Score: A

It’s always nice when a show comes through and delivers exactly the episode you needed. That’s the case with this final episode for Blue Archive. The stage was set for a dramatic rescue for Hoshino and everyone brought it together to create a total party of chaos and explosions! Kaiser didn’t remotely stand a chance here! And I’m fine with that since the focus was on just making a party of a final episode and getting to Hoshino for a sweet scene. There are obviously lots of issues remaining for Abydos and Sensei has a creepy organization with their eyes on him after the last episode. But the important thing was getting Hoshino back and they succeeded at that with style!

I’m happy to see some smiles

It was all about getting to that one moment. So, I don’t mind starting off with the ending! Everyone finally caught up with Hoshino and pulled her out of that place. It wasn’t a bad choice to have Hoshino knocked out since it let the crew show everyone that Hoshino was ok without ruining the first moments for Hoshino after that rescue. They were able to get out of the ruins of that base and welcome Hoshino back. It wasn’t about chewing her out for making a bad choice. That’s not why they pushed themselves to get to her. It was just about welcoming her home and hearing that “I’m back.” That’s what they needed and it’s what they got!

They slipped in some cute moments as well with Serika stealing the chance to welcome her back first. Naturally the tsundere girl who totally wasn’t going to say it because it was too embarrassing made sure to jump in! It was also nice to get a quick flash on how they actually saved Hoshino. That was some good drone riding by Shiroko. Managed to just get a hold of an unconscious Hoshino and get back to safety. Close calls but they made it!

Go Faust!

I just loved the passion behind everyone charging on in and helping Hoshino in her time of need! The early charge at the gate was satisfying with them pulling out as much of the budget for action as they could. Shiroko getting some good kicks in and going on a rampage. Understandable that she didn’t lean on the shield so much this time since that’s not her normal fighting style. And mobility was a pretty key element to this. Everyone did their part and I’m glad no one managed to shoot down Ayane’s drone since she wouldn’t have had much to do otherwise! Kaiser was getting wrecked and it’s Director was losing his mind! And I loved it! They would eventually be overrun by that many enemies, but they did a good job getting into the base on their own.

Backup arrived and things only got more fun from there! The legendary Faust came in clutch with totally not Trinity’s artillery squad supporting her! I’m really glad Trinity came through since they probably had the least reason to actually step in. But honestly Hifumi probably was a huge factor in getting approval for this military strike.

Hina on a rampage!

Trinity really was the smallest part of all this. The show was stolen by Gehenna on this occasion. The Prefect team and PS68 came through to clean up a lot of the trouble. They were right up there on the front lines and cleaved through the Kaiser forces. And that’s a given. There’s no way that a single Kaiser base could take on a good chunk of Gehenna’s elites along with some Trinity firepower in behind. So, it was a pure show with Abydos and the other characters just showing off how destructive they can be when they aren’t facing each other.

I’m going to be selfish and give Hina a special acknowledgement. She didn’t fight as much as everyone else, but she was awesome when she did. Hina’s wings certainly aren’t for show. There was some mobility shown off by Hina as she descended from that building while nailing several large threats as she moved. And I love how chill she is. PS68 are technically troublemakers but she’s not going to make a big deal about cooperating with them to take on that Director. They are there to assist and despite being a person that inspires a bit of fear from those around her, Hina is a fairly friendly person really.

I feel for Shiroko here

The scene with Hoshino alone was great. It really let us get into her head more than any other point in the season. It shows how messed up Hoshino is and how much has changed for her. She was such a stern and serious student back when she was a first year. And it’s impossible not to notice the similarities between how she behaves now and how Yume behaves in her flashbacks. Part of it I’m sure is that she does finally appreciate Yume’s definition of a miracle. That it isn’t just a rare joyful event. For Yume everyday she got to spend with someone she really cared about was miraculous. And that’s the case now for Hoshino.

That monologue had plenty of interesting details. The commentary on Nonomi, Serika, and Ayane was good and reflected how much she appreciated them. But the Shiroko one was the most interesting. For anyone that doesn’t know the story of the games there’s a lot to take in. Shiroko was clearly found by Hoshino and Nonomi in the past and appeared to be an amnesiac. The person we see now was effectively built up by Nonomi and Hoshino over time. From Shiroko’s appearance it would appear to have happened during Hoshino’s second year and before Serika and Ayane showed up. It makes sense why Hoshino matters so much to Shiroko. Hoshino is part of the reason why Shiroko is herself. Saving Hoshino was just something Shiroko needed to do.

Thanks, Blue Archive!

Final Thoughts

I’ll just throw the conclusion in with these final thoughts. For me this was a really solid first season for Blue Archive. Mobile game adaptations can be very hit/miss. Sometimes they miss the point, don’t want to follow the original plot, or just cut out the player character entirely. But this one mostly stuck to the script. There were some changes made and that’s fine since it’s the nature of adaptations. Nothing was taken away that I think makes it impossible to carry the story forward. And in fact, there were details added in this version that simply didn’t exist in the original telling. But they are details that I think would have made sense to include if the writers had thought of them at that time. In terms of an adaptation, I’m satisfied.

Nice to see young Hoshino

How was this season in general? I think it was fine. The first couple stories for Blue Archive I don’t think are the strongest the franchise has to offer. But they are necessary to build up to the great content of the future. This season had to establish quite a bit, but it also couldn’t answer all the questions. I’m sure many leave this season wondering a ton of things from “what are up with those halos” to “what is going on with this setting in general?” The opening scene showed some strange sights and Sensei possibly dying at the hands of someone that looks very much like Shiroko. Do we cover anything remotely close to that event? Nope! I wouldn’t blame viewers for wondering what the heck is going on since this season doesn’t have a lot of answers.

It’s also a season that’s kind of working to fill in as much as it can while leaving bigger mysteries. We got a good grasp of the political situation, the existences of major schools like Gehenna/Trinity, and the state of the Abydos district. That takes time and leaves less time for a straight forward adventure for purely the Abydos characters. And so, their debt situation…isn’t actually revolved. The final episode resolves a Hoshino situation that itself came up in the last few episodes. But the major issue of Kaiser digging for “something” in the desert, the purchasing of the Abydos district, and an absurd debt is all left hanging. I could understand if people are left going “wait what?” at how this all concluded.

Sensei turned out ok

There is the issue of quality. The OP/ED are both absolutely gorgeous and might be contenders for the best of the year. They are packed with fanservice, emotions, and a passion for this franchise. But the middle of the show did have some weak action scenes, and the visuals weren’t too striking. I think the show was fine, but it wasn’t one of the prettiest shows of the season. If they want this show to truly blow people’s minds in the future, they might want to consider a different animation studio that can handle it. Or they might simply want to add in some extra help to spread out the work and bring an overall stronger product. It’s a tough topic to discuss knowing the troubles that exist in Japan’s animation studios. I don’t want to criticize the hard work put in, but I think it could have been better.

Until next time!

Darn it though, I enjoyed the heck out of this. Sometimes you just need a show that will be fun and satisfying. Sensei wasn’t dropped out of the show and had his moments to shine. Shiroko was very much the poster girl of Blue Archive (she’s on the game icon) and got to shine this time around. And there was room to show off the good qualities of these girls from Hina to Aru to Hoshino. This show didn’t leave me frustrated and just let me enjoy the ride. It was a nostalgic trip backwards to see where Blue Archive began and allowed me to compare to where the story in the game is right now. If they keep throwing out sequels then we can all get absorbed in seeing some awesome moments in full animation. But that’s a hope for the future.

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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