sola – 09
Declaring that Matsuri isn’t here anymore and saying goodbye, Aono sharpens her origami paper and attacks. Matsuri is able to dodge the first several waves by staying on the move and taking cover, but Aono eventually backs her against a corner and forces Matsuri to use her power to disintegrate the paper coming at her. When Matsuri tries to take refuge inside a streetcar, Aono uses her paper to weaken the steel support on which more steel supports are hung, causing them all to fall on that streetcar. Matsuri manages to avoid getting crushed, but she’s hurt too badly to move, and Aono approaches her to finish her off. However, Aono is surprised that Matsuri seems content with this, and her memories of how Matsuri helped her in the past cause her to relent just as she throws her paper weapon. As a result, it doesn’t hit Matsuri, and Aono falls to her knees, questioning why. Meanwhile, Takeshi is still looking for Mayuko and finds out that Sae saw her with Matsuri.
By the time Matsuri wakes up, she’s been returned to the streetcar with Mayuko, and Aono is gone. The first thing Matsuri asks is why she’s still alive, causing Mayuko to wonder if she had wanted to die. Matsuri feels that it would be better if she wasn’t around, though Mayuko then points out that Yorito and Mana have arrived looking for her. Those two haven’t found anyone around, but Mana suspects that something is up because of all the damage around her. Yorito suddenly starts holding his head and screaming in pain, so Mana decides to take him home. Before they leave though, Mana notices sheets of Aono’s origami paper on the ground. Mana actually ends up bringing Yorito to her own house, and when Aono calls oh the phone asking about him, Mana lies about where he is. Afterwards, Koyori tells Mana about how they have lots of curry in the refrigerator and suggests a curry party with Aono, but she quickly drops the subject when faced with her sister’s silence.
At a streetcar station, Mayuko brings Matsuri a large bag of convenience store food for her to eat. Matsuri doesn’t feel like eating much because she is thinking about what she should do, but she knows she has to eat and picks up the foie gras-flavored onigiri. This causes Mayuko to use her stuffed bunny to punch Matsuri because the foie gras one is hers. The streetcar soon arrives and Mayuko gets on, but Matsuri accidentally leaves the bag of food on the benches, so she goes to get it. She never makes it back to the streetcar because Takeshi then arrives and unsheathes out his sword. Back at the Ishizuki house, Aono arrives and demands to see Yorito despite what Mana had said earlier. Mana continues to claim that he’s not there, but Aono knows that that’s a lie, so Mana responds by saying that Aono is the one who’s lying. She questions what Aono has been hiding from Yorito, and when Aono says that it has nothing to do with her, Mana asks if it has something to do with Matsuri. Telling Aono to go home for today, Mana then shuts the door.
Mayuko makes her way back to the streetcar station to find only the bag of food there and no one around. Matsuri has fled in the meantime all the way to the docks, still being chased by a Takeshi who feels that by taking her life, he can fulfill the promise he made on that day. Many years ago, Takeshi and Mayuko were normal childhood friends, and Mayuko had already been calling him by his given name instead of his family name Tsujidou, which Takeshi thought sounded cooler. Takeshi had remembered one day that Mayuko’s birthday was coming up the following week, so he asked what she wanted for a present. She had eventually suggested that he get her another stuffed bunny because she felt that the first one was lonely by itself. Takeshi had agreed to do so, but when he arrived back at her house sometime later, he found her lying dead in a pool of her own blood. He had come back afterwards to lay down the second bunny he bought at her house gate, and it was at that time that he saw her alive again.
However, Mayuko had explained that she really had died and had been turned into a Yaka by an older girl she didn’t know. Takeshi didn’t care about it as long as she was alive, so Mayuko proceeded to show him how she’s limited and burned by sunlight. Mayuko was ready to cry over having to live like this and knowingly exposed her entire body to the sun, but Takeshi had pushed her back into the shade. It was here that Takeshi had promised to return her to normal, and these feelings are what he charges at Matsuri with now. Even though she’s injured, Matsuri is still able to dodge his swings and uses her own powers to unearth the ground beneath him. She eventually catches the sword with her right hand and tries to use her powers to make it disappear, but when nothing happens, Takeshi reveals that a Yaka’s powers won’t work on it. Matsuri then trips him up and jumps up onto a crane platform, so Takeshi throws several of his darts to keep her pinned. He follows it up by throwing his sheath at her while he charges at her from behind. This tactic finally allows him the opportunity to slash Matsuri and causes her to fall down several stories onto the cement below.
Remembering his promise, Takeshi raises his sword to stab Matsuri and finish this, but Mayuko arrives just in time to stop him. Despite Takeshi’s desire to return her to normal, Mayuko says that she doesn’t want it at the expense of someone else. Takeshi is frustrated to hear this because it means Mayuko is sacrificing her own wish, but Mayuko hugs him and reassures him that it’s okay. Recalling all the time they’ve spent together and how Takeshi has protected her, Mayuko explains that her real wish is to just have him by her side – the unchanged, gentle Takeshi.
Wow, that was a ton of great action in both the Aono vs Matsuri and Matsuri vs Takeshi battles. In the course of those first few minutes, Aono managed to remind me of both Gambit with the way she threw the paper (though it didn’t explode like Gambit’s cards do) and of a Gundam because of her array of attack options. Matsuri really got the short end of the stick since she had to suffer through two battles in a short span of time, though I hadn’t expected the fight with Takeshi so soon. While I really like the flashback scene with the Ceui song playing in the background (Binkan na Fuukei) and I’m glad to finally know about Takeshi and Mayuko’s backstory, I feel a little jilted with the fact that their plotline seems to have more or less come to a conclusion here in a relatively quick fashion. I had hoped it would be more involved and interwoven with Aono’s plotline somehow, though I guess there’s still plenty of time for that to happen since there are four more episodes left to deal with Aono’s feeling and whatever else comes up.