And so the question evolves into, “for whom is it harder to accept the consequences of letting Menma move on? Jinta, or his friends?” The turmoil drove most of the episode, with each character still reprising their respective agendas, and led to some unexpected powerful scenes.
With regards to our two relatively underdeveloped characters, they did not get the limelight this episode, but had some small scenes that could explain quite about a bit. Poppo’s problem appears to be regret that all he could ever do was watch, which when revealed, felt so obvious that I should’ve seen it coming. After all in the flashbacks, he always seemed the most energetic, but also the most childish of the group. Tsuruko on the other hand, was much more bland, turning out to be simply another Anjou, except with a higher control over her emotions (she still resorted to cutting her hair after a rejection though, tch). Poppo definitely had more potential than simply one dialogue to express himself, and his incomplete question from the last episode wasn’t hinted about at all. A bit disappointed with this.
But at first, I was slightly disappointed at all the characters, because of how little each character had changed through the past 10 episodes. Tsuruko basically gave up, and all the psychotic hints dropped went nowhere. Anjou keeps switching between rooting for Menma and hating her, but inevitably resorts to crying to herself helplessly. Poppo, as said above, is severely underplayed. Yukiatsu is definitely one of the stronger characters, but returns to sniffing clothes as if nothing changed. Lastly, Jinta himself, dawdles around with a blind eye to everything but Menma, which holds back the entire cast from moving anywhere. But that’s just the thing. While some of these issues do seem unresolvable, the main effect of all the characters staying relatively the same place no matter what they seem to do is on purpose. I’m assuming it’s to give more of an impact for the final episode, where presumably, most of the changes will finally happen. After all, the miserable state the group would be left in if Menma were to disappear wouldn’t be so satisfying would it? (well to sadists, it may be) But really, this kind of storytelling is definitely not my style. I just don’t see how they can expect me to keep sympathizing with the characters when they act the same as they do for 10 episodes.
Despite most of the scenes merely demonstrating to us that the characters will never change, the suggested re-enactment by Yukiatsu was one hell of a scene. Another reason why Yukiatsu is one of the best characters. I’m glad that they properly explained questionable actions such as Poppo’s chanting, but while it was occuring, the air became extremely heavy. Heart beats were heard through my headphones, and they were none other than my own. To suggest a traumatic scene to be re-done was insane as I trembled with eyes wide open as the scene played out while time stood still. Very powerful scene to lead into the milestone of this story, Jinta’s confession. The rocket scene came second. Also very good though. Loved how Yukiatsu got all pissy again.
And there’s the kicker. Menma’s still there. The cool thing is, unlike before, there’s really no leads on this. The bad thing is, there’s really no leads on this. This could go anywhere. Not only do they have to resolve all the characters, they now have to do that along with revealing Menma’s actual wish and pulling it off. The new talk of reincarnation may have to do with the show’s title too. But man, did they really have to put it all on the last episode? Starting to get Gonzo vibes…
Anyway, I’m probably going to write one gargantuan post next week. Prepare your bodies.