I’m both happy and sad at the same time after watching this episode, happy because the ending was satisfactory, sad because I am going to miss my weekly dose of TOxA. Since I have a heart made out of ice, I wasn’t really moved while watching Yuuko slowly fade away, but I can definitely imagine some viewers reaching for tissue papers during the potential tear-jerking moments.
As for the actual episode itself, the premise of it is something that isn’t anything new but nonetheless it had watching with baited breath wondering what the final outcome would be. Forget about the mystery; the comedy; the fan-service, because ultimately it is love that makes the world go round (not really). As hinted in the previous episode, Yuuko is indeed disappearing since she no longer has any regrets nor any lingering feelings.
As expected, the first half focused on the lighter moments with an official date between Yuuko and Niiya. (finally after 12 episodes!) This is probably the TOxA that we’ve grown accustomed to watching for the first half (the irony) of the series so it was kind of refreshing to watch the same thing again since episodes 7-11 were almost void of such events.
Alas, all good things come to an end. A date that ends with a breakup results in tears. There was only 2 possibilities that could happen – either Yuuko disappears or she doesn’t (duh). Since she did disappear during their final moments, the next question becomes – will she return or not? A good ending is something that is oh-so-crucial (well at least for me it is), so therefore it isn’t surprising to see Yuuko return to continue to be the resident school ghost, don’t ask me how a relationship between a ghost and a human being is going to work out.
I’m not going to lie, while this is the safest ending the writers can go with, I am totally fine without the epilogue since everything before that already satisfied my expectations, a healthy mixture of the serious and not-so-serious moments as aforementioned. Of course the epilogue is akin to adding icing on top of a cake so it is definitely something that is welcomed.
Wrapping the episode up, TOxA employs another one of those textbook endings, which is by no means uncreative although predictable. At the very least it still triumphs endings that either have untied loose ends; plot holes; or are just simply bizarre to the point where it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and makes me go – what the hell did I just watch?
- Dere Yuuko HNNGGH!
- Omelets: failing to be fed since episode 7.
- The evil rabbit is back!
- She’s back too!
- Shout-outs to Okonogi and Kirie since I do want to mention them somewhere but there isn’t really anything substantial to say about them though..PS: Drink more milk Kirie.
I’ll start with the minus points first – TOxA isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea. The first half of the series didn’t really have a real focal point save the slow build-up regarding the main plot. For me I didn’t really mind that but I can definitely see that as a turn-off for certain viewers.
The initial synopsis suggested that this was more of a mystery show which was what perked my interest, needless to say I was surprised, albeit on the pleasant side to see comedy; a certain level of romance and some fan-service instead. Although the mystery/horror elements did surface towards the second half of the series, a genre shift is usually tricky to pull off properly. Back to the original point though, I must say that when the actual product turns out different from what is advertised, it certainly can put a dampener on things.
On the production value side of things, apart from a couple of episodes that appear to be of lower quality than the norm, I got to say that the artwork/visuals and animation techniques are some of the more unique ones I’ve seen this season. Whether the above is present in the manga or not I’m not entirely sure though. The usage of background instrumental music is excellent as well since it always contributes to setting up the mood and atmosphere.
What made this series stand out from the rest is arguably the voice acting done by Yuuko. While I wouldn’t discredit the rest since they did a good job at fleshing out their respective characters. In my opinion Yuuko single-handedly made this series so much more enjoyable to watch as the central character.
To be fair, the various genres (comedy; romance; mystery; horror) are well spread out and represented as well. Each episode probably has its own main theme I would say regarding that. It is also due to the different genres and their ability to blend well together that has earned my praise, so a job well done by the studio SILVER LINK as well.
If I haven’t really expressed it enough already, I really like this show a lot, 50% of that goes to Yuuko probably. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that currently this show sits at #2 in my list of top shows for this season. Zombie unfortunately disappointed with its ending so it is now at #3.
In conclusion, this series isn’t perfect and has its shortcomings, but as with most things in life, focus on the pros and not the cons and the outlook is definitely going to look better. Now it is time to finally read the manga! If only I had the time though..