Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair – Mid Season Anime Review
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)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: While Last Period initially dazzles its audience with unabashed ridicule for mobile gaming tropes and money grubbing mechanics aka its very own source/origin material, it soon reveals itself to be a shallow one trick pony just like the very thing it mocks. The jokes it cracks in its first episode making fun of the bad odds of gacha pulls and the gimmick of a mayor who inserts a catchphrase term into every sentence is repeated again and again in next two episodes, with such little variation that it almost feels like a bad deja vu experience.
Tom: What fun the series opens with quickly becomes repetitive, returning to the same well of humor for three episodes straight, with such little variation that it starts to feel like the series is already on its last legs. While Last Period eventually turns things around, sort of anyway, with Episode 4, it quickly becomes apparent that no matter what there’s a general lack of creativity and punch. Gags are stretched out, often padding the episode, making the comedy lag and strain over twenty-two minutes. Frequently episodes feel too long, even if they’re not one minute longer than the standard anime length. It’s this poor pacing, coupled with a presentation that simply isn’t tuned to selling the comedy (lack of punchy musical queues, sound effects, anything to add that extra comedic oomph) that makes Last Period feel like a slog to get through.
Linny: Adding to the paper thin content is our equally thin cast line up. Almost every character in the show is limited to one shtick, which is to be expected given their mobile game origins but it only adds to the sheer lack of depth. The show seems unarguably to be catering to a more simplistic or young audience as most of its character and plot developments are given away from the very beginning such as the identity of our big ‘bad’ or how certain storylines have the ending punchline put right at the start of the episode with the lead up to it then playing out exactly as most would imagine. One could argue that this was done for the sake of comedy but it doesn’t do much to change the opinion of a viewer who is already souring on Last Period’s already predictable nature.
Tom: The only character who gets any kind of real exploration/’depth’ would be Haru, our plucky main character who’s simply too goodie-two shoes naive to exist in such a money driven, mobile-game inspired world. But even then he never breaks the mold of dangerously naive nice guy, frequently displaying the most predictable of responses. He may get more screen time, more lines, and more focus, but he’s just as boring as the rest of them.
Linny: Last Period has a special treat for fans of the Higurashi When They Cry franchise as Episode 3 features a heavy tie in with plenty of character appearances and references. Unfortunately, as we have never played or read the series, the tie in was wasted on us but it’s worth mentioning for the sake of others who are familiar and fans of the series, who may stumble upon this review. It’s something that could help boost Last Period’s otherwise limited appeal or at the very least, intrigue people enough to check out the episode. Because, the honest truth is that Last Period may look cute and seem self aware of the downfalls of mobile gaming but it fails to move past its introductory gag or expand upon its humour and characters. And while I’m sure it does enough to please some anime viewers out there, anyone seeking a show with even the slightest hint of depth or well rounded comedic chops is going to walk away bored.
Tom: Last Period isn’t bad art wise, making use of that mobile game funding to present a generally visually consistent production. But solid production values can’t mask the thin effort beneath, with writing that lacks innovation and quickly becomes stale and predictable. Comedy is about subverting expectations and always catching the audience off guard. Without the ability to vary its comedy, and surprise the audience, Last Period feels like nothing more than a painful slog to me.
Last Period: the journey to the end of the despair is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.