Kashimashi – 13 (DVD Finale)
One winter night, Hazumu tries to get Tomari’s attention by throwing stones at her window, but Tomari hides from her. Hazumu ends up leaving an invitation in the mailbox before leaving. The invitation is for Hazumu’s Christmas party, though it also mentions the Christmas concert that Yasuna will be performing in. Yasuna herself is actually acting very lively and feeling very free. When Ayuki asks her if she’s really getting off the stage and if she’ll really be ok alone, Yasuna replies that she won’t be alone. She explains that secluding yourself and walking alone are completely different things. That’s why, back then, she had told Hazumu that she wanted to walk alone and that it’s ok if she couldn’t be by her side.
After school, Hazumu tries to ask if Tomari saw the Christmas party invitation, but Tomari just ignores her and keeps running. Long after Hazumu leaves, Tomari continues to practice her running until Ayuki comes by. Ayuki feels that Tomari is being stubborn and should give her answer to Hazumu, but Tomari still remembers that Hazumu chose Yasuna back then. Watching from the roof of the school, Yasuna recalls how back then, she had confessed to Hazumu that she also loved Tomari. When the time for the Christmas concert comes, Yasuna personally asks Tomari about coming, but Tomari says that she has a part-time job. Hazumu still saves a seat for Tomari, but she never shows up.
Afterwards, outside of Hazumu’s house before the party, Yasuna asks for Asuta’s help with something that she’s been planning with Ayuki and Sora, who’s come back. This plan goes into action when Tomari doesn’t show up for the party and Hazumu takes that as her answer. After Ayuki and Asuta leave together, Yasuna suggests to Hazumu that they go to Kashima Mountain. At that time, Tomari is at home reading the invitation when Ayuki, dressed as Santa, suddenly appears. Tomari figures out that Ayuki wants to take her to Hazumu, and she doesn’t want to go. Ayuki decides to bag up Tomari and flies her outside into the cart that reindeer Asuta is ready to drive – all of this is thanks to Jan-puu’s powers.
The group arrives at the base of the mountain where Yasuna is waiting. Tomari asks Yasuna if she’s really ok with this since Tomari still thinks that Yasuna likes Hazumu. Yasuna recounts how she had told Hazumu that she depended too much on Hazumu’s kindness. She has decided that she has to walk alone and feels that the person who can really make Hazumu happy is Tomari. That’s why she wants Tomari to go and answer Hazumu with honest feelings. At the top of the stairs, Tomari finds Hazumu waiting in the snow. As she walks over, Tomari remembers that back then, when they were facing each other across the stream, Hazumu had confessed to her. In response, Tomari had just turned around without answering Hazumu.
Now, Tomari is finally able to admit that she wants to become Hazumu’s bride. After Tomari apologizes and hugs Hazumu, Jan-puu appears and grants them both wedding dresses. Jan-puu also creates a crystal cathedral, and so Hazumu carries Tomari up the stairs to the priest Sora. Tomari and Hazumu then kiss, which clears the skies and causes a beautiful aurora effect. The two get on a sleigh driven by Yasuna, and Tomari takes the chance to thank Yasuna and everyone else. As they fly towards the moon, the girls know that there is a miracle called love that brings people happiness. This miracle is inside of everyone.
So this was the DVD 13th episode that concludes the Kashimashi series. I’ve got pretty mixed feelings on this, though not many are positive. The OP and ED were still the same as the rest of the series, except that the OP was full-length, and they recapped the first 12 episodes during that extra OP time. The episode started out normally enough with plenty of angst that felt like rehash from the rest of the series. It was the last six or so minutes that had me mostly speechless. The whole Christmas miracle/wedding dress/flying sleigh felt a bit ridiculous, to the point where I even laughed out loud.
All that aside though, this is clearly a Tomari ending, so at least the who-will-Hazumu-end-up-with question is put to rest. And the frustrating ano ne… ending from episode 12 was cleared up, though it was split into flashbacks that were spread throughout this episode. I’m a little surprised that Yasuna just gave up Hazumu like that, but it is believable that she would want to walk on her own and let Hazumu find happiness with Tomari. I guess in a way, you could call episode 12 the Yasuna ending and this episode the Tomari ending.
The episode didn’t really help or hurt my opinion of the series as a whole because it wasn’t great and wasn’t horrible – it was merely alright. I enjoyed hearing all the voice actresses (Horie Yui, Tamura Yukari, and Ueda Kana) in their roles again, but the main thing is that this finally gives some closure after the ano ne… end of the television broadcast, which was almost exactly seven months ago today. I still wish that they could have found some way for a true three-girl ending, but that’s just me. Kashimashi has plenty of good yuri moments with lots of angst, and I’d call it a worthwhile watch overall.
If nothing else, this finale got the ending song Michishirube into my head again after such a long time…