Well, I’m feeling pretty optimistic about Lapis Re:LiGHTs‘ ending now.
So all that talk about the magical beasts? Apparently, they’re all converging on Mamuceaster which is where the Flora Girls Academy is located. And yes, this actually means everyone’s lives are at stake. Fortunately, director Chloe reveals a countermeasure: all the mana gathered by the various Orchestras can be used to conjure a spell so powerful, it’ll purge the incoming horde. Thus, she tasks all the orchestra teams (I guess the five we’ve been following are the only students who partake in this activity) to perform during a festival that coincides with the upcoming attack and gather the last remaining amounts of mana needed for the spell. I know I’ve said this a number of times in the past but I swear, I’m not making any of this up.
Believe me, it all sounds amazingly absurd but from a writer’s perspective, this is honestly not a bad setup for the finale. Not only will this make use of the Orchestras and the magical beasts, it’ll also give all the characters something to do and something very important to boot. Like surprisingly, the thing that actually concerns me the most is if the finale can reasonably allow every team to perform. I’d actually be down for a marathon of insert songs, especially given the soundtrack’s genre variety. But since the next episode will undoubtedly be half an hour long, I get the feeling a lot of abridging will be in order. Plus, I think we all know that it will be LiGHTs that will save the day and not the fifteen other characters that comprise the cast. That’s the only way you can resolve both LiGHTs’ arc and the big conflict at hand. No doubt, the spotlight will mostly be on them.
Of course, Lapis currently needs to get LiGHTs back to Mamuceaster. After all, Tiara is stuck in the royal palace and her friends are freeloading at the place to the point that they more or less forgot there’s still a plot in this show. The whole group very quickly learns about the upcoming attack and naturally, they don’t want to sit idly by and want to help with the J-Pop. Suffice to say, it’s Eliza who serves as the team’s biggest obstacle and it’s finally confirmed that Eliza did deliberately get Tiara expelled (though how it happened is Chloe’s doing). Thing is, Eliza knew about the incoming attack on Mamuceaster and thus wanted Tiara expelled to keep her safe. With that in mind, it’s possible she let Tiara’s friends stay at the royal palace so that her sister won’t have to worry about them.
Even this far into the series, I’m still not sure what to make of Eliza. Her actions seem to have good intentions behind them but assuming she still loves her sister (in the normal sense), she sure has a backwards way of showing it. Like, I have to wonder: if Tiara chose a different school to study at, would Eliza have planned for her expulsion and allowed her to pursue her dream? I honestly struggle to imagine she would. Eliza does acknowledge and praise Tiara for her newfound passion and resolve, but she nevertheless keeps an iron grip on her sister and orders her to stay home. I hope Eliza knows Tiara resents her for all this because what other result would she expect? Hell, maybe that’s why she’s so coldhearted right now.
Hilariously, there are some holes in Eliza’s plan. Many of the royal guards have been reassigned to assist in the war effort and Eliza herself transports to presumably help Mamuceaster (might we see Ray finally perform?). All things considered, security is at a low which seems very counterintuitive to keeping Tiara stuck at home. I suppose Eliza just assumes her sister wouldn’t go anywhere though she should honestly expect Tiara to act a little disobedient here.
There is also the matter of getting to Mamuceaster in time. The festival and the magical beasts’ assault will both apparently happen in the next day and Lapis did establish that it took Tiara’s friends multiple days that the journey to the capital took multiple days via carriage. So, how does Lapis rectify this? By revealing that Anna is a trained airship pilot and having her fly LiGHTs all the way to Mamuceaster. Once more, I’m not making this up! It’s definitely contrived – hell, the show never even established airships ever – but for the sake of our main characters saving the day with the power of J-Pop, I’m willing to look the other way. Plus, this also adds to the amazing randomness that this show has flaunted since day one.
The penultimate episode also dedicates some time to the supporting cast and how they react to the news that they’re about to die and need to sing and dance their way out of that. Champe is particularly prominent as she’s atypically albeit understandably anxious about the task ahead of her, leading Ratura and (surprisingly) Maryberry to lift her spirits up. You also have a nice moment where Yue resolves to succeed in saving the town so that Tiara can return to it one day, finally showing her soft spot for her peer. That’s really it though. The show skims over how IV Klore and Konohana wa Otome feel. There’s a moment where Angelica says she wants to do her part as Angelica and not Angers which is interesting but there’s so little time to really explore that part of her character. It’s a shame. Even though much of Lapis‘ clumsiness owes to to the cast being too big, there’s enough decent characters that I can’t help but wish there was more time with them. But alas, time isn’t really on Lapis’ side and assuming this is a one and done season, time is about to run out.
Thanks for reading!
Watch Lapis Re:LiGHTs on Funimation