Visual Prison – Episode 12 [Final Impressions]

And here comes the end of the visual kei vampires competing for the scarlet tears of the moon, and I’m honestly going to miss it a lot. Though, with the ending they gave us, there is a potential for a new character and perhaps a season 2! I love for there to be another season (or heck even just a mobile gacha game), but I’m also pretty satisfied with the ending we received. Everything was wrapped up really nicely almost to the point where I would say that it is almost too nice.

I’ll be honest, this felt less like a final episode and more of a musical showcase especially for the first half. In this episode alone we got four performances and that’s not even including the lovely ending theme, Wing with Wind. But for a music-based anime, that made a whole lot of sense. All the groups got to sing their last hurrah and really give it their best effort. Yeah, there was a vampire life on the line, but there was still the drive to win and that made it all the more enjoyable. I loved getting to hear them all in one episode, because you could really hear their different styles up against one another. Could you imagine being a fan of ECLIPSE, LOST EDEN, and OZ and having to pick which concert you would attend in a single night? Oh, that would be brutal. But I suppose the finale concert might be the one to go to, since it was supposedly their last one. I mean, they had the funeral organ going. They were fully prepared to not perform again. And to top it all off, even though we don’t see them there are still more groups competing against them. So, a tough choice for all the fans out there.

As for the second half of the episode… I must admit that I feel like they took a cop out ending. This was a very drama free episode for a series that loved to bask in the drama. After the songs, all three groups end on the Scarlet Moon’s stage, ECLIPSE and LOST EDEN are ready to fight it out, but OZ just does their own thing. And I would have honestly loved a final fight scene with all of the groups! Saga, Dimitri, Hyde, and Guil could have all gone head-to-head almost as an original ECLIPSE reunion. It was a perfect opportunity to get the feelings out there, but instead… there was no great epic battle. Instead, OZ sings a final song and then they… just win. I mean, I’m happy for them, but it felt very lack luster – especially considering the other two groups were likely to give up their tears anyways. I just wanted to see a life without Guil, even for just 5 minutes! He could have come back later and that would have been fine. I just wanted that melancholic feeling for just a few moments as they learn to live life without him!

Ah, but I still think the ending was pretty cute. I’m glad for a happy ending. Mist and Saga get to be a power couple in their attempt to destroy the other two groups, Robin is still able to attend school and he and Jack are generally on good terms with each other, and Eve and Guil are able to re-open the café with the help of the other two and Pannya of course. (Also, I’m kind of sad that Pannya didn’t turn into some magical creature during the course of the show, but oh well… you win some, you lose some). So, all in all, everything wrapped up nicely and for the most part everyone is happy and healthy.

I really liked how they ended the episode too!! It was a nice call back to the first episode when Ange first arrived. It’s nice to see that someone else is inspired by the music that OZ creates. And like I mentioned before, it really leads the way for a sequel! I had a great deal of fun with this series, I’m going to miss the weekly musical numbers and the continuing drama that Guil brings with him. Thank you for a good time, Visual Prison!


Final Impressions

I really can’t believe we’re at Final Impressions already. If you’ve been following me, you know that I’ve been having a good time tuning into this series each week. That being said, Visual Prison is not for everyone. In fact, I would probably say this is much more targeted towards a niche audience, but you never know if you’re the audience it’s targeting if you don’t give it a chance. I went into this series not expecting it to be a masterpiece and I think my experience was better for it. I was here for a good time, and the series delivered in that regard.

I mean, right off the bat the premise of vampires participating in a singing competition in which they receive a blessing in the form of the moon’s tears is already pretty out there. And to top it all off, they don’t even participate in that competition until the very last episode. There is just drama everywhere. But it isn’t your typical drama where there is just miscommunication floating around and everything would be solved if people just talked to each other. That being said, there is probably some drama that could be solved if Guil and Saga just sat down and had a heart-to-heart chat, but at the same time that type of drama really drives forth the anime. For the most part, even though everyone is rivals they get along pretty well for people that hate each other. It’s not a fight on sight every time.

But speaking of characters, I really love series that take time to focus on each character and give them a little bit of development beyond a simple trope. In that regard, Visual Prison had a tall order. With 3 groups with 10 characters spread throughout (and that’s not even including other important characters like Carmilla and Yutaka), it was going to be tough fitting it within 12 episodes. Truth be told, there are plenty of characters that I would have loved to spend more time with and learning about. Saga deserved to have at least another half episode dedicated to his time in ECLIPSE towards the eventual establishment of LOST EDEN. If you asked me how he and Elizabeth came together, I honestly wouldn’t know what to tell you. But on the flipside, there were some characters that were absolutely knocked out of the park! For me, Eve, got a very satisfying story that was easy to revisit throughout the anime. The concept of having a vampire hunter turned vampire and dealing with the “sins” of the past is really interesting! Plus, they were able to tie his identity with Carmilla, which was really unique and neat! (I might be a little biased though, I’m pretty sure Eve is my favorite character – Hiroki Nanami was fantastic!!). I don’t think I needed a full 24-episode series to feel satisfied with the character development, but I would have liked just a couple more home runs. And really, I would have loved to spend more time with everyone, including ECLIPSE. Their episode was soo much fun. It was impressive to go from feeling rather meh about them to “oh, they are just having a good time! Good for them!”

But at the end of the day, this is a music anime, so how did they do? Honestly, there wasn’t a single number that I was disappointed with. There are definitely favorites (Guilty Cross is still an absolute banger) , but all of the music within the series were bangers. Heck! Even if you aren’t interested in watching the anime, I would encourage you to take a listen to the songs! I really love the range between the three groups. LOST EDEN is much grittier than the other groups, ECLIPSE takes that Angelic Savior approach, and OZ has a much purer, but melancholic sound. Each episode is honestly a treat for the music! And to top it all off, we don’t just get group songs, we also get character songs, and they are also a lot of fun to listen to! The music really took character development to the next level. The characters all sang their emotions and honestly probably hit harder than just a simple conversation would have. For instance, Mist’s song on the roof to Saga, I think was more impactful as a song rather than him confessing in conversation. Please listen to the music, there’s is probably a song or two in there that you’ll really enjoy!!

How is the plot? Honestly, it’s wild. I feel like I was constantly experiencing whiplash. The typical twists and turns that I was expecting maybe only happened 50% of the time, but otherwise I always felt blindsided! And that’s not a bad thing. There were times where I genuinely did not know where we were going with the story, but the development was never upsetting. Sure, there were holes and missing connections, but they really committed to being over the top. If I were to just read the synopsis of the story online, and then have someone tell me what actually happens in the anime, I would think they were two different animes. And what’s nice is that there are moments where they don’t take themselves too seriously. They did a good job balancing drama with fun moments. When we got to go on the road trip with ECLIPSE, Ange was going through it, but Dimitri and Hyde were really just here for a holiday. They were fun to watch. And even just the episode before the one and only vampire princess who was summoned from Eve consuming ketchup turned everyone into animals. I mean, we’ve seen rival groups all conveniently showing up at the same place in a handful of idol animes, but this was a fun twist! You never knew what you were going to get with each episode and for some people that’s a deal breaker, but for me, I think I had a great deal of fun with it.

Now comes the hardest part. I mentioned that I came into this series not expecting it to be all that great which in turn helped me enjoy the series a lot more, but I was pleasantly surprised by what we received. There really wasn’t anything glaringly frustrating with the series with me. Even if there were some themes that I didn’t quite vibe with, I never felt like they were so overpowering that watching the series wasn’t fun. An honest rating from me would be a solid 7/10. If anything, I want more, just a little bit more. I’m not ready to be done with these characters and the series. But at the same time, I’m satisfied. This series has introduced me to new seiyuu to follow and I will definitely be supporting their projects in the future.

I’m holding out for a second season, but I really just want to thank Visual Prison for a good time! I’ll definitely continue listening to their music in the future!

Quietcupcake

I live up to my username, but I hope we can be friends!

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