Shigofumi #12 –The Last Letter

March 22nd, 2008


Boku punch!!


This ‘quick summary’ started running a bit long, so I guess I’ll just move to my normal summarizing format. Anyway, quite a nice ending episode letting both Fumi and Mika vent out their feelings and then just be happy. A little overly deus ex machina with how Mika just sort of came out of nowhere again, but eh… I’ll live. I think that Fumi could have definitely used a bit more development and more time to really show that she couldn’t deal with her life. I mean… we had about half an episode with her operating with her memories before she broke down and tried to kill herself… a couple times over. It was still a relatively happy way to end things with both Fumi and Mika pouring their hearts out while the rest of the cast stood around and looked confused.

Final thoughts at the bottom.

Fumi(ka) tries to adapt to her new life, but because of her father, she’s somewhat infamous around school and is scared of all the attention. Everybody at school knows her and takes pictures of her constantly. Even the attention from just introducing herself to the rest of the class makes her terrified.

In the staff world, Kanaka is having troubles getting along with other postal carriers that try to work with her.

The media has descended on Fumi as well and people start taking candid photos of her constantly. 

Natsuka asks if Kaname still likes Fumika, and admits that she likes him. Fumika overhears it from around the corner. Back at Natsuka’s home, life isn’t peaceful there either. Fumi’s mere presence is resulting in some familial friction.

Fumi meets her mother at the airport, apparently for the first time. Kirei thinks that Fumika is beautiful, but doesn’t really care about her otherwise and refuses to take her in. Her marriage to Kirameki was just… you know… a thing  and not really important. Fumi isn’t family to her at all.

She gets distracted by a friend and runs off to reunite with her friend, waving a casual goodbye to Fumika as she leaves. With all the cellphones and people taking pictures (not neccessarily of her), Fumika has a panic attack and runs off.

Natsuka forces Kaname to answer about his own feelings for Fumika (well, Fumi or Mika). Fumi meanwhile is on a journey through her memories. She remembers everything that happened, shooting her father, Kaname confessing to her, and then puts the gun to her head.

She stops when Mika appears. Flashback to last episode… Fumi pointed the gun at Mika, but couldn’t shoot. Mika held her hands and pulled the trigger for her.

Back in the quasi-present, Mika tells Fumi to stop running from all her problems. She tries to slap Fumi, but boku beats her down first. Fumi accuses Mika of being the evil one, and gets punched for it.

Kaname leaves Natsuka to run off after the Fumi/Mika conglomerate. Mika hits Fumi again, but this time Fumi picks up the gun… but throws it to Mika, telling her that she should live, not Fumi. Everybody wants to be with Mika, not with Fumi.

Kanaka appears at Natsuka’s and talks some sense into her while Chiaki listens in. Natsuka grabs Kanaka and goes chasing after her, knowing that she likes both sides of Fumika.

Fumi and Mika keep arguing at eachother, eventually going head to head and pushing the other around… along with slowing inflating their cheeks which is supposed to signify anger in young Japanese females. They settle down and Mika apologizes, saying that she’s glad Fumi gave her life and a chance for everything. Fumi breaks down in tears, screaming that she hates Mika. Mika also starts sobbing.

All the super friends finally get there, but the two are just crying while holding their hands. None of the super friends really has any clue and everybody just shrugs.

As the ED plays, we see shots of all the people who received shigofumi through the series, ending with Fumi declaring that she won’t be scared of anything anymore and Mika going about with Kanaka delivering letters.

Final Thoughts:

I have kind of mixed feelings at the end of this. At the start, I was drawn in by how visceral and stylstic the early episodes were. Those tailed off for the most part as we got more of Fumika’s story and her past, which I’m pretty sure that I would have been thrilled to hear at the beginning, but I actually think that aside from the main flashback to Fumi/Mika’s childhood, the standalone episodes were a lot stronger than the main plot. The central story wasn’t bad by any means, but it’s hard to really empathize with any character since the core group are complete basketcases. Mikawa definitely seems like he got off easy for being a moderately homicidal sociopath. Fumika’s bevy of school friends also really added almost nothing to the story and just served as a distraction, especially early on before we even really had a glimpse of what was going on.

This was still a very good series, though it does feel like it could have been two different ones altogether, the Fumi side centered around her family and her life and Mika’s, with them only really coming together at the end. I’d rather not play the "what-if" game too much though. The show had style and used it extremely well to heighten the feelings of desperation and insanity. It’s kind of a pity that many of the episodic characters were a lot more charismatic and interesting than some of the central (can you tell yet that I kind of hate Kaname and Natsuka?), but I only have to think of the show for a moment and a half dozen excellent scenes stick out in my mind. Chiaki’s past, the photographic scenes in episode 2, Fumika’s childhood, etc etc etc.

I wasn’t really certain what I was getting into with this one, and I have to admit that if the first episode didn’t end with a stabbing, I probably wouldn’t have been that enthusiastic about following it, but I’m very glad that I took the time on an already busy Saturday to do so.

Posted in Shigofumi | 4 Comments »

4 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • […] Boku punch indeed. Fumika and Fumi were so cute! Honestly, this was probably one of the weirdest and most forced endings I have ever seen. It already seemed kind of out of pace when the climax started coming with the last episode, but I guess that’s what happens when you have so much material shoved into a 12 episode series. While watching Fumi struggle with her life in this episode, I was again impressed with the importance placed in the media in this series. The snapshots of Fumi were a nice touch, and even I started getting annoyed by them. Kirei did end up being Fumika’s glittering mother, which came to no surprise, but she actually played a very small role in the episode. The bgm that played when Fumi reached the mansion was totally groovy, and I definitely shouted for joy when my boku goddess showed up. I didn’t believe she was gone for a second! Anyways, I guess it’s all up to the final impression to relay the rest of my thoughts… […]

  • totali says:

    It would have been better if it lasted for 2 seasons……or 5.