SHUFFLE! – 23
After she fainted in his apartment, Rin delivers Asa to the hospital, where she is not faring too well. After Rin gets angry at the doctors, Ama takes Rin out and asks him if he likes Asa. He affirms that he does, so she decides to tell him everything. She takes off her hat to reveal the ears, and tells about her involvement in the Yggdrasil Project and how she was found after the failed experiment, and subsequent explosion, by Asa’s father. Asa is therefore human, but inherited the magical powers of her mother. Those magical powers are building up in her human body and are threatening her health because she’s not using them. After learning this, Rin tries several times over several days to convince Asa to use her powers, but Asa refuses each time. She promises that it’ll be ok and that she won’t die. She tells him that she has a dream of them growing old together, and then going to the place overlooking the city where he confessed to her so that they can confess again. Asa then tries to untie some string on a present that Sia and Nerine delivered, but can’t, so Rin borrows a box cutter from a nurse.
Asa has another attack as Rin is talking to the nurse. Ama leads Rin out of the room, and Rin asks if Ama isn’t worried about her daughter. Ama turns around and tells him that she’s a mother, so of course she’s worried. But then she confides in Rin that she’s thinks he’s strong enough to save Asa. Later that day, when she finally wakes up, Asa finally tells Rin why she won’t use magic: because she considers herself to be human. She recounts her mother’s tears back then when Ama revealed her ears to her daughter and couldn’t stop apologizing. She wants to lead a normal life and doesn’t want her mother to be sad like that again. Rin is thus at a loss for what to do. When he’s getting a drink from the vending machine later, he still has the box cutter and briefly stares at it. Asa wakes up in the middle of the night and sees Rin muttering in his sleep. She apologizes to Rin, kisses him on the forehead, and leaves the hospital. Rin wakes up to find her gone, and he runs outside yelling her name.
There was this little gem too during the sponsors screen (with the boat).
We get to see Asa grow frailer and paler by the day, and she looks downright scary with no color in her skin and large bags under her eyes. Ama, who cares greatly about her daughter, finally reveals to Rin about her own past and the way for Asa to save herself, which Asa refuses to do. Ama tells Rin that she’s basically counting on him to save Asa, and Kareha tells him the same thing when she comes to visit. So Rin’s got a lot of pressure on him to save her, and that’s not even including his own love and how time is running out. But since he can’t convince her to use her magic, he’s at a loss about what to do. I’m glad they worked in the box cutter, because as a lot of people know, that’s gonna become pretty important next episode.
I loved Asa’s monologue about being human and lead a normal life, but I honestly just don’t understand why Asa refuses to use her magic. The ability to save herself, so that she can be with the one she loves and live her dream, is at her fingertips, yet she refuses to use it. And as a result, she’s putting herself through so much suffering and putting Rin and her mother through so much anguish. And her running away from the hospital will only result in Rin worrying and looking for her.
We’re now up to the final episode of SHUFFLE! Sadly, this is the only show that’s ending this season, yet taking next week off (the other shows ending being Suzuka, Lamune, and Paradise Kiss, all of which will air final episodes next week). The finale of SHUFFLE! will air on January 5th, 2006.