Shinigami no Ballad – episode 6

April 23, 2006 on 10:23 pm | In Shinigami no Ballad | Comments Off on Shinigami no Ballad – episode 6

“The journey of the heart”

A nice end to this series, which I would rank roughly ten thousand geological ages better than its predecessor in the time slot. The strange thing is that you never really get a keen feel for Momo or Daniel, but the individual stories are crafted well enough that it doesn’t really matter that much.

The episode begins with a school girl named Sakura finding herself transparent to the world and unable to interact with anything tangible. Upon wracking her brain, Sakura realises that she had fallen off a bridge, and Momo and Daniel take her on a tour of the aftermath.

Like several episodes before it, “The journey of the heart” made references to the Japanese culture of death and absence, with the thousand paper cranes and making a meal for an absentee (which has recently been seen in Mushishi as well). It’s nice to know that traditions can still be upheld, especially those pertaining to something as important as death.

The tour that Sakura took was enlightening, and one of the episode’s strengths was its ambiguity as to the nature of the bridge accident and whether it was actually deliberate. The conclusion that Sakura arrives at with a laugh is really the only possible outcome. Sometimes you’ve just got to laugh, don’t you?

“The journey of the heart” wasn’t quite sober, or even entirely melancholy, but it was a nice conclusion to a show that wasn’t so much about death as it was the value of life. Momo is, after all, only a guide; the mortals are those who must discover things. I suppose that her detached nature is the tragedy of the character – that she cares, but can only observe most of the time – but she was eminently likable and helped forge six episodes of a generally high standard.

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