Obvious spoilers follow.
From the moment Shadow Yuuko was alluded to, it was fairly obvious that Yuuko and her dark self would eventually be reunited. And finally after eleven episodes, the moment has arrived. Throughout the course of the show, I’ve been making blind guesses as to what is potentially going to happen, and it seems that thusfar my predictions haven’t been too far from the truth. As has already been established, Dark Yuuko (or Shadow Yuuko, as the subbers have chosen to name her) was in fact a manifestation of Yuuuko’s less beautiful feelings. Score one for Smiley.
I then hypothesized that Teiichi might in fact be connected to Yuuko in some way since he is able to see her, and Yuuko seemed to recognize him when they first met. As it turns out, the sick girl whom Yuuko had been tending to (Asa-chan), was actually Teiichi’s grandmother. Whoa. Now I’m two for two. I guess this makes me some sort of guru or prophet with the ability to tell the future or make accurate readings… or maybe not. Obviously I’m no prophet, and if anyone would make such a claim, you should most definitely be dubious of their validity.
That said, it’s not as if I’m some super perceptive problem-solver like Hyouka’s Oreki. Analytical thinking is no doubt a very useful, if not important, skill. But to me it seems as if problem solving as it is typically portrayed in mysteries is actually quite far from the truth. At this point I guess I should take a moment to add that categorizing this as a “Tasogare Otome post” is probably a bit misleading, as Hyouka is probably better suited for the contents, but that is honestly irrelevant so I digress (I really just wanted to put up Tasogare Otome shots).
Anyway, the problem with problem solving in a lot of mysteries is that there is some sort of expectation that the reader attempt to solve the puzzle along with the detective (or lazy high school student). Ah, but isn’t that the essence of a mystery? Well not necessarily, and if a mystery is relying on such a factor to be interesting, then it’s doing something wrong. For one, a lot of times the reader is not presented with the full story. There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence that is only revealed when the detective lays things out on the table at the very end. This may be set up in an attempt to wow us at the genius of the detective, but in all honesty, it feels rather contrived.
On that note, I feel that the mystery present in Tasogare Otome pretty well done. That is, there is no “detective character” with an oversized problem solving penis. Instead, the viewer is simply presented with relevant material and left to draw his/her own conclusions. Of course, it could be argued that the plot is just relatively predictable, thus “enabling” viewers to be correct most of the time. Even so, I would say that the “difficulty” of the mystery is quite irrelevant to its enjoyability (short of being painfully obvious). And with that, I will leave off with the laser-guided prediction that Yuuko will finally be able to move on from being a ghost in a tear-jerking finale.