Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara: Episode 12 – “It’s a Cruel World. I’m Going to Take a Look in the Shadows.”

Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara focuses on a boy named Sota Hatate, who has an ability to see flags over people’s heads and know how they’re feeling or what will happen to them; he also knows what he needs to do to break the flag over someone’s head. In the first episode, he meets Nanami and Akane at Hatagaya Academy. At the end of the first episode, Sota sees a death flag over Akane’s head; however, he’s unable to make it break. He decides he has to change the flag, so he kisses her to change it to a conquest flag. The stage is set for the beginning of a harem. In Episode Two, Sota’s old friend Okiku returns, and becomes the “big sister” type for his harem. A boy named Megumu is also introduced, but he’s constantly mistaken for a girl because of how he looks.

Episode 12 sees Sota fighting with the creatures known as “The Angel Boat” in cyberspace. He discovers he has a power he can use to take these creatures down. Unfortunately, after these creatures are defeated, more of them spawn. Over time, we see that Sota is getting worn down.

Nanami remembers what happened on the final day of the festival, where everyone except her has forgotten about Sota. We also see that she tries to take them to his room at Quest Dorm and finding that the door is locked. She’s told the door was locked after Akane fell through the floor and there was an accident; fortunately, she wasn’t hurt.

We then see that Mimori is graduating and everyone is moving out of Quest Dorm. We see that it’s the rebuilt version, but we hear that the dorm was slated for demolition after Mimori graduated. We also hear some of the others wonder why they ever lived in that dorm, since it’s so far away from campus.

As the others leave, Nanami rushes into the dorm and forces the door open.  She finds a letter to Sota on the desk that’s written in her handwriting. Ruri enters, saying she didn’t expect Nanami to break through Sota’s protection mechanism. Ruri also says she’ll give Nanami back everything she’s been keeping, and then suddenly kisses Nanami.

Nanami learns about the various virtual worlds, and that she is actually Sota’s sister. We get a bit of background information, including the truth about Ruri and what Sota is doing. After learning everything, Nanami decides that she needs to save Sota, with the help of others who care about him. Nanami then sees Akane watching from the doorway, and Akane says she feels as if she’s forgotten something important. After they have an interaction, they see that the others are watching from the doorway.

Nanami takes the group to the secret area that Sota had found earlier in the series. As they think about Sota, a lock is unlocked, and Ruri activates her dimensional tracing program. They end up in cyberspace and come to Sota’s rescue right at the end of the episode…

This episode finally brings all of the various elements together and the story starts making a little more sense. Unfortunately, this has to be accomplished through a very lengthy “info dumping” scene that takes place when Ruri is able to reveal everything that’s been hidden from Nanami up to this point.

The main weakness for this series at this point is that it doesn’t truly understand what kind of tone and feel it was going for. It started out with hints of a harem anime with the potential for an interesting story, then it became primarily a light-hearted harem anime with some elements of a fantasy story thrown in, and then it turned into wanting to be a sci-fi story with a setup like The Matrix and suddenly became much darker and serious in tone. The first shift in tone was kind of noticeable, but it wasn’t jarring. However, the recent change to the darker sci-fi elements ended up being a very jarring transition, and I don’t believe that it worked well.

The next episode will be the final one of the series, and I wonder how this rather jumbled mess will ultimately come to an end.

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