“Samātaimu Recōdo” (サマータイムレコード)
After 12 weeks of awesomeness and fun, Mekakucity Actors has come to an end. *sighs sadly* Not going to lie, it was a little bit of an anticlimax but there were still some super fun moments, even if this episode, as only Mekakucity Actors knows how to do, threw me for a loop and confused me more than once. Nevertheless, I’m going to miss these guys and I really wish this show had been longer! They’d have been able to cover so much more in regards to each character, all of whom are just such brilliant characters. But, alas, what’s done is done, and on with the show!
What happens: Fairly simple beginning with the entire gang, minus Haruka, Ayano and Shintaro, trying to escape a bunch of people – seriously, who are the people who kidnapped them? – and looking for Kenjiro, who actually seems to be lying in wait for them. This whole scene was the reason I couldn’t wait for everyone to come together in the end; because they are absolutely awesome and hilarious together to the point where I was just grinning the whole time. It’s funny how a bunch of kids, some of whom have barely said more than a few words to each other, can just interact like an entire unit but also like a house on fire. We also get to see Takane’s new eye power in action, when she’s being held by Mysterious Faceless Bad Guy #1 and somehow slips her consciousness out of Takane’s body and into his ear piece. That girl is absolutely badass and I love her. We also get to see Hibiya’s power, which Kano tells him is clairvoyance, which he read from his mother’s journals. After a few hilarious tries – and sneaking a peak into a woman’s bathroom as she’s having a shower – Hibiya gets the hang of it and discovers where in the building Kenjiro is. Upon discovering that he’s literally right beneath them, Konoha, the absolute sweetheart and badass that he is, literally just punches a hole in the ground for them to fall through. I really just want to take him home and protect him from the world, that darling, gorgeous boy.
Meanwhile, Ayano and Shintaro visit Haruka in some unknown location where he’s lying in a bed with countless IV drips stuck in his arms. Haruka is still the beautiful soul he is and says that he knew Shintaro would find him. He asks about Konoha and Shintaro tells him that he’s actually a really great guy, trying to do his best to fulfil Haruka’s desire, but they both know that that’s a path that’s going to lead somewhere dark and Haruka somehow realises that he doesn’t have that much more time left in this world and smiles, telling Shintaro not to cry. The IV drips run out and that’s the last time we see Haruka alive. I’m not too sure what actually went on in this scene but whatever it was, I felt saddened by Haruka’s untimely death and really wish we’d been able to learn more about him.
In the basement, the Mekakushi Dan meet Kenjiro, who’s actually now perpetually possessed by the snake and then begins to tell them that all this is Marry’s fault. Apparently, she’s the one who’s created this world due to her constant wish to be with her friends after Seto saved her from the lonely forest and took her to the outside world. When her friends died, though, Marry wished only to be able to see them again, leading her into an endless cycle of creating world after world all because she doesn’t want to be parted from the Mekakushi Dan. Konoha takes a bullet meant for Seto and Kenjiro takes over his body, morphing him into Black Konoha, whose intense power and speed are enough to take down the rest of the gang. He tells Marry that he’s going to destroy all her friends in order to coerce her into renewing the cycle all over again as it’s the only way he’s going to be able to grant Kenjiro the wish to see his wife again.
However, before Marry can complete it her friends all tell her not to, that she doesn’t need to worry about being separated from them and that they’ll always be with her and have her back. Just then, Shintaro and Ayano appear, having had help from Haruka, and Ayano tells the snake that she has the power to project everybody’s feelings of love, friendship and warmth onto others, in order to give Marry the courage she needs. The Haruka who no longer exists tells Konoha that he’ll be all right and that he won’t let him lose the friends he made in this new world. Shintaro, who has had the memories of everyone through each world, tells Ayano to project all those feelings onto Marry, helping her to ‘swallow’ everything. They end up in limbo, where Marry says she finally remembers everything, and says that the snake’s power ends here. Kenjiro appears and thanks him for looking out for him, but says that he’s already granted his wish, and he walks away with his wife. Marry tells him that she’s no longer afraid of the future, and that she’ll no longer live in a fantasy world but move forward with all her friends. White Konoha consumes his evil Black Konoha self and they all disappear. Marry has a brief reunion with her mother who tells her not to be afraid and to start living life, growing up and really enjoying the future with her friends.
In a new world, or perhaps the world as it was supposed to be before Marry trapped them in an endless cycle, Shintaro and Ayano are waiting for their friends in the hot summer heat. While they’re both on the brink of confessing their feelings, neither seems to have the courage to, but I guess it’s something known and unspoken. The rest of their friends arrive, Kido, Momo, Seto, Marry, Kano, Konoha, Takane and Hiyori and the two head towards them, reuniting with the Mekakushi Dan.
Episode Highlights: Pretty much every scene where everybody was together. It’s just one of those cheesy, giddy kicks you get when you see all these cool kids getting together, being cool and kicking butt. Also, I guess a part of me is still eight years old and wishing I had this exclusive group of cool and interesting friends, acting more grown up than you really are. That kind of dynamic is really why I wanted to watch this show so bad and to see it finally come to fruition, even though right at the end? It was so worth it. Everyone played their part and everyone was awesome. I was particularly pleased by the fact that my darling Miyano Mamoru got to play three different and distinct characters in this show and he was amazing at carrying their different personalities through. Well done! Another highlight for me was the ending song; I thought it just fit the whole episode to a tee and gave me these kiddy, childhood chills! It was really happifying! Finally, I adored Shintaro in this episode – I adore him every time he’s on screen; I guess I’d liken him to the Sawamura from Daiya no Ace because everything’s just so much better when he’s on screen. I love that in some ways he’s the mastermind and genius of the Mekakushi Dan because I think it really fits his personality and appearance so well. Even right at the end, Marry says that she knows that no matter what happens, Shintaro will be able to remember everything and inadvertently seems to know that he’ll bring them all together again.
The Final Verdict: Again, I’m not going to whitewash this episode and say it was fantastic. It was a decent ending but with not enough…oomph to make it a stellar ending like, say, Sidonia no Kishi for example. It was a bit anticlimactic with the lack of real drama and action during the fight, but, I guess they’re kids and can’t really control their powers to well just yet. Nevertheless, the last 12 weeks have been an absolute blast and I had so much fun watching this show! From the colours to the animation to the music and the characters…it was awesome. Just the right amount of grungy urban boho technicolor with pop art, abstract settings and artsy cool to make this show well worth watching. Well done Shaft, on that account! All in all, I’d give this show a pretty decent 8/10 because while it’s definitely not a show for everyone, it was most definitely a show for me and there were too many awesome moments in between to be let down by the finale. I’ll be looking forward to more Shaft productions in the future and if a season 2 of Mekakucity Actors is in sight I shall be sure to let ya’ll know! So long for now but I hope to see you all soon~