Last Period: the journey to the end of despair – Episode 1

By: Vrai Kaiser April 11, 20180 Comments
eyecatch with the main characters leaping into the air

What’s it about? Monster-fighters (“Periods”) Haru, Liza, and Gajeru return home to find that their Branch Office has been unexpectedly shut down. With empty coffers and no help, the last three recruits will have to work three times as hard to buy back what they’ve lost.

Last Period is a weird show, and I don’t just mean the title (the best joke’s already been made, I concede before I’ve begun). I spent almost half the premiere totally baffled, trying to figure out exactly who this show was for—but when it finally clicked, I found myself unexpectedly charmed.

So. Have any of you been missing Slayers?

the four main characters leaning forward in shock

The opening narration is the most poker-faced part of the episode, with bighearted hero Haru narrating about the importance of Periods (which is definitely something we should all discuss more). The animation clips through a battle and a triumphant return to the City of Hopeless. It’s such a rapid rundown, with character interactions treated as if they’re long-established, that it feels like you’ve walked into the recap of a second season. Every beat is Generic Fantasy 101.

The introduction of office aide Campanella, who has a long monologue about their Branch Office’s recruits being stolen away by shady marketing tactics familiar to anyone who’s ever played a gachapon mobile game, started tilting things off their axis, and by the time the heroes were being evicted and guilt-tripped into working for free because their thickheaded sweetheart of a party leader is JUST. SO. LOYAL, I figured out what was going on.

It turns out this is a comedy about fantasy adventurers trying to live in a universe that runs on mobile game logic, and I am extremely here for that.

the team standing in front of a large carriage. caption: "call girl" doesn't mean what she thinks it does...

I suspect that part of what took me so long to catch wise was that this is a very ’90s concept (the constantly broke adventurers in an absurd world) covered with a modern, moe-looking skin. But I don’t mean that as a knock.

This premiere still feels like it’s sussing out its sense of humor (jokes about starred summons and fake-versus-real currency which baffle the cast? YES. Jokes about one of the party members being an otaku figure collector or how the writing is getting lazy? Tired and from a different school of meta humor, respectively). Still. the absurdity of it has an enjoyably timeless feel that should appeal to fans across generations. I also suspect this will be a fun one for the translator, if the money puns in the second half are any indication.

Most importantly, this premiere has already figured out an important part of the cast dynamic: the fact that Haru is completely naïve and friendly. He really cares about people, which balances against his teammates’ constant pragmatic worries about finances and keeps the show from feeling hollow or cruel. At the end of the day, they’ll still have a nice little found family, and that knowledge makes it fun to watch them ping off one another.

a promotional girl in a miniskirt. caption: if you have drive and talent, there's no telling how far you can go with us!
Campanella trying to keep a recruit from leaving. caption: That's corporate code for "You'll be working 80 hour weeks!"

The ladies are easily the best part of the cast, from deadpan Liza to the easily-riled Campanella, with a special shoutout to the Best in Show: a Team Rocket-esque team of rivals known as Wiseman. The visuals fall somewhat into the trap of dressing characters in revealing outfits because that’s what happens in the genre they’re parodying, and so far they haven’t felt the need to comment on it; however, the Wiseman girls and team captain Erica all have at least semi-practical outfits. Plus, there’s at least the potential for ridiculous dude outfits as well, if Gajeru’s halter top is anything to go by.

There’s also an eye-rolling bit of boob jiggle, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that while Campanella is the “launches herself at the male hero” sort, it’s not played as an excuse to objectify her, and Coco (who seems to be Haru’s actual partner? maybe?) doesn’t seem fussed. So, no “women be competin” either.

the three members of team Wiseman

This came completely out of nowhere and managed to knock me off my feet. If you’re a fan of absurd comedies, particularly ones poking fun at fantasy stories and corporate greed, this is definitely one to check out.

We Need Your Help!

We’re dedicated to paying our contributors and staff members fairly for their work—but we can’t do it alone.

You can become a patron for as little as $1 a month, and every single penny goes to the people and services that keep Anime Feminist running. Please help us pay more people to make great content!

Comments are open! Please read our comments policy before joining the conversation and contact us if you have any problems.

%d bloggers like this: