Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair – Anime Preview
Synopsis: “I’m never going to give up!! For that reason, I became a Period!!” Evil demons known as “Spiral” -made of souls who died in agony- threaten the people of the world. In order to stand up against Spirals, people founded the “Arc End”. Individuals whose skills are recognized are admitted to Arc End to become “Period” to fight for peace. Hal, who failed the Period admittance test 38 times, was accidentally admitted as an “Assistant Period” in Arc End 8th Squad. Forming a team along with other new members, Gazel and Liese, he is finally able to take his first step towards reaching his goal! (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: When we first started Last Period, we were fully braced to sit through yet another lazy, hollow shell of an ad pretending to be a proper show given that it’s based off a mobile game. And for the first few minutes, it felt like our fears were right as the character designs, credits and opening minutes featured art style and plot that felt so generic, something that could be immediately forgotten as yet ANOTHER attempt to be a 12 episode ad for the true product. The characters and the plot felt so predictable, a group of young fighters, with the focus on one of them having especially ambitious desires to rise to the top. Even the bright and colourful look of the show felt like some sort of distraction tactic to hide the simplicity of everything else. It was clear that this wafer thin plot line came from the curse of its mobile origins, a genre notorious for having ridiculously thin plot lines. That is, until we got past the first few, god awful minutes.
Tom: Those first few pre-credit minutes where the show throws up its plot all over you are absolutely horrid. But once we’re past that, and the bubbly opening credits, things begin a wild shift from dull to comedic. The series begins to boast some solid comedic chops, ranging anywhere from quirky characteristics for its leads, to riffs and jabs at mobile gaming’s worst aspects (like micro-transactions) to some self-deprecating humor aimed squarely at the show’s own writing.
Linny: Last Period takes a lot of shots at mobile gaming and even at its own comedy, making it likely a hilarious watch for fans of that kind of humour. It breaks the fourth wall now and then, as seen in the image above. There’s mentions of the sleazy tactics mobile games will employ to try and entice players, the popular practice of games having real money only gacha systems, the poor probability rates of those very gacha pulls, so on and so forth. In all honesty, the jokes aren’t all that original. Most of the time they play out exactly as you’d assume if you have any familiarity with mobile gaming. But for those who wanna see a show take jabs at itself and mobile gaming, Last Period does enough to keep the giggles coming. Also, I would like to give a special shout out to the Crunchyroll translator/translation team who worked on this episode of Last Period for going the extra mile. The series introduces a one-off money grubbing character. The Japanese dialogue just inserts the Japanese word Zeni at the end of every sentence, whereas Crunchyroll’s translators came up with money based puns to spice up this characters otherwise blah dialogue. Some might be upset about them changing the dialogue a bit but I still give them props because it must have taken effort to come up with as many puns as they did to fit the situation so well, especially on the tight schedule simulcasts hold them to.
Tom: Comedy really is Last Period’s big boon, as even its characters are pretty thin. Even as we get to the part of the premiere that does work, our heroes are largely straight-men, flabbergasted by the comedic and bizarre world/happenings going on around them, rather than becoming endearing, personable characters in their own right. Sure each has a quirk or two, like Gajeru, the buff and tough fist fighter, having an idol obsession, but these moments are so fleeting that their absence probably wouldn’t even go noticed.
Linny: It’s true that the characters aren’t all that well developed here and there’s a good chance they won’t even get backstories, so that might be something that irks viewers. The show does have some very fun villain like characters however, a team that appears in the episode and tries to steal our hero team’s assignment for themselves. These villain characters have interesting designs and almost a Pokemon like style with a flashy, Ginyu/Team Rocket pose entrance and clothing designs that personally reminded me of Team Skull from Pokemon Sun and Moon. But they too are very under explored just like our heroes.
Tom: Ultimately Last Period hinges on its comedy. I think it succeeds at that, enough so that the lack of other elements isn’t too big a scar. It reminds me a lot of another mobile game anime cash in, Hagane Orchestra, that managed to be entertaining in its own right, thanks to fun comedy and a distancing from its more cash-in, low effort, counterparts. If Last Period can continue to lampoon mobile gaming, produce fun comedy, maybe even explore its characters, and never truly feel like a glorified ad, then it’ll stand as one of the few game-to-anime adaptations that works as its own thing.
Linny: Last Period is no masterpiece. In fact, it clearly still suffers from a lot of the pitfalls of being adapted from a mobile game with a basic plot and one note characters. But for fans of fourth wall breaking and self deprecating humour, Last Period might be a must watch of the season… or at the very least a must try. If you have even the least bit of familiarity with mobile gaming and had never even heard of Last Period before this preview, its humour is based on mocking some of the most well known downsides of mobile gaming so you’re sure to laugh along.
Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.