Kamisama Kazoku – 08
Aside from showing Samatarou the photograph, Misa has something else that she’s figured out about Ai: the girl grows whenever she remembers something. Knowing this, Samatarou goes and asks Ai what she remembers. Aside from knowing that she’s only going to be around for five days, Ai seems to remember that she’s searching for something. Examining Ai’s back, Samatarou sees that the markings are growing clearer, but he still can’t make out what it says. He then makes the connection between Ai’s dreams and the wheelchair girl’s dreams, theorizing that the one the wheelchair girl is waiting for is Ai and the one that Ai is searching for is the wheelchair girl. That night, Ai mentions to Samatarou that Misa had said she was a goddess. Samatarou admits that he’s a god’s son, and is living now as a human so that he can become a splendid god in the future. Ai feels that she’s living for the meeting tomorrow. Samatarou is suddenly reminded of the tanzaku that came with Ai’s basket and shows it to Ai. Seeing the name “Ai” written on the bottom, Ai tells Samatarou that she’s not Ai. She’s here looking for Ai, who is actually her friend. She then goes to bed, saying that they’ll know tomorrow who she is.
The next day, the girl formerly known as Ai has grown again, and she now looks just like the wheelchair girl. Samatarou and Tenko take her to the wheelchair girl’s room where the wheelchair girl identifies the girl as Lulu and Lulu identifies the wheelchair girl as Ai. But the real Ai seems afraid of Lulu and doesn’t want to see her, even as Lulu proclaims that she loves Ai. Ai’s rejection of her eventually sends Lulu running off crying, so Tenko slaps Ai and then chases after Lulu. Ai admits to Samatarou that Lulu was her sole friend, but that one day when they were in middle school, Lulu had fallen off the pedestrian bridge. Everything after that was a blur to Ai, but when she woke up in the hospital, no one could answer her about Lulu. The pedestrian bridge she was talking about is the one right outside the hospital, and staring at it made Ai think that she would someday meet Lulu again. But Ai finds it unbelievable that Lulu would return in the way that she did, and so Samatarou shows her the tanzaku from Lulu’s basket – the one with Ai’s wish. He tells her that she was the one who wanted a miracle to happen, and that Lulu is waiting for her on the pedestrian bridge.
After Ai goes off to the bridge, Samatarou stays in the room and is visited by Ai’s mother. When he introduces himself as Ai’s friend, Ai’s mother mentions that Ai has never had any friends – she just had a doll. Remembering the doll in the photograph, Samatarou rushes out. Ai, meanwhile, has reached the pedestrian bridge. She thinks that this is a dream world, and tries to prove it by getting up and walking up to the top of the bridge, since she was able to walk in her dreams. But Ai also knows that she truly wants to meet Lulu. Reaching the top of the stairs, Ai declares that she waited because Lulu told her to wait in the dream. Lulu shows Ai the words on her back, which now clearly say Most Important Friend. Ai realizes that this really is Lulu, but an extremely strong gust of wind sends her over the edge of the bridge. Lulu jumps after her, and the two girls hug in mid-air. Tenko starts screaming, but fortunately Samatarou and Shinichi are waiting below with mats to catch the two girls safely.
Tenko and Samatarou end up returning home without Lulu. Tenko is lonely without her around because Lulu was her family. Samatarou reminds her that she still has a family in him and the rest of the Kamiyama family. But Tenko doesn’t feel that they’re her real family the same way that she felt like Lulu was her real child. Samatarou thinks otherwise, and asks if he and Tenko won’t become a true family some time in the future. He leans in to kiss her, but Tenko’s head blows a gasket and steams starts coming out uncontrollably. This causes Samatarou to laugh, ruining the moment. As an embarrassed Tenko gets up to leave, Samatarou pulls on her arm and causes her to fall back, right onto his lips. Both of them start to freak out from the kiss, with Samatarou calling it an accident.
Sometime later, Samatarou visits his father, who is still fishing tanzaku. Samatarou accuses Papa-san of being responsible for everything, but Papa-san says that he only arranged the beginning – everything else happened by chance. He then shows Samatarou the river of tanzaku that he grants wishes from, which reminds Samatarou of the one he found in Lulu’s basket. Unfortunately for Samatarou, Papa-san has to punish him for telling a human that he was a god. He sends Samatarou back in time, to right when Samatarou and Shinichi fell out of the tree. This time, Shinichi doesn’t end up in the hospital, only the infirmary. Moreover, a girl visits Shinichi because she got a love letter from him. Samatarou recognizes that this girl is none other than Tachibana Ai; she’s got a Lulu doll on her bag. Turning around to face Tenko, Samatarou then remembers their kiss, but Tenko only remembers the kiss to the cheek.
That was a lot to take in at the end there. The two girls really wanted to meet each other, but Ai couldn’t believe that Lulu was there. And with good reason too (though not hers) because Lulu used to be a doll. This episode casts Ai in a rather unflattering light, because not only did she act poorly towards her most important friend, but also because that same friend was actually a doll. Kind of leaves you to question her state of mind back then. Did she go through all this because she accidentally dropped her doll off a bridge? I guess all of that doesn’t matter because time got turned back and none of it ever happened. All of it, including Samatarou’s kiss with Tenko, exists now only in Samatarou’s mind.
I liked how the story wove all the clues together, from the markings on Lulu’s back to the picture to the tanzaku and so on. But I am left wondering what would have happened with Lulu if Papa-san hadn’t turned back time, and also wondering who the girl in the red one-piece dress was.
Next week, the return of Kumiko!