Saturday, June 24, 2017

Tsukigakirei Episode #11 Anime Review

I must live up to my promise...That is all that matters to me now.

What They Say:
It’s the third year of middle school. Kotaro, a bookish boy aspiring to become a novelist, and Akane, a track girl who loves to run, meet in the same class together for the first time. They’re put in charge of the equipment for the sports festival, and slowly grow closer via LINE. How does Kotaro deal with his growing feelings for her? Meanwhile, Takumi has been in love with Akane since first year, and Akane’s friend, Chinatsu, becomes interested in Kotaro. A refreshing story of young love set in Kawagoe.

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
So it's finally come -- the penultimate episode of my favorite series is quite a while. Of course, Seiji Kishi hates me and does not care about the condition of my heart, so this episode starts off on a gloomier note than normal. Of course, it's a note we all knew we'd have to hear eventually. During a seemingly normal parent-teacher conference concerning his future, Kotarou drops the Koumei bomb on his mother with zero remorse. Having no idea where this school even is, she's a bit taken aback to say the least -- especially since she planned on having him attend a public school, not some private academy hours away from home.

At the end of the day, there is one thing clear. Kotarou's parents do not agree with their son's decision to apply to Koumei. And if there is any barricade in the path of adolescence, it is that of unsupportive parents. At the same time, however, we still need to see things through their eyes. Kotarou's grades are not the best, that much is apparent to everyone. What makes his situation even worse is that his teacher straight-up tells Kotarou's mom that he's pretty much only applying there because Akane is. Way to go, Ryouko-sensei! Either way, despite clear disapproval from his parents, Kotarou remains adamant about the Koumei decision and starts pulling all-nighters nearly every night, studying harder than ever in an attempt to make it through entrance exams. The only break he takes in this episode is to exchange Christmas gifts with Akane (Who boosted the adorable-meter to new heights with her attempt at knitting him a scarf).

While Kotarou's efforts in studying don't seem to be helping him all that much, Akane's efforts have had the opposite effect. Later on in the episode, she heads over to Koumei [offscreen] to try her hand at the entrance exam. And, what do you know, she passes with flying colors. Of course, we all knew that wouldn't be an issue considering she's one of the top students in her grade. What is an issue, however, is that word of Kotarou also applying to Koumei has somehow leaked out -- and everyone is laughing about it. So on top of studying his ass off, Kotarou must now fight away ridicule from his classmates and his parents. At least his girlfriend is supportive. 

As time ticks closer toward exams, the disapproval of Kotarou's parents starts to fade. In fact, Kotarou's mother even defends him when that traitor, Ryouko-sensei, pretty much tells her that Kotarou doesn't stand a chance. Momma-Azumi has noticed just how hard her son has been working and winds up changing her opinion, albeit not entirely. Kotarou's father proposes a bit of an ultimatum to his son. They will allow Kotarou to apply to Koumei on one condition -- that he applies to a municipal public school if he fails the exam. Immediately following this, we jump two months into the future as Kotarou leaves home in an attempt to solidify his future not only for Akane but for himself.

In Summary:
Focusing almost entirely on Kotarou, Tsukigakirei strays from the normally heavy romance and focuses more on growing up -- a theme that has been prevalent throughout but is now more apparent than ever. With an equal balance of hope and struggle, the penultimate installment of Tsukigakirei sits amongst ten other, equally strong episodes that have gone on to create an incredibly nostalgic and precious series. And while this episode ends on a much more hopeful note than some of the others, the feeling in the back of my mind that things could collapse at any moment remains an unmistakable threat. I'm sure that Kotarou and Akane will find a way to make things work, though. They seem to have a knack for that.

Grade: A-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

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