In the last few months I’ve really blasted through some shows. Quite a few to say the least; many of which I have written about for this very site. I think in this age of binge media we are all familiar with the bittersweetness of getting to the end of a show we’ve enjoyed. Whether it is just the end of the latest season or whether the entire series has come to an end, the result is basically the same. You’ve enjoyed the ride but now you can’t help but sigh because it’s over. Perhaps it leaves you feeling a little empty inside, perhaps it drives you to start over so you can enjoy it again, or perhaps you move on quickly to the next show in order to not feel the pain.
But it isn’t the same.
The difference is that when you simply reach the end of the latest season there’s still hope remaining. Hope that there will be more of the story for you to enjoy one day. It might never come to pass but that hope is there all the same. When a story comes to an end, when a series is truly finished, you don’t have that hope. All you can do is hope that the end, when you get to it, is satisfying. Whether it’s a short 12 episode series or a multi-season epic, I find they both often miss out on providing that satisfying full stop that I want.
It’s probably asking too much of the animators and writers and so on. That instead of cramming the tieing up of the loose-ends into 5-10 minutes at the end of the final episode, they add just one more. One more episode to see characters say their goodbyes to one another and to settle into what they are going to do next. Just one more episode to see them off and make sure that whatever is next for them, things are looking up. The endings we get should be enough but they never are. The photo album sequence at the end of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood was perfect and yet it wasn’t enough. The ending of SSSS Gridman was fantastic and yet I didn’t see enough. That is probably an argument against my request because it seems that no matter what they do, I’ll never be happy with it.
Endings, even the good ones, really are bittersweet.