I am fine with an anime series wanting to leave room for a sequel. I’ve even come to accept anime that exist just to promote source material and so never actually intend to adapt a full story. But anime like Seirei Gensouki that just stop practically mid-sentence and not only don’t resolve existing issues but actually throw more in to the final few minutes are really just kind of annoying.
It’s like someone gave you a book but ripped out the second half so you get through what you have and it just stops.
Absolutely spoilers below.
We’ve arrived at the end of Seirei Gensouki
In fairness to Seirei Gensouki, they do at least close a loop with Rio returning to rescue Celia and succeeding (like that was in any doubt given Rio hasn’t actually faced anything that even vaguely presented a challenge since the first episode). It would have been nice if this rescue had in any way felt rewarding or like somehow Rio had gained something by doing it, or even if the characters had been able to spend a moment actually enjoying the success.
Instead, the final episode of Seirei Gensouki has all these coloured lights shooting into the sky, plays the closing credits, then we see a sequence where some Japanese kids are getting attacked in this fantasy world, loaded onto carts, Rio comes and does some violence and reaches out to cute girl who is probably childhood friend because he really needed yet another additional to his harem.
In case it sounds like I’m being snarky, I kind of am.
You can forgive a lot in some anime provided it remains kind of fun to watch. While generic overpowered protagonists who are nice to all the girls feature far too often in isekai stories provided there’s enough else it can still hold your interest.
What I won’t forgive is utterly inept story-telling now it is clear that the anime of Seirei Gensouki has no clue how to create or capitalise on dramatic tension, has no desire to actually flesh out characters, and even the world building has been ploughed through so quickly that those in the audience who are experiencing this story for the first time (such as myself who has not read the source) kind of feel like we’ve gotten the cliff-notes version of what should actually be a fairly rich fantasy world filled with some interesting magical lore.
At every point prior, there was a chance that once Seirei Gensouki found its feet it could overcome these issues. But with the final episode of the season airing more or less doubling down on every issue the series has had (poor, wooden villains, overpowered MC with limited personality or clear motive, supporting cast who mostly stand around and do little, plot that seems to be character goes from here to here, and mystery of the whole being reborn thing utterly unaddressed), episode 12 more or less serves as an object lesson of everything wrong with the anime.
When I go to review the whole series, I will actually revisit the positives, because there was some fun to be had on this journey, but right now I just watched a final episode that left a foul taste in my mouth so I’m really not in the mood to play nice.
Charles remained pathetic at every step of this final episode and truly displayed his full range of incompetence. As did most the soldiers who were the worst kind of mindless mob that Rio more or less just jumped over. That was when they weren’t shooting the houses of their own citizenry.
We did get one vaguely decent fight when Alfred took on Rio in the street but rather than offering any resolution here Seirei Gensouki left it more or less a draw with Rio leaving the scene and Alfred searching but not finding him.
Even red-eyed villain who has been kind of drifting through this whole story kind of launched one attack but mostly just watched everything unfold.
With so many characters standing around passively or uselessly, there’s little to say other than Rio came to the wedding, kidnapped the bride, ran away and escaped the entire army (that’s got to hurt the kingdom’s credibility). And rather than dealing with any of this, we instantly move onto a totally different plot point and then the episode ends.
Oh well, I guess I could always read the books and find out how this story is actually supposed to go.
Images from: Seirei Gensouki. Dir. O Yamasaki. TMS Entertainment. 2021
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