In a season in which so many adaptations are heading towards an incomplete ending, Yakumo feels incredibly refreshing. This is EXACTLY what I mean by proper build-up!
These are the kinds of stories that make perfect use of their build-up, rather than either doing the same thing over and over again, or just failing to do anything with it. Koichi Mashimo has always been terrific at this, but with this series, it’s awesome to see that more and more people are walking around in bee-Train who know the ins and outs of Bee-Train. That’s pretty much the thing that made me a Bee-Train fan, and why I don’t mind their slow pacing at all. Their music is of course amazing, but what really sold me on them is how well they manage to lay out their series in terms of the big picture. There are exceptions, of course, like Blade of the Immortal (way too short!) and .Hack//Roots (tried way too much and shot itself in the foot by that), but the vast majority of their series come together wonderfully in the end. While not a Bee-Train series, the anime that really showed me that was the Irresponsible Captain Tylor that I watched a week ago. With Yakumo too: instead of focusing for too long on the boring stuff of the manga, they really wanted to rush through that in order to do the great parts of the manga justice and that’s working wonderfully so far.
The “death right before the finale”-trope has been used often enough before, but I really like the effect that this had on both the characters and the plot. At first I thought that Yakumo’s uncle’s message that he’s going to die of cancer was just there to instill some sympathy. Instead, it caused him to just throw away his life in an attempt to try and talk to Yakumo’s father (who is turning into a more and more interesting villain, by the way). The result is that he’s now in a coma of which we won’t know whether he’ll wake up or not.
A lot of time really went into the repercussions of this, and especially the two people on which his coma made the biggest impact: Yakumo and Noa. Especially Noa was just amazing to watch, having her father in a coma at such a young age, and I loved how everyone tried to help her here. Yakumo meanwhile just sat at the same place. He’s no child anymore, but at the same time this is the second time at which he’s about to lose the most important person in his life.
At the same time, the plot also really moved forward here, with Nanase Miyuki suddenly getting attacked by Yakumo’s father, and more and more people finding out that he’s actually a ghost. This episode really showed many different scenes of different people together, and that gave it a very interesting dynamic here. There are two episodes left, and I can’t wait for this one to end.
Rating: *** (Awesome)