(Actually wrote this before I left for my vacation, so this is based on my understanding (or non-understanding as the case may be) of the raw.)
Episode 15 is a good conclusion to an arc I wasn't sure of. Mostly because the episode plays out pretty much the way I expected.
So, yes, Lizardman is defeated. I never seriously thought they (both in-universe people and the show's staff) would have kept him around, seeing how incompetent he was. (Okay, I did want something different, but that was before I saw Lizard didn't want to do anything the real Satoshi wanted to.) Besides, I'm not sure I can tolerate seeing him any longer -- to me, he seemed to have none of the charms of his predecessors (at least I was amused by (most of) the previous phantoms).
I wasn't sure at first if I liked the deception they played on Chizuru (according to Haruto, Satochi goes to America to study film and to hide out from phantom -- killing two birds with one stone), but well, it got this bittersweet ending vibe so I'm now fine with it. IMHO, it's a charming deception either way, and Haruto might even get Satoshi's characterization right (at least according to Chizuru. I think she said this is just like Satoshi -- him running away and giving his message (and film) through a third party, I mean). Still, I honestly cannot tell if she really has no clue about Satoshi's real fate or she actually realizes the truth but decides not to despair and tries to go along with the fiction (out of gratitude of people helping her out with the whole phantom thing, perhaps). Subs might make this part more clear to me...
I know I said something else in the episode 14 entry
, but the easy and obvious resolution to the fake cliffhanger doesn't bother me. Who else would save Chizuru, now that it is totally clear that Lizard has no interest in helping her?
And yes, I also said something else in the previous entry regarding a gate. But now I think having a gate is the whole point of this arc. If there is no gate, there would be no dilemma. Lizard is clearly not Satoshi. I don't think Haruto will have much problem dispatching it if there is no Chizuru as a gate to potentially fall into despair.
Given the situation, I do like that Haruto appeared conflicted about what he had to do. It shows that he isn't a machine or does stuff purely out of duty. (Ah, not that I ever think he is that type of hero. But it's nice to get a reminder once in while that dealing with phantoms and gates and all the repercussions don't always have clear cut black and white solutions.) Yes, he had to destroy the phantom, who was no longer Satoshi, but he chose to hide that from Chizuru (and stopped other people (Koyomi in particular) from revealing what he planned).
Awww, there is no need to apologize, Koyomi-chan. Haruto won't ever blame you for not being there to identify phantoms. And he's right, you know. You did get a new magic stone, after all. (But, yeah, I admit that for a 'take things seriously' character like her, apologizing sounds like something she would do.)
And...and...is that 'Chizuru-chan' I hear from Haruto? (How old is he really to be addressing young women so casually? ^^;) I thought he called her 'Chizuru-san' last episode. Oh well, irrelevant observation is irrelevant.
I like that Rinko appeared to have wise words for Haruto. (Wajima also did earlier, I think.) Not that I'm too sure what she said there...
So, yes, I suppose I am happy again that my favorite show hasn't disappointed me. :)