MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! If you have not seen the Amphibia Season 3 finale, go watch that and then come back here!

Amphibia recently finished its three season run on May 14th with “The Hardest Thing”.

This finale was so heart wrenching for me, I was sitting in my bedroom crying while watching it. The show only ran for 2, almost 3 years, and it amazes me how in such a short period of time that I was able to feel connected to these characters. Most episodes of Amphibia are about wacky hijinks in frog-land, with a monster of the week and a weekly lesson learned. But throughout all that, you end up connecting with these characters & this family. It feels like you spent so much more time with them than what you actually did. Thats why saying goodbye to them felt like the hardest thing to do.

Creating characters and a story that people can empathize with is one of the greatest storytelling feats one can accomplish in my opinion. Being able to connect with people through fiction is astounding. I mean, it’s a show about talking amphibians and three misguided middle schoolers, at face value it doesn’t necessarily seem like the type of tale that a person would see themselves in. Yet, we do anyway. I have conversations with my friends all the time where they talk about the ways that they see themselves in Anne, Marcy and Sasha.

Anne’s story of learning how to stand up for herself & learning how to love herself, when you remove the fantasy violence & hijinks, it’s a conflict that so many people face in their lives. Seeing Anne overcome self doubt through support from her chosen family is a story that a lot of people needed to see.

Sasha’s story of learning how to be vulnerable is something that resonated with a lot of people too. Sasha’s need to control others does not actually come from a place of malice, but she ended up hurting those close to her anyway. She needed to let go & learn how to trust those around her to make good decisions. And once she did, her life & relationships improved.

Marcy is a character that I have seen a lot of people relate to. In some ways, I relate to her. Change can be terrifying, especially if you are comfortable in your current situation. When I was a teenager, I went through a very traumatic situation and I ended up having to move states halfway through high school due to it. The mere thought of leaving where I grew up and leaving behind everyone I loved made me nauseous. Just like Marcy, I would have done anything and everything to stay by their side.

When I first watched “The Hardest Thing” and saw that not only Anne had left the Plantars for good but also drifted apart from Marcy and Sasha, I was honestly kind of angry initially. I could not see how that was a good ending for any of these characters. These characters went through so much to repair their relationships & stay by each others sides just for them to fall apart again.

But I had to change my perspective a little. I had to take the fantasy out of it and bring it back to reality. When I moved & transferred to a new school, initially I struggled to make new friendships & learn to love my new home because I was so caught up on what I left behind. But over time, I managed to heal from the hurt and make connections & memories with new people. I discovered the wonders of my new town and new home, and with time I came to love my community. My new school even offered me opportunities that my old school never could have. And even though I was miles and miles from my old friends and old community, my love for them never diminished. My friends from there that helped me through such a rocky & traumatizing period of my life, I will always love them. We still speak when we can and even when we can’t, we still love each other. I see them posting graduation photos, engagement photos, and making strides towards a career that makes them happy, and I feel just as much joy as if I were there in person. My new home allowed me to grow as well, here I got to continue to grow and take strides toward achieving my own dream.

I am rambling a little bit at this point, but this is a surprisingly satisfying happily ever after for our main trio. In their time apart, they got to grow and become better versions of themselves. Instead of trapping herself in a fantasy, Marcy uses her creativity and love for stories to actually tell stories! Sasha’s overwhelming need to guide & support others that led to her being controlling, she is able to transform it and use it in a role where she is uplifting others. Anne uses her newfound confidence not only to make new friends, but she also uses it to propel her academic career & pursue herpetology. These girls have always loved each other and they will continue to, even despite the time and space apart.

I still have my nitpicks for this finale & the series as a whole, but overall this show tells a story I believe can inspire almost anyone that watches it to let themselves be vulnerable, to have faith in themselves, and to have faith in a bright future not only despite change, but because of change. At the very least, I can say that it is a story that I saw myself in & it inspired me.

“Change can be difficult, but it’s how we grow. It can be the hardest thing, to realize that you can’t hold onto something forever. Sometimes you have to let it go. But of the things you let go, you’d be surprised what makes its way back to you” (Amphibia 2022)

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