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Dispite what most reviewers are saying I do not feel that the last volume of Gilgamesh was rushed. The ending fit the storyline beautifully. One has to remember that this anime is complex and deep, to only watch it once and say "well that was a crap ending" is not doing justice to the storytelling. I will advise that you read the episode 26 commentary that comes with the DVD insert. Gilgamesh is an anime that needs to be watched more than once to fully understand and appreciate the story.
I liked the look of this series and the overall storyline and characters, but this last disk was just beyond horrible as endings go. There was no payoff for watching the rest of the series. None of the dark innuendo came to any internally logical conclusion, and it would have been more meaningful to have not just gone the way of Shakespearean tragedy with the ending by leaving the characters in such a way as to illuminate the issues raised by the series, which would mean allowing them to live and have a redeemable future. I felt like the final episode was just a quick way to wrap things up in the requisite 26 episodes favored in East Asian TV and the plot twists were just for shock value, to surprise the audience, not because the storyline demanded it. I only gave it three stars because the first 6 disks are worth watching and are visually interesting (I haven't seen so much manga that I see all of it as derivative). Also, what's up with the disk inserts that tell you every detail of the plot before you've even seen it? It's purpose was also lost on me. So the bottom line is to return to Storycraft 101.
As Volume 7 opens, Fuko and Isamu have left the Countess' hotel to strike out on their own without telling anyone if or when they'll be back. The fact that all the Orga are clones was a little difficult for them to accept. Kiyoko, impregnated with the child of a Gilgamesh has been covered in a secreted shell within which there is no telling if she is dead or alive OR something else. There's always the danger that Kazamatsuri might try to kill the Orga kids if he sees them as a threat. But he knows that Gilgamesh will be drawn to the hotel, so he sets up forces for the final showdown there, bringing in weapons that he believes can kill even their anti-matter bodies. What he doesn't know is that Gilgamesh has been given new powers to overcome their susceptitude to "Lapis Warka", which was the equivalent to kryptonite for them.
Even though this was a long series, I felt that these last three episodes were rushed, especially the final episode. It reminded me of the end of Wolf's Rain, another anime that was brillant up until the last disk, where it rapidly imploded in senseless deaths and enigmatic endings. I had to work on getting past the low production values of Gilgamesh. The animation is just completely terrible and hearkens back to the days of Gatchaman. Actually, that early 1970s show looked better than this one. The tendency to make all the characters look like walking snakes really took away from their individuality and reminded me of some manga where the cast is so statuesque and so Michelangelo's David that in real life these people would not be able to take a step without breaking. As far as the story of Gilgamesh, I thought it was interesting up until this last volume. In retrospect, Volume 6 seems to me the climax. This last dvd is just to show some fighting and inject a failed attempt to make Gilgamesh seem like an important work with its cryptic portents and murky literary symbolism. Good show but will leave you wanting a clearer ending.
While the conclusion may seem a bit rushed, every important character's intentions are explained sufficiently, most importantly those of Enkidou, the Countess, and Tatsumari - the most puzzling and mysterious characters in the series. The origin of the Gilgamesh is revealed, and we finally get to see the Professor (and his gang) duke it out with Tatsumari and Tatsuya (and their gangs). What's not to like?
I feel like this disc fits well with the mood of the whole series, and the tragic conclusion is an indication that the Japanese understand that not everything turns out all warm and fuzzy in the end, and generally things are more interesting when they go wrong. Besides, the series wasn't written for sentimental Americans, but rather for a Japanese audience which tends to appreciate depravity and tragedy.
Really, what else can we expect from a show that starts the 7-disc series with the title "Orphans of the Apocalypse"?
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