Yeah, so after constant bombshells last week, I’m disappointed that this season’s finale doesn’t contain anything. If anything, this episode only confirmed the new status quo. I also understand why it was appropriate to end the season this way. If the show tried to take any big steps forward, the episode would have ended unsatisfying no matter what since there’s no way we’d have been able to hit another emotional progression point within an episode. The series may already have blown the whistle last week regarding dramatic revelations and character development. Still, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything here.
This episode was mainly about Akari and Shiori, although a lot was from Jiro’s perspective. Everyone is in a different place at the end of the season compared to how they were at the beginning. Shiori learns to be much more forward and fight a little more for what she wants. Akari comes into harmony with her desires and chases after something far less guaranteed than she first thought. Jiro finally starts to get his feelings wavering and keeps letting his insecurities get in the way of finally crossing the line that keeps showing up for him. After watching so many bad romantic comedies this year alone, it’s nice that the show has definitive progression markers. Even though the show skews too much to Akari’s side for there to be any actual romantic tension and unpredictability, I like how this episode ends. When the beautiful insert song plays as Shiori and Akari race to the shrine of romance, Shiori walks past two children playing in a park while Akari walks past two people kissing each other goodbye. But then they both run neck and neck past a couple about to get married and various other families at different stages of life. Both started from different places in their relationship with Jiro, but both are fighting for the same thing, and at least at this point in the story, you could argue that they’re on equal footing in Jiro’s mind.
The show was about Jiro and Akari getting closer so they could move on with other people they had feelings for. But now things are different, and considering that the very last shot in this episode was the goal being realized, it doesn’t feel like a victory. The status quo is so irreversibly different that I’m sitting here begging to find out what will happen next. I picked up this show as a joke and my expectations were so low in the ground you couldn’t even see them, but I ended up walking away from this with such a satisfying sense of investment. This is the kind of show that confirms you give it a shot despite how things look on the surface, and I desperately hope season two comes soon.
More than a married couple, but not lovers currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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