In what feels like the final episode, almost everything is resolved with a blast, a bullet, and one look toward the sky.
Review (with Spoilers)
I have mixed feelings about this possible ending, if just because it seems so quickly wrapped up that it leaves little in the way of closure. For while it explains what happens after the climax of the episode, not getting to fully see and hear what happens, and just getting a montage, sort of lessens the effect. Though with us knowing sooner or later Kokonoe and Hisami were going to get caught, perhaps it was better to end things now than later.
Topic 1: A Balloon in the Sky – Kokonoe & Shibazaki
With only a little more than an hour to try to stop the atomic bomb, it is decided trying to stop it is useless and instead evacuations should be done. Though, according to Shibazaki’s daughter Haruka, the height of the bomb will make it so that rather than Japan suffer like it did after the atomic bombings during WWII, instead what will happen is the radiation will, due to the bomb exploding in the stratosphere, go into space. Though, the bomb will still affect Japan. How? Well, it would act as a huge enough EMP grenade to destroy the electronics of Japan. An issue which leads to not just an evacuation of Japan, but the landing of any aircraft that doesn’t have anti-EMP protection. Of which Japan doesn’t have one anti-EMP. However, the Americans do.
So, when the bomb goes off the lights go out and you see an aurora light show happen over Japan. As well as Kokonoe, who somehow found his way back to the city without being seen or noticed, watching from one of Japan’s towers.
Topic 2: A Chance To Relive Our Childhood At Our Friends’ Graves – Kokonoe, Hisami, Lisa, and Shibazaki
Leading to, the next day, a quick reconciliation between Kokonoe, Hisami and Lisa. One in which Kokonoe thanks Hisami for helping him escape, Kokonoe treats Lisa like she is a human being and he even shares the wisdom of what VON means (Peace in Icelandic) with her. Making it seem, if just temporarily, at the site where the rest of the children of The Settlement have makeshift tombstones, Kokonoe and Hisami will have a moment of peace. However, said peace is first interrupted by Shibazaki, who has come to take them in, and then secondly by the US who have come to take them out. The reason? Well, it’s the US for one, so trying to capture them likely wouldn’t be their thing. But primarily the reason for taking them out is because of what Five did and how it could affect America’s position in Japan. So the idea is to kill Hisami and Kokonoe, let Shibazaki expose Japan’s tainted history, in terms of The Rising Peace Academy, and then slip out with the attention all focused on Japan’s government, and not any of the US’ involvement.
Topic 3: A Year Later – Lisa
Which seems to work for a year later we find Lisa walking around and visiting the graves of Kokonoe and Hisami, and we are told of the downfall of many Japanese politicians after Shibazaki exposes them. However, we aren’t necessarily told if Lisa’s life is better, how Kokonoe died, though it was implied he likely got shot like Hisami, nor what may have happened to Shibazaki in concrete terms. For while he sits next to Kurahashi, after all is said and done, you are left unsure if he has returned to prominence or what? Making for what really seems like a rushed ending to an otherwise great anime. One which certainly could have had its 2nd half, in terms of life post-atomic bomb, be featured in an episode 12 and give us some real closure. But I guess there is no closure for terrorist or those who wish to know the full side to their story.