Episode 14: Lord of the Takanashi
What They Say:
The final serving of Working!!!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I love being duped. The trailer for the hour-long (50 min) Working!!! finale, Lord of the Takanashi, pumped it up to be a fantasy RPG parody in form and function … at least in part, and I completely fell for it.
Before I came to my senses, the scenario unfolding before my eyes was sending signals to my brain, which was otherwise awaiting a visual transition to RPG land, that this episode was completely in line with what was promised. The lack of an as-advertised animated veil completely hijacked my head, and regaining control over realization made me smile all the wider for the slick anti-expectation implementation.
By the end of Episode 13, those enamored of Working!!’s world are left wanting just one thing: closure for Souta and Inami, and I’m happy to report that no-one should be disappointed in that regard with Episode 14. There’ll be many a time where viewers’ inner shelled Sabastian serenades the onscreen couple, and what happens is magical in true Working!! style. In a series that specializes in callbacks and running gags, I found myself overjoyed at the way I did not get everything for which I was hoping.
Speaking of running gags, there are a few choice ones that result in some pretty big laughs. (My brother came in to check on me at one point, because I was snorting so loudly.) Not everything that makes a comeback is necessary however. There’s a lot of characters in Working!!, and, sadly, letting all of them have a moment, however brief, in the final episode (despite circumstance and focus) seems a bit forced. If those unnecessary bits were cut, trimmed, or de-emphasized and the end scene was left as is, Episode 14 would be a perfectly executed conclusion.
Although not critical to the series, there is a lack of distinguishing animated moments. Inami and Popura both wipe tears away from their eyes with increased attention to fluidity of movement, but neither reach the pinnacle of Working!!’s animation prowess. But this series is not watched for the animation; the writing and situations make this show. In both regards, Episode 14 delivers. From what’s said to everything left unsaid (for the most part), payoffs come in small moments for individuals as well as groups.
Structure and surprise, as implemented via visual misdirection, totally won me over this episode on the technical side. The guffaws and awwws won over my sappy head. Although the few instances of gratuitous attention detract from an otherwise perfect conclusion to a beloved series, it is A material. Episode 14 wraps things up while putting a smile on your face and a tear (or few) in your eye. I couldn’t have asked for (much) more.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Xbox360 running Crunchyroll app via HDMI to Toshiba 40” LED 1080P HDTV. Sony 5.1 home theater system.