I shouldn’t be surprised the Natsuyuki Rendezvous finale was different and a little confusing.
We jump way into the future, where the daughter of Rokka and Ryuusuke is making plans for the shop now that her father has died, and we get a line on how he followed Rokka. So the two have passed on, just as Shimao did. Why is Shimao is still floating around the place? Rokka and Ryuusuke apparently have moved on. It becomes clear when you realize he’s been floating everywhere now; he’s not stuck at the flower shop. The final scene is of him floating lazily in the sky. My guess is that while he managed to leave Rokka for good, he died too soon to want to stop living completely; he couldn’t yet get up the desire to leave completely. So he chats up the credulous grandson, shows him the mysterious room (and never have the storybook flowers seemed so menacing, but it was just a joke) and floats away. Guess he was just checking in. I wonder if he’ll leave for good, now that Ryuusuke and Rokka are gone …
The stuff before that, in the forest, took an unexpected turn. I hadn’t considered the fact that Rokka might consider dying to be with Shimao. And it’s interesting that she lets Shimao make the decision for her. At that moment she had no idea what to do. In the end I think that was a weakness in the show. Rokka was too passive. She makes a realization during the episode that she’s one of the reasons why Shimao is so miserable. In that case maybe she should have done something about it. We’re lucky that Shimao had seen enough to realize that the best thing for all concerned was to give Ryuusuke his body back and exit. I’m not sure what prompted this decision, but I could never figure Shimao out anyway.
So it ends happily enough for all concerned. Shimao finally did something right and seems happy just floating in the sunshine. As for me, I’m glad it’s over. This was a good series but the unresolved tensions between the three protagonists remained much the same for too long. It sometimes felt like a chore to watch an episode and see little things happen, but nothing big, until the body switching, and even after that the show spun its wheels. I don’t mind subtlety or complexity in my anime, but I don’t care for wasted episodes, either. On the other hand, I’m glad it was on. We need subtle, complex anime, even if makes mistakes like Natsuyuki Rendezvous did.
Now let’s turn to a couple of much sillier shows. The first, Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru! 10, stumbles along in its usual dull way. Shougo, thanks to his newly-found genuine sister, gets to bring ALL the girls to the big party. Which is the way it should be. It’s obvious now that his father probably bedded a lot of women even after getting married, so it’s in the spirit of things for him to bring his entire harem. Once there, however, the show botches whatever opportunities for fun it had. Miyabi gets depressed and wanders off, and only Tendou shows any inclination to enjoy herself. The others might as well not have shown up. They hunt for Miyabi, who gets drunk and tries to bed Shougo. Meanwhile, secretary Seri is revealed to be in a plot to disgrace him by bringing up the whole sister thing. My reaction? Let her try, and Yuzurina agrees with me, but at the end we learn she’s actually on Seri’s side (i.e., evil). Not that it matters. Just let the matter out. The man is dead. Sigh.
Binbougami ga! is just as stupid, maybe more so, but it’s also more lively and fun. Episode 11 is the Fanservice Episode, so proclaimed by Bobby and Momou in the opening bit, with a rousing song about tits. I haven’t been so touched since Mayoi Neko Overrun‘s ode to bloomers (which still pops into my head from time to time). The story: everyone in the cast shows up at the public baths at the same time. You can imagine what happens. Yes, the walls come down. Nothing much stands out, except for Keita’s temptation to peek by Bobby. With that and his desire to show Momou and the cat god transform for cash, it’s good to see the boy is prone to greed and temptation like the rest of us. And as an equal-opportunity fanservice episode, the girls and the interested viewers get plenty of glimpses of him as well. Altogether it’s the usual senseless violence and jokes with extra splashing and convenient fog. And since there’s no sentiment this week, it’s a good episode.