Kanon – 12
Seven years ago, Ayu had been admiring a doll in a UFO catcher, so Yuuichi tried to get it for her. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do so, though he had promised it as a present. Yuuichi wakes up from this memory and exits his room to find Ayu in the hallway. After teasing her about ghosts, he accuses her of looking for valuable things, but it seems that she just wanted to go to the bathroom. They end up going onto the veranda and looking at the stars, though Yuuichi stays away from the railing because he’s afraid of heights. Ayu admits that she’s also weak in high places, but the veranda is fine. She then starts talking about how beautiful and gentle a person Nayuki is, wishing to become like Nayuki when she gets older. To her shock, Yuuichi reveals that Nayuki is the same age as both of them, but he also tells Ayu not to worry because she has her own good points. The next morning, Yuuichi displays a sleeping Nayuki to Ayu and tries to wake her up, but that leads to Nayuki’s head accidentally smacking into the table she’s sitting at. After Nayuki leaves for school early, Yuuichi tells Ayu that she should also hurry, but Ayu claims that her school allows her to attend and come back whenever she wants. Yuuichi finds it hard to believe that there’s such a convenient school and warns her not to be late anyway as he leaves.
On the way to school, Yuuichi catches up with Sayuri and Mai, the latter of whom he asks if she remembers tonight is the dance festival. She answers him with a “honey bear” which Yuuichi eventually remembers is because he told her to say that in place of a “yes” answer in order to be cuter. After Mai walks on ahead, Sayuri tells Yuuichi that she feels Mai is similar to herself and also to him. She doesn’t understand it very well, but suggests that it might be because Mai carries a burden. Later in the day, Yuuichi brings Shiori ice cream again, and she admits that it’s her favorite food. When she offers him some, Yuuichi scarfs it down, but then gets brain freeze. Shiori suggests that he do a handstand to get better, but since he feels he can’t do it here, Shiori goes through all the medicines in her purse. In the end, Yuuichi goes with the handstand because he’s got the dance tonight and can’t get sick. On the topic of the dance festival, Shiori also wants to go, but decides not to because she’s sick. When Yuuichi goes back into the building, a first-year girl asks him about Shiori coming to school. According to her, Shiori hasn’t been sick, but has been absent since the entrance ceremony of the first semester when she fainted. The girl refers to Shiori by her family name Misaka, which Yuuichi has heard before. He makes the connection to Kaori, who has the same last name, but when he asks her about Shiori being her little sister, Kaori claims to be an only child. After Kaori leaves, Yuuichi asks Nayuki about it, but she didn’t know that Kaori had a sister since Kaori doesn’t talk much about her family.
Yuuichi gets his tuxedo from Sayuri during lunch and then goes home until it’s time for the dance festival, catching Ayu and Akiko on their way out to do some shopping. As he watches TV, Yuuichi falls asleep and dreams of seven years ago again. This time, he remembers asking Nayuki for money and then finally getting that doll for Ayu. She promised to treasure it and thanked him, causing Yuuichi to say that she had cheered up. When he had first met her, she hadn’t smiled because she said she lost her mother. Ayu admitted that she didn’t think she would ever completely get over that, but she did feel that she would forget the sadness. Yuuichi then wakes up from the dream and realizes that an entire hour has elapsed. He makes his way to school in his tuxedo and finds Mai and Sayuri amongst the crowd. Mai in particular looks stunning to him. He and Sayuri end up teasing her and go into a comedy routine with her. After Sayuri gets called away by friends, Yuuichi gets Mai to blush by saying that he thought he was looking at a different person when he saw her. The two of them then get interrupted by a guy who introduces himself as the student council president Kuze. He makes a point to warn Mai not to cause trouble and spoil this event. Mai reveals later by the refreshment table that she’s not angry because what Kuze said was true.
Yuuichi thinks that Mai should dance with someone and suggests the desperate Kitagawa, but Mai refuses. She wants Yuuichi by her side because she’s not used to these places. When the music starts up, Yuuichi decides to extend his hand to Mai to dance. Once she takes it, he leads her onto the dance floor, and the two become the only couple actually dancing. Their movements impress all the other students who start commenting on how pretty Mai is, meaning that Yuuichi’s original plan of improving Mai’s image worked. She thanks him for it, but then senses something coming. Windows and glasses suddenly start breaking and something knocks over a table. The demon appears to be headed towards Sayuri and is throwing aside everything in its path. Mai tries to save her friend, but it’s too late: Sayuri gets thrown against a wall. As Yuuichi tries to get Sayuri to open her eyes, Mai retrieves her sword and starts fighting the demon. She makes a jumping stab at it, but the demon disappears, leaving her sword stuck in the ground. Unfortunately, the student council president Kuze now blames Mai for everything.
I don’t think that the screencaps, particularly of the battle scene at the end, do this episode any justice. Kyoto Animation did a fantastic job with the dance scene and the subsequent fight, and it’s really something you have to see yourself to experience.
As unfair as it may be, Mai looks to be in a lot of trouble now. Kuze turned out to be a rather hateful character who was just waiting for a reason to blame Mai and now he’s got all the evidence he needs, regardless if the events seemed supernatural or not. It is of course a lot easier to sympathize with Mai since she was only reacting after seeing her friend get hurt. We know that most of the damage wasn’t her fault, but Kuze definitely doesn’t see it that way.
This episode didn’t concentrate quite as much on Mai as I thought it would. Aside from a good bit of Ayu memories, they also set up the Shiori/Kaori connection, meaning that it still doesn’t quite feel to me like we’re fully in Mai’s arc like it did in the last four episodes of Makoto’s arc because the focus isn’t yet entirely on Mai. That’s not really a complaint though because I don’t know how they’re going to structure this series and how long each girl’s story arc will go for.
Incidentally, Kanon is one of the few series not taking a break sometime in these next two weeks. Episode 13 will air next Thursday, December 28th, at its normal time.