Yesterday o Utatte: Bittersweet Ending – Reflections

The Disappointing Ending of Yesterday o Utatte

It’s incredibly disheartening when a series you have invested time and emotions in ultimately lets you down with its ending. This was the unfortunate case with Yesterday o Utatte, a series that had left me with a sense of unease even before I discovered it would be shortened to just 12 episodes instead of the expected 18. Surprisingly, the six episodes aired on AbemaTV were merely two-minute extras, leaving many perplexing questions about the decision-making process behind the show’s conclusion.

A Puzzling Conclusion and Deviation from the Manga

One can’t help but wonder why the anime appeared to be well-paced for an 18-episode run, only to diverge from the manga’s storyline and abruptly skip over its final third. These alterations seem to have been made to cater to commercial considerations rather than staying true to the source material. It raises a philosophical question: does a botched ending tarnish all the positive aspects of a series that came before it?

While it would be easy to dismiss such a critique and argue that the ending shouldn’t nullify everything that preceded it, the reality is that the ending unequivocally affects the viewer’s perception of earlier events. In the case of a serious show like Yesterday o Utatte, the conclusion adds a new color and context to the narrative, potentially overshadowing the enjoyment of the previous 11 episodes and giving the impression that they were largely a waste of time.

The Issue of the Manufactured Ending

My primary concern lies not with the breakup of Rikuo and Shinako, as their relationship was far from a fairy-tale romance. They faced significant challenges, and there were no indications that they possessed the necessary tools to overcome them. The problem arises from the manufactured ending that pairs Rikuo with Haru and potentially Shinako with Rou, which goes against everything we witnessed throughout the first eleven episodes. This abrupt change feels unconvincing and contradicts the established character dynamics. However, it’s understandable that a production committee might have sought a more marketable outcome than a “forever alone” ending for all parties involved.

An Unconvincing, False Ending

I remain oblivious to the precise details of the manga’s conclusion, purposely avoiding any spoilers. Presumably, the original ending had more open-ended implications and lacked the neatly wrapped, artificially happy conclusion presented in the anime. The absence of a solid foundation for a healthy romantic relationship between any of the pairings is undeniable. Rikuo and Shinako’s breakup, although a likely outcome, doesn’t necessitate their eventual connection with their teenage pursuers. Sometimes, people do end up finding themselves alone without a romantic partner.

The Missed Opportunity for a Meaningful Ending

Ironically, if the anime were to manufacture a fairy-tale ending, the logical choice would have been between Rikuo and Shinako. Despite their internal conflicts and emotional obstacles, they had an underlying connection that, though challenging to grasp, was rooted in reality. However, the allure of an archetype like Haru, the energetic and lively girl, seems to have influenced the decision to stray from this option. If the anime were bound to take a divergent path, it’s disheartening that it settled for such an unlikely and forced resolution.

An Unfortunate Parallel: Game of Thrones

The situation reminds me of the discontent surrounding the final seasons of Game of Thrones. In both cases, an original ending was tacked onto an otherwise faithful adaptation, leading to a jarring dissonance between the buildup and the series’ conclusion. Rikuo’s behavior towards Haru and Shinako’s ambiguous attitude toward Rou clearly demonstrated the absence of romantic affection. The adults in the story proved too weak to confront their true feelings and motivations, resulting in an ending that not only felt false but also carried a somewhat discomforting undertone.

Appreciating the Production Despite the Flawed Ending

Despite the letdown of its finale, it’s essential to separate the quality of the production from the story’s conclusion. Doga Kobo and director Fujiwara Yoshiyuki deserve commendation for their exceptional work on a modest budget. Yesterday o Utatte consistently showcased stunning visuals, with expressive character animations and picturesque backgrounds that resembled impressionist masterpieces. From the most mundane settings like a supermarket to the breathtaking depiction of Inokashira Park in the finale, the series proved itself to be a true work of art.

Lessons in Appreciation and Gratitude

This entire experience serves as a reminder that it’s important to embrace what a series delivers rather than lamenting what it doesn’t. The fact that Yesterday o Utatte received an adaptation at all, considering its somber and introspective nature, is nothing short of miraculous. It might have been unrealistic to expect a flawless conclusion that remained faithful to the original story, although I can’t be certain as I purposefully avoided spoilers regarding the manga’s ending. If the anime opted for an unexpected twist, I would have preferred an alternative outcome. Nevertheless, given the challenging circumstances of the year 2020, anime as a whole has faced difficulties beyond its control. Thus, we should appreciate the mere existence of a show like Yesterday o Utatte.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does the anime’s ending accurately reflect the ending of the manga?

While I don’t have detailed knowledge of the manga’s ending, it’s evident that the anime’s conclusion deviates significantly from the original source material. The manga may offer a more open-ended and less tidy resolution.

2. Why do production committees often influence changes to the original story?

Production committees play a vital role in anime adaptations, as their primary concern is often the commercial success of the series. As a result, they may influence creative decisions to ensure broader appeal and marketability.

3. Are there any redeeming aspects of the anime’s finale?

Despite its flaws, the anime’s ending shouldn’t overshadow the exceptional work done throughout the series. The production quality, artistry, and storytelling leading up to the finale are still worthy of recognition and appreciation.

4. Is it common for anime adaptations to deviate from the original manga?

Deviation from the original source material is not uncommon in anime adaptations. The decision to create an original ending or make significant changes can stem from various factors, including time constraints, creative liberties, and commercial considerations.

5. Should I read the manga to gain a better understanding of the story?

If you find yourself unsatisfied with the anime’s conclusion and crave a deeper understanding of the story, reading the manga can be an excellent way to explore alternative narratives and explore the characters’ development.


In conclusion, the disappointing ending of Yesterday o Utatte left many fans perplexed and dissatisfied. Despite the flaws of the concluding episodes, it’s crucial to appreciate the artistry and effort put into the series as a whole. The unresolved questions and incohesive character pairings may have felt forced and unjustified, but they shouldn’t overshadow the stunning visuals and emotional depth depicted throughout the majority of the show. While the journey may not have ended as we had hoped, it’s still worth acknowledging the unique qualities that Yesterday o Utatte brought to the anime landscape.