And just like that, it’s all over.
Overview (Spoilers Below)
The forces of Chaos are on the verge of destroying the world once and for all with the power of the keystone that wacky old Grumman and his weird scientist daughter are about to unleash. Chihiro and the remaining members of the Heroic Lineage are out to stop them and put an end to this nasty business once and for all.
Chihiro goes up against Kark while the other three set out for Chaos HQ to stop the keystone from exploding. Kark is a vicious fighter and summons another dragon to help him take Chihiro down. Kark nearly kills Chihiro with his blood scythe, but as he’s about strike our hero down, Chihiro enters into another dream state where he speaks with Dux once more. Dux explains that all the crazy dreams Chihiro’s been having are not dreams, but visions of alternate timelines. She explains that there are multiple universes where these events have occurred, over and over again in different ways. With this revelation in mind, Chihiro emerges from his vision and cuts off Kark’s hands, ending his musical career in one strike.
Meanwhile, Grumman loses his shit while watching his daughter Mitsuki, who is actually a doll replica of his actual dead daughter, set the keystone to open the gate. Mitsuki taunts Grumman, saying she never really loved him, but Grumman can’t handle it. Just then, Koume bursts in and pummel Mitsuki into submission, but not in time to stop the gate from opening.
All the while, Kotetsu and Tsubaki fight against the hordes of flying monsters polluting the skies. They’re nearly overtaken when Suruga and Julia show up at the last minute to help them out. With the gate open wide above the city, all seems lost, but Dux informs Chihiro that he can stop the gate by sacrificing himself inside it since he’s the Lord of Vermillion. He tries to do just that, but Yuri tries to stop him. Chihiro eventually convinces her to let him do it, but only if she can go with him. The two fly into the gate together, but Chihiro drops her at the last minute, sparing her life while he sacrifices himself.
So, yeah, just like that, the whirlwind of anime craziness that is Lord of Vermillion comes to a swift and strange end. As far as climaxes go, the ending to a series can only be as good as the story that preceded it. This means, of course, that this episode can only be so good since this series has been an exploding dumpster fire for the past 11 episodes. For an ending, its functional, I suppose. It does end the show, it does actually finish out the plot, as scattered and half-baked as it is, but that doesn’t mean its worth watching.
There’s a whole lot that this episode tries to get accomplished in a very short span of time. With only 22 minutes to work with, Lord of Vermillion seeks to not only end the show but also put into context the insanity that its peddled over its duration. This means that we don’t get a lot of attention on any particular aspect of the plot and that nothing too unexpected happens. It was something of a twist for Dux to reveal that there were multiple universes involved in this story, but this revelation comes so late to the game that it doesn’t really have any bearing on the story. Chihiro would have sacrificed himself to save the world regardless, so there isn’t a point in discovering the multiple universes. Well, except to try and score some cheap points for shock value, of course.
The entire sequence with Grumman discovering this “Doll” he’s created has turned against him is just…weird. Grumman’s character has had so little development over the story that seeing him go crazy like this has no real thematic meaning. You could drop this entire plotline from the story and nothing of consequence would change. Not to mention, the Mitsuki doll only showed up a couple episodes ago, so it’s not as if there’s any reason to care what she has to say anyway.
And that’s the running problem with this entire episode. No matter what the story tries to do, there is the undercurrent of pointlessness that plagues it the whole way through. One gets the feeling that none of this really matters that much in the first place, not to the story or even the people that made this series. It feels cold and obligatory like we’re just running the paces so this god-forsaken series can end. Thank goodness it finally has.