Wow. That actually was a GREAT ending. Not really in terms of heavy emotions and lots of tension á lá Noein, Utena or Elfen Lied, but because of originality and freshness. The thing I dislike about most endings is the fact that they all look like each other. We either have one big bad guy who’s out to destroy the [fill in thing about which the main character cares] and he has to be stopped. Random things happen, and a party wins and a party loses. In most cases, the good side. If there isn’t a good side or bad side, then it’s still the same formula: some win, some lose, with your occasional tie.
Another possible ending is some kind of conflict between our two main characters, forcing them to fall in love with each other, with all the cheese accompanying it. Fairly predictable if you’ve seen the entire series. The third possible ending is for most slice-of-life series. Life goes on. The anime was fun, and now that it has ended, the characters will continue living their life with the experiences they had during the anime. Oh, and there are of course the shows which never end and the shows who don’t have an ending at all, and just end abruptly without any closure. It’s all too easy to put them into categories.
But not with The Third! Instead of having a final climax where a major enemy has to be defeated, the final episode actually gives a great insight about how the world of The Third has originated. The observer, the thing inside the Metal Valley actually isn’t evil at all. The final fight could be considered Honoka, whacking up Filla Marique’s army with one single blow. When the observer comes into contact with Honoka, he, just like everyone else, gets hit by her words. He was about to give up hope, though Honoka managed to save him.
I also loved how this episode brought closure to the entire series. Because the climax was so unusual, the actual conclusion also turned out greatly when the desert fairy reappeared, ready for her journey to another planet. And not to mention the Iks confession. It’s actually one of the more interesting confession, seeing as I only realized it was a confession when Joganki noted Filla Marique on it. ^_^
The pacing also was great. Because of this, even though the characters were feeling heavy emotions, this anime didn’t drag these moments like other endings do, and it managed to keep the content fresh. It’s a bit strange for an arc-based series for the shortest arc to be the ending, but it actually worked out perfectly. While it wasn’t enough to beat endings like that of Noein and Utena, The Third definitely belongs in the category of better endings.
Still, I’m sad that the third is gone now. This series has been a great ride, it’s probably my most favourite series of the Spring 2006 season. I’m not sure why, though. For some reason, I just love this anime.
“The Stars, to chase after their dream freely, they venture out this night.
With the blue nightsky and the comfortable breeze to accompany them, under the people’s guidance and blessing.”
And finally, thanks to Kaminari-kun, for subbing this fantastic series. :)