I totally had mixed feelings about this end, because in this ending Otonashi was never reincarnated to be with Kanade after they had no regrets left. He just stays behind in the alternate reality to help new people cope with it who arrive after they die. Otonashi also just keeps waiting and waiting in that student council room for Kanade to return to that reality after death again. It’s very sad that he was left all alone and had to wait for new people to show up. Earlier in the series it mentions a person who stayed behind and created the Angel Player system and the npc system. They eventually went mad waiting and waiting for their loved one, and then turned themselves into an npc. Very intersting, since it looks like Otonashi might very well be that person, which I sorta guessed in the beginning.
He had no memories when after he died in the beginning, nor did he have head trauma in his death to cause amnesia. There must be some time loop going on, because Kanade came to that reality before Otonashi, or so we think. But, Otonashi actually died before Kanade. He donated his heart, and she recieved it in the hospital. We never actually see when they arrive, but it is assumed by the other characters at least. He was also on the ground in the schoolyard when he woke back up in the afterlife, so maybe he was just awoken from his npc slumber and was always in that reality to begin with after his first death. Very possible that the assistant or the program woke him up after Kanade was back for awhile in the world. But, Naoi’s hypnotism should have showed us those memories of Otonashi waiting for Kanade in the past in the student council room.
Confusing, but it makes a bit more sense on this ending why things played out the way they did in the anime. On episode 12 it showed him at least meeting Kanade again after reincarnation, so I assume the endings did not connect with one another, and that he broke free of the eternal loop if there was one. The main two options are that he was an entirely different person and not the person initially waiting, but ended up following the same path that he did. Or, he was the same person, but finally was able to reincarnate in the end.
Kanade humming "My Song" after reincarnation proves that she remembered it, so I assume that Otonashi did actually reincarnate as well in the main ending. Mainly because she could not have possibly received his heart again if she knew that song, since in the other ending Otonashi stayed behind in that alternate reality. Thus, the connection between the 2 endings is lost, even though at first sight they fit together perfectly. Either way, I really enjoyed this series, and I can’t believe it went so in-depth in everything. Just amazing!
Final Comments: Really made me think, but very nice alternate end even if it was 2:40…