Kobato. – 13
While Kobato is enjoying autumn and nature, Ioryogi reminds her that she only has two seasons left to get her wish granted. At the nursery, Kobato finds two of the boys fighting over some toys, and part of their unhappiness stems from the oldness of those toys. Kiyokazu gets angry about this, but Kobato recognizes that he’s actually sad, and Sayaka wishes that they could get new ones. In lieu of this, Kobato decides to take Sayaka and the children to play at a huge gingko tree she had discovered. The children love it, and the two boys from before even apologize and make up. Unfortunately, some men arrive to cordon off the area because the tree is due to be cut down the next day as part of the area’s redevelopment. Not content with this, Kobato decides to head out early the next morning to try to save the tree.
Kobato finds Kohaku already there and fills her in on what’s going on. Several of the neighborhood people pass by as well, but none of them really care about the tree, and Kobato thinks that it might be lonely. Kohaku is fortunately able to communicate with the tree, and she reveals that it’s actually happy, citing how all the children had come to play. She also relays that it’s thankful and that it says goodbye, but Kobato refuses to give up and even comes up with the idea of moving the tree. Kohaku, however, tells her a story of another tree that was similar to this tree and had been happiest watching over people. She then lets Kobato hear the gingko tree’s song, and Kobato starts to sing her own song for it, with Kohaku joining her. When they finish, the tree starts falling on its own, and Kiyokazu arrives on the scene in time to protect Kobato. It turns out that the trunk of the tree was hollow, so it was due to die sooner or later, and Kohaku tells Kobato that the tree was happy because Kobato sent it off with her song. In the aftermath, Kobato finds a konpeitou in her bottle from the tree, and she also later comes across Kiyokazu carving new toys from its wood.
So this was actually a somewhat touching story with a more-sweet-than-bitter ending concerning the gingko tree, and Kobato and Kohaku singing her song was very nice touch. It was also interesting seeing how Kiyokazu arrived to save Kobato – that’s got to be a flag of some sort. The only thing that I think was a little bit disappointing was the fact that Kobato magically has all those extra konpeitou, which I guess we’re supposed to assume came from others that she’s helped. I had always thought that we would get to see her gain all of them and that at some point she’d gain a ton of them from one act. The positive way to look at it, of course, is that they saved us from an even more dragged out series and from having to sit through Kobato helping dozens of people. It might also mean that Kobato will actually attain her wish at the end of the series. Speaking of which, what’s with Kobato’s hat? I assume it has something to do with her very existence…