I've got to admit it's not what I was expecting. Unfortunately, I can't continue this on without spoilers--so if you don't want that, stop reading this particular post now.
I was wanting a Noe ending. I can admit it. I liked Noe, she reminded me of my wife. Her innocence and eclectic personality were some of the things which drew me to my wife--and it is those attributes of Noe's personality which I found most compelling.
Hiromi on the other hand seemed a bit more world-wary. She was formal and proper. I can honestly admit that I've never dated anyone like that. Sure, girls like that can pretty to look at (on occasion) but I just can't handle that level of... well, I'm not sure how to describe it.
And don't know what I'm talking about; then look at the picture. Which of the three girls, just from the way they carry themselves says "Hey, I'm the sweet, yet fun-in an innocent sort of way girl."
But you know, that's a discussion for the full series review. As for this episode, we touch upon what exactly the tears in the show is discussing-and find out how that relates to the often wishy-washiness of the male lead.
Fundamentally though, the entire show was about cleaning up the various plot points and giving us a nice resolution to everything. Though I would have liked for a bit more time spent on Ai-chan and Nobuse after the whole Hiromi/Shin/Noe thing got clarified.
Well, I say clarified, but if you pay CLOSE attention, you'll realize that we're really not certain what happened. Hiromi is not on screen saying yes to Shinichirō , and more importantly, she's refused him flat-out twice in that scene. At this point, we frankly don't know who he actually ended up with, as we're not shown a scene with Shinichirō and either of the girls. Rather, we get scenes where Hiromi and Noe are interacting with their peers, and scenes where Shin is alone.
While I feel that this was a firm Hiromi ending, I can't point to final proof where we see the two of them unequivocally together--or apart. At the same time, I don't feel that it was a Noe ending, but likewise there's no scene where they are interacting with each other.
Although, in the first scene in the spring, Noe is running towards the other two girls, and we follow where she had came from, and lo and behold, that happens to be where Shinichirō is. Of course, at that moment, he goes off on some inner monologue as if he hadn't talked to her in months.
Frankly, the more I pick at that ending, the more I have to wonder if he ended up with neither girl.
The day after the festival, Shinichirō is at the hospital with Jun, and we find out that all she did when jumping from that tree was break her leg. Well, the two head off to the roof, and Shin tries and apologize to Jun. In response, Jun makes some cryptic comments about the snow and then asks Shin why Noe can't cry. When Shin gives him some silly answer, Jun says he will not forgive him. Later on, Jun's walking in his full angst mode, and bumps into Hiromi, where he confesses that he doesn't feel a thing for her.
At school, Hiromi asks Shinichirō to come by her apartment after school, and when he does, she sends off some insane mixed-signals before kicking him out. Then he gets home just in time to catch a phone call from a publisher. After he asks his dad about when he cries, Hiromi pops in. They chat, and she sends him off to get things right with Noe, and basically that he needs to pick between them.
So, i'ts one again, off to the hospital for Shin, and while he's sitting out in the hall, he tries to convince Noe that she needs to see the pretty pictures he drew her. When she refuses, so he says he is going to throw it into the sea; and telling her that he saw her try to throw Jibeta into that same sea. Well, he goes out to the wharf, and proceeds to rip out pages, and throwing them as airplanes.
Which means it's time for Noe to show up and try and break her leg a second time. So, Shin collects all those pages he had just thrown away, and off they go to a bus stop which conveniently has a heater in it (I'm a Southern boy--if our bus stops have anything like that in them, it's air conditioners). Anyways, as she's looking through them, she realizes that she doesn't have the last page, and tells him that she can make it up.
Shinichirō tells Noe what he's really thinking and feeling. Basically that he is in love with Hiromi but his heart wavers when he looks at Noe. It's her turn to once more spout off cryptic things. Shinichirō goes to Hiromi's apartment, and when he can't find her he proceeds to run out into the bamboo forest thing. When he finds her, he asks her to go out with him, and she refuses, so he does it again, and she still refuses--so he proposes.
Well, the next scene we get is suddenly spring-time as evidenced by the sakura blossoms. First we see that Noe has once again started making friends. Hiromi is still playing basketball. Jun is in the city, Shin is sneaking in drawings instead of studying, and there's some other odds an ends, including a final bit of Ai-chan and Nobuse. The final bit is Noe standing by Jibeta's cage, where we see Raigomaru 's grave, and the stones Shin used earlier in the series--as well as Noe's tears.
Sunday, March 30, 2008