WARNING: The following contains spoilers for takt op.Destiny Episode 8, "Destiny -Cosette-," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
It's not unusual to see the opening or ending songs of anime change mid-season, often done to show a significant development in the overall story or its protagonist. The change that occurs in Episode 8 of takt op.Destiny, however, might be simultaneously the most satisfying and tear-jerking event in the series so far. Despite the premise of monster-killing Musicarts, takt op.Destiny doesn't have much of an action-oriented plotline -- but it has delivered a compelling story around grief.
Episode 8 is a monumental but heartbreaking stepping stone. Takt and Anna have struggled to separate Destiny from Cosette. In some ways, the audience has subconsciously treated Destiny as a replacement for Cosette, but the only way any healing can happen is to acknowledge and accept their loss and move on.
Anna's grief in takt op.Destiny is expressed through her inability to call Destiny by her real name. In contrast, Takt has never referred to Destiny as Cosette and has taken to calling her a good-for-nothing Musicart. But in his delirious and feverish state after he gets injured in her attempt to protect him from Hell, Takt's true feelings emerge as he mistakes Destiny for Cosette. Destiny is well aware she isn't being seen for who she is, hence her hesitation when he stretches a hand out to her. But she cares so much about Takt that when she promises not to leave him, she's saying it as both Cosette and Destiny.
Takt confesses Cosette was the one who bridged the gap between himself and the outside world through music. He feels unmoored and more alone than ever without her, which is why he can't compose this piece. Although Cosette is gone, Destiny insists there are people who still need and want to hear his sound in the world -- people like her. It's a truly touching moment when Takt calls her by her name for the first time.
Now that Episode 8 has aired, takt op.Destiny's ending has a more pronounced bittersweet tinge and the lyrics of "Symphonia," sung by Mika Nakashima, are even more pertinent. Most of the scenes have simply replaced Cosette with Destiny, but there are some key changes as well.
In the original version, Anna is shown sitting alone at a table as she looks out the window. Now, Destiny is sitting with her and eating all the desserts she so enjoys. Instead of hugging herself with a complicated expression to symbolize her struggling with the loss of her sister, Anna is now seen with a small and peaceful smile on her face, looking directly at Takt. The changes here represent Anna's acceptance and acknowledgement of Cosette's death.
On the flip side, Takt's emotions are shown with more nuance. The original ending has him lying under the piano, trying to repair it as Cosette crouches down and watches. In the newly altered ending, where most of the scenes have replaced Cosette with Destiny, she is conspicuously gone. At the scene with the gas station, Cosette is sitting on a gas tank with Takt but Destiny is now missing. Cosette previously held a carefree smile on her face, but this is replaced with a somber Destiny as her hand reaches out to touch Takt's grand piano. Cosette is an irreplaceable part of Takt's life, which is why she's gone in so many scenes with him.
A few lines in "Symphonia" point to Takt's relationship with Cosette and Destiny. His "sadness that burns in [his] memory becomes beautiful music," most likely alludes to Cosette's transformation into Destiny as well as his own composition. No matter how many times he pushes Cosette away, she "finds [him], always." Sadly, he doesn't realize just how much she meant to him until after she's gone. The lyrics depict Takt's longing and reluctance, saying he's even willing to "do it all over again" if that means he can still be with Cosette. The song ends with a promise that there will be a day when Takt will "love everything about you," which might be referring to Destiny.
Perhaps the most painful change in takt op.Destiny's ending is the last scene. The original has Takt playing alone on his piano just like normal, but the new version reveals someone playing alongside him -- Cosette's spirit. There's a deep sadness in Takt as he removes the half-finished song from his pocket. It appears a weight has been lifted from his shoulders, yet it also looks like he's aged 10 years. Takt will continue to hold Cosette close to his heart, but it is time for him to move on so he can "connect the notes" to the future.