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Episode 12

by Nicholas Dupree,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Bucchigiri?! ?
Community score: 3.2


Remember a few weeks ago when I explained the joke about how the hostess club the teacher kept visiting would turn out to be a cat cafe? Well, that happened this episode, in exactly the way you'd expect it to, and like when I brought it up before, it works as a good microcosm of Bucchigiri?!'s writing faults. It's an idea that is conceptually sound, and holds some merit, even if it's a pretty typical joke. Yet when it finally arrives, it's a resolution we all saw coming ages ago, delivered without any subversion or spin, amounting to a payoff that's greatly diminished because we stretched out the setup way too long.

Like previous episodes, there's nothing all that wrong with this episode, but it's not strong enough to transcend the flubbed setup. Matakara and Arajin's conclusion is fine in isolation but feels hollow as the conclusion to their poorly told relationship. Senya and Ichiya's fight is neat but dramatically weightless because neither has been developed beyond their most basic characteristics. Telling a single story in a single cour means there's not a lot of room for course correction, and Bucchigiri?! lost its sense of direction for long enough that it just couldn't recover.

There are still some weird missteps at the end, though the lack of investment makes it hard to care too much. I guess everyone was just assuming the worst in the past few episodes because Matakara's brother is alive after all! Good for him, but it makes the stakes of the preceding episodes feel even more artificial. Then there's Senya's return in the literal last second, which is supposed to be a heartwarming joke, but left me shrugging my shoulders. Like, sure, he can come back, I guess. Who cares about that moment of catharsis between him and Ichiya when we can get the dream team of ineffective protagonists back together? If I were more engaged with the story at this point, those decisions would leave me ticked off, but it's hard to muster rage from under all this disappointment.

I think the disappointment of it all is best exemplified in the ending montage. Typically, these sequences exist to show us where all the characters are after the big, dramatic events of the story. Through small glimpses, we're supposed to observe how they, or their circumstances, have changed thanks to everything they've been through. All we learn from this one is that everything is the same as before. Arajin and Matakara have gotten back to hanging out some, but otherwise, everyone is where they were in episode one. Mahoro is still obsessed with her brother and nothing else. The gangs are back to their normal rivalry. Matakara's friends are chill with Arajin but don't seem like his main friend group. Shindo is back in charge of the NG Boys for some reason. With Senya back, it's almost like the story itself never happened!

Suffice it to say, Bucchigiri?! did not justify the exclamation point in its title, but it earned that question mark pretty well. The whole story feels like a rough draft that was sent off without any of the refinement needed for its ideas to gel, and the result is a show that can't elicit much more than a shrug.


Bucchigiri?! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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