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A Condition Called Love
Episode 12

by MrAJCosplay,

How would you rate episode 12 of
A Condition Called Love ?
Community score: 3.9


In any other shoujo series, episode twelve has the makings of a perfect final episode. There was a sense of finality to it, we got one of the biggest overarching questions of the show answered. There are plenty of callbacks to things that happened throughout the series and my God, this episode looked beautiful. I don't know what happened behind the scenes but it felt like a switch was flipped and the quality was suddenly returned to acceptable levels. I'd go so far as to say that the quality in this episode from the opening second looks amazing compared to anything we got before. The backgrounds are incredibly detailed, the character designs aren't nearly as washed out, the line shading is a bit thinner (allowing the characters to blend in with the scenery), and the musical accompaniment was absolutely on point. This final episode was ticking off boxes for me and is hands-down my favorite episode of the series. However, in its quality, I feel like I am being gaslit into thinking that I watched a different show.

Let's start with the big mystery about Hananoi and Hotaru's relationship when they were younger and why Hananoi feels guilty whenever he is around her. It's pretty much exactly what I thought it was given the glimpses that we had gotten so far. Hananoi feels guilty over not feeling strong or confident enough to help Hotaru when she was at her lowest point. Everything about Hananoi's childhood is great except his weird interactions with this random old man in the park. I can't get over that because they interact enough times to the point where they get worried if they don't show up at their usual time to sit down and talk about life. At first, I thought maybe it was Hotaru's grandfather and that could've been a clever way of explaining who this old man was—why he interacted so much with Hananoi and how it could present a logical explanation for why Hananoi would grow fond of Hotaru without directly interacting with her. Because the whole idea is that Hotaru doesn't recognize Hananoi from their elementary school days, right? It would be weird if they interacted as kids enough that it wouldn't make sense for her to not recognize Hananoi, right? Well not only do we find out that this old man is probably just some random old man because Hotaru never addresses him as her grandfather when he's brought up but I feel like Hotaru and Hananoi talk enough here where it's a little bit weird that she doesn't recognize him.

I feel like that pushes my suspension of disbelief a bit, especially when Hananoi has the same hairstyle now as he did when he was younger and Hotaru has seen him with glasses on—so she should be able to put two and two together right? But if she did recognize him, then we couldn't keep this entire backstory strictly between us, the audience, and Hananoi—which gets me to probably my main problem with all of this. While I think the story and explanation for everyone's feelings in the present are solid, I don't like that we have so much more information about Hananoi than Hotaru does. I've said it before, I don't think Hotaru knows that much about Hananoi to justify being the first person she falls in love with as the show likes to make such a big deal about. She doesn't know much about him and his past or what he wants out of life other than the fact that he wants to be the perfect partner for her. The show has made efforts to expand upon that and this is probably the first time that Hananoi has legitimately expressed an interest in being a better person. But all I could think about was what would happen when Hananoi did feel strong enough to tell her the story.

It's one thing if he just kept information that only involved him to himself but he's withholding the fact that he knew about her trauma and history before she told him right? Those earlier episodes where Hotaru is expressing her trauma regarding her short hair and how she was bullied feel a bit weird now because technically Hananoi already knew all of that happened. It just feels unintentionally or accidentally deceptive at best. This is what I mean when I say it feels like the show is gaslighting me a little bit because almost all of the flashbacks and callbacks in this episode were to the best things about the show—and it explicitly hides a lot of the things about the relationship and the Hananoi character that arguably were never resolved.

Hananoi still has a very possessive and codependent personality. There is still a lot about each other that these two don't know. I wish I could have watched the show that this finale told me I had watched—but I haven't. A Condition Called Love turned out better than I expected, especially compared to the incredibly rough opening episodes. Still, up until the very end, it feels like the show couldn't decide on what kind of story it wanted to tell. When you bring up so many different ideas and character traits but only address a handful of them, that will leave a viewer like me wanting more in the worst way.


A Condition Called Love is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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