The ending to Milky Holmes is far more bleak than it lets on. It wants you to believe that there’s a glimmer of hope when you see that flower growing out of the broken Pandora’s Pot. But that flower’s born out of the sort of self-delusion and lies that have dominated the series.
That flower’s not hope, it’s a sign of inevitable doom. But that doom’s the sort we want.
The Milky Holmes girls lost their Toys. Again. But it wasn’t due to any sort of failure on their part. They defeated Pig Guy last episode (Albeit with some help, but they put up a legitimate fight.), and in the final dance-off between Sherlock and Arsène, Sherlock did as well as a klutz with no dancing skills should expect.
Milky Holmes won. They did everything in their power and they succeeded, but despite all of that, fate intervened and caused them to return right back to where they started.
Let’s go back to all of that nonsense I’ve been spouting about this series, where Milky Holmes represent the stagnant anime industry, Arsène is the frustrated audience surrogate, and whatnot. Despite showing signs of shedding the trappings of banality and mediocrity, Milky Holmes and the anime industry can’t escape from that black hole. It doesn’t matter if there’s some desire to break from the mold, they both return to what’s safe and comforting. And despite knowing full well that there’s no hope, we the audience delude ourselves into believing that anime can change, much like how Arsène deludes herself into thinking that Milky Holmes can change. That flower is us tricking ourselves into thinking anything’s ever gonna get better.
But at the same time, fuck that noise. We genuinely love anime despite all of its flaws, just like how Arsène genuinely loves the Milky Holmes girls. They both flounder, but we’re willing to accept that if it means we get what we want in the end. It’s more than a little masochistic, but at the same time that’s pretty much what love is. Love’s all about devoting yourself to someone or something despite all reason telling you otherwise. Love is the ultimate act of self-delusion, and we celebrate it.
And that’s what makes Milky Holmes brilliant. It’s all about the vicious cycle of being a fan. At some point you just gotta shrug and admit that this shit that you love is never gonna achieve the sort of perfection you want. It’ll have its brilliant moments, much like how the Milky Holmes girls took on Pig Guy, but you’re a fucking fool for thinking it’s gonna be like that all the time. So you indulge in that delusional love and blind yourself to some extent so that you can enjoy whatever it is you like.
That’s how I’ve been able to be an anime fan for this long. If I just upped and gave up when I realized that most anime was shit, I wouldn’t be here right now writing this post. It takes a certain measure of delusion to keep watching year after year when I know that I’m only gonna enjoy a handful of the series currently airing. And that’s more than OK.