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「卒業式」 (Sotsugyoushiki)
“Graduation Ceremony”

I am a man who doesn’t believe in much, but one of the things I believe in is the power of stories. A good story well told can spawn movements for good or ill. They can compel armies or turn back axes. They can help abolish diseases and right great injustices, or they can perpetuate them. They can turn a person’s life around even as others end them. More than facts or logic, it is stories that can move the hearts of men, even if it’s just to convince a gym full of people at a high school graduation to save an old building that eight people love very much. Maybe it even had an effect on you.

Setting Up The Moment

Though good scenes are often made of bigger things, it’s the little details that make them great. Last week I spoke about how Rita’s presence gave us a chance at a resolution of her and Dragon’s love affair, but she also added to the effect this time merely by being another person who truly cares about Sakurasou. She also – though it was Ryuunosuke’s idea. Who would have thought! – brought the sakura pins, without which the vote later on would not have been nearly so uplifting. Of them all though, perhaps my favorite was when we later found out that Misaki’s speech was actually handed to the principal, who didn’t even bother to read it. That Jin’s old friend would go so far as to place the offending speech in the principal’s hands, knowing full well that he only had to glance at it to ruin everything…well, that little detail added spice to the moment, power to their triumph. It’s always the little things that matter.

Misaki’s Speech

Then Misaki mounted the stage. She gave a very un-Misaki-like speech, which is what made it great – when Mashiro’s emotions started opening up, it was wonderful because they were once closed away, and so it was with serious Misaki. To hear her heartfelt plea…well, a tear may have appeared in my eye from the moment she first mentioned Sakurasou. I had to ask myself, why? Nothing has happened yet! Maybe it was the anticipation, of what I knew what was coming. Or perhaps it’s that I’ve come to love that old building too, over these past six months of spending so much time with the people there.

Of course, there was an element of calculation to Misaki’s speech, which Dragon called them out on at the very end. He said they tricked the audience. Well, it’s true that they wrote the speech with a purpose in mind, and guided the audience towards the conclusion they desired. But tricked? No. Those were Misaki’s honest feelings, and those of the others, and those of the audience as well. They made it easy for the other students to vote with them, true, but in return they gave them their honest, heartfelt feelings and a wonderful story that will stay with them for a lifetime. Not a bad trade, if I do say so myself.

Such is the power of stories my friends, as I alluded to in the intro and I mention every other week. Misaki stood up there and sold the idea of Sakurasou with all of her heart, but it wasn’t a lie. Selling isn’t bad, only trickery and deception. What the board did, that was bad. But Misaki, in a moment when everyone was listening, poured everything into her speech, and they responded.

If I had to criticize anything, it was that Misaki summarized past events for a bit too long. It worked best was when she approached them from a new direction, like through the lenses of their rooms or their nabe parties, because that showed the events we’ve seen before in a slightly new light. They showed, what, 10 nabe parties? So much happiness! What didn’t work as well was when she straight summarized. The feeling she was building started to wane when she got past Nyaboron. Fortunately, that didn’t last long.

I have to say, I looooove love love love stories with an ensemble cast like this one, where many characters are important and they grow closer as the story progresses. Sorata and Mashiro may be the leads, but only by so much – without Nanami and Jin and Misaki and Ryuunosuke and Rita and Chihiro, Sakurasou would be nothing. Each of them teared up this episode, and I teared up with them as Misaki went down the list of why each and every one of them means so much to her. Chihiro-sensei’s lip quivered, and Dragon actually cried. Only Misaki can do that. Only Misaki.

I have a feeling this post is a mess, and for that I apologize. In truth, I suspect there’s not much that needs to be said – after all this time, whether this episode works or not for you will largely depend on whether you have come to love these characters, as I have. It wasn’t a sledgehammer of drama, it didn’t rip me down and wrench the tears out of me. No, it was gentle, wistful, as if longing had been wrapped in images and words broadcast directly into our hearts. It made me reminiscence about how far these character have come, and that I was there the whole way.

What else is there to say? Well, when the old OP played, when Sorata stormed the stage, when Nanami cried out and Mashiro took a stand, when Ryuunosuke strolled in and laid down the law, when Jin’s old friend drove the board into a corner, and when Chihiro proposed that they take a vote right now…ahhh, those were glorious moments. You can’t keep Sakurasou down! And don’t worry, it’s okay to cry Sorata. Real men cry sometimes. This is one of those times.

In the end, the kids of Sakurasou never did reach two-thirds of the student body. That wouldn’t have been their style. No, they reached every single one of them, all in one go. Let’s hear it for Sakurasou – may it live forever!

Looking Ahead – Running Off Into Tomorrow

It nears its end. 24 episodes gone, one more to go, and then I get to tie a bow on this series. There’s so much to say, but I’ll save most of it for next week. For now I’ll stick to the obvious points – this is a romance, so we need our couples to come together now if they’re going to do it anytime soon. Jin and Misaki are fine, but the others – Ryuunosuke and Rita, Chihiro and Fujisawa – they need to wrap everything up. Oh, and of course, Sorata and Mashiro as well. Though some of you might not like it, that’s the couple we’re ending with, and it’s the right one, for them, for right now. One more week and we’ll see how it all ends.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A sakura-coloured graduation. Time comes for the speech, & Misaki stands up & tells the story of Sakurasou. There is none sweeter #sakurasou

Random thoughts:

  • Flustered Misaki, hng~
  • I knew as soon as Ryuunosuke said it, I knew they would swap to Nanami crying, and they did…and yet still I laughed. To be honest, it may have been out of sentimentality more than anything else. Who knows.
  • This was an episode of tears. KyoAni, you’d better watch out. Much more than this and J.C.Staff is going to start gunning for your teary throne!
  • I loved how everyone blamed Sorata for them getting yelled at, even though Misaki yelled first. Of course it’s your fault, Sorata! Misaki is graduating. Also, she’s Misaki. You should be used to this by now.

Full-length images: 07, 16, 23, 28, 33, 36.

 

Preview

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo   23   Preview 01
March 18, 2013 at 11:31 pm
124 comments »
  • March 18, 2013 at 11:36 pmImpetusZwei

    For some reason, when the kiddy graduation song played, what popped up in my head was “DUMMY SYSTEM ACTIVATED” and the image of Eva-01 ripping Eva-03 limb from limb..

    • March 19, 2013 at 10:21 amYuhsaku

      Ha! :-)

  • March 18, 2013 at 11:46 pmDenki

    Oh god all them feels. Nanami’s face when before the serious speech had me gasping for air. Glad that they protected Sakurasou with the power of family and love, and now all that’s left to be resolved is what will Sorata do for his future, both Mashiro and his game development dreams? Hopefully he’s not a wishy-washy *^#@( and grows a spine.

  • March 18, 2013 at 11:49 pm8-bitPenguin

    I’ve been reading on other sites and discussing this episode with people, and quite a few of them feel that the drama was “forced”. Do you agree with this Stilts? Personally, I think you said it best by describing it as an episode that one would love if they love the characters and everything they’ve gone through- I love the characters of this show and definitely enjoyed this episode, as it felt like the finale- it was so heartwarming and cheesy, I couldn’t help but enjoy it. But I can see people hating it if they don’t like the characters or aren’t a fan of some good ole melodrama- it’s not for everyone.
    In all seriousness though, I teared up during this episode, hell, I had more feels at this fake graduation than I did at my actual high school graduation… It was nowhere this interesting or emotional.

    • March 18, 2013 at 11:51 pmCoburn

      I actually like Sorata from the start, but this episode made me realize that I had grown tired of his “no indoor voice” (it was even lampshaded by the teacher IIRC)

    • March 18, 2013 at 11:58 pmZen

      That might be a fair assessment, that the drama sometimes feels forced. Sakurasou and Okada Mari stories in general tend to utilize a lot of dramatic cliches- except that Okada is such a stellar writer that she is able to execute the cliches well where most other writers fail. If cliche’s aren’t your thing period, I can see how you would think this show is too cheesy for your tastes. But if you don’t mind cliches like us, then I think you’ll enjoy it…

      • March 19, 2013 at 12:10 am8-bitPenguin

        I’m not too familiar with her name, do you have any titles that you would recommend? I’m a fan of cliches, especially when they’re done correctly. (I’ve grown up on a steady diet of JRPGs, so melodrama, overly emotional outbursts, and cheesy moments are things I whole heartily embrace at this point in my life! ^^)

      • March 19, 2013 at 12:16 amStilts

        See here for everything she’s done.

        For the most Okada Mari-like shows, it’s definitely this and Toradora though. Those are the ones that smack you in the face and go HEY!…Okada Mari is involved. Prepare for the feels.

    • March 18, 2013 at 11:58 pmStilts

      You can argue that the drama of the arc itself (Sakurasou being shut down at all) is forced, and I probably wouldn’t argue against you too much. As for this episode, with everything that was already set up before it? No, I don’t think it was terribly forced for its place in the arc. Sakurasou sometimes forces the major movements, but the small details flow fairly well from step to step. We got a lot of that here.

      And yeah, my high school graduation wasn’t nearly as interesting. Or my college one…though after that one, I did go out to the bars wearing my robe and acting like a wizard while drinking straight from a pitcher, so we might have a tie on that one ^__^

      • March 19, 2013 at 12:19 am8-bitPenguin

        Yeah, I agree with you that after all this buildup quietly resolving this issue would seem so out of character for the show. That’s not how the ragtag crew at Sakurasou does things, they either go big or go home! That emotional speech was probably the best way to do it though, and having the principal and some of the teachers be less than understanding was spot on too- I mean come on, do adults ever really seem to “get it”? (In my experience, they rarely do)

        And that sounds like an awesome way to celebrate your college graduation by the way, I don’t even remember what happened after mine- but there weren’t any awkward misunderstandings or phone calls that began with: “So you were really drunk last night…” So that’s all the evidence I need to know that it was a good night! :D

      • March 19, 2013 at 12:42 amStilts

        Adults never seem to get it…until you become one, and suddenly it’s the young’uns who seem to be doing stupid things all the time. Of course, the truth is more insidious – that about 80% of the human population are damn idiots, and which individuals are that 80% changes by the minute. I know I’ve spent my time there!

        Hey, it was st paddy’s the other day. I’m not liable for anything that was said or done!

      • March 19, 2013 at 3:10 amKuntzy

        Quite honestly, anyone who can say that the drama in this episode is forced with a straight face is wither lying through their teeth, or had fulfilling school lives. Graduation can definitely suck for people who actually enjoyed their school lives because it means that you spend less time with people who you’ve grown acquainted to for four years (three in Japan I guess) or even more depending on if you went to school with them for previous years. It comes with the uncertainty of not knowing how much longer you’ll be seeing each other on a regular basis due to jobs, moving, post secondary education, etc. Sure you’ll still see each other if you’re really close, but what about people who go study abroad, move due to a job offer etc. Adults have responsibility (unfortunately T_T) and quite frankly, talking over the phone/internet just isn’t the same. So yeah, emotions tend to run high.

        As for Misaki’s save Sakurasou speech, well, as Sorata said Sakurasou isn’t just a building, but he is wrong in a sense. Tearing down Sakurasou would be like tearing down the memories they made there together. Memories fade with time, but going back to the place you make them can help you to relive the memories better than, say, an empty lot. Obviously, for Misaki, her time at Sakurasou is considered the most important time of her life, and so the building is just as important to her as its residents.

        Anyways, the drama isn’t forced at all. It is, however, treading the fine line of good drama and being melodramatic. Thankfully all the crying was followed up by a good ol’ riot as, in true Sakurasou fashion, wherever Sakurasou goes, chaos ensues.

      • March 19, 2013 at 11:16 amBear

        @ Kuntzy
        One thing that struck me was what she told Kouhai-kun. It wasn’t only her memories that were important but they he would continue to make memories with those that followed and through him her love of Sakurasou would be passed on to another generation of students.

    • March 19, 2013 at 2:29 amAngelus

      Drama “forced”? You’ve been spending too much time on a certain imageboard. There is no such thing as “forced drama” because all drama is by definition “forced”. This is the difference between drama and slice-of-life. In slice-of-life things just appear to happen at random, but in drama, the events are orchestrated by the author (i.e. “forced”) for a purpose. If the purpose is to deliberately elicit strong emotion then we can call it “melodrama”, but never “forced drama”, please.

      It’s interesting to note that, not so long ago, a quick Google of “forced drama” would only ever show hits on that certain imageboard. Now, though, the meme is spreading – I’ve even seen it in some student papers online, but so far, never in anything academic or authoritative. Don’t bring the “forced drama” meme over here, keep it where it belongs, OK?

      • March 19, 2013 at 3:00 amanonymous

        On that note what’s the definition of ‘drama’?This isn’t directed at just Angelus, anyone who cares to reply.

      • March 19, 2013 at 9:00 amSmithCB

        I’d agree that the scene was forced, but that’s because the Sakurasou crowd created that tension. The speech and the emotions and ‘group participation’ didn’t fit with the pomp and circumstance of a graduation. It became a rally, instead. I was fully expecting that the Seniors would present Mashiro’s painting as a class gift, thus proving that living in Sakurasou had not diminished her talents. We’ll see where it shows up. I’d hope that the episode ends with the painting mounted on the wall in Sakurasou, and Mashiro added herself to the picture.

      • March 19, 2013 at 1:07 pmAnonymous

        Funniest part it’s this buzzword originates from here, from Anohana posts.

    • March 19, 2013 at 8:14 amPringlesXD

      I wouldn’t classify it as forced. Sure, that scene with those teachers were a bit overdone (I mean, I don’t think teachers would ever do stuff like that to students) but Misaki’s entire speech was touching enough to make me cry from start to finish, lol.

      • March 19, 2013 at 3:33 pmSortedevaras

        If forced is always this good then I am perfectly fine with forced drama. It is so rare to have a show in which I can feel real emotion and actually like ALL of the characters.

  • March 18, 2013 at 11:49 pmCoburn

    That graduation song bit was the best part of this episode. I mean the speech was tearjerking indeed, but the whole time Misaki speaks all I can think of is how self-centered it is to speak mainly about your personal clique in your graduation ceremony, especially when only one guy of your clique is on the same graduating class. But then again, I need to distance myself from the story and realize that the show is about the dorm and the fight to preserve it.

    • March 19, 2013 at 3:38 pmSortedevaras

      Indeed, the graduation song was perfect. In fact I wonder how the hell the last episode plans to top it when this seemed like the best possible place to end the series, with all of the characters running off into the sunset together.

      • March 19, 2013 at 5:27 pmCoburn

        I don’t think they’re going to try top it. The last episode is probably just going to be like a filler that shows what the guys were doing after graduation. probably with a new problem student moving in thrown for good measure. They could also go the Love Hina Route and show that brash and emotional brat Sorata had grown wiser in the following year.

  • March 18, 2013 at 11:50 pmZen

    I am a man who doesn’t believe in much, but one of the things I believe in is the power of stories. A good story well told can spawn movements for good or ill. They can compel armies or turn back axes. They can help abolish diseases and right great injustices, or they can perpetuate them. They can turn a person’s life around even as others end them. More than facts or logic, it is stories that can move the hearts of men, even if it’s just to convince a gym full of people at a high school graduation to save an old building that eight people love very much. Maybe it even had an effect on you

    I couldn’t agree with you more. People say that a picture is worth a thousand words; well, a good story is worth a thousand insipid, logical academic arguments. You almost never win over people’s hearts by being cold and logical, you win them over by appealing to them emotionally- you give them an emotional reason to believe as you do, and stories can do that where university professors cannot.

    Some will say that shooting for transcendence where there is a good chance that you will fail like Sorata is doing is illogical and silly. But for every one of them, I am certain that there are many others, myself included who have been touched and inspired emotionally by Mashiro and Sorata’s story. That’s the power of stories. It defies logic by appealing to our emotions.

    At their best they make us not only realize the logical truth of things, but want to believe the right things. At their worst they distort our perspective and make us want to believe the wrong things. The powers wielded by good story-tellers are simultaneously both wonderful and terrible indeed…

    • March 19, 2013 at 12:06 amStilts

      *applauds* I agree with you agreeing with me!

      Self-indulgent back patting aside, there’s truly little more elementally human than storytelling. We’ve been telling them since before we figured out the link between seeds and plants, when we sat around campfires telling stories of our gods and what our heroic ancestors did a couple hundred years before. We’ve only had a semblance of logic for a couple thousand years at best. There’s no contest.

      (Though logic certainly helps tell a good story to a certain kind of audience. Just saying before someone accuses us of being anti-logic.)

      • March 19, 2013 at 12:47 amZen

        (Though logic certainly helps tell a good story to a certain kind of audience. Just saying before someone accuses us of being anti-logic.)

        Lol, I’m probably the last person you expected to say that in humans, emotion usually trumps logic considering the kind of things that I tend to comment on around here- but there you have it. In general emotion is simply more powerful than logic- by virtue of being more human and intrinsic to our nature, if fear politics proves anything…XP

    • March 19, 2013 at 5:07 amtotoum

      Except this just doesn’t appeal that much to my emotionality.

      I’m left bewildered when I read Stilts write that this was “gentle, wistful”, maybe the beginning of Misaki’s speech was but later on I don’t see anything gentle or wistful about people crying their heart out and shouting.
      To me the whole episode is quite over the top,that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, it brought a smile to my face and it does fit Sakurasou quite well but it’s not close to being something that really gets me emotional.

      When I think gentle and wistful, I think about Watanabe’s “Baby Blue” or Shinkai “5 cm per second” or Hosoda’s “Wolf Children” or Tari Tari episode 6 or Sengoku Collection episode 18 (more people should watch that episode).Those get tears out of me.

  • March 18, 2013 at 11:58 pmEntrav

    I feel that the speech is very well executed. It comes from the bottom of Misaki’s heart and it doesn’t feel too cheesy or cliche. Of course, it’ll be overdramatic, but it’s supposed to create an impact big enough for us to feel as viewers and to that extent, it does a great job.

    When Sorata went on stage and took hold of the mic, I couldn’t help but laugh at his stance. Sakurasou, what an entertaining bunch. Some people may not like the tear-jerking moments, and maybe it could do without continuously panning over the crying faces. Even so, it does evoke some fairly strong emotions and reminds me of my own past.

    Strong episode, I hope for a similarly strong ending.

  • March 19, 2013 at 12:28 amFreddeh

    The FEEEEEEELS! This show is already penned into my top 5 for this year. So good.

  • March 19, 2013 at 12:45 amHakumeiJin

    Goddamnit Okada, I held myself the whole time while she was trying to make me cry by showing all those crying people but then I forgot myself and tears started coming out during the elementary school song of all things.

    Also at least for this episode I wouldn’t say the drama is forced at all. These are all the natural actions of the characters we’ve been introduced. (Whether you agree with the possibility of their existence is unimportant since we’ve come this far) And to make it even better the characters actually recognized what they were doing. Misaki thanked the school for supporting her even when she had stolen a very important speech for the sake of Sakurasou which most of them didn’t care about and I loved Ryuunosuke first for coming in and ridiculing the teachers and then calling the senpai out on basically making it impossible not to agree by asking while everyone was emotional and giving out the sakura beforehand (his idea by the way) Misaki was also great since even though we had been shown her feelings bit by bit before hand there is something really powerful about how she just told the whole school about all her feelings with tears streaming down.

    The one thing that went too far in my opinion was the teachers because damn those guys were retarded. I know it’s Japan and all but I can’t believe that a teacher can knock a student down in front of the whole school and get away with it.

    While we do still have the epilogue I have to say this ending was already more than enough to move me and will definitely make me remember this show.

    • March 19, 2013 at 2:14 amdaikama

      The one thing that went too far in my opinion was the teachers because damn those guys were retarded. I know it’s Japan and all but I can’t believe that a teacher can knock a student down in front of the whole school and get away with it.

      I definitely can’t say in terms of Japanese school regulations, but all I could think about when watching Sorata taken down like that was “now there’s a good lawsuit”. TBH, I think the school boards reactions were also lacking some RL credibility. Even the teachers. If that happened in my HS, they’d simply turn off the mic and suspend the ceremony. Then either escort the person off stage (nothing too physical), or worst case call the cops. The faculty & board certainly wouldn’t just stammer in response with weak complaints.

      • March 19, 2013 at 8:03 amCybersteel

        “Disruptive Behavior” is no grounds for police intervention. The best they could do was expulsion from the graduation ceremony.

  • March 19, 2013 at 1:15 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    Ah, nothing like corrupt old men getting utterly busted on their corruption with nothing to defend themselves with other than trying to silence the opposition with force, which only digs their hole deeper.

    Okay, maybe not “corruption” in the worst sense, but still, deceitful (clearly nobody else in the student body knew about Sakuraou’s planned demolition) and very trivially selfish, only to be reminded that Sakureasou was established just for such people like Mashiro; talented students that WOULDN’T have to learn, grow, and develop their talents based on the outside expectations of society, but rather how they themselves want to. That was something Sorata also learned with Mashiro; even though she may be talented and society may favor her and try to get her to grow a certain way, that doesn’t mean she herself wants to do so, and she has made it more clear the last bunch of episodes.

  • March 19, 2013 at 1:56 amCatsrofl

    Man…this episode. Though it didn’t have me laughing(mostly chuckling) all the time it was still there for sure. Still, what happened at this graduation ceremony was still very natural for the awesome whack jobs at sakurasou, despite certain forced dramatic elements in previous episodes. Misaki-senpai’s speach… I guess to me it was so good that before I even realized it I had little tear drops. Here’s looking forward to the ending.

  • March 19, 2013 at 2:04 amdaikama

    I don’t think all the drama is “forced”, but in some cases that that may be the case. Specifically, it’s one or two situations (or plot lines) which I thought were “forced”. However, for the most part I never felt that way about how those situations were portrayed (i.e. character’s reactions helped by some great voice acting). Not sure if this make sense as it’s kind of hard to explain.

    For example, the whole “Sakurasou’s going to be demolished” plot felt forced. JMO, but I thought the timing and reason for it were not all that credible. However, the way the characters reacted to that situation didn’t feel forced. Masaki and the rest acted in the manner I would expect under those conditions. As already mentioned, the great voice acting goes a long way towards lending credibility. Misaki’s speech was very well done IMO.

    While I’d rather not have a forced situation simply to create drama, as long as the execution is good enough, I’m willing to overlook the “forced” aspect. That’s the case with Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo.

    I don’t care if I’m alone on this: <3 Rita. She's come quite far from the self-centered free-loader we first saw. Not only did she (and Ryuu I guess) come up with the idea for Sakura flower pins, but she somehow got enough made for the entire school. How rich is this girl to get something like that done in practically no time? Embarrased Rita x Ryuu is just too cute. As for Ryuu, that’s out of shape “dragon”. LOLd at that scene, and still LOL whenever he refers to Rita as “former free-loader.” What a great comedy couple.

    As for the last EP, I wonder how much couple’s resolution we’ll get – specifically whether Sorata x Mashrio will be made “official” or not.

    • March 19, 2013 at 2:20 amStilts

      FWIW, I don’t think you’re alone in liking Rita. Her’n Dragon are pretty adorable together

    • March 19, 2013 at 3:25 amKuntzy

      I don’t really think that Sakurasou being demolished because of Mashiro was really forced at all. It’s a simple case of trying to save face as Mashiro is pretty much a world renowned artist. Manga is held in high regards by quite a bit of people, but just imagine Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo Buonarroti, Pablo Picasso even, drawing manga with strange content when their painting skills are, quite frankly, amazing.

      One thing the Japanese are big on is their image, and so being the ones who are wasting Mashiro’s talent, even if it was by her own choice, is bad for the school’s image and also possibly Japan’s. They’re basically just trying to pressure her to leave, betting on the fact that she wouldn’t be able to adapt to the regular dorms lifestyle.

      • March 19, 2013 at 1:56 pmdaikama

        FWIW, the reasons I felt it was forced were:

        1) Timing: It’s like crisis, crisis, crisis. We just had Nanami’s huge disappointment = her leaving the school, then there was Sorata trying to deal with the rejection of his game while Mashiro continues to garner success after success. Rather than let some of those themes play out a little longer. Especially for Sorata – here’s a chance to really explore his feelings towards Mashiro, specifically WHY he feels that way. Is really no more than “idol” type infatuation (Mashrio the world famous artist) or does he really care about Mashrio the girl/person?

        2) The reason given for closing down Sakurasou (Mashiro doing manga rather than painting) seems implausible to me. I posted the reasons before. Simply put, I find using surreptitious strong-arm tactics against a teenage girl (not even a legal adult) because she’s made the “wrong” decision (draw manga) of her own free will BEFORE she even stepped one foot into the country lacking credibility. Mashiro came to Japan to draw manga – the board had nothing to do with it. If they refused her admission, she probably just goes to another school. It’s is neither their job nor their right to change her mind. She’s drawing manga, not selling drugs.

        DaVinci was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. Look at how many diverse interests he had. He was allowed to pursue all of these different areas even if some were not deemed as “worthy” as “art”. Frankly, he might have been a better artist for it.

        I get your point about manga being a “less respectable art”, but the fact remains that this is Mashiro’s choice. Her legal right to choose a lawful occupation. As I said before, can you imagine the PR nightmare if the public knew the school board (who has a duty to students) tried to underhandedly coerce a student (and adversely affecting other students as well) into choosing one legal occupation over another? I’m quite confident that the negative publicity from that would far outweighs whatever image problems the board currently imagines the school has due to Mashro’s manga. There’s a good reason, the board/principal kept silent during Masaki’s speech rather than argue their reasons for closing Sakarasou.

        Furthermore, what’s to stop Mashiro from telling the board – “Fine, I had planned on painting from time to time, but now forget it. If this is how you act, I don’t want to paint at all.” What are they going to do – lock her in a room and force her to paint? Better yet, she could threaten to stop painting unless the board insures Sakarasou’s survival regardless of finances.

        Bah. I literally just can’t buy the premise. If this plot line simply must be followed, then the board/whoever should try to change Mashiro’s mind the way it’s done in real life – offer her a LOT of money (or maybe ownership of Sakarasou). If that doesn’t work, you’re SOL. All JMO so if you still disagree that’s fine. The world wouldn’t progress much if everyone thought exactly the same.

    • March 19, 2013 at 11:06 amBear

      @daikama
      I’ve got a theory about Sakurasou that I’ve outlined in another comment below and I’m sure the administration has been lying through their teeth. Mashiro wasn’t the reason for the demolition.

      • March 19, 2013 at 4:27 pmTehPhoenix

        @daikama: I think the explanation given as to why the school board would want to demolish Sakurasou is perfectly reasonable. As a prestigious art school, you want to bring talented people in, that is one of your top priorities. However, you also want to protect your reputation so more talented people will come to your school and increase your prestige. Mashiro is probably the greatest person to ever come to their school and, whether it is true or not, it will look to the outside public that Mashiro was a brilliant painter, then went to this school and decided that she wanted to draw Manga instead. So, on the outside it looks like going to this school changed Mashiro and made her want to draw Manga instead of these brilliant paintings, thus making this school look like it ‘killed/redirected her talent’, thus making parents of other super talented children less likely to send their kids to that school…

      • March 20, 2013 at 5:42 pmdaikama

        @TehPhoenix: So, on the outside it looks like going to this school changed Mashiro and made her want to draw Manga instead of these brilliant paintings, thus making this school look like it ‘killed/redirected her talent’, thus making parents of other super talented children less likely to send their kids to that school…

        I do understand your point and consider it very possible that some parents (or other third parties) might view the incident as such. However, that’s just ONE possible viewpoint. I do not believe everyone will automatically “blame” the school for Mashiro “wrongfully” deciding to draw manga. Frankly, if this was RL and the news came out that a 16(?) year old painting prodigy decided to draw manga, my first thought would be that she got bored with painting and wanted to try something else/something “cooler”. Blaming the school would be the last thing I’d consider. Now if the reverse was true (manga replaced by painting), then the school would be my first “suspect” as for why the change occurred.

        So not every parent (or prospective student – I’m sure many have some say in the school they attend) might think that way. There could very well be many parents who are horrified at the thought of a school attempting to coerce a student against their own will. “I don’t want to send my genius kid to a school that will try to dictate his/her future and usurp my role as parent.” I’m sure the genius potential students would not want to go to a school that acts to limit their creativity and freedom of expression. If nothing else, the method of “correcting” Mashiro’s behavior (closing Sakarasou) is pretty slimy IMO and certainly not PR friendly.

        Again, JMO, but when I consider all the factors (more than listed here) and look at it in a risk/reward fashion I reach the conclusion I posted.

  • March 19, 2013 at 2:37 amSuomynona

    Concerning how the drama felt forced, perhaps Ryuunosuke himself says it well: Misaki’s speech was all a well thought-out attempt in successfully using the “appeal to emotion” fallacy to win the day, knowing that the majority of the audience being teenage schoolkids, such an attempt might actually be more effective than if the audience were all adults. Jin was no doubt the mastermind behind this, though it takes someone “honest” like Misaki to pull it off in a believable manner.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_emotion

  • March 19, 2013 at 2:50 amAnonymous

    A bit off topic.

    I was watching this episode on a Himawari douga stream (a video site similar to NicoNico Douga with “real time” comments), and was bemused and astonished to see all the regular 2ch right wing fanatics going nuts over the seemingly innocent omission of the Flag of Japan in the graduation ceremony, ranting about how it’s some “Korean conspiracy” (Korean bashing being their favourite past time) ever since the “samgyetang” thingy a while back.

    It was funny and infuriating to see them all worked up like that. I had to turn off the comments in order to have a smoother watching experience for once.

    • March 20, 2013 at 1:04 amStilts

      Yeah, I never read internet comments about a show I like. It just ruins the experience.

      …except for here, of course! You guys are the best *quickly backpedaling* *no really, I’m being serious* :D

  • March 19, 2013 at 3:32 amMonk

    Manly tears were shed while watching this episode.

  • March 19, 2013 at 3:54 ammaou

    So we are going for an original ending huh? I hope one day the ppl at bakatsuki will translate the last vol of the LN when it comes out.I want to know what happen in the light novel ending.

  • March 19, 2013 at 4:29 amKairoru

    Stop crying, stop crying, stop crying myself!

    Ah forget it, I want to shed my manly tears as well.

  • March 19, 2013 at 5:34 amJ-Luke

    http://randomc.net/image/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo%20-%2023%20-%20Large%2004.jpg
    Like Stilts I too laughed because of that face.

    It was a strong episode, but personally I’m not much of a fan of those graduation songs, regardless of whatever series they are featured in. Maybe because where I live we don’t have that kind of thing and therefor it’s perceived as somewhat uncomfortable…

  • March 19, 2013 at 5:53 amShiro Tsutsuji

    • March 20, 2013 at 1:05 amStilts

      I wish!

  • March 19, 2013 at 6:13 amJ_the_Man

    I suppose only a bin of loonies like Sakurasou would do so much as to turn a graduation speech into a marketing campaign to save Sakurasou. But I can’t help but feel that would be too much for them anyways. I just feel like that instead of being bold and daring to do something unique, the writer stayed with the generic good ending where everything works out and everyone gets what they want (Except Nanami, of course, but she’s fine with it apparently). I feel like a powerful message was lost in all of this commotion. Just previously we had the truth that Sakurasou wasn’t the building, but the unbreakable bonds of friendship that had been formed by its denizens. But let’s save Sakurasou anyways, as needless as it is. They may have lost the fight for Sakurasou, but it was a meaningless fight to begin with, it seemed, because whether Sakurasou stood or fell they would still be friends. That seems like a greater victory than saving the building. But forget all that crap we said before. Dragon was the villain in that situation anyways and he’s repented from his ways and been forgiven and resolved of his mistrust.

    The speech wasn’t unnecessary, but the way it got out of hand was, since it turned into a “save Sakurasou” rally, and it got a huge selfish vibe from me. A lot of what happened on stage felt like it could have naturally happened in the after party. The speech would have still rallied unanimous opposition against Sakurasou’s demolition and given Misaki and Jin an opportunity to thumb its nose at the faculty anyways.

    Even though graduation is an emotional roller coaster, I felt Sorata and Nanami were really out of character. Even for the sake of comedy, it felt unnatural.

  • March 19, 2013 at 6:18 amCorin

    Well, that’s probably one of the best ways to use melodrama I’ve ever seen. Play it to the utter hilt – and then later have the characters talk about how they used the melodrama to play the audience perfectly. Now that’s self-awareness.

    • March 20, 2013 at 1:07 amStilts

      This. If you’re going to do something, do it with style and flair and every ounce of your being. Better than holding back for fear of offending someone. Offending who? Not anyone you care about, not your audience. Fuck it and do it live!

  • March 19, 2013 at 6:20 amprojectnoa

    This episode, and in a whole this series changed so many things in me. I’m incredibly glad I picked it up.

    So much emotions and great moments. In my head this episode played with the song of Train “Drop’s of Jupiter” in the background, it’s so Misaki :)

    Misaki for best character of 2012/2013!!!

  • March 19, 2013 at 6:27 amlegwkio

    We could end the series now and it will be considered a great series but there’s still one episode left and Sakurasou has proven time and time again that it delivers when it counts. Expecting one of the best anime endings in recent memory.

    • March 19, 2013 at 9:44 amSmithCB

      If we’re going for an anime original ending and ideal feel-good, then I would like to see Sorata’s game mentor show up during the final scene(s), telling Sorata he has a new opportunity and then giving Nanami his card, asking her to give him a call. It doesn’t nail down a success for Nanami, per se, but maybe some hope. (sniff, sob, wail…)

      • March 20, 2013 at 1:10 amStilts

        I would not be opposed to this in the least. A little wonder can be a powerful thing…

  • March 19, 2013 at 6:42 amShroompat

    Touching ending, I cried, but im sure everyone else did too….

    • March 19, 2013 at 6:30 pmDualash

      I actually didn’t feel anything (I say its because of my stoic nature), but I did like how energetic the students were and the comedic bits transitioned nicely. *applauses to Misaki’s speech*

  • March 19, 2013 at 6:53 amVip

    Now that’s what I call a splendid episode! I think I may have had a tear or two welled up in my eyes – and it’s not the first time for Sakurasou to be doing this to me (Nanamin’s breakdown anyone?).

    And to think that I initially expected this to be your typical harem/romcom focusing on a somewhat retarded female protagonist with no plot or central theme. God, was I wrong.

    I’m going to miss both Sakurasou and Bakuman for being so very damn uplifting and positive.

    • March 20, 2013 at 1:09 amStilts

      Many were, myself included. I was more optimistic than many, but it became something else entirely. Hard work vs talent, of the nature of art…so many good things I’m so happy to have seen.

  • March 19, 2013 at 7:04 amDvalinn

    While I thought the ‘save Sakurasou’ plotline was kinda forced, the way they resolved it was totally worth it. I like how the show grounded it in realism in the end as well, with Dragon pointing out that they basically manipulated the audience, but hey, all’s fair in love and war with the school council. In a sense, this is also the culmination of their experiences from Nyaboron, where they had to break down people’s barriers to get them involved. A petition feels cold and distant, mere words on paper, but a persons’s genuine, heartfelt speech about the true nature of Sakurasou? That moved them.

    Not much else to say, really, though I’m glad they did keep the funny bits. Rita X Dragon always brings the laughs (didn’t notice at first that the embarassment-steam formed a little heart around them, heh), as well as Aoyama’s typical reactions to emotional things happening.

    Now then, with most plots resolved, I wonder if they can tie it up nicely with this final episode. It’s been quite a ride.

  • March 19, 2013 at 7:12 amThundershock81

    Many manly tears were shed this episode – dont think ive been that moved in an anime since Clannad After Story.

    Brilliant stuff of one of the best animes this year, possibly of all time.

  • March 19, 2013 at 7:37 amSerapita

    All I can say about this episode can be summed into one sentence. This is truly the taste of happiness.

  • March 19, 2013 at 7:44 amHiyoshi

    Did anyone saw Nakano Otoha (character from the game) when they were preparing themselves to throw the sakura pins?

    • March 20, 2013 at 1:13 amStilts

      Probably so. I noticed the more-detailed-than-the-rest character, I just didn’t know who she was. A cameo does not surprise me.

  • March 19, 2013 at 7:46 amxephx

    This was a really sweet episode. There were a lot of really touching parts in the episode, and even the stuff that seemed cheesy to was done in a good way.

    Sadly I found the ending distracting due to gory Eva destruction.

    • March 19, 2013 at 8:06 amCybersteel

      Maybe

  • March 19, 2013 at 8:10 amjunglepenguin

  • March 19, 2013 at 10:13 amMrRei

    Felt like the drama part lacked build-up. I was expecting comedy after all. Just found myself waiting for the speech to be over. But that’s just me. :\

  • March 19, 2013 at 10:19 amTingster013

    Think I am inhuman cause I did not cry and almost everyone here cried. Instead, I felt happy, and heart-warmed.
    And whenever I see that discipline master(hair quite long guy) I think of Brock from Pokemon with a different hairstyle.

  • March 19, 2013 at 11:02 amBear

    I have a lot of things about this show I want to say but something really hit me after listening to Misaki explaining how she came to Sakurasou. The school administrators weren’t closing Sakurasou because of Mashiro. It was because Misaki was leaving! She said that there was no one else as Sakurasou when she was sent there except the advisor. Sakurasou was to be demolished just after she graduated. It was only there to isolate their problem genius (Misaki) because they didn’t want to expel her but didn’t want to deal with her either (the rat bastards). Mashiro was being used as the excuse for the real reason though. They would have done it anyway even if she hadn’t been there. None of the other inhabitants were ones that really could cause trouble for the administration. Jin is gone, Nanami is gone, Sorata could just be expelled if he didn’t give up his cats (who really cares about him anyway), Ryuu just wants to be left alone, and Mashiro isn’t going to cause any sort of outburst that would be troublesome for the school like Misaki might do.

    • March 19, 2013 at 2:42 pmdaikama

      @bear: It was only there to isolate their problem genius (Misaki) because they didn’t want to expel her but didn’t want to deal with her either (the rat bastards).

      Sorry, but I can’t agree with you on this one. Sakarasou existed well before Masaki enrolled. IIRC, both Chihiro and Kazuki were Sakarasou residents. Plus, while Misaki is talented, why would the school go through the expense of building Sakarasou just for her? Given the premise that manga is not a “respectable” art, would anime be viewed by the board so much more favorably? If Masaki is worth the effort/expense to keep enrolled, then why not just subsidize renting a small, nearby house or 2br apartment for her and a “hall monitor” instead? Lastly, why tear down the building after she’s gone? Seems pretty wasteful to me. If it’s not financially sound, sell it.

      I have no doubt that the board/principal were happy to have Sakarasou around as a place to put Masaki and other “problem” students, but I don’t think this issue revolves around her.

      • March 19, 2013 at 4:29 pmBear

        Wel, the building was empty at the time Misaki took up residence and hadn’t been built for Misaki. I didn’t mean to imply that it was build for her. It was old and probably had been a dorm that was used previously and intended to be torn down. It’s stated that it was in pretty bad condition (leaky , cold) and the construction company gave it 5 years max before it was unlivable. The land is probably worth quite a bit by itself. Chihiro and Kazuki were Sakarasou residents some time ago so it might have been unused for some time. Chihiro is in her 30′s (excuse me 29 and 15 months) so it would have been thirteen years ago since they were there as students. The school just decided to reopen it for someplace to stick Misaki. Their problem wasn’t with anime or manga it was Misaki’s personality was considered disruptive in the regular dorms. Why provide expensive housing for her when you can just hide her away is an old decrepit building that wasn’t going to cost them anything? Then they could stick other pain in the rear kids there too. The argument they were using with Mashiro was that she was a world class painter that whose talent was being squandered by drawing manga. She only wound up in Sakurasou because Chihiro was her cousin. Misaki was not involved in anything but anime so they’re not equivalent situations. Without having to deal with Misaki they could go ahead with the original plan to tear the building down and use Sakurasou as an excuse as to why Mashiro wasn’t just painting so they could claim it wasn’t their fault.

    • March 20, 2013 at 1:15 amStilts

      Doubt it. Too convoluted. Their reasons were almost certainly just as stated. There’s no reason for the board to have lied to each other in a closed meeting that no one else should have heard about, after all.

    • March 20, 2013 at 11:45 amHighway

      I agree that the reasons as stated were the ones they were using, but I’d also say that they realized how specious and cowardly those reasons were. If they were convinced it was the right thing to do, why were all the administrators so tremulous when they realized that Misaki was taking the microphone? Afraid of the sunshine, and that it would expose their craven nature. She didn’t even point the finger at them or expose their self-serving reasoning, and yet they couldn’t stand the truth coming out.

  • March 19, 2013 at 12:04 pmBear

    Well, that was not what I was expecting. I thought Jin and Misaki were going to pull one last over the top prank, instead I get one of the most heartfelt speeches I can recall. Misaki’s seiyuu outdid herself. A story told with Misaki as the central character would have been fun (and poignant) to watch.

    Much has been said about the overall content of the episode, but there are so many small vignettes that stick in my mind. Nanami turning motherly and refusing to let Sorata cross against the light, Misaki wandering alone though the halls of Sakurasou and sitting alone at the table, Ryuu breaking down at Misaki’s praise, Rita and Ryuu going into overload with embarrassment, the Former Student Council President staring down the Principal, Nanami crying of course, Misaki comforting her Kouhai-kun telling him to stop crying while tears streamed down her face, Sorata being blamed for getting them thrown out, and finally the group running off into their future smiling with joy.

  • March 19, 2013 at 1:25 pmSmithCB

    (Must have forgotten to hit ‘Submit’…) Anyway, I’m glad that graduation is out of the way. If they’d tried to finish everything up in the final episode, we wouldn’t have had this marvelous opportunity to see the gang in action at the ceremony. Now, having a whole episode to wrap things up, I’m looking for one hella emotional roller coaster ride, and if Okada Mari has anything left in the bag, it’s headed our way (including the bag) . Get your bath towels out, folks, ’cause Kleenex ain’t gonna to do the job and it’s probably going be a happy/sad extravaganza!!!! Be sure to document any instances of police and fire being called to your address in response to the cheers, yelling screaming or wailing that are bound to occur. Who can provide the most illustrative story of their journey through episode 24? Let’s see.

    • March 20, 2013 at 1:16 amStilts

      This comment just made me smile. I’m readying my bath towel already!

  • March 19, 2013 at 1:58 pmswordhack4

    I didn’t shed manly tears…



    … I cried lika bitch, and I’m proud of it!

    I loved how everyone didn’t really understand Sakurasou at first. Everyone was so scared to be around them because they just seemed “different” or “unique”. Now, everyone is on their side, and I love the feels there. They may have failed before, but they just succeeded in the one thing that made Sakurasou, Sakurasou. Overcoming the odds together.

    P.S. http://randomc.net/image/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo/Sakurasou%20no%20Pet%20na%20Kanojo%20-%2023%20-%20Large%2031.jpg

    Dragon is a boss. Walks up with everyone all silent with one hand in his pocket with his girl beside him…straight up BOSS LIFE!

    P.S.S. When they all started running, that made me want to go outside and run free singing the same song, but if I did that I would’ve slipped. Very, very slushy in my area right now….

  • March 19, 2013 at 2:24 pmStarFang

    I loved how everyone blamed Sorata for them getting yelled at, even though Misaki yelled first. Of course it’s your fault, Sorata! Misaki is graduating. Also, she’s Misaki. You should be used to this by now.

    Shut the hell up you, Stilts! When Misaki will be gone, Sakurasou will be a boring place, so is up to Sorata to train up and be over the top as her, making the last year splendid. He did a promise to his senpai, do not forget that!!

    *Drama mode OFF*

    The episode was cheesy (and a little bit over the top), but it managed to pull the strings well (it only makes me pumped up). I wonder if the next episode will have anime original ending or they will adapt up to the last volumes.

    P.S. I never thought that the END music was used in EVA too.

    • March 20, 2013 at 1:19 amStilts

      Bear in mind that…well, its been said before, but I’ll hold off. You’ll see. Not all will happen as you think it will with Misaki.

  • March 19, 2013 at 3:31 pmN0216332

    Do allow me phrase this in the most “lad-ish” way possible so I may hide my emotions.

    Mans was so gased when the season 1 opening song kicked in.

  • March 19, 2013 at 3:32 pmStranger

    • March 20, 2013 at 1:20 amStilts

      So that’s where he’s been. Everyone run! Who knows when he’ll go “hunting” again…

  • March 19, 2013 at 5:45 pmfrakyo

    WE are here for the story… and to cry… and be happy… and the boobs, of course.
    Best serie of the year 2012… (Psycho Pass and Zetsuen no Tempest, second)

  • March 19, 2013 at 7:04 pmdaikama

    @Bear: OK, that’s MUCH clearer… and a different case entirely.

    Without having to deal with Misaki they could go ahead with the original plan to tear the building down and use Sakurasou as an excuse as to why Mashiro wasn’t just painting so they could claim it wasn’t their fault.

    Hmm… that’s an interesting point. If I understand you correctly, that means Sakarasou would be demolished even if Mashiro wasn’t living there. In other words, the true reason is financial (not worth the expense to repair), and the “trigger point” is Masaki leaving since the only reason demolition was put off this long was that her living there was a good solution to her housing “issue.” Is that correct?

    If so, then the excuse of Sakarasou being the reason Mashiro stopped painting for manga is just an added bonus (in theory) for the board since Sakarasou would be torn down anyway. The board lied when saying Mashiro was the reason for tearing down Sakarasou. If that is correct, then in essence don’t we come full circle? Now my question is why would the board use Mashiro as the reason for demolition rather than just say – “the building’s getting old and it’s too expensive to repair”?

    I have no problem with the board tearing down Sakarasou for financial reasons (not that I actually want it torn down). It happens all the time, and is a perfectly acceptable, if not always popular, reason. However, I still find the idea that the board finds it necessary to use Sakarasou as an excuse for Mashiro drawing manga rather than paint, and/or a way to “motivate” her paint rather than doing manga implausible. As long as Mashiro’s manga is the “official” reason for Sakarasou’s demolition, whether true or not, I believe the reasons I gave above still apply.

    • March 19, 2013 at 8:28 pmBear

      Yes, that’s pretty much what I’m thinking. They turned Sakurasou into the “loony bin” as Sorata once called it to isolate Misaki who was their problem child. It became convenient to add some others just so there would be no questions about why one girl was isolated in another building. Given that the building was old and Misaki was only going to be around for three years they could wait before demolishing it. Now as I think about it, Mashiro added some more complexity to their problem, and was responsible for the speed at which they worked. She was at Sui and at Sakurasou because of her cousin. Possibly they didn’t know at first that she had switched to drawing manga so they didn’t see a problem (she was staying with her cousin so even though it was Sakurasou it might not have worried them}. Once she achieved some fame with her manga it probably did upset them greatly, but what were they to do? If they were so worried why did they wait till the end of the school year to close Sakurasou? You would think they would have come up with some excuse to get her out of there as soon as they could, but they waited. My belief is that it was so they didn’t have to deal with what to do with Misaki. With Misaki gone they could go ahead and tear down Sakurasou and get Mashiro either into the dorms or even in her own housing (she should be rich enough). Remember the whole Mashiro manga/painting controversy was internal to the school administration and the kids only knew about it because of Ryuu’s hacking. You have to understand the almost alien mindset of bureaucracy. They could care less about what Mashiro does or doesn’t do, except in relationship to how they are perceived . If the subject of her drawing manga was ever pursued by someone outside of their administration they could alway say that it was the fault of those bad influences at Sakurasou (maybe even blaming Chihiro) and they tried to resolve it but it was too late by the time they knew. Oh, Mashiro left Sui because Sakurasou was torn down? Well, we had to! It was a danger to the students and too costly to repair. CYA as much as possible.

      To try to summarize my beliefs: Sakurasou as we know it was turned into a dorm for problem students to isolate Misaki while she was there. Once she graduated it would be no long needed. They wanted to get Mashiro out of it by tearing it down, but had to wait until Misaki graduated. No proof but the evidence seems to point this way.

  • March 19, 2013 at 8:08 pm瑠璃猫 (thenewhorde)

    I thought I seen it all, but apparently I teared during this.

  • March 19, 2013 at 10:05 pmFlareKnight

    While there was manipulation of the audience, I think it was alright. Agree that it wasn’t like Misaki went out there lying about her past after all. Did it all play on the audiences emotions? Sure, but that’s kind of how speeches work anyways. They got a great speech and got to feel like they really accomplished something on their graduation day. It was all planned out from the speech, to how the school would react, to how the students would react, and then using the pins to make everyone go with the flow and vote to save Sakurasou. I personally don’t mind using that kind of tactic. This was something that meant so much to Misaki and everyone so really, it was worth doing. Sometimes that is the only way to really fight back when you are being cheated.

    It was a great episode though. I completely went with the flow, because this was still the message Misaki would have wanted to leave behind even if Sakurasou wasn’t going to disappear. She started out alone, but by the end had so many precious friends. It gave her the chance to experience making something with people who are also pretty darn talented. Even meeting someone like Mashiro who also has that kind of insane talent. She’s not alone in the world now. Misaki left a great message and touched everyone. From Sorata to even Dragon.

    A wonderful episode. Even had me tearing up a bit. It was pretty damn beautiful and the next episode should be something nice as well. Expect mostly some follow-up on RitaxDragon, though not too much since for that guy a relationship will be something slowly built. Wouldn’t mind Maid-chan running some interference for laughs XD. But really hope and expect this will heavily focus in on SorataxMashiro. Time to settle things for those two.

  • March 20, 2013 at 3:09 amewok40k

    Thank you for bringing Sakurasou to life, creators.
    Thank you for coverage, Stilts!

    • March 21, 2013 at 11:06 pmStilts

      *bows* I’ll keep working hard!

      • March 21, 2013 at 11:17 pmdaikama

        @Stilts – Impressive how you take the time to revisit and answer viewer comments for the shows you cover. I like the additional commentary/feedback. :D Perhaps your RC cohorts will follow suit more often.

  • March 20, 2013 at 4:34 amTsun

    I cried pretty much as much as I did during the “Ushio” scene from Clannad, it may be for different reasons but I still broke down like a little girl and cried my hearts out.

    You have my tears you have my money, now I await the Blu-Ray/DVD collection (probably won’t happen until many months from now for the US sadly ;-;)

  • March 20, 2013 at 8:45 amJeffrey

    Pssht, they aren’t at KyoAni’s level yet. Not even close.

    • March 20, 2013 at 1:43 pmStilts

      Key word, “yet.”

  • March 20, 2013 at 8:47 amdewgong

    Call me weird but what’s wrong with me? I’m suppose to cry for these kind of episodes or should I say, “resolutions”. However, instead I didn’t even feel a thing.

    Please, in all seriousness, don’t take this as me being sarcastic. For some odd reason, my expectation for Sakurasou has been dropping significantly and the feeling I had (i.e exciting and thrilling) back in first couple of episodes I couldn’t have the same feeling for this episode.

    Sigh… this is really disappointing (for myself). I could of enjoyed this series more than right now and “something” is dragging me down from doing so. I’ll be glad if someone can tell me what that something is.

    • March 20, 2013 at 10:38 amGiNoCo

      Could it be anime OD ? As in over dose. Back when I watched 30+ shows per season I’ll be more stressed out with the amount and forced schedule to stay on top of things. I had to reduce down to 23~25 shows per season. Yes I have missed a couple of gems; but overall the shows I’m able to follow allow me to enjoy then to the fullest. An example for this season: Roman, tiny little show that went under the radar but I had a blast with it. A great show I missed Minamike :( that will put me over 25 shows and also I didn’t watch the previous seasons, so I missed it. Maybe take a full season off?

      • March 20, 2013 at 1:47 pmStilts

        I can vouch for that. It’s actually a little stressful to have so much you want to watch and not enough time to do it in. I’ve had to dump a few shows that I enjoyed (but didn’t enjoy enough…sorry, Roman was one of those. It was fun, but couldn’t best others!) just so I don’t get all annoyed at always being behind…and I’m STILL always behind on some shows (like Space Bros), to my eternal shame!

      • March 20, 2013 at 2:49 pmFlareKnight

        I can definitely give a nod to the Anime OD. Think a lot of people who have watched a ton will end up going through that at some point. Kind of still recovering in a sense myself. Before I’d just watch everything I could, but now kind of scale it back to a more reasonable amount. Won’t really stick around with series just to see if it will improve. Find the series I really like and try to stay caught up, but sometimes even then have to watch a few episodes in a row because I needed a break that week.

        Sometimes just need a good reset. Scale back or just not pick up new shows for a season or so. Run the risk of missing out on some stuff, but really feel like if you won’t enjoy them as much anyways probably better long term.

        Now I suppose another possibility in dewgong’s case is that Sakurasou has had so many emotional moments that the impact isn’t quite there anymore. Get hit with almost climax-level stuff too often and might not have enough left by the end to be as emotionally affected.

  • March 20, 2013 at 9:52 amRyuuzaki21

    i felt nothing but annoyance from high-pitched senpai voice and irritating kirito voice. *sigh

  • March 20, 2013 at 11:01 amJason Isenberg

    If you didn’t even shed a tear during that speech there’s something wrong with you. But no seriously I teared up, that was damned moving.

    • March 20, 2013 at 6:05 pmRyuuzaki21

      i did not. i feel no drama at all, no character attachment too. *sigh

  • March 20, 2013 at 3:35 pmDomo-kun

    @Stilts: have you read any book by Terry Pratchett, the writer of the Discworld series? One common theme in his books is the “power of stories” as well. Plus they are awesomely funny :)

    • March 20, 2013 at 7:45 pmStilts

      I’ve read every Discworld book, quoted him in my last Maoyuu post, and even referenced him in my introduction post a year and four months ago.

      Why yes, I am aware of them : )

  • March 20, 2013 at 6:41 pmacolyte

    I like this show from the start, but I didn’t expect it to get better and better each episode.

  • March 20, 2013 at 10:05 pmOwaranai

    Not too late to add my two cents, I hope.

    Love the episode. Gotta admit that the emotional part felt a little forced at the start for me (even agreeing with the assumption that the tearing was a little overdone with the generic characters such as the teachers) till Natsumi Takamori stepped up and melted the stone in my heart. So much emotion, so much feeling put into the speech!

    I some of us here have already mentioned the self-centeredness of the speech itself, where strings were ‘pulled’ so that Misaki would be allowed the chance to give the speech and ‘turn it into a do-not-demolish Sakurasou rally’. Just as Ryunnosuke said, it does feel like there is manipulation of emotions on that part.If anything, I’d liken the part where Misaki was describing her life in Sakurasou and how much it has blessed her to be a testimony, a personal story of sorts that basically sums up the core of her school life. Without the plea at the end, it would most likely seem like a normal – if touching and heartfelt – speech to me.

    That, however, IS NOT THE KEY POINT. While it isn’t possible for everyone to fully understand what she felt in Sui High, what I think really touched the hearts of the people and stirred them up was the part about how she felt with Sakurasou. About being with friends, having fun, doing stuff together, hurting and forgiving each other and as Tatebayashi puts it so aptly, living lives true to their hearts. I don’t know about you, but when people say stuff like that with authenticity and heartfelt emotions, it makes me recall the memorable moments I had with my friends – The laughter, the tears, the fights, the hugs etc. In a certain sense, I’d say we might actually be imposing our own sense of pragmatism and way of thinking on the episode without enjoying it to the fullest. Lighten up, naysayers! Just enjoy the episode for what it is, the setting for where it is and the characters for who they are. :)

    *Digression* In fact, one of the parts that impacted me the most was Mr. Ex-Student Council President’s statement on Sakurasou’s family. Being envious of how they were living life and believing that he wasn’t the only one feeling that way plus the fact that Sakurasou still never gave up fighting for that place in their hearts was probably the thing that moved the hearts of the students. Speaking of which, I really liked the scene where the various friends stood up to cheer for Sakurasou, leading to the grand climax in the episode.

    So many awesome moments in the episode:
    -Nanami crying after Ryunnosuke’s comment about her. Put a little smile on my face.
    -Rita and Ryuunosuke’s blushy moment.
    -Sorata taking the mike likeaboss. Wishy-washy? Yeah right. Great timing for him to step up. Remember that he didn’t know about this plan Jin cooked up, which is what makes him such an awesome male lead.
    -Ryunnosuke walks in and gives his comment likeaboss.
    -Tatebayashi speaking up
    -Mashiro’s huge smile. <3
    -Ryuunosuke lagging behind and falling when they were running. Small details like this are great!
    -The singing of the song.

    Very nicely wrapped up, and totally looking forward (yet not looking forward…It's gonna end!T_T) to the conclusion of the anime and as mentioned, the resolution of certain pairings.

    Would be looking forward to your overall impression/analysis of Sakurasou as a whole too, Stilts. Thanks for the great post!

    • March 21, 2013 at 11:03 pmStilts

      Exactly. She may have been “using” them, but she gave them a wonderful story and her heartfelt emotions in return. Not a bad trade.

  • March 20, 2013 at 11:36 pmtritoch

    J.C. Staff you did it again! I could never really forget “Honey and Clover” and this is I think the closest we got and I absolutely love this show.

  • March 21, 2013 at 1:11 amRyner

    Is the series ending next episode? Also will it be an original anime ending or will it follow the novels? Is the novel even finished?

    • March 21, 2013 at 11:04 pmStilts

      8 of 10 novels have been published, so no, they’re not finished yet. If I had to put money on it, I’d say we’re getting an anime original ending, but we’ll see next week I suppose.

      • March 22, 2013 at 12:02 amRyner

        Thanks Stilts, the reason why I’m asking is cuz I thought it would be like Toradora as some people were suggesting before that like Toradora,This anime would also catch up to the novels and animate the actual novel. ending just as the novel end

  • March 21, 2013 at 1:13 amPolashi

    Tearjerker to the max! I have a feeling this is only a fraction of what will come in the finale.

    The graduation was emotional, and definitely for a good reason. Fighting for something you love against authorities, even with the leaders (council president) on your side is going to be tough, but they sure pulled it off, and made the whole student population join in too!

    I really hope this show finishes with a bang, and also look forward to the end-of-season review!

  • March 21, 2013 at 8:23 amLoveAsuna

    virtual reality and reality is being contrary to each other….it is so lamentable that I don’t have conspicuous rememberance oh gosh…

  • March 21, 2013 at 10:05 pmc2710

    Though at times it felt rather weak as ToraDora’s successor, I’d say that this episode delivers it.

    Just like TD, the tears couldn’t be held back. Some times watching shows like this, makes me feel like leaping back through time to 2000 but like a certain character said before, “Which’s more important? The past or present?”

    P.S. when would the next season review be out? Plus any coverage for the Nanoha movies?

    • March 21, 2013 at 11:05 pmStilts

      The answer to that question is always “around the same time as last year.” Don’t worry, we have not forgotten it.

  • March 21, 2013 at 11:19 pmKuro

    Awesome friends, makes me jealous. Hopefully, I want friends like that. This ep. truly bring tears to my eyes. I fell in love with this anime. Didn’t expect it to be about drama, and romance. I thought it was about all the cats. Lol, this anime will be miss.

  • March 22, 2013 at 5:38 amBryan Abella

    CRINGING INSIDE, SPEECH SO LONG Y?

  • March 22, 2013 at 8:17 pmFaint Smile

    Nice episode!.. It’s a little bit cheesy, but who cares!.. Maybe that’s just the way it is, especially when we protect someone/something that is very dear to us.. The drama was good, even though it’s not quite as good in their previous drama scenes, but it was still good.. They’ve showed us just how strong their bond is with one another, that they will do everything for one another.. ^_^

  • March 23, 2013 at 2:35 pmMagoiichi

    Why you gotta pull my heartstrings Misaki?! Why?! Once that speech started, the waterworks didn’t stop, constantly wiping my face on the down low trying to keep from making nearby family members think I’ve gone crazy.

    Now I’m scared to watch the last episode.Curse this season of anime deceiving me with the cutesy moe moe and bringing tearjerkers on the side.

    Need darkness, need hatred, next anime season can not come soon enough!

  • March 24, 2013 at 2:52 amKarasumori

    I swear the closer this series gets to its finale the more I dislike it. Sorata is such a bipolar, little twerp asshat. Crying and screaming his lungs like a little girl. The ceremony speech went on way too long and served as nothing more than a flashback sequence. Not even going to bother with the last episode. Removed this cheesefest from my question.

  • March 25, 2013 at 4:55 pmSmithCB

    Just saw the last episode, and I accept it as an end – or a beginning… ToraDora, meet your current champion. Fin