Oh dammit, I hate it when anime end on the “read the manga” ending. T_T Because I never do, I’m not a manga reader. Though when I looked through forums and saw manga readers say that the student council show wouldn’t happen until much later, I had to brace myself for something like this. Still, the ending was open ended and can easily pick up from there if and when a second season happens. And who knows, there just might be one because the anime has been getting a positive reception in Japan.
The first half of the episode consisted of Koito and Koyomi working on the script, but it also dealt with Nanami and her continuing inner turmoil. She and her family went to visit the family grave and Nanami had some words for her sister, but it looks like she’s starting to make a break as even she doesn’t know what she’s going to do after the show. Sure, she’ll do the show but then what’s she going to do next? She never gave it much thought until now, and the fact that she’s even thinking about this is a good sign. But my goodness the anime really wanted to make us freak out as she questioned herself in the train station, and the camera zooms to the train tracks, showing Nanami taking a step forward as the train sped by. I mean I didn’t think Nanami was going to jump, but the way they set it up was convincing. But, she’s at a loss. I find it really sweet that both Koito and Sayaka are trying to help her in their own ways. Koito with the play, Sayaka by talking to her and reassuring her that the sister that she knew just has to be part of her true self. But…it really hurts that after Sayaka tries to help, Nanami can only think about Koito. Ouch. I just really love Sayaka. 🙁
The aquarium “date” was really special though. First of all, Troyca did a great job with the visuals because the aquarium was gorgeous. Usually aquarium scenes in anime are really blue, which…duh…but there were lots of colors but maybe it was the design of the aquarium. Whatever, it was beautiful and even more so when they walked through the tunnel at the end.
It’s the end of their summer break and both girls wanted to see each other, so they go to the aquarium. It starts off really fun, looking through the exhibits and watching the dolphin show. Hilarious that they ended up staying in the front even though they kind of looked freaked out. Cheap ponchos really make the difference.
Nanami is sort of making the change, but she’s not quite there. She notices the contradictions within her, happy that she can fall in love with someone unlike her sister (though she still doesn’t know for sure), but the self hate is still there. As they wait for the penguin parade, Koito decides that they should practice for the play. Improvising lines, Koito tries to get across what she really wants Nanami to do. Is there really a need to make a decision? Does she really have to choose one of those personalities? And I think eventually Koito broke out of character and said the things on her mind, her true feelings, such as she only knows this Nanami. She knows her weird habits, she knows what novels she likes, and she knows what color flowers are her favorite? Who else can she be but herself? It’s a strong and direct message, but Nanami shrinks back into her role and says there’s nothing to define her, there’s absolutely nothing significant about herself, so she has to choose to be somebody. Anybody but herself. Koito’s disappointed and saddened look was painful to watch because I pretty much felt the same. It’s sad to hear someone say that about themselves. But, Koito isn’t going to give up because there’s still the play to look forward to.
Except, we won’t see it. 🙂
Their walk through the tunnel was gorgeous with the visuals and insert song. On the train ride home, Koito sends Koyomi a title idea “Only You Know”, which is very fitting. As Nanami sleeps on her shoulder, Koito grabs her hand. The changing trains line is symbolic of them moving on and changing themselves. Koito, if she wants to change her relationship with Nanami, and Nanami changing her own views on herself. They have to go through a change in order to make it home, literally and metaphorically. But unfortunately, this is where the episode and the show finishes.
For many people, I think this was a surprise hit. The trashy yuri shows from earlier this year probably gave yuri/shoujo-ai a bad rep so when Yagate Kimi ni Naru came around, it was a big relief. I will admit that I wasn’t as moved as other people, but I still ended up liking this show a lot.
The treatment of homosexuality and other sexualities was done with such grace and maturity that it made me so happy. One surprising the finale showed us was that Riko-sensei is actually bisexual. When it comes to preferences, she made it sound like she was more into men than women since she said that she’s not particularly attracted to women. But the point is that she’s currently very happy with her girlfriend and that’s all that matters. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a bisexual anime character before, and I like that Miyako didn’t show jealousy or give Riko crap about her being around Ichigaya (they probably had something together?). Maki being aro/ace was another surprise and seeing his point of view with romance was really important, and it added a lot of depth to him. Same goes for Riko-sensei and especially Miyako, and I like the role she was given. The show tackled the crappy stigma homosexual people go through and their pain, such as with Sayaka which was kisses fingers beautiful. Painful, infuriating, but beautiful and realistic. And I appreciate the realism so much. It gives people the opportunity to learn and be empathetic, and maybe realize something about themselves! And it’s not something you see in anime. Characters that are gay are almost always the creepy character, or the annoyingly flamboyant weird one. So it’s very refreshing to see something like this, where these sexualities are treated so normally. It’s sad that it being normal is weird in media, but dammit we still have a ways to go.
I eventually got to like Koito. It’s not like I disliked her but I didn’t like her passiveness so much, but I did like how caring and sweet she is. She cares about Nanami a lot and wants her to love herself, as much as she loves her true fragile self. I was mostly indifferent towards Koito though, and I can’t say I was totally into Nanami’s character either. But this self hate of hers is painful to watch, and maybe it’s because she sort of reminds me of myself and I just didn’t want to admit it. I hope she can make a breakthrough soon and learn to love herself. But again, I didn’t like how selfish and a little unreasonable she could be. Her and Koito’s relationship was certainly strange and unique. I found myself caring more about the drama and the self-realization more than the romance. I want to see Nanami realize her true worth, and I want Koito to realize the true depth of her romantic feelings toward Nanami. That’d be a treat to see. The rest of the cast was decent. Some of them had surprising depth to them, like Maki and Miyako but they didn’t have much screen time. Koyomi and Dojima were fine but again kind of…there. The only other character that played a huge role was Sayaka and I don’t need to repeat myself again when I say I love her. Except I just did. 😉
Sometimes the show could be visually stunning. Some derpy faces here and there, but the symbolism in the show was great. One thing about the show I really liked was the many instances of body language. The quivering of lips, the hesistant hand holding, fists clenched, really good stuff. I like that aspect of show don’t tell, it makes scenes really natural.
The show started off great but gradually got really slow and a little boring. On one hand, it’s totally understandable because people are flawed, they take time, but seeing as how this is a show for entertainment, I kind of wanted things to kick into gear. It took awhile, but it got there.
This show was a nice experience and it ended on such a painful cliffhanger that I hope that it gets a second season just so we can see the rest. The show was a nice surprise for many, tackling issues with maturity and realism that some people could relate to and enjoy. It was a really beautiful show with some bumps in the road, but I’m glad I got to watch the show. Like I said, the ending was disappointing but with the positive reception the anime has gotten in Japan, we could probably see a sequel sometime soon? Let’s hope.