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*.