by Mercedez Clewis,
How would you rate episode 12 of
Slow Loop ?
Community score: 4.5
It feels fitting that our final episode -episode 12, “Let's Pick Some Out Together”- is a celebration: namely, Koharu's birthday is coming, and it's up to Hiyori to figure out a gift. Only… she doesn't know what to get her: that is, until inspiration strikes, lending itself to one of Slow Loop's strongest episodes, which is a perfect way to send off one of Winter 2022's best shows.
The bulk of episode 12 is a blend of more fly fishing skills -in this case, learning how to tie a fly itself- as well as reminiscing. In fact, reminiscing is what inspires Hiyori's birthday gift to Koharu. Mind you, the explanation on how to make flies is pretty cool: it's the most technical Slow Loop has ever gotten, and is genuinely engaging. I never thought I'd say it, but I rewatched the segment a few times just because it's so darn fascinating. It's knowledge I'll probably never use, but is knowledge I'm thankful to have nonetheless.
All of this brings up to the real star of this week's episode: Hiyori's gift to Koharu. Or rather, her flub of a gift because initially… Hiyori doesn't give Koharu a gift during the party. From Koharu's perspective, Hiyori gave Koi a gift, but not her, which leads to her getting a bit tsundere, which like… dang, I really love Koharu and her very relatable jealousy/want.
Thankfully, right as the ED rolls one last time (hard cut to me open-mouth sobbing in front of my computer), Hiyori presents Koharu with a photo album full of empty pages. Koharu chastizes her because like… it's an empty album. But in Slow Loop's naturally gentle way, this becomes a perfect way to hint at a new adventure: picking out pictures from the past few seasons together to fill the album with not just as sisters, but as friends.
Memories are a big part of Slow Loop's narratives: so much of Hiyori's characterization is centered on her memories of her late father, as is Koharu's characterization as well. Memories are this show's bread and butter, but in episode 12, rather than moving through them, we see Hiyori and Koharu forge a beautiful new memory together. It's solid proof that these sisters genuinely have become as much a family as if born by blood, and perhaps because they aren't, their forged bond is all the more beautiful.
There's a lot I haven't talked about in this finale: there's a pretty engaging one-fly competition in the middle of the episode that features prizes ranging from a waterproof backpack to an unreasonably cute merfish plush that Hiyori gets VERY fired up about. It's cute, and is definitely the vehicle to the resolution of the episode, but really… that photo album had me in a grip! It's the perfect way to close out our time with Slow Loop, and just feels so fitting for a series about care and community.
Slow Loop has been a lot of things: a study in grief, a laid back series that blends Super Cub and Laid-Back Camp and a bit of Let's Make a Mug Too's character vibes into a genuinely enjoyable series about cute girls being cute and passionate and best of all, friends. Much like Spring 2021's Super Cub, Slow Loop is a show that's going to live rent-free in my head the rest of 2022 as a reminder that slow and steady are the best ways to approach life, as is earnestly and wholeheartedly loving what you love. Whether that's music, pottery, or in the case of Slow Loop, fly fishing, there's no shame in being who you are: in fact, there's a wonderful world awaiting us all when we kick back and really sink into what we love.
Rating:, especially because of tsundere Koharu
Mercedez is a JP-EN translation and localization light novel editor & proofreader/QA, pop culture critic, and a journalist who, when not writing for ANN, writes for Anime Feminist, where they're a staff editor. They're also a frequent cohost on the Anime Feminist Podcast, Chatty AF. This season, they're reflecting on their youth with Akebi's Sailor Uniform. When they're not writing and reviewing, you can find them on their Twitter or on their Instagram where she's always up to something.
Slow Loop is currently streaming on Funimation.
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