Sankarea: Undying Love (Volume 11) – A Hearty Meal

Sankarea Volume 11 Cover

Chihiro gave himself until morning to help Rea recover her memories. His plan is to remind her what she wants to eat, but since she doesn’t remember him it’s proving tricky. He’s running out of time!

Sankarea: Undying Love (Volume 11) – A Hearty Meal

What happened?

Ranko was relieved to see Chihiro arrive at the school, however, he barely spoke to her instead walking towards the auditorium. She couldn’t believe he was planning on going inside with Rea in that state. Not only was she attacking anything and everything but her physical limiters were off. He would never over power her in that state. What could he be planning? He asked Ranko to give him one day and after that she was to get Darin to help end things.

At first Rea looked at Chihiro with a sense of glee, but once she approached she realised she didn’t know him and that he couldn’t be what she’s looking for. She turned away, ignoring him. He hoped to get through to her, but how could he do that if he was no one to her. It felt utterly hopeless. Meanwhile, Rea feasted on a bird, nesting in the auditorium, but that wasn’t what she wanted either.

Sankarea Volume 11 Chihiro kisses Rea

To Chihiro’s surprise someone did come into the auditorium. It was Danichiro back from his travels, searching for an answer to Rea’s condition. He told Chihiro that he had just been to ZoMA and was aware of everything that had happened. Chihiro told him it was hopeless though as Rea didn’t remember him. Danichiro slapped Chihiro into the cheapseats and berated him for not being able to talk to someone who didn’t know him. He needed to step up.

Before Chihiro could do anything, Rea swept in biting Danichiro on the neck. He feel to the ground, blood splattering around him. Chihiro ran to help him and then told him he was getting help, but Danichiro didn’t need help. He needed Chihiro to face Rea and make her remember. She attacked once more. Chihiro took his chance leaping into her path and kissing her on the lips.

Sankarea Volume 11 Rea cant find Chihiro

It appeared to snap her out of it. They left the auditorium and went for a walk along the river. Neither of them wanted to stop so they kept walking. They visited the zoo, the aquarium, even Tokyo tower. At last, she remembered Chihiro, which was when she woke from the daydream to find herself still in the auditorium kneeling in a pool of Chihiro’s blood. He was gone. Had she eaten him?

A year later, Rea was living in the ice cave, tending to her garden in the forest away from civilization. Darin arrived to check on her and take her to the one-year anniversary of his death. She proposed the idea that Rea’s gained Chihiro’s memories when she ate his heart. She’d heard of transplant patients gaining memories that weren’t their own. At the memorial, Ranko pushed Rea into a doorway where she saw Chihiro. He had just returned from his heart transplant, which had been funded by her father, Danichiro who had now reconciled with Aria. They paid their respects to Jogoro and then sat down to catch up.

Sankarea Volume 11 Rea thanks Chihiro

What did you think?

Wow! This was a surprisingly good ending. Not least the final line from Rea where she thanked Chihiro for the meal, which was his still beating heart that she had eaten in the auditorium. Amazingly, while she was busy devouring that, Danichiro and the others grabbed Chihiro and carried him to safety. Thanks to his exposure to the zombie elixir he survived, although he obviously needed a new heart too. I will admit that part of me was a little disappointed that he didn’t die.

It was fairly obvious though, the way everyone reacted to Rea at the memorial. Had it been for Chihiro, I doubt there would have been too many people that would have been smiling at Rea. Still, it was nicely done and kept me on my toes. The dream sequence was fairly obvious too as they kept walking but their clothes changed and the whole thing had a dream like feeling to it. Anyhow, I’m satisfied with the ending even if they haven’t really wrapped up the whole Rea situation. She’s still a zombie and she’s just living alone in the world.

Sankarea Volume 11 Rea thinks she ate Chihiro

What have you learnt?

Ending a story is probably the hardest part. Well, ending it in a satisfactory manner is hard, anyone can write the end and be done with it. Tying up all the loose ends is difficult and making it feel satisfying is even harder. I’ve always believed that a bad ending can undo all the previous good work, just as a good ending can lift a mediocre story. So, how do you do that?

As I’ve mentioned before, foreshadowing is key. The ending needs to feel like the natural conclusion to things. If it ends with a twist, that twist needs to make sense. If it’s going to end on a dark note, it needs to build towards that moment. Basically, you need to plan and plan and plan. This is yet another reason that I think you should have a clear idea of how the story will end as you’re writing it. This way, you will naturally put things in that will help get you there. I think you also need to realise that sometimes the story doesn’t want to end the way you thought it would. Be prepared to go with the flow. Then, go back and make it make sense.

Sankarea Volume 11 Chihiro and Rea reunited

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