Created By: TheHeroHartmut on December 22, 2011 Last Edited By: TheHeroHartmut on January 2, 2012

Finale Countdown

Measuring how long until an inevitable occurrence will end the plot.

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Needs a Better Description, Do We Have This One?

Often seen in Animé, this refers to how, just before the credits roll, a measuring scale of some description leading up to a major plot event will be marked. Generally, the event in question is something that is bound to happen, and is significant enough to herald the end of the plot (and, subsequentially, the show) when it eventually occurs. Of course, this isn't specific to Animé, and can even occur in non-series-based media; this trope is in effect so long as the audience is given some kind of indication as to the progress before an inevitable occurrence. Related to Race Against the Clock.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Used in Mahoromatic to count down the amount of time Mahoro has left until her power supply runs out.
  • Used and inverted in He Is My Master; the end of each episode marks how much Izumi has to pay until she clears her sizeable debt to Yoshitaka... but also accounts for the damage caused to Yoshitaka's possessions incurred during the episode (usually by her), which then gets added on, increasing her total debt since the previous time.

Film
  • This periodically occurred in The Guns of Navarone. The team has six days to complete its mission. Every so often, the current day and time of the mission would be shown on the screen. At the end of the sixth day the destroyers carrying the troops from Kheros would come through the Navarone channel and if the title guns hadn't been destroyed yet, the ships would be sunk.

Live Action TV
  • US TV shows will sometimes do this during their On the Next segment. "Only four more episodes until the season/series finale" and such.

Video Games
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • December 22, 2011
    randomsurfer
    US TV shows will sometimes do this during the On The Next. "Only four more episodes until the season/series finale" and such.
  • December 22, 2011
    TBTabby
    Atop The Fourth Wall used this, counting the days until the finale of the Mechakara and Lord Vyce story arcs.
  • December 23, 2011
    Arivne
    Film
    • This occurred in The Guns Of Navarone. The team has six days to complete its mission. Every so often the current day and time of the mission would be shown on the screen. At the end of the sixth day the destroyers carrying the troops from Kheros would come through the Navarone channel and if the title guns hadn't been destroyed yet, the ships would be sunk.
  • December 23, 2011
    TonyG
    • One episode of How I Met Your Mother had numbers cleverly incorporated into each scene, counting down from 50. The countdown reached one when Marshall learns of his father's death.
    • Each episode of Two Broke Girls ends with the total in dollars the girls have earned towards opening their cupcake business. Sometimes the total goes up, sometimes it goes down, and sometimes it stays the same.
  • December 23, 2011
    SKJAM
    • Star Blazers: There are only X number of days left before the Earth becomes uninhabitable by humans. Less each episode.

    • Bakuman: Done in the Manga Within A Manga "Business Boy Kenichi" as the protagonist's remaining funds were listed at the end of each chapter.
  • December 30, 2011
    TBeholder
    Non-final plot points don't count?
  • January 1, 2012
    Unknown Troper
    Happens in the computer game Prince Of Persia. I know it happens in the first two, and as far as I know it happens in every other game as well. The reasons for the countdown vary, but it's usually because the princess' life is in danger and she will die/be forced to marry the Grand Vizier when the time has run out.
  • January 2, 2012
    Arivne
    This may involve Exact Time To Failure.

    To expand on SKJAM's example above:

    Anime and Manga
  • January 2, 2012
    Duncan
    Watchmen begins at "5 minutes to Midnight" on the Doomsday clock. This is graphically represented in each issue as the time counts down.
  • January 2, 2012
    LiberatedLiberater
    Tweak the description to be less anime-specific and I'll give it a hat.

    • Both the Fate Zero novels and anime feature a countdown until the final battle in the fourth Grail War, where the entire city burns down due to the corruption of the Grail. It also serves as the connecting point to Fate Stay Night.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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