Bringing Back Smiles Through Over-Simplification

The Price of Smiles Post Title Image

The Price of Smiles Episode 12 Review

Well we have come to the end and I can say with confidence at least that this anime concludes its story. The fact that it does so through over-simplifying the situation in the extreme and relies on cute girls smiling to sell the solution is kind of a point against it, but at least we aren’t left hanging for a sequel that probably would never have happened.

The Price of Smiles Episode 12 Stella

I’m going to really try to avoid spoilers, but we kind of new the end The Price of Smiles had in store for us at the end of the last episode. There aren’t any particular curve balls in this episode with the character who was clearly going to die following through beautifully in doing so, those who were always going to survive also doing so even against sensible reason, and Yuki’s vision achieved and any negative consequences played down to a ridiculous extent.

The Price of Smiles Episode 12 Yuki and Layla

That doesn’t stop it being a perfectly sound ending. It takes the tone, ideas, and characters from the series and finalises it in a way not so many anime manage, so even though the word ‘trite’ is springing to mind when describing this ending, at least I am not left annoyed that plot threads were just never addressed or that characters seemed to serve no purpose. In fact, other than the fact that this narrative ended up being fairly ordinary despite having the potential to go into so much more, they never seemed to bite off more than they could chew and this ending makes it clear they were never planning to be that ambitious.

The Price of Smiles Episode 12 Yuki and Stella

I will fault Yuki as a character though. Without to much detail, she is put in a position where she needs to get Stella onside and her arguments are around peace and smiles. That’s all well and good but why not use the one compelling argument that has been revealed? If they don’t stop the chrars the entire eco-system is going to collapse and everyone will be dead anyway regardless of who wins the war. This would have been a much more compelling reason for an enemy to suddenly assist and would have made the whole shoe-horned in environmental narrative actually become more than just an add on to the anti-war stance this war focused anime seemed to be taking.

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Anyway, I’ll get to a full review soon as this is the first of my Winter anime to be completed, and I’ll look more at what the series did and didn’t accomplish then. However, in terms of being interesting and watchable, The Price of Smiles has succeeded, even if it didn’t do much beyond that.

The Price of Smiles Episode 11
Back to the picture – yep everyone except Yuki died. The message? Don’t stand in a photo with Yuki.

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Karandi James

8 thoughts on “Bringing Back Smiles Through Over-Simplification

  1. Did you see the end of the most recent incarnation of Battlestar Galactica? It had the same kind of Luddite ending as this show.

    Nick’s comment is spot on. Just destroying the most technological weapon means the people holding the biggest sticks are now in charge.

    “If they don’t stop the chrars the entire eco-system is going to collapse and everyone will be dead anyway regardless of who wins the war.”

    That could have been a compelling message. Topical, too!

    And is it just me, or did the last two or three episodes change animation teams? I’m not faulting the teams, but the animation style looked very different…

    1. I don’t know if it changed animation style but it was definitely rough looking toward the end. Not the fights, they still kind of worked, but when the characters were more distant they were very sketchy looking for the last few episodes.
      And yes, I wish they had actually dealt with the environmental ramification, given they raised it and then just kind of dropped that plot thread like they didn’t know what to do with it.
      In answer to your question, I didn’t get very far into the new Battlestar. I’m a fan of the original because I watched it with my parents growing up (we used to borrow the tapes from the video shop over holidays and binge). The new one just wasn’t battlestar.

      1. “The new one just wasn’t battlestar.”

        ^^ This.

        The original was so cheesy, a true space opera. The new version, on top of silly plot holes and plot devices, tried to be entirely too serious. I suspect that original was based on the Mormon diaspora may have contributed to the rewrite as well.

        1. Too many modern ‘retellings’ either try to be serious or dark when the original was just kind of fun. Yeah, Battlestar was kind of lame, but that’s what made it so great to watch.

  2. Wasn’t a huge fan of the show overall but I stuck with it to the end. I had a hard time being convinced that everyone just made up after the war and things become all nice again. I mean they were just trying to kill each other and now they’re all friends? Maybe I’d coming at this from a different angle, but I just felt it was a little hard to believe that everything wrapped up so nicely after all is said and done. Yeah they stopped the chrars, but Yuki pretty much sent the whole damn planet back into the stone age in the process, so now it’s going to be another fight for resources and trying to stay ahead in a world that can’t rely on technology anymore. They had a moment in the epilogue showing some civil unrest happening, I’d assume that would be where things go as people struggle to adapt to the new ways of living.

    Anyways, sorry for the mini rant. Was an alright show, but not one I’ll look back fondly on.

    Also, everyone had bad hair too.

    1. Everyone had terrible hair.
      And yes, it was a really overly simple ending. Too many issues that needed to be addressed just weren’t or were glossed over. I still wish this series had more time to properly deal with all the issues it raised rather than just ‘fixing’ everything magically and then we all become friends.

    1. I think they had plenty of ideas, too many, and they realised that and so just dealt with stopping the robots because that was the easiest thing to wrap up in this final episode.

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