It’s the finale! …Which means that the series is over. I swear it seems like anime seasons keep going by faster. It’s barely had time to start before it ends. Maybe I’m just getting old.
So, in case it hasn’t been apparent yet, I’m something of a fan of Hikari. She’s really expressive and energetic and adorable and friendly and fun and nice to everyone. I like to watch just to see all the different expressions she can have on her face over the course of a single scene. Thus, seeing her in to talk to Tetsuo in the beginning was more of a good thing, in my eyes. Seeing their explanation for her ability to see in the dark is quite interesting, although I doubt that explains her distance vision, nor her sense of smell, and (probably) hearing. It is a bit funny to see her shut down his warning about getting too much sun with “I know all that. How long do you think I’ve been a Vampire?” The silliness that follows is funny and adorable, but where it eventually leads is Hikari asking for permission her her and the others to use the school pool on Saturday.
I would tend to agree with Tetsuo that that doesn’t sound like a great idea: I’ve gotten badly sunburned swimming in outdoor pools before myself, even not being a Vampire. It would seem like Hikari would potentially be in for much worse. But Himari makes a good point when Tetsuo talks to her about it. If it’s what Hikari wants, it should be fine to let her do it. Beyond a certain point teenagers don’t really need to be protected that much. Hikari knows what precautions to take, and is the one best able to judge her limits. If she wants to push herself a bit to spend a day outdoors playing in the pool with her friends, then let her go ahead.
Of course, Sakie also gets to come along on this trip, although Tetsuo seems awfully eager to hand off responsibility to her and get away from the pool. And it’s not all that unreasonable, after you think about it. Giving her the opportunity to just relax and swim, without having to worry about onlookers or whatever effect she may be having on people… well, that’s probably something she’s never really had a chance for. And she’s definitely grateful. On the other hand, the last thing she wants is for him to get away, so she quickly tries to sweep him along in events by showing off her swimsuit. Of course they both end up embarrassed, as he struggles not to react, while she struggles with embarrassment at having made a big production of it and not getting him to react.
However, someone else on another site defined the problem between the two of them pretty clearly, I think. The problem she’s having isn’t that she isn’t appealing to him, nor that he’s not turned-on by her. The problem is that she very clearly set boundaries about how she wants people to interact with her, and she did so right from the beginning. She made it plain that not only was she not trying to attract people, but that she didn’t want to attract people. Tetsuo is respecting that. If she wants her relationship with him to change, she needs to tell him that, because he is very deliberately and very rightly not going to respond just based on sex appeal.
Kyouko’s talk with Tetsuo does have some interest from a historical perspective. In their world, how did the various myths surrounding demi-humans turn out the way they did? Particularly the image of the Dullahan being a headless rider on a headless horse, hunting down people and bringing death. When it comes down to it, Kyouko’s theories don’t seem all that unreasonable. But this does lead into a new experience for her. Whenever she goes swimming it’s always just her body in the water. After all, you can’t really swim while carrying a head, nor would it be anything resembling safe. So she’s never really experienced being submerged in water. Hikari suggests that it’s something she really should try.
There is something in this moment. At first, Kyouko is afraid, holding her breath as hard as she can, squeezing her eyes shut. But when one of the girls pokes her cheek she relaxes a bit, and opens her eyes to something wonderful. From our perspective as viewers, the view of the pool underwater is probably nothing all that special. We’ve seen that sort of thing before, as well as sights much more impressive. But for Kyouko this is something she had never seen before. Something she could never have seen before, and never would have even been willing to try seeing before, if not for these friends who surround her now. The bottom and sides of the pool, shaded a different color by the water. The sunlight filtering through the water, and making rippling patterns across the bottom. The cool feeling of the water surrounding her head. The delight in knowing that everyone is with her, sharing that same moment. There is something magical there that goes beyond the simplicity off the act itself.
At the end of the day, after much more playing and friendship and fun, Tetsuo runs into Hikari as she’s heading home. As is probably not a surprise, she did get sunburnt. But as I said above, so have I doing things like this. So, I suspect, do most kids, and even adults, over the course of their lives. A sunburn isn’t going to kill you (unless you really really overdo it). And we see something here that we’ve seen a bit of before, but which doesn’t show up often: Hikari says mentions that if she’d asked for an indoor pool the others would have known why, and the next time they would have gone out of their way for her. She doesn’t want that. She’s mentioned before, way back near the beginning of the series, that even though the sunlight in her regular classroom bothers her, she doesn’t want to trouble the rest of her class just for her sake. Hikari doesn’t want people to go out of their way to make up for her weaknesses. She’s a kind girl, when all is said and done.
So ends the final episode of Demi-chan wa Kataritai. I will definitely say I’m sad to see it go. While there were some elements of the series that I admit I wasn’t completely happy with, I think, all things considered, this is probably about as good an adaptation as one could expect to get these days. The characters really came alive, and I am definitely going to miss them. There’s still an overall series review yet to come, which I will hopefully have up sooner rather than later. I’ll give you my final assessment of the series then. Until then, thank you for watching this series. I hope you’ve enjoyed it at least as much as I have.
Tags: Demi-chan wa Kataritai, Demi-chan wa Kataritai anime, Demi-chan wa Kataritai anime blog, Demi-chan wa Kataritai anime review, Demi-chan wa Kataritai blog, Demi-chan wa Kataritai blog review, Demi-chan wa Kataritai episode 12, Demi-chan wa Kataritai review, Demi-chan wa Kataritai screenshots, Interviews with Monster Girls
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