April 4th, 2014.
What Is Love? Love Hurts Me
Well, the finale is upon us. Last episode Tsumugu and Chisaki, Sayu and Kaname began moving forward. They began moving forward by letting the past slip away and embracing change, as all humans must. Well, it was the penultimate episode, so it was time to get things moving ;-)
Hikari and Miuna still try to reclaim the past or maintain the status quo, and that is folly, and the Sea God knows what folly is like and steps in. Being Miuna is suffering, because she is torn between wanting things to change (her and Hikari, but also changing out of wanting Hikari), and keeping things the same (where Manaka can’t love, and she has a shot).
Miuna now took Chisaki’s role of the martyr – Chisaki wanted the Sea God to take her away so she wouldn’t have to choose, and Miuna being taken away isn’t something she disagrees with entirely, as it’ll seal her love, seal her pain away.
Well, let’s see how things turn out.
Here is the final album of pretty shots from this show. Only this week’s episode. A lot of pretty shots… now just to wait for the BDs and get proper wallpapers.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) “What is Love?”
1) “Having feelings is as natural as breathing,” – That’s one half of Mari Okada’s credo, the other half was in last episode – “Love is sometimes painful, and from that pain new things are born.”
2) Very Grimm Tales for children, or how stories told to young kids within other stories look, everyone here is a familiar face. The Ojoshi-sama looks somewhat like Miuna, who’s the current Ojoshi-sama the Sea God captured, and Hikari and Manaka’s faces in two of the children
3) “The More the Sea God fell in love, the more pain he was in.” – See, Mari Okada, I’m onto you.
4) Man, you’re such a dork, Sea God! You send her to shore, but her love isn’t there, and even had he been, she wouldn’t be able to love him as you removed her feelings, so why return her? Yes, he could’ve kept her at sea, and removed her heart that yearned for her lost love, whom she wouldn’t have missed. Why didn’t he? Because then she couldn’t love him either, and it’d pain him to look at her and think of what he had done to her. In other words, the Sea God’s actions are selfish, rather than selfless.
5) A pretty and magical show, yes.
2) Weak and Powerless:
1) Hikari, the man of action. What he truly despises is himself, feeling powerless. Is that why he dislikes love, which renders him helpless? Heh.
2) It’s like Hikari is becoming aware of the fact he’s a character in a Mari Okada show, he ran after someone and wanted to be close to them, and didn’t notice as someone else had done the same with him, trying to get close to him. Hikari, being with someone just because they love you and had done a lot for you… isn’t that sacrificing your own happiness? Or is it wondering what is truly love worth pursuing, the one you want, or the one who is “good for you”? Don’t expect answers.
3) “If you have feelings for someone, someone else would cry. Someone will sacrifice and get hurt.” – No, that’s not how the real world works, just a world where no one gets to reciprocate feelings, or when they do, such as in Akari’s case, their surrounding doesn’t approve or feels jilted. In the real world, it doesn’t always work that way. Mari Okada is teaching us all the wrong lessons about love. The earlier message was closer to what young love is – when you love, you are hurt, not someone else.
Of course, Hikari is young, and that he thinks something doesn’t make it so, necessarily.
4) Yup, all those young boys are idiots, Miuna. Both Hikari and the Sea God. Hikari who thinks his emotions being taken away now will help him (and so did you and Chisaki think), and the Sea God who removed the Ojoshi-sama, because he wanted to remove his own feelings, which he then couldn’t handle and began kidnapping young girls :P
3) Tainted Love:
1) Yes, this is Okada’s final note, which complements the earlier ones, “The fact I fell in love with someone that cares so much for me and can cry for me fills me with happiness.” – Love brings tears, and as said several times already, it’s not from this love that new things spring forth, but from the tears. Mari Okada is a romanticist. She wants love to hurt, and she wants lovers to cry, and those tears are what is beautiful. An ideal, that is quite twisted – if the love doesn’t make you cry, it’s not real love. Pain to hold dear in your heart.
2) “Falling in love isn’t wrong, even if it hurts.”
3) Weird, Uroko-sama’s admittance of love, both this episode and previous ones, so little is shown, yet it hits me much stronger. Someone who had loved without being loved back for an eternity, and accepts said position.
4) Love Changes Everything:
1) Feelings can cross over the void and reach others. One’s heartfelt desires.
2) “The heart that changes, the heart that doesn’t. Neither is a mistake.” – Yeah, except aside from cases such as the Sea God who only exist in tales, there is always change. Don’t fall back into thinking you can avoid change, Manaka.
3) “Whether things or don’t, it’s fine. They can change, but they don’t have to.” – This is Hikari’s growth, even from the early part of the episode. Demanding change or demanding there be no change is wishing to have control – feeling helpless and fighting against it. Now Hikari is letting the wave carry him wherever it would go – accept change, roll with the punches. If you’re unyielding, and demanding change is unyielding as well, you might snap. Bend some, Hikari. Accept when you can’t affect change.
No Hikari, you’re not able to change everything :P That’s one of the reasons it’s sometimes fine if things don’t change. Though it’s also fine when you can change them because it means you chose not to, I guess :P
- That music as Manaka weaves the tale of those who had left the sea was neat. I liked it.
- LOL, Manaka running past Hikari to Miuna. I actually laughed. That was such a RomCom movie moment :D
- The ending of Manaka and Hikari conversing was a small beautiful moment, honestly.
Post Episode / Show Thoughts:
As always, it’s usually best to talk of the final episode as an episode before talking of the show as a whole.
This episode had two halves. The first half was all about romance. Not exactly love, but romance. Mari Okada had showered us with all sorts of notions, and didn’t really stick to any of them. While there was some gradual change, some sense of direction where it coalesced, things were still not fully resolved, not entirely coherent afterward. The characters are all silly, as Miuna had said. Miuna is also silly. So it makes sense that they not only contradict one another, but contradict themselves, and contradict common sense (the romanticist would say that of course they contradict common sense, that’s what love is about, which is one of the messages). And yet, it also feels as if Mari Okada herself didn’t know how to seal this neatly, but as mentioned above, it makes some sense.
The final part of the episode was full of homecoming and small resolutions. It had many moments that made me smile. I do wish this episode made me tear up more, but last episode delivered better on that, with all the strikes against Miuna’s heart, and even some of the small Sayu and Kaname moments.
Now, to talk of this show as a whole. Early on many people didn’t like the show because they didn’t like Hikari. Not as a character, but as a person. I never shared that feeling, but still, when discussing the show’s early parts with people over the past week, I was reminded of how I thought we’d focus on the social struggle, on the cultural clash, with the kids being caught in the middle. In the end, we got a love shape-diagram, with the same conflicts of change and unrequited love being repeated. The show made a very strong showing after returning from the break, and the Ofunehiki that had gone all wrong, and yet it still feels as if it could’ve trimmed some fat, and belaboured some moments less.
This was still a good show, from beginning to end, and so it gets a strong 7/10 from me