[Readers Request] Tsuki ga Kirei Episode 12: And Then [Final Impression]
“To think someone I loved would love me back…I thought it must have been a miracle.”
Dazai once said, “The true substance of love lies in the act of howling words of love with the desperation of a man jumping into high seas.” So, following his advice, to show just how much I love this show I’m going to profess my love with this same desperation.
I LOVED THIS SHOW. Maybe I’ve already professed my love for this show many times but dammit, I’ll say it again. Tsuki ga Kirei is a wonderful and beautiful romance show, and it’s a romance done right. I can’t tell you how much I was emotionally invested in this show, looking forward to the next episode every week. I could have watched ahead since this is a Reader’s Request, all the episodes have been out for awhile. But held myself back because I thought I wouldn’t enjoy the show as much because I think I had more fun really taking in the feelings of each episode and happily waiting for the next one, whereas if I marathoned it, I wouldn’t take the time to really take in the emotions. So, after Episode 11 last week, I looked forward to this episode a lot.
And I appreciate that the episode didn’t dawdle. Straight from the beginning, we learned that Kotarou didn’t pass the Koumei exam. And like I said last week, I was heartbroken. Kotarou and Akane took the news pretty well though and remained positive and Kotarou said he’d go to a nearby municipal school, and later we find out that he passed! But we see Akane look a little worried in her room and her sister asks what they’re going to do, and it just weighs on Akane’s mind. Later as they hang out after an eventful graduation day, the two walk and talk about what they’re going to do as a couple. Kotarou is more positive and says he’ll visit every weekend, get a job to pay for train fare, and that it’s no trouble. But Akane sees it all differently. First off, she asks Kota why he didn’t tell her that Chinatsu confessed to him. Then she admits how anxious she is, and how guilty that Kotarou is taking all the burden on himself and it makes her cry. As the audience, we know that Kota doesn’t think it’s a burden at all. But if I were in Akane’s shoes, I would feel the same way. Actually, I feel that way a lot with the people I care about. I don’t like it when people sacrifice a lot for me, even though they tell me that it’s okay. I believe them because I know they’re genuine, but it still bothers me. And this little moment is hitting a little too close to home right now for me so I completely understand why she had a breakdown like that. So, this little moment was a little emotional for me, especially when it looked like she was giving Kotarou a goodbye kiss.
After that, moving day arrives. It also made me very nervous when Akane left her little potato on the windowsill, making me think that she was going to leave it behind and make it clear that she would follow her sister’s advice and officially break up with Kotarou. She goes outside to say bye to her friends but her parents say that she can stay and take the train later, so she can hang out with them longer. But she’s surprised when Chinatsu shows Akane a novel board with a chapters Kotarou uploaded online. Kotarou got the idea of this online novel board thanks to Roman. After festival rehearsal, the bookstore owner says he’s read his chapters and said there’s been supportive comments. He shows the comments and notices that Akane left one, saying “What happens next?” The chapters of Kotarou’s story is about him and Akane. How they met, how they sat at the shrine and he was so shy and embarrassed.
And at that very moment, when I saw that his story was about his time meeting Akane, I lost it. Then the ED theme played, Kotarou ran to find her train as Akane was in it, going home. Oh my goodness. He left a reply for her, saying that even though the girl is going to move far away, even though that they’re going to be apart, that his feelings about her will never change. That he’ll always love her, as he screams these words at the passing train. Akane breaks into tears at this ending, and we’re left with their internal monologues. How this is their first love, they had no idea what they were doing, how embarrassing it was, but how happy it made them and how miraculous that they were able to fall in love. At this point I thought this show would have finished at that point when the episode title came up and we would have been left with an ambiguous ending. But then the credits play and we see Akane and Kotarou living their lives, continuing their LINE messages with each other as they go to high school, as they visit each other, go to job interviews, as they move in together, and in the end, we see both Kotarou and Akane as adults with their families by their sides as Akane and Kotarou hold their newborn baby together (with the potato) with wedding rings on their fingers, and the red string of fate.
I couldn’t have been happier. Let me tell you, I was a sobbing mess, but my heart was warm with joy seeing the very end. They had their issues, there were lots of awkward moments where neither of them knew what the hell they were doing, but their love was real and it continued on into their adult life.
Now, people can say: Is this realistic? There’s usually always happy endings in romance anime but I think people might think them being together in the end could be unrealistic. To which I say, no, not really. I’ve mentioned this before but there are people that fall in love young and end up together. Lots of couples were high school sweethearts and end up married. If Akane and Kotarou were here in the States, they would actually be high school freshmen and not middle schoolers (9th grade is still middle school in Japan). Some people do fall in love that young and end up with each other. My mom met my dad and he was her first and only love, she was a little older than our main pair, and here they are 30+ years later. It’s rare, but this type of love can happen. Akane and Kotarou also showed how much they loved each other by working with this long-distance relationship, and they were able to have a happy ending. It really shows that their love was real and strong.
What can I say about this show that I haven’t already said? I was in love with this show from the beginning but I just fell more enamored with it with every episode. The budding romance between Kota and Akane was slow, and it was real awkward, but it felt real. It felt genuine. But I can say that about the anime in general. I noted from the beginning how real the characters felt, from their interactions with their families and friends, to how they thought and reacted. It never felt like an overdramatic romance that most romance anime are like. It really felt like I was watching the story between actual people. We have two socially awkward, introverted, kids experiencing love for the first time. They make mistakes here and there, and they feel the pressures from their peers, keep secrets, but slowly and surely they take this love and form it into what they have now. They experience even more things like holding hands, hugging, kissing, going on dates, and just the warmth of being with the person they love.
This show handled romance beautifully. It stayed away from typical cliches and boring tropes. It was a slow romance, where the characters really got to know each other and where I felt their love to be believable, and cheering for them so hard and hoping that they would be happy together.
The art style fit with the show with it’s soft colors and fuzziness. Sometimes it did look a little ugly, and dammit this show was another victim of CGI crowds. But I still enjoyed the art a lot and some scenes were rather breathtaking. The OST was gorgeous. Nao Touyama did an incredible job with the OP and ED scenes, as well as the many inserts songs that would fit the mood of the scenes they were inserted in.
Akane and Kotarou were great characters. I loved seeing them open up with each other, and within themselves. If I had to give the show one critique, I just wish that the other side characters had some more spotlight. We had some Extras at the end of some episodes and while some of them were fun, I would have preferred learning more about them in the main story. I was more interested in Kotarou’s friends since we didn’t see them hang out as much together, but Roman had some pretty good moments (like in the amusement park).
Maybe there were only a couple times where it was a tiny bit boring, maybe towards the beginning. For the most part, Tsuki ga Kirei is very slow but I always felt like there was lots of progress being made. There were some lows, the drama with Chinatsu irked me. By the way, she confessed in the end but got rejected unsurprisingly. But since they’re kids, I tried understanding it but I had my reasons for being irritated. And really, those are the only faults I can find within the show.
Another interesting thing to add about this show was the use of technology. Sometimes this show felt like an advertisement for LINE but I love that it played such a huge part in the show. As an introvert myself, I understand that texting and messaging is easier than talking to people in person and it showed with Kotarou and Akane. Their phones was a way for them to form a relationship, and it shows how technology has benefitted us and how normal this is for kids now. It was interesting to note.
I can only call this show beautiful, as beautiful as the moon. It’s hard to write a good romance. The drama has to be interesting but not over the top. The characters have to be likeable. And the actual romance has to be believable. And Tsuki ga Kirei did just that. I can honestly say that this is one of the best romances I’ve seen, one of the most genuine and sweetest romances. I’m glad I was able to watch this show finally, though I’m sad to see it end. But I can’t help but smile knowing that the sweet potato squeezie is going to live on in the next generation. Thank goodness.