English Dub Review: Senran Kagura “HOMETOWN”

Time go home and put this show to rest.

Overview (Spoilers Below)

Fubuki and Yumi continue their fight while the rest of the shinobi take on her powerful youma. Even though the youma has a noble aim, to repay Fubuki for saving her mother’s life, Asuka and the others can’t let her destroy all the shinobi. The shinobi transform and begin to do battle, each of them using their own techniques to powerful effect, allowing Asuka to use her sealing technique. However, the youma breaks out of it in a monstrous rage and transforms into a more beastly form. Yet, Homura and Asuka are able to combine their strength with two sealing techniques combined.

Meanwhile, Yumi is dealt a severe blow and plunged into the icy lake beneath her. Things look bad, but Gekkou and Senkou arrive to try and reason with Fubuki and “Save” her from herself. Fubuki rejects their help, however, insisting that its far too late, and that Yumi is dead. Back in the other fight, the sealing power of Homura and Asuka combined isn’t enough, but Miyabi adds her strength as well and is able to seal the beast at last.

Yumi emerges from the ice to fight Fubuki once more, and with the power of justice on her side, she fells Fubuki once and for all. Standing over her defeated foe, Yumi gives Fubuki the charm she dropped during their fight and departs with her friends for home. The Sun rises over Fubuki, whose fate is left unknown.

Things return to normal for the shinobi, who resume their Christmas festivities, training and earning money. Yumi meets Fubuki on the street, who seems to have let her grudge towards shinobi go. She gives Yumi her charm as a farewell present and leaves with Senkou and Gekkou in tow. Yumi takes the sword off the charm and gives it to Asuka, while she keeps the sword part.

The two head home, discussing what kind of shinobi they want to be, affirming their roles in life as ninjas.

Our Take:

Well, this marks the end of the odd duckling that was Senran Kagura Shinobi Masters, the only anime I’ve seen that uses all-caps for its episode titles. Things have been wrapped up pretty nicely here, finishing off the strange journey that this season has taken us on with a treatise on the power of one’s personal justice, friendship and all that fun business you’ve seen a thousand times before. There isn’t much to say here, other than everything goes about how you’d expect it to. There are no new major developments in the plot other than finishing up what had already been set in motion, meaning that if you’ve got working eyeballs I doubt there’s anything that’s going to surprise you about this episode. Actually, what is surprising is the episode’s level of restraint in keeping the cast mostly clothed for the entirety of the episode. (Well, at least until the end credits)

So, how does it all play out? Admittedly, when all is said and done, there isn’t anything offensive or ridiculous present that would make watching this episode a chore. The fights, while minimal in substance are well-animated enough to feel important, while the character interactions are decent and go well with the themes present in the show so far. Whether or not you’re going to dig all this is directly related to how much you’re invested into the show already and if you enjoy the story that it’s been telling. Personally, I found it to be shallow, cheap and melodramatic the whole way through. The story appeared to be little more than a framework to add a little drama to getting everyone’s clothes off, without doing anything challenging or exciting. After all, why waste time with an imaginative story when you can just use a grab bag of cliches and tropes and supplement that with well-endowed anime bosoms?

What can you really expect from a show like this? Was there ever a chance that this season finale was going to dazzle and excite when this show has been taking the low road to get views for 12 straight weeks? No, not really. It’s simple, its basic, the characters make sense, and it has some heartwarming qualities to it if you can look past the stiff dialogue. This episode doesn’t warrant strong feelings in any particular direction other than relief that this show will soon be lost to time, or at least until, god forbid its next season.

Score
5/10

Erich Hau

Erich is a northern California based writer on the front lines of the nerd frontier. When he's not burning the midnight oil he enjoys musicals, smooth jazz, and a good cup of dark roast. Cream and sugar not included.

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