This series is seriously tearing me up as I watch it. I remember wondering at the end of Birdy the Mighty Decode 2 whether or not the rest of 2009 would premiere a series that would match its brilliance. I’ve finally managed to find a contender. It’s amazing considering how much this series has already done in only FIVE EPISODES so far. This episode lacked any action and didn’t have a rebellious Mirai, but it left me as an emotional wreck afterwards.
This episode first showed Mirai’s old elementary school (she seemed to have had to travel quite a distance to reach it), which leads to an anecdote in which Mirai tells about how her mother embarrassed her at her graduation ceremony. The rest of the episode shows the three lead characters as they spend the evening and the night in the shelter camp that has been set up at the school.
I loved how this episode didn’t just tell the story of Mirai, Yuki and Mari, but also that of the school, the people who lost their loved ones, the old couple who lost their grandsons, the girl who had a mental breakdown due to the aftershocks, the guy who seems to have suffered from a sunstroke, Megu, one of Mirai’s classmates and heck: even that couple sitting next to each other and staring at the wall that only appear in one frame. Seriously, you don’t see many series in which the creators just pull out a random classmate, give her less than a minute of airtime and yet manage to make you sympathize with her with a believable back-story.
But yeah, this was the episode in which the chaos settles down a bit and the emotions pop up even more. It’s in a way similar of getting an injury during sports or something else: in the beginning the adrenaline is still rushing through your body and you’re still too bewildered to really get what’s going on. Then a few minutes later, the seemingly endless pain really starts. In this episode, it really starts to sink in that people have died here.
Really, while watching this episode, I kept wondering whether this really was only the fifth episode of this series. It feels like much more episodes have passed for this series, and yet there seems to be no end to how amazing this series can be. It’s really going to rank among my favourites of 2009 if the creators can keep this pacing up throughout the final six episodes.
Rating: *** (Awesome)