Back Arrow ‒ Episode 24

3 months ago 52

The Granedger and company are out to battle God. Meanwhile. Back in Lingalind, it turns out Rudolph is not so invincible. Arrow's attack did manage to sever Rudolph's connection to God, and so the remaining forces attack him with all their might. However, it won't be easy, and a fierce battle breaks out. The battle in God's realm also takes an interesting turn when mirror copies appear mimicking Arrow's Briheight and Gigan Reppu.

Atlee asks God why they must be destroyed. God explains then why they must be destroyed. It turns out that there is a grand fleet that carried God's ancestor's through space, a place beyond even God's realm. There was a dilemma - a great disease that wiped out all except for a newborn baby. They created the Lind system to protect the child, using conviction cycles to sustain the child. Shu surmises that the entire system is one grand conviction siphon to sustain and nurture God. Because the people of Lingalind's conviction for survival exceeded the system's limits, they must be destroyed. The humans do not accept their fate and the battle continues. However, God is incredibly powerful.

Back in Lingalind, Rudolph seems to have the upper hand. But before he can slay Princess Fine, spiritual allies appear in the form of Fine's alter ego and Emperor Zetsu. It turns out that when Epitaph Mountain was destroyed their souls had not yet entered, and so they were free to come back. The rest of Lingalind's forces press on in the counter attack. Princess Fine channels the accumulated conviction of all Lingalind's people, and everyone launches their special moves to launch Rudolph and Dissonanza out of their world. This turns them into a beam of pure conviction shot at Arrow to re-empower him. The Granedger re-engages and grabs Arrow's sword, preparing to fight God. They engage, and in the fighting the God baby allows them to proceed. God summons them to an abstract space that adapts to something they can understand. They meet the massive glowing God baby, and realize it has been sleeping for over 2000 years. They see the system where the God baby is from: a small blue planet. They decide to go.

A month later, they all say their goodbyes to everyone in Lingalind. With the destruction averted, they say farewell and set off to the stars. Shu, Arrow, and the Granedger are setting off, leaving Lingalind in the hands of Kai, Ren, and the others. The ship lifts off and heads to God's home world: Earth.

And thus the final act draws to a close on Back Arrow (for now, at least).

What a terrific ending to a wonderful little show. This sort of ending is the natural conclusion of many of my favorite super robot shows, where all physical limitations are cast aside in favor of burning passion and deity-punching goodness. Ironically, the ultimate enemy of God was really more of an afterthought, and Rudolph and Dissonanza played the role of the “true” villains for the crew. Ultimately I think that works since they were much more obvious and direct opposition throughout most of the series.

Giant 2001-style floating space baby was not exactly what I expected for a finale but hey sure why not. For a series who's first gear was “my punchy robot is powered by belief” it's not a terribly shocking conclusion. The finale gave a measure of closure while leaving the door open for future stories, and I think in that regard it's about the best we could hope for.

The real shame of course is that the series felt a touch rushed in the character department. Atlee, Elsha, Bit, and the other Granedger folks felt like they received little to no attention here, which is a shame. They have been sidelined on and off throughout the season, but it would have been nice to get more than a few lines each here at the end. Even Back Arrow got… very little screen time, ironically. It felt like Shu, Kai, and Ren had the most focus and ultimately the most growth in this episode. Not that I'm complaining, as I really like how things wrapped up with them, but I think it would have been nice to have a few more minutes with these characters before we said farewell.

Of course the fighting all looked superb. High concept deicide missile swarms and doom bolts abounded, and at no point did I feel the visuals were not up to snuff. Contrary to my initial fears when starting the series based on prior bias, the CG was not only not a concern - I ended up completely forgetting about it entirely. As someone who can be a bit of a grumbler when the mecha aren't hand drawn, this is about the highest praise I think I can give.

Back Arrow is a splendid modern mecha show that manages to touch on a lot of the greatest hits while carving out its own space. Well done all around.


Grant is the cohost on the Blade Licking Thieves podcast and Super Senpai Podcast.

Back Arrow is currently streaming on FUNimation Entertainment.

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