Myself; Yourself – 05
With the Sakura Festival coming up, Nanaka is in the midst of practicing a dance when her uncle comes to check up on her. He tells her that they’ll be using the bonfire after all, and Nanaka apologizes for her selfishness. She then returns to practicing, and it is due to having to practice that she has to miss out on a chance to go to a karaoke box with her friends. Sana doesn’t actually remember anything about the dance, so Aoi reminds him about what it is and how it hasn’t been done in over 10 years. Nanaka admits that she couldn’t refuse to do it because she feels indebted to her uncle, though she doesn’t give Sana a straight answer when he asks why. Sana is later returning home from shopping when he runs into Asami, and the two of them go to a pet store together. She’s picking out a cat collar, but it’s not for her own cat, it’s for cat of the nursing home where she volunteers. Since they’re talking about it, Asami invites Sana to the nursing home this Saturday, and he agrees to come.
Nanaka just happens to be walking by the pet shop and notices the two inside. She at first gets jealous and starts running off, but right as she relents and turns back around, the two come out. After Sana explains how he met Asami by coincidence and how they’re going to volunteer together, he invites Nanaka to come too. He pauses mid-sentence because he realizes that she has to practice for the dance, but Nanaka insists that she’ll come. When that Saturday comes, the three go to the nursing home together, and it turns out that Shuri is volunteering there too. While Sana gets roped into playing a video game with one of the seniors, Asami notices that the nursing home’s pet java sparrow is missing from its cage, and they think that it might have escaped. Asami also sees that one of the residents, a woman named Kajii, isn’t around, and learns that she’s feeling a little sick. It seems that Kajii has been acting odd since her grandchild died at the beginning of the year, and she recently disappeared for a while only to come back with her hands all muddy.
They decide to all go visit Kajii, but when the old woman sees Nanaka, she thinks she’s seeing her grandchild Motoko. After they make her realize that Nanaka isn’t her grandchild, Kajii calms down and apologizes. Surprisingly, Motoko had also played the violin, and Kajii has her violin in memory of her. Sana suggests that Nanaka play something, but she gets a flashback of flames and apologizes because she can’t. When they’re later walking home together, Sana apologizes to Nanaka, but she doesn’t blame him and tells him not to worry about it. The day of the festival soon arrives, and Sana goes to the festival with Aoi. After having some fun at the various booths with Shuusuke and Shuri, the group passes by Nanaka who is helping to man the shrine’s booth. Nanaka eyes the plushie that Sana won at the shooting booth, and she is right about to ask him for it when Hinako spots them. Hinako is so excited about the plushie that Sana gives it to her instead, and that makes Nanaka a little envious. Since Nanaka is busy at the booth, Sana and Hinako then leave her and rejoin their friends.
As Nanaka prepares for the dance by dousing herself with water, a crowd gathers around the stage where she’ll be performing. Sana and friends have managed to get themselves in the very front, and Shuri starts telling the others about the legend of the twin hills where wishes supposedly get granted when sakura trees bloom on both hills. It seems that in old times, this dance was dedicated to the twin sakura trees to pray for a good harvest. However, if you go even further back, it wasn’t a dance – it was a sacrifice where people were buried alive. This is actually all stuff Shuri learned from Kajii. In any case, Nanaka’s dance soon starts, and it goes very well. Afterwards, Sana finds her alone and compliments her on her performance. As he is suggesting that she join them in walking around the festival, something scampers by Nanaka’s feet and scares her into clinging onto Sana. It turns out to be just a raccoon dog, and Nanaka lets go of Sana in embarrassment. They soon start laughing about it, but right as they’re about to join hands, Hinako finds them and interrupts them.
Well, I think it’s safe to say that Nanaka’s secret has to do with fire and why she’s staying at the shrine. Did something happen to her parents? This probably goes back to who that man is surrounded by flames in the OP. Sana should just go privately ask Shuri or Shuusuke since they seem to know what’s going on, but I guess he’s not curious enough yet. Regardless, I imagine that the series will now end with Sana helping Nanaka get over it and her playing the violin again, probably finishing that song.
As for the old lady Kajii stuff this episode, it was all a bit weird and not quite fitting for the series in terms of atmosphere. I’m not sure how or if it relates to the main story (aside from showing that Nanaka refuses to play the violin), but it seems that Kajii might have buried the bird and is planning to bury the cat in an effort to bring her dead grandchild back or something. I don’t know where they’re going with that, or even if they’re going to come back to it since next episode is breaking some of this momentum and switching to another Hinako episode. I question that decision, but hopefully it won’t be a completely wasted episode.