I don’t think Maria is the worst anime of the season, but it definitely had the worst ending to an anime I have seen in a while.
Within the first minute, Maria declared that she was never going to change her ways to Michael and it all went downhill from there.
Even the title of this episode was a slap in the face.
Seriously, this episode was worse than I expected. Not only did the show go the direction I feared it would, but the amount of overly-long “Maria is right” dialogue with only one brief action scene thrown into the mix was just dull to watch. After everything Maria went through, after all the trouble she caused, and even after a bunch of people (although they were the bad guys, and Bernard ended up changing his ways, so they don’t count) claimed that Maria had created more harm than good, not only did the show cop-out on all its complex issues with, well, the message displayed in the ending’s f*cking title, but every single “good-natured” character supported her 100% and that Michael’s judgment on her can suck it? Are you high, Goro Taniguchi? What made you think that sort of Mary Sue fanfiction finale was a good idea?
Some people have claimed to me in my previous post that this sort of ending is fine because it worked well for Disney when they did it, both critically and commercially. To which I say that’s fine, but that’s not going to stop me from declaring it to be shit. You wouldn’t defend After Story’s ending to the haters by saying “it was the best way to please the Key/VN fans”. Yeah that’s true, but that’s not going to stop said ending from being a lame deus-ex that the elitist crowd are going to declare borderline-offensive. Also, most of those Disney endings are executed well enough so that they don’t ruin the journey to my knowledge. Maria’s ending was about as much a ruination as The Little Mermaid’s.
Why? Because it ruined Maria’s character journey and put her on a holy grail that Vash can only dream of sitting on. Aside from getting stripped of her powers due to the new love she found – which isn’t a punishment at all. That’s just what happens to witches who lose their virginity – she never grew up. She never changed! And worst of all, her philosophy is a load of BS. You can’t just go “I will always try to stop wars no matter the consequences, because when I’m happy, the world is a little happier” after everything she’s been through. It does not work like that! Hell, that sort of philosophy wouldn’t even fly in real gritty anti-war stories. It’s an ugly message that insults real pacifists unable to do the things that Maria can do, and if their is a real-life God who would lose out to that sort of shit being blasted in their face, then even by his evil standards, that’s just low.
And the biggest (well, second-biggest) crime of all is how this conclusion ultimately wastes the good direction and painstaking research regarding the real-life war/setting, let alone the reasonable counterpoints that were occasionally brought up throughout the anime but never manifested into anything worthwhile. It’s the same sort of bullshit that Your Lie In April pulled, and at least that show ended naturally with the way everything was set up, even if said setup was not to my taste (huge understatement). Maria, on the other hand, just shot everything it built up right in the foot before they could manifest into anything worthwhile. All that effort into making the show aesthetically-pleasing and we end up with twelve episodes where the ultimate message is that “pacifism is always the solution to war, and if you don’t agree, we’ll force that philosophy on you”. And they didn’t even bother to justify why Maria hates war so much in the first place, despite having her question the reason once in the second half.
Great, I’m glad I spent all that time on this anime just to arrive to that awful conclusion. I don’t need to watch twelve episodes for that!