After a quarter of the series, the separated sides reconvene and look toward their future together.
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Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Most of this episode is about Mahiro and Yoshino joining back up after a quarter of the series apart. This is a big deal; after all, they spent the entire first half of the series together yet haven’t seen each other for all this time. At least some of the others from each side have been talking now and then. But before any of that, Hakaze meets up with Samon and crew and they discuss some of their respective theories and opinions on various matters. It’s mostly more of what we’ve been seeing and hearing for a while, but one comment I found particularly interesting was a simple one that speaks to more universal ideas, at least for storytelling than simply the constructs of this specific story. Hakaze and Evangeline have a discussion regarding the possibility of portraying the Trees as some sort of alien technology, and question the segregation of “magic” and “science”, as the magic they’re familiar with could very well be just as easily explained by science if humans had reached that point of understanding yet. While the real world doesn’t experience phenomena that most would consider magic, certain things that can now be explained and created by science would seem magical to people from previous generations.
The real meat of the episode does occur when Mahiro and Yoshino come across each other while each visiting Aika’s grave, though. I have my fair share of problems with each of these characters, but they’ve each grown to have some endearing qualities by this point (probably Yoshino more than Mahiro), and many of the moments central to their reunion are very nicely done, if for no reason but that they’re finally willing to let out the thoughts they’ve been keeping from each other their entire lives, something that has been somewhat annoying to watch.
The Shakespeare references have been shifting from vague concepts to very solid parallels throughout the series, and this episode brings that to a new level, when Hamlet is once again referenced and it’s brought to attention that their situation is almost identical. I had my complaints when they were doing this earlier (which I think I can still stand by, because they started them a bit too aggressively considering how little we understood about the connection by that point), but I think they’ve worked their way into the story quite nicely by now, and it’s almost certain that the big question of which Shakespeare work the story at hand will follow after will be a major focus of the finale.
The full reunion of the cast, especially with Mahiro and Yoshino finally having the conversation they should’ve had long, long ago brings forth a nice movement in the progression of the series, and a bit of a catharsis, although on a slightly different level than the previous episode. In some ways, this wraps up one part of the series, but it’s also important that it sets up the future. We’re clearly looking toward the home stretch, so this next chunk of episodes which will obviously already be exciting already, but the end of this episode gives the impression that the disbelief suspension required early on will come into play again very soon.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Toshiba Satellite L655-S5191 PSK2CU-1C301U Notebook PC.