Da Capo II SS – 13 (END)
It’s been two months since the sakura tree withered, and spring is once again here. It’s the time of year when a new class of students enroll at the high school, and since she’s student council president, Otome has to give a speech at the entrance ceremony. What she won’t reveal to anyone is that inside the same notebook that she prepared her speech in, Otome has written Yoshiyuki’s name over and over, on page after page. Yume meanwhile spends her time visiting the same places she visited on her date with Yoshiyuki even though she knows that he won’t come back. As she passes by Sakura’s house on the way home, Yume sees Otome in Yoshiyuki’s room and watches as her sister starts to cry while holding the Eto doll. It reminds Yume that at least the two of them have to remember Yoshiyuki, and she feels that she can’t forget because she still loves him. Meanwhile, Sakura’s consciousness awakens temporarily with the sakura tree because it’s spring. She thinks that this is the proper world because Yoshiyuki doesn’t exist, yet all across Hatsunejima, she observes traces of memories of Yoshiyuki inside his friends, and she sees both Yume and Otome sad because they still remember him.
Sakura watches as Otome goes to the sakura tree one foggy morning and learns that Otome has been visiting every day since Yoshiyuki disappeared. Otome wants the tree to grant her wish, but she knows that it can’t and feels that it’s not a magic tree. She thinks of Yoshiyuki as an ordinary guy and herself as an ordinary girl who wants to be with the one she loves, and she tells the tree that she refuses to forget Yoshiyuki. Seeing all this causes Sakura to make an impassioned plea to the sakura tree to grant everyone’s wishes, and she believes in general that strong enough desires will make wishes come true. Her words get through to the tree, and for a brief moment, its branches are in full bloom. It is in this moment that everyone remembers Yoshiyuki again, and he appears to Yume in her dream. Yume wakes up from the dream before she can reach Yoshiyuki, but she quickly realizes that seeing him in a dream means that it will come true, so she dashes out of the house. Otome is meanwhile crying by herself out in the park when Yoshiyuki suddenly appears, and the two along with Yume are reunited. In the aftermath, life returns to normal, and the sakura tree completely disappears.
Wait a minute, I thought one of the big themes of DCSS (with Aishia and all) was to prove that magic couldn’t bring happiness. And yet, here we clearly see that magic brings back Yoshiyuki, which in turn brings happiness. That’s not to say that I think there was any other way to do it without magic, unless they kept Yoshiyuki from returning, but it would have made more sense if they were consistent. Regardless though, Yoshiyuki returning means a happy ending for everyone except for maybe Sakura. I single her out because while she might be happy to see Yoshiyuki reunited with everyone, she personally isn’t around to enjoy it as his mother (I would have considered that the happiest of endings).
Overall, the ending was, as I suspected it would be, rather anticlimactic. It’s hard to top the level of emotion from previous episodes (relatively speaking of course to only the DCII series, not to other drama heavy series), and since it was clear that Yoshiyuki was going to be coming back, it was just a matter of seeing how. It could have been an interesting twist if they had kept him dead and/or just concluded the series after last week’s episode, but at the same time, that probably would have been very unsatisfying to watch. Having Yoshiyuki choose between Yume and Otome might have also spiced things up a bit, but I still do think they did a pretty good job with what they did show, especially with Yoshiyuki’s actual reappearance in front of Otome – that was probably the best and most emotional scene of the episode.
Final Thoughts: This animated adaptation of Da Capo II was on the whole rather ho-hum, so to speak. At the time, I wasn’t very happy with how the first season covered Koko and Minatsu, but I can say now that it wasn’t completely wasted because it introduced us to the characters and set some of the story-lines up that were explored in the second season. The problem is that I have a hard time saying that it was worth watching all of. And while the second season was a lot better than the first one in almost every way, I still don’t feel like they broke any new ground or had anything particularly compelling. That makes is the kind of show that’s very hard to recommend, unlike for example true tears or even ef, and I’m not sure I’d watch a Da Capo III series, if there ever is one.