「最古の星 メトツエラ」 (Saikoboshi -Metotsuera-)
“The Oldest Star -Methuselah-“

Arguably anime’s best-ever season for romance draws to a close at last. I’ll say this much. If I hadn’t seen the leak that a second season of Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia had been greenlit, I would have said this played very much like an ending. A leak is not the same as an official announcement of course, but this is a source I’ve never known to be wrong about such things. This all being unofficial we have no idea on timing, or whether the anime staff knew all along or during production. But they gave us a finale that seemed to be trying pretty hard to give things a note of benediction and finality, which suggests not.

As we left things, Ganta was segueing into full romantic hero mode (practically action hero mode) with that “please let me kidnap you” bit. It’s a fantastic line, no question about it, and it’s hardly any wonder it swept Isaki off her feet. What 16 year-old isn’t going to be beside herself at hearing the boy she loves tell her that – especially when she’s been chafing under the burden of her overprotective parents for her entire childhood? As it happens she was worried he was going to leave her behind to wait for her parents and jet off to Mawaki himself. But in truth, there was never any chance of that. Mawaki no longer holds any meaning for Ganta unless Isaki is there to share it.

I’ve never been to the Noto Peninsula (as the anime makes clear, public transportation out there is pretty minimalist), but the Mawaki Site does sound pretty cool. It’s one of the better-preserved Jomon sites in Japan, and is thought to have been a habitation site as much as 6,000 years ago. Continuously occupied for 4,000 years, it has features found at no other Jomon archaeological site and has been a treasure trove of pottery and other artifacts. Nowadays I guess a couple of kids can just hike out to it and set up camp, and I can certainly see where it would be a choice location for astrophotography.

To be sure, there are mixed feelings on this trip. Not only is it the “end of the adventure” – for now – but there’s a serious reckoning to be faced when it’s over. Ultimately, though, Isaki and Ganta are at that point where they inhabit a private world no one else does. It’s even more true for them, given the affliction they share and how it’s impacted their lives. This whole trip has been a massive vibe, and being alone together in this incredible spot has the pair of them feeling giddy and untouchable. The moment is all that matters.

Under these circumstances it’s hardly surprising that Ganta is spurred into telling Isaki how he really feels about her – not that she can have had any real doubts. It’s awkward but honest, and reflects the newfound (or perhaps newly rediscovered would be closer to the truth) self-assurance that falling in love with Isaki has given Ganta. While she doesn’t officially reciprocate (even later on, though she teases it) Isaki telling Ganta this is the happiest moment of her life sends a pretty unambiguous message. Not to mention wanting to commemorate it with a rather distinct kind of photo.

Ah yes, photos. Those are the nominal reason for this club trip, and Ganta certainly hasn’t forgotten about them. In fact one of them will go on to win the national photo contest, which would seem to be mission accomplished as far as giving the school a reason to support the astronomy club. The news isn’t all good however. Unsurprisingly Isaki’s parents are extremely pissed (thanks, Sis), driving all the way out to the Mawaki Site to claim their daughter before the first bus arrives. I can only assume that was an extremely uncomfortable car ride for Ganta especially (I suppose they might have just left him), but if it scarred him emotionally he shows no evidence of it.

It’s worth mentioning that not only is there enough material for a second season of Kimi wa Houkago Insomnia, but probably a third. So needless to say the relationship goes a long way beyond where the anime leaves it here, but as noted there is a concerted effort to make this feel like a satisfying ending. Any teen relationship is going to be beset by challenges, but especially here given what Isaki has to deal with at home. But the essential truth of this pairing is so self-evident that it’s easy to imagine no obstacle could thwart it (bar one perhaps, but I choose not to consider that).

As I’ve said before, it’s a testament to how great this season (and its best romance) is that Ganta and Isaki aren’t its clear top couple. All in all I think Lidenfilms did a very fine job with this adaptation. They were given a truly great source material, and they faithfully brought it to anime. It’s only by the highest standards (like the Tengoku Daimakyou adaptation for example) that one might argue that this series doesn’t quite achieve transcendence. It doesn’t necessarily add anything to what the manga brings to it, and maybe for an adaptation to be truly great as an adaptation that’s a requirement. What it does do, however – capture the charms of a great manga and deliver the essence of the experience – is no small achievement and by no means easy. Season 2 can’t come too soon for me.


  1. Wow, I didn’t think the Liden Films would animate the part where Ganta takes Magari’s hands and tells her, “I love you.” Usually, producers leave these open-ended. This scene is very definitive Ganta can’t breathe without Magari.

    Sadly this marks an end for me to get more Usako screen time.


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