[Editor's note: This article was intended to be printed for last semester's marathon; however, due to neglect, it wasn't. We apologize to the author, and we have printed the article in full.]
So here we are, at the end of the Marmalade journey. I apologize, since I probably owed you at least one more "Thoughts" between now and the last time. So yes, what Miki didn't know back then did break her heart, but she and Yuu got over it. Kei and Anju accept the end and try to move on with their lives. A lot of fans thought that the writers would find some way to get the two of them together. I personally am thankful that they didn't. The ending would've been too contrived. After all, when these situations come up in real life, somebody usually loses (and loses badly).
Actually, looking back on the whole series, that's one of the problems I have with Marmalade Boy. Nobody really loses. Ginta and Arimi find each other (They got to feel miserable together, so I guess it wasn't that far-fetched.), Suzu is still friends with everybody (when Miki should have knocked her into next week), and Michael and Jinny get away with all of the crap they pulled without any consequences. Everybody, regardless of who they are or what they've done, gets a happy ending. Barf!!
So during these last three episodes, shocking secrets will be revealed, hearts will be broken, and there will be a chase through the streets of Harlem (No, I'm not kidding.). There will be a huge wedding at the end of the last episode, and almost all of the characters will be there. Just sit back and enjoy the happy ending. (Please put this article down and watch. The rest of the article should probably be read after you see the last three episodes.)
So what now? I'm sitting here talking to James Kao (former president) about the series (mostly because he's the only one here at F1 who's seen the whole thing [eh? -Eddie]). He told me some things I'd heard but wasn't sure of. For instance, when the author Wataru Yoshizumi first planned the manga, the idea was to pair Yuu up with Meiko and Miki up with Ginta. Rumor has it that because it was so popular, the manga ran longer than originally planned. With all of the additional characters and events, it made more sense to just end it with the pairings they did (Yuu/Miki, Ginta/Arimi, Namura/Meiko).
Also, in the manga, Yuu never goes to America, and Michael never comes to Japan. Instead, after Yuu and Miki graduate from high school, he goes to Kyoto to study architecture. When he suspects that Miki is his half-sister, he runs to Kyoto instead of New York. Furthermore, while manga and anime endings are the same in that they clear up this last misunderstanding, there are differences between the two. Here is Karen Duffy, one of the subtitlers, on what some of the differences are and how she rates them:
There was no explanation for WHY the parents switched partners the 1st time in the anime. I'm sure that given as much information as anime episode #76 had in it, there just wasn't time to do tell that story. But still, the Manga gets an A+ for explaining the history of that situation. It made the situation much more believable.
However, the anime over the manga gave more completion to the story with the wedding kiss. The manga left me feeling that the ending was merely the ending of another episode of MB. Anime gets a plus here.
The anime, in addition to the wedding kiss, gave information on all the main Japanese characters' futures; and Michael was included in that information. Again another big A+!
The New York story was very heavy portion of the anime story, right after A LOT of other depressing portions of the same story but it was extremely well written. I got a particularly goodly amount of mirth out of the police hauling in a Chinese girl because they couldn't tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese.
In the manga, the parents were sensitive to Miki and Yuu's feeling and came across as compassion. For me, the parents falling all over themselves laughing immediately (in the anime) came across for me personally very badly. Miki came close to being badly injured or killed, Yuu and Miki broke up and and nearly lost each other for life, and Yuu went into a shell for years over his mistake about his birth and they laughed? Does one usually laugh about being mistaken for a baby that was lost?
Again understand, it's the situation that I didn't feel comfortable with on an emotional level. However, from an intellectual point of view, the story may have had to be written that way for the anime to lighten the heavy mood and move the story along. Given the short amount of time that the writer(s) of the anime have to tell the story, in the same situation I may have had to write it the same way. I recommend, for those who first react the way I did that it just be chocked up to the parents' zany personalities... you know "the odd quad".
Both endings were romantic. (^_^)
Well, I guess everybody loves a happy ending. I actually have a friend who finds endings like this depressing. After finishing Maison Ikkoku, he asked me "Where's my beautiful apartment manager to fall in love with me?" I guess he'll just wish that a beautiful girl will stay with him forever. Wait a minute! Aren't we showing something like that next year? See you then.