About Me

Newfoundland, Canada
I've been a big anime fan for about 10 years or so now. My five all-time favorite animes at this point are, in no particular order... Puella Magi Madoka Magica, El Hazard: The Magnificent World, Love Live!: School Idol Project, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. However, there are hundreds of anime shows that I like. The main purpose of this blog is to provide meta-commentary on anime, and the anime industry - to try to cast a critical, though appreciating, eye upon this entertainment genre that I believe has tremendous potential, but can also be easily wasted. I have always been a fan of animation in general - in the 80s, I grew up on western cartoons like He-Man, She-Ra, Transformers, and G.I. Joe. Through out the 90s, I was a hardcore comic book fan, for the most part. I'm also a big fan of Star Trek. Right now in my life, though, anime is my principal entertainment passion.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

True Tears Review: Part 2

True Tears indeed...

This may very well be the ultimately saddest anime that I've ever watched. At least for me.

Just watching the anime scene that the above picture is taken from almost moved me to tears. And I very rarely cry when watching anime, and virtually never for purely melancholic and sad moments. When an anime moves me to tears, it's virtually always because of something very touching in a pleasantly profoundly poignant way that elicits tears of joy from me. It's because of a moment of happy familial reunion, or the penultimate moment of romantic realization, or something along those lines.

But the final episode of True Tears was very nearly an exception to that.

I'll get into why, shortly.

First, though, I should provide the readers of Part 1 of my review with an important heads up. My take on True Tears has changed tremendously over the course of watching the past seven episodes. I'm not going to say that I now hate the anime, but I do hate some of the directions that it took. So be forewarned: This review is going to be a fair bit more critical than my Part 1 review was. However, there will also be some further praise for the anime as well.

Watching through the last few episodes of True Tears might have been the most horrifically hellacious heart-wrenching viewing experience of my life. And this is because I became very emotionally invested in the character of Noe Isurugi and the Noe/Shinichiro romance.

There's never been an anime romance that so instantly clicked with me like Noe/Shinichiro did.

I was sold on it almost immediately. It was so splendidly serenely sweet, and unusually uplifting. For a time, Noe and Shinichiro truly did fly, just as Noe had always dreamed of both her and Shinichiro doing.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are other anime romances that I very much like. Tomoya and Nagisa in Clannad was a romance that I eventually came to love. But it took a lot of time and development for me to like that romance. For awhile, I felt that Tomoya perhaps had made the wrong choice in opting for Nagisa over the other options available to him. However, by the end of Clannad: After Story, I was completely sold on the romance and eventual marriage of Tomoya and Nagisa. Tomoya made the right choice.

Shana and Sakai Yuji from Shakugan no Shana is another anime romance that I like. It comes across as cute, funny, heartfelt, and powerful. Nonetheless, I would not have been terribly upset if Sakai Yuji had opted for Kazumi Yoshida instead.

But I couldn't help but to feel upset here, with how the romances were resolved in True Tears...

Noe/Shinichiro is truly the first anime romance that I became completely and strongly supportive of. Until now, I could not relate to just how ferociously fiery fans' flaming passions could rise when it came to shipping wars. Now, I kind of can relate.

I don't actively dislike Hiromi, but nor did she appeal to me as persuasively as Noe did. As I said in Part 1 of my review for this anime, Noe is the charm factor of this anime. And her brother is the cool factor of this anime.

And man, did the anime ever do a number on both... :-(

Jun and Noe Isurugi go from the showstealers of this anime to being simply brutalized by the plot. I've never seen an anime do such an incredibly impressive inspired job in building up two great characters, only to tear them down through one setback after another after another.

Jun could easily and honestly write the stereotypical country music song, for cryin' out loud.

"I lost my bike,
I was suspended from school,
I missed the festival,
and my sister broke her ~llleeeeeegg~!" - Jun Isurugi, singing in Nashville, Tennessee.

If Shinichiro thinks he has a future in writing picture books, just wait until he sees the success of new music sensation Crooner Jun! ;)

As for Noe...

She had her heart broken. She was firmly grounded after initially taking flight. Now the poor girl is even on crutches, after being driven to new heights of insane behavior by how emotionally distraught she was. After all, the boyfriend that she dearly loved turned his back on her. And all it took for him to do it was finding out that Hiromi was not his half-sister.

Speaking of specific plot points, a few in this anime struck me as more than a bit strange.

If there's any possibility whatsoever of Hiromi being Shinichiro's half-sister, why not just get a DNA test done? Indeed, one wonders why Shinichiro's mother doesn't insist on it. She clearly suspected her husband of cheating on her with Hiromi's mom, and I don't see how such a suspicion can be completely resolved short of hard evidence. Even otherwise good men are not entirely honest about such affairs.

Secondly, just what were Jun and Hiromi trying to do? Where was Jun trying to take Hiromi? Hiromi asked him to take her somewhere where it doesn't snow. To the best of my knowledge, no such place exists in Japan during the middle of Winter. Was Jun planning to drive his motorcycle across the Pacific and down to Australia?

Even so, why the suspension? School's suspend students in Japan for vehicular accidents that take place outside of school, and involve no property damage or lost of life beyond what the students themselves endured? That's news to me, if true. Seems rather draconian and harsh, if true.

There's some plot developments in this anime that are a bit hard to swallow. That being said, I will give the anime credit for progressing at a fairly steady pace from Episode 7 on. Episode 7 is where the plot of the anime really shifts into high gear. And, for awhile, I mostly loved the plot. But when Jun went off the road and crashed into the snow, it seemed like he took the mood of this anime with him.

The second half of True Tears felt a lot heavier, emotionally speaking, than the first half. This pretty much killed the friendship dynamic between Miyokichi and Shinichiro. Miyokichi and Shinichiro both became so caught up in emotionally distressing romantic issues that the two of them lacked their earlier breezy rapport. Their friendship carried on, in fairness to both, but it no longer felt easy going or entirely natural. It felt more like a matter of obligation given the sheer length of time that they had been friends.

That being said, there was one romantic conclusion in True Tears that I was happy with...

I was happy to see Miyokichi reunited with Aiko.

The way their relationship played out felt very natural and believable to me. It made sense, and I'm glad that once Aiko accepted the lost of her first love, she was able to accept being the girlfriend of her second one.

I also like both characters in this pairing, and I very much liked Miyokichi's approach to romance. He's a true gentleman that is very honest, upfront, committed, and lovingly caring towards the girl that he adores. Unlike a certain best friend of his...

But this romantic resolution was small consolation for me, given my great disappointment in how the principle love triangle sorted itself out.

Shinichiro/Hiromi isn't necessarily a bad romance. And it's very well developed. The anime is like a master seamstress in how it manages to weave so many different plots and subplots together in a way that easily makes sense at a surface level. I may find some of the character actions questionable, but I know what's going on, and why it's going on, and the plot never even comes close to losing me. Continuity is well-maintained, and the anime handles the progression of time within its narrative very shrewdly.

Also, the ending of True Tears Episode 10 made it abundantly clear that Shinichiro/Hiromi had become the new favorite to be the ultimate central romance of this anime. After all, it had the classically dramatic and romantically suspenseful scene of Shinichiro chasing after Hiromi on his bike, only for him to crash Jun-style, hence getting Hiromi to pull her ride over and race after him. The anime then goes almost into cheesy territory by having Hiromi trip up and fall on Shinichiro. The anime couldn't have made it any more obvious that it was switching from Shinichiro/Noe to Shinichiro/Hiromi.

But then, Episode 12 teases the audience with the possibility of Shinichiro switching once more, this time from Hiromi to Noe. I will admit that the drama of the romantic conflict is played out with all the expert precision of an experienced conductor for a Grand Symphony Orchestra. This anime does an exceptional job of playing on the emotions of its viewers. I have little doubt that if I preferred Shinichiro/Hiromi to Shinichiro/Noe that I would have loved this anime to pieces, and perhaps even considered it a masterpiece.

But... I don't. I have a strong preference for Shinichiro/Noe. And it's not because Hiromi is a bad character, or because I think Shinichiro/Hiromi is a fundamentally awful romantic pairing. It's that Shinichiro/Noe is Just. That. Good.

I was instantly hooked by it.

This anime holds the honor of creating the best romance I've ever seen in anime, and one of the best in all of fiction.

It also holds the very dubious distinction, though, of destroying that same romance.

So, how do I rate this anime? That is hard to answer. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, for me to rate this anime fairly, given how the key romantic resolution left an extremely bitter taste in my mouth, and a churning in my heart and mind.

The anime used symbolism very well. It managed to get more out of the chicken friends of Noe, and their influence on Shinichiro's artistic work and internal reasoning, than what I had ever expected. It's great how the anime all made it work. But it feels so horribly undermined by how the character who made it all work, Noe, is the one left out in the cold.

Shinichiro is right about Noe. Noe taught him how to dance. Noe taught him how to fly. Noe encouraged him in all of his endeavors, and was such a stupendously supportive girlfriend. Noe really had an incredibly positive influence on his life. That was a big part of why I loved the Shinichiro/Noe romance so much.

But in the end, Shinichiro chose Hiromi anyway.

How, Shinichiro? How?!

How could you turn down such a girlfriend? How could you turn down this?

No wonder Jun was not able to bring himself to forgive Shinichiro...

I'm still glad that I watched True Tears. When it came to gaining emotional investment, it's in a very elite class for me. Its plot is largely solid, and its core cast is developed very well. It is a sharp contrast to Angel Beats! in that True Tears never tries to do too much in too little time, and keeps its core cast down to a manageable number of about 10. Watching both animes within the same week or two really served to emphasize these strengths of True Tears for me. It has the kind of plot, and the sort of cast, and the type of narrative, that really works in a 13 episode format.

However, its ending still leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. What this anime does to the Isurugis is almost intolerably cruel. In fairness, an argument can be made that Jun endured cruel and unusual karmic justice, but that it was karmic justice nonetheless. Jun forcing Hiromi into a fraudulent romance with him was wrong of him. So was his attempts to keep her there indefinitely. He paid for his mistakes here, and he paid severely.

Nonetheless, Noe is a completely innocent victim of the machinations of other characters, including her own well-intentioned but ultimately mistake-prone brother. It's truly heartbreaking to see what Noe is put through in the 2nd half of this anime...

In time, I will probably look back on True Tears fondly. But for now, I am left very dissatisfied with its ending.

7/10 overall. Maybe I'll adjust it up to 8 at some point in the future...

To end this review on a pleasant note, here's a couple nice True Tears pictures that I hope my readers will enjoy looking at. :)


  1. Heh… wow, I was expecting your opinion to change as the show got moodier, but I wasn’t expecting quite that strong a hatred of the ending. As a fellow Noe fan, I didn’t like the conclusion of the love triangle much either, but I never had that strong a reaction to it.

    (BTW, I’m going to have to warn you, if you dislike sad and/or wrenching endings, you may have some issues with a number of the titles I recommended to you. I can’t think of any that end quite like True Tears did, but quite a few of those shows have characters die in them.)

    I actually have to admit I don’t remember the series well enough to make a good judgement as to why Shinchiro passed up Noe for Hiromi. Normally in a situation like this I would say childhood bonds, but the two of them never seemed particularly close. I suppose one could also argue that Noe is the kind of person who makes a very romantic love interest in fiction but that very few people would actually choose in real life.

    Anyway, yeah, I just find it interesting to note how strong your reaction was to this, since I don’t remember you complaining at all that EF had one of its girls gets screwed over by a love triangle as well. But then Kei isn’t nearly as likeable a character as Noe (although the original EF game apparently portrays her more sympathetically, dedicating an entire chapter to her getting over Hiro.).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if your opinion of the show improves over time, BTW. That’s what tends to happen to me with well executed shows that I disliked for these kinds of reasons, and True Tears is for the most part very well executed. I’m still floored that this was PA Work’s first “in house” anime – the visuals and execution are actually better than in their later works, in my opinion.

    (I feel like I’m missing something I should be saying here, but I think I’d need to rewatch the show to pick up on what it is. Maybe once my schedule slows down and I clear out some of the really pressing stuff on my backlog…)

  2. 0utf0xZer0 - I know that love triangles typically require somebody to either die or get a broken heart, both of which are usually sad or tragic. That can be a bit wrenching of course, but usually I can deal with it. I mean, I felt badly for Kyou and Ryou in Clannad when the two had their big memorable cry scene after it became crystal clear to both of them that Tomoya would be going with Nagisa, permanently. So, I can deal with the losers of love triangles getting hurt.

    But what made it especially bad in True Tears is that I had a strong preference here, and I usually don't with love triangles truthfully. That, and Noe is the ultimate moe character, in the sense that she causes emotions to arise in me to want to see her protected from great hardship and pain.

    I probably won't have as negative a reaction to most other love triangles as I did with this one. I never did with Shakugan no Shana, for example. Noe is just a very special character, and so was her romance with Shinichiro. I just can't fathom why Shinichiro would give up on Noe. Their romance was going just swimmingly, imo.

    Having Noe break her leg also seemed like adding salt to the wounds.

    Oh well... like you said, the anime is very well executed. Their visuals are indeed exceptionally stunning. That's why I couldn't rate this any lower than 7/10. Anything lower than that would be doing a disservice to the sheer technical proficiency of this anime.

  3. I somewhat predicted that a critical review was coming up considering how much you were attached to Noe :p. As promised, I’ll provide a more detailed reply of what I thought of the anime, being as unbiased as I can despite putting aside the fact that it is a personal favourite and the fact that I am a Hiromi fan.

    Firstly, the characters and voicing acting. I thought all of the characters in True Tears were excellent or at least decently portrayed. Its voice actors were also superb. I find that in the vast majority of anime, how the character acts and how it is voiced is often exaggerated or stereotyped. I’m not saying this is necessarily bad, as other similar animes such as Clannad After Story and ef does indeed have very “anime” acting and voice acting but is still superb. As an anime fan, I have quickly come to accept this fact and even embrace it. However, it is refreshing to see “normal/standard” acting and voice acting once in a while (in anime) – the kind you expect to see in other mediums of entertainment. This made True Tears all the more realistic (and better) in my opinion.

    The character and voice that is the closest to being exaggerated is Noe, but even if this is questionable. Noe has “moeblob” characteristics but this is countered by her eccentric, bubbly and energetic behaviour. Her voice is somewhat cutesy but still within what would be considered realistic in the real world.

    As for the other characters, Aiko has some “tsundere” elements, Hiromi has some “kuudere/yamato Nadeshiko” elements, Miyokichi has some “idiotic best friend” elements, whilst Shinichiro has some “oblivious protagonist” elements. Despite, possessing elements of specific anime character archetypes, they are still largely void of being portrayed in a typical anime way. All of these mentioned characters however, do not have typical “anime-like” voices.

    In terms of story/plot, I agree that well made and executed – in terms of anime at least. It really does play with your emotions and swings back and forth between the two girls. However, I must admit that there were two glaring holes in True Tears’ plot. The first was the plot device regarding Hiromi being suspected to be the half-sister of Shinichiro only for the show to do a bait and switch to make this pointless. The second was regarding the character of Aiko… what was the point of her? To me it just made the show unnecessarily harem-esque for an episode or two. Or perhaps it had to do with the quote which she said something along the lines of “To get close to the person you love, you need to get close to the person they are close with.” This is what I understand why Jun and Hiromi were “pretending” to being going out so that Jun could get closer with Noe and Hiromi with Shinichiro.

  4. I also noticed something when I rewatched the series about half a year ago, which I didn’t realise the first time when I watched the show. The plot was very Korean soap drama like, particularly with the conflict regarding Shinichiro’s mother and Hiromi. I’ve watched my fair share of these as Korean dramas tend to involve love triangles, with one of the side’s parents not approving and then usually ending tragically or bitter sweetly – seldom do they end happily. Well… honestly I didn’t think it was a sad ending for me but that’s because I supported Hiromi :P. The general consensus is also that people love happy endings and this is more the case with anime, as its viewers tend to be younger and of the adolescent/college age (and dominantly male). Korean dramas on the other hand are primarily aimed at what would be the equivalent “josei” demographic and housewives. Furthermore, I also found with Japanese romances that childhood friends usually loses, whilst in Korean dramas it is the opposite.

    So why is this significant? I personally think True Tears would have done a lot better if it was made into a live drama with some tweaking here and there. In a nutshell, it was made for the wrong audience, but still nonetheless did pretty well on the anime scene. This is just a personal theory though, as I may be completely wrong.

    In terms of the animation/music department, it was also superb. As 0utf0xZer0 said, this is ironically P.A. Works’ best work in the animation department despite its latter works CANAAN and Angel Beats. Eufonius’ OP is an excellent piece of musical composition and the BGM/OST is also superb. The ED is also great.

    Overall, when I first watched the anime I gave it a 8/10, but upgraded it a 9/10 after realising there is maybe two or three animes that may be better than this in the romance/drama department for me.

    It’s a shame that you had to rate it as harshly as you did, but I perfectly understand why you didn’t like it as much. A good friend of mine rated this anime a 4/10 out of pure rage, which I retorted with the “GG Noefags you lose” picture that was present at MAL at the time :p. We still fight about it time to time -_-;.

    Btw, apologies if this reply was too long, I tend to that to things I really like …

  5. Good review. I'm sorry that you didn't like the ending...I was a Hiromi fan from the beginning, so I liked it, haha.

  6. And you should use the 'read more' option when you write a post. Just write an into paragraph and put the read more in, this was the front page isn't super super super long and all. The option is probably in the tool bar with the font options (bold, italic, etc).

  7. acejem - Thanks for all those great observations, and informative points. I myself found it odd how "Childhood friend = Romantic victory!" in this anime, when romance anime in general tends to go the other way.

    I never mentioned the voice acting, but I did find it very realistic too. More like a Soap Opera than an anime, agreed. And even Noe could talk in a very low and subdued tone of voice. Her last on-screen conversation with her brother was incredibly low tone.

    That's one thing I wanted to add here... Noe was dealt one additional emotional blow by having her brother reveal that he has incestuous feelings for her. The poor girl really is put through the ringer in the last half of the anime. Not only does she have to deal with the heartbreak of losing Shinichiro, and the leg-break resulting from an accident, but now she also has to cope with how her own beloved brother has the hots for her.

    Noe really does love her brother a lot, but it's in a purely platonic sisterly way. I think she was really unnerved by finding out Jun's feelings for her, and this comes out a bit in how subdued she is during her last onscreen conversation with him in Episode 13.

    Really, her life is turned upside down and becomes a complete mess in the 2nd half of this anime.

    Anyway, thanks for the great responses to this blog!

    DragoZERO - Thanks for the advice. :) Glad you liked the review.

  8. Triple R - No problems. Glad you accepted my responses well :D.

    I forgot to mention, but I'm not sure if you are aware that in the bluray edition of True Tears, the final episode (13) had a 3minute epilogue that shows the aftermath of Noe, Hiromi, Shinichiro and Miyokichi. Just get yourself a raw bluary edition of episode 13 and skip after the credits (the scene regarding the first picture in this post). No need for subs for the epilogue as there is no dialog.

    However, if I interpreted it right, I'm going to have to warn you, as it rather tragic...

  9. I really liked both of your Reviews.I have to say I liked the ending but I do agree with you that Noe had it hard .It was way too much for Noe .The writers were especially brutal with her so I understand why you didn't like the ending but it was all necessarly for Noe's growth .I thought that all the characters were complex especially Hiromi .

    acejem-I do agree a bout the first plot hole.The whole sibling thing seemed to be nothing but a plot device really .As for Aiko.I don't think she was useless .I thought that she gave the show more realism because of her flawes .....

  10. In regards to the accident-related suspension, simply -riding- a bike is enough grounds for one if Kyou's remarks early in Clannad are any indication. Of course, that's another anime, and it was mostly the lead-in for a joke, so I'm not sure if that's the case or not. ^^;;

    As for Miyokichi and Shinichiro's friendship... I think the main problem is that it simply got buried under everything else going on at the time, especially the fact that Aiko had finally decided to make it clear to the both of them that she had feelings for Shinichiro. Thankfully for them, after all the dust settled, Miyokichi and Aiko -did- end up reuniting.

    And that leads up to the next thing I wanted to address in this comment. True Tears did a remarkable job of not only making the characters and relationships appealing(especially in the case of Noe), but making them actually believable. Even though I was never overly fond of Hiromi or the Shin/Hiromi pairing, it wasn't because Hiromi was a bad addition or that I felt the pairing was poorly handled, but rather because others just appealed to me more.

    Finally... well, I was going to talk about how bad Noe really got it at the end, but I think you did a pretty good job of that. Though, I think the injury may have hit me harder than it did others, seeing as I've also had a fall-related broken bone(albeit an arm instead of a leg). Just -thinking- about something like that causes the old wound to start hurting again, so the final episode was a bit more uncomfortable for me to watch than it really should've been. =/

    All things said, this has been a great review for a great series. Nice job. ^^

  11. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts on the series now that it's been a while and you can look back it it. I'm a huge Shin/Noe shipper and I was disappointed with the end when I saw it as well. But I think the pairing in the end was correct.

    I agree with everything about the Shin/Noe romance being something that just CLICKED from the get-go. But the way that it was resolved, I'm okay with. Noe walked away from him on her own strength, and there's always going to be a piece of Shin's heart that will always be reserved for Noe.

    So as stupid as it might sound, I still feel like Noe won in her own way. I felt it while the credits rolled during the epilogue. Shin was still watching Noe, seeing her in the present. Noe, though she ends up finally crying near the broken stones, understands that it was all in the past. And she got back her tears, which is what she wanted all along.

  12. ciddypoo - When watching an anime for the first time, I tend to put a lot of added emphasis on the end, and how much I like/dislike it. Over time, this can change, if the bulk of the story was something I really enjoyed liking.

    That's the case with True Tears, that's gone on to be on my list of favorite anime shows of all-time, and which I now rank 8/10 over on MAL.

    However, I'll never agree with the idea that the pairing in the end of True Tears was correct. I will always think that Shin/Noe was the correct pairing to go with. While I respect your well-written reply to me, I frankly don't see how somebody can call themselves a Shin/Noe shipper if they're cool with Hiromi being who Shin ends up with. That kind of contradicts the whole point of being a shipper doesn't it? ^_^;;

    So, I've softened my take on True Tears overall, but I'll never agree with how this romance triangle resolved itself.

  13. nah,... i think noe and shinichiro was the perfect tandem! i even imagined myself being able to find a girl like
    noe.... it breaks my heart having been able to watch the ending... i cant seem to get rid of noe's smile at all... she's the best anime character i've ever seen! perfect!!! why did she end up to be left out!? she suffered too much in this anime... but she shall fly, i'm sure she will

  14. Sorry,,But the the main goal of this anime is to Make Noe to normal self. Like socializing to other person and specially to put her tears back by breaking her heart by the most important person of herself.

    that was her Grandmother true intention from the top..

  15. I'm rather late to this discussion but first my take on a couple things: first about the doomed bike ride. It was a rather clumsy metaphor but the intent of this scene is to show Hiromi's rebirth from death. She was seeking death. Please correct me if I am recalling poorly but when she asks for a ride, Jun replies:

    "My bike is no good in the snow. I don't want to die."

    Hiromi replies, "You promised me you'd do anything I asked."

    The implication is she accepts the possibility of death. I don't think either wanted to literally die, but the intent is a sort of spiritual death. After this Hiromi and the step-mother finally start healing. It is an important transition.

    On another part, I think Noe represents a form of the magic pixie girl trope. The earliest incarnation of this trope I attribute to Andre Breton's "Nadja" about his encounter with an eccentric woman who opens his mind to a wider truth and self-realization, though she turns out to be an escapee from an insane asylum. Noe is closer to Fuko, a pixie girl who transforms the life of the main character, though Noe also acts as a rival instead of a pure catalyst like Fuko.

  16. Sorry for running on, but I thought I'd write my defense of Hiromi in a fresh comment. I don't expect to change your mind or anyone else's. This show was written that someone would get their heart broken, no matter how it ended. So, although I am sorry it ended up being Noe, here is my justifications for Hiromi being the "winner."

    (1) Hiromi went to live in the Nakagami's because she wanted to be close to Shin--basically, she endured the torment of a bitter mother-in-law who wanted to reject her and she *wasn't* even engaged to the clueless dude.

    (2) although she did act rather cold, she had to endure the news that the love of her life might be her brother--but she still stuck around, hoping for the best!

    (3) she is basically an orphan like Noe and Jun, but she has no brother to fall back on, only Shin. And unlike Noe, she becomes a stronger person--she makes friends and becomes successful at school.

    (4) she grows immensely as a person: she is rather vain, cold and selfish for large parts of the show. There were parts when she did stuff that made me say out loud, "What a BITCH!" But she redeems herself, she realizes when she is in the wrong without other people having to *force* her.

    When Jun calls to ask for help finding Noe, she hesitates, but she does the right thing, knowing that Shin would go looking for Noe. When she confronts Noe at the festival, she throws *all* her earlier pride away and *begs* Noe to let her have her happiness. Noe basically says, beautiful tears and walks away.

    When it seems like Shin is slipping away from her, she pathetically tries one final manipulative trick on Shin, the scene near the end when she makes tea for him but claims there is only one cup left and she drinks after he does. When this fails to daunt him, she goes for the hail mary 3-pointer right at the final buzzer:

    she bares her naked soul to Shin and tells him how he had to take responsibility and make a firm choice, and that she'd wait for his answer and accept even if it went against her. Essentially, she is saying she cares so much for him, she is willing to let him go.

    Out of anyone in this show, except perhaps Shin's best friend, Hiromi struggles and fights and puts 110% into making their relationship work. She wins the heart of the bitter mother,she grows herself as a fully independent human being who has chosen to become one flesh with the man she loves.

    And finally, the kicker that would have made me rage and downrate this anime to oblivion, is when she seems to have all hope, she reverts for a moment to her childish ways by kicking off her sandal and crying for Shin to not leave her. I'm sorry, but nothing Noe did to want Shin seemed as emphatically necessary, as heartfelt as that moment. It was the perfect combination of her selfish desires, her needs and the core human need to be wanted and loved.How could he say no to that? Only an inhuman monster could, I think. :)

    P.S. And yes, Noe, taught him how to fly, but who was he flying for? The whole point of his attempt was to make a certain girl smile, and that person was always Hiromi from the beginning in his original drawing. Also, he's basically a replacement for a dead chicken to Noe. Come on!