Short Synopsis: Senkawa’s classmates have fun at the school festival, while Nataru continues to pursiut the remaining aliens.
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
Ah, like expected: the creators plan to finish this series with a huge bang, just like they did with Noein. It’s going to be there where we can see whether or not all the building up can come together in the end. This episode was mostly building up, although there were quite a few surprise twists included.
Most notably, Nakasugi is back, though with her memory erased. I still really like how Senkawa got over his loss of her, and he’s not angsting about her at all. Instead, he provides excellent support for the other main characters, and in a way you can’t call him the main character of this series anymore. The first season was his moment in the spotlights, and he learned well that the new storyline doesn’t centre around himself.
And in a way, that’s the advantage that episodic series have over series with a continuous plot: it’s much easier for them to show different people and flesh out the setting this way, making it come alive, whereas a series with a continuous plot usually just focuses on a fixed set of characters without much time for guest appearances, because it’d be difficult to weave them into this storyline. And that’s another reason why Birdy the Mighty is so amazing, because it combined the best of both: its storyline is definitely continuous, and yet it did succeed wonderfully in making this setting come alive and making it diverse.
One thing that caught my eye was that this series still is continuing to make its setting feel alive, even with only one episode left to go. It’s a bit unconventional, and will definitely leave a few threads hanging open, but on the bright side it really gives that extra spark to the setting: it makes it feel like there’s much more going on in the world than just the problems of our lead characters. The alien in sunglasses in the end never really had an important role, and we hardly know anything about him, but he does return every once in a while to influence parts of the storyline (for example, tricking the girl into killing her former comrade for protection). Nakasugi as well: there is no way that she’s going to have any influence in the story at this point, but it just shows that she too is continuing her life and that Birdy and Nataru may have their issues, but they’re not the centre of the universe. I mean, how many other series have a light hearted school festival at the end of their airtime? The only examples I can think of are the ones in which the school festival leads to some really dramatic climax, but here it’s used for the entire opposite: to brighten up the mood and flesh out the setting.
I really like this, especially since most other series don’t care about this at all, and you can really see the results: in the series, it looks like the entire world is revolving around the lead characters, with hardly anything else. Random by-passers also just feel like a bunch of mannequins, who aren’t important at all. In Birdy the Mighty Decode, though, they all feel so refreshingly alive due to the attention that it’s been paying to flesh out the setting at such a late point in the series. Seriously, I’m really surprised to see that they decided to do this in the second half of the series, which is usually the time when most series are done with the world building and focus on other things. This really is much more apparent than even Noein, and it shows that Kazuki Akane’s style is evolving, and he’s trying and become an even better director than he already was. This guy truly is my favourite director ever.