Kanon – 21
Seven years ago, Ayu had told Yuuichi that her second wish was to go to school with him. She had wanted to make this tree area their school and thought about studying, eating, and going home together. Because he promised her that he’d grant any wish he could, Yuuichi declared that this place is a school from now on. It would be a school with no strict regulations, uniforms, homework, or tests – a school of freedom where Ayu could stay home whenever she wants. The two kids then promised to meet at this school again the next time Yuuichi came to the city. Back in the present, Yuuichi wakes up to his alarm clock the morning after Ayu disappeared. Nayuki and Akiko have noticed that Ayu is gone, though Nayuki thinks that she just went home. She wonders if Yuuichi has any contact information for Ayu, but he realizes that he only knew her name. Seeing that Yuuichi has lost his appetite, Nayuki quietly comments on how Yuuichi really liked Ayu, but then pretends it was nothing when Yuuichi asked what she said.
Yuuichi spends the rest of the afternoon searching for Ayu, but he doesn’t find her in any of the normal spots. He runs into Nayuki by the spot where he and Ayu always met and explains to her the significance of the bench. In Nayuki’s mind, however, that bench is significant because she remembers Yuuichi crying there seven years ago. The two then head to a cafe and Nayuki asks if Yuuichi knows what it was that Ayu lost. This question reminds Yuuichi that everything about this has been strange: that open space in the forest, Ayu’s missing thing, and why he doesn’t remember seven years ago. Still, Nayuki feels that it’ll all be ok because Yuuichi still has Ayu’s backpack, so she will surely come back to get it. Nayuki then orders two strawberry sundaes, one for herself and one for Yuuichi to cheer him up. Yet, upon returning home, the first thing Yuuichi asks Akiko is if Ayu has called. After Yuuichi goes upstairs, Akiko tells Nayuki that they should encourage and support Yuuichi because they’re a family.
Taking her mother’s words to heart, Nayuki heads to Yuuichi’s room and suggests that they work on their homework together. Nevertheless, Nayuki is the one who almost drifts to sleep while they’re working. After Yuuichi wakes her, she remembers how they used to work on their winter break homework like this, though he has no recollection of it. Nayuki ends up falling asleep again, and this time Yuuichi doesn’t wake her since he’s finished the homework. Instead, he covers her with a blanket and thanks her for cheering him up. That night, Yuuichi dreams about how, seven years ago, he and Ayu had been trying to leave the forest during the night and had come across an empty jar lying in the snow. She had gotten the idea for a time capsule and had placed the angel doll inside the jar so that they could bury it. Ayu had felt that two wishes was enough for her, so she wanted to give the remaining one to her future self or someone else. Yuuichi had been worried about being able to locate the buried jar again, but Ayu had been confident that if there’s a person who needs the doll, it will definitely be found. As they had parted ways on that night, the two had promised to meet the next day at their school in the forest.
On the way to school the next morning, Yuuichi asks Nayuki if he can change the recording on his alarm clock. She doesn’t want him to because she had a hard time recording it since she’s no good with machines. In fact, she even had to get her mother to help her. Nayuki agrees with Yuuichi’s assessment that Akiko had a hard time too with all of her daughter’s troubles, and Nayuki says that she loves her mother. She also claims that she wasn’t sad at all even though it had been just the two of them for a long time. When the two arrive at school, Nayuki notices a crushed snow bunny in the courtyard. Nayuki has memories of her own snow bunny getting thrown onto the ground, and so she pities this one. Yuuichi helps her remake it, but the problem is that it is still missing an eye. Nayuki decides to use the red marble Yuuichi gave her even though it’s much bigger than the snow bunny’s current other eye. She then asks if it reminds Yuuichi of anything, but he can only remember Mai’s story about her hospitalized mother. When Yuuichi asks her if it reminded her of anything, Nayuki claims that it didn’t really.
Later that afternoon, Yuuichi and Nayuki enlist Kitagawa’s help in trying to dig up Ayu’s lost item. Having had no luck after numerous holes, Kitagawa starts to think that someone may have already dug it up. By chance though, Kitagawa hits something the very next time he puts his shovel into the ground. His discovery turns out to be exactly what Ayu and Yuuichi buried seven years ago: the jar with the angel doll inside. Nayuki helps Yuuichi clean it off at home and then asks him if it’s a clue to finding Ayu. Yuuichi doesn’t answer, and the two eventually go out to the balcony. After staring at her for a little bit, Yuuichi suddenly asks Nayuki if she changed her hairstyle. Although Nayuki claims she’s always been like how she currently is, Yuuichi actually remember her having braided hair in elementary school. Nayuki admits that she did indeed, but she says that it was only for a year. When he asks her why she gave up on that style, she doesn’t give him a straight answer.
Yuuichi wakes up the next morning to the sound of Nayuki’s voice, though it’s actually Nayuki herself rather than the alarm clock. It seems that she occasionally wants to be the one waking him up, and Akiko comments on how it would be nice for this to happen every day. Nayuki notes to Yuuichi that her mother likes it when things are busy such as when Ayu and Makoto were around. When she asks, Yuuichi reassure Nayuki that he’s not going to disappear because this is the only house he can come back to. After briefly staring at her mother, Nayuki then asks about dinner and says that she wants strawberry cake, so Akiko agrees to go out to buy some. At school, Nayuki finds the snow bunny still intact, but this time it’s Yuuichi whose memories get triggered by the sight of it. Seven years ago, he had been crying on that bench when Nayuki brought him a snow bunny that she made. Knowing that he was leaving the next day, she had wanted him to accept it and felt that they would see each other again. Nayuki had then gathered all her courage to confess her feelings of love for Yuuichi, but he had responded shortly thereafter by knocking the snow bunny out of her hands.
Although Yuuichi now realizes the horrible thing that he did seven years ago, he isn’t able to say anything to Nayuki because their classroom door opens and a teacher calls both of them out into the hallway. He has bad news for them: Akiko has been involved in a traffic accident and was taken to the hospital. At the scene of the accident, a piece of ruined strawberry cake lies on the ground.
Although they ended on a cliffhanger with Akiko getting hit by a car, I think it’s safe to say that she survived, at least for now. They wouldn’t save a surprise like a death unless it was further down the road. Watching her get hit by a car though, it’s hard not to see her heavily injured with the way the car nailed her. Actually, I thought the accident could have been a bit more dramatic with the perspective that was used – maybe a view from the oncoming car would have been better. I also expected to see some blood, but perhaps the strawberry cake got the more important point across. From the preview, it seems clear that Nayuki is going to blame herself for what happened since she was the one who wanted that cake in the first place.
Of course, Akiko’s accident wasn’t the only thing that happened this episode. We found out that Ayu’s lost item was the jar with the angel doll, and it seems likely that the final wish will come into play in the near future. Also interesting was the reason why Yuuichi was crying when Nayuki brought him the snow bunny. It must have been something really bad for him to react like that, and I suspect it has to do with Ayu. I’m looking forward to seeing what happened to her back then and why Yuuichi lost his memory.