Man, I absolutely loved how this episode played out and how everything was wrapped up beautifully. Forget all the “bad” endings that plagued this season so far (for me): GC; Another; arguably BRS, the more “OK” endings such as Nisemonogatari; Highschool DxD. THIS is how an ending is done and should be done. I won’t ramble on how important finales are but surely one does not want to watch a final episode and ask “what in the world did I just watch?”
Skipping the OP much like every other finale thus far in favour of more actual screen time, the cat and mouse game continues. Remon offers herself as the bait; Kanna being pursued by her stalker; Tetsurou and Mio continue
eloping escaping. Even Rinon had a chance to play hero this time round. It makes me question just how effective that cloak thing really is.
Surprisingly the next choice of transport for our duo is via an empty train, which is..kind of..anyways that is not the point. The whole point here was for the “couple-to-share a last-moment-together-before-the-real-action-begins” type of scene. Nothing overly too mushy, just real and honest conversation between the two.
At this point plus points were awarded in my book for incorporating trolling/humour into the picture. The MIB, which was a long running gag of the series for being a joke amongst the cast, actually became reality. Hell, even Nanami’s husband ended up being involved and getting a cameo appearance.
Now this is where the real action begins. They finally found THAT PLACE, and subsequently that the evidence of previous alien traces was destroyed. What good would a romance type of show be without a potential tear jerking moment? Ichika and Kaito had to part ways sorrowfully as the evidence was no longer there. However, every cloud has a silver lining, as Ichika left, a memory (presumably the crystal and all those yellow orbs) of Ichika’s ancestor was unlocked. A past similar to the fate our heroes was revealed. In hindsight I think this was also a form of evidence. Finally before the next major scene change, we have a reminiscence from girl C, guy D and girl E and more points were added for aptly naming this episode and the show itself “Waiting in that summer”, where everything happened and ended.
As it is not the end of the world. Life or school life continues for the rest of them. Poor Tetsurou once again having that awkward moment where your crush hands you a love letter from another girl, along with her advertising another girl who has a crush on you. Wait, what? Another wild sister appears, this time Kaito’s own sister whom we have not seen since episode 1 (IIRC) returns. That souvenir though, also seems to hint and foreshadow at a sort of reunion between Kaito and Ichika. Even Remon leaves the scene shortly, citing “family reasons”, though by now we all know that her job here is done.
She leaves behind the movie that everyone had been filming that summer and boy did I get the sickest chills when the film played along with an extended version of the ED. I’m not lying. This moment was so well-played, after all that filming it would be a travesty for us not to be able to watch it. The ending credits begin to roll, and I was left wondering whether I would get to see the “final scene” and that happy ending I was so certain that would happen. In the final epilogue we were shown a glimpse of Ichika wearing the clothing that Kaito’s sister bought for her, signifying indirectly that they have once again met after waiting in that summer. Beautiful, simply marvelous.
Final thoughts and impressions:
I went into this episode fully expecting a happy end, and got it, though I almost got trolled. The way this episode unfolded though, now that is what made this episode really shine. These are some of the points I felt that made this ending stand out.
This episode did not feel too rushed, nor was it too slow. The major scenes were spaced out just right. Even the epilogue I felt was a deliberate move by the writers to keep it short and sweet.
While in the past I do not pay much attention to music, I’ve come to make a conscious effort to listen to the music accompanies and sets the mood of a certain scene. It is so easy to overlook this aspect and not realize that more often than not, the music that plays during such times are usually fitting. An obvious example is the extended ED when the movie started to play, that was SICK.
This aspect plays a MAJOR role in deciding whether an ending is good or not. Simply put, are the loose ends tied up? Is there an unambiguous conclusion? Many an ending leaves with more questions than answers, which is never good. AnoNatsu wraps everything up nicely. The only gripe I have here is that the
pentagontriangle relationship between Mio, Kanna and Tetsurou remain unresolved.
While I wasn’t exactly taken on a roller coaster ride, an ending certainly must not feel monotonous for it to be considered stellar. The train scene to the MIB trolling to the parting scene to the movie scene to the epilogue certainly had shifts in the mood throughout the episode.
- Clever use of the movie and title
I think this deserves another mention because it is also quite easy to overlook this point. Unlike a certain “name of that flower we still did not know” this title was named brilliantly, and for a reason, which we only found out at the end, along with the movie which appeared in most episodes only to play the final role before the epilogue.
People, including myself have likened this series to Toradora because it has been that long since a lovely (pun intended) romance show showed up. I will now try to objectively analyze what makes this show one that exceeded expectations.
- Sticking to a formula that works and making it better
Let’s be frank here, the plot and setting of AnoNatsu isn’t anything new or ground breaking. In fact it is downright cliche with the whole boy-meets-alien-girl-and-they fall-in-love thing as per Onegai series. Truthfully I wasn’t expecting much when I started watching AnoNatsu because of the premise. I was quickly proven wrong when the writers showed me how even the oldest of plot can still work.
- Character development and interaction
One thing that is also important is the development of characters and how they interact amongst each other. Are they likeable as a whole? Or are they like a bunch of characters in a certain crown show in which hardly anyone was likeable? Personally I’m not a fan of Kaito, but everyone, throughout the course of the series grew on me with their honest feelings and heartfelt confessions. It is not everyday that one would see a love PENTAGON, much less get a worthy conclusion from that.
- Voice acting
I have to admit, this show would have been 15% less awesome without Remon and 5% less awesome without her ufufufu~. Another 10% goes to Kanna and 5% to Mio. (yes I’m biased!) A voice actor/actress literally gives life to a character and how they play out so kudos to them for further making this series better.
- That ED
Maybe my memory is a little bit rusty, while I can recall EDs being played while an episode is still running, this show does it SO WELL EACH TIME, the transitioning and cut-off sequencing is perfect. Not to mention this song is GOOD, also check out the lyrics to make it even better.
OK, I am just about done with praising the show. Thus far I have spent about 4 hours on this post (with some of it being distractions and side tracking), my only grumble is perhaps as stated before: The love triangle being unresolved and Kaito not being that likable for me.
Verdict: If you are into romance genre and have not watched this yet, what are you waiting for? It is not just love that is part of the equation, friendship also plays a huge role as well. What is there to not like about? The premise might put some people off but give it a shot and be pleasantly surprised like I did. Now if you will excuse me I’ll be off looping the ED over and over again.