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Old 03-27-2016, 02:32 AM   #76
Doppleganger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanturn View Post
I'm fairly sure you were misinformed Doppel, because I went and read through and...
Spoiler: show


When I first read this scene, the "middle school acceptance" and "high school graduation" texts weren't translated. So I had to speculate beyond "look at what I did" and "look at this!".
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:38 AM   #77
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:39 AM   #78
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Episode 11:

Spoiler: show
I'm two weeks late to the party with this post, and nearly a full week late to the party for Episode 12 -- which I still haven't seen -- but like the old saying goes, "Better late than never!" I've had a hard time writing my post for Episode 11 for a number of reasons. I've gotten back to playing ORAS recently, which has seen a lot of my free time diverted over there. Then there have also been some podcasts I've been listening to. And work has been demanding of my time as well.

But I've also had a hard time motivating myself to sit down and write this post because ... well ... BokuMachi Episode 11 was the first episode of this series I haven't liked. And I didn't just not like it:

I disliked it.

I didn't hate it overall, though there were many elements to it that I did hate. But if I had been feeling that the series was a 9 out of 10 with the conclusion of Episode 10, Episode 11 was my first 4/10 in a series that had never known worse than a 7/10. (I'd say the series overall sits at an 8/10 right now in honor of its past achievements, but I'm feeling more like a 6 or a 7 at this point emotionally. :\) I don't like to rag on anime, especially since there are loads of examples where in the past when I have done this I have influenced others' perception of the stories as well and ... while I value honesty and enjoy frank discussion, I don't like ruining for people the things that they enjoy, and that's certainly not my aim whenever I rant about an episode or a series.

Now that BokuMachi is "old" in Internet time, and you guys have already finished the series and cemented your feelings about how good or bad it was, I feel like I can go into why I hated this episode without any reservations about coloring your impressions.

I still don't want to write it. But okay ... let's hop to it ...


One of my biggest frustrations with this episode is just how shitty the alternate future is. We've saved three lives and restored Yuuki's quality of life to him, but at the cost of Satoru's quality of life in this new world as well as his mother's. A friend of mine told me off for what I'm about to say. You might too. But it doesn't change how I feel about the situation:

I feel like Sachiko's life is shit in the new timeline.

He said, "Who are you to judge!?" and started quipping about how to her this is an easy decision, a wortwhile trade-off, so on and so forth. But it doesn't change the fact for me that in the original timeline she was a retired TV anchor who was enjoying early retirement, was financially well off enough to come visit her son in faraway Tokyo, etc. ... and in the new timeline is a friggin' convenience store clerk making near minimum wage and having to exchange one job for another every night she comes home. "At work, I have to take care of customers. At home, I have to take care of Satoru." He shits the bed. He stains the bed sheets with his sweat. He's fucking heavy. Yes, he's her son, and yes, she loves him and prays every day he'll come back to her ... but from her own POV, the Satoru she's going to get back is going to have the mind and life experiences of a 10-year old (she doesn't know what we know) and she doesn't even have any guarantee that he'll ever wake up again. She can't go on dates ... she can't have a nightlife ... she makes pennies on the dollar and has to reinvest all of them into Satoru. It just sucks. It just plain sucks. I feel so sorry for her, and ... I mean, this is not a fate that you would wish on anyone IRL. You don't go around saying "GUッ ENDO! " when somebody informs you that their dad had a stroke and they have to quit their job to stay at home and take care of him from now on. You routinely hear the horrible stories about how people are torn between their love of who he/she used to be and of wishing for Death to come and take him/her away so that they the caretaker can have a normal life back. It's sick, gut-knotting stuff like that that we hear all the time with these cases. We don't look at this outcome and go, "Man, what a happy ending! " It's awful. D: It's just plain awful.

And this is the future Satoru bought for his mother. My friend chastised me for saying this, but in some ways I honestly feel --

It's a fate worse than death.


Then we have Kayo. Oh dear sweet Kayo ...

This was easily my No.1 least favorite development of the entire story. Those of you who have been following my posts for the past few months could probably see it coming from a mile away that I was not going to be happy with the sinking of the S.S. SatoKayo. But even if Sanbe Kei torpedoed the ship I've been shipping since Episode 02, that didn't have to mean I would hate what he came up with. After all, we understood that SatoKayo had a massive hurdle to overcome to avoid being creepy Genji wife-rearing shit. And we discussed how one possibility was to just walk off the race course entirely, not even worry about the hurdle, just ... leave the track and not go for SatoKayo. Fine. I can live with that. (Maybe. )

... But he doesn't just do that. He ... he pairs Kayo up with Hiromi of all people. Frickin' Hiromi. And it's like, no! No. I refuse to accept this. Bad ending. BAD ENDING.

First off, I can't stand how contrived it is. "These two kids were both dead in the original timeline. So now that they're both alive, it only makes sense to pair them off together!" It feels way too artificial, way too scripted. I hate it.

Second, I thought Kayo moved away! WHY HIROMI!? I know that in the manga Kayo comes back soon after moving. (It's one of the very last manga spoilers I do know, and I found it out some time shortly before watching this episode.) But in the anime, there's no evidence of this. And why would she come back anyway!? That was one of the changes to the plot I felt the anime did right. It makes a lot more sense for Kayo to move away permanently after being taken into Child Protective Services than to move right back to town only a couple of weeks later and to return to being a classmate of the kids'. So in the anime, we have a Kayo who moves away and presumably never moves back until she's well in her teens ... why oh why oh why would she pair up with Hiromi!? It boggles the mind. Her childhood crushes were Satoru (comatose) and Kenya (questionable; also available). If she's going to pair off with anyone you'd think it'd be Kenya. Then, more likely, we'd expect Kayo to pair off with NONE of her childhood acquaintances. HAVE YOU!? Some people do, sure, but good lord is it rare outside of tiny village cultures! The odds are simply immense that she'd pair off with some dude she met at college or at work. And why should that be Hiromi either? So contrived if it were ...

Third, I hate the contrivance of pairing all of your named characters off with other named characters. This is slightly different from the previous two paragraphs, so let me be clear by way of example: I fucking hate the last chapter of the Harry Potter series. Fucking ... HATE it. It's so stupid. -_-; "LET'S PAIR DRACO OFF WITH PANSY PARKINSON 'CAUSE YEAH THAT MAKES SENSE! LET'S PAIR LUNA OFF WITH THIS OTHER NAMED CHARACTER! LET'S PAIR THIS OTHER NAMED CHARACTER OFF WITH THIS OTHER NAMED CHARACTER!" I just can't stand shit like that. It's so contrived and it reeks of such unreality.


And then we have this. See, you could say, "But Talon! SatoKayo was just in your head this entire time! Satoru never felt about her that way!" But a, you know that's horseshit from the Kayo side of the equation. And b ... LOOK AT THOSE TEARS! Torrents of TORRENTS OF TEARS streaming down his face when Satoru sees Kayo's made it to the 21st century. Where were those tears for Hiromi, huh!? Where were those tears for Mom? Don't give me this garbage of, "Oh, well, he wouldn't cry like that for Hiromi 'cause ..." / "He wouldn't cry like that for Sachiko 'cause ..." At the end of the day this is proof positive that Kayo means more to Satoru than just another friend.

And honestly, I hate the author for leaving this in there. 'Cause if he wanted to go with the sinking of the S.S. SatoKayo, then like I said, that's fine ... but do it properly. Don't be leaving behind these SatoKayo breadcrumb trails even in the final episodes. It makes absolutely no sense. If you're gonna sink the ship, don't go having Satoru weep and weep and weep upon seeing an adult Kayo but do nothing comparable for any of the other survivors whose lives he helped save.


Let's rewind to Yashiro, shall we? I thought the opening scene to the episode did a good enough job of establishing what a sick fuck he is. But I found it disturbing (particularly the wine/sake bottle scene), which is of course the point but also means I didn't enjoy it since no one likes being disturbed. And I thought it was rushed, which makes sense given we only had two episodes left of air time but still sucks.


I liked that they confirmed that Yashiro has a superpower just like Satoru does. I like that their powers are different (though I could've been okay with them being the same too, I suppose), and I thought the nature of Yashiro's power was interesting and befitting. I don't know if the symbolism is intended or not, but Yashiro's power manifesting as spidersilk suggests spiders vs. Satoru's power manifesting with the sudden appearance of blue moths suggests bugs -- and bugs get caught in the spider's web, see. It's interesting. Even though we want Satoru to win, the moth is naturally at a disadvantage against the spider. So it creates dramatic tension as we watch with baited breath to see how Satoru will outmaneuver the spider.

My friend at lunch disagrees with me. He thinks the spidersilk is all in Yashiro's head, that it's either a) metaphorical and Yashiro's being poetic or else it's b) literally seen by Yashiro but not literally there, i.e. Yashiro's psychotic and is hallucinating when he sees these things. (Sort of like psychotic killers who say that they saw marks on their victims which told them to kill those people.) He refused to see it my way, and I refuse to see it his way. I feel like the episode could not have been clearer about Yashiro having a power of his own aside from outright stating the fact in words, "Yashiro Gaku alias Nishizono Manabu has a superpower in which he can see spidersilk attached to the heads of the people who he's to kill if he doesn't want to get caught by the authorities." What about you? Do you think Yashiro sees the spidersilk or is it poetry? And if he does see it, do you think he's just a crazy serial killer seeing markings or do you think this really is the manifestation of a superpower similar to Satoru's Revival ability?


When Kayo's baby touches hands with Satoru, and then we see a change come over the baby, I thought that this was the author's way of hinting that Kayo's baby might be our third entity with a superpower. What that power is, who can say. My friend thinks I'm barking up the way wrong tree. Whatever.


I also thought it was really, really obvious that Kumi-chan, the chemo patient in the hospital who Satoru bonds with during rehab, is related to Airi. So much so, in fact, that when we first saw her I first mistook her for Airi. Thought it was Airi three years younger (and they were driving the point home by really accentuating the animation differences between a child and a young adult). It wasn't until she revealed her name was Kumi and that she had an "older sister" who was going to give her bone marrow that I was like, "Ahhhhhhh ... " and adapted the theory to be that Kumi is Airi's little sister and that that's why they look so similar.

Again, my luncheon friend disagreed with me. (So much disagreement this episode!) But this one I think he's bound to have crow on his face for once I get to see Episode 12. If they don't end up revealing Airi is Kumi's sister I'll eat my hat. I feel like it's super super obvious.


The part where Nishizono plants the phone in Kumi's bedroom is pretty weird given how the episode ends. Despite the episode's ending, I feel like the only way you can interpret this scene is, Nishizono is framing Satoru in order to sabotage him. We already know that Nishizono's modus operandi is to send fake text messages to people to frame them (see: Airi and the housefire), and I feel like in this scene what we're witnessing is that Nishizono has planted a fake phone (which the investigators will mistake for Kumi's) which has a false text message on it from "Satoru" that is creepy pedotastic. They'll find this, they'll accuse Satoru of being a dangerous pedo, a tragic case of a 10-year old boy's brain and affections trapped in a 25-year old man's body, and basically Satoru will be the new timeline's Yuuki. That's the big twist, that's the big gut-wrenching disgusting tragedy that Nishizono and/or the author are going for here. "Yeah, you saved Yuuki-san, but EQUIVALENT EXCHANGE, BITCH! Now you're the guy doing time in prison for pedophilic crimes you didn't commit!" It seems like the sort of sick delight that Nishizono would relish.

... But ... it really doesn't make much sense given the episode's ending scene, does it? Nishizono wheels Satoru out to the roof of the hospital as though he intends to kill him. Then, even with Satoru gaining his memories back and Nishizono being caught off guard, we see that Nishizono can see the spidersilk still attached to Satoru's head, telling him he's good to try and kill Satoru. So like ... why would you frame someone for pedophilia if your plan was to kill them anyway? Was it because he was going to stage Satoru's death as a suicide? "10-year old boy awakens in 25-year old body. Wrought with anguish over his yearnings and his morality, he throws himself off the roof"? I mean ... if that is the plan it still seems really weird to me. There are so many better ways to go about staging a suicide that don't involve Kumi-chan or hard-to-swallow theories about Satoru's physical yearnings.

I dunno. That's the best theory I've got. If it's not a plant meant to make Satoru look like a creepy pedo, then I've no idea why Nishizono planted that phone there in Kumi-chan's room.


I liked how the thing that brought Satoru's memories back was Nishizono's nervous tic. That finger tapping! It's so obvious to the viewer, and every time it happens I just love the way the direction and animation is done. It seems really fitting that it'd be the finger tapping that reminds Satoru of who this man is and what's happened over the course of the previous ten episodes.

~*~*~*~*~

Alright! Time for the big finale. Let's do this! >.<

I'm going in with lowered expectations. Episode 11 let me down a lot. :\ And while I've avoided 98% of what you guys have had to say, the 2% that has slipped through has given me the impression that most if not all of you are dissatisfied with the way the anime ends. Sooooooo ... we'll have to see. That isn't the sort of thing I want to hear about a show I adored up until two weeks ago, but Episode 11 was such a disappointment to me that I'm regretfully going into 12 with a "Meh. I don't care" attitude. Hopefully that helps me out.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:34 PM   #79
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People have discussed your post, Talon! But I seem to be the first to actually write about it, so there.

On Sachiko

Spoiler: show
I agree with you it's an awful fate for her. But the way you look at it makes it feel like it was avoidable. There's two issues I take with that - the first is that Sachiko caring for Satoru was not some kind of decision made by Satoru. It was a byproduct of him jumping back in time and not getting fully murdered. It was incidental, so you can't really interpret it as avoidable unless you take issue with the writer's deliberate plot-nerfing of Satoru into a gullible retard who would allow himself to be kidnapped.

The second is a more holistic approach - if you assume the Oracle of Ages model, where there's a predetermined future and that future tries to manipulate the past so the past leads to the future, Satoru's coma was the only way he could force all the relevant characters into the future for a showdown.

If Satoru wasn't plot-nerfed into being a gullible retard, he wouldn't have been kidnapped and nearly murdered. Do not weep for Sachiko, but criticize Satoru for being an idiot.


On Kayo

Spoiler: show
You were, to my surprise, open-minded about Kayo riding another man. At first I interpreted your anger as toward the seemingly "make believe" ship, but I'm glad to see that wasn't really the case.

I agree in part that Kayo x Hiromi is weird. It's weird in the sense that there's no development for Kayo x Hiromi at all as depicted to the viewer. It's weird in that Kenya and glasses kid didn't pair off with anyone, either. But Kayo came back, and she banged Hiromi.

In the real world, it makes sense for Kayo to marry Hiromi (a rich doctor) but looking at things from the meta framework, the author clearly paired them up to upset the shippers, kill off that romance potential (and set things up for Airi) and portray it as a cosmic conspiracy. Destiny did not tie a red spiderweb of fate around Satoru and Kayo's necks, so no matter what Satoru does in the past, the universe is going to work against him and prevent that ship from leaving the dry-dock.

Amateurish? Not as bad as other things. But BokuDake's author is definitely caught a case of the Nasuitis, where the premise exceeds the writer's ability to bring out its potential.

Though, I still say the author should have upped the horror factor to 11, copied 20th Century Boys, and had Kayo married to Yashiro with a child named Mirai.

How 'bout that tweest?!


On THAT CHARACTER:

Spoiler: show
That's a great call on spiders/months, which is a connection I didn't make. The creepiest part of the intro is where Yashiro whispers "I'm talking about you, Satoru!" where, after the fact, you realize he's been visiting the comatose Satoru in the hospital and said this craziness out loud to his unconscious body.

As for the super power, we'd have to look at the metaphor for that. It's not very obvious to me, so let's go through it:

In the hamster story, Spice survived by stepping on the bodies of his comrades.

In the Kandata story, Kandata is offered one last shot at salvation (the spider thread) but screws up by kicking the other damned denizens of heck in trying to reach it. He failed the test, which was to bring up everyone with him to salvation.

In Yashiro's story (in the new time-line), he nicknames Satoru Spice.

The spider thread part is clear. In the story context, it still means salvation, and it is only lowered to people who are damned to death. Another way of putting it is it marks people who are isolated, or feel isolated, or are thinking only of themselves. Yashiro acts on this and kills the marked like he's enforcing heaven's punishment.

Things get confusing looking at the Satoru-Spice connection. From Yashiro's comments, Satoru didn't have the thread before he started saving people. Satoru survived because, unlike Kandata, he passed the test and brought everyone damned with him to the present day. But why Satoru = Spice (the hamster who only lived by sacrificing others) doesn't make sense. Nor does the implication of what it means to not have a thread. Note that in the adjusted opening, all three girls (Kayo, Airi, Sachiko) have threads.

So, I'm going with it's a super-power. Yashiro is acting out heaven's desire to see the sinners punished.
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:01 AM   #80
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Episode 12:

Spoiler: show
Several weeks late again, it's time to write my thoughts on the series finale of Boku dake ga Inai Machi. I watched this episode shortly after submitting my post last time, but between work, Omega Ruby, and other things I haven't had much time to watch television recently, much less write about it. So apologies if my writing is a little dulled by the passage of time; would've been nice to have written the post hot off the presses of watching the episode, but what can you do? Alright then ... let's get started.


I'm not entirely sure on how to feel about the plot twist surrounding Satoru's memories returning to him. The previous episode hints that his memories were triggered by Yashiro's nervous tic, but then this episode reveals that Satoru's memories actually came back to him much sooner than that. It was when he touched Kayo's baby's palm that he remembered everything. Shortly after, he began to plot with Kenya and Hiromi how they would snag Yashiro.

On the one hand, this plot twist is downright necessary for the ending the writing team decided to go with. You couldn't have Kenya, Hiromi, and Sachiko on the ground with an air bag ready to save Satoru if they hadn't been given hours of advance notice. Satoru remembering the past when he's going up the elevator with Yashiro would have therefore been much too late.

On the other hand, the level of intelligence and good acting that this scene requires of Satoru seems to go against what we've seen earlier throughout the series. Satoru has been belittled by viewers for not being the sharpest tool in the shed, so it's strange to think that in the big finale he'd be clever enough to pull this charade off. Say we write all the cleverness off as being Kenya's contributions. That's fine and all, but now we have to tackle the acting side of the equation. Satoru's never been shown to be a particularly good actor. If anything, the running gag throughout the series has been that he always says out loud what he is thinking at the most inopportune moments. It would have made a lot more sense if Yashiro and Satoru had been going up the elevator, Yashiro had begun to tap the wheelchair with his finger, and Satoru had muttered out loud, "There it is. Yashiro's old habit," followed with an, "Oops. I said that out loud." The finger tapping stops, Yashiro looks down in deathly silence at the young man in the wheelchair, and he says, "So ... your memories have returned." But no. Instead, Satoru is this amazing actor with this amazing poker face who is able to withhold the truth from Yashiro until they are already on the rooftop.

Like I said, I'm not sure how to feel about the twist. It's kinda fun but it also feels kinda flawed.


Discussing Episode 11, a friend of mine made fun of Yashiro (in universe; or you could say he was attacking the writing out of universe) for not killing Satoru much sooner. He commented that it was pretty stupid of Yashiro to wait as long as he did between Satoru's regaining consciousness and the sojourn to the roof. "At any moment he could have remembered everything and spilled the beans! Hell, what if he hadn't have forgotten anything in the first place!? What if right when he woke up the first words out of his mouth had been, 'Yashiro ... the killer ... Sensei ... tried to kill me ...'?" It seemed my friend had a good point. Why didn't Yashiro kill Satoru sooner? Hell, why even wait for him to regain consciousness at all? I can buy the rationale that Yashiro's a sick twisted fuck and he wanted the thrilling pleasure of offing Satoru only after confirming the boy-turned-man knew everything. But still ... seems awfully stupid that he delayed visiting Satoru in the hospital one entire month, during which time everything could've come pouring back. (And, it's since been revealed, did come pouring back: the hand-touch scene with Kayo's baby.)

I think the writing team answered this problem very satisfactorily with 12. "Yashiro didn't kill Satoru because he couldn't." He couldn't bring himself to do it. He visited the hospital. He even brought means with which to end Satoru's life. But every time he tried, he just couldn't do it. Satoru, in becoming "Spice," had become Yashiro's fixation. Yashiro had to know what was meant by "I know your future!" He had to know the thrill of the final confrontation. As risky as it was to let Satoru come back with full memories, Yashiro risked it. He had to. He was compelled to. Is this psychotic? Well sure it is! But in a fitting and believable way.


I thought that Satoru's manipulation of Yashiro was a little too clever of the boys to have engineered. I mean, the blow is softened by knowing that Satoru probably didn't hatch this plan (or these lines!) all on his own, and that both Hiromi and Kenya probably helped him to come up with what to say to Yashiro to bring about the series of events needed for Satoru's survival and Yashiro's arrest. But man ... kiiiiiinda silly how Satoru is suddenly a Bodhisattva, so peaceful and calm and all that sunlight from Heaven shining down on him.


I thought it was rather questionable that Yashiro wouldn't have seen the airbag until after he got up on the ledge and looked down. Surely, I felt, he should have seen it while he was holding onto the wheelchair. Looking back at the episode it seems like the animators did their damnedest to make sure his gaze never goes below the horizontal plane, but I dunno ... that just seems unnatural to me. Wheelchairs are heavy, especially with grown men sitting in them. No matter how strong you are, the pull of gravity would lead the chair to rest below the ledge. And naturally you'd look down(ward) as you looked at the occupant in the wheelchair and held conversation with him. Speaking of which, the animators also went out of their way to have Satoru bend forward (so that he looks like he's sitting tall when talking to Yashiro, with the skyline being what's behind his head instead of the parking lot). But again, in real life I feel like Satoru would've just been reclined in the chair, his back resting against the chair.


I have mixed feelings on MiSato ... on SatoMi ... on the Misato-Satoru pairing!

On the one hand, I dislike it because I'm still such a fan of SatoKayo and this just reeks of copout. There's also my disdain for Harry Potter-style endings where you couple all of the remaining singles together because Heaven forbid your unwed characters marry someone from off screen.

On the other hand, I quite like it. Given that the SatoKayo ship has already been scuttled, I think MiSato is a pleasant surprise. Satoru still lands this girl courtesy of his time travel shenanigans, but unlike with Kayo it distinctly feels utterly devoid of anything that could be construed as wife rearing. Everything Satoru did for Misato he did completely uninvested in her romantically or emotionally. And while it's true that, yes, things started off the same way with Kayo, they didn't end the same way with Kayo. By the end of Satoru's time in the revisited 1988, no matter how we're going to classify his feelings for Kayo he damn well had them. He didn't have any such feelings for Misato. So Misato coming back to Satoru in 2003, 2004 being all, "Hey, guy ... :3" it doesn't feel nearly as bad as SatoKayo might have felt to readers/viewers had the author gone for it and been unable to deliver.

I liked the revelation that Misato was the most passionate and dedicated fund-raiser. I would never have guessed that. I also liked that she's shown to be quite pretty in the future, implying that if Satoru does wind up with her then at least he wins the Pretty Wife award.

But now on the other, other hand ... I end up not being too thrilled with MiSato because the writers go and shoehorn Airi back into the love mix. And it's like, if you were going to do that, then why would you even bother introducing that Misato developed feelings for Satoru, felt responsible for his comatose state, never forgot him all these years, made the long trip to see him, and oh ho ho Satoru's friends totally set Satoru up for a blind date disguised as a social gathering? Like ... I just don't get it. Why bring Satomi into the mix at all, writing-wise, if you're planning on just having Satoru hook up with Airi in the end anyway?

So yeah. Mixed feelings on this one.


Here's one I've got no mixed feelings on! Yashiro winding up as a pizza delivery boy in the altered future. Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii ... don't like this one. ^^; At all. It just ... it's so doofy, and it's so unbelievable ...

I mean, just think about it. Yashiro is caught on tape attempting to murder Satoru at the hospital. For that crime alone, I would expect the Japanese penal system to throw 10-30 years at him minimum. Then you gotta consider that Satoru would testify as to the motive, and he would explain that he became involved in defeating a series of foiled serial murders plotted by (and admitted to by) Yashiro in 1988. Yashiro can play the "Where's the smoking gun?" defense all he likes, but I imagine that, in real life as much as in the fictional universe of BokuMachi, the judge would side with Satoru's testimony, noting that it provides probable cause for why Yashiro would want to murder Satoru in 2003 in the first place (and also why he attempted to murder Satoru in 1988), and now we're dealing with a serial attempted murderer. Surely Japan would throw 20+ years at this guy, if not life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

So like ... seeing Yashiro back on the street within just a few short years (the implication is that the ending takes place in Altered 2006, so it's been three years since the attempted murder on the rooftop), and seeing him be a pizza delivery boy at that ... it's just so utterly unbelievable. Even if Yashiro's careers in both politics and education would be ended by his prison sentence, surely the guy could land an entry-level white collar job somewhere else. Or hell: move out of Japan and get a job overseas where his past isn't as likely to haunt him. This is a guy who, in 1988, had multiple spare vehicles planted around town so he could always be ready to swap between vehicles and leave the trail cold. He planned ahead! Surely he'd have some of those planted-away vehicles still waiting for him when he got of jail in 2-3 years. And could then sell them for money. And could then use that money to start a new life somewhere else. Why oh why oh why would he stay in Tokyo to be a pizza delivery guy?


And last but not least, we have Airi. I like that Satoru winds up in Airi's life again in the altered future. I don't mind the circumstances of their reunion either, seeing as that bridge has special meaning for them (even if Altered Airi isn't aware of it). But there are a couple of things that bother me about this scene ...

For starters, SatoAiri. If you're gonna pair Satoru up with Airi anyway ... and it's 2006 and Satoru's 29 to Airi's 17 ... then you still gave us an ending riddled with pedo concerns. You didn't not do that. You still took a guy about my age ... and paired him off with a girl who hasn't even graduated from high school yet. What the fuck, guys. ^^; If you were gonna do that ... then WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST STICK WITH SATOKAYO?!? At least Kayo would have been 29 years old too in 2006! At least she and Satoru would have had shared life experiences, shared childhoods, shared history ...! Kayo clearly loved Satoru in 1988. And Satoru, for his part, had to keep telling himself to snap out of it and not get a crush on a ten-year old girl no matter how adorable she was because eww gross. We all got that. But we also all wanted to see how you'd handle the pairing in 2006. What's the point in dodging the pairing because "Sorry -- can't write around the creepy pedo problems " but then GIVING HIM A 17-YEAR OLD BRIDE ANYWAY!? What have you accomplished!? You scuttled a pairing that made more sense, that had more meat to it ... and you ended up going with an even CREEPIER pairing where now he's chasing after the skirt of a 17-year old! What the fuck, guys!? Yes, Airi's attractive. And yes, Airi's adorable. And yes, Airi is so pure-hearted and kind and lovely and omg waifubait. But if you weren't confident in your ability to sell SatoKayo, then why oh why would you even bother trying to pair Satoru off with Airi?

Second, I'm not too keen on the SatoAiri ending when you just GAVE us Satoru x Misato. Like ... this is the other half of that discussion from above. I didn't like MiSato given a SatoAiri ending, but I'm also not too thrilled with the SatoAiri ending given MiSato which is introduced this episode and given wings three minutes prior. If you wanted to bring Misato into the mix and have her be Satoru's possible future wife, then why even bother with this SatoAiri scene? 'Cause as it is, it's totally a SatoAiri scene. Why not have rewritten Airi's reintroduction to where she re-enters Satoru's life as just a friend? And it's clearly demarcated that she's just a friend? There were so many ways you could have doen this. One way off the top of my head would have been to have had Satoru spot Airi looking at a "HELP WANTED" sign in the subway station, gotten over his shock that it's Airi, walked up to her, initiated conversation, and offered her a position as his assistant. He's a mangaka, he needs assistants. (AND WE SEE THAT HE HAS TWO NO-NAME ASSISTANTS AT THE END ANYWAY!) A teenager like Airi could use part-time work, and Satoru would be able to have her come to his studio and ink panels 3-4 nights a week or some such. It'd be an easy way of reeling Airi back into his life while also clearly communicating to viewers that this is strictly friendship + business, that SatoAiri clearly isn't going to happen now because not only do you still have the age barrier to overcome but now you've also got the workplace professionalism barrier, i.e. you don't marry the hired help.

Despite the two problems voiced above, I do like that Airi's back. And I do think SatoAiri is kinda cute. I just ... I have the two problems above, is all. ^^;
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Old 04-09-2016, 11:46 AM   #81
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Boku dake ga Inai Machi was the first anime that I have posted about (or tried to post about) weekly on UPN in ages. I wanted to make a special exception for this story because it seemed so promising. bbb sold me with an intriguing premise, then I watched Episode 01 and was hooked, then I watched Episode 02 and was in love ... in the early days, BokuMachi was easily my Anime of the Year and was a contender for being one of the all-time greats.

As time passed, my score for the show fluctuated between a 9/10 and an 8/10. The 9 signifies a show that is phenomenal but just shy of a masterpiece, while the 8 indicates a program which while very good isn't in the same "just shy of masterpiece" territory that the 9 is. Both are great scores. A 7/10 is already a rating of "Good," so the 8 and 9 are both beyond that.

Episode 11 was my first disappointment with the series, one from which the tale sadly can't recover. Everything had been going so well ... and then the author decides to end things in ways which completely disappointed me.

Episode 12 was an improvement upon 11, in that I enjoyed it for what it was but it's still saddled with all of the permanent baggage given to the series by 11.

Overall, the series was a fun ride and I'm very glad I watched it. It's not a 9 nor 10 out of 10, but it's a solid series that you can recommend to friends and be fairly confident they'll at least somewhat enjoy.

Plot: 8/10 Let's divide this discussion between the plot premise, the culprit's identity, and all other aspects of the plot (like plot progression, miscellaneous plot events, etc).
Plot Premise: This I'd say deserves a solid 10/10. The first episode alone saw me hooked, badly wanting to know what happens next. Several times early on I was so hungry for info I would read slightly ahead in the manga! I knocked this off around the time we pressed on into Part III of the story, but I had to fight off the desire to read ahead several more times, let me tell you! This isn't my first rodeo with a time travel anime. It's not even my first time with a time travel story that features a guy revisiting the past as many times as it takes before he achieves a desired outcome. But this series combined several of my favorite and little-explored genres into one tale and it did so so incredibly well that I was enchanted.

Culprit's identity:
Spoiler: show
This one we have to give a score no higher than a 5/10 to. My reasoning is as follows:
  • On the one hand, it should be a 0 because we called this going back to Episodes 02 and 03 (especially 03), and for the remainder of the series we convinced ourselves that the only way the culprit could be Yashiro would be if the author was going for the most obvious candidate. Every time clues came up that Yashiro was the perpetrator, we would point them out for their obviousness and then state that either Yashiro had to be the killer or else Yashiro had to be a red herring. There was no way around it: the clues were too numerous and too clear.
  • On the other hand, I for one could not determine whether Yashiro was truly guilty or was a red herring until the time of the big reveal. And for that I feel like I have to give the author, Sanbe Kei, at least some credit. This was not a story where we all knew 100% without any shadow of a doubt that the killer was Yashiro. This was a story with numerous likely suspects. And it was also a story wherein Yashiro's guilt was shrouded by the meta veil of red herrings. The author never makes it so painfully clear that the killer is Yashiro. He always has answers to the more obvious clues (like the glove compartment candy), and withholds providing further evidence for the more subtle ones (like the abandoned bus becoming deserted the day after Satoru blabs to Yashiro about it).
In short, BokuMachi doesn't win any awards for having a not-obvious villain. But it was still a suspenseful ride to get to the reveal.

Other plot elements: Before Episode 11, I'd give it anywhere from an 8/10 on up to a 10/10. It was a simple story placed in a simple setting, but I really, really enjoyed the tale. After Episode 11, with which I was so disappointed, I feel like the plot can't be given a score higher than an 8 and it might deserve one even lower than that. The ball was really dropped with the ending, but it doesn't erase my memories of all that came before either.
Characters: 9/10 I enjoyed Satoru just fine. I adored Kayo. Kayo's mother was sufficiently despicable. Those three were really all we needed for this story to work. Kenya, the other children, Sachiko, and Yashiro are all fine too. Maybe the 9 is too generous, I dunno, but I feel like Kayo is phenomenally written and drawn, particularly by the anime team.

Animation: 9/10, and only because today I'll try and withhold the 10/10 for those series which push the boundaries of animation in their time. I would otherwise give this one a 10/10. Because while BokuMachi isn't a technical spectacle of animation, it is a directorial one. Holy balls, BokuMachi's animation is so well directed! So many perfect shots. So many perfect camera angles. The content on screen, what is communicated to the viewer and how ... background posters in the classroom that say things like "HOPE" or "You can do it!" ... so many excellent subtleties of human emotion conveyed with detailed attention to faces and how we convey our states of being with just a few millimeters' drop of an eyebrow or corner of the mouth ... Whoever oversaw the direction for this anime, if he's going to direct another character-driven series then I almost want to promise I'll check it out just for him or her alone. I won't promise that, but man ... major kudos to the animation team and the animation director.

Voice Acting: 8/10 I thought BokuMachi enjoyed really solid voice acting. Some people have raised the criticism that the children, especially Kenya, sound and act much too adult for their age. I can kind of see that. But I feel like, by and large, Satoru (both old and young), Kayo, Sachiko, and Yashiro all sounded like real-live people. And if Kayo's mother sounded more like a character than a person, I think that was just her voice actress dialing up the sickeningly sweet tone that women like her often have in fiction.

Music: 7/10 It was a good soundtrack. I wouldn't rush out to buy the entire thing on CD, but there is one track I'd really like to have, which is what I guess you would call "the main Boku dake ga Inai Machi motif" or theme song. The one that plays at the end of Episode 02 in the park, or at the start of Episode 03, or so many other times and places throughout the series. It's one of Kajiura Yuki's best compositions in my opinion, so perfectly blending melancholy, strength, optimism, and wistfulness in one. That melody aside, I felt that the rest of the soundtrack did its job at helping to set the tone without being too distracting. That's all you can ask from a television soundtrack.

Regarding the OP and ED credits theme songs, I never did wind up falling terribly in love with either one of these. I never skipped them that I can recall, but my attention would waver with both. I don't really want either to have on my iPhone, but I don't think the songs are bad either. I can respect that other people might quite like one or both of them.

Replay Value: Mid to Mid-High, the latter if you give it several years. This is a series that back when I'd only seen ten or so anime I could see myself re-watching within the year. Even having seen hundreds of anime, I would still like to revisit Boku dake ga Inai Machi some day. While the ending did disappoint me, and while I do know the answers to the story's biggest mysteries, I would still love to see my favorite moments once more. It's a dear series.

OVERALL 8/10 I've debated between giving this the 7 or the 8. Overall right now, I feel like I want to give it the 8. The ending so disappointed me that I probably should give it the 7 ^^; , but for now I think the 8 is a more appropriate representation of how well I liked the characters, the plot, the animation, and everything else.
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Old 04-09-2016, 01:01 PM   #82
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Some points on your Episode 12 post Talon -

Spoiler: show
I don't think pizza guy is Yashiro, but that manager earlier who had a thing for Airi.

I think the Misato thing was beer goggles. Satoru was drunk, so there's ambiguity in how he was blushing toward Misato or just intoxicated. But I like that ship a lot!

Also, 29 and 17 isn't that major an age gap. In many legal jurisdictions, a 16 year old is legal to bang, and 18 at the absolute latest. Certainly it's younger than what seems to be the norm these days where people marry in their late twenties and early thirties, but in the grand historical context, cute not pedo.
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Old 09-08-2016, 06:51 PM   #83
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Starting watching this the other day. Halfway through episode 5. Sobbing. Also the OP is great.
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:10 PM   #84
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I came back to read a few of the past summaries I forgot to read in the past.

Listen, guys, seriously do yourselves a favor and read the end of the manga. I cannot stress this enough. First, I recommend reading Chapter 32, which shows the origin and backstory of our villain, and then I recommend reading onwards to Chapter 44, as nearly everything in these chapters is completely different from the anime. As in much better than the anime's last few episodes. There are a few constants that remain the same, but the events that unfold are very different and are ultimately much better. The last few episodes of the anime tried to go for a similar path but did it a. much quicker, and b. in a totally different manner that makes some questionable direction decisions.

So yeah, basically, if you're at all curious for how the original last stretch of the story goes, I definitely recommend setting aside a bit of time and just reading the last 12 chapters of the manga - much more satisifying and more events play out, even if there are some things that don't change.

Spoiler: show
Particularly everything to do with "catching Yashiro" - his return is much more sinister in the manga, and the events that lead up to his cornering play out much more interestingly.

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Old 09-10-2016, 02:40 PM   #85
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Finished this while doing some homework last night. I must say, as unsatisfying anime endings go, this certainly felt pretty solid to me. I definitely

Spoiler: show
felt like the whole show was a bit rushed and wouldn't have minded some development of Yashiro and their capture of him, but within the 12 episode limit, I felt like the studio did a good job. Also rip my Kayo/Satoru dreams but that's okay. The whole show's like an 8.5/10 for me. 9/10 will probably rewatch at some point. 10/10 would recommend to a friend. The OP isn't particularly exciting or memorable, but it just has such an excellent overall feel to it that I keep listening to it. I particularly like the mindscape animation sequence. I got chills seeing it in the 10th episode. In fact, just overall, I love this show's animation and cinematography. I love this show. BRB crying.

EDIT: Also Kenya best bro no one can convince me otherwise
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:20 PM   #86
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Quote:
Also {spoiler} my {spoiler} dreams
I NO, RITE!?

Spoiler: show
Still my single greatest frustration and disappointment with this story. Your enthusiasm led me to re-watch part of 02, all of 03, and all of 12 last night. I was originally going to post this but decided not to for fear of biasing you against the ending:

Quote:
I do still need to do that.

I adore this series. But I am still so disappointed by
Spoiler: show
the final stretch.

A 10/10 masterpiece up until then ...

These posts coupled with me being bedridden led me to re-watch the end of 02 and all of 03 on a whim. 03 made cry again. Twice again.

I adore this anime's production values. The animation, the voice acting, the directing, all of it. I still need to look up the name of the director and to see what other projects he's worked on.
Re-watching 03, it was/is so obvious -- Kayo is falling in love with Satoru, and Satoru is falling in love with Kayo but keeps chastising himself, understandably, for falling for a 10-year old. While I'm glad for a non-pedo ending, I still wanted SatoKayo to happen. And I think so did the author too. Go re-watch Episode 03 and tell me he wasn't planning on having those two wind up together and revisiting the tree in the future. Go on, tell me. Tell me this and I'll call you a liar or a fool. I feel like SatoKayo was the plan at the beginning, he changed his mind midway, and the plot had to weirdly reroute to justify why it wouldn't happen. A coma which no one was sure Satoru would exit was one of the best ways he could think of. Incredibly frustrating, but it accomplishes the goal of having Kayo not wind up with Satoru despite everything in Episodes 02-07.

Guhhhhhhhhh, SatoKayo was so adorable though. ;~;
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:08 AM   #87
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The manga is endlessly worse.

The author, in an attempt to run damage control for the bad reception of a meme-cuck, went and made the cuck real.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:01 PM   #88
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Went ahead and read the manga

Spoiler: show
KENYA, MAN. I was half-convinced that it was going to be a #yaoiend even though I didn't REALLY expect it to happen. Still, what development. Also Kenya best bro re-confirmed. I don't feel that strongly about the manga versus anime to be perfectly honest. The manga undoubtedly spent more time on Satoru's return to consciousness and did it a bit more realistically in my opinion, but it also felt a bit drawn out. Also the lack of Asian Kung Fu Generation in the manga was disappointing ;p. I really liked the usage of Masked Man throughout the manga, the scene where Satoru returned to consciousness briefly was just... ;-; man. Unfortuunately, I came into the manga with all the knowledge that the anime gave, so I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen anyway. The manga's emphasis on Airi was on the one hand a good way to develop her character and her importance to Satoru a lot better but on the other hand she's still like, 12 years younger than him, so that's a lot of MEH. Also Kumi was well-done but also semi-loli-ed? so that was weird.

Kayo was so much better of a character in the anime. There's something about the scenes showing her abuse that just don't come across as powerfully in the manga. The action along with the violent and horrifying cinematography in the anime just makes you FEEL THINGS. There was no room for Kayo/Satoru in the manga, which was different. I don't know if it was better or worse but I will say I really liked the dynamic in the anime and the park scene was so much more fluffy and adorable and great with the blushing and this open-endedness for romance that could be found in the anime. DAMN YOU YASHIRO SENSEI

Speaking of whom, I guess Yashiro had a bit LONGER of a backstory in the manga, and I really liked Yashiro and Satoru's interactions' flavor in the manga. Still a creepy f*cker.

In short the manga was different and I can see how it'd be better for some people but as for me, those Kayo/Satoru feels in the anime are just too much.


Now to go back and read everything you guys have said about the show. ;-; this was just so good ;-;
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:42 AM   #89
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I've not yet read the manga in full, including the much-talked-about ending that I've needed to read for myself for the past year.

But on a whim of deciding to look into rectifying that, I just happened to discover ... there's a ninth volume out. o.o It's a compilation of bonus chapters that were published last year, but the collection itself wasn't published in tankoubon form until February 2017. It shows some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that we missed out on as a result of how the originally final volume (Volume 8) plays out. More details in the spoiler box. Only click if you've watched the entire anime or else have read through Volume 8 of the manga.

Spoiler: show
The first chapter, for example, depicts the immediate aftermath of Satoru's entering the coma. We see Yashiro announcing the news to the class. We see Kayo and the other children reacting. We see Kayo visiting Satoru in the hospital. And we see a flash forward with her visiting him in the hospital again at a later point in time. This chapter seems like it was written to address the concern that Kayo gave up on Satoru (given who she winds up with in the end), though for me it's still part of the greater problem of unsatisfying damage control. :')

The second chapter, the first in a pair of chapters dedicated to Kenya, explores in greater detail who Kobayashi Kenya is, exactly. We knew from the anime that his father was a laywer, for example, but his mother's occupation (housewife) and the existence of his younger sister (five years younger) are introduced as well. More importantly, we get to see how Kenya first got inducted into the circle of friends. We get to see how he independently took notice of Kayo's physical abuse. We get to see, from his point of view, how Satoru seems to have noticed it as well. (The author also takes this opportunity to further hammer home that Satoru was never romantically involved with Kayo, by way of front-and-centering Kenya's realization: "Satoru's interest in Hinazuki wasn't romantic.") We're provided proof that Kenya was at some points jealous of Satoru, namely of his willingness to put himself out there to help Kayo. And we're shown how this jealously quickly morphs for Kenya into something much more wholesome: an appreciation for how fortunate he is to have such great friends. It's at this point that we have the bridge scene with Satoru and Kenya. And shortly afterward, Kenya having a much more prominent role in protecting Kayo. The chapter ends poignantly -- we find out that the entire chapter, more or less, has been being relayed to the comatose Satoru in the hospital bed by a gakuran-wearing, middle school-aged Kenya. Turns out Kenya's been visiting, who knows how regularly.

Third chapter is the second half of Kenya's tale. It details how, after some time being lost, he gathers himself together and decides to work hard to find Satoru's attacker. How he teams up with Satoru's mom's old coworker ... How he narrows the search down to one Nishizono ... how the day he's been waiting for all these years finally comes when he receives a text message from Sachiko, Satoru's mother, stating simply "He's woken up" ...

Fourth chapter is Sachiko's tale. It's all mostly in flashback, from even before Satoru fell into a coma. She relives a series of moments as recorded in a journal she kept. They mostly offer personal thoughts she would have had at the times the events occurred. Some of the information was even shared in the show, through dialogue, facial expressions, or other clues. But there are also a few flashbacks to her own youth, which help to shine some light on Sachiko's character and how Satoru takes after her.

The fifth chapter opens with a prominent shot of Airi's butt is Airi's chapter. ^^; Explains a little bit more about her, and goes into the specifics of what she was doing that led to her being there that day in front of the bridge (at the end of the final episode, where Satoru and Airi meet up again for the last on-screen time). The chapter ends abruptly right where Airi asks if she can join him under the bridge to get out from under the falling snow.

If you haven't read these chapters before and feel like doing so, go for it. They're by no means required reading. But they're enjoyable for what they are, too.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

One year later, I remain dissatisfied with the direction Sanbe Kei decided to take BokuMachi in in the eleventh hour. My opinion of the series overall has managed to improve, the sting of the disliked ending a little less painful than it was this time last year. Where before I was all talk of 8's, now I forget that I didn't originally give it a 9.

At the end of the day, I wanted the author to deliver the impossible; he teased the impossible, constantly; he then bowed to outside pressures, I am sure of it; and he gave up on trying to find a way to make the impossible happen, and just went for an easy out instead. I don't blame him. And like so many, I too would not have wanted him to have gone for "that ending" if it were to have been anything less than perfect. Because anything less than perfect ... would have given Usagi Drop a run for its sad money. ^^; But two things I'll bring up right now, two pieces of evidence out of a mountain of evidence available to me. One, I brought up the other day in discussion with a friend. The other, I only thought of just now while skimming Volume 9.

Spoiler: show
The fox scene. Say what you will about Satoru, both in universe and as a product of his creator's. And say what you will about Kayo, same. That fox scene on the mountain, it proves Sanbe Kei was originally gunning for a Satoru-Kayo pairing. You just ... you just wouldn't even HAVE a scene like that, as a writer, if you weren't trying to sell that ship.

Kenya, and how he spent his life after Satoru's coma. Now this one, I've only just realized. But here's the deal: Sanbe Kei's sales pitch doesn't add up. He tries to sell us on the idea that Kayo winding up with Hiromi makes sense because "she couldn't be expected to wait around for Satoru forever." And he even goes out of his way to write a bonus chapter, later included in this bonus ninth volume of the manga, to demonstrate that Kayo did visit Satoru's bedside for a good while there before finally deciding she would move on with her life and live life for the both of them. Okay. Cool. Fine. ...................... Except not fine, because WHAT ABOUT KENYA? What about Kenya, huh? Why does Kenya dedicate his life to finding Satoru's killer when "all" Satoru was to him was a really good friend, but Kayo can't stick around for more than a couple of years for THE GUY SHE WAS HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH AND THE GUY WHO SAVED HER LIFE ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS FROM BOTH HER ABUSIVE MOTHER AND HER STALKER/WOULD-BE KILLER? Like ... I can get that you want to say, "Despite all this, Kayo moves on with her life" -- that's fine -- IN A SETTING WHERE THERE ARE NO KENYAS. But the problem is, you have a Kenya. He's sitting right over there, by Satoru's bedside. And he's been doing that for years now. Fifteen, almost twenty years at this point. He's made it his life's mission to track down Satoru's attacker. He's playing Sherlock Holmes with Satoru's mother's old coworker. He's standing out in the rain in front of a Japanese yashiki like some weirdo because he's trying to get clues on Satoru's attacker. ................ The thing is, Kenya fighting hard for Satoru's sake? Fine, in one story. Kayo waiting for Satoru a while before giving up and moving on with her life? Fine, in another story. Kenya fighting hard for Satoru and in the same story Kayo moving on with her life? NOT FINE. It just ... whether it happens in real life or not doesn't matter here, because to the emotional mind it just DOESN'T COMPUTE. It's not acceptable. It doesn't make any sense why a schoolfriend would sideline his life for you like this but THE GIRL WHOSE LIFE YOU SAVED AND WHO CRUSHED ON YOU SUPER DUPER MEGA AWESOME HARD would be over and done with you in less than five years.

Bah. Kayo x Hiromi is stupid and the author originally intended Kayo x Satoru but couldn't find a way to do it. Then we get Airi x Satoru in the end which is arguably worse as it still suffers from colossal age gap, it still suffers from the problem of adult mind vs. child mind, insofar as it doesn't suffer from that problem neither would have Adult Kayo x Adut Satoru, and finally Satoru and Airi each have less investment in one another than Satoru has in Kayo or Kayo has in Satoru. Blurgh a blargh a blurgh, flawed ending is flawed.
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