Certainly just the beginning, but this is a nice way to end until the eventual sequel.
Let’s be honest here: most of these last 6 eps consisted of buffoonery. Apart from introducing Marika and ending with the stage play, most of these episodes were dedicated to romcom hijinks or ship teases. This doesn’t bother me too much as these situations are still entertaining and while she’s my least favorite girl, Marika is adorable in her own right. But it’s certainly bothersome when it continues to goof off till the very end, especially if it takes up nearly two seasons of airing time.
And for those who’ve just gotten into this story, let me just say that this story is far from concluding. Without spoiling later chapters, I can tell you that ONLY NOW have they finished setting up the PREPARATIONS for starting a final arc. And as for how far this 20 ep series covers, it’s still got about 26 more eps to go before reaching anywhere near that point. Those that have been teased for the past 2 seasons are going to leave disappointed if they expected plot closure.
That being said, there’s enough closure for the character interactions that has me eagerly wait for more. Admittedly the set-up for the relationship conflict between Raku and Chitoge was extremely predictable, but how it plays out during the preparations for the play still convinces me that they have a bond that won’t be broken. All the girls have their moment of emotional clarity whether its for laughs or blushes, and the actual play the show ends on is a parade of awkwardness that had me cringe and laugh all at once. And hey, Marika fans should be happy with her portrayal here (my RL friend definitely was).
On the whole, I think SHAFT did a decent job at adapting one of my favorite harems. Sure the presentation was over-the-top, and there’s really no resolution even if you read the manga. However, I feel that the charm and innocence of the manga was captured exactly how I wanted it. And considering how well the blu-rays have sold for this, it’s only a matter of time before we get more.