“Is this even the same show?” A question I asked myself continuously while watching this episode.
You may have expected me to delve into another long rant-like explanation as to why SukaSuka continues to not work for me and how much it continues to stray from the beginning episodes in dramatic tone and impact, as I’ve discussed several times previously. I mean, I’ve ragged on this show a lot, after all. Most of the things I’ve ragged on though have been personal complaints or about scenes that didn’t quite hit the mark as hard I was hoping it would, and there’s still a plethora of problems with the show in general. However, this episode brought out the shows true colors and gave me exactly what I wanted and expected the show to be like all along.
And by that, I mean, an episode perhaps rivaling episode 1 in terms of outstanding quality. This episode was truly fantastic.
For the past two episodes, we’ve been really experiencing the brunt of how Chtholly’s memory loss has been slowly eating away at her as it continues to slip away. She’s now gotten to the point where she’s come to terms with how she’s pretty much beyond recovery by any sorts of means, special weapon or not. Her memories of her past are already almost gone, with her even having to check if she still knows her name every time she does something straining. Even her personality barely resembles the one of the Chtholly we’ve seen throughout the show anymore, showing a lot more desperate actions towards saving and protecting Willem, knowing that her end is slowly approaching. This is the only part that really remains of her, and we can see that by saving others, she’s attempting to use the last bit of her remaining power in attempt to save those that she truly cares about.
Beyond Chtholly’s memory loss though, we also learn that their airbase is under brutal attack by vine-like hydras consisting of previously living humans. Because of this, we start seeing the true emotions of these characters. We start seeing how they act when their lives are on the line, how they act when their friends are in danger, what happens when they can’t fight anymore. All of these aspects are beautiful in of themselves, even if this is all we’ve seen of what these sorts of battles are like for the characters, both physically and mentally. Even so, SukaSuka has done a good job of giving even the side characters major roles in this fight scene, even if previously in the show they didn’t seen to be too relevant unless it was for trite gags or bland light novel comedy.
Even Willem had some really solid moments in this episode! Despite him slipping into generic main character syndrome occasionally in the past, this episode you can tell that he’s been through some hard times, and with what’s happening, you can tell he’s about to go through a lot more. All of these events are affecting Willem pretty heavily, especially knowing that Chtholly’s memories of both of them together are pretty much non-existent at this point. Not to mention that during most of this fighting, Chtholly doesn’t even know what sort of things are happening to her cherished friends and Willem because of her being in Elq’s “dream” world, watching these tragic events play out until the bitter end.
On a similar note, we also have this heartwarming scene between Ren and Willem, showing us how dedicated Willem is to making sure anyone that would affect Chtholly’s happiness doesn’t kick the dust, even if he knows deep down that nothing can stop the inevitable degrading process that’s happening to Ren. Her moment of self-sacrifice with Willem following after her as they both plummet to the ground awaiting their deaths was only the beginning of a long chain of scenes of tragedy that this episode had in store for us.
We always say “It’s a ride” at The Backloggers, and the ending to this show was definitely nothing short of a “ride”.
What I think made this episode effective though was the fact that it finally brought the dramatic feeling from the first episode back, and I can’t say there was any better way to end the show than the one they presented to us.
Outside of a few moments in the middle of the series and the first episode, I’d even that this is the most dramatic the series has ever been, and that’s a good thing! These are the moments that I often expected from SukaSuka, and seeing a return of this in a large amount was pretty satisfying for someone like me that loves dramatic series, especially ones centered around romance.
This series finally regained what it lacked within the middle parts of the show, mainly the “impact” quality I kept mentioning. This impact drove the show to have an ending that I never expected it to actually follow through with. The sole fact that this is how they decided to end the series is interesting in its own right, since tragic endings aren’t something I’ve seen done often enough within anime. Personally, I think it need to be done more, especially if solid endings like this are the result.
While the ending itself is pretty close to what we’ve already seen within episode 1, it hasn’t been unheard of for a series to have a tragic ending shown early on, only to be upstaged by a follow-up happier ending later on. That’s not to say that every anime has to end on a tragic note, or that any show that’s done this has made the worst possible ending, but the way it’s normally done can be problematic without proper explanations given, something which SukaSuka could have had trouble with if they decided to go a different route.
To me, this series made a good impression on myself solely based on the ending and beginning episodes alone, and I’m sure many others feel the same way. There’s so many good moments that give the series this mystical, dramatic feel. One example would be how it uses parallel phrasing to express the true feelings that Chtholly and Willem have for each other, all of it being backed by the nostalgic Scarborough Fair track that we heard in their first meeting.
There’s also this entire segment of everyone committing selfless acts for the ones they care, despite sometimes not even being able to carry out those actions without risking their own lives. Then there’s the beautiful music that’s playing in the background for all of these flashbacks of remembering the times that Chtholly and Willem spent together, ending the scene with Chtholly giving the final moments of her life for the person she loves. It’s truly a wonderful ending, and I wish we could have gotten more of this throughout the series as well, as I’m sure it would have been beautifully breath-taking as this ending was.
I probably could have a much better view for SukaSuka if the series has done this from the beginning, as to me, many of its middle parts were too muddled in the details for what it was trying to get across. It seemed to leave some room for a possible, yet unlikely second season, but as it stands for a single season, there’s still much to be desired as a whole in the realm concerning drama. That’s not to say that this series didn’t have its moments though, and when those moments happened, they made sure that we were going to remember them. I’ll probably never forget the first or last episodes, nor will I forget the awesome soundtrack that went along with them.
If this series has taught me anything, it’s to cherish any memories that you make, and despite all of the moments that didn’t work for me, I think this final episode, and the series itself, is something that I always will be glad to remember.