After a particularly bad (though unshown) dream, Isla makes her way to Tsukasa’s bed and asks him to never go away. Despite this bleak and ominous opening scene, things quickly get back to normal as the two sit down to breakfast together before heading into the office, where their co-workers rain gift after gift upon them so that they can go out on dates and such. While the couple take a day off together, they ultimately decide to continue going about life as usual, despite Isla’s limited time. During this period, Isla keeps up her usual routine—including training—and begins to teach Tsukasa about the various herbs she grows. She even seems to teach Tsukasa how to brew tea. In the midst of all of this, Tsukasa is also hit with the reality that he has to be the one to sign the retrieval agreement for Isla, something that appears to be harder for him than he had anticipated. Isla and Tsukasa also complete their last official assignment together, which is the retrieval of Sarah, before joining the rest of the team to celebrate Isla’s time as part of Terminal Service 1. On the way home, Tsukasa questions Isla about what she always says to the retrieval targets. After her reply, the two walk on in silence. Cue the credits.
Despite the predictions of some fans, this episode’s overall tone was still fairly light. There was the seemingly ominous dream that Isla has at the beginning, but that ultimately came to naught (for now; there’s still one episode to go). To an extent, the episode continues the theme of Isla and Tsukasa building memories from last week’s episode, as we are treated to a series of scenes where they go to the movies together (which, unsurprisingly, is another first for Isla). While the movie scene itself is nothing special, the following scenes are ridiculously cute. Yet again, we get to see Isla be more expressive in one scene than she has been in most of the series, and some of the facial expressions she makes are simply priceless.
Of course, the good times don’t just roll this time around. Once Isla expresses her desire to continue going about their day-to-day life rather than take a bunch of time off, things get a bit weightier. A good example is when Isla is teaching Tsukasa about her herbs. While the two seem to be enjoying their time together—and while Tsukasa seems to be enjoying what he’s learning—the underlying meaning behind this is clear as can be. Add to that the dilemma Tsukasa faces with signing Isla’s retrieval order, and the monster lurking below the surface does not remain well hidden. It really is a well done episode, as it captures the desire to enjoy the moments you have with someone that you know is going to die while also balancing the pain from the realization that no matter how much you enjoy the time, it’s still going to end. Anyone who has ever experienced the gradual loss of a loved one should be able to relate.
The episode also does a good job of trolling the viewers, as well. As Isla and Tukasa set out to retrieve Sarah, their boss is shown having a seemingly unpleasant conversation with his superior on the phone. The nature of what is being said puts all sorts of ideas into one’s mind, even if it doesn’t actually turn out to be anything bad. Also, near the end of the episode, it almost seems that Isla is about to become jealous of Tsukasa speaking to Michiru (who still hasn’t gotten over her case of tsundere). While this would have made an interesting plot point, it is probably for the best of the fans’ emotions that her concerned look quickly turns into a smile. From here, the episode begins to wind down, and while the ending isn’t particularly sad, it is sobering, especially once Isla reveals what she always says to her retrieval targets. Tsukasa’s lack of a response and the relative silence of the last few seconds strikes a dissonant chord with the happy ending music that follows.
A Christian Perspective:
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18 – Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
“I hope one day, you’ll be reunited with the person you cherish.” – Isla
As soon as Isla spoke these words at the episode’s closing, I knew that they had to be the focus of this Christian Perspective. Isla’s words express one of the deepest desires that we have when losing someone: the hope that we may someday see them again. While there are certainly those who believe that there is nothing after death, there seem to be more who believe in some concept of an after-life, although some people certainly have some crazy ideas.
Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians express the answer to Isla’s statement. As Paul states, those who died in Christ will also live with Christ, and so long as those loved ones who have passed before us were saved, born-again believers, then we have the hope of seeing them again (if we, too, are saved, born-again believers, of course). The pain of separation and the longing to see these people again are both resolved in this promise. But doesn’t it seem selfish—or perhaps misguided—to place so much focus on seeing deceased loved ones again? After all, isn’t our ultimate goal and joy to be with Jesus forever, rather than to again see those we love again? Well, yes, that is the ultimate goal. Whether it is wrong to also hope for the second thing I cannot say, and so will not give an opinion on. I do think we will ultimately be much more excited to see Jesus than our loved ones, no matter what we may think in our moments of grief.
Spiritual Content: None
Language: 2 “j**z”
Alcohol/Drug Use: Several characters are shown drinking alcohol, and Yasutaka is drunk
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Eru cleavage; two male characters are shown topless