There you have it – these two characters are the reason why the story exists in the first place. Not necessarily Kazehaya. It’s strangely ironic that the rivalry between Sawako and Kurumi was in fact complementary to the evolution of the main relationship, but you have to admit that without either of these two girls, Kazehaya would just be the same day-in, day-out popular high school kid.
(I’m half-glad there’s no set law book on blogging, but I do feel bad for leaving this one out for so long. Without further ado…)
Kazehaya’s relishing in victory as he cycles off into the distance after bidding Sawako farewell for the day was monumental by this show’s standards. I’m sure his fist pump was similar to the handful of fans of this show as they exhaled a huge sigh of relief for finally reaching this conclusion. It’s been a long time coming for this awkwardly shy but perfect duo.
“I like you”
Gee, who didn’t see that one coming from miles away? Ryuu’s playfulness in this scene reminded me why the two of them are great side characters to fluff up the main coupling.
Gotta hand it to Kurumi, though. Despite being the sacrificial catalyst and stepping stone for Kazehaya’s growing feelings for Sawako, she handled her last few scenes very well, even so much as standing up to the group of gossip girls still bent on trying to break Sawako and Kazehaya up. Her reveal about Sawako being the reason she was able to confess to Kazehaya in the first place was a nice little catch that put the rivalry dynamic in a nice little ironic spin.
Let’s face it – despite Kurumi not really enjoying Sawako’s presence and Sawako never understanding Kurumi’s true intentions, they both needed each other. Kurumi finally got over the non-reciprocated confession and Sawako was finally able to bring her feelings of any given situation to the surface without fear of judgment. Both characters evolved for the better under their own circumstances.
And they all lived happily ever after… until the college years began. Which I’m sure will never be covered, unless the show decides to follow in the curtails of a certain other show about four light music club members’ university lives. What boggles my mind about the ending is that Sawako decided to keep the chocolates she withheld since Valentine’s Day. Wouldn’t those have spoiled by this episode?! And I’m sorry, but that beanie looks really lame against a summer backdrop. Welcome, elf Kazehaya.
(Actually, you begin to develop a tolerance for things you wear just because your girlfriend got/made it for you. Must be some unwritten rule of forgiveness and the natural shedding of self-consciousness when you enter a relationship)
Final Thoughts: What was probably the slowest romance I’ve ever seen since I began watching anime in the early ’00s turned out to be one of the deepest, most realistic (believe it), and most entertaining series to date. Sometimes, buildup is too much of a bad thing, but the pacing of this show kept the right formula and smoothed out the characters enough to make them and the environment very likeable across two seasons. Each of the characters played off each other very well and helped bring some life to an otherwise bland start to the friendship and eventual relationship of Sawako and Kazehaya. So many times did I want to cheer on their friends as they backed each other up (especially Chizuru and Ayane for Sawako). Music and animation were well done, providing enough bubbly and atmospheric presence to showcase the naivety and newness of life in the characters.
A solid thumbs-up for anyone looking for something a little beyond the typical shoujo genre. Romance, tears, and blushed cheeks galore!