I’m going to get the bad out of the way first because it’s fresh in my mind having been crammed mostly into the end of the series. Through the first 18 episodes the show was nonstop great and I thought would be a shoe-in candidate for my alltime favorites but the rest of the show went and ruined it. The plot gets totally unfocused, the pacing goes fucking insane, a new character who I found it thoroughly impossible to care about is thrown in and wastes plenty of time, and generally the quality was unimpressive.
It all seems to have to do with the 6-part episode ’14 days’ which is interrupted for 2 random eps before the ending. The first part is okay only because of it’s totally awesome experimental animation techniques, but shit and fan collide for the next 3 eps. Besides a few good moments, it was almost entirely ass. Episode 13 finally seemed to be getting good again and episode 24 was awesome for he first half, the second half being recap. In fact, I think this would have made a perfectly fine ending to the series, but there were 2 more eps.
Luckily, episode 25 might have been my favorite episode of the whole show, however it SHOULD NOT have been episode 15 because it is a complete aside form any of the going plots. The last episode, though, is definitely the worst. At first it seems to be taking on a ‘darkest just before dawn’ approach or something with prospects of a potentially good ending but then, after some more of the ‘this is all nice, but could we get some more plot please?’ scenes that had plagued this arc the whole shebang ends in a shattering anti-climax with no real conclusions of anything. I know that the anime only makes up a small part of the manga but FOR GODS FUCKING SAKE, AT LEAST FUCKING TRY TO MAKE A REAL FUCKING ENDIND.
Setting aside my anger and trying to reach back into the nexus of my fond memories of this show, it’s another one like Manabi that came for me at the right time with the right messages only this one was the most direct of em all. One of the main themes was literally that certain things are more important than schoolwork IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Thank you for understanding, fellow smart kids. It was also a really nice, quick-paced romance with interesting side-stories (aside from that fucking bullshit of the last arc). Putting aside her great looks, grades, and popularity, I relate with Yukino on many levels, so that was fun to see as well.
Honestly, though, even though I know the first 18 eps were freaking great I just can’t shake the terrible that happened afterward. It just leaves an utterly horrible taste in my mouth. In addition, this show should NOT have been 26 eps. Like I said, I know the manga is much longer, but the amount of shit they got done could have fit in 13 episodes, had there not been SOOOOOOOO MUUUUCH RECAAAAAAP!!! It felt like the entire story was re-told from the start up to it’s current point a zillion times either in pre-show or in characters’ thoughts or in the 2 recap episodes (really it’s 1 and 2 halves of eps but still good fucking god). Not to mention all the parts with just random cityscape pictures for up to a full minute.
In any case, I probably have to check out the manga now and I feel like I need to rewatch only the good episodes to get this bad taste out of my mouth lest my memories turn all sour since I was REALLY looking forward to praising this show and can’t even remember what I had to say >_<
Oh! The characters. Arima was a great guy, Yukino is, as mentioned, very relatable, Asapin was funny, basically everyone was great except the basketball douchebag. My favorite, even though she was woefully underdeveloped, was the resident writer girl. I always have a thing for the character who follows their dreams, plus she had a personality made of win and best of all, she’s a smoker! Charaters seem like another good reason I should read the manga, just to get to know them better.