Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto - Natsu no Sora - Episode 12 (Completed)

Having slowly but surely warmed to this series and the sense of happy relaxation it frequently washed over me, I was hoping for a similarly happy ending to Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto - Natsu no Sora to offset the slightly depressing turn that the story took in the last couple of episodes.

With that in mind, I wasn't entirely thrilled with the ending to this show, as it was at best bittersweet. I suppose in reality I should throw some praise its way simply for not taking the easy way out and offering up a suitably 'real' ending to go with what came before - No miracles, no reprieve from the harsher aspects of life, just an old-fashioned story of life, love and loss that reall resonated with me in places. The way Gota and Sora's relationship continued even as distance seperated them was particularly heart-warming, and I suppose at least the way that this episode jumped forward five years at least gave us some closure on most of the questions we might otherwise have been left asking.

For all its shabby animation that was made to look worse, not better, by the photo-realistic backdrops, Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto - Natsu no Sora proved to be a really human experience. Sure, it wasn't fast-paced or full of drama, but it often perfectly captured the nuances of human interaction, offering a realism that belied its use of magic as a central tenent. Indeed, the whole idea of using magic was almost irrelevant to the bigger picture - The main characters could have been at school learning anything you care to mention, and the end result would have been almost exactly the same (although perhaps less eye-catching to draw in viewers in the first place). So, this has proved to be a quiet little hit with me, going about its business in a way that was far from bold and brash, instead choosing to slowly worm its way into my heart by offering up a kind of soft yet true to life reality which I found myself unable to resist being captured by.


hashihime said...

This show captivated me, too. The one way in which I disagree with your opinion is that I think the animation was actually excellent. It wasn't very detailed, but the movements seemed very good to me. And the faces, although quite simplified, were very expressive. As for the backgrounds, they were among the best and most effective I've seen. They really made me feel the reality of the scenes, in the haiku-like way Shinkai Makoto's backgrounds do. In any case, a memorable show.

Peter S said...

I thought this episode was one of the best finales I've seen in anime. I was dreading Sora's death, I was bothered that it had set this easygoing show on a different track, but by showing not her death but other characters later thinking about her while going through their regular lives they not only kept the original mood intact, but enriched it. Magnificent episode!

One of my favorite shows this year.

Karasu said...

I just happened to be searching other people's thoughts on the ending of this show and I must say that I fully agree with you. For the first time I felt like I wasn't watching an anime-ish ending and something that every person feels and goes through. It was very humanistic and that quality was constant throughout the entire show. Usually animation gets to me when it is done badly but for the first time I actually appreciated the way this was done. By adding the real-life backdrops it took the interaction between the characters and the scenery to a whole new level. Heh, it also took me forever to finish this anime cause I forgot I had it in my video folder (so sorry about the late post about something you probably have already forgotten about)