Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! LOVE! – 12 (End) and Series Review

This show is definitely a living exemplar of the old adage “to thine own self be true”.

binan-koukou-2-12-1And so Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! LOVE! glides to a conclusion, wrapping up its story in very much the same fashion in which it told it for two seasons.  This was never the best series on the air at any given time, but it was remarkably true to itself – irreverent, fully committed to both its lunacy and its satire, happily residing in that delightful place where smart meets dumb and good comedy is born from their blissful union.  It may not have been much noticed in the West, but I think it will be missed.

binan-koukou-2-12-2One thing Binan Koukou has always been good at is the head-fake, and this episode was bookended by them.  The first was the Seitoukai, who – after their rather dramatic re-entry into the narrative – promptly refused to fight and sat in the audience for the rest of the episode.  Their own battle with the Boueibu may in fact have been little more than a “lover’s quarrel” between At-chan and Kin-chan (the blush speaks way louder than the denials) and this is indeed the Battle Lovers’ fight, not theirs. Still, it was a clever but of misdirection by Takamtasu and Yokote.

binan-koukou-2-12-3Perhaps the most interesting revelation of the finale was that the Beppu twins (definitely Earthlings as it turns out) were actually goaded into becoming idols as a way to try and get closer to Gorar.  This allows Binan Koukou to rather tartly call out the idol industry for the diseased cesspool of indignity that it is (the satire speaks way louder than the idealistic ending).  From the beginning I’ve enjoyed VEPPer as an antagonist more than the student council, as they’re simply much funnier and more absurd, but they were no more convincing as true villains than Kin-chan and his sidekicks.  This is Binan Koukou, and love and harmony (and bathing together) were always going to win out in the end.

binan-koukou-2-12-4Fitting that love should be the deciding factor in the final battle – though this time it’s fraternal love, as VEPPer seriously underestimate the power of Yumoto’s connection with his An-chan.  But you know Gora’s heart was always going to be big enough for VEPPer too, and when his memories return (in the form of a dream) he still sees the Beppu twins as the adoring and lonely tykes they were, rather than the somewhat unsettlingly neurotic divas they’ve grown into.  There’s one more fake-out coming our way – the “important announcement” at the end, which (exactly as it was supposed to) had me once again thinking it might be a sequel announcement.  But no, it was just another disclaimer that Tawarayama-sensei was brought back to life in ridiculously arbitrary fashion after having been utterly forgotten for the entire episode.

binan-koukou-2-12-6I think two seasons was just about right for Binan Koukou.  It was ripe for a sequel, not being serious enough to have any integrity to be undercut and being blessed with a premise that allowed for variations on a theme.  The show very cleverly navigated the issue of a formula series and repetitiveness but I’m not so sure it could do so again – if Takamtsu and Yokote tried to do a third season I think they’d have to fundamentally reinvent the story, and in doing so I think Binan Koukou would lose the essence of what makes it such a winning comedy in the first place.

binan-koukou-2-12-7In the final analysis what makes Binan Koukou work as well as it does is that the things it parodies positively scream out to be parodied, and that it does so very deftly.  It manages to be utterly ruthless and pull no punches, yet at the same time wear an unmistakable affection for the cast on its sleeve.  It’s all in good fun, and the only folks who could be offended are the ones who take the stuff being satirized too seriously in the first place – which I think is rather the point.  Binan Koukou may not aim as high as some series, but it knows exactly what it wants to be and makes no apologies for it.  That’s a winning formula right there, and it was nice to see this unassuming little gem be rewarded with considerable commercial success.

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  1. D

    Like all the best parodies, it loves the material it’s parodying, and does the parody with heart rather than with cynicism.
    Have to agree that I doubt the magic could work a third time, and I’d rather the show go out on a high than try again and wind up being lackluster. I say that as someone who absolutely loved the show.
    After all, where can you go after “Ultra More Better Love Making”?

  2. e

    Hmmm… I enjoyed the episode. It was definitely Ultra More but ultimately not sure it was also Better than s1 finale. As kitchen sink goes it just didn’t gel as well for me – last but not least Dadacha and ZunDaddy departed offscreen without joining the sento party? Crime! – .
    – I really liked the mighty shoebill as UNcutesy(!) – quaint heart birthmark notwithstanding – Magical Mascot and dat vaguely nonsensical akward recruiting talk. If my sleep-deprived mind got that right Maximum Gorar was actually meant to be as a villian? :,DDDD. Yay for evulz axe rampaging and comparatively hardcore action plus corrupting albino youth into embracing mischief >D.
    – “The things we had to do to make it in the showbiz” speech-rant . Pointed idol criticism + I can smell dark doujinshi material fodder. Ding ding! Well played.
    – Nice bit of anticlimax with the Student Council Trio not joining the fight and just sitting there. I put me in mind of certain magil girls franchise movie blurb… it supposedly featured something like dozens of them (each series features a new and different magical team) . I remember wondering how could they even attempt to juggle them around so that they could achieve anything else beyond a (maybe) full henshin sequence and calling their attacks within the movie allotted time…
    – Sort of happy we did get a broken fire hydrant level of Love Fountain. In space. Followed by an almost all-inclusive bathing session. But it could have been more More Better.
    – The teacher lives!

    Overall it was very welcome watch yet again. It ended up as my most anticipated show along with Mob Psycho each week. And while the latter is arguably in the superior league the former is definitely up there in terms of personal fondness. Gotta love that genre-savy demented yet affectionate uplifting flavour sprinkled with tangy satire and candy-coloured alien furries.
    Love Is Over! Kanpai!

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