“Oh yes, today is christmas”.
I find this a very typical line here. Christmas stands synonymous for a warm-hearted feeling, so I pretty much expected this show to fully use it. And then this episode came, and it actually showed that it doesn’t need it. This episode was charming beyond belief, even without the Christmas feeling.
I think that out of all of the characters in this series, the best developed one is actually Maon, and not Potte. Every character is of course very well rounded here, but Maon has this extra edge, where she actually managed to crawl out of her shell very believably. The whistling really shows this: in the second half, she only used it when feeling down. What once was the start of her development now has turned in this reminder to herself of how she should try out many different things.
As a writer, I could really relate to this episode, and what it means to keep living up to everyone’s expectations. A writer’s block is inevitable sometimes, and while at first it seems like just simply putting your mind to it, in practice things don’t go as easily. Personally I’ve found that looking at your work from a different angle works best, with the challenge being finding that angle. This episode portrayed it wonderfully. It was also a very un-typical story, and yet it was exactly something that you’d expect a high school girl to write.
And holy crap, this thing will end next week! Overall, I’ll be content if it ends there though. That makes this series short and sweet, unlike Aria, which requires a lot more effort to fully watch. If you add these 12 episodes to the four episodes of the OVA, you pretty much get the perfect length: 16 episodes. This is something that a lot of other producers should realize. Sure, it’ll probably be a bit harder with continuous stories and all, but what I’m saying: producers, be creative. You’re working in the anime industry, so it shouldn’t be that hard to find inspiration.
Rating: ** (Excellent)