StoPani has been both excruciating and entertaining. The ending wasn’t too surprising, given all the hints sprinkled in the run up to the final episode. I’m also relieved that most of the loose ends were nicely tied up, even though the final episode was entitled "Beginning" – unlike certain egregious recent SUNRISE series Which Shall Not Be Named. It also continues to affirm my belief that OPs can give a good indication of a series’ plot direction.
We’re into the final stretch and I’ve just managed to catch up before the final episode tomorrow! With the tension gone between Hikari and Yaya, I find myself suddenly bored with the Spica arc and am dropping any further comment or screencapping there. Though Chikaru-oneesama was great with her saintly smile as Hikari nuzzled her chest. Mmmm… ~~~ The big question that remains is: Is it going to be a Shizuma x Nagisa ending?
Miyuki sets up Tamao and Nagisa to be Miator’s Etoile candidates and even gets Shizuma to endorse her decision. Nagisa has a whole crying fit as a result but is nannied by Chiharu. She then latches onto the idea of standing for Etoile with Tamao to forgot Shizuma.
I think this episode should be called ‘How Hikari Pwns Everyone’ – she starts off by triggering the Prince(ss?) of Tennis thing by reawakening Kaname’s sense of honour and causing Ms Snake Eyes to give up the teachings of Megumi Kannazuki. Then she easily deflects Shion’s attempts to manipulate her into persuading Amane to run for Etoile. To top it all of, she manages to heal Yaya’s heart and restore our dark-haired goddess’ will to sing while maintaining the Amane x Hikari line.
The final episode of the Shizuma Gets Over Kaori arc. While it’s been a bit draggy and Yaya-less, I’ve still found it enjoyable because it was fun to see Shizuma in all her seasons especially pre-Kaori when she was light and free and during her relationship with Kaori when she was so sooo in love. Best bits were the Miyuki parts as she actively cheerleads her beloved Shizuma’s romance with Kaori.