The biggest question for me right now, “How do I summarize such an awesome last episode?” How do I impart all my feelings and awkward laughs (you know, the ones you do to cover up tears)? Is it possible? Well we are certainly about to find out.
The final episode of Laughing Under the Clouds truly delivers on many different fronts. With the help of Tenka, Chutaro finally manages to hit Orochi-possessed-Soramaru with the Kumoh swords which, thankfully, rip the Orochi from Soramaru’s body. However this solves nothing. Soramaru is unharmed, yes, but the Orochi is still resurrected. We are then taken back to Botan who makes some comments about how the Orochi’s own magic (which was in the Kumoh) was rejecting him and makes a speculation about how this may be the end to the Orochi. Kotaro/Shirasu blows this off.
With his body back Soramaru heads off to destroy the Orochi, joined by Chutaro and Takeda, as well as the Abe sword, donated by Sosei. There is still the problem of the Fuma Clan and the prisoner army. The Yamainu try their best to fight them but turn out to be worse off in numbers. Never fear however, because the entire village is willing to sacrifice their lives for the Cloud brothers. These villagers love the Kumohs and are willing to give their lives in their honor. I quite enjoyed this scene. I often love the part in movies and shows where the oppressed decide they can’t take it anymore and watching these people band together to fight the Fuma and protect not only their lives, but the lives of their protectors, was wonderful.
In strange, yet true to Laughing Under the clouds, fashion, the Orochi is defeated by a combination of sword hits from Soramaru, Chutaro, and Takeda. At first I was afraid it would be one of those things where the monster rises back up and someone dies. I so thought someone was going to die. Yet, thankfully, no one was killed. The Orochi was defeated albeit in a simple way. Some of you may think this moment is anti-climatic, and at first so did I, but upon rewatching the episode I found that it actually quite matched the show. The build-up was strong, yes, but the show is more about Soramaru coming to terms with himself than it is the action and battles. All the events in the show truly surround that theme. When Soramaru is extremely unsure of himself events drag on and when he is confident they come to a quick resolution. This is definitely seen with the Orochi fight. Soramaru never once doubted himself, which is a huge transformation from the character we were originally introduced to, and is able to defeat the Orochi without a problem.
After the fight we are given the one true tragedy of the episode. In shows like this the final episode is often some bitter sweet kinda thing where someone dies but, hey, we made it. Laughing Under the Clouds goes a different route, one more accustomed to those shows that barely have plot, happiness. Still, tragedy must be there somehow right? And that tragedy comes in the form of Shirasu. Tenka demands an explanation for Shirasu’s behavior, something we all want, right? However Shirasu gives him vague answers and the only real clue we get is when he holds up half a fox mask. It appears that Shirasu may have truly cared for the Cloud brothers but felt his family ties had a much stronger pull. Shirasu promptly commits suicide. Of course he’s a ninja, he could be alive, but honestly, I doubt it. In the end though, I can’t be mad with him. Just like Soramaru mentions, I can’t forgive him but I’d still like to see him again.
Beyond Shirasu and the Fuma’s actual defeat, everyone lives. And it’s probably one of the most satisfying endings I’ve had in a long time. It just felt right. They got their lives, they get to be happy, and, most importantly, they get to laugh.
P.S. How did you like the finale? Did you enjoy Laughing Under the Clouds? I know I did. A full review for the series will be out sometime in February so look out for that!