Sasameki Koto – 13 (END)
My first post of the year also marks the first series I have blogged through to completion. A good sign for 2010, I say!
Sasameki Koto ends similarly to many other series — the ol’ “life goes on with a hopeful future” episode. Sort of disappointing, although probably not as much as it would have been if I weren’t already used to it, haha. The episode also works decently as a metaphor that sums up Murasame and Ushio’s relationship up to this point.
It’s not too deep, or anything, because the symbolism is pretty clear: Murasame’s cell phone being out of range during the trip represents the distance between the two (as far as romance goes), and the cell phone picking up a signal, along with Ushio calling and getting through to Murasame, is the enduring part of their relationship and the hope that one day they’ll be able to connect in a way that goes deeper than a simple friendship. Again, not quite a 5 Centimeters Per Second examination of the emotional and physical distance between people, and how it affects them, but it makes for a sweet way to conclude the series.
Another part of this episode I like is how it shows that Ushio is still not quite there in recognizing exactly how she feels about Murasame, and it frustrates her even though she doesn’t completely understand it. She acts out in a petulant way to her brother when Murasame is unable to call her (though she does not know this) and whines a bit about how Murasame promised that she would call. Kind of silly and childish, but Ushio’s brother just lets it go because he knows Ushio is just working her way through some feelings. She didn’t even consider Murasame in that way at the beginning of the series, and now all of a sudden she feels jealous when Murasame spends a bit of time with other people and lonely when Murasame is away. When she is finally able to accept the fact of her feelings, she’ll probably be a bit better at moderating how she feels.
From a comedy standpoint, the finale is just OK. Not much Murasame can do with the young’uns other than be dragged around places and get into some awkward conversations. (Why is her entire family crushing on her?!) I would have liked a scene — even a short one — with Murasame teaching the kids, but I guess the studio was a bit pressed for time, even though the pace of this episode is rather languid. At least since Sasameki Koto works with a style that is 2/3 comedy and 1/3 drama, there was never a danger of the series falling into the dreaded “Comedy is Serious Business” mode that befalls a good deal of comedy series during the home stretch (Kannagi, Hyakko, Asu no Yoichi! etc.).
Overall, I like Sasameki Koto — maybe not as much as Aoi Hana, but I don’t really want to compare the two too much because they’re fairly different series aside from both being yuri. Sasameki Koto‘s blend of comedy with one or two dramatic moments peppered throughout each episode is one that consistently works for me, and the characters are fun enough to keep the comedy enjoyable while also being sympathetic enough to make the drama work. My one problem is that some parts of the story feel disjointed and incomplete; for instance, Akemiya is kind of left hanging after his big episode shows his rather strong self-esteem issues. He grows a bit after that but not really to a satisfying extent. While Sasameki Koto doesn’t need a sequel quite as much as Aoi Hana, I would like to see another season to make the story feel more complete.