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A couple of weeks ago, I promised Certain People that I would post my summary of the final Nabari no Ou chapter. I said I’d put it up a while ago, so I think I’d better do it now, before they find out where I live and strangle me. No, seriously. Thanks for being so patient, guys!



First, a couple of preliminary thoughts: this was quite a good chapter! Albeit a bit rushed, considering the time and page restraints. I feel like I'm still missing some information, thanks to having read the last couple chapters quite some time ago. In fact, there's such a leap, I have to wonder if I actually read the last one at all. That said, it’s still fairly easy to pick up on what happens here, and if there are any details I’m missing, I’ll go back to edit them in after rereading the past few chapters.

Big plot point: Miharu does seal away the Shinrabanshou. I wonder if anyone saw that one coming. *g* Kouichi is the one who declares this, revealing that in the past, Kouichi and Shijima were instructed to protect Miharu by Akatsuki. Also, for anyone who’s still curious, Tobari and Raikou are both okay. Tobari looks slightly worse for the wear, but everyone else is fine. As Miharu makes his decision, everyone else looks on.

Anyway, for ten years, Kouichi and Shijima's memories were sealed away by Asahi’s actions, and in a strange way, they're also the Shinrabanshou's kin. She calls them her children, so this isn’t particularly open to speculation.

Kouichi also mentions that he had conflicting feelings about Miharu using the Hijutsu. Even though he was committed to helping Miharu use it how he chose, there was a small part of him that felt opposed to that in contrast. Then the Shinrabanshou says that there’s no point in dwelling in a person with no desire to use her powers, so from now on, she’ll drift around by herself for eternity.

Kouichi then adds that it’s also their time to return, since they were born as humans thanks to her. Shijima says that even though their original wish couldn't be fulfilled (namely, wanting to die), they've been able to come to terms with that. She takes a stone from Miharu, remarking, “Even though I knew nothing but despair as a human, it wasn’t all bad. The same goes for humans, too.”

Kouichi tells Miharu, “I’m glad that you were able to choose the path that you wanted, and that you were the one chosen by the Shinrabanshou.” He smiles at him, telling him not to waver in his convictions, and that he wants Miharu to see him off for the last time. Then as the Shinrabanshou disappears, Kouichi and Shijima do too.

Raimei yells with tears in her eyes, "Take care!" and Kouichi replies, "You too, Raimei-san." Shijima says to Miharu, "Give my regards to your grandmother." And then they're gone. I wish this thread of the story had more closure – while the other relationships in the series were handled well up to the end, this came across as awfully anti-climatic. After Kouichi’s touching confession to Raimei, in particular, I expected something more.

Then for some reason, after the Shinrabanshou is gone, IT STARTS TO SNOW. Shortly thereafter, Miharu remembers everything about Yoite, up to and including the part where he erased him. It might be a bit of an understatement to say he's sad about this. The fact that it's snowing also has something to do with his recovered memories, since the weather is exactly like how it was when Yoite disappeared.

At the same time, Hana notices Yoite's hat (see, it really was about the hat this entire time), which Yoicat is playing around with. And in the meantime, everyone else notices, hey, it's mysteriously snowing! In other words, montage time.

In the midst of his thoughts, the Shinrabanshou goes, "In the midst of pain, you'll remember me, won't you?" and disappears. Cue snow. Miharu's thoughts immediately drift to the fact that he erased Yoite, wondering if it was for Yoite's good that he did this or for his own sake. There are a lot of close-ups of hands. Snow continues to fall. As Miharu wonders if it was really because of his own will, he starts crying. If you haven't guessed, this is a sad scene.

As this progresses, there’s an interesting things the narrative does: it juxtaposes his prior thoughts with his true feelings. I'll translate the next few lines to demonstrate what I mean.

Miharu: "I wasn't lonely. (I'm sorry.) I wasn't sad. (I'm really sorry.) I wasn't lonely or sad at all. (I left you alone, all by yourself.)" And then, in large text, "I WANTED TO REMEMBER." He thinks, "That name. I definitely wanted to call it out. Your name."

And as this goes through his head, I have no idea what is even happening, because Miharu's floating in the air now. It's a bit surreal! Or I should say, he's sort of floating, but there are doves in the air. Cue three really gorgeous color pages where he sees Yoite. This is definitely happening on same strange astral plane or in his mind, because I don't know how to make sense of it otherwise.

As a side note, Kamatani Yuuki's use of color here = A+++++

On second thought, this may just be symbolism, because he hugs Yoite, and the ends of his tattered cape sort of trail off into the doves at the end of the page. I don't even really know why he’s wearing a cape to begin with, because Rule of Cool aside, I don’t recall him wearing anything else like that in the manga. (And when did he even put it on? But I digress.)

Anyway, the next page is just Yoite smiling at Miharu, and then Miharu smiling back at him. Awww. Miharu, who is also wearing a muffler, takes it off and drapes it around Yoite's neck. Miharu says, "I'm fine now. Thank you, Yoite." Yoite hugs Miharu. There is a door. Yoite walks through the door! I apologize for my ridiculous summary.

As Yoite walks through the door (taking off his shoes first, thank you, Japanese rules of courtesy), he sees Yukimi's apartment on the other side. It’s the same way it always was, perpetually messy and with two mugs of hot lemonade on the ground, along with Yukimi sitting in his chair near the table.

Yoite says, “I’m back," and Yukimi replies, “Welcome home." I have to admit, I'm not entirely sure if this scene made me want to smile or cry. As this happens, time is clearly passing; the snow stops falling, and flowers start blooming again.

This also brings about a scene change, back to the okonomiyaki place where Miharu works. His grandmother asks him if be bought the sauce she asked for, and when he replies that he did, she sees him off. (Y’know, "いってらっしゃい〜") As he leaves, he looks at a picture of himself as a little kid with Asahi and his father.

On his way out, Tobari greets him. Miharu asks him if he can walk now, and Tobari replies that he's fine. Miharu says that he wasn't sure if Tobari was going to live or die thanks to the Shinrabanshou, and Tobari grumbles, "Well, that's not my fault," in response.

Then Tobari says, "Did you really think I would die?" in a skeptical tone of voice, and Miharu hesitates before replying, "…Yes." Tobari looks askance at this comment, and Miharu goes on to say, "I really am...glad [that you didn’t die]." He then adds, "Today, I'll make the okonomiyaki you like with bacon in it," and Tobari relaxes, looking sort of happy and relieved at the same time.

And then Miharu is at Hana's place! Raimei, Gau, Raikou, Juuji, and Kazuho are there. Everyone says hi to him, obviously. Kazuho mentions that they're celebrating together for Tobari's recovery, and Juuji says that before she returns back home, she's glad to be able to meet with everyone together here like this.

Miharu asks if Raimei-tachi are all going to return back too, and Juuji replies that for Raikou and the rest, there's still time before they have to deal with the Shimizu clan duties. Aaaand then Raikou mentions that he and Gau are going to live together in Banten from now on. And yes, they do have matching coats. Surprisingly, these are decent coats, which means that Gau must have picked them out. Or Raimei did.

Then, Yoicat jumps into Miharu's arms! Yukimi is standing closely behind. He mentions offhandedly that Yoi sticks very closely to Miharu. Miharu goes, "...Yoi?" and Yukimi replies, "Right."

Miharu repeats, "So this is 'Yoi.'" Yukimi explains that he didn't want to give Yoi the exact same name, saying, "It's good if there's only one Yoite." Miharu mumbles, "Yoite," and looks at his scarred palm from the time with the Oda job.

Yukimi complains, "What's that?" Miharu gets a little teary here again, saying Yoite's name and holding his palm out. Yukimi looks at Miharu fondly and pats him on the head, and Miharu then smiles in a genuinely happy way. Raimei notices Miharu’s expression and smiles, touched, hugging him and saying, "That's a good smile!"

I think it's the first time she's ever seen him really smile like that. Then she rushes off to get something to eat. Yukimi heads off too, leaving Miharu in the garden with Yoicat.

Hana is the only other person left there with him, and she smiles at him, saying that the cherry blossom seeds he planted are blooming prettily now. Miharu replies, "Yeah."

She continues, "Let's talk...for a long, long time. About Kouichi-kun and Shijima-chan." As Miharu gazes at the sky, she goes on to say, finally, "And about Yoite-kun, as well." The last shot in the series is a picture of the blooming cherry blossoms that Miharu planted, and the clear blue sky.

THE END. ;_;
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let's go exploring

November 2011

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