Manabi Straight! – 11
On September 13th, 2035, the old school dormitory was converted to the new student council room. The next day, the signatures were due for the school festival petition, and that passed with 76% of the signatures. As a result, an urgent conference was held between the Seiou and Aikou schools, and it was decided that the 82nd Seiou Academy Festival would be held. With Takako’s help, Manabi and company got their plans approved, and preparations began by the 25th. The preparations are completed on October 19th, the day before the festival. It is on this night that Mikan tells the others that she doesn’t want to go home, so they all stay at school. They spend some time playing in the empty classrooms and hallways before settling down on the grassy field on the roof of the school. It is as she lies here that Mikan admits she had wanted to know for a long time what kind of world Manabi sees. However, Mikan now sees it: there is a school called Seiou Academy in the big, big universe, and on this school’s roof is a small, small student council room where five girls laugh, get mad, and cry. This room is now gone, and the girls will someday graduate. At this point, Manabi says that she won’t ever forget tonight, and Mikan finishes by saying that she loves everyone.
The next morning, Manabi wakes up with everyone and starts the festival. As visitors flock in, Momo plans something with the live band that’s set to play later. When some unsavory folks get into the festival, the girls find out that the festival tickets are on an online auction website. Fortunately, Manabi’s brother arrives in time to help out with the problem. Kyouko also comes, and Manabi’s brother suggests that she is here to see the “answer” that Manabi and friends put out. She admits that she might have been looking a bit too far ahead, and explains that she had questioned the meaning of having a school festival just for fun in this age of declining birthrates. Kyouko felt that without more value, the meaning of attending school would be gone. While they are having this discussion, the live band outside starts playing. Manabi, Mikan, Takako, and Mei are at that moment unable to go to that live and participate in the festival because they are at the old dormitory manning a table. Takako decides to close her eyes and let the festival come alive in her mind, something she feels that Manabi taught her. Fortunately by evening, Shimojima and the principal take their places, allowing Momo to drag Manabi to the live band. It is there that the lead singer thanks everyone for coming, but the person she wants to thank the most is Manabi.
With Momo’s encouragement, Manabi then gets on stage with the band and finds out that she has to sing. With no choice, Manabi starts signing the Seiou school song. She does the first part a cappella, but the band then joins her for a rock finish to the song. Right as it ends, Momo sets off the fireworks display that lights up the sky. Finishing what she started to say earlier, Kyouko feels that the girls worked their hardest to create this festival. The principal meanwhile explains to Shimojima that this year’s festival isn’t that different from last year’s, but this year’s is special because the students achieved their own final school festival. Back on stage, Manabi turns around to the crowd and announces that she loves everyone.
Manabi and friends finally achieve their school festival! This episode actually reminded me a little of the Suzumiya Haruhi festival episode with the way it also had a concert that featured a pair of songs. One of those was the school song that I’ve found rather catchy ever since Manabi/Horie Yui sang it in the first episode, through I think I like the rock version of it from here even more. Incidentally, the single for both of the songs heard in this episode is set to be released next week.
Next week is the final episode, but the preview doesn’t give much away since it just shows some images from previous episodes in fast succession.