Zvezda Plot had me just a little worried with that highschool and bathhouse episode, but it really went above expectations and finished strongly. First things got serious with Zvezda being driven out of their home base once Tokyo takes over West Udogawa, and then eventually Kate gets back at Jimon in one of the best fight scenes of the season. There were giant monsters and robots! Gorou getting together with a hot chick! Roboko transforming into a cute girl! And Kate did a motherfucking back hip circle pinwheel.
Great as it was, in hindsight the ending did rely on quite a few plot twists that seemed to come out of nowhere—some even a bit deus ex machina-y. Such as Gorou being marked off as dead and coming back to life (though I’m glad he’s not dead,); Roboko turning out to be able to disguise herself as a human and faking her own death; Asuta’s father having some weird smoking superpower, though I like how that tied into the anti-smoking episode; and the way Kate’s superpowers grew during the climatic battle was awfully convenient. Though all that’s just a minor annoyance, really. In this case, If there’s a few plot holes for the sake of adding more style and excitement to make the finale more enjoyable, than I’m okay with that.
To be fair I’m not really giving Zvezda enough credit by calling episode 6, 7, and 9 “highschool” and “bathhouse” episodes, since they still contributed a lot to the overarching plot rather than act as pure filler episodes. The highschool episodes introduced colossal Kate and the Tokyo Defense Force, and the bathhouse episode confirmed that Zvezda actually does have quite a sizable number of henchmen and followers—though I think it might have been better to establish that sooner. Like I said in an earlier blog post, the only reason these episodes seem more generic is because we’re comparing them to the other, better episodes of Zvezda Plot, but on their own they’re still great. And setting aside some loose ends, this really is a solid series with how it builds up to the final three episodes.
Although this series it still good on it’s own, it’s obvious that it was meant to have a sequel—and not just because of the sequel hook at the end. Particularly because there’s a lot of loose ends, and plenty of things about the plot that could be expanded on. Such as, what exactly was the Udo civilization and how did it fall? What’s up with Kate being immortal, and why did she become a giant monster back in episode 7? Just how big is Zvezda as an organization? What was up with Natasha and her parents? And so on and so on. I don’t really mind having all these loose ends too much though, since the writers probably do have the intent of explaining it all later. The only problem is that it’s unlikely Zvezda will actually get a sequel. The BDs are selling rather poorly, and it’s sunken pretty low from it’s initial place on top of pre-order sales. I guess in the end loli Hitler wasn’t able to conquer people’s wallets; quite a shame, really.
It also might have been nice if the show explained the situation with the Japanese civil war sooner. All this time we’ve known that West Udogawa and the rest of Japan was under marshal law, yet it isn’t until episode 10 that it’s explained why that is; incorrectly giving me the impression that it might be because of Zvezda. Also might have been good to know that West Udogawa was a neutral party to the war since again, it gives the impression that West Udogawa was white on Jimon’s map because of Zvezda. Maybe the creators just didn’t want that to distract us from all the more light-hearted atmosphere of previous episodes, but still.
Concerning the show’s themes on world domination, there’s not too much to discuss that I haven’t already covered in my blog post on episode 1. Jimon practically repeats what I said in that blog post too: “The world is a crazy and fickle place. It’s a waste of time to try and conquer it. World conquest is a dream that ends before it can begin. A mere illusion.” After that though, Kate exclaims “Ideals exist so long as there are those who seek them! […] Once you’ve abandoned your ideals, you can no longer reach anyone’s heart!” This is true, albeit rather optimistic. If you want to strive for change or a better world, you have to fight for something and uphold some sort of ideal. You can’t really be “for the people” when you’ve stopped caring even about your own ideals and policies; at that point you just become a power-hungry asshole. That’s pretty much what Jimon exemplifies: the typical, bad politician who only uses politics as a means to acquire wealth and power, which is one of the worse qualities a leader can have.
Also interestingly enough, Kate says “I will do it! I will go to meet every person on this planet! No matter their age or gender! In order to conquer them! I cannot conquer the world without meeting them!” This actually makes sense, at least theoretically. In order to conquer the world and keep it under you’re control, you’d either have to use Orwellian means of human subjugation, or make everyone love you as a great leader. Since Kate is all the values of family, she obviously doesn’t want to use pain or mind control to accomplish her goals. And so how would she get everyone to love her? Well, logically they’d all be more open to seeing the world her way if she meets everyone in person and befriend them. With seven billion people on the planet though, most people would die before Kate would get around to seeing them, but hey, as long as she’s immortal she can at least try.
World Conquest Zvezda Plot had some problems, but overall it was one of my favorite shows of the season alongside Samurai Flamenco and Kill la Kill. I can only hope it gets a sequel, unlikely as it seems, although it works fine as a standalone work.