English Dub Review: Listeners “Hello, Goodbye”

 

Overview (Spoilers Below):

Using Mu as its vessel, Listeners is bent on destroying the world. Only one person stands between the Earless and annihilation — Echo. Now that he’s myterisouly sprouted a Player jack on his back, he’s taken control of the AC30 and challenged Mu to put a stop to all this chaos.

In the end, it is his words that break through to her, not his battling. After spilling his guts about how it doesn’t matter if she’s a nobody and that everyone is special and valuable, the Earless start to sing a song and the humans realize that maybe they aren’t so different after all.

Our Take:

Well, here it is… the epic finale of Listeners. For a show that’s juggled so many different topics, characters, and settings, it’s a relatively subdued 20 minutes of television, without much in the way of flashy visuals or bombastic explosions. Instead, the series tries to wrap things up in a more philosophical way that doesn’t quite hit home like it should.

The first half of Hello, Goodbye takes place on the battlefield as Listeners prepares to unleash its power on the mortal realm. After everyone else has failed, Echo finally shows up plugged in and ready to rumble. There isn’t much worthwhile about the fight scenes, though, as they’re pretty uninspired for the most part. I still love the character designs, but the overall quality of animation has certainly taken a hit from the initial few episodes.

It really takes half of the episode for things to get going. After ten minutes of posturing and almost but not quite breaking through, Echo finally is able to tell Mu what’s in his heart. It’s a passionate monologue that is a good summation of the problems the show has — it sounds good at first, but doesn’t really mean anything below the surface.

Much like the show’s pleasing visuals early on, Echo talking about peace and love and harmony sounds nice. He tells Mu that she’s gotten it wrong, and that this struggle for meaning she’s been going through is the meaning itself. Realizing that she has inherent worth, Listeners/Mu is able to shake off the bad vibes. But despite only a bit of monologuing from Echo, everything wraps up quickly after that.

In a few minutes of epilogue, we learn that the Earless live in harmony with mankind now. In fact, they look just like them except for the horns and the dark, soulless eyes. How are they being integrated? What is the process like them coming to live on Earth? What about those who won’t tolerate them? Those questions go unanswered as we get some brief scenes to end character arcs, like how Nir’s Londinium friends are randomly back and alive somehow.

It’s a confusing resolution to a pretty monotonous episode. Nothing exciting or unexpected occurred. Of course Mu survived thanks to Echo’s words. The Earless go largely unexplained except for the fact that they’re similar to humans on the inside. It’s a disappointing finale for a show that I thought had a lot of potential at the beginning.

Caleb

graphic designer, writer, and animation addict. when i'm not writing words about my favorite shows, you can usually find me skulking about on Twitter. if you want, leave a comment or send me a tweet; i'd love to chat!

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