Wow, this entry really took so long for me to release it. I must have been going insane over the marking of assignments and quizzes. I was actually going to blog on Thursday night, but there is some strange reason that the gods of the Firefox/IE refuses to let me login to write about this entry. Excuses aside, Hatenkou Yuugi has finally hit its conclusion at Episode 10.
Rahzel, in the previous episode, is received by her foster father Seratiido. The journey is about to end as it seems that Seratiido’s little command to kick Rahzel out is being retracted. Will Rahzel happily go back with her foster father or will she be inclined to stay with her new found compatriots during her journey?
A red haired man is buying a birthday present, but his face is not shown. Everyone is celebrating Rahzel’s 15th birthday, but Alzeid’s question about what is this “festival” is completely ignored by the rest. Everyone is discussing about presents and Alzeid continues to question about birthdays and when is Rahzel’s birthday. It is clear that Alzeid does not know anything, but he strongly denies it. Heat is in fact Seratiido’s brother, and he says that they can be in-laws soon. Seratiido warns about the dire consequences if Heat tries to do anything funny. Alzeid tells the three to stop ignoring him because he will feel lonely. Before anything is said, Alzeid requests for Seratiido to introduce himself.
Heat says he is surprised by Alzeid’s sudden realization of common sense while Rahzel mocks Alzeid that his new found common sense will be her birthday gift. Seratiido says there is no need to say his name since Rahzel will leave with him soon. Rahzel questions why Seratiido is asking Rahzel to return right now. Rahzel asks whether Seratiido thinks that she will follow his every wish and has no free will. Seratiido replies that he is rash in chasing Rahzel out but believes that she will return home with him if he asks. Rahzel requests to go out with Alzeid and Heat for a last “journey”.
In a flashback, tt is clear now that Seratiido commanded Heat to not only investigate Celesta but also to keep Alzeid away from Rahzel so that she will go back with him. Seratiido also says that Alzeid is unable to take her away from him. Heat also wonders why Seratiido forcefully drags Rahzel for a journey and now does the same time to bring her back. Back to the present, Rahzel brings Alzeid and Heat to a place she used to play, which is where she is abandoned. Alzeid re-accounts the story of her being abandoned, as Heat tries to explain his loose mouth. Rahzel forgives him and talks about the village where people of black hair and blue eyes reside.
In the flashback, after being abandoned, someone comes to meet her but she assumes that he is Seratiido. Alzeid asks if she wants to meet her birth father, but she says the old her is dead. During the day when her mother mentally breakdowns, she always wonder if her mother will breakdown if her father returned in time. She says she does not want to talk about such sad stuff, and wants to get their blessings. Alzeid asks if she is returning with Seratiido and she says she has the obligation to follow him. He is the one who saves her life, no matter how selfish he is. She says that her journey has ended today.
The next day, Alzeid is missing. It is surprising since he is always the latest to wake up as Seratiido rushes her to leave. Alzeid goes to the gift shop and wants a present that can impress or shock someone. The store owner says that it is hard to understand such an abstract idea. A guy comes in wanting to buy a gift. He is interrogated by Alzeid, as he mentions a 15 year old daughter that he abandons. He says that his daughter knows magic and he is very proud of her and his wife. Alzeid also asks about a sheep in the store, but it turns out that it is a pet from the owner of the opposite store.
The man suddenly leaves, and Alzeid wonders if he has caused the store owner to lose his sales. The store owner says that the man probably does not expect to leave his wife and daughter so suddenly. By not regretting the time spent with the person, it is the best way for a birthday present. Alzeid tells the owner not to pacify him with such empty words as he runs off. In the coach, the man thinks that his wife has probably calculated her death since she can foresee her future. He remembers how his mild-mannered wife suddenly turns completely hysteric, and he is sandwiched by a very smart daughter. He started to feel intimidated and decides to escape from reality.
After abandoning his daughter, he did try to return to fetch her back. However, her daughter is gone. Heat sends Alzeid and Seratiido off the train. Alzeid wonders about the words of the store owner. He wonders if it is all right to let her go, and for her to remember him or think about him sometimes. He decides he cannot allow that, and chases Rahzel. He tells Rahzel that he does not want to write letters, think about her or anything at all. However, he does not want her to leave if she is his comrade. Rahzel jumps out from the train. Rahzel says that Alzeid knows how to infuriate her.
Alzeid wonders if they are still partners even if they do not see each other, do not hear each other and do not know what is going on. Rahzel says they are. Alzeid says that is a lie, and does not believe it. Rahzel asks what she can do, since she really cannot be wilful and abandon her father to continue the journey with them. Alzeid says Rahzel clearly does not want to stop the journey since she is crying so badly. Alzeid tells her that her birthday gift is to give her a chance to resist her father and join the journey. Rahzel eventually decides to continue to journey. At the end, the red haired man kills Fabien Rose, Rahzel’s birth father. The red haired man then adds that the game is starting for Rahzel.
I love the music so much when Alzeid is thinking about Rahzel, and wonders if it is all right for her to leave. I feel that the music really represents the feeling that Alzied was experiencing then. In my opinion, despite being a wrap-up episode, it does do well to end it off with a sweet touch. Nonetheless, it still leaves a feeling that it is awaiting a sequel since the ending does not seem to be a true ending. I mean, if you have a red-haired man saying that the game has just began, it really does not feel like there will not be a sequel in the future.
As a little review to end this series, I must say that Hatenkou Yuugi is an example of an anime that could have been great. It has a very strong manga background, with some controversial themes that is tackled decently in the anime. The OP and ED are equally memorable. However, as it tries too hard to stay at the moderate side of things (and also that it is only 10 episodes). There are details that will trigger more controversy, thoughts and themes and could have made this show an above average anime. As it is of now, it is just a run-of-the-mill series.
In addition, Studio Deen’s animation for action scenes (there are only a few but …) is simply a total turn off. However, do not let my harsh words obscure your judgment. Hatenkou Yuugi has one of the most attractive characters for a very long time. Rahzel, the main heroine, is plucky and extremely interesting with her back story. If anything, I am glad that her back story is at least wrapped up somewhat to a satisfactory degree, so that there is nothing gaping over her part. Nevertheless, I am somewhat interested to find out a bit about the manga. I should take a step down to the bookstore to find the manga series to read. As a conclusion, the show is perhaps worth viewing if you have some idle time.
Sigh, it is hard to end the blogging of a series.