「終天の契約(エターナル・エンゲージ)」 (Owari Ten no Keiyaku ( Eta^naru . Enge^ji ))
What a sweet ending. While I know that some people were getting ready for this to be a bittersweet gut-punch, this was really the only way it could go, and absolutely the right one as well. KyoAni built up the drama slowly and carefully, and only brought it roaring to the fore here at the end to tie the whole series together with its central message and a few truly sweet moments. There’s a lot to unpack and some final impressions to boot, so let’s get started.
Special mention needs to be made of riajuu Dekomori. I’ll admit – normal, sempai-saying, “ara ara desuyo” Dekomori was mega-cute, and quite funny as well! But it just felt wrong. That Dekomori was only good as a joke, a one-time gag made funny by the striking contrast with how she usually acts. Longer than that and she would have ceased being anything near as memorable as the normal (for her!) chu2 Deko-chan is. Funny, but was glad to see her go.
Likewise, there was chuunibyou Kumin. Once again, hilarious! I especially enjoyed Isshiki’s reaction (watch out, your love is turning into Yuuta’s (crazier) love!), though Deko-chan losing her “normal” mask was pretty funny too. But best of all was the fact that Kumin finally began to deserve the sempai role that Shinka has been stealing from her all season. Yuuta needed a push, and she helped give it to him.
But while Dekomori shocked him, Kumin-sempai pushed him, and Shinka planted some deep thoughts in his thick head, it was none other than the Dark Flame Master – Yuuta himself! – who snapped Yuuta into action. There aren’t words enough for how impressed I am with this little stunt, but I’m going to try. Some anime are best watched in a moment in time, and this is one of them – next week this wouldn’t have been as good, and next year it might not even make sense, but today it was great. It would have been ridiculously convenient if Yuuta’s letter had showed up then for almost any other reason, but they used a topical event that would be like crack to a chuunibyou kid and used it as justification. They could have gotten the point across some other way, but they did it in a harder way and pulled it off.
Not surprisingly, the scene where Yuuta and Rikka met again was a sweet one. I smiled at how Yuuta was too out of breath to speak once he got there – how typical for the prince to ride hard to reach the princess, and delightfully atypical for him to be a wheezing mess once there. Loved it! That jump, that hug, and that sweet music as they embraced all combined to bring a wistful smile to my face, made all the better by their friends coming to help them. Special points go to Isshiki, who chanced getting thrown into jail as a molester to help out his friend. What a bro, that guy. What great friends, all of them.
Weeks ago I said that Touka’s (and their mother’s, and their grandparent’s, and society’s) way of helping (forcing) Rikka to get over her grief wasn’t working, so it was time to try Yuuta’s. Finally they did, and it indeed worked like a charm. This, my friends, is why people turn to spirit mediums and fortune-telling and yes, sometimes even religion – because it gives them the chance to say what they never got a chance to say when all involved were still alive. Yuuta showing Rikka the Unseen Horizon may be a dream, it may be a lie, but finally, she got to say those words that she never got to say before her father died, and move on with her life. Finally.
I have more to say, but I’ll save it for final impressions below. For now, just one more thing – awwww! Say what you will about anything else, but those two are one cute couple.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Yuuta gives chase, Rikka gets closure, & everyone starts being true to themselves. A sweet ending for a funny series. Bravo #chu2koi
- I wouldn’t mind her calling me sempai. Just sayin’.
- I do enjoy how they tied in one of the scenes from the 3rd lite episode into this one. Who knew that any of those would actually be important? …but I like it better that way.
- Uh, guys? Grandpa is getting a gun. Time to get moving. Like, now!
- He looked like a good father. The world could use more of those.
Full-length images: 05.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai was not a series I was thinking about blogging initially. As I’ve noted before, I’m a bit of a KyoAni skeptic, so I was looking towards meatier affairs…until I watched one of the promos. It just looked so fun, so full of that delightful mix of silly and cute and ridiculous that gets my blood going every time. I entered the writer knife-fights intending to take this home as my prize, and came away with it with only minimal bloodshed–what can I say, I’m getting good! So, how does it stack up to expectations?
Admirably well. Though based on a pair of light novels, the overwhelming majority of this series was anime original, and it shows in the best of ways – the pacing, characters, plot, and everything else were designed specifically for the screen, and performed well because of it. Humour was the show’s major calling card, and it used it well – many early and middle episode had me cracking up constantly, and I still remember some of those gags fondly. A few of them might even endure, which can be hard for a mere gag to pull off. Cerberus, I’m looking at you! (What? I’m a dog person. Shut up.)
Character-wise was a hit as well. Special props need to go to the secondary characters, both anime original and not. Shinka might be the one that started out the lowest and rose the highest in most people’s esteem, going from bitchy, two-faced, and violent to playing cupid, comforting Dekomori, and generally dispensing advice like a sage…and all without it seeming unnatural or forced. Yet the others aren’t to be beaten – Dekomori’s unrepentant chu2 antics were great, especially compared to how smart she apparently was (related: this is my favorite shot of the season. Dat evil laugh!) Same with Kumin – she’s anime original, but her easy-going and hard-napping personality made for constant cute-humour. And need I go into characters like Touka (super cool, epic waifu), Isshiki (super manly, Sunohara redux), and the others? (Yumeha HNNNNNG!!) If a story is built upon the backs of its characters, this one had a strong foundation.
All in all, this was a good show, and one I enjoyed blogging. Thank you all for reading my characteristically long posts; I hope you enjoyed them. With that said, I want to leave you with a thought. I think we can all agree that chuunibyou is pretty embarrassing, but that those characters who embraced that part of themselves ended up a lot happier than they were when they were bottling up their imaginations and denying themselves. How, then, is this different from we who watch anime? Rikka and Dekomori became chuunibyou because they were too boxed in by their real lives, and they wanted to break out and be themselves, to be free, and let their imagination go wild. How is this different from watching anime? To most people, chuunibyou is ridiculous, silly, and even weird, but it’s damn fun for those who are into it. How again, is this different from being an anime fan?
To most people, we who watch anime are weird, goofy, and a little bit strange. It just goes with the territory, of watching these odd Japanese cartoons. Which is fine – I’ve just always thought it a shame to see anime fans who are “in the closet.” Let me tell you this–not only do my friends and family know that I watch a ton of anime, so do a number of my coworkers, and most of all of the above know that I write here. And you wunna know why I told them? Because it’s better to be true to yourself than to keep things bottled up inside. It might be embarrassing, and you might get some funny looks – I certainly have – but if it’s something you truly enjoy then you shouldn’t be ashamed. After all, that’s part of what makes you, you; that chuunibyou, this anime thing. And what’s so wrong with that?