Sugar Update

By Shamus
on Apr 17, 2006
Filed under:
Anime

I just now finished watching the Sugar series and the additional “special”. Fantastic series. Lots of other people have been writing about it recently, and I’ve been avoiding reading their thoughts until now. I’m eager to read what I’ve been missing, but I think I need to let it all sink in first.

A Little Later: Many people commented that the additional episodes (the summer special) were really required for proper closure. From the Chizumatic review:

However, I would say that theSugar summer special is an essential part of the series, something you really need to buy and watch after watching the regular series if you want a satisfactory sense of closure. The series doesn’t really feel complete until after you’ve watched the summer special.

I finished the last disc of the regular series and thought it ended well enough. I didn’t think it needed more. (Although I didn’t really take time to think about it)

But after watching the summer special I can see it really does offer a fuller ending. It answered questions I hadn’t thought of yet, mostly because I watched the end of the series and the special back-to-back. It was all very satisfying and very rewarding.

The next day: I think the only part that didn’t work for me was the “piano chase”. It was bit contrived and went on WAY too long. This town had been firmly established as being fairly level all along, and at the start of the piano chase the thing goes downhill for a long, long time. The town would have needed to be on the side of a very large hill for that to happen. Plus, with all that weight on those tiny wheels, those cobblestone streets should have shaken the sucker apart long before it ever got to the drawbridge. I lived on a steep brick street when I was a kid, and let me tell you: That piano would not have survived the trip down the hill ONCE, even if it hit a stack of fluffy-puffy pillows at the bottom. That much weight on those narrow legs on a flat piece of wood with tiny wheels over cobblestone? Going up and down hills all over town? For crying out loud. The thing wasn’t even out of tune when it finally stopped.

It was odd that they resorted to Three-Stooges level comedy for that episode. They hadn’t really done anything like that before, so it felt like it didn’t fit. It was like having ten minutes of Scooby-Doo inserted into Snow White.

It didn’t ruin the series. I still love the story and was still quite impressed with the ending. It was charming and thoughtful. In fact, right after that point in the story are some of the most impressive character moments. Greta’s decision was surprising, but it fit. Same goes for the way Saga acted afterwards. That was a big moment for those kids, and the result was very satisfying.

Still later, but just one more thing: A favorite moment for me was at the end when Saga is playing the piano in the shop again and we see the shop owner at the coffee house, having a cup and listening to her play. All this time I wondered where he kept going every afternoon. It seemed so unlikely that he always had an errand to run right when Saga came by each day. Now we learn that all this time he’s been doing this on purpose, just to hear her play while at the same time not being exposed as a softie. I love that he never speaks. They get a LOT of mileage out of a character with no vocals and only one facial expression.

Brilliant.

Okay, I’m done now. I hope.

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5Five easy comments.

From the Archives:

  1. The final scene with the shop owner was definitely one of their better ideas.

  2. I wonder what the shopowner’s reaction was when Greta’s father first came in to buy the piano? Probably some variant of, “it was too good to last forever…”

    The best part about the summer special for me was seeing Greta again, actually. Greta was just the unsung heroine of the whole thing. Plus the short hair suited her :) But it was great to see them still friends and still in compete-mode.

  3. Eric says:

    ROBOTECH!!!!!!!!!! Nuff said.

  4. Eric says:

    P.S. White Power!!!!

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