How would you rate episode 12 of
High Card ?
Community score: 3.7
So I guess that counts as a climax for now. It was weird because while there were some nice moments in this finale with some nice foreshadowing about what is to come for the thankfully announced second season, I surprisingly find myself feeling pretty empty about this episode. The conversation that Finn has about how Chris is his buddy was a highlight and while I think the show could've done a better job of establishing that relationship, it was nice to see Finn goes so far for someone that he did sort of consider a brother. I thought the show was going to make more parallels between Chris and the brother that Finn lost in that fire. Considering how easy that would've been, I don't know why they didn't do anything like that but maybe they didn't do it because it was too easy. It's hard to say because I feel like this episode and a lot of this first half could've been so much better with just a few rewrites.
There are a lot of motives and ideas that are introduced in this episode that feel like they were foreshadowed or brought up earlier but I for the life of me cannot remember them being elaborated on. I know Leo has a strange relationship with his dad who seems to have this incredibly strict “by the books” mentality and I like the fact that seems to contrast with the Klondike's family head philosophy which seems to very much be along the lines of “people should be allowed to do whatever the hell they want”. I'm not sure if the show is setting up Leo's Dad to be some kind of villain because he's been nothing but an asshole for these past couple of episodes. He also seems to let his son and the rest of High Card get away with everything in the end because Chris is allowed to come back to work despite breaking all of their rules.
Why do I get the strange feeling that's not going to be elaborated on? Also, all of that talks about how Finn's card is one of the weakest in the playset came out of nowhere because while that does explain why his card is just a gun, I don't remember there being a correlation or philosophy from the value of the card to their abilities. I understand using it as a symbol for Finn who is sort of like this lower-class street thief but that needed a bit more build-up to feel like an emotionally satisfying point.
While I'm happy that Chris didn't die in the end, it's hard to deny that the whole situation didn't feel very cheap. I have no idea why Chris is still alive since he was clearly already in the middle of activating the four-of-a-kind hand. The show tries to explain that his immortality might've played a part but if that's the case then what is the correlation between the power of the X Hand versus how durable the immortality is? By that logic, shouldn't Chris's dad still be alive since he also had the same card? Also, I can understand a three-of-a-kind not being able to full on save Chris's sister and I like the fact that it seemed to buy them some more time but I don't know why Chris didn't think to maybe try that first instead of being so quick to throw his life away.
I already mentioned this a bit in my best and worst pics for the season but High Card was a bit disappointing and that feels weird considering that I didn't have any grand lofty aspirations for it in the first place. I'm surprised we're getting a second season since a lot of anime originals usually don't get that much. But I'm curious to see what this world might have in store. Will the second season rectify the issues I had with his first season or will it just open up more holes by repeating the same mistakes? I will definitely watch whatever else there is to see but maybe I'll temper my expectations a little bit more to be safe.
High Card is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.
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