I had some predictions for the Yagate Kimi ni Naru finale, all of them resulting in Touko’s breakdown as her determination to be the perfect person crumbles under reality. Either during the play’s performance, or when she is presented with the rewritten script. However, the finale sidesteps these possibilities by not even getting to the performance, the finished rewrites, or even summer vacation. What we get instead is couples hanging out together. First it’s Yuu and Koyomi at the cafe, working on the script, then Touko and Sayaka, the latter wanting to know how Touko’s sister appeared to Touko, then Miyako and Riko with a question about how the other feels, a shocking question, but they’re both adults. Really, all of these scenes are time-killers, with little scenes in between that suggest that Touko is closer to breaking than we expected, as it hits her that after the show, finishing her late sister’s work, she has no idea what to do next. All she can think of is Yuu.
Yuu’s interest in Touko often seems indifferent. Indeed, it’s one of the things Touko needs, that Yuu doesn’t fall in love with a girl who doesn’t even know herself. But I think Yuu subliminally knows what Touko needs and reaches out when Touko needs her the most. Hence the invitation to hang out at the aquarium, where the episode dallies until the end. Apart from a quick rehearsal of their scene together, where Yuu casually mentions that there are rewrites going on, very little happens except that Touko has a wonderful time, and Yuu … is happy that Touko is having it. So they get splashed by dolphins, look at jellyfish and penguins, and say little meaningful things from time to time. Touko is still emotionally lost, but at this moment Yuu is guiding her along until the end, where Yuu says it’s time to switch trains, and so the episode ends with a metaphor.
The manga, I’m told, is ongoing but there’s little left. Whether it actually gets to the school play I don’t know. Perhaps the whole story revolves around Touko’s crisis, which would be fine, but then I would wonder “What happens to them after that?” I had hoped that we would see other aspects of the two and watch their relationship develop further. No matter, it’s still a good story. It took its time and gently examined the characters’ minds from the perspective of their own heads and how others see them, which of course is the main point. I would have wanted more from Koyomi, stuck as she was in “smart, nerdy side character” mode, but I get the impression that if the show had wanted to, she would have been just as introspective as the others. Maki, on the other hand, could have become a meddling little jerk, but after the show established his character he was put on the sidelines and not allowed to interfere. All of the characters were capable of intelligent thoughts, except for the kid with the glasses, and it all was delicately and perfectly balanced. Very good work. I hope there’s more.
As for To aru Majutsu no Index III, it’s a midseason development episode. We see that Touma and whoever that is are safe from their fall (we didn’t get to see the landing), and they’re miraculously met by Villian, still riding William Orwell’s mechanical horse. Then it’s back to William vs Blond guy (actually known as Knight Leader). KL has a cool spell based on Thororm’s ability to dull the opponent’s attack when recognized as one. But he’s freaked out by William’s sword, which can launch sneak attacks, so the battle turns out anticlimactic. Then it’s Touma vs Carissa and the Curtana Original, with Touma/Index rescued by William, who’s everywhere this week. And then a breather while plans are made and we see how Misaka is doing.
Rather than continue a plot synopsis, which I often find myself doing in a post when I don’t really have anything to say, I’ll just say that everyone’s now headed to Buckingham Palace via its underground magical subway system–of course it has one. The heroes are planning to exploit Curtana Original’s instability somehow. The weirdest part for me, apart from a pre-battle feast where a lot of the girls, including nuns, consider changing into sexy clothes, for Touma’s benefit I suppose, was William and KL, after the battle, talking strategy on the phone like they were on the same side. Jeez, with this franchise you don’t know who to root for, except Touma maybe.