The first thing that should be said, I suppose, is that this episode isn’t the true finale of Sakamoto desu ga?. As with Shounen Maid, Sakamoto lost an episode due to the Kumamoto earthquake coverage on Japanese TV. Each series will see those eps included in the Blu-ray releases, but while Shounen Maid skipped an episode Sakamoto desu ga? pushed the schedule back a week. That means the true finale is episode 13, which we’ll be seeing in a couple of months.
Bearing that in mind, the anime delivered a TV finale that really felt like a final episode. It was one of the best of the series, in fact, though as with the prior ep it was largely lacking in comedy. The arrival of Katase-san as the final boss really added a gravity to Sakamoto desu ga? that wasn’t part of the equation before – he was an altogether different animal than the largely harmless petty bullies who mostly ended up in Sakamoto’s hip pocket.
Who else but Sakamoto-kun would be tapped to deliver the farewell address for the graduating third-years? But Katase has really warped Atsushi big-time – he goads the first-year into going after Sakamoto with a baseball bat during his speech, and Atsushi nearly gets himself killed in the process. This is some pretty dark stuff, as Sakamoto’s game face never wavers even as Atsushi is bloodying him with swings of the bat.
In the end, Sakamoto wins out (duh), outsmarting Katase and finally (seemingly) putting an end to his reign of terror at the school in starkly humiliating fashion. But there’s a pretty heavy afterword here, as Sakamoto delivers the news that he’s leaving to join NASA for a mission to ready the human race to colonize Mars. That he’s lying is pretty obvious; what the truth is not so much. There have been plenty of hints that Sakamoto-kun is an alien, but in confronting him Hayabusa seems to be implying that there’s something else going on here. And why would Sakamoto mention counting the cracks on the ceiling of the nurse’s office?
The moment I take away from the finale is actually the one where he looks up at his classmates – their faces covered in pie – for the last time. That genuinely emotional expression on Sakamoto’s face is the first time we’ve seen an unbridled show of emotion from him, and in that 0ne moment rather redefines the parameters of what Sakamoto desu ga? really is. I’ll be very curious to see what the mangaka and Takamatsu-sensei have in mind for that final episode. because the finale certainly left us in an interesting place.