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Sasameki Koto – 13 (END)

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「CALLING YOU」
“Calling You”

If this were any episode but the last, I would’ve been more okay with the long drawn-out scenes where Sumika is desperately trying to get in touch with Ushio. Likewise with the ones where Ushio’s eagerly awaiting Sumika’s phone call. The pacing was as usual, but this is the finale and I wanted to see something happen!

So what starts off as a routine trip out to meet up with relatives and visit a family grave turns into a constant meandering experience for Sumika when she can’t get reception on her phone to call Ushio. Reception problems become the least of her worries though, as she ends up diving into the river to rescue her showboating little cousin Teru (Satou Rina). Only after her cell phone gets seemingly wrecked does Sumika decide to try and call Ushio using her uncle’s landline. By then, Ushio’s too troubled by not knowing whether she’s been forgotten or if Sumika’s gotten into an accident to pick up the phone from an unknown number. When Sumika’s at the local festival and basically given up, Ushio calls and lets the phone ring continuously — long enough for Teru to bring Sumika’s now dried and supririsingly working phone to her.

 

Ever since the first episode, I noticed how this series has a tendency to stretch out scenes more than necessary. It’s never really bothered me though, since it gave off a very mellow, “my pace” type of feeling. It’s a bit slow, but nice in that way. However, as the minutes remaining in this episode trickled down, I couldn’t help but think, “Oh god, something happen. Please don’t let it end without anything happening!” Needless to say, here I am writing up this post, reminiscing of the moment that never came.

Don’t get me wrong though, I enjoyed this series very much, including this last episode. I just wish they adjusted the overall pacing to take into account that this is a one cour series. That way, we would’ve gotten to see something happen instead of merely working towards it. I’m all for the gradual emotional build-up, but this is a prime example of a drawback to stricting adhering to the manga material — we get absolutely no closure. This of course is dependent on whether there’s a good break point in the material. Here, things ended rather open-endedly, meaning the series is literally screaming for a second season. While they’ve made it pretty apparent that Sumika and Ushio long for one another, neither of them even got a chance to hint at, let alone express how they feel.

Compare this to 11 episode Aoi Hana, where one of the girls came to realize the other one’s been her first love all along. It was also pretty open to continuation, but the final episode gave some feeling of closure. It’s as if a chapter finished in the two girls’ relationship and the story was ready to move on to the next one. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Sasameki Koto, which leaves me wanting to see a fourteenth episode that won’t be airing next week. If there’s one complaint I have about this series, it would be the decision to stick so closely to original source without planning a good way to wrap up a thirteen episode anime. As such, I’m left feeling that the series ended too quickly and unsatisfied with the progress that’s been made. If the show were still ongoing, then this wouldn’t be an issue.

Oddly enough, this complaint is in regards to AIC, the studio whose work I’ve been praising in Nyan Koi and Sora no Otoshimono this past season. That being the case, I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and believe they already have the greenlight for a second season. It’s wishful thinking at best, but even if it weren’t, my cynical side still doesn’t think this first season made enough of a lasting impression to make viewers look forward to another. As of this moment, I’m ready and waiting for more. Three months down the road, I might be too into new shows to even remember I wanted to see more of Sumika and Ushio.

Looking back, I have to say that Takagaki Ayahi‘s portrayal of Sumika here really made the series a pleasure to watch. I was already impressed by her ability to diversify herself into different types of roles, but I’ve never quite heard her play anyone like our tall, black belt, meganekko. When this series becomes a distant memory, buried in my huge completed list, I’ll still remember Ayahi’s acting enough to get into a Sasameki Koto season two if it’s produced (…I hope). Come on AIC, you’ve been so good to me this season!

December 31, 2009 at 6:09 am
29 comments »
  • December 31, 2009 at 6:21 amSamurai Pumpkin

    Disappointing finale’s this year.

  • December 31, 2009 at 6:26 amNeo_NMO

    and now, as i’ve told you, you should pick up the manga! =D

  • December 31, 2009 at 6:27 amNeo_NMO

  • December 31, 2009 at 7:35 amZeross

    Yeah just read the manga, just read it =)

  • December 31, 2009 at 8:12 amSamurai Pumpkin

    Oh yeah.I almost forgot.

    It’s a little harder to find it on manga sites than most titles.

  • December 31, 2009 at 8:16 amKoroshiya

    I think what studio is doing the anime should be put in your list of seasonal animes as part of the details.

  • December 31, 2009 at 8:23 amSamurai Pumpkin

    Lmao, thanks Neo. Much appreciated.

  • December 31, 2009 at 9:06 amLuke

    Even though it has an open ending I really enjoyed it. Ushio’s behaviour and her reaction to the flowers on the sidewalk spoke volumes…

  • December 31, 2009 at 9:29 amAlec

    i knew this would happen, well it was an entertaining ride, atleast

  • December 31, 2009 at 10:03 amMegas

    …now I hope they can leave this goofy little non-eventful mess alone

  • December 31, 2009 at 11:10 amMegaGalvatron

    Why are most of the anime this year only 13 episodes long?

  • December 31, 2009 at 11:45 amSamurai Pumpkin

    These anime are based on relatively new manga’s. Some of the manga’s don’t quite have enough content for a full 26 episodes. I don’t know that Sora no Otoshimono would have been very meaningful at 26 episodes just with the chapters that are out right now.

  • December 31, 2009 at 1:00 pmIsland Esper

    It’s being so long since the last time I felt the desperation of calling someone in private just to hear their voice. For me that feeling is so long lost I doubt I ever feel it again. The minutes feels like hours and the desperation is terrible. Guess that’s what they were thinking here. To pass on to the viewer that feeling, however it did drag the episode and no closing, not even a hug or a “I missed you so much” moment make the end bland. I did like when Sumika tried to dial Ushio home phone to realize she didn’t remember it, I have lost me cell and you feel naked , very vulnerable so I did connect there.
    Guess this is my last post of this year. Thank you very much Divine for all the work you put out this fall season and to all happy new year. See you all in that Qwaser oppai feeding anime….

  • December 31, 2009 at 1:41 pmEnigmaticWarrior

    Want 2nd season, NOW!! For those who haven’t started reading the manga, do it, now. :p So much of the drama starts later on in the manga. :( If there is a 2nd season, here’s hoping chapters 13-24 gets animated, especially 14-18 and 20. Chapters 21-24 is a small flashback arc detailing how Show Spoiler ▼

    Given the direction the most recent chapter is heading in right now…Show Spoiler ▼

  • December 31, 2009 at 2:26 pmSamurai Pumpkin

    I just started on watching the manga today.

    The art in chapter 1 looks like it was drawn up as a high school kids project… however by chapter 12 the art is identical to that of the anime.

    I’ve never seen such a huge contrast in a manga before. Ushio especially looks like a completely different person by then.

  • December 31, 2009 at 3:40 pmEnigmaticWarrior

    @Samurai Pumpkin

    Wasn’t Sasameki Koto originally suppose to be a one-shot story? That might explain the dramatic difference in art style.

  • December 31, 2009 at 4:58 pmmalanthai

    Great serie but disapointing ending
    Better to read the manga
    Downloadable here
    http://dynasty.evalpowar.com/

  • December 31, 2009 at 11:47 pmSamurai Pumpkin

    @EnigmaticWarrior

    I have no idea.

  • January 1, 2010 at 2:08 amNeo_NMO

    i think in one of the writer inserts it says that it was only supposed to be a one-shot, but then was so well received that they kept going.

  • January 1, 2010 at 3:50 amRemy

    Am I the only one upset that there’s still no Yaoi anime on the blog? :p

  • January 1, 2010 at 2:10 pmdmo

    I was kinda hoping that Ushio would get so worried that she’d head over to where Sumi was staying to find a burnt down house. Then she’d run around town asking what happened in panic…but this was good too I guess.

  • January 1, 2010 at 3:25 pmfoamer

    I’m happy it followed the manga closely but that ending left me wanting moar! seconds please!!

  • January 1, 2010 at 4:11 pmlol

    needing more. really.
    I liked the ending, it was cute.
    I need a new season please plase! gosh!
    make this to something like “Maria Sama Ga Miteru” please!
    yuri with more seasons.
    For now, I just can wait u.ú.

  • January 1, 2010 at 4:28 pmyanipheonu

    Apparenly a lot of anime makers are thinking the best ending is to have no climax….

  • January 1, 2010 at 5:00 pmSyaoran Li

    Sadly, we got the same result as Aoi Hana. I can understand they didn’t wanted to intercourse in original territory with the anime project over here, but it has been a long time since I saw a shoujo ai series with a resolution (and ironically, I didn’t like it).

    I agree with you Divine, Takagaki Ayahi did a great job as the main lead in the series. I was shocked to find out she was the voice for Felt Grace in Gundam 00, but after some listening, there’re no doubts in my head that it was her and the perfect choice for Sumika.

    I’ll miss their antics. Well, at least there’s still the manga for me to keep an eye on them.

    Until the next shoujo ai series.

  • January 2, 2010 at 4:10 amHHH

    Well this show kinda didnt end and left onpen for one more season

  • January 2, 2010 at 8:33 pmZerasu

    I really hope they make season two… Meanwhile I’ll just keep reading the manga, like I always did. This episode was a bit of a disappointment, as this was one of my favorite chapters in the manga. :x

  • January 3, 2010 at 6:46 amKazuka

    I was on edge on this last episode….and then at the end I dropped off a cliff that I’ve been hanging on to throughout the season;;; Well, as disappointing as it was it did have it’s meaningful moments and a very cute-when-angry Ushio! I found it too adorable as Ushio got frustrated little by little, very much like an angry girlfriend xD But on a serious note, they ended this series at about the halfpoint in the manga. It would make a lot of sense to do a 2nd season!! Well, here’s to hoping… I enjoyed waiting week by week for some awesome cliffhanger slaps in the face. Go read the manga! It won’t disappoint (or it will–in a cliffhanger sense– very much so;;; Take your pick…)!!

  • January 5, 2010 at 12:45 pmyana san

    is this really the end? this cant be!!!! the story hasn’t even begun yet and it has already ended?? i just can’t believe it! anyone know where i can find the manga?