The final 1/3 seemed to shed a lot of its subtle sensitivity and opted for fast-paced bombastic storytelling and comic book convolution. Ep 24 ("Kids who throw glasses away") offered a glimpse of what the ending should've instead been like IMO -- a convincing portrayal of the world of kids through the lens of sci-fi, not the ridiculousness of fighting off the villains including Mr. Means Justifies Ends and the Magical Manifestation of Our Negative Feelings**... all that felt like something I've seen in dozens of other anime. Not only was it pretty corny, it felt particularly out of place in an otherwise convincing series.
It sounds like I'm calling it the worst sh-t ever made, but I'm not. It was as gripping and entertaining as any decent anime ending, and much of it was brilliantly animated. I'm just saying there was a lot of unfulfilled potential in its tunnel vision drive to make an exciting ending.