In the final episode of Dr. Ramune, the lens has been turned. This time, it’s the doctor who’s in trouble. So it’s up to Kuro and everyone to help Ramune get better.
“I won’t get to see the doctor anymore”
The episode begins with a familiar face. Koto from the first episode, aka mayonnaise tears girl, is coming in for a check up on her condition. When Ramune tells her she’s doing great and that she would have to come back after a few months, she gets sad on not seeing the doctor anymore. This triggers something in Ramune, something that haunts from the previous episodes. Something that is also triggered when Kuro asks if he’ll still be allowed to stay now that he was already cured. And it’s this cloud that hangs over Ramune that slowly threatens to drown him in despair.
What’s so great about this episode, is that there isn’t really a bad guy. Ramune’s sadness is all about the cruel reality of the world he joined. Ever since his old master Moji-san told him off for the way he did his practice, he’s been tortured mentally with whether he was being a good doctor. He’s faced with the idea of him having to quit because he’s not doing what’s deemed professional and responsible. And this conflict is so great because he’s actually both right and wrong.
“If you keep doing what you’re doing, eventually you’ll break”
The idea behind what Moji-san was saying is rooted in the idea of “empathy over sympathy” in medicine. In the medical practice, it’s unavoidable to interact with patients. These are people who need the expertise of the medical professional. And Ramune is the most qualified, and if not the only one, who can provide the necessary services needed. So in these cases, it’s always going to be intimate. To be human is to understand the feelings of others. To be human is to help others in need. And Ramune embodies this idea so well because he’s repeatedly put his life in harm’s way. But he embodies it too much to the point that he’s beginning to forget about himself and the people around him.
And this is what Moji-san can’t agree with. What none of the people around him can agree with. To go above and beyond is noble. But it isn’t a purely selfless act. Every sacrifice comes at a cost, and Ramune tends to forget that. So when he sarcifices himself, he keeps forgetting that he’s not the only one getting hurt.
But that’s why he’s not alone
“You’ll never find anyone as good as him”
All throughout the season, Ramune is always supported by his friends. There’s Nico and Grandma, with their special shop of mysterious items that always has the ability to save the day. Their friendly presence a comfort to Ramune when he’s being a dunce, and when he’s hurt. They’re a tight group that always has Ramune’s back. There’s the many patients he meets, all from different places and backgrounds. But all manage to find a way to be connected to Ramune even after being treated. And there’s Kuro, or Toru. His most stalwart companion. Sometimes apprentice, most of the time babysitter. And always his closest friend.
It’s through their help that Ramune finds the help he needs. And through their story, the show finally delivers its most nuanced, and honestly most well done, feel good message. That it’s ok to help others, it’s ok to not overextend. It’s ok to keep your distance, and it’s ok to go above and beyond. Either way, what matters is that we aren’t alone. That we should always remember that there’s always someone there to help us. And as much as we want to put the burden of responsibility on our shoulders alone, it’s always better when you let the people who want to help you in. It isn’t an open invitation to go and hut yourself though. But it’s a reminder that we don’t always have to deal with problems alone. Even the experts need help sometimes.
Ramune is kindhearted to a fault. No force on earth could change the way he would treat his patients. And maybe that’s why he deserves the ending the show provided. Through a sweet and happy ending, we see just how much good Ramune and Kuro gave to the world, and how much the world is willing to pay that good back. It’s ironic considering the circumstances of the world. Where people are disillusioned and science is being ignored. Where the medical professional is both the most important person in the world, and yet still has to fight for recognition. It’s a reminder that those who treat us are just as human as the rest, and need the same amount of care and respect.
So like how Kuro and everyone reminded Ramune of his value, remember to always appreciate the medical professionals around you.
“You don’t have to do everything alone.”
Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist is a shounen fantasy anime that’s all about the wonders of the body. Part freaky food and cooking anime, part freaky medical horror, all around a good time, Dr. Ramune is a definite watch for something easy and light-hearted. And while it isn’t anywhere near Attack on Titan or The Promised Neverland in terms of story depth, there’s still something worthwhile to enjoy in the chaotic mess of hijinks and medicine. It’s an anime that definitely deserves a second season, and definitely deserves a watch.
Final Rating: 7.5/10
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Official Anime Website: Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist