It. Was. Awesome.
I loved it.
Will most likely have more things to say once I take some time to take it all in and properly appreciate everything, but right now – having just read The Conclusion and Epilogue – there is something I want to share immediately.
I must confess I have been dreading the ending. While I was only really hyped and super-excited about the beginning of Volume 3, about Off*Beat continuing, Off*Beat concluding was something I could not think about without trepidation. Not only because the ending is such a crucial part of a story that some would even say defines it, not only because of worrying what will happen to the characters… but also just because it was going to end, period. You would think all this months (since the continuation) would be enough time to come to terms with this fact, but after all those years (since the beginning) of caring about this manga… Just thinking – ‘Whatever is going to happen will happen and it will be it. The end. The story concluded, the fate of the characters sealed’ – is it not the scariest thing?
So now that the end is finally here I am really really glad – indescribably so – that it is an open ending. Something I was secretly hoping for all this years and yet did not dare to-… (This is the paradoxical wish for the beloved story to reach a satisfying conclusion, to end and yet not to really end at the same time come true.) And I think it is the best thing that could have happened to the story!.. And, and!..
And I got a little carried away here. But, yes. What I wanted to say is: I loved that it`s an open ending. I am infinitely grateful for that fact. I think that it fits the story perfectly.
Now that Off*Beat is finally concluded, I can say that it is my favorite manga/comic. Something I have not been able to honestly proclaim before knowing how it ends. Because I do believe that the ending (at least, in part, in a really important part) defines the story. And Off*Beat was always (since discovering it in 2008) one of my favorites, but anything could have happened before the end, at the end, in the end – and I feared there would be something that would not feel right, or something missing without which the whole would not feel right, and I wouldn’t be able to love the story as a whole because of it. But now that it is concluded, it is whole and in such a way that works perfectly for me. And so, Off*Beat is my *most* favorite manga.
And I am incredibly happy.