And Then There Was One… Sorta | Weekly Anime Redux
All I’mma say is… oof.
We’re down to the final round of Anime TKO and that leaves me with just one more show and three more episodes before it’s time to decide the season’s winner. So what will Yagate Kimi ni Naru show us this week on its road to the championship?
The Summer Break study camp thing is underway and, really, I thought this episode was going to be kind of a breather before the climax in the final two episodes. Really, for the most part, it was. There weren’t many significant interactions between the girls in the triangle. Nothing that advances anything. Though the best thing about it was the actual reason for this – and literally every single one of them holding back for one reason or another. Amusingly, Yuu and Sayaka’s fears are very similar. Touko, however, is mostly concerned with getting caught, though there’s also that desire to not smother Yuu too much, as suggested by the previous episode. And I liked all the bits of internal monologue between the three of them. It was amusing seeing them worry over sillier things as well, for a change, like the dangers of the actual physical aspect of their attractions.
But then the second half of the episode hits and, uh… I’mma just say it one more time. Oof. Touko, you poor thing. The revelations about Touko’s sister were a gut punch even to me. But I actually really love how it plays parallel to… everything, really. Not just Touko, herself, of course, but the play. All of it is incredibly well thought out and the discussion about the play’s ending also kind of fascinated me from a writer’s perspective. I mean… it’s a very realistic dilemma – does the author satisfy the audience or seek out a more appropriate resolution, somehow. I also get the impression that the dilemma will factor into the end of the series. Not particularly the end of this specific adaptation, but of the original work, which is still going. Either way, this is a perfect example of why I think this show edged its way into the finals. It’s a showing worthy of its World’s Finest record, so far.
So. This episode sort of eases us into Kaede’s arc of the show (likely the final one, unless the finale is some sort of one-episode finish) by not spending the full time on her. She actually isn’t the center of attention until about a third of the way through, in fact. Instead, we get an outright heartwarming advancement of Mai and Sakuta’s relationship in a press conference scene with Mai, which I honestly didn’t expect at all. I actually figured it’d create some other kind of problem, actually, when it was teased in the previous episode. And then there’s his dealing with Shouko’s summons to the beach after finally being able to have some time with Mai after all that’s happened. Special props to Futaba for getting him to snap out of his stupor and deal with the issue, head on.
Aaand then there’s Kaede, who takes the entire episode by the horns and steals it with her adorableness and determination. Her list of objectives is absolutely precious and her dedication to overcoming her issues (along with Sakuta and Mai’s helping her) is excellent. Answering the phone, stepping outside for the first time, every step taken is one she takes of her own volition, not because someone makes her. Anxiety issues aren’t something you just “get over,” even less so as they get more severe. So seeing them actually taking their time (and, more importantly, showing that passage of time) is something I really appreciate. Of course, there’s also the attention called to her continued bruising. We still don’t know what, exactly, is causing it all. And I’m incredibly intrigued. As much as I am to discover why she has no memories. This show consistently cranks out World’s Finest quality episodes like this one, so it’s easy to see why I struggled with choosing between it and its competition in the semifinals. But either way, I’m glad I’m still keeping up with it.
Took them a while to start getting around to the point, here, but what we’ve got is another fun episode, setting up for the bigger events to come. And this one does it with a pretty fun chase sequence, as well as some amusing early character interactions. Apparently, I psyched Bob out that he actually thought this had a prayer of getting past the semis. Index is a fun Junk Food series with really high peaks when it finally gets there, and this episode basically showcases exactly that nature.
Now we take a slight break from Hitomi’s growth and full tilt into the conflict of the series. And what could that be? Well, the time magic is starting to undo itself. In a twist I wasn’t really predicting at all, though, it’s actually not having the effect I thought it would. It’s more like Hitomi’s getting pulled in and out of time. If you’re familiar with Overwatch, think Tracer, when she’s not wearing her chronal accelerator… except for that Christmas comic, apparently… but I digress. So Kohaku and the others are scrambling to send Hitomi back before she disappears forever. All the while coping with having to send her back at all. Really, this was a straight up Kohaku-centric episode, giving Asagi a little to do as well, showing how close she and Hitomi had gotten, and I appreciated that because Hitomi wasn’t actually in a decent chunk of it.
We’re in the home stretch, now, and I don’t really think this can really end in a way that’s not at least somewhat heartbreaking, or at least a bit of a tearjerker. But with all they’ve set up, til now, it’s only natural that things start to get tense. In any event, I think the best part about the episode was actually the final few minutes. That gorgeous ED starts playing and Hitomi’s sending paper airplanes to Yuito… it was sappy but just an excellent scene, especially with how it ultimately ends. Whatever their relationship ends up being, I’m looking forward to how they deal with it. This episode was just really Super Effective.
Something something, fight scene. So the first half of this episode is dedicated to the reunion between Mars and Fana, as well as figuring out what happened to her and what she’s even doing there. And just before the halfway point, the psychopath from the Diamond Kingdom – Ladros – wakes back up… somehow. He and Asta fight for a bit after he knocks everyone else out, but Asta gets him by doing the thing I’ve been telling him to do this entire time – throwing the stupid sword. But Ladros pulls a final gambit and gets Fana to freak out so he can absorb her magic and trounce Asta. Go figure.
What happens next? Well, the Witch Queen does something and Asta goes Super Saiya- I mean demon form. Well… he starts to. We don’t really see it in full yet, but that’s what happens. Shame the teaser for the next episode basically spoils… everything. Either way, this episode was fine. Not the height of tension, nor particularly well animated or anything. Just… fine. Harmless. The parallel between Ladros and Asta is admittedly a nice idea, but I dunno. I think the weight of it is lost in Ladros’s being a bit too… hammy for it to stick. I like hammy villains just fine, but he doesn’t really sell the angle emotionally well enough for me to buy it.
And then comes this episode. The one that shows what’s at stake and sets the stage for the final battle. And, man, does it accomplish that goal. Now that Hiyori’s forgotten Yato, there’s this desperate desire to get her memories back. And yet there’s another dilemma to consider – if she forgets him and Yukine, she can get her normal life back. I do think the added time limit factor of her becoming an empty vessel might actually take the tension out of the situation, more than enhance it, though. Had it been entirely down to her just forgetting, I think the actual complication of the choice would’ve served a better overall purpose to the narrative. The new time limit actually took away the element of choice because if they didn’t do it, a far worse consequence would’ve befallen her. But the scene with Yukine showing her the picture book is just heartbreaking. And the establishment of everything around Rabo and his working with Nora is just great.
So I’m actually going to be doing something a bit different, here. Since Yagate Kimi ni Naru is officially in the finals, I’m going to exempt it from the Achievement section in the interest of shining a light on the shows that survived on the non-competitor list. So! Without any further ado…
Overall Episode Medalists
It shouldn’t really surprise anyone that, topping this list with the Gold Medal is Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai.
Just such a good episode, showing a lot of character growth and a lot of forward movement for characters, in general. The winner of the Silver Medal is Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara. It’s just done a really great job of developing Hitomi, up to this point, and now that’s come to a head with everyone else responding to her time running out. And rounding things out with the Bronze Medal for the week is Toaru Majutsu no Index III with a fun episode, setting things up for some explosive events to come.
Really, could it be anyone else? Even in the latest episode of Yagate Kimi ni Naru, no character this week took the entire episode by the horns quite like Kaede did. Up until now, she’s just been cute and amusing. But now she’s actually taking her first real steps towards recovery, and I think that says a lot about her. She’s where the greatest strength of her episode comes in. And I loved every minute of her time. I’m really hoping her arc ends the series on a high note.
Unique Achievement: Oofs Taken
In one sitting, no less. I know what I said about leaving this show outta the achievement section, but seriously. Oof.
Unique Achievement: F–ks Given
Zero. Futaba gives exactly zero f–ks. And I loved it. On a scale of “1 to 100% Done With This S–t,” Futaba is beyond tired of it all. With good reason, I’d say.
And that’s it. If you’d like to see what Yagate Kimi ni Naru is up again, check out EvilBob’s most recent post on SSSS.Gridman. It’s one episode away from its conclusion, but he won’t be reviewing the episode, next week, instead reviewing it the following week, when my show concludes. That way we can wrap this up at the same time and go in blind. Should be fun, crushing his hopes, dreams, and aspirations. But what about you guys? What did you think of this week? Let me know, down below. Thanks for reading, as always. Keep up the Awesome and Take Care.