Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara – 12

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Go ahead, anime-only viewers – tell me you predicted this after the first episode.

No question about it, Gaworare has been as full of surprising twists and turns as any series this season.  Most of the big ones have been of the tonal variety, as the series has shifted between extremely zany comedy and strikingly dark and foreboding drama, but the last couple of episodes have been all about plot and exposition.  As with Gokukoku no Brynhildr we’re seeing a transition into “save the world” mode for the last couple of episodes, and as with that show there’s something of the series’ charm that’s lost in the transition.  But both shows are handling it about as well as they could under the circumstances.

It’s for moments like these that you get directors like Watanabe Ayumu, I suppose.  Trying to adapt too much story into too little space is hard enough, then factoring in the sheer amount of exposition the last two eps have required makes disaster a real risk.  It’s avoided because Watanabe is able to present all this infodump in a coherent matter without completely taking us out of the moment – we still care about the characters and what happens to them.  Not even Watanabe is able to prevent the story from feeling less personal and connected, but I don’t think anyone could – that’s just the toll that has to be paid with this approach to adaptation.

Gaworare is clearly going for the full-on sci-fi route here, with the fantasy element being merely the trappings.  There was a massive amount of new information this week, but what’s essential is that Nanami is in fact Souta’s sister – and his older sister at that.  Her consciousness was split into two – half of it imprisoned in the digital world for trying to spare Souta from the fate Seven Virtues had in-mind for him, the other half sent with him to the virtual world as a “pawn” to stand by his side.  And Ruri was the “original” Nanami’s attempt to connect with her other self.

There’s some other stuff that’s less clear-cut.  It does seem as if Seven Virtues is trying to combat a genuine threat to humanity in the form of “Tenshi Takusei” – a threat of their own creation – but obviously Souta is merely a tool to be used until its destroyed in the process.  It’s the Bladefield origin story, all right, but Souta by now seems resigned to his fate.  It’s only because Nanami (given the name of the enemy I find this image of her especially interesting) stubbornly refuses to accept the disappearance of the boy only she remembers that a connection with the original Nanami is made, and the various elements of Souta’s harem are gathered together to mount a rescue mission to the digital world.

As you’d expect there isn’t time for much humor here – the last couple of episodes have been deadly serious, which while understandable is a little sad.  It’s a pretty well-executed plot twist but I hope at least some time is set aside in the finale for post-crisis bonding and a little comedy.  If you’re of the shipping mindset (which sort of fits this series in more ways than one) the revelations this week seem to clear the decks for Akane to cement her status as the unofficial romantic lead, as I don’t see Gaworare as the sort of series to follow the incest route – but I’ll be very surprised if that angle get much play in the finale either way.

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  1. m

    Uh, how could anyone not know this was coming. I believe if you go back to your episode 1 post, you'll see that almost all of us called this.

  2. Uh, no they didn't. And while I didn't go back and check the comments on every one of the first 10 posts, I don't believe you'd find "Matrix" or virtual world anywhere.

  3. m

    Haha yeah that was sarcasm.

  4. m

    No one was guessing that ending. There were no hints or anything to lead you to guess that.

  5. Whoopsie – completely whiffed on that, sorry.

  6. R

    The problem with finding vocal inflections in writing on the internet strikes again XD

  7. m

    Hahaha no worries, it's hard to convey tone in text.

  8. F

    I actually have preferred it when the series got serie, and looking back it has been a very well told series overall for me.

    Am so glad they are successfully "pulling it off" here. And am so glad I stuck ith the series….

    Oh, to answer your question, I had not the slightest idea that this is where the story would end up after ep 1.

  9. D

    Well, there goes the Nanami ship. I really am never in luck with these things. Though I doubt theres going to be much of a romantic resolution anyway, since that has long since stopped being the main focus of the show.

    In any case, disaster has been averted so far in terms of storytelling. The feeling that it's rushed is inescapable, but it's still managing to tell a cohesive story. Especially so because all the foreshadowing paid off in this episode, and a lot of puzzle pieces fell together. The only one that remains is Sakura, and looking at the preview, we'll get that answered as well. The only thing that bothered me was that Souta's teacher kind of literally came out of nowhere. I guess she played a bigger role in the novels (all we got was a confusing scene of her on the boat).

    Now to see how they pull off the climax of this weird little show. I'm actually kind of looking forward to seeing how they finally solve Souta's predicament. I hope there's some time left for post-conflict silliness to cap the show off too, that would work nicely (kind of like what Nanana did). C'mon Gaworare, end on a bang!

  10. m

    Haha yeah it sort of puts a creepy tone on all the interactions they had where you thought she was interested in him like that. But I think you're right that there won't be any romantic resolution. There's wayyyy too many members of his harem to single out any one of them. I think the point is for them all to stay together.

    The lack of a second cour, or popularity enough for a second season, made them have to force in a few of the characters. The teacher def came out of left field for me, and even the idol never found out about Souta being purple hood guy or whatever she called him.

    Given how much content they needed to fit into one cour I think it was done as close to perfect as you could do in that type of situation. They hit the main story points for the dark side, and still managed to keep all the humor which really made the show great. That's why you get a director like Watanabe I guess.

    I like what Nanana did with it's ending too, though that show clearly had a lot of material left to cover, so it was probably easier to do an open ending and leave time left for post-conflict resolution.

  11. R

    Nooooo! *sniffles* They sank my Nanami ship… 🙁

  12. w

    I like the Akane ship, but the Seitokaichou's where it's at! ^_^

    But yeah, this was really friggin' strange. Hopefully all that plot means they've cleared the stage for a mostly funny finale.

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