OK, I did not know we were getting futanari content in this episode. For those of you blissfully unaware of this term, it refers to characters with both male and female physical characteristics—usually, it’s the combination of a female body and a penis. Onimai made it all too clear in its first episode that Mahiro lost his appendage thanks to the drug. But in this episode, for the sake of shenanigans, it starts growing back before the rest of his appearance changes.
I’m not gonna lie—the part where a panicked Mahiro makes his little sister touch his penis was the hardest I’ve laughed at in a while. It is my favorite joke in this entire show. Whenever I think about Onimai, I will forever look back fondly on this moment. The exaggerated expression work in this scene (courtesy of animator Kay Yu) punctuates the humor with literal flurries of movement. The anime world is teeming with awkward sex comedies, but none execute their jokes with Onimai‘s level of animated finesse. The pacing in this scene—where it slowly dawns on Mahiro that his body is changing until he breaks out into wild panic—is also superb. No notes.
This was the perfect finale for Onimai because it exemplifies everything the show has ever been about. Things start mellow with a relaxing visit to a traditional Japanese inn, but our characters don’t waste time climbing into the hot springs. Predictably, there is a load of fanservice; although steam covers most of the screen in Crunchyroll‘s censored stream, we get some very clear drawings of Kaede and Miyo’s breasts. Then comes the emotional turn in the second half.
Mahiro’s relationship with his female body has been ambiguous throughout the show. But in this episode, he finally makes a choice about which body he wants to stay in for now. The most obvious implication, at least in context, is that he doesn’t want to lose the friends he made while presenting as female. But one can also infer that he is becoming more accepting of having a female gender identity. When he insists to Mihari on the train that he will turn back into a boy eventually, she smiles knowingly, aware that he’s probably going to keep choosing to remain in his current state indefinitely. Mahiro even outright says that it “doesn’t sound too bad” to continue life as a girl.
One could interpret Mahiro’s actions here as indecisive—a way of upholding the status quo—or an active affirmation of his current identity. Either way, regardless of whether Mahiro fundamentally thinks of himself as a boy or a girl, there’s no doubt that the “Big Brother” phase of his life is over. That is, after all, the literal meaning of the Japanese title. This was an ideal stopping point for the anime because it reinforces the foregone conclusion. We don’t need to see what Mahiro chooses at this point; he’s already demonstrated his newfound priorities through his actions.
I really enjoyed watching Onimai. Although some individual stories could be hit-or-miss, the gender-bending elements and stellar animation always gave the series a unique flavor. This will probably be my last review for ANN because I’m focusing more on news and behind-the-scenes stuff from now on, but I’m glad that I could finish with Onimai. Despite my poor skill as a reviewer, I hope you were able to enjoy this anime along with me.