As Kotori continues to struggle with her feelings for Junichi, Aisia tries to understand Kotori and the meaning of happiness. She directly asks Nemu whether or not she likes Junichi, but Nemu fumbles around with an answer. Aisia gets the idea anyway, and walks outside to the swing set, wondering about happiness. Misaki (who appears out of nowhere) explains that Kotori is keeping silent for the sake of everyone’s happiness. Aisia believes it’s a mistake to do that, and goes to Kotori’s house. She invites Kotori over to the Asakura house to cook for them since Nemu isn’t around. In the market and on the way there, Kotori has several flashbacks of when she and Junichi were shopping together in the past. At the Asakura house, Kotori has a hard time finding all of the kitchenware because they’ve all been moved since the last time she was there. She makes a Yakisoba salad and goes to put it in the refrigerator only to find the exact same dish already there, courtesy of Nemu. As a result, Kotori quickly takes her stuff and leaves. Aisia confronts Kotori on her feelings for Junichi again, and as Kotori walks away, Aisia can only yell at her, calling her a liar.
Later, the entire group gathers to have fun at a night festival, though Kotori is noticeably absent. Junichi comes looking for her at her home after Nemu is recruited to help at the first aid station. Kotori tries to hold herself back, but she decides to go with him to the festival. The two have lots of fun until it starts to rain. Sheltered under a tree, Kotori gets close to Junichi and tries to confess. Before she can, Junichi hands her a present: the glass musical note that she’s been admiring for so long. It’s a bit damaged, but Kotori says that it’s ok. Junichi leaves to return to the group and Nemu, so Kotori finds herself looking at the ocean alone. Aisia, who watched the entire scene earlier, comes and asks her why she didn’t say what she wanted to. Kotori replies that she really is happy, and that’s not a lie. Kotori starts singing as the fireworks go off in front of her. The next day, Kotori delivers the pictures from the beach trip to Junichi and Aisia, but leaves even though Junichi complains that he’s hungry. Aisia still feels like she doesn’t understand.
This episode is a bunch of ups and downs for me. The good thing is that it’s a Kotori episode that explores how she much she feels Nemu’s presence and how much she likes Junichi. The bad is that by the end of the episode, we’re pretty much status quo. Kotori didn’t confess, and she believes that just being with and around Junichi is enough to make her happy. I’m split about how I think this is going to continue. On one hand, it’s possible that this is it, and that Kotori really is happy this way. On the other hand, despite her saying that she’s not lying, I think she still might be deluding herself into thinking that it’s ok. If it’s the former, then this might be it for Kotori storyline for a while. If the latter, then there continues to be the possibility for more angst like we had this episode. Ultimately, I liked this episode for giving us more Kotori plot, but it irks me that the message that we’re (still) getting is that you can’t win against Nemu.
Apparently this episode is where the animation budget went. It looks significantly better than previous episodes, particularly the latter half. We also get an insert song, thanks to Kotori, called 「アンダンテ」. It’s been a long time since we heard one of those…
I hope that the next episode offers more Kotori, but I have no idea what it’s about and the preview doesn’t help (it has Moe rambling on about nabe). There seems to be a play on words with “moe”, which is the name of the elder Mizukoshi sister and can mean budding (feeling of love), and the title of the next episode, 「芽生えた想い」, which means budding feelings. In any case, the title sounds dramatic again, so hopefully it’ll be good.