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Infinite Ryvius: 24 – 26 [End]

April 4, 2012

So here we are, the end of Infinite Ryvius, and I’ve somehow managed to make it within the projected time span despite my inability to keep a schedule! Go me!  I am glad I watched this series, however I do think that watching it in small chunks each week was agonising – Ryvius is the kind of show that is best marathoned because it is quite tough going at times, so stewing over things excessively wasn’t great for my mental health!  Anyway onto the finale!

The tension was running very high in these final three episodes.  First off we had the struggle to save Kouji’s life, Neya carries him back to the E-Block, but there isn’t really anyone with medical experience on hand and they don’t have any of the necessary equipment.  In the end the group takes Kouji to the medical suite of the ship and they all work together under Criff’s guidance (the only one who was originally in the nursing track) and manage to remove the bullet and stop the bleeding.

While this personal dilemma  is going on, the ship as a whole comes under attack from the strongest vaia type ship yet – the Grey Gespenst, with its humanoid vaia similar to Neya.  The captain of the Gespenst is showing signs of the mental instability the vaia are known to cause, as he is extremely gung-ho about pursuing the Ryvius and “ripping it to shreds”.  The battle starts in an area of normal space deep in the Gelduld inhabited with large squid like vaia, which the Gespenst absorbs to become even stronger, causing the Ryvius to flee the Gelduld for open space.

Once the Ryvius is in open space Ikumi makes the decision to have everyone on board evacuate to the safety of the Lift Ship – unfortunately since Heiger is in charge of this, the E-Block students are abandoned and left defenseless on the main ship.  The fact that Heiger does this without showing any sign of discomfort really unnerved me – among the students in E-Block are people he’s been working and living alongside for 8 months!

While the E-Block students scramble about trying to save themselves, Kouji wakes up and with his newfound sense of purpose, immediately asks to be sent to the Lift Ship to talk to Ikumi, and once again Neya helps him do so despite being busy dealing with the Gespenst’s vital guarder & Sphix.  The Ryvius is then boarded by soldiers from Gespenst who appear shocked by the squalor inside the ship and the fact that it is entirely populated by terrified children.

The Ryvius’ Vital Guarder is pretty much completely outclassed by the Gespenst’s and Neya ends up taking matters into her own hands to protect the kids on the Ryvius.  Neya appears first to the Gespenst’s Sphix and then to its captain.  Her appearance seems to shock the captain out of his madness as he orders his men to rescue the kids on Ryvius before he commits suicide.  Having Neya display so much autonomy is interesting – her Gespenst counterpart does not seem to be nearly as self-aware or have the same freedom Neya has.  He also seems to be completely locked into the mentality of the Captain, where as Neya doesn’t seem to be bound to any one person on the Ryvius – although she does draw from Kouji more than anyone else.  Maybe the Sphix of these vaia ships are set up to be bound to their captain’s will, so the Ryvius is special because its Sphix, Neya, activated under the influence of many people rather than just one.

Ikumi and Yuki are both aghast when they learn what Heiger has done, Ikumi’s hero-complex means he can’t stand the thought of leaving people unprotected, and Yuki is more concerned by the fact Aoi was left behind until Kouji reassured him that he brought Aoi with him to the Lift Ship.  It was a relief to see Yuki finally stop acting like such a massive dick to his brother – took Ikumi holding a gun to Kouji’s head & Cullen begging him to do something though, which is a bit extreme, still at least this time he didn’t just stand by and allow his brother to be shot again.

Ikumi’s mental breakdown reached its peak when Juli & Lucson declare they’ve been officially rescued – the removal of the threat that Ikumi had been using as a mental crutch & his reason for fighting leads to him completely crumpling, and it’s Kouji (who he had just nearly shot in the head) rather than Kozue (who had been using him as her mental support) who ends up comforting him.

I am so glad Ryvius got an upbeat, positive epilogue – after the hell the show has but its characters (and the viewer) through over its run, we fecking deserve a happy ending!  The majority of the characters end up going back aboard the Ryvius on the behest of the authorities – the ship would not move once the teens left it and the powers that be really want that ship to be operational for the future good of humanity.  Nice to see Kouji & Yuki being somewhat civil with each other, and Kouji being more comfortable in his own skin in general.

Experience on Ryvius has left indelible scars on everyone on board, but most have come out of the ordeal better people.  Ikumi makes his peace with his sister’s suicide and apologises to Kouji, Kozue stands on her own two feet and reconciles with Aoi, Charlie & Criff are still together and working hard for their futures, Heiger expresses remorse and Lucson seems more willing to work hard from the ground up (even if the Bridge crew do shove the Captaincy title at him again!).  Everyone that returned to the Ryvius seems happy to be back and willing to work together to make the ship a comfortable place to live – now that they are no longer desperately trying to survive, traveling aboard the Ryvius is a much more exciting prospect and something worth doing.

Overall I really enjoyed Infinite Ryvius – it gets an easy 5/5 from me, but it was not an easy show to watch.  It drags you down to the darkest places humanity can go, and you truly suffer along with the characters because they are so realistically portrayed.  The main strength of Ryvius is its characterisation; the ship feels alive and populated with real people and not just caricatures (although given how huge the cast is, there are some characters that suffer from insufficient development).  The series does have a lot of techobabble during its action scenes that I mostly ignored, but that only really adds to the sense of urgency & desperation that permeates the entire show – these kids are really thinking on their feet and making shit up as they go along.  In general though Infinite Ryvius does practically everything right, and I would definitely recommend it – just don’t prolong your agony by watching it in weekly chunks, that really was a self-inflicted torture I could have done without!

Thanks to everyone that voted that I should watch this series, I’ve enjoyed watching and writing about it!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. fathomlessblue permalink
    April 5, 2012 8:04 pm

    I loved the characterisation of most of the cast in these final eps, especially Ikumi & Heigar. The former really hit a nerve because I think he behaved closer to how (I imagine) I would in similar circumstances; brutal, but with honourable intentions. Of course as befits this show, the flaws of his plan soon become apparent, even more so once he begins to completely break down, but I still can’t help but think his decision was the best out of some very unpleasant alternatives.

    Heigar, on the other hand, really surprised me. Up until the last episodes I saw him as someone as unfazed & logical to a fault; however, it’s shocking to see that he’s as terrified & confused as everyone else, it’s just because of his super-serious nature he’s much less flexible with adapting to changes. He really cannot survive mentally without distancing himself from the personal horrors until he can only see statistics rather than actual human causalities. On the rare occasions he is directly challenged on his actions, it looks like he’s about to completely shatter under the strain. I’m glad he’s given a chance to redeem himself in the end.

    Sadly, not enough was done to with Blue or Yuki. I’m glad the latter received some form of resolution, but neither character’s points of view ever seemed justified enough to make them sympathetic to me.

    I think my favourite scene from these last episodes was when the soldiers finally encounter the teenagers, & how it mirrored the final moments of Lord of the Flies when the Officer finds the children. The moment when the pressure is finally lifted & they look around to see the horror of what they have become is truly haunting in both franchises.

    As for the ending, it really was one of the greatest conclusions to an anime I’ve ever seen, particularly in regards to the events that came before. I loved how most of the cast manages to find some measure of closure or redemption, Ikumi & Kozue in particular. I really wish Michelle was able to come to a positive epiphany like Criff did, but at the same time I wasn’t too bothered about Faina or the random deadbeat boyfriend; too much had happened for them to elicit any sympathy from me. One thing did bother me though; was that a wedding ring on Juli’s hand in the epilogue. Please don’t tell me that’s Blues; for god’s sake, I’d rather take Lucson!

    Well Infinite Ryvius, it’s been fun. Painful but fun! I hope the cast manages to find some measure of peace, or at the very least, have someone find that bloody raptor-girl in ep14!

    • April 6, 2012 10:01 pm

      I really wish Blue & Yuki had of been explored a bit more – especially with Blue running about the place like a one man army in the end – really wanted to know more about his motivations. And I also wanted to know exactly what was the chip Yuki had on his shoulder throughout the series – most of the time it felt like he was beating on Kouji out of habit more than anything else.

      I suppose the downside of a show having so many diverse and interesting characters is that there is never going to be enough time to flesh all of them out adequately.

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