The Gods Gotta Get Paid
A lot’s been said about Soredemo’s final episode. Yeah, it was all genuinely touching and all. Hotori seems to kick the bucket and she gets to see everyone’s reactions while chilling in Japanese Afterlife. It was all well put-together for this sort of deliberate emotional tearjerking sort of thing. Hell, even my own black heart kinda felt a slight tinge of the old sadness there.
But that same dark, bleak, cynical heart took great joy in this ending. Not because Hotori nearly croaked (I rather like the obnoxious brat, so I wouldn’t want to see her get it.), but because of why she was able to come back from the dead.
Her father bribed the gods.
Watch how the events play out. Hotori bites it, goes through all the motions, and is given a tour of the afterlife (Nippon-flavored). As far as the bureaucratic “angel” dudes knew, she was here for good. It wasn’t until after her dad rushed over to the temple and dumped his entire wallet into the offering dealiemajig that Hotori got a reprieve. As soon as her dad laid down some bills, all of a sudden word comes down the pipe that some sort of ‘technicality” is allowing her to go back to the realm of the living. I don’t think the timing of all of this is any accident. The gods want their moolah, and only then will your prayers be answered. It really brightens my nasty little heart seeing that.
It’s that sort of flippant, nigh-nihilistic attitude that I’ve really dug about Soredemo. The series spends its entire final episode building up to what you assume is going to be a touching, dramatic, emotional moment, but when you look back at it all you see that all of those emotions were given the proverbial middle finger by trivializing it all. Sure, peeps get to cry and bemoan Hotori’s fate and all that, but in the end it isn’t their feelings for her that saves her– it’s that wad of cash that gets “offered” to the gods.
And that’s pretty representative of the series’ attitude towards everything. It revels in its inconsequential nature. People get brought back from the dead because of pocket change. Aliens appear and battle it out with nary a thought given to them after the fact. Ghosts roam the earth, and their aimless wandering is made the butt of a joke. Time travel is casually tossed around, as if we should say “Yeah, this shit really does exist in the future!” It has the same sort of attitude as Occult Academy in the way it undermines the dramatic and exposing such “deep” notions as being no less trivial as everything else. Your tears of sorrow and your shock at the existence of the supernatural and all those other significant moments really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, because this shit just keeps on going.
And you laugh your ass off when you realize this.