Sunday, December 04, 2005

Futakoi Alternative 13 (end)

The first episode of Futakoi Alternative blew me away--it was just incredible, the kind of episode you want to hold up as an example when people ask you what anime is. From there it shifted gears and for much of the middle of the series the action took a back seat, and the drama kicked in, although not at all in the way I expected. I expected a love triangle, with a resolution in the end where Rentarou picked Sara or Soujyu, but since Japan isn't Utah, I never expected in the end he'd effectively pick both. The drama wasn't the choice between the twins that I'd expected--instead, the drama came from Sara being separated from Soujyu and Rentarou, and their determination to restore their inseparable three together again. It's a little hard for me to understand personally, but after watching the last episode I have to agree with what the people of Nikotama said--society may have something to say about three people living together, but Rentarou, Sara, and Soujyu being together is fine with me. In a way I still feel like it's a cop-out ending, but maybe there are triangles that can be resolved by keeping them just as they are.

The last episode was a good mix of action in the first half and a good epilogue in the second half. It seems like a lot of people stopped following Futakoi Alternative in the middle, especially when Rentarou moped around aimlessly, but the ending was strong, and as a whole this is still one of the better anime series I've seen. The whole plot with the squid monsters may make some say WTF, but it wasn't really the point of the story, it was there to facilitate the drama.

Watching Futakoi Alternative felt like I was watching a real work of art at times, with the way they played with the camera angles, visual effects, and flashbacks. I still think if they'd kept up the energy of the first episode longer, and gone with a more traditional resolution to the love triangle, it could have been even better--but Futakoi Alternative wasn't trying to follow the pattern people expected. ufotable really showed what you can do with a renai game to anime series, and I can only hope in the future we see more series like it. Futakoi Alternative may not be perfect, but it was a hell of a fun ride to watch.

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