English Dub Review: Conception “My Children, Thirteen of Them!?”

My number of aneurysms from watching this, Thirteen of Them?!

OVERVIEW (SPOILERS)

Itsuki continues his search for the thirteenth maiden but first has to fight the twelfth boss in the labyrinth. Not that anyone should get their hopes up because we are long past expecting this show to care about the boss fight parts of the game it’s adapting. Did you forget this is an adaptation of a video game that had a fighting element? Because I sure did, and so did this show because the fight is over in about a minute and a half. After this complete sharting away of the remaining animation budget, a beam of light erupts from the cave and blasts some part of the land, hopefully killing everyone painlessly so that we can end this on a happy note.

Well, no, it’s just never touched on what exactly it hit, but it basically means they definitely have to face one more monster, and thus the search for the thirteenth maiden resumes. But it won’t last for long, because the identity of the maiden is…Alfie! Did anyone see that coming? No one? Well, apparently Itsuki was supposed to see the hints in the opening despite the fact that Mana decides to waste literally everyone’s time both behind and in front of the fourth wall by having that queer-baiting episode last time, so I’m not sure who to hate more in this situation. Itsuki’s dumb as a sack of rocks already, but Mana basically did the equivalent of Lois Lane from Dawn of Justice throwing the Kryptonite spear in the water just so she could almost drown trying to get it back.

Oh wait, there’s actually a third person more to blame, and it’s Alfie! Turns out that she’s known she was the thirteenth maiden THE ENTIRE TIME but spends a good portion of the episode pussyfooting around instead of just being upfront despite the world being close to an apocalypse because she wants her first proper encounter to be cool and trendy because her dead dad gave her a videotape with a crappy soap opera on it and FUCK. MY. LIFE.

So they go back to her place, Itsuki puts on his stale charm but is surprised that the woman who’s been taking care of and raising the Star Children has a guidebook for how to use them, they do the deed, END OF EPISODE.

OUR TAKE

Well, I did not look forward to diving back into THIS insanity, but here we are. We’re in the final stretch of Conception, the series no one wanted to make, no one wanted to watch, and no one is talking about except with severe disdain and collective embarrassment. This week shows us the hypothetically long-awaited payoff to what these writers might qualify as a slow burn (assuming they were slowly burning away brain cells by overdosing on prescription drugs while writing this) for the series. As I said, we now know the episode before this was ENTIRELY pointless because of both Mana already knowing the thirteenth maiden was not, in fact, a dude, and because Alfie was being a petty, needy, asshole while her world faced destruction while she dragged her feet.

She’s not the only one guilty of that quality, considering how nearly every other girl knew full well about the urgency of the situation but still waited needlessly long to get their rituals over with, but this is pretty notable, considering she was privy to information pretty much no one other than her knew about there even BEING a thirteenth maiden. Somehow this NEVER comes up in the past nine episodes, even though she had every opportunity to come forward and say “hey, I have this mark that looks kind of like the other maidens’ marks, but is different. Does this mean anything?” Even worse with the actual explanation for that, as it’s more contrived BULLLLLLLSHIT about her love of idols from Earth, which she’s NEVER BROUGHT UP BEFORE NOW. Thank god it’s in the bag now because I can’t spend even one more second of my slowly draining life putting more thought into this than the people who made the show did.

Though this leaves two episodes remaining, and no reasonable expectations of anything good to come from them. Maybe they will devote the entire eleventh episode to the final boss fight, though that is likely just wishful thinking. Maybe they’ll bring Mahiru back into the focus so that she and Itsuki can admit their disgusting feelings for each other and…move to Alabama or something. Maybe Mana will turn out to be the villain and slaughter everyone. Regardless, it is completely easy to believe that this series (which finished in Japan weeks ago) is making it to high spots in almost everyone’s “Worst Anime of 2018” lists. And if you’ve ever wanted to see a snuff film in written form, join me as I try to watch the last two episodes before my brain bleeds too much.

Score
1/10

David Kaldor

Green Lynx (David Kaldor): Aimless 20-something given a paid outlet for his thoughts on cartoons. Fears being boring slightly more than being outright disliked.

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