When your dog is missing, just remember that it probably knows the way home better than you do.
What They Say:
Yonomori Kobeni is a high school student who leads a pretty normal life… and then the day of her 16th birthday arrives. Despite having very little presence, her fiance, Mitsumine Hakuya shows up suddenly along with her sister-in-law, a little girl named Mitsumine Mashiro. Without any prior explanation, they begin their peculiar life together. Kobeni’s older sister, Yonomori Benio, who has has a sister complex and is a bit of a pervert is thrown into the mix and things get even weirder. Kobeni’s life is no longer normal.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Our finale begins with the follow-up to the cliffhanger from the penultimate episode: Hakuya and Mashiro have disappeared! How will Kobeni deal with this happening out of the blue, especially with her only communication being a message from Hakuya that implies they’ll never see each other again? She has to go brave the snowy mountains to track them down on her own, of course! Something about that determination to go track down loved ones, even in the face of the dangerous wilderness that a city girl in a cute slice of life show wouldn’t normally have to think about, can manage to strike a chord when contrasted against a story of simple fun and minute romantic advancements. I’m a big proponent of using insert songs to make critical scenes that much more impactful, and this scene provides a successful blend of this with effectively emotional voiceover and nice shots of scenery throughout the journey.
Of course, this is actually all setup for a punch line, as there was never really a crisis, and there’s a succession of further misunderstanding humor, because this show just couldn’t manage an episode or plot point without some of that. This is the finale, though, so it’s not as if everything could just work out and go back to normal this early in. As it turns out, born-to-be-housewife Kobeni (a trope that I really wish was less sexist than it is) doesn’t do so well in the mountains during a blizzard, and between the physical toll and the guilt she already feels about everything that’s gone on, she’s not in a right state of mind to sit still when she’s left alone. This provides opportunity for Hakuya to step in and be her hero, leading to a pretty well-scripted series of events that comes the closest to being poignant this show could hope for.
In the climax of all this we get a much more literal cliffhanger, and while it feels a bit contrived, it works for the story that’s played out up to this point, and given the nature of what several of the major characters are, it’s managed to stay relatively grounded throughout its more threatening parts. The animation in this series has always been decent but unspectacular, but these moments allow for much more active and fluid animation. There’s some minor loss of detail during this, but it doesn’t take away from the effect, and potentially even enhances it stylistically. While the music hasn’t generally been anything special either, I also noticed that adding to the atmosphere of the scene.
After getting as romantic as this it was ever going to (despite being about engagement), it doesn’t end on a serious note, and Benio rushes in to ensure that she can show off her sister complex as usual. It’s the same as always, but she hasn’t been too important lately, so she gets a pass. Ultimately, the point is for everything to return to normal for the next year, and that fits the mood better than anything else would.
This series has been very consistent. I was certainly hoping it would get better than it did, but I had no reason to expect it to, and honestly, for the kind of story it was telling, I’m impressed that it managed to stay at least as good with each episode. Shimo clearly didn’t have the most amazing story to bring forward here, but he did plot it out very well for what it was, which is all I can ask for.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Toshiba Satellite L655-S5191 PSK2CU-1C301U Notebook PC.