true tears – 10
Though Hiromi is still suspended from school, both she and Shinichirou are glad that they’re not siblings. While she spends her time at home working and studying, Shinichirou decides to take notes for her during class after he notices that her friend Tomoyo is sleeping through it. Noe meanwhile stares at the snow outside the school thinking about how the words that Shinichirou spelled out for her are getting buried deeper and deeper. She wants to see him, but the person who appears behind her is actually Nobuse. He asks her to put a curse on him that makes him not get attached to anyone because he wants to become a cool kind of guy. This stems from how Aiko had earlier wanted to break up with him, and he wouldn’t let her. Noe stares at Nobuse for a moment before taking his hand and closing her eyes as if she’s doing it. Afterwards, she spots Shinichirou leaving school and tries to catch up with him, but after running a few steps, she stops and just watches him walk off.
Nobuse, on the other hand, runs into Aiko on the way home, and she attempts to break up with him again. Taking on a cheerful attitude, Nobuse tells Aiko that he’s fine with it and reveals that he got a curse from Noe. He wants Aiko to smile because he thinks that her smile is the best, and before she can respond, he runs off. Shinichirou meanwhile arrives home that afternoon and hands Hiromi the notes he took. He then heads upstairs and mopes around on his bed thinking about his picture book and what Noe had said about how the place where he flies is not here. After looking at the notes, Hiromi decides to go see Shinichirou’s father about something, and though he agrees to make the arrangements, he asks her not to forget that she’s part of their family. The next day, Hiromi pays a visit to the bike shop where Jun is working and suggests that they put an end to their relationship. She claims that it’s not because she dislikes Jun, but with everything that’s happened, she wants to get away from it all so that she can sort through her feelings. Jun, however, reminds her what he said about breaking up being troublesome and refuses to agree to it.
At school, Nobuse tells Shinichirou about how he and Aiko broke up, and Shinichirou wonders if it’s his fault. He decides to go see Noe at the chicken coop, and though she initially asks him why he’s coming to her, she quickly takes the question back. Shinichirou ends up asking her if she wants to come to the traditional dance practice, and she agrees after getting him to say that he’ll dance for her sake today. When they get there, Shinichirou tries to introduce Noe and Aiko, but Aiko already knows that Noe was Shinichirou’s first girlfriend. While everyone is practicing, Aiko thanks Noe for the curse because she thinks that it’s the reason that Nobuse was able to let her go. She also admits that she liked Shinichirou and gets embarrassed about what she’s saying. To Aiko’s surprise, Noe reveals that there can’t be a curse and starts to say something about if there were one, but she never finishes her sentence.
Noe ends up leaving early, so once the practice is over, Shinichirou walks home with Aiko. When Shinichirou brings up the topic of her breaking up with Nobuse, Aiko makes no attempt to hide the fact that it was Shinichirou’s fault. He then notices the boxes that she’s holding and offers to carry them, but Aiko announces that she won’t let him help her anymore – she feels that she’s graduated from him. That night, shortly after Shinichirou arrives home, Hiromi visits his room and informs him that she’s leaving the house. She reveals that when she originally came here, she had the option of moving into the apartment building of an acquaintance if she felt that living in someone else’s home would be difficult. At the time, she came because she wanted to live here. Shinichirou worries that it’ll be dangerous for her to live alone, but Hiromi ignores him and instead looks at some of the drawings on his desk. Reading them makes her feel that even though she was living in the same house, she probably did not know him at all. Shinichirou continues to try to get her to reconsider moving, but Hiromi has made up her mind.
When the day comes for her to move out, everyone helps bring her stuff out to a waiting truck. Towards the end, Shinichirou finds Hiromi staring out a window reminiscing about when she first came here. He thinks that she doesn’t have any good memories, but Hiromi claims that there were some happy times and cites how they went to the festival when they were little. She still remembers how he had gone without his shoe after seeing that she had lost hers. This surprises Shinichirou because Hiromi had told him before that she didn’t remember, and when he brings it up, Hiromi admits that she can’t forget about such a memory. She can still recall all the feelings from that night, ranging from the loneliness of getting lost to the happiness of being found, and she admits that that’s the reason she came to this house. Hiromi knew that she’d be lonely without her parents and felt that if she came here, then Shinichirou could find her again. However, she also realizes now that she can’t wish for that any more.
Shinichirou tries to respond to all this, but Hiromi hurries out before he’s able to. He initially opts not to see her off as the truck carrying her and her stuff drives away from his house, however after thinking about it, he decides to chase after her on his bicycle. Along the way, he thinks about the first lines of his picture book about wanting to wipe away her tears, and he acknowledges that he’s an idiot. He finally catches up with the truck as it turns around a bend, but as he tries to make the same turn, the bicycle wheel slips on the wet road and causes him to crash into the ground. Having seen Shinichirou in the side-view mirror, Hiromi has the driver of the truck stop so that she can run back to check if he’s okay. She ends up tripping on the snow before she reaches him and falls forward right into his arms. Panting heavily and all scraped up, Shinichirou vows to Hiromi that he’ll do everything properly.
Well that certainly would have made a good final episode. It had all the right elements: girl tearfully separating from boy, the two being reunited in a dramatic fashion, and even an insert song for that extra oomph. The one critique I have is that the scene where Hiromi runs back to Shinichirou after he crashed was a little too long and too overly dramatic, but on the whole, the writers and director have been doing a wonderful job with this. Of course, we’re not quite to the end just yet since Noe and Aiko are both sad and alone, and there’s still the issue of Noe’s tears. Noe technically still has her siscon brother to rely on, but I’m not so sure about Aiko anymore. I’ve said for a while that I thought she’d end up with Nobuse, but after everything it took for her to break up with him and to “graduate” from Shinichirou, I think she’ll just end up being alone but happy.
I guess technically Shinichirou hasn’t truly confessed his feelings to Hiromi yet, so there’s still the chance that the series will swing back to Noe, but it seems more likely that he’ll just help her get her tears back. Three episodes is a pretty long time to do only that though, so I wonder what other things the writers have in store. There’s obviously still the upcoming festival, and there’s also how Jun doesn’t want to let Hiromi go (whether it be because of his own feelings for her or because of his concern for his sister), especially since the preview has Hiromi saying the line “I’m not the one that you like.” When I read the episode title spoilers last week, I thought that it would be said to Shinichirou, but after this week, it makes more sense that she is saying it to Jun. We’ll find out next week…