After all the season finales of the summer anime series I’ve been following, I might start writing final reviews in pairs because the penultimate episode always leaves you with a serious cliff-hanger. Kimi no iru Machi does that in Episode 11 so I’m really glad I waited till after the final ending to watch both in one go.
This episode is titled “Confessions,” and from where we left off in episode 10, with Eba confronting Haruto about something on her mind, we’re seriously hinted at Eba’s feelings for Haruto. What I loved the most about this episode was how Haruto and Eba are brought back to Hiroshima and the summer festival where they first met, bringing their relationship full circle.
After many sorry attempts at balloon-fishing, Haruto is given a candy apple as a consolation prize, which he ends up giving to Eba, much like their first childhood encounter in Hiroshima. They also watch the fireworks by the pond and the nostalgic mood of it all makes Haruto reflect on their history together… the first time she visited the countryside as a kid, when she moved to Hiroshima for school, when he found her in Tokyo and when they part after Kazama Kyousuke’s death. After being separated for so many times, Haruto wonders how things will turn out with her this time. She catches her crying and worries after her. Eba finally comes clean with her feelings. Knowing that Haruto has a girlfriend, she decides, that after this last memory with him, to throw the necklace away into the pond. Haruto dives into the lake after the necklace and retrieves it, asking her to hold onto it. Just before they head home, Haruto receives a call from Asuka. He lies to her about his whereabouts and it’s only when Eba and Haruto return home that Asuka is waiting for them at the doorstep.
I guess everything finally comes out into the open. Haruto and Eba’s past has caught up to Haruto and Asuka’s present and now Haruto has to make a final choice between the two of them. I feel really bad for Asuka because I truly wonder if Haruto ever loved her, or if she was just an interruption to keep his feelings off of Eba.
Love the new insert song playing in the background as Eba and Haruto are walking home. I really think they’re the perfect couple. When the fireflies surround them and Haruto promises to give Eba a proper answer, it’s definitely one of my favourite moments of the series.
Haruto’s faced with a dilemma with Asuka and Eba. His reaction to Asuka leaving and his hesitation in stopping Asuka from leaving definitely says something about his feelings for her from the get-go. As Haruto is pondering his feelings, Rin approaches him about his predicament and in many ways, she’s been playing the bad guy throughout the entire story to goad Haruto into making decisive choices. Perhaps without Rin’s persistent urges, Haruto would have spiralled into a horribly annoying and passive character.
Though Rin annoyed me with her flirts and teases of Haruto in the last few episodes, I’ve come to realize that she was a vital part of Haruto’s character development. She calls him a total jerk for trying not to hurt either of the girls, for trying to be the nice guy in a situation that’s going to hurt someone ANYWAY.
Finally, Haruto decides to break up with Asuka but even during the conversation, Asuka holds out hope that perhaps it was all an explanation, that Haruto would have an explanation for his actions. She loves him to the extent that she’s willing to accept it and perhaps forgive him but Haruto decides to make the break.
My favourite moment of the entire series – and I’ve been waiting for this for 11 episodes – must be the moment when Haruto meets up with Eba after his talk with Asuka. Eba’s already heard from their mutual friends that Haruto’s decided to leave Asuka. This becomes Eba’s shining moment in the series that fully redeems her character. She’s gone from a quiet cry-baby who didn’t have the confidence to strive for her true happiness, to a mature young woman who’s ready to stand by the person she loves through hell and high-water. At the end of the day, what you want for yourself is really all that matters because if you make decisions solely for the sake of others, you’ll never find true happiness.
“I don’t mind that! It’s all right as long as I can stay by your side, no matter what people would say, how much they’d hate us. If I can be with the person I like, then that’s all that matters. Because that’s what I desire.” – Yuzuki Eba
At the end, Haruto decides to move out of his sister’s place. He and Asuka reconcile their awkward post-breakup friendship. That last scene makes you feel a bit better about their broken relationship but Eba and Haruto really deserve to be together in the end after
I guess the whole lesson of the story is that if you love someone, chase after that love. As long as you have that love and that person, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself and I think this last thought is really shown well in retrospect with each character’s journey throughout the series. I had a fear of the series dragging on past twelve episodes and I’m glad it wrapped up within a nice short summer series length. What I liked about the story up till the very end was how realistic all the characters were. Even the comedy wasn’t made of exaggerated anime expressions, but of witty banter inserted into dialogue or actual accidents. There was definitely a lot of drama (and some fan-service) inserted into it so I’d recommend this for older viewers who will better understand the story and appreciate the subtleties of symbolism injected into the animation.
I really hope you guys enjoyed the series as much as I do. These meaningful slice-of-life stories really give me the feels. Special thanks to the person who suggested Kimi no Iru Machi to me!
What are you pondering today?