ef – a tale of memories – 08
Having not heard from Hiro, Miyako throws her phone into the fountain and decides to go check at his apartment. Little does she know, Hiro actually does show up at the fountain sometime after she leaves, and the person Miyako ends up seeing at Hiro’s apartment is Kei. The main problem is that Kei had been showering, so she answers the door in a towel and proceeds to lie to Miyako about Hiro sleeping right now. She refuses to let Miyako through to see him and promises to always be at his side, so she feels that it’s over for Miyako. Unaware of this, Hiro ends up spending more time with the injured Kei while Miyako despairs at school over how she no longer has access to the rooftop. Renji and Chihiro meanwhile continue meeting in the library as if nothing happened between them, and Chihiro enjoys Renji’s lunches as much as ever. She wants him to teach her to cook, so Renji suggests they do something simple. On the way home, Chihiro asks Renji about if he’s decided on his future aspirations and suggests that he could be a novelist. Renji doubts he has the talent, but Chihiro feels that the act of doing is more important since that’s what he had taught her. She simply doesn’t want him to give up on his dream. Chihiro then notices the sand castle that’s still on the beach, and to Renji’s surprise, she helps him rebuild it.
Miyako is meanwhile by herself wondering why she’s depressed since she has merely returned to being how she originally was. Yuuko suddenly appears beside her in this desolate landscape and tells her that this isn’t the place to return to. Miyako doesn’t know where to go, so Yuuko points out that Miyako knows warmth, and as long as Miyako remembers the gentle touch, she can’t choose the wrong path. Back at the church, Renji is telling Yuu that Chihiro’s condition is improving a little because she’s able to remember better, but Yuu thinks that it’s impossible. He doesn’t believe there are miraculous things in this world and thinks that there are only coincidences and hitsuzen. Over at school, Hiro and Miyako are summoned to the counselor’s office about their future aspirations, though Miyako never shows up. Kei still thinks that Hiro should concentrate on his studying over his work, but Hiro then gets a phone call from his editor asking him to do a one-shot. Though Kei objects, Hiro agrees to do it because he knows that newcomers like him need to take opportunities like this. Kei gets angry because of this and decides to go to her club activities, claiming that her body will weaken if she doesn’t move around. The two then get into an argument because each believes the other should rest, and it ends when Kei stomps off by herself.
Kyousuke is the one who takes Kei home afterwards, and since she initially spends the bicycle ride complaining about Hiro, Kyousuke turns the subject to why she started playing basketball. Hearing that the reason is because she loved it, Kyousuke suggests that Hiro feels similarly about his work. At home, Kei sees the movie competition disk on her bed, decides to watch it, and is quite taken in by what she sees. Over at the library, Renji is watching Chihiro work on her novel when he notices her dozing off. She wakes back up soon after and panics because she thinks she slept for too long, even though it was only for a little while. That night, Yuu notices Chihiro is completely out of it during dinner, but when he gets her attention, she claims she just has something on her mind. It turns out that Chihiro is actually trying very hard to keep her memories by constantly running them through her head. When Yuu catches her waking up at midnight to read her diary to confirm that she still remembers, Chihiro reveals that she only writes an outline in her diary. She reads it and tries to remember the things in detail so that she can keep her memory for longer than 13 hours, all because she doesn’t want to lose her time with Renji. Hearing this, Yuu tries to take away Chihiro’s diary and tells her that what she’s doing is useless. She nevertheless desperately tries to get it back, and when Yuu slaps her, she vows not to forget. He eventually gives back the diary.
The next day, on the way home, Chihiro asks to hold Renji’s hand. He’s happy to do so, but right as she reaches out, her eyes turn dead and she falls to the ground. She’s brought back to Yuu’s house and Renji is allowed to see her sometime later while she’s still sleeping. Chihiro wakes up with him by her bedside, however she no longer recognizes him and panics when she realizes that she’s older than she used to be. She has no idea what happened to her eye and goes into shock when she takes off her eye-patch. Yuu remains calm through all this and tells Renji that Chihiro will live at age 12 and with the 13-hour limit forever. As for Miyako, she calls Hiro that night from a payphone but doesn’t say anything when he answers. After Hiro figures out that it’s her, she feels relieved that she hadn’t disappeared yet from his heart.
So Miyako is still relatively sane after all that happened last week, though seeing Kei in a towel at Hiro’s home probably doesn’t help. I think she’s merely really fragile at this point – as opposed to tottering on the brink of insanity – and some time with Hiro is what she needs to return to normal. Kei could still provoke something, but since she’s is warming up to Kyousuke, the original pairings of KeiXKyousuke and HiroXMiyako will likely hold true.
Of course, Miyako wasn’t the focus of the episode – Chihiro and her memories were. I’m still getting used to seeing Chihiro display so much emotion, and this reset of Chihiro’s memory adds an interesting new wrinkle to things, such as her having to get completely reacquainted with Renji. Unless she regains her memories, it’s hard to imagine that their relationship could go back to being how it was, and Renji’s probably due for a good deal of angst. Despite this though, I still think that their story remains weaker when compared to Hiro/Miyako/Kei and am looking forward to next week’s Miyako/Hiro episode.