Comic Girls
Episode 12

by Amy McNulty,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Comic Girls ?

The girls bid farewell to the Bunhousha Dormitory as Kaos comes a little closer to achieving her dream in Comic Girls' final outing. With the dorm slated to close in less than two weeks, Kaoruko and Ririka are the only remaining residents. Although the first half of Kaos's limited serialization was successfully submitted and published, she's having a hard time creating an equally interesting second half—especially in the absence of her regular support network. Following a series of intense panic attacks, Kaoruko receives a surprise visit from her mother, who reminds her that drawing manga used to be the only thing that didn't cause her distress. Reinvigorated, Kaos is able to finish her manuscript, which Amisawa promptly deems worthy of publication, shortly before returning to her family's home in the countryside. Although saying goodbye to her friends and home causes Kaoruko great sadness, she's reunited with Koyume, Tsubasa, and Ruki at a new dormitory (once again overseen by Ririka) upon her return to Tokyo.

As a fantastic coda to last week's episode, the final installment breaks away from the usual formula by focusing entirely on Kaos outside of the established group dynamic. Since the girls have spent the entire series supporting each other in times of need, it's interesting to see how the group's most emotionally vulnerable member functions without her closest confidantes. To make matters worse for Kaos, this is the worst possible time for her to be left alone. Under tremendous pressure to create something unique and coming to grips with the dorm's closure, Kaoruko is essentially a ball of powerful emotions. The faith that her mother and friends have in her serving as the catalyst for the reawakening of her confidence is a story that's poignant, even if it is predictable. In the end, all of her struggles pay off when Amisawa claims that the final manuscript she created at the Bunhousha Dormitory is her finest work yet.

The extended scene with Kaoruko's mother is arguably the episode's most touching sequence. Yes, she has her “mom glasses” on and thinks her daughter is an artistic genius, but she also assures Kaos that it's perfectly fine for her to quit and come home if she's feeling burnt-out or creatively unfulfilled—a sentiment that echoes Ririka's story from last week. (Of course, she also acknowledges that Kaos herself probably wouldn't be content with giving up.)

The girls continuing their misadventures in another dormitory is a hopeful and upbeat note for the series to close on. Although the gang made a plethora of fun memories at the Bunhousha Dorm, they're sure to create plenty more as long as they're together. Since Kaos had the most trials to overcome on her journey to manga stardom, it's fitting for the final episode to serve as an extended character study for her. In addition to learning the value of close friendships, she now knows that a little bit of self-reliance is crucial to making her dream a reality.

Rating: B+

Comic Girls is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Amy is an author who has loved anime for over two decades.

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