Welcome, one and all, to my continuing episode review series for the anime Murenase! Seton Gakuen, aka Seton Academy: Join The Pack. With episode 12, the series draws to a close, and this was a lot of fun again. Let’s talk about why.
Mini Mammoth Melee
We started off with the introduction of Koorimoto Man, the mammoth that leads Team EX. Despite the huge shadow, she’s actually, well, tiny. She’s tough though and takes out Yena and King Shishino at the same time with ease. Ranka stepped up as boss to protect Jin, and the human came up with a plan: Ranka vs. Koorimoto in a boxing match, with the winner taking the humans. Initially, Koorimoto refused, but backed down when Jin threw marbles all over the place to stop her moving – elephants hate foot injuries, you see – and agreed to the rules.
This was as long as it needed to be, it got across the main points, and we saw some nice little in-character moments too. Ranka clearly takes her role very seriously, and Jin showed some concern for her too. I also enjoyed the marble bit as it showed that King Shishino winning them in the last episode wasn’t just a random thing, but actually served a purpose. Good stuff.
The boxing itself took up much of the rest of the episode, and that included some interesting visuals. First up, Kuroe as a referee made me chuckle. With the traditional black and white stripes, referees have often been referred to as zebras, so she was a great choice for that. It’s a simple joke, maybe even an obvious one, but it was funny, so I can’t complain.
Meanwhile, the ring girl stuff didn’t bother me. I know, right? Random fan service that didn’t annoy me. The thing is, it worked contextually. Ring girls are a real thing, after all. It isn’t just something made up as an excuse for fan service. Sure, if I wanted to be picky, I could argue that the outfits weren’t traditional ring girl wear – especially Hitomi’s – but that would be far too nit-picky here. It was fine. The scenes made sense, and they didn’t’ detract from the story. So, well done Seton Academy, that worked.
Ranka Howl-boa And The Power Of Friendship
This was very much a Ranka episode when it came down to it. Ranka was absolutely up for protecting her packmates, and even shouted down her sister in taking on this role. The first round saw her using speed to confuse Koorimoto, but she got caught with a heavy blow just before the bell that built up some tension.
With it clear that Ranka could lose, and potentially to one punch, she started off round two by sticking with the plan. Koorimoto was visibly tiring, and she could use that to her advantage. But Koorimoto used her head and convinced Ranka that bosses need to be strong, causing her to stop and try a frontal attack. She was hit hard and went down, barely beating the count at nine.
Now bruised and bloody, Ranka was hurting. Jin tried to convince her to let him take care of thins now, and she refused, demanding that he doesn’t throw n the towel, and even saying that she’ll never lick him again if he does. Jin responded by picking her up and praising her, causing her to power up.
The round started off well, with Ranka dodging blow after blow, but Koorimoto tricked Ranka into closing he distance and knocking her out of the ring. With everyone scared she was done for, it was Miyubi that started the rallying cry. With the crowd now behind her, and a Rocky-style musical burst playing, Ranka dove back into the ring.
Throughout this, Anetani had had a change of heart and tried talking Koorimoto down. That was mostly caused by the reveal that Hitomi actually knew that she was a Neanderthal, but was her friend anyway. That came into play again when one last attempt to get Koorimoto to stop resulted in Anetani telling her she was leaving Team EX and would no longer be her friend. The shock caused Koorimoto to stop and even a weak blow from Ranka was enough to put her down then. Seton Academy won.
Okay, so there was a lot going on here, all wrapped in a familiar package. Ranka was superb, battling hard and refusing to give in when it came to protecting those she cared for. Meanwhile, Jin showed a lot more trust in her than normal. In particular, it was worth noting that he didn’t leap at the opportunity to have her stop licking him. Sure, there was probably some self-preservation involved there, but honestly, I don’t think he hates Rana as much as he lets on.
The fight itself was very simple, but it was enjoyable to watch. Miyubi being the one to get the crowd behind Ranka when everyone else had given up hope was a nice call back to Ranka supporting her way back during the sports episode too. I like little things like that because it shows that there’s a little thought going into the overall plot.
Ends And Beginnings
Ranka expelled Anetani from the pack for her betrayal, and she rejoined Team EX. Things were more civil now though, and Team EX were able to enjoy a cooking session with the Cooking Club. Anetani apologized to Hitomi and Hitomi revealed that she felt like she’d never get on with other animals at first. But Jin and Ranka showed her that you could overcome any differences. The two girls tried to hug, but Yena got in the middle and stole the hug from Hitomi. It was all very light-hearted. Peace couldn’t last for long though, as while the club was talking happily, King Shishino turned up. He was beaten, bloody, and covered in webs. It seems a new threat has arrived: Fabre Academy.
Most of this was to play up on the constant we-can-be-different-but-still-be-friends theme of the series. It was fine; nothing new, but nothing wrong. I did like that Koorimoto’s tusks were hair all along though, that made me smile. The set-up of mammal vs. bugs was cool too. I look forward to seeing how that turns out if we get a second season. Though it did put ‘Insect Nation; by Bill Bailey in my head.
Overall, that was a decent end to the season. I think I may have enjoyed it more than the last episode too. The little callbacks and the chance to shine for Ranka were appreciated, and nothing felt off, so I’m happy with that.
The series as a whole had a similar vibe to Magical Sempai for me. There were times it pushed things too far for my liking, but when it got it right, it did so very well. Would I recommend it? Well, if you like kemonomimi characters and don’t mind the fan service, sure. It’s fun, is capable of showing some heart, and bar a few missteps, is generally good-natured.
So, those were my thoughts. But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy this episode? Do you agree or disagree with any of my observations? Let me know in the comments below.
Previous Episode Reviews
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 1
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 2
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 3
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 4
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 5
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 6
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 7
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 8
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 9
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 10
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 11