Allow me to reiterate…
Well, that… was every bit as random and confounding as the previous episode. So, let’s talk about these, I guess. The finale sets up a situation in which the world is gradually becoming more and more consumed by anime. Minoa is somehow immune to this effect, so it’s all on her to save reality. Remember when this show was just about a bunch of lovable otakus, talking about anime? Now, to be fair, I’m not overly certain that would be able to hold my attention for an entire season, charming or not. But this is definitely the most extreme deviation I could have imagined.
Everything about this finale is sheer madness. But that’s the point. Nothing makes sense. And while I’d be perfectly fine if that was simply true of the world, it, unfortunately, affects the narrative as well. I’m perfectly fine with everything devolving into animated chaos. But the plot should still remain followable in such a scenario. The plot here isn’t terribly convoluted in terms of what Minoa has to do in order to save the world. But it is confusing in regards to what’s actually happening around that aspect. Yes, the world’s become insane, but then there’s all this stuff about everything falling apart and people being erased and… it’s just a bit much. And things aren’t really explained very well.
The climax of the episode comes with an admittedly nice speech on Minoa’s part about what all she’s learned from her classmates (take notes, Konohana Kitan), and then there are callbacks to things from the majority of the series up to that point. along with yet another shameless Gurren Lagann reference for good measure. But the conclusion is just as confusing as… well… everything else. It seems to reset time, itself, to where things started at episode one… also throwing in another character who is never explained. But they never have any lines, so… yeah. And now the world’s all perfect and stuff. And even Minoa doesn’t seem to remember what’s happened.
If I had to guess, I’d say that the finale is supposed to be an allegory for people who allow anime to consume their lives. They shun all aspects of the real world and everything becomes anime for them. Sort of like a “tame” version of what that anime music video Me!Me!Me! is actually about, just from the outsider’s perspective. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check that out for yourself. It’s fascinating. Though I should warn that it comes with a considerably NSFW warning (and yes, you do need to watch the video to get it). That said, I could be completely wrong, and it’s possible it has nothing to do with that at all. But that’s the nearest thing I can come up with as to the meaning behind this madness. It’s either that or it’s intended to be a deconstruction of the very concept of “jumping the shark.” Though I kind of prefer the former.
Overall, if that’s what this is about, then I have to admit that it painted that picture in a fairly unique way. But it’s still a bit on the difficult-to-follow side of things. Me!Me!Me! is madness, but there’s a method to its madness. With a little attention, you can pretty easily pick out the narrative and what it’s saying. This is different in that I’ve now watched the finale more than once and I’m still not entirely certain that that’s even what’s happening, here. So with that in mind, I’m just going to stand by what I said before. The finale of Anime Gataris is far from terrible, at least for me, though I struggle to call it “good.” I do rather like the randomness to an extent. But I certainly don’t like endings that do the whole “reset button” thing. It’s certainly the definition of an anime that makes me say “What The Heck Did I Just Watch?“ If you’d prefer something that makes sense the first time around, check out EvilBob’s latest recap of Mahoutsukai no Yome.
Or maybe you’ll be able to make some sense of this. Possibly even enjoy it quite a lot. If you want to see for yourself, Anime Gataris is available in full on Crunchyroll.