Mahoro Ekimae Bangaichi: Ep 12 (Finale)
For some reason I have a writer’s block when it comes to reviewing this last episode!!! Is it because I can’t let it go? Or is it because the finale was just so perfect that I have been rendered speechless? I DON’T KNOW.
As sad as I am to see Gyoten & Tada’s story end, I am incredibly satisfied with the ending episode. It is absolute perfection. Every single moment of this 30-minute episode is gold. Part of what I love about Mahoro is that every little character interaction, every little detail, really makes a difference. The story-telling is great and I’m glad that this last episode nailed it.
“I finally realized that I wanted to become something else other than a Benri-ya.”
Tada decides to shut down the Benri-ya. He tells Gyoten his decision in a really off-hand yet heartfelt way. I thought the world would be over when he breaks the news to Gyoten but..it’s not. The magic of the scene is when he explains his reasoning behind his decision. He’s not truly satisfied with his work. Why should he have to work so hard as a Benri-ya all the time? He wants to pursue something else. And Gyoten just understandingly listens to him, commenting that Tada is the kind of guy who will work hard in a different job all the same. AWWWWWW. I love how Gyoten understands Tada so well. I think he probably already knew that Tada was going to end his business because everything goes without saying between these two. They just understand each other, no questions asked.
I loved the concept of Tada & Gyoten doing their ‘final job’ together in the last episode. Tada has just announced that the Benri-ya is closed but then he gets a desperate call from Asako, whose brother is in need of help. Tada can’t say no to his desire to help people, and decides that he and Gyoten will take on this final job to help Asako. IT’S THE LAST MISSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Asako remains a side-character despite the hints at a budding romance between her and Tada. It is implied that they are good friends now, and maybe could even have feelings for each other, but they leave it at that. I think it is better to leave this open-ended than to get too much into the romance issues. I am glad that Maki Yoko played Asako because she was great in that role!
Of course there is a large amount of bromance in the ending. Gyoten & Tada storm the loan sharks/thugs hide out (IN MATCHING BENRI-YA OUTFITS) to save Asako’s brother. They hold up a pretty good fight, Gyoten armed with his taser (AHAHA) and Tada with a club. There is a really sad moment when Tada gets the upper hand and starts beating the crap out of one of the thugs. You can tell that he is losing it as he is taking out all of his anger and frustration on the thug. Gyoten tries to make Tada stop but even he cannot get through to him. And then Gyoten saves Tada from another thug by…………..shooting him in the BUTT. O_______O It is both epic and oh-so-Gyoten!!!!!!!! Leave it to him to save the day!
Surprisingly in the very last scene, we don’t even get to see Gyoten! (because he was being investigated for shooting the thug) Instead we see Tada leaving his empty Benri-ya office, bidding Asako farewell, and driving away in his pick-up truck as the sun sets. It is a very open-ended ending but it still feels conclusive enough for me to be satisfied. Even without Gyoten there, I get this feeling that he will be back with Tada soon. Also, although we don’t know whether or not Tada changed his mind about closing down the benri-ya, I feel like there is a possibility since he is still driving around with a revised logo on his truck.
What a great ending to a great drama. There were a couple episodes that I wasn’t as interested in, simply because of the story-lines, but overall this drama was really heart-felt and interesting. Matsuda Ryuhei really stole the show as Gyoten, but Eita’s Tada also pulled through in this last episode as a very human and empathetic character.
For those of you who enjoyed the drama I’d recommend you check out the subber’s translation notes HERE. There is a short explanation about the director’s intentions with this last episode.