by Lynzee Loveridge,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Fairy Ranmaru ?
How would you rate episode 11 of
Fairy Ranmaru ?
How would you rate episode 12 of
Fairy Ranmaru ?
I have to give Fairy Ranmaru credit. It certainly didn't take the coward's way out.
Episode 10 ties up some loose ends with Takara's backstory, introducing the lawyer we've seen several times as a former hedonist fairy that worked for his dad. We also meet "Tina," a stripper and single mom (essentially) whose babydaddy is a deadbeat gambling addict. This episode primarily serves to reinforce Fairy Ranmaru's somewhat positive portrayal of sex workers. Takara himself works as one and he compliments Tina multiple times on her skillful dancing. It is, however, not the first time the series has used more hands-on sex work as a looming threat.
The 'healing battle' scene also gets especially strange as it introduces an Oedipal side to Takara as he first is confronted by excessive drinking, smoking, and then sex...but the woman is his mother and the scene is definitely framed sexually. The episode wants to at least suggest that part of Takara's sexual indulgences is fed by a desire to recreate the love he felt from his mother. It's as Freudian as the series has ever been. Takara appears to have an epiphany though that he doesn't wanna boink his mom, so all's well that ends well. We can then get into the final two episodes and full plot committal to how very, very gay this show is and that's not all just flamboyant window dressing.
Fairy Ranmaru has featured exceptional worldbuilding for a series that never really required it. The final two episodes fills in the remaining pieces of the story while also pulling away the curtain on the real villain (although it wasn't a huge surprise). There was actually a time before the 10 Laws when the Fairy World was at the height of its prosperity and it was thanks to two all powerful deities.
Sirius and Betelgeuse (aka Chilka and Ranmaru) used to be idol ship-worthy phenom produced by the Fairy Queen, Procyon. They were a huge success but eventually Sirius wanted to retire to pursue a relationship with one of his fans. The idol industry is anything but accommodating for outside romance and Procyon's reactions reaffirms this. However, Sirius is rejected rather cruelly and this is hit with a secondary punch of finding out that his beloved has died in a traffic accident. He assumes based on Procyon's reaction that she somehow orchestrated it.
In the mean time, the success of the idol duo has led to an unfathomable amount of Attachment funneling into the Fairy World and the Queen's own greed has built an empire. She can't afford to let the boys quit their idol gig but the other elemental kingdom offshoots are crumbling in the midst of her greed. There's the betrayal by Uruu's mother leading to Homura's father's death and the Metallum clan's disintegration due to infighting that left Takara and his mother starving in a sewer. She's quickly finding herself a monarch alone in a castle with her one faithful servant (Hojo, whose fairy form is hilarious) and attempting to hold tight to her control on Sirius and Betelgeuse. However, with his lover dead and convinced that Procyon orchestrated it, Sirius heads straight for the castle.
It's implied at first that Sirius' battle with the queen is what caused the destruction of the Fairy World. But no. It may have lit the fuse but the actual destruction could only be accomplished through sheer disaster gay rage. Sirius might have been playing things up for their crowds of fans but Betelgeuse loved Sirius, and he burnt the whole world down in retribution.
His current self doesn't remember any of this and the Queen has been under protection from Hojo in a liminal space ever since. Hojo knows that the Queen is wrong and as the fairy boys continue to act in ways outside of her direct control, her own anger starts to build up again. Likewise, Sirius is prepared for his second siege on the monarch, whose arrogance has transformed her into a Queen Bee-inspired villain. In order to defeat her, the boys (and Hojo) will have to confront their deeply-sealed trauma.
That means a lot of kissing. Uruu and Homura finally have a heart-to-heart. Sirius and Betelgeuse face off again with their...faces. Sirius realizes the death of his beloved wasn't at the hands of the queen (although she very much hoped to use it to her advantage) and the queen herself realizes her original motivation was to bring happiness to humans, not hoard Attachment.
Much of the final confrontation gave me big Sailor Moon vibes with its split-screen transformations and attacks. The animation itself wasn't...great. There was a lot of cost-saving measures implemented during the fights. The characters' faces also devolve into some truly hideous displays of emotion at times, but I think that might have been intentional. Think when characters from Code Geass had a mental break; it was kind of like that.
I am still a bit in awe in the amount of smooching insomuch as I know that was supposed to be hurdle for Sayo Yamamoto in Yuri!!! on Ice. Fairy Ranmaru doesn't mask any of its homoeroticism, be it the transformation sequences or the more tender moments. I can appreciate how unabashedly it embraced camp, queerness, and less savory topics like sex work, exploitative work environments, and female-targeted harassment and abuse. It didn't land all of its punches gracefully, but there always felt like there was considerable thought put into its topics du jour each week.
I can't believe this was the show that called out Shonen Jump, lmfao.
-Procyon is a star like Betelgeuse and Sirius but it's also the genus name for raccoons.
-I said before that Chilka was Hindu, but that seems to be coincidental. The name is actually a variated spelling of "chiruka" from the Japanese word meaning "to fall" or "to scatter" (like cherry blossom petals).
-Winter Tri-Angels is a hilarious name for an idol group that only includes two people.
Fairy Ranmaru is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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