Management: 12 Days of Anime continues with memorable moments from each season of the past year. Spoilers for the entirety of Tsuki ga Kirei ahead.

I really like the ending sequence of Tsuki ga Kirei.

Tsuki ga Kirei is a straightforward romance, and its ending theme is fittingly a simple ballad, with Touyama Nao’s unembellished voice floating over a similarly unadorned accompaniment. The ending sequence also features mundane text-message conversations of unknown couples, ranging from “Sorry, I just got home!!” to “Once you pass the job interview you’ll be in the real world”. Turbulent, suspenseful courtship may be the stuff of love stories, but mundane snippets of couples’ daily lives also carry their own intimate charm.

Until you realize, by the finale, that these are not random couples.

The series ostensibly ends with Kotarou chasing after Akane’s train in a grand, bombastic gesture as Akane is moving to another town. As the ending sequence plays, text messages pop up on the screen again, with pictures of the couples in question. If you are astute, you notice that you’ve seen these text messages before, and then, glancing at the couples onscreen, everything clicks. These are conversations between Akane and Kotarou. The couple have somehow managed to stay together throughout high school, college, and beyond, and have gotten married with a child.

This is precisely the extraordinary fairytale romance of love stories. But in the moment, I didn’t care. Tsuki ga Kirei pulled off its plot twist perfectly.

Oh, and did I mention I like the ending song? You can listen to it with Japanese lyrics on YouTube.

Other memorable moments of Spring:

  • Deku vs Todoroki in My Hero Academia. On one hand, this fight was gorgeous, and I was glad that Todoroki was finally able to accept his heritage while rejecting his father’s abusive behaviour. On the other hand, Deku’s total lack of concern for his own safety grated on my nerves. There are things worth risking life and limb for. Fighting a mock battle against your classmate is not one of them, and frankly shows disrespect for those who care about you. Thankfully the series seems to be treating this as a character flaw that he needs to grow out of.
  • In Sakura Quest, the visiting film crew burns down an abandoned house to shoot a scene. Shiori makes the decision to sacrifice a part of her memories. Maki offers to perform the stunt double, a choice borne out of a complicated relationship with the failure of her dream career in acting. Five minutes of glory, and the film crew leaves the city, never to return. All that remains is the charred remains of an old memory of Manoyama.
  • The Season 1 OP comes back in the triumphant climax of Little Witch Academia. I always preferred it to the Season 2 OP, so hearing it during the climax was especially moving.

You can read about the 12 Days of Anime project on the intro post here.