THEY EXCHANGED GIFTS AND HELD HANDS AND CALLED EACH OTHER BY THEIR GIVEN NAMES!!! THAT’S JUST LIKE GETTING MARRIED!
Seriously, I was expecting Saki and Nodoka to finally drop pretext and just start sucking each others faces off, but they stopped short of that one.
But, yeah, it was the last episode, which means that not a whole lot happened – there were hotsprings and bathing and some wacky hijinks and a laugh at Kyoutaro’s expense and Touka and precious little Mah Jong, but other than that and the Saki/Nodoka stuff, not a whole amount in terms of what could be considered development. Oh, I suppose there was some stuff about Teru ignoring Saki’s existence as well.
Then we hit the ending credits, where it suddenly jumps to the Nationals and gives us something like a potted highlight reel of what we may be getting assuming Gonzo survive long enough to produce another series – dozens of new characters, including what seems to be a all-Miko school, and more excitingly what appears to be the promise of Teru TEARING OUT YUUKI’S VERY SOUL in what’s perhaps the most insane display of Mah Jong yet.
By which I mean to say, the ending credits looked approximately three to seven times more crazy, and therefore more awesome, than the rest of the series which proceeded it, and ending on such a note is just an incredibly cruel move by the production team. What a bunch of jerks.
With that, the series is over, and I’m now left wondering what on Earth I’m going to write about for the next few months. I am left which a huge, gaping whole in my soul which will no longer be filled on a weekly basis. Well, that’s what those who seem to think I’m obsessed with the show would probably think I’m going through. In reality, I’m more curious as to what the dozen Fall ’09 shows Crunchy will be broadcasting are. Hopefully Railgun. Probably Arashi.
So, I guess there’s just one final matter to address – was Saki the best thing Gonzo has ever produced? Objectively? No. Subjectively? No again – my vote still goes for Monte Cristo. Saki is most definitely up there with the studios best, though – despite the fact that the studio appears to be collapsing all around it, the show did somehow manage to get through without plummeting production values. The consistently decent animation alone is kind of enough to make it one of the best Gonzo productions ever (even if they didn’t actually do the production/animation work for the second half). I think the fact that they managed to steer clear of the usual Gonzo obsession with wrapping things up probably helped a lot as well – despite the fact that they’d ran out of manga material, that they didn’t go too far off onto their own route in an ill-conceived attempt to provide some sense of finality makes it a welcome oddity amongst Gonzo’s manga adaptations.