This is War!
If you have watched Hataage! Kemono Michi this far then the final two episodes won’t be any surprise to you. Genzo and Mao do finally have their rematch in a grand arena and most of the characters we’ve met along the way show up as either fighters in other matches or as spectators. There’s little here that we haven’t really seen before in terms of jokes and the like, but the story does at least resolve Mao’s feelings of resentment toward Genzo for ‘running away’ during their match where Genzo was transported to another world.
However there’s a few issues with these two episodes that keep it from being thoroughly entertaining. Sure you’ll get the odd chuckle from Shigure’s antics and depending on whether or not you enjoy watching Carmilla be the luckless loser you’ll get some enjoyment there, but there’s a number of issues, including the break-neck pacing as we tear through training, set-up and five matches across these two episodes.
One of the biggest issues would be the visuals. While Kemono Michi hasn’t exactly sold itself on stunning animation, the still frames and montages as we raced through the fights kind of plucked any excitement from them. It was more like watching a slide show of photos from someone who had watched the match with some audio over the top then actually animation. Normally this kind of thing doesn’t bother me when used in small doses, but as a season final it kind of killed the mood.
Basically Kemono Michi didn’t step things up for its final but delivered more or less what we’ve come to expect from it. For me that means this anime overall remains one that I don’t regret watching but I’ll probably forget it by the time I watch the next season final I’ve got lined up on my watch list. On that note, I should probably draft a whole series review before that happens.
In terms of the story being finished, Kemono Michi feels complete even though Genzo still hasn’t fully funded his pet shop and both he and Mao are still in the fantasy world. It feels done largely because there just doesn’t seem to be anything more they can do with these characters and this scenario. Even as it is the format was getting a little on the repetitive side. Hopefully this one doesn’t get a season two because then it can remain a fun enough isekai comedy for those in the mood for anime wrestling in a fantasy world.
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Images from: Hataage! Kemono Michi. Dir. K Miura. ENGI. 2019.