This was originally a blog post found on my blog Moe Monster, but has been moved to Konseptual.com.
I’m a little angry with how A-Channel ended. I thought the series had its ups and downs, which is fine, but why did it wait to the very last episode to be at its absolute finest? I’ll have some thoughts about the finale, mixing in my overall thoughts and observations about the series.
Huh hoo hi hah hohi haha, ho hah, huhi, haheh, hoo!
The season finale, in my opinion, was probably the best episode of the series. It seemed to combine the drama, comedy and slice of life ingredients (all the components I’ve enjoyed the most) into one well executed, well paced episode. From Kamade-sensei’s lackadaisical approach to teaching, to Run’s speech (or lack thereof) after biting her lip, and to Yutaka, one of my favorites this season, all the jokes seemed to hit the mark. The quick pacing and the quality dramatic content in this last episode makes me wonder why they couldn’t have produced a better series overall.
The finale sort of ends much like it began, that from the Tooru-narrative. If you remember the first show, she was entering the same school as her best friend Run, but was feeling the separation in space and was also apprehensive of Run’s new older friends.
This last show shares a similar thread. They’ll all be advancing a grade and still in the same school, but for over-thinking Tooru, it’s all too easy to imagine the following year when Run will graduate along with Nagi and Yuuko, who she has gotten closer to over the length of the series.
Tooru-fans and supporting first years Miho (Miporin) and Yutaka.
There have a been a slew of new characters however since that first episode and they all make quality appearances in the finale, with the possible exception of Satou-sensei, who it seems they’ve learned to keep at arm’s reach of the student’s body. Student body. You know what I mean.
Yutaka and Miho were nice supporting characters and could easily be featured if they wanted to do more with the series. The teacher’s segments were pretty good, and I even got a kick out of seeing Tooru’s mom.
The scene at the burger restaurant was the most enjoyable in my opinion. The slice of life elements, when done well, were always high points of the season for me. Whether playing video games, playing in the snow, or sneaking into school at night, the relationships between the characters were pretty fun to watch.
Oh before I forget, Tooru’s dream sequence of particular note, was maybe one of the finer scenes in the whole series. “Earth had nice food! It was good!”
Run does a spot on Nagi Impression.
That being said, the show didn’t always try to emphasize the slice of life part of the show. Specifically earlier in the season, when the fan service took just as much priority as any character or plot development. It was almost as if they didn’t want to alienate the slice of life fan, while they also tried to appeal to the fan who wanted to see loli-style girls in school swimsuits and bloomers.
Overall, I’ll be sticking with my initial impressions of the show and call it mostly ok. It was sometimes good, but never great, but most important for me, it was always easy to watch.
The show looked good, but the color palette and backgrounds always seemed to overwhelm the simple and at times limiting character designs. I mean, how many ways could they animate Run being confused? Not too many, and throughout the entire series she spends about half the time with that same blank eyed (stupefied) look on her face.
Nagi, Run, Tooru & Yuuko one last time.
I would say the same about the voice acting. The main foursome were always ok. I don’t think I ever noticed anything horrid, but at the same time, I can’t remember ever marveling at their performances. In contrast the supporting cast, Kamade and Kitou sensei along with Yutaka were a lot more colorful.
The music. If you’ve read any of the previous A-Channel reviews, you know how I felt about the creepy inserted songs throughout the series. The lyrics have always creeped me out. It was as if they were written by a fat 52-year-old otaku describing how high school girls should feel. Creepy! In particular the song while they were cleaning the pool in episode 4. I really imagined the otaku-writer, writing that song while peeping through some middle school fence somewhere in Japan. I still haven’t gotten over it. The authorities should put that guy on the must-watch list.
I have always enjoyed the opening song along with the whole opening sequence, but the marketing push of the singer and song title in the OP left me keeping my hand on my wallet. The jokes on them though because there’s no money in there.
Ultimately, I’ve enjoyed watching A-Channel, but in an out-of-sight, out-of-mind way, the show will probably fade from my memories. Especially with the new season starting as it always does. This includes the characters themselves, who were done pretty well in the show’s environment, especially my Yuuko-angel, but honestly, they aren’t very memorable.
I’ll repeat what I said in the opening line of this post. This finale made me a little mad as it, by itself, lived up to the show’s potential. It’s just too bad it wasn’t completely representative of series as a whole.
Later! Have a good summer everyone!