Hands down, favorite song in the album. Something about the theme of heroes really resonates with me.
Gonna stab at my interpretations of the lines:
“You decided to become a hero who will save the world”
The boy has the initiative to say that he will save this “ruined world.” Drive is the first step to success, which he achieves by the end of the song.
“But you were just a very young boy, so I wonder how you would be able to become one”
Not sure who is singing the song. Sounds like a parent maybe.
“Even so, you racked your brain thinking about it. And then you decided to gather all the people known as the sages”
Now we know that the boy has tried his hardest to think of a way to become a hero. He has a plan now: to gather the most “qualified people.”
This is an interesting move because it means that he believes he can’t be a hero, and the best he can do is rally greatest together to make a difference. Later we learn that that isn’t true.
“One time, to the wizard living in a volcano”
The girl mastered enough magic to vanquish the dragon in the volcano, and now lives inside it working to save her friend. Proof #1 that being dedicated to doing something makes it happen.
“One time, to the researcher beyond the glass”
At this point, the girl researcher is dead. Could imply the boy from Last Smile became a researcher to continue the researcher’s work. Proof #2 that being dedicated to doing something makes it happen.
“One time, to the lord of an impregnable castle”
Why is he regarded as a hero? Because he saved one girl. Yeah she kills people but he still saved her by giving her purpose. To the girl, he is a hero. Proof that being a hero is all about perspective.
“One time, to an invincible female soldier”
What Kanon said sums it up. Proof #3 that being dedicated to doing something makes it happen.
“You walked through myriad of kilometers, but you were still nothing but a young traveller. In the end, you couldn’t manage to gather anyone. But you kept walking, being persuaded by these stories.”
The boy hasn’t learns that his method isn’t working, because he can’t just bring people together. Yet he doesn’t give up, and now he is taking it upon himself to become a hero. Inspired by the stories of other heroes, he has something to strive towards.
“One had found the ark of hope and took it to the sky”
The ark person found the ark and got it going. Proof #4 that being dedicated to doing something makes it happen.
“One had saved each other from death sentence”
The executioner’s love was not one sided. He was dedicated to making his love apparent to the girl, and it worked. Proof #5 that being dedicated to doing something makes it happen.
“One had regained the long forgotten smile”
The girl from Owari no Sekai Kara moved on. Even though she uncertain about her future, she worked hard to make sure she could love again. Proof #6 that being dedicated to doing something makes it happen.
“One had made real flowers bloom”
To some symbolic extent, the girl could have woken up (like a flower blooming), but that’s a stretch. The real money here is that the guy made something that didn’t exist anymore, exist. Proof #7 that being dedicated to doing something makes it happen.
“As you became a little stronger, you realized how powerless you were”
As the boy learned more about the other heroes, as he learned of the fantastical feats they accomplished, he accepts that he is just a boy and can’t do those. This is important to the boy’s character: he learns to accept his limits.
“You had enough with all the hero stuffs, and decided you could at least bring smiles to people”
The boy has not actually given up on being a hero. The definition has just shifted a little. After seeing all those other different heroes, after learning all the different things they did, one thing becomes very apparent: there is no one definition of a hero. By comparison to someone who has slain a dragon, making people smile is not very heroic. But the boy has learned that heroism is in the eye of the beholder, and is about to show the world what that means.
“One day, you dressed as a clown and danced around. One day, you created and performed a picture story show.”
The parallel structure is here to point out that the boy has become a hero. The kids watching him was sure to laugh, and in a world where everything is doomed, keeping high spirits is a valuable thing. To whoever is watching, he is a hero to them for taking their mind off their problems, even for just a little bit. Much like how a babysitter could be a lifesaver to a busy parent.
“Though only children would smile for everything you’ve done, you surely are a great hero for those children”
Little kids probably don’t understand that the world is a fuck. When they are watching, all they know is that the guy in front of them is making them happy. The singer now learns that being a hero is not simply about saving the world, but is to be the best person you can be, and help others in any way you can.
“And I adore you so”
OH GOD MY HEART
This is so beautiful in every way. So not only has the boy become a hero for the kids, he has become one for the singer too. At first, the singer was doubtful that the boy could ever do it. Now, the boy has proved them wrong. He has become a hero to them by inspiring them to become one as well. The singer stood back and watched for the whole song, worrying over the boy, and now, they finally say something outright.
The boy lives inside all of us. He is the naive part of us that wants to learn, wants to be the best, wants to inspire. He represents the fact that we all start from nothing, and we can become anything if we try. He wanted nothing more to become a hero, and upon realizing he couldn’t be a “conventional” one, became a true hero. He never gave up or lost sight of what he wanted.
He also tells us that everyone is a hero. Heroism is in the eye of the beholder.
You may not know it, but you are a hero to someone.
There is someone who looks up to you.
There is someone who adores you so.