I’ve been concerned about how Suka Suka would end for several weeks now. Anime, especially anime based on light novels, often ends without properly resolving the plot, and Suka Suka seemed to have too much going on to be able to resolve everything in 12 episodes. Now that it’s over, I can say that it was much better than I had feared, but not as good as I had hoped.
With this episode, Willem finally gets to show how strong he is. The show has implied that he’s much stronger than he looks before, and now we get to see that in action as he tears through the beasts attacking the airship without even using a weapon. At the same time, Nopht, Rhan, and Nephren are each fighting their own battles against the beasts, with Ren gradually succumbing to venenum poisoning from overusing her power. This was easily the most action packed episode in the entire series, and you can tell the staff went all out. The battles are all fast paced and intense, with a surprising amount of gore as well. The animation was a distinct step up from the rest of the series and really helped sell how desperate this fight was. However, the action wasn’t the meat of the episode.
As Willem fights, his regrets over not being able to save anyone from the beasts boil over. He blames himself for not being able to save his friends from his youth, and that blame combines with his more recent feelings toward Chtholly and the fairies. Willem wants to be the hero and rescue everyone, but he isn’t able to fix everything. It’s sad, but true. Suka Suka isn’t the story of a hero who rises to save the day, it’s the story of a hero who couldn’t and has to live with that. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. After Willem rescues Rhan from some of the beasts and spills all his feelings of regret, Rhan responds that there’s more than one way to save someone and that Willem was still a source of salvation for Chtholly. Even if he couldn’t save the fairy soldiers, Willem was able to bring them some happiness. Thanks to him, Chtholly fell in love, got to spend a fun day in town, and grew to value her own life. Chtholly herself confirms this later when she says that she’s already has happy as she could possibly be. Willem can’t fix Suka Suka’s screwed up world, but he can still make it better for the people he cares about. Even if Rhan’s words don’t reach Willem, they perfectly encompass Suka Suka’s overarching themes. Sometimes all you can do is bring happiness to the people you care about.
The climax of the episode comes when Willem, badly wounded from fighting so much, tries to save Ren from falling out of the ship. She’s completely given up and wants to fall so the fallout of her overusing her power doesn’t destroy the ship, but Willem refuses to let her die, and even jumps out after her when she falls, desperate not to lose anyone else. They’re both saved by Chtholly, who saw that they needed help and chose to wake up and go save them, even though doing so would cost her the last of her memories. It’s an emotionally charged sequence backed by a great soundtrack that enhances the moment.
After they land, Chtholly is stuck fighting off all the beasts on the ground while Willem and a badly wounded Ren watch helplessly. In spite of all the gore and Chtholly being severely wounded, it’s a surprisingly beautiful scene. All the colors are bright and vivid, and the entire scene is backed by soft lighting from the sunset. As Scarborough Fair once again plays, Willem and Chtholly both reflect on how important they are to each other. Scarborough Fair, an English folk song about two lovers, might be an unusual song for an action scene, but the action isn’t the point of the scene at all. The focus is entirely on Willem and Chtholly, and Scarborough Fair is perfect for that. It’s a sad moment, but also kind of heartwarming to see how much they love each other. Chtholly is Willem’s reason to keep going after everything that’s happened, and Willem is a source of happiness and meaning to Chtholly. Whatever reservations I had about Willem and Chtholly’s relationship turning romantic were completely blown away by this episode. More than anything else, they’re just two people in a screwed up world trying to find some bit of happiness.
The episode struggles a bit more with the epilogue. It shows that Nopht and Rhan made it back and that everyone believes Willem, Chtholly, and Ren are dead, but there’s a brief scene of Souwong using magic to try to find them but turning away right before it gets results showing at least two people still alive. Things get more confusing when it cuts to several years later and shows a new fairy being born with Chtholly’s distinctive blue hair. It’s hard to tell if the show wants us to think they’re still alive or not, and is somewhat frustrating since the show probably won’t get another season. It also leaves the question of Elq’s exact role unresolved and doesn’t address what’s going to happen now with the fairies. That said, these aren’t as big of a problem as they could have been.
Even if the narrative wasn’t completely satisfying, Suka Suka still managed to provide some great emotional resolution here. It’s not as good as it could have been if it had gotten more episodes, but Suka Suka is still unique among light novel adaptations, and I’m glad I watched it.
Rating (episode): A
Rating (overall): B+
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