That was a pretty innuendo filled climax wasn’t it?
Well, there was no averting a final confrontation at this point given how the last episode ended with Satoru openly declaring that he’s become a threat to Yashiro’s way of life once again. The way things played out was about as silly as I’d come to expect from this series when its efforts are being exerted in the direction of a dramatic thriller, and that’s to say it was utter nonsense. For starters, no one really knew how exactly Yashiro planned to kill Satoru. He could have shot him right there, strangled him, or what have you. There was no guarantee that he would kill him in that exact way and throw him down right there even counting in the small gate. Nobody even knew he was going to show up in the first place so how did they prepare all of this on such short notice? Also, no one saw or heard what happened on the roof from the ground. Looking from down below, you could just as easily make a case for Yashiro attempting to save Satoru as you could for him attempting to kill him. The implications of what went down don’t exactly carry implications to be anywhere near satisfying either. As bad as attempted murder is, no one would be put away for it as long as someone convicted the serial murders of children. Someone with a (seemingly) healthy psychological profile, no pre-established criminal record, and overall shows no overt signs of being a menace to society should easily be able to get out of prison in a relatively short amount of time.
The rest of the episode doesn’t give much else to chew on since it’s basically the epilogue I was expecting to see heading into this episode and it wasn’t nearly enough to make up for the preceding bullshit. That said I can’t help but scratch my head when Bobduh tries to convince everyone that the last few minutes saved the episode when the best it did was apply butterfly bandage to a large wound that’s been infected and has been festering for weeks. Most of the side characters had a chance to show off their happily-ever-afters, so all that was left to was to show us Satoru’s and to try and trick you into thinking Airi was actually an important character that can’t easily be written out of the story with the tagged-on final seconds of implied shipping.
Well, that sure hell didn’t pan out well. It’s not hard to tell were exactly the show “went wrong” since everything clearly tanked hard with the 10th episode, but that’s not the entire answer. In retrospect, the show’s biggest failings were all the ones that were easiest to see coming, either because of all the hints thrown at us, and the fact that some issues were present before but weren’t quite deal-breakers yet. For starters, I’d like to say that the amount of effort poured into the direction on it’s own was pretty admirable, as you could tell that Itou wanted nothing more then to outdo the original source material in plenty of scenes. However there is such thing as trying to hard. This show has some of the most….blunt directorial choices I’ve seen in quite some time to say the least. From depictions of Kayo’s abusive relationship with her mother, to episode 10’s “reveal”. There was even the spider threads dangling off the heads of Kayo and Satoru in the last two episodes, which makes the already extremely obvious connection between Satoru’s plight and the story of Kandata even obvious-er.There’s a difference between lightly nudging the audience in one direction with certain ques and being afraid that we won’t get anything that isn’t shoved into eye-sockets.
The real kicker is how it really doesn’t matter if you want to classify BokuMachi’s dramatic side as either a mystery or a thriller as it sucks as both. As the former, it’s simple and unfulfilling. As the latter it’s just stupid because Yashiro is a horribly written character. I can’t help but wonder how much better off this series might have been if it just went for a simple character dram with a time travel premise centered around the main character attempting to prevent a tragedy that wasn’t caused by a serial murderer. For clarification, check out the manga Orange or the upcoming anime adaptation. Based on the first volume, it’s essentially a more shoujo’d up version of BokuMachi except for the fact that the main character doesn’t travel through time so much as she receives notes from her future self and the tragedy she’s trying to erase is a suicide instead of serial murders. To say these are the only differences between the two and that people who hated this show would like Orange would be a bit of stretch, but the absence of any hints of a half-assed cat-and-mouse thriller leads me to believe that it’ll play up to its appeal far better then BokuMachi did as a story about what happens when someone feels the pressure of having to use ones knowledge of the future to forge a favourable path for loved ones.
Very little of my goodwill towards this series remains intact as you might have guessed by now. The more time spent on what didn’t work took away from what could’ve worked better. With my emotional investment completely bulldozed, there wasn’t really much left for me other than the inherent silliness of this final episode. On top of that, this is one of those anime that to me seemed to get worse the more I thought about it. From the weakly defined time travel mechanics, to the fact that on his own, Satoru is kind of a boring character since his state of mind is mostly stuck on his quest to save Kayo and find the killer. This didn’t exactly provide the series much in the way of character development besides him coming out on the other side of this story a lot more chipper than he was initially, which is pretty standard and boring. His defining qualities as a character that we see in the first don’t really matter much past the first episode in the grand scheme of things so he feels more like any other average protagonist most of the time.
Looking back at my 1st impressions of the show now is hella embarrassing for me to be honest, as this was really less of a standout series, more of a series with some standout scenes and no rewatch value. Almost makes me want to go back and time to prevent the disappointment to come.