I am so glad I decided to pick up this anime at the beginning of the season and convinced a few of my friends to do the same. Every week, when the new episode comes out, we would have a small chat about how great it was and the emotions we felt while watching. We’re all in agreement, we know the beauty and the high bar Tsukigakirei has set for any other romance genre series, “Nothing else can compare”.
I’m going to be picking up from my mid season article, where the drama of “outsiders” intervene with the love of our budding protagonists. Following Chinatsu’s bold move to tell Akane about her planned confession to Kotarou, she invites our main couple and Hira to the local amusement park. Some friends and classmates overhear and decide to tag along as well. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say the fury inside rose up when Chinatsu’s plan was clear.Fate separates our main duo apart and somehow Akane ends up alone with Hira, as Kotarou has to take Roman to the infirmary. Kotarou rushes to find them when he learns of this and does what any real man would do. He steps up, pulls Akane away from Hira, and he lets him know “We’re in a relationship”, aka “back the fuck off, bruh”. In case you forgot Kotarou and Akane’s relationship had been a secret up until now so Hira’s not really at fault. This declaration also happens to be witnessed by Chinatsu, who had been searching for Kotarou. Naturally, Chinatsu feels defeated before she even got the chance to confess.Now everyone learns of their relationship and they are the talk of the class. Of course, it’s a surprise to most because they are never seen talking together let alone spending time together. Akane’s friends are especially curious and ask what she likes about him but she doesn’t have a straight answer for them. Later, they go to the shrine together to see the wind chimes, it’s more or less like a small festival as if it were for new years. So naturally they go to spend some quality time together and Kotarou has the pleasure of seeing Akane in a yukata.While they’re enjoying the festivities, Akane learns that Kotarou’s birthday had passed and searches for a gift to give him. The gifts don’t stop there as they have a precious moment, where Kotarou helps put a bandage on her foot. PSA: Walking around in flip flops for hours may cause injury. And one final gift to set off everyone who has been waiting for this moment, even the stars themselves, they finally have their first kiss.The next episode is aptly titled, The Wind Rises, obviously things won’t be going so smoothly for our couple as it’s close to the end of the year and they need to decide which high school to attend/apply. We get hit with the stress early as Akane’s dad announces that they’re going to move away to Chiba due to his job. Of course, Akane’s too distracted getting ready for her last track meet of the school year. Kotarou asks if he can come watch but she’s too embarrassed to let him. He sneakily does it anyway. After setting a new personal record at the meet, Akane gets a little emotional with her friends as she finds a touching message in her bento box from her parents.
Akane also has a small discussion with Hira and casually brings up that she might be moving to Chiba. Although it came as a shock to him, we kind of get the sense that Hira feels the need to “make a move” before it’s too late. Naturally, he suggests that the whole track club go to the Kawagoe Festival together as a final track club activity but we all know that it’s just a cover up for his real plan. Even Chinatsu knows as she confronts him about it on the train and Hira exclaims that he won’t give up without taking a shot. Which is total violation of the bro code, I might add, not that Hira and Kotarou are “bros” in any sense.As the day ends, Kotarou confesses to Akane about secretly going to watch her run at the track meet but ultimately she’s fine with it because she finally tells him about her moving to Chiba. They meet up and Akane tells him that she’ll be going to Koumei Private School on a recommendation. Kotarou mans up, once again, and will do his best to attend Koumei with her, through general admission. Moving forward to the Kawagoe festival, Akane gets to witness Kotarou in action, as she recognizes him through his costume. Meanwhile Hira’s plan comes to fruition as he finds some alone time with Akane, although some luck was involved. But as fate would have it, Kotarou gets his break from responsibilities and searches for Akane. When Hira finally musters up his courage to tell Akane about his feelings, Kotarou bares witness from afar. Naturally, Akane shoots him down into the friend zone even though he had such conviction in his voice.Kotarou texts Akane to come meet up but there’s some reasonable salt in his eyes. Even though Akane is excited to be at the festival with him, Kotarou finds it annoying that she was with another guy all alone…not that he cares. She mentions rejecting Hira’s confession but that only seemed to annoy Kotarou even more. It only ends with tears and anguish from both parties. I’m not sure how many times I’ve said it now but Kotarou is a man and shows his own conviction and commitment when Akane finds out that he’s seriously aiming to attend Koumei with her. Kotarou knows his parents won’t approve but he sees a future with Akane. Kotarou lets his parents know of his conviction to attend Koumei. Meanwhile Akane has doubts injected into her brain, by her sister, about her future LDR. Kotarou gets into a fight with his mom and basically shuts himself in his room every night to study until late.Unbeknownst to Kotarou, his mom actually sees how hard he’s working to achieve his goal. His dad tells him that she got called in by his homeroom teacher to tell her it’s a bad idea for him to try to attend Koumei with his grades. But good ol’ mom stands up for her son and said she wants to give Kotarou a shot at it. Of course, his dad also says if he doesn’t make it in, he’ll have to attend a local school instead. Now comes the final countdown as Akane passes the entrance exam but sadly even through all the effort, Kotarou does not. So he proceeds with the promise he made with his parents and he gets accepted into local school. That’s not all, Chinatsu also applied and got accepted into Kotarou’s high school. Can you guess what happens next? Chinatsu finds her moment and not only confesses her feelings to Kotarou but embraces him as well. This fucking bitch, am I right? Well it felt like her confession was half-hearted because she obviously knew what was going to happen and she just wanted to let him know…not that he cares.Their graduation comes and goes, friends say their goodbyes, and our couple takes a nice awkwardly cute picture together. They meet up later and start talking about their future together. Akane brings up the Chinatsu’s confession to him and how she had to find out from her and Kotarou never told her about it. Akane’s emotions become too much to hold.Although this seems like another big fight that ended with tears and anguish again. Kotarou is not the type to mope for long as he uses this energy to write his light novel and posts it online the next morning. As Akane’s family finalizes the move, she decides to take a later train to spend some time with her friends. Chinatsu asks about Kotarou but before Akane could answer, she interrupts to show her Kotarou’s novel. To her surprise, the novel was about their experiences together as a couple. Kotarou spends the day at neighborhood committee to practice, where the best wingman ever, Daisuke, tells him how popular his novel is and shows him the comments. One comment sticks out in particular and it’s from Akane. Now the final 5 minutes of this series is everything I had hoped for and more. It’s true love and art in action. There’s no possible way I can explain how immense these last few scenes were in words. I’m urging all romantics to watch this anime and be amazed because you won’t find anything like it again. The music, the writing, the constant struggle of uncertainty. It feels like I’m experiencing love for the first time with them and it’s absolutely amazing. I’m sure everyone who has completed this series has hyped it up beyond belief but it’s so well deserved. I applaud everyone who had a hand in producing this anime, please give us more.