it’s sometimes even great, it’s everything I expect from this show up to this point. But that’s also a problem, allow me to explain.
Please do. So last episode we had the reveal that Yuki was still alive after the previous episode showed her getting a decisive chop across the chest by the villain. And as you recall I was pretty much okay with it for an admittedly flimsy reason that being I liked Momo and didn’t want her to be sad. This episode we get the reveal that ~everyone else~ who was presumed dead from Episode 10 is also alive and no worse for wear as it was all part of an elaborate plot. Also Mei isn’t actually a traitor and was just playing a double agent.
Ah… so no one is actually harmed or dead or traitorous and everything is all fine then? Pretty much.
And I take it you’re not okay with that turn of events? As I said up top, it’s fine, it is what it is, I can be happy about it, but I’m also disappointed at what I see as squandered potential. This series could have positioned itself at having real stakes, but as of the final episode I think the only person confirmed dead is Yuki’s mentor and that happened in a flashback. I’m not saying I wanted this to be a gritty and depressing spy thriller but even in the most light-hearted and ridiculous James Bond films people die, on both the good and the bad side.
I see you invoking the James Bond comparison again… And it’s apt, not only did this plot to turn the population into mindless, controllable puppets through mass release of a gas feel like it was ripped straight from a Bond film but they even reference one of the most famous James Bond moments from ‘Goldfinger’ when the countdown timer is stopped with ‘0:07’ seconds remaining.
But you talk about potential like you think you know better than the creators of the show? What if their intention was to make a light-hearted James Bond inspired romp with cute anime girls and not a lot of consequences? Then mission accomplished, I suppose. I just think taking the safe route out was the less satisfying choice from a narrative perspective and for engendering any longevity on the show’s behalf. Had it committed to at least one character death or betrayal, I’d be applauding its bravery. Heck, even if they had the balls to go through with the scene that took up the most time in this episode I might be complaining less but they even backed down on that one too!
What scene are you talking about? Towards the end of the episode there’s a lengthy and heartfelt exchange between Momo and Yuki where Yuki has chosen to ‘end’ her life as a spy (as she has the option to do) by erasing her memories of her time in Tsukikage. Momo is understandably distraught at the thought of losing her mentor and best friend, but Yuki thinks it’s time for her to move on and for Momo to get an apprentice of her own. It’s all very emotional and ends with the two spending the night in each other’s arms on the beach until Momo is ‘ready’ to pull the trigger on her mentor with the memory erase bullets. This was a great and powerful scene except flashforward to 9 months later, Momo is training her own apprentice and happens to pass by Yuki on their morning run. Momo is caught off-guard by the sudden appearance but nonetheless goes about her business and then Yuki gives a wry smile as if to suggest that the memory erasure didn’t work (or was faked) all along.
And? And don’t you think that’s frustrating?! It meant all that emotional build-up was a lie on Yuki’s end because she never intended to actually lose her memories and she made Momo cry her eyes out for nothing! Yes, of course Momo had to move on and become a mentor herself but it’s just another example of this show building up high drama with a ~supposedly~ impactful moment, only for it to negated by a later reveal where everything is more or less the same as it was before.
Fair enough. So anything else you wanted to add? I always tend to complain more and louder when it’s a show that has potential and has great characters and chooses to take the ‘easy route’ instead of doing something more deep and complex. And I don’t want to see anyone say “oh it’s because its a cute girls show first and a spy show second that it didn’t take any risks” because there have been CGDCT shows that took a risk and stepped outside the comfort zone of their genre to great effect. As it stands this will just be an entertaining diversion that did little to push the envelope of either genre spy or CGDCT and ended up poorer for it. I still love the characters though…
Previous Release The Spyce Reviews:
The Spies Who Kawaii’d Me – Episode 1 Review
License To Kawaii – Episode 2 Review
Kawaii Another Day – Episode 3 Review
Live And Let Kawaii – Episode 4 Review
For Your Kawaii’s Only – Episode 5 Review
Kawaii Friends Are Forever – Episode 6 Review
GoldenKawaii – Episode 7 Review
Tomorrow Never Kawaii’s – Episode 8 Review
On Her Kawaii Secret Service – Episode 9 Review
Kawaiifall – Episode 10 Review
You Only Kawaii Twice – Episode 11 Review
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Categories: Fall 2018 Anime