I hope that everyone is having a good Sunday.
Things have been going pretty well, especially since I can finally sit and watch something relaxing.
As many of you know, I have been following two shows during the summer and both are drawing to a close.
Today, I will be reviewing the final episode of the other show, which is Orange episode 13.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
Valentine’s Day is around the corner and Kakeru and Naho have not had a proper conversation, which worries her and her friends.
Now, the friends must act before the worst possible outcome comes to pass.
While this series has been relatively decent, even meeting many of the things that I expect in a good series, I cannot really say this one has impressed me too much.
Fortunately, there are a few things that I liked, so I do not need to skip right into what I hated.
I liked how Kakeru continued avoiding Naho, even though they had supposedly made up in the previous episode.
As I stated in my review of that episode, when two people get into a major argument, a lot of things can happen, but the two parties usually do not end up resolving entirely right then and there.
In the case of this episode, Kakeru was still blaming himself for hurting Naho, and, going by how things went in the previous episode, this is exactly how I expect Kakeru to act.
After all, if making up on the spot after a huge argument does not make much sense, it would have made even less sense if Kakeru and Naho were all chummy in this episode, because it was obvious that things were not entirely resolved.
Thankfully, TMS did not go that route, and kept up a somewhat decent pacing with how things went.
Good job, TMS. This is exactly I how I expect a well-handled series to be and you delivered.
While I cannot really say that I would get this series on Blu Ray, DVD, or iTunes, like they would want me to do, I do think that TMS does deserve some praise for keeping things consistent in this category.
I also liked how Naho actually asked why Kakeru has been avoiding her, in spite of the fact that she thought that things between her and Kakeru were back to normal.
Now, there might be some of you guys saying that Kakeru was a wimp for avoiding, but he felt like he had hurt her, and, as I said in my review of episode 11, what the traditional views of how society says men should act causes them to be emotionally weaker than females, though this is not necessarily guaranteed at a rate of 100% because there are many factors involved in human development.
Besides, it does take us a while to notice when we hurt the people we care about, and even to resolve things.
The reason that I liked this so much was because Naho did not assume that she knew who Kakeru was, or even jump to conclusions.
As should be obvious from many of my reviews, I have a huge interest in the detective, mystery, and crime fiction genres, and throughout the many titles I have read in those genres, I noticed that there are two mistakes that everyone makes that may result in an early grave. Those mistaking are overlooking the obvious and making assumptions based on very little information.
In my life, I have had problems dealing with other people because people, such as the church that I affiliate with, tends to think that everyone who does not the mold needs to come out of their shell, and I have even been asked by that one friend I mentioned a few times why I was so shy and if I have always been that way.
Even though those people might mean well and may be genuinely concerned, thinking like that does not make the person feel like they are accepted for who they are and might lead them to thinking that there is something wrong with them.
On the other hand, when I notice something strange about somebody around me, I know that there are many reasons that the person could be acting that way, though sometimes I can narrow it down to only two or three possibilities, and I asked them if they are all right so that I can weed out those possibilities and ask other questions to gain more details, as if I were trying to fix a problem with a computer.
Likewise, the way Naho asked Kakeru why he was avoiding her showed that she did not have any precise idea of why Kakeru avoiding her and showed that she genuinely cared about him, as well as was willing to accept him for who he was.
Yes, Naho had her own idea of a possibility of why Kakeru was avoiding her, but she was not certain about it, so she did not say what she thought the problem was outright.
This is how we would approach things in a perfect society and we would have far less problems, if not zero problems, than we do today, because we would be doubting ourselves and others enough to not fall into the state of apathy that is currently ruining the both country I live in and I the church I attend, making it so that we could genuinely feel closer to one another.
Unfortunately, our society is not perfect and any solution we come up with to fix a problem will not always work, so all I can do is hope that we can one day learn to wait and gather more information before we make assumptions about things that we perceive as problems.
As much as I want to give TMS full credit for putting this in, I cannot, because when I looked up some online scans of the scenes in the manga, I noticed that Ichigo Takano included them there too practically panel for panel, so I will give each one partial credit, though is something about this episode that want me to give more credit to Ichigo.
Still, that does not mean that TMS does not deserve a lot of praise for doing this, especially because A-1 Pictures did not give a very good explanation of why Satoru found himself in a hospital in the penultimate episode of Boku Dake ga Inai Machi.
Another thing that I liked was how I hardly found myself laughing, if at all.
While this would be a massive problem for a series known for its comedic moments, like D-Frag! and Baka & Test, this is what I expect to see from a series like this, which covers topics like depression, suicide, and shows how people react to sudden deaths.
After all, I doubt people would really want others be laughing about things like clinical depression or the how somebody they really cared about died.
Now, there were no deaths in this episode, but things became very serious at this point, and the whole atmosphere was screaming that this was series, so if TMS did something like 8bit did in Rewrite episode 10, I would have hated this episode more than I do.
Seeing as they did not do that, I have to give TMS a big round of applause, because they seem to know when things should be serious and when comedic moments would not ruin things.
Hopefully, they can keep this up in the titles that they produce in the future, because they have done great work in what I have seen so far.
The thing that I liked the most though was how it really felt like Naho and her friends succeeded in their goal.
Now, like the case of the Tree Diagram Remnant arc in A Certain Magical Index II, the way this presented was not exactly perfect, as I will talk about later, but when Naho and her friends found Kakeru, we got to see Kakeru’s memories, as he was saying how he realized he would not have been able to be with his friends if he did die, and the five friends did not somehow show up in the nick of time.
This showed me that Kakeru realized how happy he was when he was with Naho’s group and made things somewhat satisfying towards the end.
After all, they had done so much for him, and if he went through with the suicide, everything they went through for him would have been utterly pointless.
As for the friend not arriving in the nick of time, that made things way more dramatic, as I was wondering whether or not Kakeru was alive.
This alone made me want to continue watching the episode all the way to the end, because it was still up in the air as to whether or not Naho and friends succeeded, and TMS did not even hint once than Kakeru was alive until just right moment.
This is what I expect from a studio that has been producing anime for a while and TMS delivered. Good job, TMS.
While I cannot say that I will support all of the work that TMS produces after this one, I will say that the way they handled things here really makes me consider checking out a few more their titles, which is enough of a sign that they are good at what they do.
Here is to hoping that they can create more great titles.
Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked.
Because Kakeru continued avoiding Naho, like he should have, and Naho actually showed that she was concerned for Kakeru and that there was no unnecessary comedy, as well as the fact that end kind of felt like a great victory, made this a fairly good finale.
Although I liked a few things about this episode, there are some issues.
However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, there was only one thing that really bugged me.
I did not feel any kind of emotion, not even the feeling of satisfaction.
While I was not expecting things to be as emotionally powerful as how the manga ended, TMS has done a good job of making me feel something in quite a few episodes, and I was expecting to feel as happy as Naho’s group was when they succeeded.
I got a feeling of happiness when Edward Elric told Truth that he knew that he was limited in what he could do, even with the power of alchemy, when he decided to sacrifice his ability to perform alchemy to bring back Alphonse Elric, and felt very satisfied with how things turned out after that in the FMA manga.
In Pandora Hearts, I got a feeling of happiness and satisfication when Oz succeeded in his goal to return the abyss to the way it once was and then reuniting with Gilbert and Alice.
Neither one of those series were always so serious, in spite of the fact that there were serious moments, and I was able to feel something.
With the kind of story that has presented in this series, I was expecting TMS to be able to deliver something powerful, but they failed.
The best example of where they failed to deliver on the emotional feels was towards the end.
Yes, I did say that TMS did a pretty good job in handling things towards the end, but I also said that things were not exactly perfect.
When Naho and her friends went and discovered that Kakeru was alive, I wanted to cry tears of happiness, but I just did not really feel like doing so, like I did when Tomoya finally talked to his father after deciding to take care of Ushio in Clannad After Story.
If I had to say why, it was because of two things.
First, this episode felt like it was a little rushed.
Even though it covered most of the events of the final few chapters of the manga and was almost the length of an hour-long episode, things just went from a good resolution to the argument that Naho and Kakeru had all the way to the point where Kakeru commits suicide.
True, Kakeru attempted suicide quite soon after Naho gave him chocolate in the manga, but things did not seem to feel as rushed there as it was here.
TMS really should have slowed things down towards the end of the series, because I think that is what really helped to make me feel like crying when I went through these events in online scans.
After all, even though an adaptation may be fairly accurate panel for panel, it does not mean that people will get the same emotional feels that the original source is able to deliver.
As perfect as I have made TMS out to be so far, it looks like they took quite a stumble here, but I have little doubt that they can bounce back, because they have quite a few enjoyable titles, so I kind of look forward to seeing if they do better than this.
The other thing that prevent me from getting the emotional feels that I got from the online scans of the manga that I could find is that the subtitles and the scenes themselves did not convey the emotions that were needed.
Like many writers out there, I keep wondering whether or not I should use profanity in my stories, because my elders keep on saying that it shows you cannot express yourself quite well.
However, many professional writers and avid readers agree that when profanity is not used excessively, profanity does add emotional weight to a work.
In this episode, when Kakeru thinks that what he attempted to do hurt the friends that cared about him, Suwa reprimanded him, saying, “It is your fault. I swear, if you die, I’ll never forgive you.”
Now, reading it might seem to give off quite a good emotional feel in of itself, but when he said this, TMS had Suwa appear calm and composed, when he was supposed to be angry.
Really, TMS? These guys went through quite a lot to make sure that Kakeru did not die on them, and you do not let the characters express these feelings?
What happened to the moments like Harley Hartwell chastising the criminal, which happened in episode 118 (Japanese count) of Detective Conan?
In events like that, you let the characters vent and show some actual emotion, but not here.
In the manga, I get much more emotion of the characters, because Suwa is obvious upset and crying, while he says, “It is your fault! So I swear to God, if you die, I’ll never forgive you!”
Yes, this translation may be as inaccurate as the subs on Crunchyroll, if one were to compared this episode with the actually Japanese volumes, but Ichigo Takano is allowing her characters to express real emotion, which made me feel like crying tears of joy when the ordeal was over and it was established that Naho and her friends.
This is why it is important for emotional feels to exist series.
Please, TMS, go back to the days when you could bring out the maximum potential of emotional scenes, like you could Detective Conan.
If you cannot do that, this may be the beginning of your downward spiral, and I would be really disappointed, because there were some good emotional feelings in a few other episodes of this series.
Hopefully, they will learn from their mistakes here, because I do not want them to lose their edge, but I have to also accept the possibility that this will be the beginning of the end for TMS.
While there was only major thing wrong with the episode, with a few contributing factors, it was not bad enough to make this series one of the worst anime ever, since it only really affected this episode.
Despite the fact that I could not get the emotional feels that I wanted from this episode, the good balanced things out enough to make this worth watching.
I only recommend this to fans of the Orange anime, as they will be able to enjoy this the most and this is the last episode.
What are your thoughts on Orange episode 13? Did you like it, hate it, or fine it okay? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned? Feel free to comment.