Wow, where was this quality throughout the series? There had been times I had considered dropping this show early on, but this finale made sticking around absolutely worth the perseverance! Finally, they nailed the emotional delivery, and for the first time, I actually believed in Ougai’s feelings towards Mei! (And that was before they kissed!) 

Mei’s memories included how she has grown up. Her home is in an antique shop, where they have the collection of the men’s articles. It’s probably safe to assume that the ghosts she had befriended alongside Charlie were likely Ougai and the others (as alluded to when Ougai says to have faith they will meet again). And wow, did that hit me right in the feels.


Coming into this finale, I didn’t really know what to expect, and yet lo and behold, here I am drowning in tears! It’s a pretty incredible accomplishment, especially since I have frequently criticized the poor and unconvincing delivery of Ougai’s and Mei’s love story, and wished they had been presented better. This week though, they got it right. They did everything I wished they had done earlier on! Just imagine how amazing this adaption could have been had they been able to do what they did today? Aside from the significant improvement in the writing and delivery, I think it’s really important to highlight the proper use of the soundtrack. Far too often, there were moments I felt the music actually spoiled the scenes, mainly due to its repetition or simply because the tune felt out of place. This week in particular proved the strength of silence and more soft melodies. Another strength the attention to detail of everyone’s (especially Ougai’s) facial expressions. What made me heart break was that moment when Ougai was left breathless by how beautiful Mei was in her dress, and the look pin-pointing that he knew that she would be leaving him.

But what I loved the most about their parting was how even though Ougai loved her, he was ready to let her go. He didn’t raise a fuss and supported her decision. It made it all the more bittersweet, seeing that he understood with her recovered memories, she has made her decision that she believed would be best for her. And that was another bit I appreciated: Mei coming to terms with herself. It was the growth I had been hoping to see from her from the very start, and it she really felt like a much better character when she accepted that. More importantly, I think seeing Mei act a lot more maturely played a huge part in better convincing me about her feelings towards Ougai. In fact, I was really shocked that they kissed, something we rarely see in any otome game adaption. It’s so rare, I can count with one hand!

And then there is Syunso and Charlie. Sure, we could cry about Syunso not even being given the privilege to have a dance with Mei as the rest of the guys did. But frankly, given how everything played out, he’s actually in a somewhat better place compared to the likes of Charlie, who needs all the love and attention right now!

I cannot put into words how heart-wrenching it was when we learned the sacrifice Charlie had to make to send Mei back to her original timeline. At that point I had just became a blubbering mess, and it’s no wonder Charlie was crying too! He did all of this in hopes to help Mei find happiness, and she was able to do just that and more by accepting and loving herself for being different. He was proud of her for having the courage to return to her world, but at the same time, he also knew by making that decision, that means the end of him. So it’s an understatement to say it was a bittersweet moment. It also explains why he was happy when she asked if she could stay, because if she had, it would allow him to continue living—- AND NOW KNOWING THAT, I AM NOT OKAY! MY EMOTIONS! CHARLIEEE!!!!

My heart hurts so much. I wasn’t ready for this.
There is not a speck of doubt in my mind Charlie would be my favourite route of the game just for this reason.

Final Verdict: 7/10

Meiji Tokyo Renka is probably one of the most bizarre experiences I have had of covering an otome game adaption. Unexpectedly, despite the fact they were actually focusing the romantic relationship between the leads, up until the finale I didn’t care for it at all! Instead, the reason why I stuck with the the show until the end was not because of the story, but the endearing characters and comedy!

The main reason why I actually didn’t care about the romance for a change was because for the longest time, I wasn’t convinced by Ougai’s and Mei’s love for each other. I felt Mei had better chemistry with other characters than Ougai. It wasn’t until the final three episodes I was able to determine it was that their relationship was just poorly written and executed, causing it to feel superficial and one of infatuation and curiosity for far too long. And it’s a shame because it just goes to show the potential we will never know (unless we play the game for ourselves, which I have faith is likely written much better)!

Overall, despite some of its short-coming, I don’t regret watching Meiji Tokyo Renka, and had fun covering it! Of course while I found the romance to be the show’s weak point, (oh the irony!) it’s the light-hearted humour (for most part) and endearing characters such as Kyouka and Syunso that makes it charming, and ends on an incredibly strong note with a bittersweet finale!


Blogging Anime since Summer 2009, & Founder of AngryAnimeBitches Anime Blog ...I may or may not be addicted to writing

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. zztop

    Having read some indepth reviews of Renka, I agree one of the story’s strong points is the lighthearted interactions/comedy moments. I see too often most otome games use the “heart-thumping dark forbidden romance” card without focusing on human interactions, which tend to lead to weird moments like overly possessive/bullying male leads with red-flag personalities, or romantic outcomes that don’t feel sincere, etc.
    Do you think you’ll get the source game? If you do, I’d recommend the PS Vita version, Meiji Tokyo Renka Full Moon, since it comes with the new Iwasaki Tousuke route. However, please note no English version exists, it’s all Japanese only.

    1. Eva

      I have been eyeing the vita game for the last few months knowing the system is officially discontinued. I’m hoping I’ll have some wiggle room in my wallet in the coming months to get it before it’s gone. Q ^ Q It would be nice to see it localized though. I think this type of game would do well with how charming the characters are.

      1. zztop

        Given the PS Vita was the go-to port for most Japanese otome games, I wonder which system the developers will head to now; the Switch (or similar) or the all-popular smartphones.

        1. Eva

          A lot of publishers are jumping on the Nintendo Switch thanks to its portability, it’s crazy how many games are being ported to it now. It makes me really excited for the ones I missed out in the PSP days! 😀 I hope the localizers won’t take too long will picking some of them up! I would like to see at least a few new titles announced this summer since last year was a disappointment.

  2. CeeJay

    Okay I think I have finally have calmed down and come out of my period of grief. I knew I would be sad to see this anime end because I really did grow to care about most of the characters but honestly I was not prepared for it to hit me the way it did. I actually teared up when the ending song started playing at the end of the episode (didn’t full blown cry because I was at work when I watched the episode during my break). I agree with you. This episode did what the series should have done from the start and had they done it, the potential for this series and impact of the finale could have been even greater.
    I am disappointed in how the goodbye between Mei and Syunso turned out. The other guys got a dance with her. Ougai got the kiss (which I wasn’t anticipating because yeah not many otome adaptations actually do show a kiss 0_0). I felt he should have at least gotten a hug. I am not simply saying that because Syunso was my favorite character. Syunso and Mei’s friendship and relationship developed in very natural way and both have gone out of their way to help each other overcome their insecurities and internal conflicts.While he wasn’t our main love interest he did have a deeper bond with Mei than the other guys did and as such I may have expected more from their final encounter together overall. Their goodbye was bittersweet nonetheless but it just felt incomplete to me.
    And Charlie…. crys in Spanish oh dear lord WHY! THAT was even more unexpected than the kiss! But I don’t think Charlie was crying because of the realization he would disappear if Mei went back to her own time. I think seeing her finally have the confidence to accept herself and confront life head was his true goal all along. He was happy to see her come to that conclusion herself. If he truly didn’t want to disappear it just wouldn’t make sense to tell Mei in the first place that he could send her back.His excitement over her saying she would rather stay felt more like he was simply mimicking Mei’s joy. If she was happy, he was happy. Regardless, seeing Charlie go was the worst part of the finale.
    I am sad the series is over and wish/hope there would be an OVA or something. Silver lining is I did find the opening theme song on Spotify and have been playing it on repeat for the past day and a half. Wish I could play the games but I don’t even have a clue how to get a hold of it.

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