Sorry that this review took so long get written. Episode 11 was apparently delayed by one week due to some kind of emergency service announcement in Japan; which ended up delaying the final episode by one week too.
Being the final review for this show, there are obviously massive SPOILERS present below the cut.
Episode 11 Summary:
In this episode, Tsukuyomi returns to the Izumo-ya after being lent out. He reveals to the others that he apparently met with a netsuke tsukumogami who was originally owned by Sataro himself. And thus we finally get an ending to the over-arching Sataro and Suou flashback.
Also in this episode, Seiji is called on by Katsusaburou, who appears to be having some relationship problems. Katsusaburou believes that he saw his fiancée, Sanae, conversing in secret with her old romantic partner. So he asks Seiji to help find out if Sanae really is being unfaithful to him. Fortunately, Seiji doesn’t have to resort to spying, as Hansuke ends up helping Katsusaburou and Sanae resolve their issues.
Thanks to Hansuke, Seiji also figures out what happened to the original Suou that went missing from Sataro’s household. It turns out that Okano (the woman Sataro was engaged to) apparently stole it herself; in order to force Sataro to marry her. But after losing Sataro, whose love for Oko was stronger than Okano’s love for him; Okano greatly regrets her impulsive actions.
Episode 11 ends with a bit of a bombshell as it is revealed that Sataro has returned back to his home and family.
Episode 12 Summary:
In this episode, Sataro suddenly goes missing! Seiji takes on the detective role again, and attempts to figure out exactly what happened to Sataro. Seiji also finally gets some sense slapped into him courtesy of Oko (who literally slaps him for being so dense about her feelings).
Seiji and Oko rely on the help of the tsukumogami once again, who are fully willing to lend their aid. Eventually, the tsukumogami are able to pinpoint Sataro’s possible last location: a pawn shop. Sataro had gone there in order to buy up the last incense burner related to the original “Suou,” most likely intending to give it to Oko to ask for her engagement. Seiji goes to this specific pawn shop with Notetsu, and gets unceremoniously knocked out.
When he comes to, Seiji finds Sataro unharmed. It is explained that Seiji was knocked out by a man who owned the pawn shop, after Seiji is mistaken for a thief. Sataro himself (and his uncle) were accidentally locked inside of a storehouse for a day and a half; so Seiji’s arrival actually ended up saving them both.
Not long after this, Oko tearfully arrives on the scene, thanks to Notetsu’s notification. Oko is relieved to find Seiji well; and it’s only after this that Seiji and Sataro realize how much Oko loves Seiji. Sataro (although heartbroken), finally gives up on Oko.
After all is said and done, Sataro’s uncle pays Seiji and Oko 40 ryo as thanks for saving them. With this money, the two are able to pay off their debts and save the Izumo-ya. And so, the episode ends with a brief epilogue, showcasing Katsusaburou and Sanae; Kounosuke and Ohana; and Seiji and Oko; all progressing happily in their relationships.
I apologize if my episode summaries for these last two episodes sound like a mess. A lot of PLOT went down in them, and I’m not real motivated to clean up the summaries (which are hardly the most important part of these reviews).
The first half of episode 11 was a PAIN to sit through. While it is nice that we finally get a conclusion to the overly-drawn out flashback touted by We Rent Tsukumogami; the “conclusion” itself was completely unsatisfying. What ends up happening is that Oko attempts to give Sataro the Suou lookalike; which she and Seiji were able to acquire after generating 80 ryo from the haircomb that Sataro’s mother initially gave to Oko. By giving Sataro the Suou incense burner lookalike, Oko was essentially firmly telling Sataro to stop pursuing her as she’s not interested in reciprocating his feelings. But Sataro, stubborn man that he is, BREAKS the 80 ryo incense burner and resolves to go away to make himself a “better man,” whatever the hell that even means.
Sataro, dude; my man… you just gotta learn to accept the fact that she’s just not that into you. What? I sound bitter about this silly plotline creating a massive angst-generating love triangle; that could have been easily resolved if Sataro wasn’t such an asshole and Seiji wasn’t such a coward? I sound angry about all of this? What on earth are you talking about???
Sarcasm aside, the rest of episode 11 was actually fairly good. Hansuke (the only reasonable character in this entire show) played another major role, and it was nice to hear an account of what actually went down between the husband and wife that Goi briefly belonged to. Though… that also brings up the question of why Goi didn’t explain to the other tsukumogami that he had been stolen back by the geisha he was originally owned by. I feel like that could have resolved the missing Suou plotline much quicker…
Speaking of the “missing Suou” plotline… I guess the resolution for that was fine. Okano appears to be pretty easily forgiven; although we don’t actually hear or see how she’s dealt with after her ploy is found out—so it is possible she was more severely punished off-screen. (The series doesn’t care enough about Okano to go into details, and I don’t really care much for her myself, so…) Even if she got off lightly, I’m fine with that. I feel like having Sataro completely drop everything and go missing for a solid few years is enough punishment for Okano, who loved Sataro so much.
But that’s enough talk about episode 11; time to talk about episode 12, a.k.a. the final episode of the series.
I guess having Sataro suddenly go missing made for a thrilling enough episode, even if I didn’t care for him at all. Seriously, does the series expect us to suddenly care about him when he’s only just now made an actual on-screen appearance? (The flashbacks don’t count.) The more important part of the episode was Seiji and Oko finally getting together, although that was painfully obvious to me ever since episode 1. The ED theme pretty much spoils the fact that the two would end up in a romantic relationship.
One thing I really liked about episode 12 (which also appeared in episode 11 actually) is that the tsukumogami are shown to finally be comfortable with Seiji and Oko. Technically tsukumogami aren’t supposed to interact or converse with humans, but the main five have gotten so used to Seiji and Oko now that they are perfectly fine with indirectly holding a conversation with the two. And of course, I can’t forget to mention Notetsu pretty much revealing his tsukumogami form to Oko in order to warn her about Seiji being knocked out. That was pretty heartwarming to watch.
Oh yeah, I also liked Oko slapping Seiji for being such a coward. That was something that desperately needed to happen.
Overall, these last two episodes were alright. I did think that the final moments of the anime (having Seiji and Oko being able to easily repay their debts due to circumstances) was just a bit too convenient; but whatever. We Rent Tsukumogami was always intended to have a happy ending.
Out of five for both episodes:
I find it really hard to give an objective review for this series overall, because I did not enjoy this series as much as I expected to at the beginning of it all. I feel like I would have enjoyed this series far more if I WASN’T blogging it every two weeks. This series ended up being one of the hardest for me to blog; because I didn’t hate it enough to rant about it, nor did I like it enough to rave about it. It ended up being such a dull, middle-of-the-road series to me (despite the slight supernatural premise) that I ended up not having much opinion on it at all.
I also feel like I didn’t have the patience required to really enjoy this series. As I’m finding myself with less and less free time now, I just don’t have the willpower to sit through a slow-burn, romance-driven drama; involving a convoluted love triangle that could have been easily resolved if either Seiji or Oko had just… said something to the other person. I’m sure there are people out there that like this sort of stuff; but I personally found the “will they or won’t they” relationship between Seiji and Oko to be downright infuriating.
I also disliked how Oko had so little presence throughout the series’ entire run. Even the tsukumogami had less and less importance as the show went on, because the show eventually just became “the Seiji show.” Seiji gets the most focus in the series by far. While I do think he became an alright character by the end, I still wish that Oko had more chances to shine. We Rent Tsukumogami tries really hard to tell us that Oko is also really smart and clever, but we certainly don’t see much of this.
As I’m looking back on this series, I notice now that We Rent Tsukumogami really doesn’t have much going for it (in my opinion). The scenery, atmosphere, and historical aspect of the show are nice—they’re what drew me to the series in the first place. But I care so little about most of the characters, as well as for the cancerous Suou plotline that just took over everything. If the Suou plotline and dumb love triangle had been nixed from the start, I probably would have enjoyed this series more. I would be perfectly fine with an episodic series that just had Oko and Seiji solving peoples’ problems with the tsukumogami’s help. But, well. We got this.
I’ll say this one more time: I was probably not the right audience for this show, so take my final rating with a grain of salt. We Rent Tsukumogami was not an awful series or anything; but boy do I regret not having blogged one of the other series I had watched for the summer anime season instead.
Out of five for the series as a whole, I give: