If you can call this happy… Honestly, it was a bit too happy for me.
I always liked the story of Pandora’s box. When it was opened, plague, pestilence, war, famine, and all of the world’s evils poured out. But at the bottom of the box was hope. Now, if I remember correctly the story doesn’t actually say whether hope was let out of the box or not. But I’m hopeful so I’ll say it did. Regardless, suffering and hope are two sides of the same coin.
So where did Yuno go wrong? I think it’s because she abandoned both hope and suffering, like in the world before Pandora’s box was opened. She abandoned hope that she would be with (the same) Yukki for long, and resigned herself to wandering through the multiverse for eternity. But with her powers as a god, she also abandoned her suffering of being alone by finding a new Yukki. With neither suffering nor hope, she became empty and also lost her sense of joy.
Only when Yuno sees what she once was, when she both suffered and hoped in joy and contentment, she realizes what she has lost and repents. All in all, I’d say that the opening of Pandora’s box was a net gain for humanity.
It was a solid ending, but I had one major problem with it. The ordering.
In the anime, they started off by showing everyone being obscenely happy in the third world. So we think everything is well.
Then they show Yukki moping alone by himself. We can’t feel particularly worried about him since we already saw everyone else living happily. Plus, you don’t get the same sense of time this way. It’s been ten thousand years? Sure it has… why is everyone still in middle school then?
In the manga, they reversed these two scenes. First they showed Yukki spending ten thousand years alone in the bubble. Only later, after we are sufficiently concerned that the story is not going to have a happy ending, do we see the other people living happily in the other world. But then our interpretation of this world is inverted. We see it not as a paradise, but only as adding to Yukki’s hell since he cannot partake of it.
The order of these two scenes matters a great deal, and I can’t wrap my head around why the creators made the decision they did to change it.
Also, they left out the single best scene of the entire manga! A giant Yuno smashing the wall of space-time with a hammer!
She’s back! Even got two scenes. I think the animators must be partial to her as well.