This is not a fair question to ask. But the answer is always yes, right? What? Not tonight? Nooooo!!! Horo, you tease!!!
Have you ever been in a situation where by circumstances you knew you were going to see a girl (or guy) you liked (if life were like anime, you’d probably be meeting seeing her and her friends at an onsen, or a summer trip to the beach), and so the night before, you spend all night planning out what will happen. You think about the opportunities where you might get a moment alone with her, or maybe you think of some ways to create those opportunities as well. You think about all the cool, suave things you’re going to say. Then you plan out responses for all her possible responses, all of which get her more and more hot and bothered under the collar. And then, the momentous day finally comes!… and then goes away. And at the end of the day, you realize you didn’t get a single moment alone with her. You said zero cool things. And if you even got to say something, you’re sure you sounded or looked like a total tool, and you realize all that planning you did – total waste of time.
I mention this, because that’s the way Lawrence probably felt about the last couple days, and that’s the way I sort of feel about the last couple eps. While it’s certainly no surprise that Horo ended back up with Lawrence. And I suspected that she was the one who’d bought the pyrite from Deanna. I was disappointed to learn that she was just really trying to screw over Amati as much as possible, and all of Lawrence’s insane scenario planning would’ve been unnecessary, if he hadn’t simply overreacted to Horo’s "I’m sorry." I would’ve much rather have learned that Horo struggled with her decision to stick with Lawrence, and was only won over by his frantic efforts.
I’m disappointed because it sort of invalidates all of the drama from the last couple episodes. While there was definitely some important developments – particularly Lawrence’s realization of what Horo means to him (even though he still can’t put it into words – freaking tsundere) – it cheapened both the main deal that Lawrence had with Amati, as well as the side deal as well. Which took up the bulk of the last couple episodes. Oh and by my final scorecard, Lawrence got KO’d by Amati, and then Amati got surprise TKO’d by Lawrence’s manager, Horo.
Ultimately yes, the decision was never not Horo’s to make. Amati could’ve won the side deal, the main deal, ruined Lawrence, but still lost Horo if she decided to stay with Lawrence. Or conversely, Lawrence could have pulled off a miracle, beat Amati in both the side and main deals, but still lost Horo to Amati. So the bets themselves – at least for the true reward – were meaningless. But when you build up 2 and a half episodes around those bets, building up a economics-driven showdown, but then you don’t play that out at the resolution, it makes the ending feel random and a little hollow. It’s sort of like repeating time 15,532 times and then finally breaking through by having a group homework day… Of course, it’s not nearly that bad.
Still… I’m happy that Horo and Lawrence are back together. While I like the economics stuff in this show, I was seriously suffering from Horo withdrawal. So getting a lot of Horo screen time in the second half was like finding a well in the middle of a desert. I love how Horo’s tail gets all fuzzy when she’s upset, I like how her ears flop down when she’s sad, and I, of course, missed her teasing as well.
But I’m glad we’re moving to the next arc. This one started off real strong, was really interesting in the middle, but then whimped out at the end, but I still enjoyed it. I got a kick out of Lawrence’s wild imagination of Horo and Amati. And I cracked up when Lanto confessed about Horo as well. Hopefully we get to see a little more of Deanna in the future too. I’m curious about her background and would like to see her in bird form as well.