As we gently fade into the final moments of this series, it looks more than ever as if it was the “Gora Academy” arc that was the aberration, because the truth is that apart from those episodes this has been a very good show. Each of the other arcs has had something to recommend it – the first featuring Hampnie remains the best – but “Class 3-4” has proved itself to have both staying power and depth of feeling. This is an excellent story and while it doesn’t figure to give the series itself closure, given that it’s been structured as effectively four mini-series anyway it seems a good one to end on.
There are no real surprises in the turn of plot this week, but I honestly don’t believe anything we discovered was intended to surprise. With Kaminai it’s always about the journey, about escaping for a little while into the strangely beautiful and sad worlds it creates. As always seemed likely, this world was created as a result of Dee’s death, and as seemed inevitably, it was due to falling out the window that was the only way out of the world. It’s not hard to see a recurring theme in this series – it’s a story of wishes that came true that carried unintended consequences, and making the best of the reality they left behind.
No one is more hostile towards wishes than Alis (he observes that it’s because we know wishes don’t come true that we actually work and achieve change), the fly who keeps banging against the window trying to escape. It seems self-evident to me that Alis knows more than enough, given how obviously smart he is, to have figured out what’s really going on here. The reasonable conclusion, therefore, is that he simply didn’t want to believe the truth, that this was not a hunt for a way to save Class 3-4, but for a different way than the one he knew in his heart was true. One suspects that if it were a matter of sacrificing himself Alis would have grasped onto it immediately and done what must be done, but it’s not so easy when it’s someone else – even if we’ve no indication he feels for Dee anything like what she feels for him.
The situation isn’t really so different here than what we saw in the Hampnie and Ostia arcs. We have a world where the dead are walking, talking and feeling, and Ai (just turned 13) is in a position of having to figure out what constitutes right and wrong. Dee is a bit of a “hungry ghost” in the Buddhist sense – hungry to cling to life, even if it means depriving the others of their freedom and a place in the real world. Ai can talk of a third option, but I don’t see one out there that would preserve the integrity of the story – maybe I’ll be surprised, but it seems to be that either Dee has to accept her fate and allow the wish world to end, or that somehow Alis will find a way to accept her fate in her place to accomplish the same end.