SHUFFLE! – 24 (END)
Asa is missing, but Rin is unable to find her around the hospital. He widens the search and remembers when Asa told him about her dream for their future, so he heads to the spot where he confessed. Indeed, she is there admiring the scenery. Asa is surprised to see him, but starts recounting fond memories. Rin makes another plea for her to use her magic, but she again refuses. Feeling helpless, he takes out the box cutter. Because he loves her and wants her to live, Rin has decided to risk his own life and cut his wrists – blood sprays everywhere as Asa rushes over. Losing consciousness, Rin begs her to consider the feelings of her mother, and says that he and her mother both don’t want to see her suffering face. Not wanting Rin to die, Asa finally unleashes her magical powers to heal him. When her tears finally wake him, his wound has closed and Asa’s hair has grown long from the magic.
Three weeks later, everything is back to normal and Primula is even attending school with the group. Rin has apparently taken on newspaper delivery job. The girls learn that he was treated to coffee by Kaede, which gets them all fired up. Things haven’t really changed in school as Rin gets in trouble for sleeping in class, and the girls offer their notes to help him. When Itsuki tries to pick up Kaede, Nerine, and Sia, they all reject him because they still like Rin. In the afternoon, Eustoma and Forbesii pass by Ama on the street. Within earshot, they remark about how she looks like someone who had died, and indirectly apologize to her as they walk away. Meanwhile, Asa now works at the same shop as Kareha, and shows off her uniform to Rin. Asa catches him calling her Asa-sempai again and has him correct himself. During the credits, we see Nerine visiting Lycoris’ grave, Primula playing cards with Eustoma and Forbesii and blowing the place up when she draws a bad one, Sia applying lipstick onto Kaede and the two having an accidental kiss, and Ama cutting Asa’s hair short again.
Overall, in the scope of the entire series, the finale was a bit anticlimactic for me. Granted, I knew long ago how this was going to end, so that does affect how I see the ending. The bar had been set pretty high by previous episodes, so I definitely had my hopes up a little more than I should have. Maybe a final kiss or something would have given me more closure because it feels like they left it slightly open-ended. Though I guess you could say that in true harem fashion, the girls all still like Rin.
But if you take the final episode by itself, I rather enjoyed it. The Asa finale was done exactly how I thought they would, long hair and all. The second half has its share of funny (Primula rubbing up against Rin when he faints on her), life-is-back-to-normal (Rin getting into trouble), and conclusionary moments (Ama, Foubessi, and Eustoma being the big one for me). I really enjoyed watching the scenes during the credits, Sia and Kaede’s kiss included, although I wish they hadn’t scrunched it up into such a small window. Anyway, I feel that this was a fitting ending for the series.
Final Thoughts: Boy this has been quite the rollercoaster ride. What started out as a simple harem, based-on-an-h-game series turned out to be one of the best, if not the best, shows this year. SHUFFLE! is a show full of twists and turns and big surprises. I mean, who really thought at the beginning that Asa, a seemingly side character, would be the one Rin ends up with? Add on a large dose of top-notch drama and performances, and SHUFFLE! becomes a must-see series.