A Channel Eps10-12 [END]

This ended up being the last of all my backlogged list because, in the end, I liked it the least. (Well, other than AnoHana, but that I do on a weekly basis, so...) I'm very happy that this anime finished; I think any more and it would have begun feeling like a chore (as if it doesn't already...).

If I liked Tooru before... *heart*

This batch incorporated the end of the series, although there was nothing special done about it (expectedly). There was a lot of focus on Tooru in these three episodes, but most likely because the final "plot point" of her being lonely was "explored" in eps11-12. Ep10 had her getting a cat, while ep11 provided some flashbacks to a few years prior along along with Tooru's birthday (in modern day) and ep12 was essentially a relaxed day at school (and then out for dinner). Tooru felt as lonely as ever; with no specific resolution at the end of ep12, I don't know why they would bother to show more of it specifically in ep11. With the series having drawn to a close, I really have no strong feelings.

It's on!

Ep10 had the theme of snow - as in, it was wintertime. The first half of the episode was devoted to Tooru's new cat. I had thought that the cat that was playing with the ice with her would have been of some importance, but it basically only led her to the white cat...and then disappeared. I feel ripped off. I'm a super cat person, so it didn't take too long to adjust to the new one, but still...

Like that dog-in-purse fad...except cuter.

I can't say much happened in the first half; it went by pretty slowly (even more so than usual). A scene with Nagi and Run, wherein they degenerated into yelling out strange foreign-sounding names to each other, led into an evening at Tooru's house, where they got to meet the cat. I still don't have confirmation if that was Tooru's mother that owned the convenience shop or not; it's still a mystery why people in the shopping district are so nice to her. Even though this half was so slow, I liked it. I love cats and this one was so unrealistically cute.

I got terrible Umineko no Naku Koro Ni flashbacks.

The second half was about an evening spent playing in the snow outside the school. It brought back memories of when I had been in middle school and a snow day was lots of fun. The concept of Nagi hanging out in an igloo for warmth was interesting; I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did! After the insert song while they played with the snow some more, it turned out that everyone except Nagi had gotten sick. So, while Tooru got to snuggle with her cat (I want...), Nagi had to brave the cold and shovel snow. Ha-ha~ Maybe you should have spent less time in the igloo~

That aura means business.

Ep11 had a plot point that was kind of Tooru-centred, but in the end the episode ended up really being about Run. After a cryptic dream about Run leaving her began the episode, Tooru joined her friends to begin talk about her upcoming birthday. One thing led to another and the flashback to how Run got into the school began. It was a pretty interesting story; Run had decided to go to a certain high school based on her academic level (mediocre?) and even her mother was okay with it - until she heard that Tooru would be following Run wherever she went. In a sudden (and touching) about-face, Run's mother bribed her into trying for a better high school under the pretence that the future would be open to her (but quite obviously because she didn't want Tooru's skills to be wasted).

How much time does she spend brushing that that would be a good idea?

The flashback was the better part of the episode, since it did provide some funny scenes. The idea that Run would have to go to cram school and, on top of that, be tutored by Tooru was amusing. I do seriously question Run's studying practices, though; most of what she did seemed to be counter-productive. (Or maybe I just don't have a very good grasp on how studying in Japan works...) I liked the idea that Run had met both Nagi and Yuuko at her entrance exams (although she didn't really interact with the former); it's a pretty over-used cliche, but sometimes fun nonetheless.

I think everything's white at that point.

The second half of the episode was regarding some cake that Run brought to school in honour of Tooru's upcoming birthday. The group had their typical fun eating the cake, making fun of each other, and then Tooru had a small scene with a classmate. A large portion of the episode (a few minutes) was spent with the four just running down the sidewalk to an insert song. I really hate those. It's not bad to have songs in the background, but I feel it doesn't work when the foreground isn't interesting (and it usually isn't in A Channel). The episode ended with the same ominous feeling as the opening; with the entrance exams for university coming up the next year for Run, Tooru realized that she was feeling left behind again.

How did the cat (and the girl) come down in the end?

The first half of ep12 was a lot of random short scenes. Tooru began the episode with a sad dream that made her cry (at least she now has a kitten to hold), and then the next few scenes were just thrown together. Nagi and Yuuko discussed a book (Yuuko spoiling it reminded me of the time I accidentally told a friend that L died in Death Note without knowing he hadn't gotten there yet; it happens), then Run copied Nagi's homework. The scene shifted to Tooru's classroom, where her homework was also being copied. There was also a scene with the teachers (and Nagi) about remembering names. All in all, it wasn't all so memorable.

This anime is so covertly shoujo-ai.

The second half of the episode was much less disjunct, with the group heading to a fast food place after school to try a limited-edition burger. The story with Yuuko wanting to collect points cards in order to get a plush key chain was cute (Yuuko herself is pretty cute, isn't she?), although I sincerely question if people in Japan just given others cards like that. I've never tried. The other side characters were seen in relation to the restaurant, although none of them decided to come in (to give the group their time together).

How does that spaceship fit her?!

It's not in this anime's nature to do a big send-off, but the dream that Tooru had didn't really make too much sense. In a way, it really made light of her feelings of being left behind. After she imagined that Run, the alien, was flying away, she woke up and was dropped off at her house. However, feeling pretty sad, she decided to go out to get some sweets - and Run was waiting for her outside. They "made up". That didn't solve anything, though. How strange. After the insert song, Tooru seemed happier, so...?

...I'd probably be jealous of a cat too...

So, this anime comes to a pretty calm and placid close. There was a mini-arc built up in the final two episodes, although it never really got resolved. I wouldn't have minded if I didn't feel so shafted; if they were going to go to the effort to talk about Tooru's loneliness, then they should have resolved it better than her just "coming to". I'm pretty disappointed. Watching these episodes was really pretty difficult, with very little gratification at the end.