Morita appears on the awards show, accepts his award, then starts to rave about how the director abandoned him. Everyone is shocked to see him on TV, but become even more shocked when Morita pops out from behind the curtain beside Takemoto’s bed. Their yelling and screaming gets them kicked out of the hospital, but they manage to retrieve Morita the next morning. Apparently the awards show was pre-recorded and Morita had already flown back to Japan by the time it aired. While Hanamoto-sensei drags Morita off to finish his graduation project, Mayama and Yamada go off in the opposite direction. They talk about his new job and workplace, but pause at an awkward part in the conversation. Yamada runs off frustrated at herself for not being able to say what she wants and for letting it all bother her so much. Meanwhile, at school, Morita presents Professor Tange with his award trophy as his graduation project. Tange lectures him about wasting his talent and says that he’ll only accept a sculpture. When Morita shows him that the award is actually a hand-made sculpture, Tange has no choice but to pass him. That night, after a graduation celebration, Morita carries Professor Tange home, accompanied by the entire group. Takemoto is sad that Morita is graduating, but continues on into the new year. He is walking to school with Hagu-chan, Yamada, and Hanamoto-sensei when Morita shows up again. It seems that he re-registered for school so that he could keep learning.
The return of Morita does not disappoint; I was thoroughly happy with the way this episode turned out. It really reminds me of the right mix of humor and drama that we have had in the past, all well balanced out. Even the art style seemed a little less serious with more round shapes whenever Morita was in the scene.
When Morita carries Professor Tange back home, I was excited to see the entire group together again. Definitely feels like it’s been way too long since we’ve had this type of scene. The seriousness of graduation mixed very well with the humor from Mayama and Yamada. Morita being able to carelessly put up a Victory V just shows how well he ties the scene together.
In that same scene, I was also impressed at how well Honey & Clover is transitioning between point of views. We hear Hanamoto-sensei’s thoughts on graduation, see some of the current scene, and then, while the insert song (Suga Shikao’s Yubikiri (ユビキリ) plays in the background, we quietly switch to Takemoto’s point of view. It’s the little things, like such smooth transitions, that make me appreciate this series more and more.
So I’m going to stop gushing about how much I liked this episode now. Next week preview looks to include a confrontation between Hagu-chan and Morita. I really like the episode title since everything seems to have been moving so slow since Morita left and it feels like we’re back on track since his return.