Hey remember when this was a happy cute show about mermaids?

Hey remember when this was a happy cute show about mermaids?

In the final episode of Umi Monogatari,  most of the underwater world has been destroyed and  Marin and Kanon are still unable to move properly, so Urin takes the chance to carry Marin away.  Sedna tells her that if Marin doesn’t accept the darkness and throw away her ‘heart of light’ like Urin, she will die, and Marin, not wanting that, tries to make her join the darkness. Although she plans on doing her best to make Marin hate her so that the despair can enter her heart easier, Marin refuses to hate her dear little sister.  Although Marin’s kindness at first seems to cause Urin great pain, she soon reveals that she really  is ‘awake’ underneath Sedna’s spell, and that she is being forced to do as she says; feeling Sedna’s terrible pain whenever she thinks of happy things.   Eventually what it comes down to is light(hope) versus dark(despair); although Urin has prepared herself for the worst, which is to turn into light and disappear in order to get rid of Sedna.

dg

The complete 180 of an opening was a nice touch, I thought.

The colours look quite beautiful in an eerie way, dont they?

The colours look quite beautiful in an eerie way, don't they?

Waaaa kanon Im going to miss your smile D:

Waaaa Kanon I'm going to miss your smile D:

Because there is no yuri subtext in this show whatsoever.

Because there is no yuri subtext in this show whatsoever.

gds

...I think I may miss badass Urin, too.

This episode’s opening, although the song was the same, had different graphics which replaced the regular pretty imagery with images of Sedna’s destruction; which, combined with the relaxing song ‘Violet’, had quite an interesting effect.
And so ..Umi Monogatari comes to a close, with a gentle, low-key kind of ending that is reminiscent of its gentle, low-key opening in its first episode. But was it a good ending? That’s precisely the question, and for a series like Umi Monogatari, whether the last episode was any good can only really be decided  in regards to the entire series.
On one hand, it was entirely predictable, a little dull maybe. We all knew Urin wasn’t going to die, and it was obvious that Everything Would Be Okay. But, the emotion in a lot of this episode’s scenes felt quite genuine to me; Marin screaming that she cannot imagine anything worse than hating Urin, and Urin’s desperate declaration that she doesn’t want to disappear; that she wants to stay with Marin forever, also managed to tug on the heart-strings. The other thing worth noting is that the yuri undertones that had danced around below the surface for so long have finally breached, with multiple confessions.  Kanon finaly confesses her feelings for Marin, and so does Urin, and so does Marin, for both of them… and then things get confusing because Kanon is still going out with Kojima again. And that’s where the problem with the ending comes in. The merfolk and Kanon are separated and apparently can never see each other again, and after a very lovely parting scene, Kanon has to  say goodbye for, presumably, ever, leaving a rather awkward, tangled love-cube between them.  Maybe I just got too sentimental, but it seems quite cruel to separate Marin and Kanon now….which is a reason why, although I’m hesitant to admit it, a second season…really wouldn’t be a bad idea. (On that note, in the October issue of Animage there’s a picture of Marin and Urin in school uniforms; perhaps I’m just being optimistic here but that could be taken as an indication of sorts) In all it was a so-so ending, and I’ll elaborate more on it in the series overview below. In the mean time, out of 5,
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As I said, no subtext at all.

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As cool as these colours look, after a while I really started to wish things would return to normal.

...All this time I was thinking this girl was going to do something but...she really didnt do much at all.

...All this time I was thinking this girl was going to do something but...she really didn't do much at all.

Returning to the usual, happier colours. Im not sure whats up with Sams face.

Returning to the usual, happier colours. I'm not sure what's up with Sam's face. Sam I'm gonna miss you D:

Tsundere-Urin is cute, but come on; you nearly destroyed the freaking world - I think an apology IS in order.

Tsundere-Urin is cute, but come on; you nearly destroyed the freaking world - I think an apology IS in order.

Confession time!

Confession time!

Series Overview: This series was…schizophrenic, for lack of a better term. By which I means it seemed to think it was far too many different things. It couldn’t decide if it wanted to be magical girl series, a dark drama, a light-hearted comedy or a pile of cheese. And the mashing of all these elements together often felt very noticeably awkward, and that was what made it so hard to enjoy. It seemed to have built up such a nice setup for slice-of-life and some ‘fish out of water’ style comedy blended with magical girl elements in the first few episodes, only to suddenly veer off in a dark direction; as though it suddenly became a completely different anime. Perhaps the intended effect was to disorientate; but it just seemed disjointed to me…not to mention the ending, which seemed to lack a lot of closure and with all the confessions flying around seemed to only complicate things more.
I’m fond of the characters in the series, but they really do work better in an aforementioned ‘fish out of water’ comedy setting. I liked happy-chappy Marin and sarcastic little Urin the way they were; so Emo Marin and Emo-er Urin taking over most of the latter episodes just didn’t feel right.
Basically, it feels like two series they just don’t fit together, and suffice to say, this is not Junichi Sato’s finest. But all that said, I don’t regret watching the series, and it was a fun way to spend some time, even if it was frustrating in many places. I think for me, Umi Monogatari was a pretty big guilty pleasure, and it’s a little hard to pin-point why, especially when it took itself too seriously. But perhaps it was the characters.  Even if they aren’t particularly new or interesting (except maybe Kanon, at least to me), their designs are very appealing, and I found them fun to watch for the most part. I just wish the plot wasn’t so indecisive. Out of 5 the series as a whole gets,
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Bye, Marin...perhaps well meet again.

Bye, Marin...perhaps we'll meet again.