Friday, June 15, 2007

Hitohira ep. 12

(Warning: This entry contains SOME LIGHT SPOILERS
...and..confusion (the good kind this time..).)

You know, I never did get around to blogging about my favorite show last season, Hidamari Sketch. ..Even though I really wanted to, at times. lazy.. orz

But I wasn't going to let that happen this time around -- oh, no.
That's because Hitohira isn't just my favorite anime for this season, it may very well turn out to be my favorite anime of the year.

Read the rest!

I'm not quite sure why I took so long to write about this -- probably because right after watching it, my thoughts about this final episode were mostly jumbled. Even right now, they still are.
I've also been spending some time watching the ep over a number of times (mostly on nico video. It's good to see that everyone got as confused as I did).

But let's get started.
Coming off of the cliffhanger that was the end of episode 11, I was expecting a lot of things with this episode. Well, I got just about none of them.... And I loved it.

Of course, there were the things that we've come to expect to be in the last episode of this series, such as Chitose finally confessing to Katsuragi, and naturally, lots and LOTS of Mugi stressing about Nono and the others (though especially Nono) leaving after graduation.

What we also got, however, is a very enjoyable party by the Drama Club (which catered to BOTH Drama Clubs) where Nono frankly apologized for splitting up the two, some as to be expected great animation, all topped off by one of the most beautiful mind fucks I've ever been subjected to...but I'll get to that later.

Early on in the show's run, I knew I liked Chitose (or Orinaru, if you've understandable forgotten her name). She's one of the show's biggest sources of comic relief, and yet she's still such a great character. She's pretty stupid, but she at the same time has a good head on her shoulders. She's helped (or at least attempted to) Mugi out of a number of her darker moments. If there's any reason why I would want to pick up the manga from where the anime leaves off, it would be to see how she fares in taking the place of Kayo in Mugi's life.

...Or maybe Kai will be the one to do that.
..Yeah, I...don't think anyone wants that, really. ( ´ε ` )

And after being a mess of emotions and unexpected cuteness throughout the majority of the series, Mirei turned out to be more the beacon of strength in this episode. Heck, this time around it was even Nono who did the crying, not her. The scene the two shared with the Prima Vera costume was quite well done, I'd say. It was short, simple, and yet conveyed what was trying to be expressed so well.

"I'm so sorry, Mirei. I wanted to be on stage with you.."

Hmm.. it's like what the Nono we see in episode 6 wanted to say to Mirei when she saw her in the mirror. Or at least something close to it. I'm really up in arms about these two, however. Is what these two share true love, friendship, or just a sort of actors' camaraderie? You decide (yeah, I'm leaning towards the first one, too, but after the roof scene, it all seems so unclear..).

And so we return to the rooftop.
(gosh, Mugi must have been cold waiting for Nono up there..)
Just thinking about this scene gives me goosebumps. The director and animation staff definitely pulled out all the stops -- and truly there was no better a place.
But of course, after watching this scene (about 5 times now, perhaps) I have many questions.

Why did Mugi have the banner for the Engeki Kenkyuu Kai? Wasn't that given to Nono?
And what else was in that bag that Mugi gave her? Though I guess that should just be all up to our imagination (hopefully it wasn't just a picture frame and card).
And lastly..

WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?? the more literal sense of the question, of course.
"Magic" happened, yes, that much is certain. But... why..?
Given what is obvious to us, Mugi runs up to Nono and hands over the bag she brought for her. Finally, they clasp hands, draw their faces closer to one another and--

[insert WTF moment here.] minute later, the two are in the same position, and eventually part. Both expressing their gratitude to each other (Nono once again doing that rare feat of calling Mugi by her first name). So... is what these two share true love, friendship, or just a sort of actors'
camaraderie..? ^^;; (Oh, does it really matter?)

All in all, I can't remember the last time I felt this way after completing a series; it really was a strange plethora of emotions.
..The feeling of being so happy that its end was so beautifully handled (there are so many other things that struck me about the end but... you really just have to watch it yourself).
..And yet also sadness that with the conclusion, it also means that I won't be able to have this show to look forward to anymore...
And then once again feeling so happy and proud of Mugi for her growth, and for how bloody cool she looked (you know Noriko from Gunbuster? ..Yeah, she doesn't have anything on Mugi. ...okay, that's a lie)
And even my confusion as I tried to makes sense of what went on during Mugi and Nono's...moment.. was also meaningful to me.

And of course on on top of all of that were the emotions I've had building up from the rest of the series. I thought every episode after 8 was especially tear-jerking (with many people joking that each one was a last episode).
But as I listened to the End Theme for the last time (for real this time), I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry loudly, but I couldn't. All I had were those emotions, and a heavy heart that refused calm down after this experience.
...I think this must be what it means to be...moved. (つ∀`)・゚・

...Okay. So that was pretty terrible, but what do you expect, I just got through watching a a show about drama.

Oh, and lastly, did I mention how incredibly epic the music was in this episode? No? What WAS I thinking?