Miken: I’ll admit right here and right now that I was crying for a good portion of the episode…which is quite a feat given my natural leaning towards “tsun”. From start till end, there was always something there that touched me. From Yuuki’s spirit helping Mirai return home, to Mirai’s reunion with her mother, and all the way to Mirai’s decision to move forward despite the pain she still feels in her heart. Even little things like Mirai’s mother cooking breakfast for 4 got to me. T_T
Thinking back now, Mirai and Yuuki’s names are really relevant to their personalities and actions. Yuuki was Mirai’s “courage”, though she doesn’t notice till she’s lost track of him or later, when he dies. Yuuki displayed his own courage as he continued towards home despite his own worsening condition, which he hid, just to ensure his sister made it back. Then, by the end of the final episode, Mirai’s name becomes more meaningful as she moves on despite still feeling the pain within her heart because Yuuki is watching her.
Also, though I regret not seeing Mirai and Mari remaining close, it does sound like something that would happen. Sure, they obviously still keep in contact, but they both head down their own paths with their families. Even though there was just so much bonding on the way home that made me feel like they were meant to say together, the series gives us the sad truth that we must go our own ways despite surmounting what seems like an impossible task together.
This series really couldn’t have ended without fountains of tears, now that I look back, especially on the past few episodes. I’m glad Bones pulled it off gracefully — this is definitely one of the best of the ten or so series I watched throughout the Summer season (though half were holdovers from Spring). I believe that they can continue to make such good series as this one, and they’ve already accumulated a track record worthy of praise. Speaking of Bones…now that I’ve caught up on Darker than Black and am anxiously awaiting the sequel, I think they now have a full-blown fangirl in me. Sure, I don’t like them as much as Production I.G. yet, but they’re getting there.
For all my praise, though, this series wasn’t perfect. Then again, it did do its best to convey the loss Mirai felt when Yuuki died as well as the journey home. While not as fantastical as stories of far-off lands, it did what it did well in a realistic environment. Sure, Yuuki’s ghost did feel sort of out of place in a series claiming realism, but it worked out in the end, with his continued appearance despite his passing placing even greater emphasis on Mirai’s sense of loss.
Episode Rating? 9.8/10
Final Verdict? 9.5/10
In the end, I would definitely say this is a series I’d recommend my friends…and maybe a few of the weeaboos at my school’s anime club. It takes a certain amount of openness and a soft spot in one’s heart, but it’s definitely worth it.
[Also: I am late late late. In my defense, I wrote this up right after the premiere of the final episode, but I didn't get to editing out all my typos and making myself clearer till now thanks to schoolwork and college apps]