See? They do know each other
So this is the final episode for this series. I have to say before I start how wonderful it has been watching this and it is just a tad depressing to say goodbye to it already (seriously, three months passed by very fast in retrospect). But I can honestly say that this was also the finale I have been expecting and more. The final twist in the end was what made it that extra special and one could only hope for a second season (despite how the novel readers made disagree saying that this is such a different deviation from the original source, “blah blah”).
You have no idea how long it took me to get this screencap
Well, the episode started off with quite a bang. An epic car chase if I have ever seen one myself (sorry, I have yet to watch InitialD). For one thing, this episode is somewhat littered with minor, and I but emphasis on minor, “holes”. For one thing Yayoi looked good as new; I wondered just what kind of medicine Benika gave to her. Lin also shows more inhumane power as she smashes Benika’s car window as it passed her at high speed. Great timing + pure strength = Haxx.
Tsk..my expensive car
MMM snow drifting to the extreme
Meanwhile inside the house Shinkurou is already having a mind battle with Renjou with Renjou telling Shinkurou to leave but Shinkurou getting onto more serious matters concerning Murasaki. Renjou believes that Shinkurou is just being childish. He can’t defeat fate/destiny/adults [insert evil laughter]. But when Shinkurou tells Renjou that Murasaki doesn’t want to end up like her mother we see a glimpse of disbelief from him (though it isn’t rocket science that anyone wouldn’t want to any up like Souju).
“Just go home kid”
Though the discussion was cut short when Benika and her pursuer crashes into the house. Lin unfortunately lost out to Benika’s awesome driving skills and she falls into a pond. Yayoi wants round 3 of the fight while Benika and Shinkurou confront Ryuuji. Now here is the interesting part. When it comes to fighting styles it seems that there are clearly some that are able to kickass when it surprises the opponent, the Houzuki-ryuu is apparently one of them as Shinkurou and Yayoi manages to beat their opponents with relative ease and considering how strong they were before this could be seen as another minor hole.
Well, someone had to go
Come on bitch, round 3
But yea, they are defeated and Shinkurou is finally able to talk to Murasaki in peace or near peace if Ryuuji would just shut up. Well, Shinkurou asks what Murasaki truly wants and she tells him that she wants to leave. Renjou and Kazuko show up and another mind battle begins.
Now this is the part of the episode where it has to be watched to be fully enjoyed. Seriously, the voice acting was absolutely superb and only by watching and listening can you get a real feel for the characters. Renjou asks Murasaki what she intends to do and she replies that she wants to live freely and to fall in love. She wants to be like her mother who fell in love with her father. But the most surprising thing here is that Murasaki had no intention of leaving the house at all, just the inner sanctum. She explains that she is staying here because she is fighting rather than running away.
Renjou changes his tone and reminds Murasaki of the Kuhouin customs but Murasaki puts on a strong front. Renjou is clearly listening to Murasaki’s side of the story and perhaps some of her words have actually gotten through to him. But when he tries to put his hand on her, Shinkurou tackles him to the ground and demands that he acknowledges her. He tells Renjou that he will leave Murasaki here if only he allows her to do as she wishes. Renjou tells him that he can’t do that but Shinkurou asks what if he is really the head of the house.
Damn you! Just acknowledge her! (Not a reference to Code Geass by any means)
Benika stresses that if Murasaki ends up like Souju then so be it but if she doesn’t then she shouldn’t be force to be with Ryuuji. Also the mention of this being Souju’s last wish made Renjou back down from his stance and he seemingly agrees. The Ryuuji and Kazuko try to convince him not to listen to their words but I guess the right path for Renjou is so clear because he loved Souju.
In a fit of rage Ryuuji runs up and stabs Benika (twist number 1) which caused Shinkurou’s bone to eject out and he uses it to completely “give it to” Ryuuji (twist number 2). In fact during this scene I begin to think more about the use requirements of the horn and if it is actually fully under Shinkurou’s control, well, he certainly looked like he was under the control of the horn itself so that may also be another reason why he has been so reluctant to use it throughout the series.
Take note of Shinkurou’s eyes…he isn’t human or in control of himself
But as Shinkurou was about to kill Ryuuji, Benika holds him back (even with that wound). Renjou is surprised to see the Houzuki technique being used but all Shinkurou can say was that it is all Renjou’s fault that Murasaki is suffering. Murasaki stops the screaming and question Shinkurou’s state. Shinkurou explains that it is a weapon for him to become stronger but that was a mistake. Shinkurou tells Murasaki that he is weak and upon hearing that Murasaki also tells him that she is also but that is why she will stay here.
Renjou now asks Shinkurou once again why he is doing this. Shinkurou tells him that it is for himself and that he cannot leave such a poor child alone. Renjou seems to have accepted this and encourages Murasaki to continue fighting but to shinkurou that he is free to come back and take her away if she fails. The others are in shock but Renjou tells them that he is the head and that he will protect them. Murasaki tells Renjou that she will find her own way of living in the Kuhouin family just like her mother did.
Before shinkurou and the others leave we have a nice little scene between him and Murasaki. He gives her the scarf and the photograph. Murasaki goes through this sentimental phase and leaves Shinkurou with some encouraging words, which is totally amazing for a 7 year old and that is why I love murasaki so much. She says farewell to Shinkurou but he tells her that at times like these saying “laters” is better.
I’m losing a lot of blood here…
Don’t look at my private message
In the car Benika is moaning that in normal cases they would call the ambulance and Shinkurou is sending messages to his friends to tell them that he is coming home. Murasaki is now sitting on Renjou’s lap and they talk to each other about Souju. Shinkurou falls asleep in the car and dreams about himself and Murasaki walking along a path filled with purple flowers on either side.
Lovely ending scenes…
And wow, how is that for a finale?
I personally think that it was wonderful. “No” series can be completely perfect but this got pretty darn close. The closure itself left a lot to be thought about and whilst the possibility of a second season may not be at all high, I am still putting my hopes into it (this is such a cruel world to wish for something that you can see won’t be happening heh).
I though the ending was really quite something despite the minor holes like I say. Surprisingly they didn’t try to rush anything from what I can see. All the way to the end, this series continued to follow its own pace which I have grown to enjoy watching so much.
Overall series impressions
And here is the part where I give views on the series as a whole. Well where to start…
From a story point of view, this was undoubtedly for me the best series of the spring 2008 batch. It was mixed with a unique style of character interactions and slice of life together with a plot overall that takes you back to visit your own childhood. I guess it isn’t too clichéd now if I said that this series makes you feel nostalgic. Just by watching Murasaki herself going through a new life outside of the inner sanctum and learning new things really does make you feel the “good O’ times”. Indeed, it was just like how I grew up (the learning aspect of it anyway).
Though at times, the story of this series really pulls are your heart strings. Murasaki started of being viewed as a tragic character but it wasn’t until the later episode where it was really show how tragic, yet outside she was able to be her natural self which completely masked her traumatic experiences back at the inner sanctum. This is what leads me to believe that she is a very brave and strong individual, and don’t forget she is only 7 years old. That is one aspect of the series that I also loved. Despite her young age, Murasaki comes across being a lot more mature for her given age (though it is for some things more than others, she is still childish when it comes to wanting things or rather, stealing it from poor Chizuru chan).
But besides that I can actually see a real life case of Murasaki somewhere in this big world. Maybe no her case but definitely her maturity at a young age.
For shinkurou though, I have to stress that his part of the story wasn’t all that explored unfortunately. But considering the length of the series and the fact that Murasaki’s case was destined to take most of the spotlight then I can understand and praise that they did try to have Shinkurou’s past run at a parallel at best. But what I did want to see was more of his past being explored and how he came to be the “cold blooded killer” before meeting with Murasaki. But I can say that there were a lot of emotions from him being hinted throughout the series (and here is one thing, if he has more material to show then perhaps there is more chance of a second series?).
There have been a lot of concerns for Shinkurou’s character though, much more than Murasaki. From his performance in the final arc of the series I think a few of us has picked up that he was rather inconsistent with own character and this ended up being a flaw. Although in my case, his flaws are what make him like more of a real human in respect with the real world. Humans aren’t perfect and there are things they do wrong, make mistakes or change their mind a lot of times. I actually don’t view these flaws as an inconsistency but rather a reflection of what humans really are, flawed creatures.
Ah, I think that was hinted towards Shinkurou
Though the end remains clear to me, Shinkurou has a heart of gold but he is naïve. Well this is where growing up and learning through life experience comes in. I can say that he is a great character and it has been interesting to see how he has contributed to not only Murasaki’s growth, but to himself as well. The final scene with him in the final episode was touching…possibly the most touching scene coming from Shinkurou (whereas Murasaki had countless scenes).
As for the supporting cast, there are also something that can be expanded on with the help of a second series (*hint**hint*). But because this series was so heavily focused on Murasaki and Shinkurou’s development it was quite a shame to see that there was little that was focused on Ginko and Yuuno and the potential love fight that I can see. Romance for this series was really something overlooked because it isn’t the primary genre but it was interesting to see what we have so far and I just hope that they might carry on with it.
But here is some good news, I have been reading the manga since the series started and it is to note that there is a clear distinction between the anime and the manga. The anime is somewhat a prequel to the manga in fact and that the manga is set with events after Murasaki’s case had been solved (or so it is heavily hinted). Second series material! (Aren’t I being hopeful? ). But the romance war is so much clearing the manga I am also glad to say.
How can I forget this scene
Yuuno is an interesting character. From the episode that we got of her it was revealed that she doesn’t view herself as pure as what the viewers think. In fact she believes that she is from a family of cold blooded killers and she is also like that herself. I think that has something to do with their family fighting style (yes, brutal) and that the horn came from them. Though yet, I seem to think that she is another tragic character who is bounded by fate. Shinkurou is needed here to make her come to terms with who she really is (plus the usual blah blah I like you for who you really are blah).
Ye, ye you ice queen -____-
Ginko on the other hand is a seriously overlooked character in this series. We did get some hints of her knowing Shinkurou for a long time and this was confirmed with the flashback of a seemingly different Ginko from now. But other than that I just wish that they did expand on her a little more than being the cold tsun(none existent dere) type of person.
The series was clearly split into two sections though. This was because of how the plot seemingly kicked in out of nowhere but not to sudden as to not have a proper lead up. It actually started during the episode where Tamaki carelessly allowed Murasaki’s location to be revealed to a spy. But after than I saw the plot come in at full swing as we finally get some direction on this series. I personally don’t know what problems this has caused but the latter half of the series was seen as lesser compared to the first half though I suspect that it may have been because the inconsistencies began during this phase and that we can actually predict to some extent what was coming less, which ultimately takes away some of the fun (which I agree as I totally loved the first part of the series for its unpredictable plot).
But what is clear to me is that this series is more or less perfect. I mean it was great all around. The characters, voice acting, theme, mood, story, development…and the list go on. There is just something that makes this series stand out for me from the rest and it firmly distinguishes itself from the pack of randomness (thank god Kurenai was here to counter act the negative energies that is Kanokon for me).
Pit falls are undeniable for any series but this one manages to keep that to a minimum and remain fresh throughout as I did wonder where such a none existent (until the latter half that is) plot could lead us and from soap drama to important life lessons, I feel that this series was worth every bit of my time and it has made me remember all the good times during my childhood and growing up.
And there is one word left for me to say which is: