This series finale puts me in an awkward spot. I actually had to go around a bit asking myself “was this series supposed to be 24 episodes instead of 12”? This episode is actually really cruel if there’s no second season…not too many questions are answered. For example, what is Hanabusa’s link to Sakurako? Who was the person in the hospital bed? Why does Sakurako have so much trauma related to her brother’s death? However, I can’t really bash too hard on this episode because it felt like something that might have been missing in the story…the inspiration for everything. And the technique of putting the beginning at the end, so to speak, isn’t actually that bad.
I actually have a decent number of good things to say about this episode. I thought it was pretty funny how Shoutarou breaks the fourth wall a little bit by reacting to the transition (he looks confused in the changed scenery) when Yachi is telling her story and confessing to Sakurako. Also, I like that they didn’t dwell too much on Shoutarou and Sakurako’s separation. They could have very easily cliffhanger-ed the series with Shoutarou being captured by Hanabusa or even kept them apart through the end. I’m also glad that Shoutarou wised up and used some solid logic to get back with Sakurako rather than waiting until the circumstances forced them back together. But that aside, since we didn’t get an actual resolution in this “final” episode, I’ll just end with the very obligatory question: second season when?
This week’s episode was a touch on the melodramatic side, but interestingly dark nonetheless. You may laugh at the girls’ behavior, especially Minami’s behavior, but I could honestly see that sort of thing happening. What was curious to me in this episode was that they gave reasons for Futaba and Hitoe to want to escape the work, but they didn’t really give a reason for Minami. Obviously, the butterfly man (I refused to call him Sphenoider) was able to exploit Minami in a vulnerable area…what was it?
As for the end of the episode…Sakurako, you really disappoint me with your logic. Sakurako just stated that Hanabusa is aware of BOTH her and Shoutarou’s existence, and decides to split them both up. So…you just want to make yourselves easier targets? Is that what I’m supposed to get from this scene? It’s not like Hanabusa is suddenly going to forget Shoutarou exists just because Sakurako is no longer hanging out with him. Anyway, next week’s episode is the finale, so I’m looking forward to seeing how Shoutarou decides to make himself useful.
This week’s episode finally goes more into the butterfly man that was hinted at in an earlier mystery. It’s really strange, though…while the Hanabusa character that’s being shown in Minami’s memories is seemingly the culprit, he doesn’t quite look the same as the person we saw in the case of the cursed guy. Didn’t that person have visible black hair despite the hat? Something seems off to me. Also, what is Sakurako’s connection to the man? She seems to have some sort of personal connection…it can’t be as simple as the mystery file from the person in the hospital bed, right?
The butterfly man certainly has me curious. How is he taking advantage of these girls? It can’t just be simple love, right? I find it really hard to believe that these girls are just falling in love one-by-one with this man and doing whatever he says. There were hints earlier in the series that the man may have some psychology background that helps with mental manipulation of his victims…that would certainly make for a more interesting case. I would really look forward to the explanation of what vulnerabilities he’s using, though, if that’s the case. Of course, the answer could be much simpler…drugs, maybe?
Another one of the quieter shows this week where the mysteries are more emotional. I still have strange issues with Yuriko’s mysteries…I didn’t even mind Shoutarou’s mystery this week, but Yuriko’s just wasn’t entertaining. It seemed to me like she was only there to trigger Shoutarou’s visit to his grandmother’s grave and tie things together in the end. I think the fact that Sakurako’s attendant jumped in for Shoutarou’s story made it a lot better…Sakurako’s reactions were pretty funny to watch.
We finally have the butterfly guy showing up again in the last scene of the episode. That has to be a setup for next week’s episode, which will likely start the final arc of the series. There’s also Sakurako’s last line in the episode, something to the effect of “time to bring it to an end”, which seemed like she knew this encounter was coming. Was the mystery file she received a couple of episodes ago a list of cases that implicate the butterfly man or something? I suppose that’s the easiest explanation and we’ll just have to find out next week (we will find out next week, right?).
I’d like to say this week’s episode was an interesting episode, but I got really distracted by the events of the cat last week and couldn’t focus on the actual mystery that Sakurako was solving. I’m really curious about the statement that Shoutarou would be a better detective, though…was she acknowledging the fact that he doesn’t detach himself from the victim or just recognizing something deeper? I will say, though, that this week’s episode featured a lot more of Shoutarou acting autonomously, which was nice to see. Perhaps that was what Sakurako was referencing…
So it turns out that mystery file and mystery encounter from the end of last week’s episode weren’t related to the mystery of the missing cat bones. Perhaps, the file is supposed to be the “final showdown” of the series that pits Sakurako against the mystery man that still hasn’t shown up until now. If the series tries to pull off something like “he was actually influencing every mystery up to now”, I’ll be really shocked. I feel like that would be really hard to pull off given how innocuous some of the mysteries have been.
This week’s conversation between Shoutarou and Sakurako is actually something that you see in medical dramas a lot (I can’t say for certain whether it’s actually common in the medical field because I’m not a doctor). The situation with the cat is very similar to a family who refuses to allow a doctor to perform an autopsy as an act of “preserving the body”. I think it was actually ironic that Shoutarou questioned Sakurako’s empathy (the anime might have used the word “morality”?) when he didn’t even consider the possibility himself that displaying the cat’s bones as a specimen is probably a show of affection from Sakurako.
So based on the information we have so far, it seems like Sakurako took the cat bones to use as a comparison for her own cat’s bones to try and solve her mystery. But is that all? Surely the unsolved case file at the end of the episode wasn’t just her cat’s death, right? I would have thought it would be related to the main mystery of the episode, the burned bones from the classroom. Anyway, I’m really curious to see how everything ties together next week.
I’m curious how different I am from the general opinion on this, but I find myself much more bored when watching these episodes centered on Yuri. Don’t get me wrong…I thought the mystery had an interesting twist in the end, but watching the execution of the investigation didn’t seem too interesting to me. I had a similar deduction to Sakurako that the woman was in mourning, but I didn’t quite get to the conclusion of the new love. I think the main clue for that was that she was throwing the letter with the ring…I should have found that more suspicious.
Other comments about the episode: calling Sakurako to the lost children center was pretty hilarious. Her reaction was pretty much spot-on. Also, I didn’t realize that some people had the remains of their loved ones turned into diamonds…more difficult than an urn to break, but easier to steal/lose. Anyway, I guess next week starts a new mystery. Hopefully it will be more investigations on the mystery man from last week…I’m assuming he’s the last boss, after all.
This week’s episode was really cool. I really liked watching the moment when Sakurako realizes that everything didn’t add up (though I wish she didn’t use that lame expression about bones). I was honestly expecting Fujioka to be killed by our mystery man when he went out by himself, but I guess this guy is supposed to be our Moriarty, who would never perform the act himself. So far, the best theory is that the man is a psychiatrist messing with people’s insecurities to commit crime, but there’s still the possibility that he would make a good criminal mastermind for our Holmes.
From here, I’m guessing this mystery man will be a recurring theme in the crimes that Sakurako solves as she continues to get closer to figuring out who he is. I’m actually curious how Soutarou gets tied into this confrontation as well. I think the most obvious way is having the mystery man use the memory against Sakurako, but it would be more interesting if the mystery man had a closer link to Sakurako’s past (I also find this the more likely outcome for this series).
This week’s episode is our first multi-episode arc (though it’s likely only two episodes). Even though the mystery hasn’t fully been solved yet, I can safely say that I’m liking this one much more than the previous one. That being said, I can’t help thinking that I’ve seen a similar mystery to this somewhere…can’t remember exactly where it was, though. I think in the story I saw before, the culprit turned out to be a genetic disease and it seems to be a similar case here. Also, was anyone else really expecting the victim to die randomly at some point during this episode? I was sitting around waiting for it to happen (which might explain why I wasn’t bored watching this episode).
Based on the timing of Sakurako’s epiphany, I think the most likely conclusion of this mystery is that the painting is triggering the respiratory problem that everyone agreed is the linked condition in the family. That being said, the painting itself shouldn’t be enough, right? Sakurako was interested in where the painting was being hung, which means that the placement must be important somehow. It feels like there’s a sinister element that I’m missing, though. Who was the person that our victim stopped to talk to on the way back? How is this person involved? Surely, there’s more to this mystery, right?
I guess this week’s episode was supposed to focus more on the emotional aspect of things. The mystery itself seemed much less interesting than the previous ones…I’d say proving the grandmother didn’t commit suicide was very expected. That being said, watching Sakurako’s reactions to these emotional scenes is pretty funny because she doesn’t really lose her composure this week (even when telling our main character who Soutarou really is). The way she rejects the suicide theory from the police makes it sound like she would just as easily state the opposite, that a theory of death by accident was actually a suicide attempt.
In all, I thought this episode seemed a bit weak for a third episode, where generally large twists or reveals happen to hook in the viewers. It’s not like it largely affects my opinion of the show, but I was just surprised while watching. I’m still curious to see where this show is going, but I think it might be pointless to speculate what the next episode’s events will be. It’s starting to look like an episodic crime/mystery show is what we have in store.