Mikakunin de Shinkoukei – 12 (END)
「わかってる？ わかってる」 (Wakatteru? Wakatteru)
“You Understand? I Understand”
Amid the snowy night, their relationship grows a little closer one more time.
It’s Okay To Be Selfish
Three giant cheers for Mayura, the best friend in the world! Mayura’s way of doing things is very much like my own way of doing things – either stop worrying or do something about it! It’s totally okay for Kobeni to worry, but while it’s in her power to go check on them, she might as well – especially since she and Hakuya are engaged. It’s about time she got a little mileage out of that, ufufu~
Not A 4-Koma Anymore
Did you notice how the style of storytelling completely changed this episode? It was less “punchy”, with very few gags and long stretches of contemplative silence. Though I haven’t read the source material, this felt like they were departing from it completely to tie a bow on the series. Which is fine! It did it admirably well. It was just such a change in storytelling style that the difference struck me.
Then again, it’s possible all this was in the source material. I actually think that 4-koma (or 3-to-4 panel horizontal Western-style comics) can have poignant, meaningful strips where there doesn’t need to be a joke. If so, I applaud mangaka Cherry-Arai all the more.
It All Makes Sense
I feel like I’ve said this a hundred times this season, but drama in a un-dramatic series can get tricky. I liked how they handled why Hakuya and Mashiro went home this time, because all of it just fit. Them wanting to pick the edible plants for Kobeni was something I called last time, but adding on the reason why their clothes and books were gone – both reasonable – plus how Hakuya’s message didn’t give all the necessary information – which was totally in line with his personality – made the whole scene feel natural. Or if not natural – it was obvious the storytellers were trying to pull out emotions from Kobeni – at least there was as little friction as possible.
Lost In The Snow
Another thing that was foreshadowed heavily was Kobeni’s weak constitution, and this was used to good effect here at the end. I was struck by the apt silence of the blizzard, save for when Hakuya was running to get help – seriously, Dogakobo never skimps on the animation. Kobeni’s apparent fear of being left alone did seem like it came out of left field though, especially with the kind of loving (and overly-loving) mother and sister she has. Something to do with her absent father, perhaps? Whatever the case, the atmosphere was done nicely…and then she fell. Oh shi–!
Hakuya For Best Husbando Ever
You have to give it to him, Hakuya is a man of action, not words. When Kobeni was about to fall – yes, the sudden separation of so much of the cliff was a bit much, but the dull silence of the moment it happened was perfect – he was there. That, plus the entire next scene… *flaps his arms in fangirl glee* Eeeeeee!!
That hime carry, and the relieved smile, and Kobeni’s delightful blush in return, oh my! Their relationship is a bit strange, with them being engaged before they even (re-)met, but it’s undoubtable that there are feelings there. Kobeni doesn’t want him to hide something as important as the scar on his eye, hnnnng~!! I think you might have her, Hakuya. I know she definitely has you.
Happily Ever After
That final montage, awwww! One more note before I go into the final impressions…I feel like Kobeni and Hakuya have come to something of an understanding now. I’m actually glad they haven’t kissed, because they haven’t known each other long enough for that. There’s definitely something there though, a feeling, and I’ll take that happily.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A sweet yet settled ending to a warm love comedy amidst the cold of winter. D’aaaww! #mikakunin END
- Hakuya can only make out light out of his right eye? So he’s basically a cyclops. I shall call him Saip–wait, no, that’s been done.
- My first reaction when I saw Mayura’s company’s helicoptor was that Benio hijacked it to save Kobeni. In fact, I choose to believe that’s what happened. Anything for her imouto!
- Hakuya is glowing! Lucky bastard.
- Iron Chef Kobeni is chou kawaii. I’ll miss you!
Check out my blog about storytelling and the novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Three lessons from the editing desk, The easiest to not do, Realism, cynicism, & the unreasonable man, and Weak business models.
I didn’t want to blog three shows this season. I had so much to do, work was so crazy, I have a book I badly need to finish…there’s so much! I still had Log Horizon, and I decided to pick up Sakura Trick because it started with such a bang, so I settled for not blogging Mikakunin de Shinkoukei because I didn’t think it would surprise me. I didn’t think there would be much to talk about.
WRONG! Turns out there was more to talk about than time to write it all up some days (though I made it work), and after my first double post ever – though I’ve still never had to do one for being late. My pride won’t allow it!! (So far) – I was off. I enjoyed writing about this every week, and am supremely glad I picked it up.
Why? Because Mikakunin de Shinkoukei is in the vein of shows like Hataraku Maou-sama! in that it’s a story that’s not necessarily revolutionary, but it’s executed really, really well. From details like the backgrounds which visually conveyed the emotion of a scene to the impressive animation Dogakobo put into what would normally be a low-budget show, everything was done well. Pacing, character development, story – oh my, the story! It hit us with so many revelations in the early episodes, and though that evened out in the second half, when it became clear they were stretching the story more – though that was likely in the source material as well, once the manga-ka felt they weren’t going to be canceled – it still remained admirably strong throughout. It reminded me of Kotoura-san, though it didn’t peek as early and remained more consistent throughout.
Character-wise, I was pleased to watch a show where the main character was both female and handled well. Perhaps I’ve glimpsed into too many otome game adaptations where the female lead was a bland everywoman, but Kobeni was interesting, flawed, and bucked a number of trends by being neither a tsundere nor a pettanko with breast envy. A level-headed girl with rocket launchers, child-bearing hips, and a talent for housework? Le gasp!
Of all the characters, I’m the most impressed with Hakuya, if only because he could have been so easily mishandled. Dogakobo could have gone full ImoCho and promoted Hakuya to the main character unnecessarily, but the whole thing would have tanked hard, so I’m glad they didn’t. It takes a deft hand to develop an intensely introverted character like Hakuya, but they slowly developed him as he opened up to the others and we got to see more of why Hakuya x Kobeni might not be such a bad idea after all. And when we have a haughty loli and a siscon/lolicon onee-sama to keep us entertained in the meantime, all is well.
I could say more, but after twelve weeks of dissecting this show, I believe I’ve said it all. From Kobeni’s tsukkomis to Benio’s outbursts, Mashiro’s UMA fascination to Hakuya’s love of absolutely anything Kobeni cooks – and everything Mayura, Suetsugi, Nadeshiko, Niko-chan, loli mama, and Yonomori mama brought to the table as well – it was a good ride. Hopefully we’ll get more darkhorse surprises like it soon.