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Yubisaki no Renren (A Sign of Affection) – 12 (End) and Series Review

It seems like about half the shows airing this season have gotten sequel announcements.  That didn’t apply to Yubisaki no Renren though, and this always looked like it was probably going to be a one and done.  As such I suspect (not having read any of the source material) that this ending had a little more of a conclusive nature packed into it than the manga does at this point in the story.  That’s how it played when watching it cold, anyway.  That’s certainly a valid choice if indeed it’s what happened, but it definitely doesn’t give the impression that there’s any more to come.

The focus, as it should be, is mostly on Yuki and Itsuomi.  She agonizes over where to take him on their first official date (Rin isn’t much help) and finally settles on a conservatory (this looks a bit like Inokashira Koen in Kichijoji, but there’s no such botanic garden there that I’m aware of).  Yuki loves taking photos of flowers and flowers generally, and it makes sense as her keen senses are the ones you need to appreciate them.

This show has always struck me as a seinen romance with a shoujo tag, but this was probably the most shoujo episode of the series.  There’s a lot of fluffy bonding between Itsuomi and Yuki, who are falling hard for each other at this point.  The key moment in the date comes when Yuki asks if he’s ready to share the reason why he travels around the world so much.  And he is – he sends it to her by text, and tells her to wait till she gets home to read it.  Personally I don’t think there’s anything here that would justify all the secrecy, but the answer is pretty typical Itsuomi.

He really is a good guy, not just because of his interest in other cultures and teaching kids to share the same sense of curiosity, but broadly speaking.  My evolving view of Itsuomi is one of the major reasons why I went from almost dropping A Sign of Affection to quite liking it.  He’s odd, but not in a bad way – you just have to get past all his weird habits and see the real person underneath.  He treats Yuki with respect, and I wouldn’t have said that at the beginning.  And not just respect as a woman, but in terms of her hearing impairment too. He treats it as an interesting character trait, not a disability or a sign of weakness.

As for the rest of the cast, their romantic entanglements never felt fully fleshed out.  That’s not entirely surprising for an ongoing series packed into twelve episodes, and it’s the obvious reason why the show felt the need to “wrap up” those storylines in this episode.  Oushi is still pursuing his hopeless dream.  Emma finally agrees to go on a date with Shin.  And Rin and Kyouya continue to pursue their oddly procedural relationship.  None of it is too convincing but I think that’s mainly just a function of time.

I’m not going to say Yubisaki no Renren is some kind of masterpiece, but I certainly did wind up liking it a good bit better than I thought I would after the first few episodes.  Yuki and Itsuoumi developed some very nice chemistry and their relationship progressed along pretty believable lines.  I still have some issues with the way Yuki was portrayed, but not so much with the way she and Itsuomi interacted.  That relationship has a lot of potential for interesting exploration, though that’s likely to be in manga form only.

The post Yubisaki no Renren (A Sign of Affection) – 12 (End) and Series Review appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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