December 18th, 2013.
Where We Undo Previous Progress and Things Get Worse by the Minute
Time for this love story to reach its conclusion. Time for the would be lovers to kick ass in order to overcome their fates and realize their destinies, and finally be re-united! And with slightly less lingo thrown out there, I wonder if we’ll see what’s up with the G-Man or whether they’ll leave all of that for a potential second season.
Thoughts and Notes:
- Hmm, I’m not sure how that works out for me from a direction point of view – we have the two re-unite, and exchange words, and Akihito basically confess, right as the episode begins, no music, no nothing. I think I needed to be eased slightly more into this scene, even without music, to have given it 10-20 more seconds in the episode first, to orient myself as to where we are. Might have worked out had I been marathoning the show.
- “You should never turn into a boring adult.” – “It’s not like I’ve had a choice.” – On one hand, many people don’t want to turn into adults, and it’s hard to find a line within ourselves where we go “Well, we’re adultsnow!”, but this is such an anime message, especially in shows by KyoAni, where they focus so very hard on clinging to youth and not growing up.
- “This isn’t really the time for jokes.” – Oh, Mirai, hadn’t we been telling you that for a while? Also, you’re such a spoilsport, that witticism hit the mark, I laughed (“All of this was within you, Akihito” – “No wonder my shoulders have been aching lately” – for context).
And then they shout “Shishamoe with roe!” at it. I thought it wasn’t time for jokes ;_;
- “But hit the gas, and if you’re wondering why, it’s because it’s too late to stop now!” and then she shouts “Senpai!” as they go over the gulf. Honestly, these lines feel quite forced. Should’ve just settled for “Hit the gas, Senpai!” or “We can’t stop now.”
- Akihito agrees, this so so messed up.
- “I’m sure everything will work out somehow!” – Please, this is the time for strategy and seriousness, not just trying to improvise. Mirai-san pls.
- Yeah, last episode was great because alone, each of the characters can be great, but together, we’re defaulting to the constant witticism which doesn’t feel natural, and only feels as a mask to hide the awkwardness that had plagued this show for most of its run. It actually sort of makes sense, they’re two young adults, they’re shy, they can’t admit how they feel – of course they are awkward. Well, Akihito observes it doesn’t sound natural either.
- Yes, Mirai, you are so happy, I’m sure Akihito is scared now :<
Post Episode Notes:
Ok, I just couldn’t jot down notes as I watched the last few minutes, so let’s get it all over with in one go, shall we?
Who’s the dude under the Nase household? No idea. What’s the deal with Akihito and his mother? No idea. Why did Izumi have a youmu in her, and why is it such a big deal? No idea. What’s the real deal with Youmu G-Man who wants the world to end (and in this episode with “Did you fall for me?” and his crazy stares was reduced to an even more cliched and one-note villain than ever before)? No idea. They just threw it all up into the air. Then again, it’s an LN adaptation, and it’s KyoAni, makes you wonder if they’re counting on another season, or just want to leave room for one. No idea, not sure I’m interested.
More troubling to me was how Izumi’s lines to Hiromi just completely lacked any emotional depth, or resonance, since this relationship hadn’t been built up at all, nor did we really understand what was going on here, so it was hard to get invested.
But all of the above, that’s not the real thematic core of the show, so it’s something we can comment on, but isn’t the deciding factor, the deciding factor is the Akihito and Mirai relationship, and this whole episode, from start to finish, returned us to the interaction that never rung true, that never struck home. All the “false endings” also weren’t something I enjoyed, just like in the third Lord of the Ring film, each moment was drawn out, and detracted rather than added.
And then, just like that, Mirai appeared again. No reason (except for the shonen – “Maybe because my feelings reached to her”), nothing thematic, no real attempt. Sure, for a moment there my sympathetic tears had me almost tear up, but while I care for Akihito, and sometimes for Mirai, I never really got to care for them as a couple, and this episode had just damaged my investment too much, especially with all the false endings.
A couple, a lot of unanswered questions, someone goes away and then comes back. The one message? Don’t grow up. Or rather, “Love will find a way!” which amounts to more or less the same. We watch romantic tales to be comforted, to believe this message, but the show needs to do a bit more than just pull it out of nowhere, and the obstacles the couple faces should also include things regarding their feelings, not just external circumstances. The last few episodes (7-11) had worked hard to make it seem like a real hardship, a real interaction, worth fighting and sacrificing for, but this episode had us return to episodes’ 1-5 cadence, and added a whole heap of mess on top of that, coupled with mediocre direction – in how it set up scenes, in which order, etc.
I was going to give the show a score of 6.1/10, meaning it was fine, not a waste of time, with quite a few good moments, the final moments of the episode, and the final episode, made me reduce it to 5.9/10. In the end, a show is about the journey, and the journey was often characterized by starts and stops, moments of enjoyment interspersed with moments that just didn’t mesh up to a good whole.