Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

12 April 2009: I wanted to say "Deus Ex Makina" in an entry about Shikabane Hime: Kuro

Makina is all about reaction shots. And bare asses. And punches to the face.

It turns out there wasn't a Deus Ex Machina in Shikabane Hime. But it did turn out that Shikabane Hime: Kuro is the best show from the Winter 2009 season. Yes, better than Toradora! (which I ranked fifth among shows I finished that season), and even better than the fifth season of Major. Being a Gainax show (at least in part), there was always the chance the Shikabane Hime ending would zoom in from left field, so I waited until I actually watched the last episode before making this pronouncement. FUNimation's official free subtitled stream beat both fansubbing groups to Kuro 12, so I watched it there.

Makina, Minai, and Ouri
Makina, Minai, and Ouri.

Some people have called the end of Shikabane Hime: Kuro a Gainax Ending anyway, but I don't consider that accurate at all. It's a little unusual, but it's nothing like the ending to The Melody of Oblivion (which was straight FAR OUT) or the ending to Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful (which was not only FAR OUT, but also enraged many viewers), for example.

Saki is a token character, but a good one.

Really, the joke's on me, because apparently the final episode of Kuro is actually the penultimate episode. Reportedly, the real last episode will be released with the final DVD. That's something of a relief, because Shikabane Hime: Kuro episode 12 concludes with some unfinished business, leading me to believe it was a "read the manga to find out what happens" ending—a task I was fully prepared to do.

Makina quietly watches over Keisei
Makina quietly watches over Keisei.

Incidentally, none of these screencaps are from that last episode. In fact, none of them are even from Kuro. I've been re-watching Shikabane Hime: Aka because another group is releasing episodes and I wanted to see if there were meaningful differences. I'm really enjoying these earlier episodes a lot more this time around because I'm picking up a lot of the clues and foreshadowing I missed originally.

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