Tsuyoku’s First Impressions
For the final episode of Dorei-ku many things work out more or less like I imagined they would, but there were still a couple surprises, some of them quite nasty ones! An example of a nasty surprise is the scene with which the episode opens. Some of the characters are running away in what seems to be a forest area only wearing underwear while Takio Minato yells and shoots at them while complaining they’re not entertaining enough. Ugh. What a despicable guy.
After running away from the conflict in the previous episode, Eia is now all alone, but soon she gets a phone number from Yuuga that puts in her in touch with Shinnosuke. Since he had been popping up here and there, it was impossible not to suspect he was going to have a bigger involvement in the game and now it’s his time to play. He and Eia meet to talk about what she needs and he tells her about how he met Yuuga and how Yuuga got involved in the SCMs business. She soon asks for his help to rescue Yuuga from slavery and discloses they are against quite a big group, but Shinnosuke decides to help. As they talk, another ally arrives as Ryuuou discloses his identity to Eia so he can help too.
The episode cuts back to Takio just being a huge asshole to everyone. He has a terrible inferiority complex and he abuses whoever he can. It was quite surprising to learn that there are only 23 SCMs! Considering they were talking about buying and selling slaves before, I thought there would be like a hundred, but then the game wouldn’t end so fast, would it? Either way, we learn here that the spy is Zero, or well, his mother, which makes the arc in one of the previous episodes make much more sense since this character was needed for there to be a plan established.
Soon enough, Eia, Shinnosuke and Ryuuou discuss their plan to infiltrate the abandoned school grounds where Takio is camping out and it’s so cool to see this nice balance of brains and brawn! Well, it’s good they’re leaning a bit more towards the brains side because they needed to be clever to outwit this guy.
The pace really picks up during the scenes where they execute the plan. Eia attacks Takio first and makes him accept a duel, but soon his slaves overpower Eia, tricking him into think he has an advantage. At the same Ryuuou monitors the situation and Shinnosuke plans the bombs. After he does, he runs into Yuuga and the bombs go off as they talk. They go outside, but once they’re there they get into a brawl, Yuuga with the excuse of his orders and Shinnosuke because he wants to teach his buddy a lesson. This moment was pretty funny because Shin got the upper hand in the fight by faking a love confession!
The action goes back to Eia and Takio who get talking about their reasons for using the SCMs. Eia discloses her plan to free everyone and he orders Zero to watch her, but Kiyo is the active personality at the time, so she can override the order and betray Takio. After this they must continue the duel, but they’re all standing in the burning building. Shinnosuke arrives and grabs they all, jumping through the window to reach a safer place. As they drop, Takio begs for help, effectively making him lose the duel. So much satisfaction in that moment!
Later on the women are rescued and a few nice character interaction moments are shown, like Ryuuou being helped by the adults that he had under his care before, for example. Ryuuou also has a luck-based duel against Eia and loses, but he seems all right with it. Then, finally, in a touching moment as the sun is rising, Eia talks to all the people present and releases them all from slavery and the curse of the SCM. Takio is taken under custody and the characters make allusion to the things they have pending: the debt between Yuuga and Shin, Ryuuou’s mother still needing help and the professor’s past. They just stand around talking and Eia has a satisfied happy smile as she throws her SCM away.
Overall this show was a very fun ride. It was cool to try and figure out where things were going to go and what kind of alliances would form. I liked some of the plot twists because they were unusual, even if sometimes they crossed the line over to unbelievable territory, like with Zushiomaru. I still think there was some awkward storytelling here and there, some things were added or forgotten as was convenient, like Yuuga’s betrayal or the addition of Kiyo, but it made for a story with no loose ends and I appreciate that.
In terms of animation, the production could have been better, the show is not terrible, but it’s obvious to me that the animation wasn’t always nice and it was quite noticeable in the last 2 episodes which are supposed to be the ones you save budget for, but well, that’s not unforgivable. I think in terms of objective quality this show is a solid 6, but enjoyment totally bumps it up to 7/10.
Midnight’s Final Impressions
I have to say, I liked this final episode a lot actually. I was getting pretty worried about how everything was going to wrap up.
I was also getting progressively more and more annoyed with how Shinnosuke has seemed like a plot device this whole time. So it’s nice to see him included as an actual character. Having some backstory between him and Yuuga at long last was also nice to see. I am almost sad they saved this till the very last episode, because it’s been nagging at me for a while now. It sincerely made me chuckle when Shin got the upper hand in the fight between the two of them by professing his love, it really did throw back to the first episode where they pretended to be dating so Yuuga could break up with Eia’s friend in a way that wouldn’t hurt her feelings.
Though the confession wasn’t of a romantic love, it was a true confession of a platonic love between people who had each others backs in the past and have each others backs now. Even if Yuuga was kind of a dick for running off with the money and the SCM’s and screwing Shinnosuke over.
Though, while everything for the most part is wrapped up and a majority of the plot threads are tied up. Like the debt between Shinnosuke and Yuuga, Ryuuou getting his mother released, Kiyo saving Zero from slavery and hopefully being able to move on into the afterlife. This last episode had two plot threads left hanging that are going to bother me or convince me they are looking into a sequel or side series.
- Setagaya’s escape: The fact that they have Takio in custody and not the person who released all the SCM’s to begin with and has the knowledge on how to make them. Generally worries me. Though, after the beating he got from Takio. I’m not sure how much he’ll really want to mess with things like this in the future…but you never know with sadistic men like him.
- The twenty third SCM: When questioned how many SCM’s there are out currently, he says there are twenty three on the market all together. 18 slaves, Eia, Ryuuou, Gekku…the Chunni, Takio, and one that had been sold by Shinnosuke to an unknown buyer. So even with the series done and all the slaves we know about released from slavery, there is still the 23rd SCM hanging out there. Lurking in the shadows.
Those two bits of info aside, the series did well to wrap up all of it’s dangling plot threads and i’m generally happy. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I signed up to watch this show, honestly, the biggest appeal to me was nothing more then “The premise sounds interesting and Eia is hot.”, which i admit is a pretty shallow reason to want to cover a show. I ended up liking a lot more of the characters then I thought I would. Which is good, because character is honestly the one thing this anime really has going for it. The story itself suffers severely from some pacing issues, things seem to be remembered and forgotten at the drop of a hat and the less we say about the animation quality the better.
Though, one thing not so much in the animation, but in the symbolism. Is the way that Eia threw away her SCM at the end of the episode, perfectly mirrors the image of her tossing the handcuffs that has been an image in the ending.
Still, if you’re looking for a show that is mildly entertaining and has some very interesting characters. Dorei-ku is really what you’re looking for, I wish it was a little longer if only because I feel like with such a diverse and extensive cast, there is more to learn about all of them. The characters that are fleshed out are done wonderfully, so I can only be vague disappointed that not every character got that treatment. I would also sort of like to see a follow up episode, perhaps an OVA to show if these people stay in contact after this.
Could Julia and Seiya perhaps mend their relationship?
Could Yuuga and Shinnosuke go into a legit business together?
Can Ryuuou be happy being raised by his mother, Julia and maybe Seiya?
Does Maria ever come clean to Zero about Kiyo and the events when he was blacked out during the SCM events?
I guess i’ll side with Tsuyoku here and go with an overall 7/10. With that said though, Eia is still my goddess and I love her. That hasn’t changed since the first episode.