Boku Dake ga Inai Machi – 12 (End) and Series Review

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Boku Dake - 12 -1I have everything to say and nothing at the moment, because this has been a pretty draining ride for me.  I’ve loved Boku Dake ga Inai Machi from the first time I read it, and the anime has lived up to the potential of the manga.  But it’s been a difficult transition in some respects, much more so in the final arc than in the episodes/chapters leading up to it.  When you love a series and see many viewers turning on it like a pack of wild dogs, it hurts – even if one could have easily predicted that based on the reaction to the endgame in the manga.

Boku Dake - 12 -2There are so many different angles I could approach this from that it’s hard to know where to start.  The first difficult question, really, is whether or not to talk about the differences between the manga and the anime ending.  In that way Boku Dake reminds me a lot of Mirai Nikki, because while the ending of the anime was broadly the same as the manga in both cases, enough changes were made that to fully explore them would amount to spoiling the manga ending for new viewers who might now read it (which I devoutly hope they do).  If I had to sum it up, I’d say Boku Dake made more plot changes than Mirai Nikki, but they ended up changing the substance of the ending less.

Boku Dake - 12 -3The next thing I should say is that unlike many – perhaps most – I really liked that manga ending.  I think the direction Sanbe-sensei took was bold and challenged the audience in a way that was audacious even for seinen manga (a demographic more willing to be challenged than most).  What Sanbe did was more difficult and held the audience at arm’s length more than the earlier parts of the story, and likely wasn’t the ending many manga readers were hoping for and expecting.  But it was some of the most interesting psychological exploration I’ve seen in manga for years, and to me it felt spiritually consistent with the rest of the series even if it was stylistically quite different.  I don’t really feel I should say more than that, nor should you in the comments.  Folks should go read the manga unspoiled and judge for themselves.

As to the anime, well, here’s the thing.  The truth of the matter is, 12 episodes was a really awkward number for Boku Dake - 12 -4Boku Dake ga Inai Machi.  Like Sanbe, I think Itou and Kishimoto made the bold choice in ending the way they did – adapting the manga’s ending but cutting a lot of content to do it.  If this series had been about 16 episodes, it could have adapted everything comprehensively.  If it had been 10, it could have given us an intermediate conclusion at the most audience-friendly moment in the story – with the rescue of Kayo.  At twelve, there was no easy path of least resistance, so – as Sanbe always seems to choose to – Itou and Kishimoto took the hard one.

Boku Dake - 12 -5In doing that, by necessity they cut a lot of material, undeniably.  What happened in the aftermath of Yashiro’s first attempt on Satoru’s life, and a lot of what happens after Satoru wakes up (I alluded to one element of the latter that manga readers seem especially regretful to have lost) especially.  And it does make a difference – though as I said, the general reaction to the manga ending was pretty negative anyway.  The part of this story that’s really approachable, that clutches at the heartstrings in a big way, is the revival where Satoru is in his 11 year-old body trying to save his mother and his friends.  Honestly, there was no way Sanbe was ever going to be able to conclude the story in a fashion that would measure up to that in terms of pure emotion.  So he chose instead to go dark and interior, to effectively deconstruct his own story.  When you can’t please everybody, don’t try to.

Boku Dake - 12 -6What that leaves us with in the anime is a cat and mouse (or hamster) between Satoru and Yashiro, one that out of necessity moves a bit faster than it ideally should.  I think it could be argued that the last thing Satoru said to Yashiro as that car sunk into the lake was what later saved his life – “I know your future!”.  It was that nagging uncertainty that stayed Yashiro’s hand for all those years when he could have snuffed out Satoru’s flame at any time.  In a strange sort of way there’s almost a tenderness to that final scene on the roof, as if these are two old friends saying goodbye to each other.  Yashiro has felt the absence of the impulse to kill as if it were a piece of him that had been ripped away, one that only Satoru could restore.

Boku Dake - 12 -7If anything, I would argue that the fact that the anime spent the last two episodes the way it did (in the manga the portion after the “reveal” is even longer) is further proof of what I discussed last week – that the so-called mystery was never the point of Boku Dake.  There are really two central themes here –  a study of Satoru’s emotional development and his relationships with those around him, and later, of the psychology of control.  If there is a mystery in this series, it’s how and why these “revival” incidents happened – and it’s one that neither Sanbe or Itou ever confront directly.  As a metaphor their purpose is clear – their nature is far less so.

Boku Dake - 12 -8What I think is clear is the degree to which Satoru has grown as a person over the course of the series.  If you look at his first run-through as a basically unbroken chain of events (and revivals were short-lived) you see how the little boy who shelled himself in and shied away from “good buddy” relationships grew into a man who was basically stifled – emotionally and creatively.  That Satoru was someone who never figured out how to express who he was, and was forever haunted by those he’d failed to save.  But after the big jump, everything changes.  The point here, I believe, is that the boy Satoru was needed something of the man he became in order to give him perspective, and the man needed something of the boy to remind him of what it was he truly wanted, and truly loved. It was the revival’s miraculous gift of uniting Satoru’s past and present that made him a whole person (and a successful writer) at last.

Boku Dake - 12 -9For Satoru, the ending is really about a joint discovery.  First, that he was willing to sacrifice himself if it meant that his mother and friends could have their lives and possibilities back. This is the “town where only I am missing”, and it’s not a sad place (well, for Sachiko it kind of is) – it’s a better place, because of Satoru’s actions.  But the second lesson is that Satoru wants to grasp at his own life, to fight for it – that it’s OK to latch onto that selfish desire, and that his life is worth fighting for.  The difference between Satoru and Yashiro is always perspective – while Yashiro seems to have Satoru running like a hamster in a wheel for a long time, in the end it’s Satoru who sees the larger view while Yashiro is trapped in his own tunnel-visioned reality.

Boku Dake - 12 -10That perspective is what allows Satoru to finally triumph over Yashiro – in a sense, it’s a triumph of strategy over tactics (and Yashiro has always been a tactical genius).  It may seem odd to us that in Japan the Statute of Limitations applies even to child murder, but it does – and it’s typical “forest for the trees” tactical thinking by Yashiro.  The irony here is that while Yashiro tells Satoru on the hospital rooftop that he should have peace of mind, I think it’s actually the other way around – Satoru wins the game, but I think having been bested this way gives Yashiro a kind of satisfaction that it’s all been worth it.  The 15 years that passed in a flash for Satoru, but seemed an eternity for Yashiro.

Boku Dake - 12 -11I think the problem with the ending of Boku Dake is that it’s not meant to conform to manga and anime strictures, and while none of the series is, the earlier arcs are so amazingly powerful and universal that readers are drawn in anyway.  I think the subversion of expectations works better for the series’ approachability when it’s showing us an incredible mother-son relationship than when it’s showing us the main “love interest” married to the hero’s childhood friend.  So in that light what are we to make of Satoru’s reunion with Airi?  I think we can only call it fate – and fate is definitely a vital component of Sanbe’s universe.  It might not have been the romantic end some wanted, the childhood sweethearts bonded forever – but Boku Dake is no more a romance than it is a mystery.

Boku Dake - 12 -12In the end, then, I give you Boku Dake ga Inai Machi.  I’ve stated my reasons for loving it as I do, tried to present what I see as Sanbe and the anime staff’s reasoning for the choices they made, what the source of the some of the disconnect wth the audience is.  Whatever you decide is your choice, but history will ultimately be the judge.  As with any art form, some examples which seem important in the moment are quickly forgotten, while others are long-remembered.  It will surprise no one that I think Boku Dake will be in the latter group – that it’s a profoundly incisive and penetrating series whose like we rarely see.  Time broadens our perspective, and I think that broader view will be kind to this series as it reveals the true nature of what it attempted to accomplish – and that it succeeded.

Epilogue:

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21 comments

  1. One gripe I have with the ending is that Yashiro wasn’t well explored enough to merit that kind of psychoanalysis. He needed a more fleshed out backstory; right now he feels like a cartoon cutout that got some rushed personality quirks. I think thats an unfortunate outcome of the anime being too short, and I can see the whole show turning out a lot worse than how it ended up, but its what makes BokuMachi fall short of great for me.

  2. s

    kinda have to agree here; I dont want to get into deep analysis just yet of what i think are flaws of this adaptation (whether it was faithful to the manga or not; i was mentioning flaws before the knowledge of the manga) but i think as time goes by, people are actually going to become less fond of this series. Im kinda seeing that now. Me personally, i thought that this series both manga and anime was just “good”…simple as that. The manga however was better, and im usually not the kind of guy who cares about which version was better but the story was much more cohesive and told much much better in the manga

  3. M

    I’ll be honest, as an anime only viewer I felt a little bit underwhelmed by the final confrontation between Satoru and Yashiro. Their relationship is quite interesting and I felt that the confrontation will have more punch if the anime explores their relationship in more depth. I still cried though, this anime just struck an emotional chord inside me even when the story has some flaws.

    Strangely enough even as a childhood lovers fan, I wasn’t mad at all about Kayo. Because it really isn’t logical for her to wait for 15 years. It will be better if she had married someone else, but of course her married to Hiromi is to be meant as symbolic as they both supposed to have no future.

    In the end my conclusion is that Boku Dake should have been adapted as 24 episodes instead of 12. To me the anime was superbly animated, directed and written that if the staff was given 24 episodes then they can expand more to the mystery and the revival aspect compared to the manga. I still completely love the series though, and now will proceed to read the manga.

  4. s

    24 would have been a bit too much…16 to 18 EPs would have been the perfect sweet spot the series needed to tell the story perfectly

  5. G

    Well, for me, I personally loved the last few episodes. It could have been more impactful if the show was longer, but that’s not the point, I found Yashiro really interesting and I don’t see him as a one-dimensional villain (a lot of things about him is read between the lines). I thought the hamster’s metaphor actually referred to Yashiro himself (ironically) -in his endless pursuit to satisfy his drives, he was never looking down, yet never quite finding an end. He was like the last remaining hamster who wanted someone/something to step on – maybe that can explain his choice of victims, namely the quiet types who don’t quite fit in (as he probably did). All these seem to relate back to the Spider’s Thread mythology. So, when the scene showed the hamster wheel which stopped, it meant that for Yashiro, his time had stopped.

    I think Satoru’s lines could make best quote of the year. “A town without me, time without me… that’s my treasure!”

    And to the haters, let the Satoru-Airi ship sail (romantic or otherwise it doesn’t matter). Remember that while Satoru has been the one saving others, it was Airi (we exclude Sachiko mama) who saved Satoru.

  6. I

    No offense, but I think the “I don’t want to spoil anything” attitude has left your Boku Dake reviews weaker than they would have been otherwise. This review in particular was nice, but several episodes before this one were mostly just spent dancing around saying anything substantial so as to not spoil anyone. I think spoiler warnings would work better than neutering yourself by refusing to comment on the vast majority of each episode’s contents.

  7. o

    I was really pleased with the ending. It was a bit rushed, like everyone knew it would be, but wrapped up everything quite nicely.

    I’d been worried we’d get an end where some “sacrifice” had to be made – mostly I’d worried that he would just never meet Airi. Friend or romantic interest, she had a bit impact on Satoru, so I was really happy with the last scene. 🙂

    Enzo – If you hadn’t been so strongly looking forward to this one in your winter preview, I probably would have missed it. After the first episode, I was telling my friends it was a must-watch. The ones who watched thanked me for telling them, and I want to thank *you* as well. I can’t think of another series where every single episode had me desperate for 7 days to fly by. So THANK YOU!

  8. Well, you’re welcome – that’s awfully nice of you. I’l always irrationally pleased whenever someone watches a show because I recommended it and then doesn’t hate it, ROFL.

  9. s

    I really enjoyed reading your posts about this anime, Enzo. Now I can see why you praised the manga since the beginning and had such high expectations of the anime. Truthfully, I have by now learned to accept that no anime adaptation is 100% faithful to the manga and that not all adaptations get as many episodes as they deserve .I know a lot of people are disappointed with how this anime ended, but I am happy with it. I wish it had covered a bit more of chapter 32(which covers Yashiro’s past) but still, nothing is perfect. It could have been worse. This anime cold have gotten just 11 episodes and had to skip more material. Or it could have been a completely CGI adaptation like Ajin . So I really loved it. I was afraid that the ending would be disappointing since I read a lot of comments saying a lot of material was skipped, but I think it was perfect. The confrontation between Yashiro and Satoru was just beautiful to watch. And then seeing Satoru being happy with his friends, having his own successful manga, and meeting Airi again…I admit I teared up a little. But I am disappointed by how a lot of viewers focused on the “shipping” (as if BokuMachi was some cliche romance with a love triangle) and dismissed the ending and the whole point of the story.

  10. P

    I absolutely loved the final episode. I was a little bitter going into it after watching the previous one. How they decided to treat Kayo was really just a slap in the face to their audience; I personally hated it. Half of the story up until her departure was about the growth of Satoru’s and Kayo’s relationship; a growth that was one of the most natural and beautiful developments I have ever seen in anime. (I also wasn’t to happy about how little screen time she had even thought she was such an important character, however the lack of screen time overall obviously contributed to that.) I understand why they treated Kayo this way (with the 15 year coma and all), I just really didn’t like it

    The fifteen year coma was an interesting choice I thought. There was no real reason to assume that after Satoru saved everyone that he would just pop back into this 29 year old body. A forward time skip never happened (onscreen), except for after he failed to saved Kayo the first time (which may have been a bit of a plot convenience). Regardless of what happened he was still going to have to live out his childhood again until he finally reach 29 years old again. Satoru’s coma fixed this problem by almost freezing time for him and Yashiro so that they could finish their dispute at a different time, and so that he would not have to relive his childhood. (His and Kayos relationship was a casualty though) Satoru’s coma also gave another reason for the audience to love his already lovable mother, who spent fifteen years caring for her sleeping son. (she will forever be one of my most loved characters)

    The highlight of this episode for me was really Satoru’s and Yoshiro’s rooftop confrontation. It was so beautifully done, I really have no words for it. Simply amazing.

  11. Z

    I’m with you, Enzo, I *really* liked the manga ending. Having said that, I thought the anime end was acceptable. It is what it is. As I said in a previous comment, as much as I loved it, I don’t think the post-coma part of the story was very anime friendly. There was just too much thinking, and rehab, and thinking, and talking, and thinking and walking, and did I mention the thinking? It just wasn’t heady anime fare.

    What I don’t understand is the change they made to Yashiro’s killing. Why? Were they trying to make him less heinous? It is a change that I find decidedly detrimental to the character.

    I also really missed the deeper look into Sachiko’s sad life. That half chapter when you don’t know if Satoru is dead or not was some pretty poignant stuff.

    Overall, if they couldn’t give me the feast that was the manga, this was an okay replacement. It was certainly worth the time it took to watch, and I will most likely buy it when it comes out on dvd.

  12. s

    eh, i disagree on your comment regarding some of the chapters not being anime-friendly; i think the remaining chapters towards the end could have been adapted just fine; again, adaptations dont have to be 1:1 and so a lot of that monologuing could have been circumvented or presented in a way that didnt drag things down. As a matter of fact, a lot of the monologuing in this series could have been trimmed down and presented in more creative ways.

  13. T

    Hey Enzo,

    I’ve been reading posts around here for well over a year, but I’ve always been a person who doesn’t comment even though I have a lot of thoughts. I guess now is as good as any to start! First off, thank you for your restraint with all your posts with regard to spoilers. I’m going to read the manga now and I’m glad you were kind enough not to give anything away here.

    I think this series was really amazing, and that you hit the nail on the head in regards to its genre. It is what makes this series so interesting – its main focus on emotion and relationships, while letting the ‘mystery’ be of less importance. That being said, to me there was a bit of an emotional disconnect (as you did mention here) in the last few episodes. It could partly be my fault, as I went the past 4 weeks not watching episodes. I remember you mentioning that a part of you hated watching each episode because it brought you closer to the end. This is what happened to me and rather than watching episodes when I was tired, I tried to save episodes for a better moment but work always ends up getting in the way and the cycle repeats. I always end up kicking myself when this happens because it ends up happening with my favourite series (sorry for digressing). However, I do think the pacing was the main reason for the disconnect though, as it just seemed too fast compared to the first third of the series, and a little bit too fast to feel the deep emotion that scenes in the earlier episodes gave us. But there are still many different layers that I find myself thinking about. And maybe the goal of the last few episodes was for the viewer to think rather than feel the emotions that this series gave us early on.

    Firstly, there is so much depth in the reunion with Kayo and its a shame that a lot of people are just looking on the surface of it. For me it was a bit of an emotional shock at first and I think maybe it was for Satoru as well. Clearly Satoru and Kayo did love each other as children and we would all love to see them end up together. However, things rarely turn out like that and even with the way they turned out, I believe they still do love each other. A love where Satoru is happy that he can see her smile and would cry tears of joy to see her living her life happily. And a love where Kayo can appreciate everything that Satoru did for her, and his bravery, care, and conviction in which he did it. I do not think any other show would be able to portray this love in such a clear way, because to fully understand it, we needed to see the straightforward conviction and emotion that can only be conveyed by Satoru as a child. It’s a such a pure and unconditional love that we almost lose sight of as we grow up, because of the way society changes us and how our loss and the holes in our hearts change us. What Boku Dake ga Inai Machi showed was that doing everything in your power to help someone you care about, giving them hope when they don’t see it, and sharing their happiness is really what love is and what it should be. This is the love that can make differences in people’s lives, not what Hollywood sells us with hollow affairs and such. Sure it would have been nice that they end up together, but having an ending where Satoru can see Kayo being happy and so full of life is just as beautiful. For me, I would have just liked that scene to have been longer, as it felt cut short.

    I also found the dynamic between Yashiro and Satoru really interesting and this part of the anime was definitely rushed. But overall, I feel like this dynamic did convey a few key themes very well. Especially Yashiro’s philosophy in life. Satoru too was trying to fill the hole in his heart, and it shows us that philosophy alone does not dictate who a person is; it is the intent of a person’s actions and how that effects those around them. It seems like an obvious point, but I almost feel that the dichotomy of right and wrong in the world starts to become blurred as a person grows up (more so for some than others), which is another reason why it was so important that we experienced through a child’s perspective. Not that it was unclear that what Yashiro was doing was incredibly twisted, it was incredibly clear. It is the fact that right and wrong are so clear as a child, and doing the right thing for others at this time is so important. This sense of having to do the right thing is something we should not lose sight of, and its with a child’s sense of justice that we should have it.

    I’m going to stop here so it does not get too long, although there is still a lot I would love to discuss, like Sachiko, Airi, and Satoru’s friends. Overall I hope people who are hating on the show realize how great it really is (especially how deep the very parts they are hating on are). We’ve come a long way from seeing Satoru waking up in a hospital bed saying that there is nobody worth calling to waking up and seeing all the people whom he cares about and whose lives he helped change. His heroic heart was always a part of him, but a part of him that he lost touch with or did not have the courage to act upon. In a world where everyone tries to grow up so quickly, Boku Dake ga Inai Machi has shown me how important it is not to let those years slip by, and not matter what age and where, having the bravery to help others and believing in yourself has the potential to pull someone out of the darkness they are in.

  14. T

    It’s been a while since I watched a series with such enjoyment episode by episode, and was given an ending that satisfied me as much as this one. I look forward to reading the manga, having loved the anime as much as I did. Thanks for recommending the series! It really clicked for me and my friends and family. I look forward to re-watching it in the future.

  15. J

    I’m getting those AnoHana feels all over again – a brilliant start that slowly but noticeably drops, culminating with a good (and I liked the anime ending, don’t get me wrong) but not quite good enough ending.

    Was there no thought given to a post-season OVA? If the typical Noitamina length (11 eps) was used to cover Kayo’s rescue that would be stretching things a little, but ~90 minutes would have given more, if not quite enough, time to cover the ending instead of the two episodes we’ve received. No wait, I think I know the answer to this – sales.

    For anyone waiting on the manga, I’m in full agreement with Enzo – the ending really threw me for not taking the easy path and I’m grateful for it.

  16. S

    First time commenter – Just wanted to say thank you for these reviews. Without your enthusiasm I might not have watched this show, which I have absolutely loved from beginning to end. I really hope the manga gets licensed so I can legally read it now – I appreciate the line you drew with spoilers so that if I do get the chance to read the manga now, I can enjoy that fresh as well. My tastes don’t exactly match yours, but I really value your summaries and comments every season and you have led me to a number of series that have really been wonderful. Thank you for the work you put into this blog.

  17. Thanks for your generous words – much appreciated! I hope you decide to join in more conversations in the future.

  18. D

    After last week, I was ready for anything. Anything, good or bad. Instead, I leave feeling… underwhelmed, I suppose? The ending wasn’t bad by any means, and overall I think they did a pretty damn nice job with the time constraints they had. But it lacked a certain punch. I was sure that whatever came this week would make me love it or hate it. Instead it merely left a sort of “huh, cool” impression.

    It was a wild and enjoyable ride but a few things in particular left a somewhat bitter taste in my mouth, all of which are character-related. For one, the parts of the story set in the “present” felt a bit weak and didn’t have as much impact. This directly relates to Airi, who ended up being pretty much forgotten by the plot for the greater good of the story. That in itself is not a massive issue, but that took a lot away from her appearance in the end, which was both predictbile and lacked any sort of emotional substance. We saw so very little of her in the entire show and it was never really conveyed that she and Satoru shared a connection. She played out like a victim of circumstance, and while her desire to help Satoru was admirable and heroic, the way their relationship was portrayed left only a superficial mark.

    In contrast, Kayo and Satoru had some of the most incredible emotional development I’ve ever watched. That’s why the way things developed with her in the “future” didn’t quite grab me as well. For the record, I’m not a scorned shipper and I was never under the illusion that this show was about romance. So I’m not saying despite all plausible reason, Kayo and Satoru should’ve somehow ended up together or anything in that general direction. However, they shared an awful lot together and her momentary appearance at the hospital didn’t really convey the power of their relationship, which was probably one of the most meaningful highlights of the show. It played out more like a casual reminder to the average viewer that this is not, in fact, a starry-eyed love story. Which is all well and good if it wasn’t for those last few moments with Airi…

    FInally, there’s Yashiro. The show was never a mystery, but he had a much more interesting effect on the shows atmosphere before all the cards were revealed. I get that it was partially the intention, but he felt empty. And not in the sense that those last few scenes on the roof tried to explain. He was… nothing. Nobody. Ironically, his full “reveal” made him less of a character than he was before. One of those thriller/horror elements where not telling is a more potent tool than trying to make sense of something that was never there. Regardless, this didn’t really feel like a problem to me and his portrayal didn’t affect my overall impressions of the story. I felt it could’ve been more substantial, and maybe it seemed that way to some of the manga readers, who had an easier time filling in some of the gaps. In a similar fashion, Kenya didn’t feel as well-realized as he could (should?) have been.

    All that said, one character and relationship that delivered on all fronts was Sachiko. It was a very powerful focal point in the anime and it never stopped delivering the goods all the way to the end. As you mentioned in one of your earlier posts, a child-parent relationship is not something that gets portrayed very often or very well, especially with adult children. Experiencing all of it from these various sides of Satoru’s life was trully memorable and touching. To me, this show was all about emtional drive and I can’t imagine a better centerpiece for that kind of story than Satoru and his mother.

    Whatever issues I may have with Erased, all pale in the grand scheme of things. The animation, the voice acting, all the tiny details made a lasting impression on me. The OP was also one of those extremely rare cases where I never skipped it. AKFG was a great fit for the show and I’m glad they were chosen for it.

    As usual, thank you for your work blogging this show. It’s a shame you couldn’t share your thoughts fully over the course of it, but I can’t imagine anyone doing more than that with the minefield of spoilers this story had. It was a great ride and reading your coverage made it that much more fun. I’m gonna get some distance from it and then dive into the manga.

  19. e

    It’s been a few days since I watched the last episode, but I was too tired to comment. After a few days what has this anime left me with? As I was watching the ending I was feeling rather… content eventually? Satisfied? Slightly amused in passing at how unperturbed Satoru looked as he was hanging from the roof with only Yashiro’s arm as leverage – some grip he had btw. Perfectly still hold :p . Stealth hustle muscle! – , suitably engaged in their dialogue as they wanted me to be, some nagging question about how he was rescued from the car left unsolved, bit of internal mad cheering at Kenya being Kenya, DAT SATORU WINK FTW plot holes and loose ends be forgotten in such facial glory :DDDD! And he got the job! And we got meta with his anime thing! Friends reunion with the redemption of Misato former mean pigtail girl!! And Airi (remember her?) implied route end! Yippeee.
    On the plot/pace/I smell skipped material side of things in the end I feel this fall short of greatness. Sorry. I also do have the feeling that the manga version is probably superior and I will check it out.
    On the emotional side of things it definitely fared better. And while I think the first episodes were overall stronger I really really loved Sachiko’s 15-years-care sequence and again DAT SATORU WINK. That’s something so satisfying and rewarding in seeing him that way. Wink away Satoru, wink away dear :,). Cheers and fondness. Not bad things to be left with towards and from an anime at all. I’ll be haunted by flashes of drowned hamsters for a while but I will just focus on that wink! Did I mention the wink?
    You had to blog this on eggshells Enzo but still delivered – of course -. Thank you.

  20. The missing material from the manga certainly would have made the anime ending better. There are a couple of things Sanbe does there what are insanely clever and really challenge the audience which are missing, but the funny thing is the reaction among the manga readers was just as negative to those things he did which aren’t included in the anime ending. Manga readers just didn’t get the final arc, IMO, and though the anime made some changes I don’t think the changes were the root of the disconnect – the manga ending was. I thought it was brilliant but it’s definitely not user-friendly.

  21. A

    From a pure anime-viewer who didn’t (and doesn’t plant to) seen anything of the manga, this serie is a bit of a mix of brilliance and disappointment to me. I guess I’m part of the “audience-friendly” crowd, because I’ve been basically riveted to the first part (exactly up to the moment where they go confront Kayo’s mother), which was an honest-to-God GREAT anime, among the classics. The emotional stuff was incredible, and Kayo’s story heartwrenching, and it would have been a great point to end the story (with just a bit of conclusion using the Revival to confound the killer before being brought back to the fixed present).

    But after that, my interest really waned. I felt the heart of the serie was the Kayo part, the pain of the broken girl childhood and it’s saving, and once that point was reached the core was done and it was more about “now that’s the story is finished, what to do with all the threads hanging ?”. And the weakness of this last arc compared to the awesomeness of the previous stuff, really dragged down the overall interest of the story.

    I’m not mad though : it’s still positive to have had such a great, if incomplete, three-quarter of a court, which is better than most of the rest of the production by itself. But I sigh a bit at what’s been squandered.

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