Final Approach

Baby Royale

One day you're living a normal life, the next you're forced to marry some girl you've never met.

by Joseph Luscik

Final Approach is a new anime that has aired recently in Japan. It was part of the "Princess Hour" with another show called W ~ Wish ~ or Double Wish. One of the things that made this show stand out, besides the story, is that it's just made up of thirteen thirteen-minute episodes, which is something quite new. So for anyone who just wants to sit back and get through some new anime really fast, Final Approach is a good place to start. If you marathon this show, you'll be done in about the same time as some movies.

Final Approach

Though this seemed like something very new, the person who did the screenplay for Final Approach has a few other credits to their name. Katsumi Hasegawa is certainly showing some range in creativity going from Blue Gender to Final Approach. Also for all the people who love the art of Akira, even after all of these years, they might be happy to know that Katsufumi Haryu, who did the background art for Akira, was the art director for Final Approach. This little experiment of thirteen thirteen-minute episodes, bundled in with another show has some big names behind it.

The show starts off with something that looks like it could be a video game that someone is playing, then perhaps you think that maybe it's a movie or TV show, then you finally realize that this is what is actually happening in the show. You see helicopters flying in over an apartment, and someone jumps out of one and crashes through the window of one of the apartments. Quite an explosive beginning for this little show.

Final Approach

The premise of Final Approach almost seems like Battle Royal, but backwards. Birth rates in Japan have been decreasing at an alarming rate, so the government has had to step in and do something about it. They decided that the only logical way was to force people to marry and hence lead to higher birthrates. Well, the person jumping out of the helicopter is Masude Shizuka, the first person that the government picked to have to marry someone, and she's actually very happy about this. The apartment she jumped into belongs to Ryo and Akane, who are brother and sister. Ryo is the guy that Shizuka is being forced to marry, but Ryo doesn't feel quite the same way as Shizuka does about this idea. Actually, he hates the idea and he wants nothing to do with it. However, when you have dozen of large bodyguards and the government working against you, you don't have much of a choice, so Shizuka ends up living with Ryo and Akane. Ryo can see what his true feelings really are and that's where the real story of this show begins.

Final Approach

Early on, we're introduced to a number of different characters that help to add some spice to the show. Emiho, called Ojo by Ryo, and Miki are Ryo and Akane's best friends at school who soon befriend Shizuka as well. We also get to meet Mukasa Haruki, called Haru, and Yurika. They both own the café that Akane and Ryo work at to make some extra money, since they are living on their own. Haru is also their guardian, as their parents died when both of them were young.

With all the names out of the way, here's how the story progresses. The thirteen episodes mostly show the daily lives of these people as they go to school and as Shizuka tries to get Ryo to warm up to her. However, a little twist is thrown in when Ryo asks Ojo out on a date. In my book, any show that uses the phrase "Love Rival" has to go up a notch and we just got ours with Ojo. Since Ryo doesn’t care much for the idea of forced marriages, he wants to go out with Ojo and you find out another reason why later in the show. Basically the show just milks its run off of these two points: Shizuka wants to marry Ryo and he doesn’t, and Ryo and Ojo go on a few dates. That’s pretty much what you’re going to get out of this show.

Final Approach

The show has its moments of comedy that can get a laugh out of you and a romantic element, but the romance seems to not really shine through as much as it could of. The show must love chibi artwork since it relies on it to illustrate a lot of the humor in the show. Also for all intensive purposes, the show ends at episode twelve, but it has a thirteenth episode which seemed to be fanservice, just like the token episode found in Please Teacher, Dual!, and Green Green TV. However, this episode is not as sexual as any of those, just something to please the fans and to put the girls in swimsuits. Additionally, episode twelve also felt out of place with the rest of the series, with emotions making a complete 180 degrees out of nowhere. It’s either going to make a lot of people happy or very angry.

So will Final Approach will ever be licensed in the US? Its episode length could prevent it from ever coming over, but it wouldn't be too surprising to see the Princess Hour coming out over stateside. Even if Final Approach never makes it over here, there is plenty of other romance/comedies that can take its place, and either way it's sure to find its audience.

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