Hybrid Child: OVA 4 – Final

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Here’s the finale we’ve been waiting for, and it’s one of those where you saw it coming but still couldn’t help being overwhelmed by them feelings when it comes.

When something is about to end, we usually like to reminisce about how it all started. When he was young, Tsukishima was often left out of the other children’s games because of his social position and health problems. However, Kuroda didn’t let any of those deter him from befriending the lonesome Tsukishima and teaching the latter how to have fun like he should be.

Back to the present, Kuroda managed to reach the place where Tsukishima is at and he forced his way through all the guards to get to Tsukishima, who was dressed in the ceremonial white robe and ready for the seppuku ritual. After meeting Kuroda, Tsukishima remained reserved and somewhat distant, asking after Kuroda and Seya’s injuries. We briefly hear about how Seya’s been severely affected mentally by the horrors of war, but this isn’t the time to worry about Seya, Tsukishima was just too unnaturally calm about what’s about to happen and it seems like he’s prepared to accept his fate all along. Kuroda lost his cool at some point in time and vented his frustrations of being helpless at Tsukishima, by blaming him for taking the easy way out. Kuroda did have a point in what he said, the dead suffers the least while the living has to live with the memories of the dead. Although it’s better if the dead takes all memories of them with them when they pass on, isn’t it sad too, when you forget totally about someone when they die? Aren’t the memories they leave the proof that they were alive and once a significant part of our lives? Even though  both of them were yelling at each other (as usual) and not appearing to get along at all, it’s also painfully obvious that both are anguished at the thought of having to part. It feels like they’re desperately trying to convince themselves one last time, that neither of them have feelings for the other, hence there’s no need to feel sad about parting. Kuroda soon realised that for their last time together, they need to stop pretending to hate each other and just treasure whatever remaining time they have left. Since this anime is meant to be PG to some extent, we weren’t shown much of their remaining time spent together but I can imagine how they must have clung onto each other desperately, in order to remember that night for the rest of their lives. *Goes off to cry in a corner*

After everything has ended, it was rather disturbing to hear random people discussing Tsukishima’s death as though they were talking about the weather. It hurt even more to see how lifeless Kuroda has become, after the departure of his Tsukishima. Some time in the midst of his sitting around, he saw the doll which he was once working and it seemed like some life returned to those dull eyes of his.

Years later, Seya paid Kuroda a visit and met the first every hybrid child prototype, which looked like an exact replica of young Tsukishima. While I thought that Seya was right in saying that Kuroda made the hybrid child in hopes of “reviving” Tsukishima, Kuroda denied it. He thought that it was impossible for him to be trying to revive Tsukishima by making a hybrid child replica of his dead love, especially when he couldn’t even recall Tsukishima’s face as time passed. It’s a rather frightening thought to have, that even the memories of those whom you once held close to your heart can be eroded by time. However, I’m quite sure that Kuroda’s being in self denial as usual. After he left with his hybrid child, they walked past a blooming cherry blossom tree and the child started to tug at a branch. I would have yelled at him for doing that to a tree, but Kuroda just walked off, writing off that action to playfulness. What happened next was half unexpected. The child offered the cherry blossoms branch to Kuroda, and started to speak. That wasn’t all, he tried to say the exact words Tsukishima said when he gave a branch of cherry blossoms to Kuroda. How is that possible? A hybrid child will absorb the feelings its owner pour into it and grow to reflect those feelings. Does this mean that Kuroda has been pouring his hope into this hybrid child, wishing that it will become like Tsukishima?

This tragic story ended like its beginning, with Kuroda narrating instead of Tsukishima. It doesn’t look like Kuroda has found what he wanted in his hybrid child prototype, and it didn’t appear alongside him during the first episode of Hybrid child when Kotarou brought Hazuki to Kuroda. Even in the epilogue where we saw the other happy couples, Kuroda was shown working on his hybrid child models. I guess there can only be Tsukishima for him and I’m just glad that they accepted their feelings for each other before it was too late.

Matsuoka Yoshitsugu proves himself yet again to be one of the best seiyuus at pulling his listeners’ heartstrings with the emotional scene where Tsukishima cries and tells Kuroda “I hate you” repeatedly. I can’t help but hear him as Fumi in Senaka Awase no Koi, in which he did an even better job imo. Ono Yuuki made me cry as well, with his brilliant acting during the parts where he flared up at Tsukishima/Matsuoka and during the parts where he was narrating in that sad voice of his as though he’s been numbed to the pain of not having Tsukishima around. *Goes off to cry again*

In general, I really enjoyed how this entire OVA series started and ended. Just like the other Nakamura Shungiku works, Hybrid Child was executed with just the right touch to make viewers sympathise unknowingly with the main characters, and at the right moments, break all our hearts. With a great cast, beautiful (and sometimes rather melodramatic) soundtrack, and a moving storyline, there was no way the OVA series could disappoint and it sure didn’t. Like I’ve said, this is one of those series which you could watch and rewatch while knowing what’s about to happen next, but still break down in tears when it happens just because, *cries*.

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9 thoughts on “Hybrid Child: OVA 4 – Final

  1. thanks soooo much for the detailed review. it gave me a good idea of what the dialogues were about since the English translations are pending on this final ova… waterworks again… sigh… so sad and heartbreaking. you’ve pretty much covered everything, so i’ll just go to a corner and cry my eyes out… otsukaresamadeshita! ^_^

  2. I still wished for a happy ending though. Think about it. There were several alternatives. One that I thought would occur was for Kuroda to rush to complete a fake hybrid child and having it take Tsukishima’s place for the suicide (Not a very nice thing to do but a happy ending would have been somewhat assured). Another alternative was that the hybrid children can actually have souls too (I seriously wish) and Tsukishima could have come back… But I guess people just love sad endings so never mind ignore me.

    • Wow, I’ve never thought of how Hybrid Child can actually have souls and that Tsukishima’s would come back. Actually, don’t the Hybrid Childs kind of have souls? I wonder why Kuroda didn’t have his happy ending while the rest did, it’s really sad to think of how time eroded his memories of Tsukishima and that he “couldn’t even remember Tsukishima’s face” towards the end. But I guess you’re right, it was written this way for some people. I generally like sad stories and bittersweet ends but on hindsight, the ending of the Kuroda-Tsukishima ending could have been perfected with more bittersweetness or twisted into a happy ending instead of its current neither here nor there state where we don’t really know how things went with the prototype Hybrid Child. Perhaps the ambiguity was her aim?

      • The sad parts it isn’t his reincarnation or his soul in the doll. The dolls just a mirror of Kuroda. Kuroda subconsciously wanted the doll to be just like his love. Kuroda poured his feelings and memories into the doll because they were the only place they could live. The reason we didn’t see the doll with him in the other episodes was probs because Kuroda realized there was no way to bring his love back and an immitataion of it only brought heartache.

  3. It’s really sad seeing everyone was happy while kuroda was alone. It really pulled my heartstrings. Im just wondering though if the doll kuroda is making at the end is anotger Tsukishima look alike. I think it looks like one.

    • Yes T.T But at the same time I guess it’s impossible for him to love another other than Tsukishima, even if he did make a Hybrid Child just like Tsukishima (which I’m sure he could have and did), it doesn’t change the fact that Tsukishima isn’t coming back *cries* On a side note, I thought Yuzu (in OVA 2) looked a bit like Tsukishima but it may just be the blond hair.

      • I thought the same about yuzu! Especially since kurodas friend from the 3rd episode looks like the guy who owns yuzu. It’d make sense for him to give him his original creation, if only because it was too painful for Kuroda to keel for himself.

  4. This anime ultimately froze my heart with soon after non-stop tears. Together with its beautiful and intense soundtrack. It pains me a lot till now to see Kuroda crying and struggling with his tears. The worst scene I cant get over with is when Tsukishima left the room for his ritual suicide, Kuroda lying down helplessly during his departure and his reminiscence of his childhood memories with Tsukishima at the end. Being consumed with the gnawing thoughts of regrets and losing the person you loved are just too painful. But as much as I hate sad ending, I guess it makes a plausible factor to have Kuroda’s tragic love story inspired his creation and thus giving other people the chance to experience happiness.
    I am clinging to the hope that the author will write another story of them. Be it reincarnation or something. I just want to see them together again. T-T

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