Episode 3: The End of the Day
Plot: A lonely girl named Makino admires an older girl in the window of an apartment building on her way to school every morning, wishing she could have a friend like her. The girl in the window seemingly writes in regularly to a radio show that Makino frequently listens to, and she shares how the girl brightens her days by glancing up at her window. The glimpses at the window and the radio show updates give Makino some form of comfort in her lonely life every day, but everything changes when Makino makes a real friend at school.
Breakdown: This episode is quite a bit confusing and weird. It’s certainly one of those stories where you have to run through it a few times to really understand what happened, and even then it’s somewhat unclear, but I really did enjoy this episode. It’s not really scary, although you do feel concerned for the girl near the end, because she’s really nice and innocent and her loneliness is finally going away for real and you don’t to see anything bad happen to her.
I’m going to be spoiling the ending here just because it requires some analysis.
What I personally believe happened in the end of the episode is that the billboard ghost/spirit purposely avoided Makino. It wanted to meet her, potentially with malicious intent, because she was missing her after she had been neglecting her so long after she made that friend at school. However, she saw Makino look up at her this time, because the girl’s friend had to miss school, and I believe she decided to purposefully miss her. The reason I say this is because the message on the billboard said, “It’s okay. Let yourself be reborn.” feels more like she’s saying goodbye and letting her go than she is implying that she’s a ghost now.
In addition, when the billboard fell, Makino was nearly off-screen, which usually doesn’t happen when they’re implying someone got crushed. She was so far up that we’d at least see some body parts or blood on the ground on that edge, but we don’t. The onlookers would also be much more freaked out than they seem to be considering they would have seen a teenage girl absolutely obliterated. It is a tiny bit weird, I will admit, that the girl doesn’t have more of a reaction to the billboard falling and nearly crushing her to death, which I think is why some people are confused and think she might be a ghost now.
However, the ghost theory doesn’t make much sense to me. If the billboard ghost’s plan was to kill her so she could turn into a ghost and they could friends forever, then why did the billboard fall? The billboard was destroyed. The billboard will no longer reflect in the window in the morning, meaning Makino can’t visit her every day, even as a ghost. The only way I could see this making more sense is if the billboard crushed her and then the next shot we see is of a new billboard but this time Makino is on the billboard and she does the same thing to some other lonely girl on the street.
I really don’t think this is me being overly optimistic – if you know me, you know that’s not really my thing – I just think my theory of her not being dead and the billboard ghost basically letting her go makes more sense to me.
End of Spoilers
Overall, a really good story, and none of it really seemed cliché either. It’s a teeny bit light on horror is about it.
Episode 4: Last Train
Plot: Oomori just barely makes it on the last train in order to get home, but while he was out having fun with friends, he forgot about his other friend, Takeshita, who had an important matter to discuss with him. No matter, though. They’ll meet on the train….
Breakdown: This season seems to really be getting into the vague “fill in the blanks yourself” storylines quite a bit, and that’s fine with me. I like analyzing stories and coming up with my own ideas as to what happened, as long as it’s not such a confusing mess that I feel I need to literally write the story for them.
This episode has a mixture of scariness, but mostly in the unsettling atmosphere that it creates near the end, and depression in the circumstances involving how they got there. While I would say it’s the weakest of the four episodes so far, it’s definitely still a good story that caught me with the ending twist. I admit that I did kinda predict it given the hint at the very start of the episode, but it wasn’t such a massive hint that it ruined everything. It just kinda poked at one aspect of the ending.
I also didn’t much care for the fact that it made off like Takeshita was….evil and creepy? If the implications are correct, he was just a terribly depressed guy who was reaching out to a friend for help and he didn’t receive it because his friend was a bit flippant and absent-minded.
Those aren’t really major points off, though. It’s still very much a solid entry.
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