The ending of this story was perfect. It was everything I had hoped for and more. Loyalties to certain characters were rewarded, and brilliant surprises were not in short supply. But I think before I can really explain how wonderful the ending was to me (while avoiding as many spoilers as I can), I need to explain how and why I fell in love with the series in the first place.
Most of my friends (with a few exceptions) had started reading this before me. If you recall, Suri actually cosplayed the male lead for Otakon this year. I had only started reading it a few weeks before that, so the story was most of the way along by the time I'd gotten started.
It all really started when one of my friends found an out of context panel, and we had to know what it was from.
They managed to track the series down and eventually we were all reading it and discussing it when we got together. Early on, I fell very quickly in love with the character of Shinonome Hangetsu, and the relationship between he and Samidare's older sister, Asahina Hisame. My love of these two has carried over throughout the entire series, in spite of... "adversity", shall we say. And the last chapter rewarded me for that.
But the greatest thing about this series is that it's really hard not to get attached to all of the characters, both good guys and bad guys. The conflicts are intense, the relationships are intricate, and there is always something being pulled out of left field to keep you on your toes. You get lost in the story, forming attachments before you even know what happened. I cried multiple times through out this story from beginning to end.
The last chapter, set 10 years after the rest of the story, is very much an epilogue. It's meant to let us know what became of all of the characters we loved after the epic struggle of the previous 64 chapters. Everyone is covered. We learn things we hadn't known before, little mysteries are solved, and resolutions are given. And all that is presented to us is amazing. I could not have hoped for more than getting to see the characters I loved so happy after fighting so hard. Even Hangetsu and Hisame, in a round-about way, manage to get themselves a happy ending together.
Chapters 1-64 are up on MangaReader, and since I don't know when 65 will get there, you can find that over at Otakami.org, who have been translating the whole thing, and did a spectacular job of it.
We're all hoping that Gainax will pick it up as an anime since there are multiple references to songs by The Pillows, and for the drama CD Yuuhi has the same voice actor as Simon in Gurren Lagann. It is a bit unlikely that it will ever happen, but my friends and I, and the series' fandom in general, as holding out hope.
If you're looking for a manga to read, I cannot recommend this one enough. It has more than secured itself a place as one of my favorite manga ever.