If you are a big fan of anime and manga, I’m sure you have somehow gotten through the different stages of joy, denial, and remorse following the end of your favorite story. I know that feeling—an overwhelming rush of complicated emotions that threaten the very existence of your sanity.
Trust me, I have been in that black hole to and fro, every time I finish that last episode of an anime, or whenever I flip the last page of a manga. I have listed the cycles I’ve been to in the past several years of my life, thanks to (or probably not) those anime and manga that have seeped through the depths of my life.
1. Excitement and Anticipation
When the thought of the ending dawns upon you, you feel an overwhelming excitement rush through your veins. You are excited to know how the story will conclude, and whether your favorite OTPs will get together in the end.
Yes, you get frightened with the impending doom that’s about to ensue. Regardless of its genre, there is a big possibility that one of the main antagonists might die. (Or your OTP might break up. I don’t know which is more distressing between the two.)
3. Relief and Joy
After all those sleepless nights that you had the previous days, you can finally heave a sigh of relief once you realize that your fears are groundless. Fortunately, none of your favorite characters died, and your OTP actually ended up together. It’s now the right time to rejoice! That “happily ever after” ending actually exists. And you’re thankful for that.
After the jovial celebration comes the sudden realization that the story is already finished. That very truth will haunt you the moment you switch off your TV or exit the video player. Wait. That’s it? And the next phase begins.
“No! It just can’t be! How can it end so quickly?”
Even though the anime already has 600+ episodes, or the manga has more than 700 chapters, they would still be insufficient. None of them is enough for a hardcore fan like you. You refuse to accept the fact that the story you have monitored for the last couple of months or years has already ended. You will try to search every portal to see if you have missed some episodes or a mistake has been made. Unfortunately, everything is just in vain. Truth really hurts, doesn’t it? (Well, you can always try to begin watching a new series immediately to cover up your grief and make you move on more quickly.)
The stage of denial usually takes the longest time for recovery, but after all those excuses and questionings you’ve done, you will gradually learn to accept the bitter truth. Just like in a relationship, you can never move on unless you acknowledge that it already ended. And when you do, you can engage yourself again to another commitment.
7. A New Beginning
Now that you’re over with your previous anime, you are now fully prepared to start all over again. You can begin reading a new manga or watch a new episode. You will have a new OTP. You will get drowned with various sorts of feelings. But then at the end of the day, you will always return to the very first phase of this cycle. After all, this is just like a roller coaster ride. You get thrilled and excited from the moment the ride starts until the climax, but you will always have to get off after a couple of loops and curves.
It’s extremely difficult to move on especially if you have been keeping track of that story for years. You have been waiting for a new chapter to be released every week. You have been staying up late at night just to watch the new episode. You have been praying a lot for a new season to come out immediately. You have been saving up ’til now just to purchase the newest merchandise available online. These are the reasons that make it hard for you to deal with the finale of your favorite anime/manga. But even though its story has come to an end, the characters that you have learned to love will always remain in your heart…forever. *sniffs*
How about you guys? Let me know how you coped with the ending of your favorite show/manga.