It is rather a shame that Fumetsu no Anata e is only 20 episodes. Well, for a lot of reasons, but especially because this arc (which already feels like longer than 20 episodes by itself) is going to take us almost right up to the end. When mediocre series are mediocre it’s not that big a deal really – what else would they be? But when a series that’s shown it can be really, really good is mediocre, you’re acutely aware of that quality gap. And that’s painfully the case here.
There are elements of this arc that do have some traction – mainly as it concerns Fushi’s continued emotional development and his relationship with Pioran. But apart from that very little of this is working for me. Tonari’s inevitable redemption is flat as a pancake, because it’s both predictable and hollow. Hayase is just a flat-out freak, to the point where her grotesqueness plays as cartoonish. And the logic of these events is really odd – so many things don’t even make sense, but seem to be happening for the sake of plot convenience.
As to what Hayase’s actual deal is, it would help if the narrative gave us a little more insight into her motivations. What’s with all the licking, for crying out loud? And what’s her endgame with Fushi for that matter – wealth? Power? Does she want to make a baby with him and sire a line of immortals, or does she just want to know what it feels like to jump an immortal’s bones? Who knows – she just does evil stuff and freaky stuff and vamps for the camera.
She’s clever, certainly. She knew just what to say to get the bumpkins of Jananda all riled up, and that bit about ceding the leadership to Tonari was the perfect way to take a potential enemy out of commission. She also buys off the right person in Skyfish (isn’t it bad luck to name your ship after yourself, or something?) because Skyfish is perfectly positioned to help her execute her schemes. As to Tonari’s decision to allow only children 7 and under on-board when the ship leaves, it’s actually rather cruel – though from her perspective it probably doesn’t seem that way.
I know this much – I’ve never been happier to see the Nokkers that I am now. They can’t arrive too soon for me, and Fushi can’t get off this island fast enough. I’ll grudgingly concede that Creator is right, there are elements of this arc that are important in Fushi’s development. But I really don’t want to see any more of any of these people except for Fushi and Pioran, and that’s too big a hole for the arc to climb out of. I guess it’s been so long since Koe no Katachi that I’d forgotten what a frustrating writer Ooima Yoshitoki can be.