Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo. – Episode 12 [Final Impressions]
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when we were coming into this episode. I know I definitely wanted closure on a lot of the issues and drama that this anime had been building up and in some way I got it… But on the other hand I don’t know if I’m satisfied with it. Don’t get me wrong, I am generally pretty happy about how things turned out, I’m so thankful that everyone finally had a moment to just talk it out between themselves. In terms of plot and story writing, that was my biggest frustrations. The girls never actually had a chance to talk things out with each other. But rather we were only able to get their feelings through inner monologues or their own interactions with minor characters.
After last week’s ending I thought that the club taking on the principal and vice principal was going to have more of a central moment in this episode. Perhaps, all of them arguing and eventually having everyone recognize the things they’ve done? But really, they only existed so someone could call Sonezaki back to school and for us to get a rather grand ending. I’m not necessarily complaining, but part of me was like “what’s the point?” But hey, you know what it was entertaining to say the least.
Once all of our characters gathered, we really got to see the worst aspects of everyone, and I mean that in a good way. Let me explain. In this moment, emotions are running high and finally everything is coming out. Momo finally explodes and gives out all her emotions to both Sugawara and Kazusa and how’s she’s felt about their whole situation, but also hurt she is by Sugawara’s actions. Sugawara continues to say that she loves Izumi and just desperately wants to tell him that. Izumi (albeit kind of dumb move) admits that he’s in love with Kazusa but is, in fact, sexually attracted to Sugawara. I’m not gonna fault him for having those feelings, because he never actually acted on the latter half of them… but it’s honestly not the best thing for a high school boy to say to a bunch of high school girls who’ve been battling with the concept of sex and romance. Then, naturally we have Sonezaki turn back into the overdramatic character that she was in the first couple episodes and Amagi doesn’t make it much better by saying that he’s touched another girl before. Hitoha of course is just egging everyone else on as it seems that she reached her conclusion with Milo a lot earlier in the anime.
So, with tensions high everyone bickers about how to solve the issue at hand. Either by talking it out or just having a straight up (pillow) fight. But instead, we got a really good concept of color tag, in which everyone has to understand what the person who is “it” means. It was a pretty great way to both understand that one person’s “red” is another person’s “crimson” and not everyone sees things differently. But it was also a wonderful way to have everyone understand or at least try to understand how the other characters viewed the world. I really liked what came out of it and I kind of wish color played a more vital role in the series. That would have really been a cherry on top.
Ultimately, I don’t have a whole lot to say about how most of them reached their resolutions. In fact, I don’t even think that Hitoha and Milo ever actually reached something, but I’m so glad that they happened. I’m glad that they were all able to come and understand each other in the end. In addition to that, I really, really appreciated a line by Kazusa where she says something like “there’s no doubt that we’ll have these feelings again”. I’m glad they acknowledged this, because, in this moment, they did reach a resolution and everything seems to be working out. But that doesn’t mean that it’s over and done. They are in the savage season of their youth, things will keep happening, and they will still make many mistakes, but that’s okay.
The last thing that I wanted to talk about was that time skip! I’m a sucker for animes that end and then show us what everyone is up to. I will always love that. I’m glad to see that Amagi and Sonezaki are still dating through college and that Sonezaki still keeps in touch with Jujo! I’m happy to see that Sugawara and Momo’s relationship wasn’t ruined by the events in this anime and I’m happy that Kazusa and Izumi re more comfortable with their relationship with each other. And heck! Hitoha writing a script with new literature club members for Milo’s wedding? ah I’m happy!!
Did this anime live up to my expectations? Honestly, no. But I would still recommend it to someone if I felt it was a good fit. In defense of that anime, I came into it with really high expectations. I’ve seen a handful of Okada’s works and have generally been pleased with a lot of them. So, hearing that this was an original story from her felt like I was asking for a lot.
This anime started out really strong. It had a pretty strong premise and most of the characters were really interesting that I wanted to know their story. Sure, they weren’t all my favorite characters, but I was genuinely interested in how they reacted and responded to certain situations. I’ll take Sonezaki as an example. She was probably my least favorite when the anime started out. And quite frankly I don’t like a lot things about her even now, but I absolutely loved her arc and I wouldn’t have wanted to see any of the other girls take that spot. For me, she had the best development of all the girls (though it kind of seemed like we back peddled a little bit in the last episode? But it’s okay because the kiss on the forehead was really cute.) but that isn’t to say that none of the other girls got development.
The other girls were definitely developed, but they were developing off of negative feelings and misunderstandings of what a relationship should be. Which is completely fine! I said it in a previous entry, but this anime is about these girls encountering these feelings for the first time and how they respond to them. Of course, not everyone is going to respond in positive ways. Some of them will go down destructive paths and not even know it. And once I sat back and realized that, I think I became a little more forgiving with the show. Many times I would be upset by a certain decision one of our characters had made, but then I remember what I was like back in high school and what a confusing and wild time that was and then I understand a bit more of their feelings. They are just 5 young girls living in the heat of their savage season.
I think what I was most frustrated with, was the pacing and just the unnecessary drama that came about. At many times I wasn’t sure what was going on and things that I thought would take a bit of time to resolve were just kind of taken care of in just few seconds. But man the drama that Sugawara stirred up and roped Kazusa, Momo, and Izumi into was just really frustrating for me. I know some others were really invested in it, but that was honestly what made dislike the anime the most. I just really didn’t like how it was progressing and it just made me more angry the more it happened. However, I know there were quite a few people who actually really liked the drama that developed and that it kept them really engaged. To which I say, that’s also valid!
So all in all I’d probably give this anime a solid 7/10. There were definitely some very good things this anime did, but there were other things that definitely fell flat for me. It felt a little rushed and incomplete at times and I personally believe that the issues that I had with it might have been addressed if it were a 24 episode anime rather than just 12. If you’ve been waiting to hear if you should watch it or not, I would say you should take the chance and watch it.