Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou – Episode 12
March 29, 2012
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This is it, the last episode of Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou. Whatever happens in this final episode, I feel confident in saying that the show will always be also known as The Daily Lives of High School Boys. Let’s settle in for episode 12 of Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou!
…thirty minutes pass…
A masterful summary of the episode.
Those bastards threw a high school graduation scene at me when I was unprepared! They told me that the characters would be second year High School Boys forever and that I needn’t worry about the passing of the seasons causing them to age. But then they showed the characters graduating, and going off to different colleges in different towns where they speak different dialects of Japanese and promising to still stay friends and getting emotional about the shared experiences they had together, even Mitsuo who they sometimes treated badly. And as though that were not enough playing with my heart, they also brought Hidenori and the Literary Girl together. All only to shatter the illusion minutes later with some lame “it was all a dream” reveal. Fuck that! I mean I can appreciate what they were going for. They were trying to point out how dumb it is when silly comedies get all serious in their last episode and wrap up romantic subplots with a perfunctory “oh I have always loved you” and suddenly the people who were dicks to each other for purposes of humor get all mawkishly sentimental. And it is dumb! But they run afoul here of the Endless Eight principle. That is to say, it’s not enough to have a point, merely having a point does not excuse all writerly crimes. The point has to have a value greater than the harm you inflict on the audience in the course of making it, or you don’t come out ahead. Endless Eight would have been awesome, if it didn’t replace eight episodes of Haruhi. And I hate stupid wrapup episodes as much as anybody, but that doesn’t excuse you inflicting a high school graduation scene on me.
Apart from that, this was a good episode, and a particularly good one to go out on. It brought Tadakuni back so we could be reminded that he existed, it had some good jokes, and some good slice-of-life, and it was basically bully-free. It’s nice that when I think back on this show I’ll be able to think about friends getting along with one another, rather than people tormenting each other. Even the physical comedy bit with Mitsuo’s dropped hot-dog was decent. Maybe I was just happy to see that his friends cared enough about him to put their bodies on the line to rescue his food. Maybe I thought something I shouldn’t have when Ringo got slapped in the face with Mitsuo’s wiener.
The best bit in this episode was Hidenori’s inner monologue when he was confronted by the too-helpful arcade staff lady who offered to help him get his Madoka Magica figurine out of the crane game. It was a call-back to earlier themes of the dishonesty of society and how everyone lies to everyone else all the time to try to save face, but mostly it was just a reminder of why Hidenori is the best character. Hopefully there will actually be a season 2 and we can see more of him!
Bonus Image Corner:
I don't dare give this a caption.
The greatest anime philosophers of our era have struggled with this question in vain.
Good boys and girls mustn't allow sunk costs to influence their decisionmaking.