Episode 18 -
Well, after the setup in the previous arcs, this episode didn’t really come as a surprise. As expected, this episode worked towards undoing the effects of Rukako’s D-mail, the one that had changed Rukako from a boy to a girl. While this episode was hilarious, at the same time it didn’t hit quite the same emotional strings that Feyris’ and Suzuha’s did. What bugs me, though, there are some rather glaringly obvious things that Okarin could have tried outside of reverting the effects of Rukako’s gender. While it’s probably due to the visual novel origins of this series’ story, I’m still finding it kind of frustrating that Okarin doesn’t try anything different. We do finally get some Rukako character development though, and that I do appreciate.
Right away, we knew it would be pretty iffy for Okarin to once again reassert that Rukako is a boy, especially now that Ruka is a female in this world line. I didn’t expect Okarin to be forced on a date with Ruka though. O_O;; It was probably a huge shock to Okarin too, mainly because Okarin sees Rukako as a boy. All things considered, I would’ve never guessed that Makise would get so serious about preparing for Okarin’s date. I mean, she even prepared a suit, tie, and handkerchief for him. Seeing Okarin in a full-blown suit feels really surreal, but it’s pretty damn hilarious too. Mad scientist in normal clothes? Lol. Okarin is also super terrible at being a proper date. “Subtly change to the other side”? Okarin really has no experience eh.
Anyways, aside from all the silliness of this episode, the parts revolving around the D-mail were fairly serious. It seems that, somehow, even Rukako had some sort of residual memories of previous world lines (similar to Feyris). This entails some rather melancholy scenes about how Rukako doesn’t want to turn back into a guy, but decides to go through with it in order for to save Mayuri. It was a rather touching and telling scene about Rukako and her conflicting feelings about her true gender, and proved to provide some decent development for him/her.
However, there’s one thing that really, really bugs me about this episode. Rukako reveals that she accidentally broke the IBN5100 about one year prior. Well, if we know that the IBN5100 was safe until a year earlier, why can’t Okarin just warn Rukako with a D-mail, and prevent it from breaking? Why does Okarin need to go as far as changing back Rukako’s gender, when he can simply prevent Rukako from breaking it in the first place? I understand the situation for Feyris, where they had no way of locating the lost IBN machine from several years prior. But logically speaking, there is no reason why Okarin couldn’t have went about a different approach in Rukako’s case, especially considering that it’s merely one year beforehand. I guess this has to do with how the original Visual Novel went about things, but I wish the anime adaptation could’ve addressed the flaws here a bit more. Also, it might have something to do with Okarin no longer wanting to take risks with the D-mails, which makes sense considering everything Okarin has been through.
For the moment, this series has become predictable because we know Okarin will be undoing every D-mail we’ve already seen. Nevertheless, each of these arcs have proven to be pretty awesome for character development, which was sorely lacking before. Once again, though, these reversals of D-mails brings us back to the biggest foreseeable obstacle, all the way from episode one. There’s that D-mail that Okarin sent that saved Makise from death, and if this trend holds, we know that Okarin will have to mess with that D-mail.
In other words, we’ll be revisiting the events of the first episode. The title of the first episode, “Prologue of the Beginning and the End“, is the perfect and most fitting title for such an important, critical episode. If you’re following this series, you should really go back and rewatch the first episode or two again. In hindsight, it’s amazing just how well thought out those beginning episodes were.
Overall Enjoyment: 3.5/5
Screenshots are later in the post.