Strawberry Panic! – 20
When Nagisa had been crying on Miyuki’s back, Tamao had been outside that room listening in. But Tamao didn’t say anything afterwards and the next day Nagisa is very cheerful. Seeing her rush off to class, the other girls comment on how energetic Nagisa was, but Kagome notices something. During class, Tamao keeps worriedly looking over at Nagisa, but she seems to be just fine. Over at St. Spica, Hikari turns down lunch with Yaya because she has a promise to go see Amane. Yaya ends up spending lunchtime alone, feeding the pigeons on the roof of the school. At the same time, Nagisa and Tamao are walking along with their lunches when Tamao suddenly suggests that they go eat over by the lake. Tamao rushes Nagisa off the path and into the forest because she had seen that Shizuma was coming in the distance. Shizuma is actually returning from having gone to visit that fateful tree. She enters the dorms and goes to Kaori’s room, staying there through the evening.
When dinnertime comes around, Nagisa finishes eating quickly despite the fact that she hasn’t actually eaten much. Afterwards, the girls are all sitting together when Kizuna and Remon start talking about the rumor that the Étoile has been acting weird lately. Nagisa isn’t paying attention to what’s being said and is instead staring at the nearby piano. Upon returning to her room with Tamao, Nagisa apologizes and says that she forgot something. She runs back to the room with the piano and sits down, remembering how she had played together with Shizuma that one time. This in turn triggers more memories of Shizuma and cause Nagisa’s eyes to start to tear up. Kagome suddenly appears beside her and asks what’s wrong. Nagisa tries to act normal, but when Kagome asks why Nagisa is crying, the tears start to flow down Nagisa’s face. Pretty soon, Nagisa is on her knees bawling, unresponsive to Kagome comforting her with Percival. Tamao, who had followed Nagisa here, comes over and gives her a hug.
Nagisa cries through the night and doesn’t go to class the next morning. Tamao and all of the other girls spend the rest of that day being quite worried for her. Over at St. Spica, Kaname reminds Shion that the Étoile selection entries are about to begin. Kaname suggests that all Shion really wants is for the Étoile to come from Spica, and so there’s no need to insist on Amane. However, Shion thinks to herself that not anyone will be ok and refuses to give up until she gets a suitable person. Over at Lulim, the girls are telling Chikaru about Nagisa’s condition and Chikaru suggests that they make some delicious things to cheer Nagisa up. The girls decide on something sweet and get very excited, but all they know how to make is cookies. At this time, Nagisa is standing by the lake alone, with the key to Shizuma’s vacation home in her hand. She tries to throw it into the lake, but can’t go through with it. Instead, she just keeps clutching it and falls to her knees.
Tamao comes out of the shower that night and finds Nagisa already in bed. When Miyuki comes by, Tamao tells her how Nagisa is doing and then asks about Shizuma. It seems that Shizuma is currently sitting in her own room staring at the picture of herself and Kaori. During this time, the other girls have made a mess in the kitchen but finally succeed in baking a batch of cookies. Over in Hikari and Yaya’s room, Hikari is practicing her singing. When Yaya gets close to her to point something out in her choir book, Hikari backs away a little. Yaya apologizes for threatening her, but Hikari says that it was ticklish. Meanwhile, Tamao returns to her own room and finds Nagisa sitting up on her bed now. Nagisa says that it would have been better if she hadn’t come to Miator. In that case, she wouldn’t have met Shizuma and she wouldn’t have had these feelings. Tamao tells her not to say something like that and then sits down beside Nagisa.
Tamao tells Nagisa a story about a certain girl. Several years ago, this girl entered the dorms as a first-year of the school, but she had no roommate. This girl kept waiting, as the seasons and years passed, for a second person to share the room with. If someone came, surely every day would be happy. However, no one came. Three years later, this girl heard about a new student who would become her roommate. The new student was Nagisa and Tamao was of course talking about herself. After Nagisa came, Tamao was happy and every day was busy. Nagisa’s surroundings were always overflowing with cheer and smiles. Tamao thanks Nagisa, saying that she’s really glad Nagisa came to Miator – that’s why she doesn’t want Nagisa talking about how it would have been better not to have come. Tamao admits that the smile of the person most important to Nagisa probably cannot be regained, but Nagisa did give a smile to everything in her surroundings.
Tamao then makes Nagisa realize that everyone is wishing for her to get better because everyone likes Nagisa. To prove her point, Tamao walks over and opens their door, causing all the other girls to come falling in since they had been eavesdropping. With everyone’s support, Nagisa seems to return to normal and apologizes for worrying them. Nagisa decides that they should have a tea party, and they end up doing just that with tea and the cookies that the girls made. Afterwards, the girls return to their rooms, content with how Nagisa has become energetic again. As Tamao watches Nagisa sleep, she confesses that she likes Nagisa and leans in to kiss her.
Hrm, so this episode ended up being less about Tamao confessing her love to Nagisa (which did technically happen), and more about Tamao helping Nagisa out of a rut. It wasn’t as interesting an episode as the previous two weeks have been, and I feel like Nagisa got back to normal just a bit too quickly. Maybe it was just because the whole everyone-cares-about-you thing was a bit cheesy. Tamao did end up saying that she liked Nagisa, but only while Nagisa was sleeping. That was when Tamao apparently kissed Nagisa too, though we didn’t really get to see a clear shot of it.
For me, Kagome and Percival steal the show. Never mind that they’re adorable together, Kagome was the only person other than Tamao to notice that something was wrong with Nagisa. I’m always looking forward to seeing more of Kagome and Percival. On the other hand, having Kizuna and Tamao in the same room still freaks me out because it’s the same voice actress Shimizu Ai and it’s not something special like Riku and Diva. I’m just glad they didn’t talk to each other because that would have been really creepy.
As for next week, it looks like we’ll get more on the Étoile selection and maybe see how Shizuma is faring.