What struck me as I watching the final episode of Kuragehime was that it didn’t really feel like a final episode. It was fast-paced, but there was never a sense of onrushing conclusion – the mood was that of another bizarre day in the lives of these wonderful characters. And in the end, that made sense. There was never any way they were going to able to wrap things up in eleven episodes – so they didn’t wrap them up. It was the ending that wasn’t – and though it didn’t satisfy as a true end we could possibly have gotten 14 or 15 eps down the line might have, it worked.
It’s hard for me to overstate how charming this show is, and the finale was bursting with the irresistible charisma that runs through the entire production. Sure, we had some plot – the Amamizu-kan situation was resolved neatly enough. The scaffolding around the building was a construction mistake – though the misunderstanding and one involving Chieko’s mother and her broken cell phone sent the Amars and Kuranosuke off in the frenzy of dress-making that drove the last episode. But she didn’t intend to sell after all, so the crisis is averted. But the show – and the finale – were never really about that anyway.
I’ll admit, while nobody got a definitive conclusion Tsukimi and Kura definitely got a better one than Shu. We know now that Inari has definitely developed feelings towards him as a result of his tears, and his nervousness around her appears to have moved past the point of simple shyness around women. But things are left pretty up in the air there (pun intended) – Shu and Inari are on a plane headed for some tropical paradise, sitting apart and ignoring each other (and in her case, getting drunk). Where that carousel stops, I don’t think anyone can guess.
But as for Tsukimi, she clearly began to acknowledge her feelings towards Kura at last. When he dragged her onto the catwalk to accept adoring applause for her Jellyfish ™ dresses, she only remembered the feeling of his hand as it held hers. Kuranosuke is clearly smitten – even going to far as to tell Tsukimi that “their fates are linked together”. He has his share of denial too – serious relationships are not what this boy is about. But make no mistake, that’s him singing to her in the ED – Kura really does want Tsukimi to see herself as the same beautiful soul he sees her as. And that’s an incredibly sweet and yes, charming message.
As things end, Amamizu-kan is safe, Jellyfish ™ dresses appear set to take off, and Kura and Tsukimi are at the very least joined in what promises to be an exciting adventure. It would be lovely to be able to see it someday but if we don’t, the finale will make it that much easier for us to see it in our mind’s eye. And that works for me.