Tasogare Otome x Amnesia‘s finale made me want to bang my head against the wall, scratch that, the creators’ heads against the wall.
It starts out as a breath of fresh air after the drawn-out events before. Yuuko’s one person again. She’s playful again. And while she now is capable of getting angry, that means she’s a full human being for the first time in the series. She’s delighted. Teiichi is delighted. Kirie is not so delighted and Momoe is almost oblivious. In other words, it’s a return to the happy equilibrium the show had around the beginning. And since it happens at this episode’s beginning, you know it’s not going to last.
I really should have expected it. Yuuko’s hanging around as a ghost because she can’t move on, as previously seen in such ancient manuscripts as Angel Beats. But she’s complete and whole now. Nothing is keeping her, and it looks like she’s going no matter what. As is everyone who faces this situation, they’re resigned to it. Yuuko’s only concern is letting poor Teiichi down gently. That proves impossible. Thus we get a scene where she tries to leave gracefully, but Teiichi won’t allow it. He tries to think of a way out, but he doesn’t have one. Finally, he decides he wants to be there until the very end. This is a resaonable thing to ask and it makes me wonder why Yuuko would be so reluctant to do it.
Then there’s the goodbye sequence. This show has always had a great look to it, full of beautiful images and striking angles, and they use them here to their best effect as the two spend their last moments together. Soon Teiichi can’t hear Yuuko, so they use the notebook. She’s seen as growing less and less visable. Then the pen drops mid-sentence, but before Teiichi can despair she’s fully back for a few seconds, ready for their first and last kiss. It’s a beautiful, moving scene. And then she’s gone.
Now, you’d think they would leave it at that, end the series in the best, bittersweet way. Teiichi is alone but Yuuko is finally at peace. But no. We see later days and Teiichi coming back to life … and, well, you can guess what they do. I know this based on a manga series which might still be going. I also know that though they talked about the schools “seven mysteries,” they didn’t really get back to it. Also, the reason for Yuuko’s return is cheap, but plausable. But it completely ruined a wonderful finale. … And in spite of that, if they announce another season I’ll certainly watch it. The first season had some flaws. The entire Shadow Yuuko story arc went on too long and felt mishandled. But the show gave us good looks at the nature of legends, fear and mob behavior. It was, as I’ve said many times, beautiful to look at. Yuuko, whether whole or not, was a great character. So was Kirie. I wish we could have seen more of her. If not for the ending… geez. Wasted a few good tears on that.
Kimi to Boku II finishes, and the only acknowledgement we see to it being a finale, apart from the lack of a preview, is an upcoming mock exam and Shun worried that he still doesn’t know what college he wants to attend, or what he should choose as a career. It’s perfectly understandable. There’s no reason why you should know what you’re going to do for the rest of your life when you’re 17. The others are also concerned but we get no decisions from anyone. Oddly enough, the show doesn’t bother to look closely at Kaname’s choices; they just show him studying for the mock exam. The centerpiece of the episode is a visit to the tea club where naturally Chizuru makes an ass of himself and the “path of tea” is examined as a career choice. A lovely moment near the end when Yuuta serves Shun some tea (quite properly, too, as if he was already on that path). Yuuta is allowed to show some of the sensitivity and concern for a friend that he and his brother rarely show otherwise. A good way to end this season. I remember moments like this in Kimi to Boku more than I do all the stupid behavior.
Nothing much to Acchi Kocchi 11 until the very end. It’s as disgustingly cute as always. I don’t know why, but I enjoy watching New Years Eve scenes in anime. The trouble is they always have some tradition or other that I don’t know and makes it hard to get the joke. All the stuff about pounding mochi kind of threw me off. The other half is nothing at all except for the last minute, when it looks like the Io/Tsukimi romance might have taken a step forward. You can tell they’re serious about it because they don’t undercut the scene with a gag.