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Non-endings might be annoying, but Arata Kanagatari is one of few series that can pull it off.
Out of all the anime to air in the Spring 2013 season, none gave off the feeling of wanting more episodes than Arata Kangatari. A series that refused to alter its pace or any part of its style, even in the final episode. Something to be both admired for its boldness and questioned for its planning.
For what its worth, the final episode turned out as well it could have. An inconclusive fight between Arata and Kadowaki was a good way to go, since a defeat felt out of place. Neither party was ready to face each other seriously in battle, so ending it in such a way was a smart decision and for than one reason. It also allowed for an ending that set up an easy transition to the manga and/or left hope for a second season by showing us a nice range of future enemies.
As with all the episodes of Arata Kangatari, not much to complain about. Perhaps the only part that didn't feel as natural was Yorunami submitting but that had to do with his arc being 2 episodes long. Had the entire series been longer, little problems such as that one wouldn't have registered.
It feels lazy finishing my review of the episode here, but in all honesty there's not much else I could say.
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Arata Kangatari (Mini) Series Review
At the end of the year, when I look back over all the anime I've watched, it's unlikely that I'll be placing Arata Kangatari on a "Best Of" list. As a series it was a nice and decent watch, with an understated style that many anime don't adopt nowadays.
No episode in this series was a stand out by any means, and yet that's part of its charm. Consistent in its plot and storytelling, it didn't try to be bold or out of the box. Simply accepting itself for what it was, it did everything right in the short 12 episodes it was given.
The biggest drawback of the series ended up being the antagonist: Kadowaki. With scarce appearances for the first three-quarters of the series, his transformation to villain wasn't a convincing act and could even be considered a comedic turn of events. Whether this is the mangaka's fault or the animator's poor interpretation is unknown to me, but it was a little disappointing to have one character impact the series in such a negative way.
Finally let's answer the question everyone usually asks: should there be a second season? If there is one, I'll watch it but should I start to miss Arata Kangatari, there's always the manga.
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