I know I said I dropped it eight episodes in, but something told me I should go binge the last four and review it. While the salt still exists from the divergence from the source material, I admit the end was still just as enjoyable even though I still have some salt with the anime end. Manga spoilers – stuff that happened after events in episode 8 of the anime – will be kept for the end of my review.
Before I get to the last 4 episodes, I’ll speak about the first 8 briefly. The beginning of the anime stayed faithful to the source, plot wise at least. They did change Fuuka’s personality slightly. In the anime, she was a typical tsundere, while in the manga she was a little more outspoken and more of a free spirit, which helped Yuu break out of his shell significantly. This in my opinion made Fuuka a less likable character in the anime – aside from those that are all for tsunderes – which made me care less about her here.
This line was never spoken in the anime. Replaced with tsundere-ness.
Moreover, a lot of the scenes at the beginning in the manga are either out of place or entirely removed. Scenes such as Fuuka staring at the Budokan stage saying she’ll make it a goal to stand there. Yuu telling Fuuka to go into music was relocated to after the Koyuki concert which also contributes to Fuuka’s goal of Budokan never being stated. For those few only watching the anime, this probably would have minimal effect, but to me it appears Fuuka wanted the band together for almost no reason at all. While very nitpicky for a manga reader, they were key elements in the manga that gave a bigger impact to the reader later in the plot. Looking at it from the view of the anime only, these changes were not really a drawback. The anime still provided a very coherent story to begin with.
For those that saw my midseason review of Fuuka you’d notice Yuu had chased a different girl in the anime after the school festival. After this event, even if Yuu’s family and other band members explicitly say he and Koyuki are together, the way Yuu and Koyuki act make the viewer uncertain if they actually are together. Fuuka also gets offered a solo contract with Mogami, a major record producer, which she swiftly declines it stating her band comes first but soon slowly reconsiders when she witnesses how well Yuu and Koyuki get along. Her confidence in the band is witnessed slipping away as the episodes roll on but surprise! Fuuka wrote an original song for their upcoming concert at a venue set up by Sara’s brother.
On the way to the concert, Fuuka almost gets hit by a truck. Thankfully, she makes it to the venue on time and they perform their original song – which is basically Fuuka’s confession of love for Yuu. After the concert, Fuuka looks shaken, from the thrill of the concert? From the near accident with the truck? None of the above, she decided to go solo and abandon the band.
The group tries to cope and deal with the loss of the glue that held the band together and try to return to their past lives. During this time, Koyuki and Yuu get a little intimate but during that Yuu realizes where his feelings really lie – with Fuuka, not Koyuki. Many viewers thought the childhood friend was finally going to win. She ultimately became the one that drove Yuu to realize she is not the one for him. She knew it would happen, but tried her best anyway. This part was very heartbreaking for many and possibly the saddest moment in the anime.
Through the hard work of Yuu writing a new song, he pulled through and got the band together, Fuuka included, for one final concert of the anime. The music in this show is by far the best out of all anime this season. (Disagree? Fight me.) Fuuka’s song, For You, was a high energy song with a very catchy rhythm. Yuu’s song, Fair Wind, has some very cringey engrish that honestly make no sense if you know any English at all but is still a good listen, catchy too.
The anime’s conclusion was a heartwarming conclusion. During the montage of the future in the end scene we’re given a good glimpse at the happiness that happened all after the end. It closes out with one of the cutest scenes of Yuu and Fuuka praying at a shrine, wishing for a future together. I personally wouldn’t have ended it any other way if I wanted it to diverge from the source and I’m glad it ended this way. I give the anime a solid 7/10. More than I thought I would give it after episode 8 but still an average romance and music anime overall. For those looking for more, definitely pick up the manga from the start and ride it out all the way, it’s worth it. Trust me.
Manga spoilers past this point. Stop here if you want to pick up the manga.
You have been warned.
Another warning just for good measure.
No really, if you want to read the manga, stop reading now.
In the manga, the concert after the festival happened differently. Fuuka was missing and Yuu was the one who sang all the songs for the concert. Here he broke out of his shell and the crowd witnessed the band had 2 amazing singers in the group. The truck that missed Fuuka in the anime hit her in the manga. The grief the band faced with losing a member in the anime was because of an actual loss instead of them wanting to go solo. There were several more chapters covering the band coping with this grief and how they overcame the struggles, which – if you saw my Kimi no iru Machi article – is one of the quirks Seo writes into his work. A lot more character development came out from this incident and it was my personal favorite part of the manga. I doubt the anime is getting any more seasons than what was already given to us, so if they did end up adapting this part of the manga it would actually be a very poor ending so I’m actually grateful for the deviation from source. If they got a second season… now that’s a different story.