One thing I can say for sure: this is the best episode of Demi-chan I’ve seen yet.

First I should start by apologizing to the vice-principle. I, like a fair number of other viewers, guessed incorrectly what his issue was, and misjudged him. When it comes down to it, his concern that the girls were becoming overly attached and dependent on Tetsuo and thus not forming proper social ties elsewhere isn’t exactly wrong, per se. He’s not saying it simply to be a one-dimensional villain: he’s an educator who has a genuine concern for the well being of the students in his care. And it’s true that the Demis spend a great deal of time hanging out either with each other or with Tetsuo, and do show signs of having come to just sort of expect him to take care of them. And this particular concern, expressed in this way by a person who believes what he is saying is for the girls’ own good, is probably one of the most effective ways to strike Tetsuo straight through to the soul. Making him question if these things he’s been doing, ostensibly for the girls’ own good while simultaneously satisfying his own curiosity, have actually been harming them instead. I don’t think anything could damage his confidence more.

However, while the vice-principle may not have been wrong, he also wasn’t exactly right either. Some of these girls had problems that needed resolving when Tetsuo first spoke to them: problems that weren’t being resolved either by their other teachers, their families, or their fellow students. Yuki in particular was working herself into a self-induced trauma, the very nature of which required her to isolate herself from anyone and everyone. It’s all well and good to say that maybe someone else could have helped her and maybe her social skills would have developed more naturally if that had happened, but the simple fact is that wasn’t happening. No one else was both willing and able to take the steps necessary to help her. That needed to be done, and he was the only one who did it. It isn’t right to say that he’s trying too hard. These other four students have figured it out: the truth is that everyone else just isn’t trying hard enough.

The conversation those four have is really something, I have to say. Particularly given the position those two girls were once in, as the school’s rumor-mongers: tearing other people down in order to make themselves feel better in comparison. They’ve changed a lot since Hikari and Yuki confronted them. It’s really impressive hearing that mature a perspective from them. When it comes down to it, the things that are different about the Demis have still set them apart from everyone else. If you ignore those differences you ignore part of what makes those girls who they are.

Tetsuo sitting on the beach by himself, brooding, is a very evocative scene, as we see now that he’s questioning everything he’s been doing. The background music is particularly on point here, really bring across his uncertainty and growing depression as he looks back over it all in a negative light. Unhappy music for an unhappy mood, and fortunately it’s interrupted before he gets too lost in it.

The video the girls send him… is remarkably touching. It’s very “real:” you can see that it wasn’t rehearsed at all, with Yuki trying to panic and leave before starting, stumbling over her words, playing with her hair while talking, and ending by virtue of having her mind go blank. Public speaking (and yes, this counts as public speaking) is hard for introverts like us. Kyouko, on the other hand, seems to pull it off naturally like a prepared speech, but then this feels like something she would do well at. And Satou-sensei is a little taken off-guard by being included, but manages to play it through with a combination of professionalism and enthusiasm. But putting that stuff aside, what matters is that they each tell him that what he’s done for them matters to them. That no matter what anyone else says, they are grateful to him for everything he has done: that who he is and what he has done for them hasn’t been a mistake, but instead has been something special to be cherished. The fact that it’s clearly not been worked out beforehand and they’re just saying what they really feel at the moment just makes it all the more heartfelt.

That in and of itself is enough to bring tears to Tetsuo’s eyes. But It’s not quite finished. Hikari tracks him down on the beach and has a little chat with him of her own. It’s amazing how inspiring this girl is with her seemingly endless fount of energy. The background music, which has been silent throughout the whole of the video message, begins to play again, and its swelling sound is again perfect as Hikari stands and shouts her own message out to sea.

Those moments are powerful, but there is one more: the moment that genuinely brought tears to my eyes when I saw it. The next day, in school, when the vice principal tells Tetsuo he was wrong and that Tetsuo should keep doing what he’s been doing, and they look out the window to see the other four students who we saw yesterday now together with Hikari, Kyouko, and Yuki; asking and learning about them. Seeing them all together as the camera pans over them, I can’t help but think of how far they’ve come. Of how much they’ve all grown since this story began. There’s something beautiful about it.

This really felt like a final episode, and it would have been a good one, but it seems there’s still one more episode left. However, this is certainly the best episode Demi-chan has had yet. Every part of this episode was handled well, with nothing I would change. I don’t know what the final episode is going to be, but I doubt it will aim to top this one. I suspect it intends to end things on a more relaxed note. Looking forward to it!

Okay, so I just really like pictures of Hikari smiling or posing… or really just doing anything that she does. Sue me. 😛

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An anime fan in his mid 30's, Random Wanderer has been actively following anime since the early 2000's. Is generally a fan of almost anything upbeat, optimistic, and/or having a happy ending. Is new to the blogging scene, so he hopes readers can give him a little patience and understanding as he gets his feet under himself.

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