Episode 13 – Tonari no Yōkai-san


Oh, thank the Anime Gods. The primary third of Tonari no Yōkai-san‘s season finale was completely brutal, with us having to observe all of our beloved yokai buddies undergo and die due to the trans-dimensional skullduggery caused by the oni invasion. As we’re pressured to witness the horrible and sudden ends of Buchio, Jiro, Wagen, Sanmoto, Ma-san, and the entire relaxation, so are their family members. To the present’s credit score, it sells the horrible and visceral horror of this apocalypse, which is one thing I by no means would have anticipated going into this seemingly happy-go-lucky collection. A lot to my reduction, nevertheless, the facility of our human characters’ love for his or her family and friends makes it doable for the terrible injury to be reversed—and for this world of spirits and yokai to be set proper as soon as extra.

That is my favourite factor about this finale—and it is also its best failing.

Look, I do know I stated I’d be completely heartbroken if Tonari no Yōkai-san ended this season by destroying the entire love and cheer it has constructed with its characters and world. On the similar time, I can not assist however really feel like this feel-good conclusion was rushed and quite unsatisfying. This is able to be a difficult ending to promote to an viewers with an entire season of buildup nevertheless it solely takes a couple of minutes of the children floating of their ethereal void earlier than Sanmoto pops as much as assist them save all the world with the facility of affection and friendship. If we had gotten perhaps one full episode the place our human solid needed to dwell in a world with out the yokai and their recollections, I feel I could be much more forgiving of the way in which that Tonari no Yōkai-san has put our hearts by means of the wringer over the past couple of weeks. Nonetheless, because it stands, we have in some way reached a conclusion that makes the literal finish of the world really feel like no large deal. Even the ending narration, which has Takumi explaining how their faculty break needed to be prolonged on account of everybody on Earth struggling reality-shattering trauma, comes throughout as if the child is just sharing his “What I Did on My Trip” report.

It is an actual disgrace as a result of, on a micro-level, this can be a very well-done and satisfying conclusion. Rein and Ryo are lastly in a position to open up to one another, Chiaki will get to return residence to a husband who has confirmed that he’ll combat tooth and nail to proceed to dwell, and Mutsumi’s household is beginning to have the ability to settle for Ma-san’s identification as a being who can not ever substitute her misplaced father. We even get a stunning second the place Jiro sees that the vengeful snake spirit from earlier within the season has reincarnated right into a child with a brand new shot at life. I get that the life-or-death stakes of the oni invasion have been the catalyst for lots of those conclusions however I am unable to assist however really feel just like the present may have discovered a option to unite the solid in a battle that did not appear fairly so over-the-top.

Granted, part of my reservation may come from the cultural components of the collection that do not attain me in the identical manner they may a local Japanese viewer. The finale places a large amount of emphasis on the facility of kotodama—aka the magical energy of language to will issues into existence—and I simply can’t purchase the idea as an acceptable thematic thread with which to stitch up the large bag of questions that the oni invasion creates. I get how the idea is intrinsic to the magical and non secular actuality of Tonari no Yōkai-san‘s universe—however simply because it could possibly perform on a tutorial stage doesn’t suggest it makes for a satisfying ending to this story. I cherished my time with this present, however I want it hadn’t bitten off greater than it may chew for its large end. Possibly catching up on the manga sometime will assist this complete factor go down extra easily.


Tonari no Yōkai-san is at present streaming on

James is a author with many ideas and emotions about anime and different pop-culture, which may also be discovered on Twitter, his blog, and his podcast.