Kuragehime Episode 11 (Final)

Sorry for the delay with this review, I actually only got to watch the episode today due to The Internet Going Bad for a bit.

With the first jellyfish-dress finished, Tsukimi goes into ‘awakened’ mode and is able to make another one…at the expense of Kuranosuke’s available dresses. Meanwhile back at Amamizukan, it turns out the tarp around the house was a false alarm and that the developers made a mistake; it was a different house to be pulled down that day. But the days of Amamizukan are still numbered. Meanwhile again, Shuu has decided to tag along on a business trip with Negishi, while Shouko has decided to leave in shame after realizing she may have fallen in love with Shuu. Coincidentally, they end up on exactly the same flight…
Then with both dresses finished, the girls enter them in a fashion contest hosted by none other than the model in the last episode who was so taken by Banba’s afro. The dresses are a resounding success and win multiple awards and the opportunity to expand the brand…and what’s more, Chieko’s mother has come home to let her know that she never intended to sell Amamizukan in the first place.

...Tsukimi looked pretty creepily happy to be cutting.
Amamizukan hard at work... that green one on the floor near Mayaya is all sad-face :C
LOL Chieko's face.

Gah this episode was rushed, but it also didn’t feel remotely like a final episode. I hope this means there will be a second season because honestly, if I didn’t know this was the last one I certainly wouldn’t have thought so. It’s a cosy ending place for a first season – Tsukimi’s dress getting recognition, but there are a mass of loose threads that they didn’t even try to tie up. Almost the whole anime we were focusing on this Shuu-Tsukimi-Kuranosuke love triangle thing, but he was barely in this episode at all, and when he was, he was going to another country. With Shouko (unintentionally). What happens to them on the trip? We don’t find out. They’re just loose ends that are kind of really annoying, and not just because Shuu is my favourite character. It was as though they just abandoned that major plot at the last minute and couldn’t be bothered to clean things up. (But, none of this will matter if there’s a second season of course) Not only is there no resolution given to the romance aspect, no one ever did find out Kuranosuke was a boy after all, which I was kind of waiting for all along. (Also, I wanted to see the mysterious BL mangaka…)
I also had a bit of an issue with the kind of rushed deux ex machina of Chieko’s mother revealing she wasn’t going to sell the house. Does this mean that them selling Tsukimi’s dress isn’t even necessary at all…? It seemed like a bit of a copout, and also as though the director really, really wanted 12 or 13 episodes rather than 11.

Bitching aside, the episode was charming as usual, and the artwork seems to have gotten a lot better than it has been recently. The music, particularly in the scenes with Kuranosuke wearing the dress, was also quite gorgeous. It’s very, very sad to see this anime end, and I’m hoping like mad it isn’t really the end (because nothing really ended!). There’s still the manga at least, which I have yet to read but am definitely picking up now.

Out of 5,

The jellyfish princess.
d'aaw Tsukimi looks so oddly cute here.
Tsukimi's face when she remembered it's the last episode.
aaand Chieko's mother looks exactly the same as her, wut.

Final Thoughts:

It doesn’t matter if I found this episode a little patchy and rushed, this is, definitely, without a doubt, my Anime of 2010. (I’d give the runner up to Baka to Test for pure enjoyment’s sake)  It’s been a while since I’ve watched an anime that I enjoyed quite on the same level as this one. It’s the rare ‘otaku’ anime that isn’t remotely fan-pandering – since it started out as a josei manga, after all, and has a level of sophistication that one wouldn’t expect from ‘a girl in a household of female otaku meets a crossdresser”. Yet, it’s never pretentious and inaccessible in this sophistication…rather, it’s much more simple and sweet. Tsukimi is a lovely and adorable character, the supporting cast are well-developed and fascinating in their individual ways, and everyone just seems so real.
My biggest concern was that it was going to be an ugly duckling story, with Tsukimi becoming beautiful in order to ‘get the man’, so I was really surprised that this wasnt the case. Tsukimi does become ‘beautiful’ from time to time, but it’s more like a transformation technique to fit a purpose..which is actually quite realistic. Mean, but realistic. It’s how the world works; people are going to take the snappy-dressed girl way more seriously than the geeky girl in a tracksuit. I can speak from first-hand experience. But Tsukimi’s personality is never compromised, and the overall ‘message’ was quite inspirational: she had the talent, she just needed the confidence to get it out there so it can be of use to her.
Relatable characters! Realistic emotions! Comedy! Drama! Why is this so underrated? If its underratedness impedes it’s chances at a second season, I’m going to be seriously questioning the tastes of ‘most anime fans’ for a long time.
Out of 5 for the whole series,

2 thoughts on “Kuragehime Episode 11 (Final)

  1. qqq January 8, 2011 / 12:22 am

    what? End in the eleven ep?

    • moeronpan January 8, 2011 / 12:24 am

      Sadly, yes. I’m hoping for season 2, otherwise there’s just the manga. (which I’m going to read regardless)

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