We’re in the second last week for the Summer 2014 anime season. At the time of this posting though, a lot of great series will have come to a close already. I’ll do a larger wrap up post to close out the season and run down my final impressions of the series. For now though, I’ve collected my thoughts on Re: Hamatora Episode 11, and Ao Haru Ride Episode 11.
This was a pretty explosive episode. Up until now, Art hasn’t actually killed anyone in his conquest to rid the world of minimums (aside from Moral). Which made it odd for him to be supporting the Freemums, after it was clear that they had a completely different goal compared to Art. In the end, Art saves a few innocent lives, and then turns the tables on the Freemum gang. As we saw earlier, Gasquet’s death hit him hard, but he had to endure it in order to achieve his goal. Now that the stage has been set, and he no longer needs the Freemums, he takes out the leader.
Since the end is near, it seems like they’re trying to tie up as many loose holes as possible. We learn how the non minimum users of “NoWhere” tie into everything. They also touched on Art’s brother and explain how their promise was Art’s motivation. Some of their back stories felt a bit lackluster to me. It feels as if they realized that they only have 2 episodes left, but need to cover as many questions as possible.
It seemed a bit strange to me how they were having such a big build up between Nice and Art, but then it concludes with a simple stab wound. Art went around collecting powerful minimums because he wasn’t “strong” enough to face Nice. But, in the end, Nice basically kneels over and dies. Regardless, I don’t think this will be how his story ends. Considering how he “died” in the past, but was still alive up until now.
Something about that final scene felt odd to me. We have the peaceful ending song playing, and Art breaking down now that he’s achieved his goal. Despite Nice “dying” the world is at peace, happy, and smiling. For a second, it felt like this was the big happy conclusion to Hamatora, until I remember that Art is the bad guy!
Ao Haru Ride
This was a pretty touching episode. Seeing Kou coping with his mother’s illness was depressing. He was just a middle school kid, who shouldered a lot of responsibility. His brother didn’t mean to put all of this pressure on him, but he felt that he had to take care of his mother. The doctor and his mother knew that the news would be difficult for him to handle. The doctor wanted to break the news to an older relative first, so that they could decide how to break the news to Kou afterwards. His mom always put on a smile as well, since she didn’t want him to worry about her.
Kou had kept to himself while living with his mother. Believing that succeeding in the future will lift all her worries about him. Now he regrets all the times he stayed in his room studying, when he could have been making precious memories with his mother. Family is something a lot of people take for granted. While education, personal lives, and money may be important, they can’t replace family.
At the end, Futaba finally breaks through Kou’s barrier. He had to endure the pain and guilt of his mother’s death alone. He ended up closing himself off to others and becoming uncaring of everything. But now, there’s a group of kids, who want to hear how he feels, who want to share emotions with him. Kou is finally able to accept them, and begin a new phase of his life.
Another short round up post this week. As I mentioned, I’ll try to have an extended one to close out the Summer season for next week. If you’ve been following Tokyo Ghoul, don’t forget to check out my series finale thoughts!