The first part of this episode was pretty much what we expected: celebrating the end of the year by organizing a large exhibition, restaurant, shop and theater for the lead characters. Although it still was weird to see people celebrate the end of the year in a completely different way from what I’m used to. (What I’m used to is mostly staying inside, watching random television and everyone massively igniting fireworks all at the same time after the clock hits 12).
What this episode showed me was that Japanese really treat the end of the year as another festival, where you can informally visit a lot of places, hosted by all kinds of different people. Is that true, or was that an exaggeration by this series? Last episode there were perhaps a bit too many people who came to just view Maon’s performance, and this episode too had the characters acting like magnets for other people.
And then, this episode suddenly closed off with Sayomi taking them on another trip, and her car getting stuck. I must say, that was quite a creative way to end this series with. It was fully on-topic, giving Potte a reason to remember her father again, but at the same time it was so random and whimsical that it’s definitely going to be memorable, rather than the usual carefully built up ending or aftermath. I like it.
The past half year, Sato Junichi has really delivered. First with Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, and then with Tamayura. They filled in for each other perfectly: Tamayura didn’t have an as interesting setting as Croisee, it on its turn did not have the forced drama and had much better acting. I’d count neither among the best slice of life series I’ve seen, but at the same time both were really solid and interesting.
I tried following other slice of life series this year, but that didn’t work as well as here. I’m still not exactly sure why, but these two series did not try to be funny: they just let their characters speak for themselves. Nichijou could have been nice if its jokes weren’t so hit and miss. A Channel just degenerated into boob jokes, while Yuruyuri went down even faster with its lesbian jokes. Those just aren’t the shows I want to watch. These two series however had characters who knew who they were, a solid setting to back it up, meaningful dialogue. That kept my attention.
Rating: ** (Excellent)