Momo tells Daniel that there’s no such thing as coincidence because she thinks that the people a main character meets are there to guide, just like in a role-playing game. As they are talking, a boy named Ichihara Kantarou leaves his home. It seems that sometime before, while cleaning his recently-deceased grandfather’s home, Kantarou and his mother had discovered a box specifically addressed to him. In it, his game-loving grandfather had written a note asking him to play one last game. Included with the note was a hand-drawn map with an X indicating treasure. In order to go on this adventure, Kantarou is skipping his supplementary lessons at school, much to the dismay of his friend and class representative, Fujiura Tomato. Kantarou had told her about the game between him and his grandfather, and so she shows up at the train station when he’s about to leave. After seeing that he’s adamant about going on this trip instead of going o his lessons, she decides to go with him.
Kantarou remembers a time when his grandfather asked him about how Tomato was doing. He had explained about her becoming the class representative, but also about her constantly criticizing him. His grandfather had replied that it was because she worried about him. With that in mind, Kantarou notices that Tomato is wearing regular clothes (as opposed to her uniform since she was supposed to be going to school). She fumbles through an excuse, but Kantarou doesn’t seem to believe her. He does, however, compliment her on how she looks and as a result, she moves a little bit closer to him. Kantarou suddenly hears a bell, and notices a pair of kids, one of them with red hair and a straw hat, sitting on the other side of the train. When it’s time to change trains, Kantarou remembers a time when he asked his grandfather about why he played games. His grandfather had thought that the games were exciting because you don’t know what’s going to happen – only people who finish the game know that.
In the next train, Tomato offers Kantarou the food that she had prepared. He wonders why she brought a boxed lunch if meals were offered during supplementary lessons. She hastily makes up another excuse that he doesn’t believe. Tomato then smells salt water and asks Kantarou if he wants to go to the ocean. They get off the train to admire the view of the water, and Tomato laments not being able to come with her swimsuit. Their conversation turns to the nearby seagulls, and Kantarou mentions that his grandfather had talked about how walking is ok if you don’t have wings. Kantarou then hears the bell again and notices the same two kids from before standing on the pier. But they disappear when he tries to point them out to Tomato. Fast-forward to evening time and the two arrive in the countryside where Kantarou’s grandfather used to live. Tomato had planned ahead and brought some money, so they find an inn to stay at.
While Tomato is in the bath, Kantarou comes across the two kids again. They’re playing with marbles and the boy reminds Kantarou of his grandfather. When Tomato comes out of the bath, the kids once again disappear. Kantarou hears the bell again and this time remembers his grandfather on his deathbed. The old man had mentioned hearing a bell and seeing a girl clad in all white – a shinigami. He knew that the game was slowly ending. Back in the present, both Kantarou and Tomato are having trouble sleeping, so Kantarou tells Tomato about the shinigami that his grandfather supposedly saw. She thinks that he’s rather gullible, but then shocks him by saying that she’s moving away soon. Tomato also confesses that she’s not as strong as people think. People rely on her, but she really just wants to rely on someone else. Kantarou says that he’s known this for a long time, and that she can depend on him. After hearing that, she asks if they can sleep together on the same futon, but then says that it’s a joke when he gets all flustered about it. Thinking about love, Kantarou recounts how there was a red-haired girl that his grandfather had liked. The two promised to be friends, but had been separated. These are the types of memories that Kantarou is here to find.
The next day, the two set out to find the treasure, but to very little success. It’s not until Kantarou sees the two kids that he follows them to the correct tree. He unearths an old box that contains a bag, and inside this bag is a marble. There’s also a note that tells Kantarou the next thing for him to do is to find his own treasure. After reading it, he promises Tomato that no matter how far apart they are, he’d definitely go meet her. In the distance, the two children transform into Momo and Daniel. Daniel comments on how Momo had a lot of fun, and she replies that it’s because this is a game.
The theme in this episode is a lot lighter than either of the previous episodes because it doesn’t focus so much on the death aspect. Although Kantarou’s grandfather had died, he had compared his death to the end of a game, which was further reinforcing the life is like a game analogy (which incidentally, is not an analogy that I particularly cared for). It’s also good to keep in mind that the grandfather probably requested that Momo lead Kantarou to the treasure so that he could tell Kantarou to find his own treasure. I think that because this episode didn’t have death hanging over it, it’s able to emphasize the love aspect a lot more than in the previous episodes.
Boy, this series is getting more and more to be like Zettai Shounen from a production standpoint. Not only did there seem to be more feet and leg shots, but Toyonaga Toshiyuki and Mitsuhashi Kanako voiced Kantarou and Tomato, respectively. Those two also voiced two of the main characters for the first half of Zettai Shounen (two characters who also had a romantic connection). And although I still don’t like this show more than HanTsuki, it is a lot better animated in general (minus the constant feet and leg shots).
Hey, we’re already halfway through this series…