Kashimashi – 09
At the festival with his mother, a young Hazumu sees a white circle and a pink circle. In the ensuing rain, his mother carries him away crying, and the circles turn into Yasuna and Tomari, who turn their backs and run the other direction. It is, of course, all just a dream. At a coffee shop later, Hazumu is caught between choosing juice and a parfait. It seems that she’s been indecisive for a long time. Ayuki notices that there are girls outside wearing yukata, reminding her that today is the Kashima shrine festival. The shrine has a particular ritual where you have to choose between two cups and find the one with the bag under it. If you choose the right one, your wish will come true. Everyone decides to go, and Hazumu figures that her parents will have a yukata for her already. It turns out that Tomari is the one without a yukata, so she has to go buy one. However, the yukata at the store are all too expensive. Luckily for Tomari, she runs into Yasuna again.
At home, Hazumu and Jan-puu are all dressed up and ready. Hazumu’s parents are reminded of one festival that Hazumu spent crying. Hazumu herself doesn’t seem to remember it at all, even after her parents mention the cotton candy. Meanwhile, Tomari is trying on a yukata at Yasuna’s house, and she apologizes for having to borrow one. Yasuna is grateful for Tomari having invited her to the test of courage, but in response Tomari brings up the trip to the beach. Yasuna thinks that Tomari doesn’t it like when she and Hazumu are together, however Tomari thinks that Yasuna is the same when Tomari and Hazumu are together. Yasuna then brings up the fact that she has known Hazumu for less time, but Tomari doesn’t think that it matters. Finally, Tomari says that they seem to think the same way, and the two girls decide to go to the festival.
After seeing how overjoyed Hazumu and Jan-puu are to be at a festival, Tomari and Yasuna say, in unison, that it was only their imagination that Hazumu had a sad face earlier that day. Tomari lags behind the group because she’s not used to her yukata, but Hazumu compliments her on how much it suits her and cute it looks. Embarrassed, Tomari rushes to the goldfish scooping booth and catches a bag of fish for Hazumu. The girls end up having lots of fun at the various festival booths. At one point, Jan-puu notices the cotton candy stand. Seeing it triggers something in Hazumu, and she asks Jan-puu what color she prefers, pink or white. Jan-puu likes pink, but then asks Hazumu the same question. Reminded of a scene from her past, Hazumu isn’t able to choose. That indecision carries over to when Tomari offers her takoyaki at the same time that Yasuna offers her a candied apple. Panicking, Hazumu escapes by saying that she’s going to the restroom, but she instead runs into the nearby woods.
Sora finds her and, after hearing about her troubles, uses his antenna to trigger Hazumu’s memories. During one festival when Hazumu was young, he wasn’t able to decide between the two cotton candy colors. It had suddenly started to rain, so his mother had carried him away – he got no cotton candy at all because he couldn’t decide between the two colors. While he was crying, his mother had warned him about someday failing to make an important choice and regretting it. Hazumu is afraid of that coming true with her indecision between Yasuna and Tomari. Actually, both girls overhear Hazumu crying to herself, and Yasuna comes up with an idea. When the depressed Hazumu returns to the festival, they present her with both types of cotton candy, quickly cheering her up. Then at the ritual, both girls give Hazumu the encouragement to make the choice between the two cups. Even though she’s unsuccessful, she was at least able to choose. Watching the fireworks, Hazumu prays for the three of them to be together for a little longer.
Call it wishful thinking, but I’m personally now leaning towards the three-girl ending. When the series started two months ago, I thought that they’d make Hazumu choose, but with this episode, I’m convinced that they’re going to keep all three girls together. They’ve been building up Yasuna and Tomari’s friendship a lot more than the manga (an example from this episode is the yukata borrowing scene), so the likelihood seems even higher. All three together would be the “happy” ending for everyone, and I have a feeling that that’s where this show is going (though I could be wrong).
Actually, I have a lingering fear that they’re going to try to turn Hazumu back into a boy, but I think that’d ruin the entire premise of the show. Anyway, next episode looks like it’ll cover the rest of volume two of the manga, meaning lots of angst between the three girls.
Oh yea, I forgot to mention last week that Asano Masumi – Ayuki’s seiyuu – sang the ending theme. This week, it’s sung by Hazumu’s seiyuu, Ueda Kana. I’m going to take a guess that Horie Yui and Tamura Yukari (Yasuna and Tomari, respectively) will get their turns in the next two weeks, and the finale’s ending theme will be the entire cast.