Something caught us completely off-guard during the production of this review: remember how Sing “Yesterday” for Me was set for 18 episodes? Well… turns out that it also counted the other six shorts that came with the episodes brodcasted on TV, and of which hasn’t been uploaded to Chrunchyroll (much to our frustration). So I guess this marks the final episodes in the series. And it makes sense: that episode didn’t really leave much wiggle-room to move on from, to say the least. .
At least the the series ended with a good resolution, specifically with Rikuo and Shinako’s end of a relationship that leads to a new chapter in their lives. Now, I know there’s a bunch of stuff we (or you!) could go into in regards to the possible influence Rou and Haru posed while close to the couple. Of course, the real decision comes halfway through when both Rikuo and Shinako simultaneously realize that this wasn’t a romantic relationship, but a platonic one. It’s definitely an interesting and fulfilling conclusion that handles the “Can men and women be friends?” argument well. That realization marks one of the first milestones of reaching maturity; that of course two members of opposite sexes can have a completely mutual and supportive platonic relationship. It’s one of the most realistic and mutually respectful break-ups ever, without having to go down the route of hair pulling and arguing. It’s a simple, understated separation that reflects the respect that they have for each other, and I’m here for it. .
The other loose threads however…
Rou is in such a weird place with me. He just bounces around for awhile and doesn’t really work well with the dynamic set by the others. His dejection upon discovering Rikuo and Shinako’s relationship at the end of the previous episode comes off oddly trying to split the difference between him forcing himself to move on, while still seeming to heap some blame on Shinako for spurning his unwanted advances. It’s just so weird that I honestly have no idea what goes on through his head. .
Now, I could keep going on and on about how the writers should’ve done this or that, but that sort of detracts from the ending, doesn’t it? If they can move on, why can’t we?
At the end of the day, this whole series was just one brief snapshot of the larger lives of these characters. We can’t judge what came before, particularly in the case of Shinako and Rou, whose past motivations and feelings remain intentionally ambiguous throughout, but they’re also asking us not to worry too much about what comes next. The least we can do is reflect on this photograph as a parable for how we interact with the relationships in our own lives, as Sing Yesterday very strongly advocates for action over self-limiting feelings and emotions. The people here aren’t perfect, nor is the storytelling surrounding them. But, it’s a testament to the characters’ appeal that I would happily have followed them on this next leg of their personal journey. Maybe this wasn’t the best ending. Maybe things could’ve went a little better. Maybe they could’ve handled it in a more fulfilling way. But as it stands, the result feels complete enough.
We’ll leave it there.