And so another series is completed (and in record time!)
Zaldar warned me about the ending and I do see why, now. Seems like they were building it up for some dramatic moment where Sasshi learns to face reality and then it just… ends. I’m a little confused as to what happened, actually. Was the kid’s wish granted by the magic so nothing ever actually happened? No Arumi moving away? No dead Grandpa? Maybe this continues another Gainax tradition of nebulous, metafictional endings that need to be watchd five or six times to be adequately understood.
Honestly, I bristle at the apparent message that this has all been about the kids needing to turn their backs on these fantasy land adventures in the name of “growing up.” Considering that these toons are made by children at heart (hopefully,) it seems like an awfully hypocritical "lesson." I can jive with Sasshi having to accept his grandpa’s death and Arumi’s departure, but that was all muddled in a lot of talk about he needs to puts his juvenile "hobbies" aside. There's some delineation between that and Arumi’s ambitions to see the world, but I don’t buy it.
I see this and I'm reminded me of that old observation about how every kid loves to draw in first grade. Only half of them then love to draw in second grade, and the numbers dwindle and dwindle over each grade as society effectively beats creativity out of them in the name of “growing up.” I did enjoy the series (especially the Hollywood one since I could catch all the references) even though I’m having a negative reaction to the ending.
Perhaps that’s a sign of this being a more challenging, maybe even literary, piece of work?