Storious’s plan was never going to work. Not really.

Sure, Kento had seen any number of Ends Of The Earth, but that wasn’t really the defeat that Kento assumed. Storious thought he could destroy the world by destroying its stories, but that misses the truth that Mei and Touma always knew: we are our stories. The people we are, that’s all because of the stories we’ve read and told. You could sooner stop the sun from rising than destroy every story ever told, and even then, those stories still existed. They still shaped a life, and that life told stories of its own. We make our world out of stories, which means the world can be endlessly retold. As long as someone’s around to tell a story, it’s never really over.

I liked that aspect the most, the Mei Rallies The Troops of it all. Touma was fighting to protect everyone’s love of stories, and it’s only right for those stories to save Touma in the end. It’s all over this episode, even before humanity rewrites its ending. It’s in Primitive Dragon saving Touma from an endless fall, just to find out what story he’ll tell next. Yuri’s resurrection of the guild is down to a compelling story Touma told about friendship. Luna’s dream is to be a story that’ll let Touma write more stories. It’s the only power that ever really mattered, and Touma had it even before he chose to become a Kamen Rider. Hell, it’s the reason being a Kamen Rider chose him.

It’s a lovely finale, even if there’s still a Bonus Chapter to come. Everyone lives, even if it’s after a fashion. (Falchion! Tassel! The Book Club!) The world is saved, even if it’s maybe changed in ways that are yet to be explained or discovered. (I 100% saw a Humagear at Mei’s award ceremony.) There’s a generosity to this ending that exceeded my expectations, which were already elevated by the last few episodes. Touma’s lynchpin power-up is something that celebrates the many stories that allowed for victory: it’s not one narrative, it’s 10, 100, 1000, etc. The point of the success is the infinite perspectives that created unbeatable power, not the heroism of one warrior. Touma was a beneficiary of the victory, not its architect. Humanity wasn’t saved, humanity won.

I literally can’t think of anything in this episode I’d change, even if it wasn’t quite as moving or revelatory as the last few. (The last few were pretty unbeatable!) This one gives us the climactic battle that feels final, and the stunning victory that feels earned. There’s nothing here to feel bad about, and there's even an epilogue that takes us back to the first shots of the opening credits. The Wonder World is Touma’s imagination, and everyone’s stories. A similar geography, but a changed landscape. A story that became a lifeline, and a hero who never stopped being a writer.

It’s as good as these endings ever get, and it’s never really the end.



WRITE IT ON YOUR HEART



ETERNAL STORY

EDITOR’S NOTE

This novel was the work of Touma Kamiyama, but he probably wouldn’t like me to put it that way.

He’d rather say that his job was in letting the story be interpreted by him, rather than created by him. He viewed stories as a conversation, not a statement. This story was a conversation he had with his friends, and now he’s having it with you.

Touma saved the world, but he probably wouldn’t like me to put it that way, either.

It’s true, however. He may have only been the inspiration for this world to write itself out of oblivion, but Touma’s kindness and curiosity allowed us to do that. He never stopped believing in the power of stories, and he never stopped pushing people to tell their story to the world. For all that his acclaim came from writing, Touma loved listening to people more. He opened a bookshop, to better share stories with people. I asked him once, why a bookshop? Why not just write in privacy?

“Mei, writing is just the thing I have to do to share a story with someone, but it’s not the only way to share a story. This store is filled with books, any one of which could mean more to someone than anything I’d ever write. It’s good to put a new story in someone’s hands. That feels nice. But do you know what the best feeling is? When they come back, and they want to share how much the story meant to them. The look in their eyes as the story is theirs now, something they can love and pass on to others. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.”

It’s our profound honor as a company to share this story, Touma’s latest, with the world. We hope it will bring you the joy that Touma brought to us, and we hope you’ll pass it along to others.

Stories never die,
Mei Sudo
Editor

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS