OH-KAY. Time to get this last recap and review out of the way. In retrospect, the entire episode twelve dragged out in the longest half hour show ever. All the Noel confusion could have been packed into the first third or first half of the show and left the rest of the episode for the resolution and conclusion.
The conflict doesn’t seem like THAT MUCH of a problem. Y’all saw a flying saucer blue-haired chibi and she sort of maybe (not really) granted all your wishes… I think. I kind of wish they made the magic or supernatural elements a lot more physically visible and tangible because for all we know, Noel could have been a crazy little girl making claims that she was the saucer.
Everyone seems a bit too easily convinced that they’re all missing something in their lives and Shione seems WAY TOO CHILL compared to her emotional angsty and quiet self in the LAST TWELVE EPISODES. The kicker of all this is that Shione isn’t enrolled in the school that the others are. Rather, in this new world where Noel and the Saucer never came to be, Shione goes to school out of town.
Also, why are Shione and Nonoka THE ONLY ONES who remember Noel? Cause they were the most attached to her? (if so the others shouldn’t care that much) OR it’s cause they’re the MAIN CHARACTERS of the main character group.
The friends resolve to call the saucer down again. I would expect that the saucer, as some mystical wish-granting entity has MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO DEAL WITH like the wishes of children in poverty of families in disaster zones than VISITING MIDDLE SCHOOLERS in summer slice of life land. There aren’t even saucer-calling words or a spell or something. Everyone literally held hands and waited. I don’t feel the magic. I really don’t. Is it a budget issue? Cause they couldn’t pay a bit more to put some of those colourful sparkles that we saw in the opening scene?
The only hint we know of the wish going through is the sunflower petals, the loss of Shione’s hat and the field of sunflowers. Wow, random scene much? There was absolutely no hint of relations of Noel to sunflowers. We have no idea why sunflowers were even really chosen to represent Noel because I can’t put saucer and sunflowers together and make sense of it. It seemed pretty anti-climactic after the field of sunflowers cause the camera takes us back to the high school zone and everyone just GOES HOME like it’s all over… or something.
The middle third of the episode gives some Shione x Nonoka happy friendship moments before Nonoka decides to embark on her little journey once again to find Noel when lo and behold, Noel, the sunflower-petal-saucer has called everyone to the sunflower field to meet up for her arrival. I did however like Noel’s little messages to each of her friends; that was a nice touch that tied us back to their previous slice of life bonding moments.
The final moments when Noel is being revealed in a ring of sunflowers seems a bit clunky and doled out in terms of pacing, at this point they should have gone for stereotypical and just REVEALED HER instead of having so many long moments with Shione’s hat, Nonoka, Noel’s hair AND THE CREDITS.
Thoughts on the Ending:
All I really wanted was a simple reveal on Noel’s part. And they sort of gave it to us, but not really cause everyone gets to see Noel’s back but when Noel turns around the animators go SUPER NUTS on the filters and the lighting and change the entire animation style of Noel’s appearance… it was just WEIRD. I didn’t like it as much because it felt like I was watching an isolated part of Noel’s return with absolutely no connection to the actual friends. No final sappy group hug? I’m disappointed Sora no Method, after all the emphasis you put on the friendship themes of this show. At least show Koharu and the twins REMEMBERING Noel… somehow. The ending didn’t to present as much closure as I thought it would have. Considering the weak plot progression and handful of plot holes (multiple plot holes, when prodded), the writers should have really gone for a full on friend-happy-sappy ending instead of just a one shot with Noel but it seems like the last the budget went into that pencil-crayon textured filter we saw in the last scene of the series.
Also, my follow-up questions to that cute saucer-girl return… WHY IS SHE BACK!?? I mean, I know they called her, but she must have other saucer duties to attend to. If they wished for Noel to come back what does that mean for the previous wish since the saucer returned? Or do a new set of rules apply to this wish that they wished for Noel to stay. Are you even allowed to wish for an entity like the saucer-Noel to stay? It’s like asking the genie to grant a wish giving you more wishes… other people need wishes too. I would have been find with these plot holes if Noel as the saucer acted more of a symbol or metaphor throughout the show to draw out deeper themes but they went WAY TOO LITERAL with the storytelling and the conflict wasn’t sorrowful at any given time. It was either you were too childish about handling the matters or running across town was the conflict before the resolution. What story actually took place? What was the point of telling this story? The fact that Noel returns is even more ridiculous. At least if Noel stayed a mystery, everyone would have looked back on the ordeal as a mysterious interlude that brought them together as friends. Instead, Noel just returned and it all seems too unrealistic. THE SUPERNATURAL ELEMENTS ARE UNREALISTIC in that THE MYSTERY IS NOT BELIEVABLE AT ALL.
Noel seems too loose with wish-granting. Next time I see a blue-haired chibi I’ll give her some candy and ask her for a magic pot of gold that grants me anything I want free of charge. Thanks saucer-chan. Goodbye now.
What are you pondering today?