That was about as close to an un-ending as I’ve seen a series have in a while. While some of the hallmarks of a final episode were there – the lack of an OP and ED sequence, the coda where we touch base with all the characters in the end – little else about it felt like a conclusion.
For starters, the final arc was a bit of an anti-climax. The whole matter of Skillout wasn’t uninteresting, but it had less gravitas than at least two other arcs this season. This isn’t a show that’s generally good about giving context for what’s happening, but even so the overall importance of the conflict seemed fairly minor in the larger scheme of things. It also wasn’t all that exciting – lacking high-octane action sequences and dealing largely with characters we’ve barely met over the course of the season.
We also didn’t get much of the trademark humor this series is so good at providing when at its best. Misaka-san provided a few laughs with her drunken escapades, but that’s about it. I suppose, if anything, this was an episode that was about framing a third season more so than anything – laying out the larger political conflicts at play in the series and forcing the players to choose sides. That’s fine, but it doesn’t give much of a sense of closure. It’s never uninteresting watching Accelerator – he’s like a live ordinance that could explode at any time and take an entire city with it. But his 10 minutes of screen time are really pretty thin gruel for a finale.
So be it – we can pretty well assume a third season is coming, so it seems pointless to treat this episode as anything more than a continuation ep before a hiatus. In those terms it was fine – but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have wanted a little more of the good stuff to tide me over until that break ends…