Spoilers in this post, obviously.
Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer is a cult manga hit. Beneath the ridiculous, overblown plot of a boy and a girl’s quest to save the world (while plotting to destroy it), it’s really a story about growing up and accepting the burdens of adulthood. The old-school Gainax influences are plainly evident in the art style, so you wouldn’t be the first one to think of it as a more coherent FLCL.
I freely admit that the ending Got To Me. I was surprised by how much it resonated with me, considering how conventional it was. In fact, the more I think about, the more I’m surprised about this, since one of the main things I totally thought was going to happen didn’t actually happen.
I assumed that Samidare would die at the end.
For all her upbeat energy, I interpret Samidare as a tragic character. This is a girl who spent most of her early childhood in a hospital. We know that she wants to destroy the world because it’s her way of accepting the knowledge of her own impending mortality. Her logic makes a twisted sort of sense.
Her confrontation with Yuuhi is the real final battle of the story. It was foreshadowed since the first chapter. At this point, she and the Beast Knights have already saved the world from the Biscuit Hammer. She is aware that only she will be stuck in time while the others will have the opportunity to move on with their lives. Perhaps this is why she wanted Yuuhi to be her personal knight. By fighting against him, she entrusts her life to him. A part of her wanted him to reach out and stop her, but she didn’t know how to express her inner desperation.
At this point, I did not think that Yuuhi would kill her or anything so ridiculous. But I did expect him to defeat her, and that this would prompt her to accept her fate. I fully expected for her to succumb soon afterwards to her illness. After all, death was not unprecedented in the Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer-verse.
That is why this moment hit me so hard.
“If Sami were to die of her illness, it would be in the company of those who love her,” I thought.
That thought brought me comfort, because in my heart, I had accepted such an outcome.
Of course, as it turned out, Sami survived the surgery and ends up living a long and happy life with Yuuhi. But that’s not what mattered about that moment. None of the characters knew that she was going to survive, so their emotions came across as genuine to me.
When Sami broke down and apologised to her friends, she was assuming, just like I did, that she would die soon after the battle was won. She loved the world, but she no longer wanted to destroy it because she realised that she loved her friends more. She admitted to herself that she wanted to live.
It takes real courage to continue living when the odds are so heavily stacked against you. That is the real battle children and adults fight every day of their lives. The time you have with your loved ones is finite, and that’s what makes it so precious.
In that situation, I think Sami’s reaction was one of the bravest I’ve seen.