Shigofumi – 09
During a visit to the hospital, Kaname informs the others that there have been overseas cases where people who have been talked to have woken up. Fumika tells her sleeping half about her visit to see Kirameki and how Kaname and Natsuka are here to see her. She wants her other half to wake up so that they can go to school again and do all the things normal students do, such as making a lot friends. Hearing Fumika say all this causes Natsuka to wonder if it was Mika that she first spoke to all those years ago because of how she had used the pronoun boku just like she does now. Fumika admits that it was her and cites the reason to be how she wanted to create an opportunity for Fumi to make a friend. Their conversation is then interrupted by the arrival of Chiaki who quickly realizes that the reason that Fumika continues to age is because she’s not really dead. Chiaki is here to ask Fumika to the beach with her, and to Kanaka’s surprise, Fumika agrees under the condition that she decides the specific destination.
The group ends up heading by boat to some southern Japanese islands, and this turns out to be Fumika’s first trip. Her ultimate destination choice is not the island where their inn is located though, but rather a nearby uninhabited island. When alone with Natsuka, Kaname wonders what Fumika is thinking, and Natsuka feels that this question applies to him as well because he should be using this chance to confess his feelings to her. Kaname tries to dismiss this as something that happened in junior high school and thinks that it has nothing to do with Natsuka, but she is insistent because she sees Fumika as her friend. Unbeknownst to them, Chiaki and Fumika are listening from the next room, and Chiaki wants to know if there’s someone else that Fumika might have feelings for. Fumika admits that she does, but when she reveals that it is Fumi, Chiaki points out that she’s talking about liking herself. As a result, Fumika concedes that she doesn’t understand the concept of love and asks Chiaki about her experiences, but Chiaki is unwilling to go into detail about it.
That afternoon, while in the bath, Chiaki asks Fumika why she came to these southern islands since she knows that Fumika has work. Fumika surprises Chiaki by revealing that she’s doing her job right now, and Kanaka concludes that this means that there’s a Shigofumi delivery to be done on that other island. After getting out of the bath, the girls discuss how there’s someone dead on that island, and when Natsuka becomes afraid, she doesn’t look where she steps and falls down a staircase, right onto another of the inn’s guests. Already on edge, Natsuka gets even more scared when she sees the kama that fell out of this female guest’s suitcase. It turns out that this girl, whose name is Shirakawa Touko, is on her way to visit her ancestors’ grave and needs the kama to cut the grass around it. Chiaki and the others admire her for doing her duty by visiting the grave, but Touko admits that she’s also got someone she wants to confess to and had heard from a television program that she’d get a lucky chance at love by doing this. This leads to the girls discussing confessions, and Chiaki starts drinking. Fumika, however, tries to go to bed.
The next day, the group heads out to the island, and Touko explains that it’s her grandfather’s grave that she’s visiting. When she reveals that his name was Kiyosumi Saizou, Chiaki recognizes it and realizes that this person had gotten married. She’s in a restrained mood by the time they reach the island and ends up telling Fumika about how she recently visited the town where she was born. Everything had changed in the 50 years since she died, and so she feels that the only thing that hasn’t changed is herself. After hearing this, Fumika suggests that they visit the Kiyosumi family grave too. There, Chiaki wonders if Saizou led a happy life and finishes paying her respects by praying, however she then notices that there is a Shigofumi stamp on one of the gravestones. The stamp is stuck between two engraved names – Kiyosumi Saizou and Kiyosumi Chiaki – and it is at this point that Fumika reveals that the sender of the Shigofumi was Saizou. Touko, however, doesn’t recognize the name Chiaki and explains that her grandfather had never married – her mother was actually adopted.
All of this brings back Chiaki’s memories of how she had met Saizou when he got her cat out of a tree. The two had quickly fallen in love, and during a car ride one night, he was on the verge of proposing to her. However, he was never able to finish saying the words because a car crashed into them moments later, and it killed Chiaki. Now on the verge of tears, Chiaki talks about how Saizou should have found someone else, and she gently scolds him for proposing again via a gravestone. Nevertheless, she accepts. On the subsequent boat ride back, Touko tells Natsuka that she’s decided to confess to the boy she likes.
After the disappointing episode three weeks ago, I’m impressed by how well the series has been since then. They had hinted at Chiaki’s back-story in episode five, and I’m glad they decided to come back to it. This turned out to be the most touching of all the episodes so far, especially with that last scene, though the writers also did a good job of weaving some humor and cuteness into the episode (such as Kanaka and Matoma on vacation or Fumika’s reaction to the cat). And after watching this, I think I actually like Chiaki as a character now more than I do Fumika or anyone else (Kanaka is probably my second favorite if that gives any indication of the types of characters I like in this show). Unfortunately, next episode doesn’t look nearly as promising because it appears to be a standalone, and since I had hoped that we were past that phase of the series, I’m not exactly looking forward to it.