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As a finale, I think I’d have to say that this episode was only kind of okay. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been spoiled with how much I enjoyed the rest of the series, or it could just be that the episode was leaving part of its story for the movie still to come. Kaede’s story was surprisingly bittersweet, but the reintroduction of Shouko on top of Mai’s own insecurities felt a bit rushed. That being said, the series has a whole has been a joy to watch, so I’m sad to see it go.
It’s interesting that Sakuta’s chest wound coincides so well with Shouko’s appearance. I feel like she still has to be related in some way to the middle school Shouko we’ve seen, as her appearance lines up too well with disappearances of her middle school doppleganger. That being said, she seems to show up to support Sakuta when he mosts needs it, so it seems like that she’s just a manifestation of his own Puberty Syndrome.
Even if the panda Kaede never truly came back, I was fine with how her story was handled. I like the idea that she tried to better prepare Sakuta for the end that she had accepted by giving him the chance to “help” her. That way, Sakuta could feel like he was able to do something for Kaede, a regret he’d had about the bullying of the original Kaede.
To be fair, I’m totally on Mai’s side for this whole thing. It’s pretty clear when she shows up that she sensed Sakuta’s grief and wanted to help, so it was unfair of him to keep her in the dark about Shouko. That being said, I guess I’m too used to these two as such a strong couple, that it was hard for me to accept this kind of rift between them. Sure, Sakuta was dealing with a lot of stuff at the time, but come on, man.
Just kiss already?
It’s true that Kaede has the support of Sakuta when she goes to school this time, but I’m assuming there’s supposed to be some double meaning to this line about not being alone. Also, I thought it was cute to see her reading the journal that her other personality left for her.
Final Score: 9/10
Solid writing with incredibly likeable characters. If you can get past the shoddy science asides, I have a hard time finding much issue with this series as a whole.