Both Hazumu and Tomari notice that Yasuna is watching them kiss. Yasuna says that she trusted Tomari, but Tomari counters back that she also trusted Yasuna. Yasuna runs across the train tracks and comes over to slap Tomari. Yasuna is feeling betrayed because she thought she was becoming friends with Tomari. But Tomari slaps her back and asks why Yasuna and Hazumu were embracing earlier. When Yasuna turns back around, Tomari has turned into a gray haze. From her point of view, even Hazumu becomes fuzzy and gray. Yasuna collapses on the ground, and the girls take her back to the dormitory. The doctor says that she’s experiencing shock symptoms, and Hazumu spends the night at her bedside. Yasuna’s mother picks up the lifeless Yasuna the next day. Tomari comments on how Yasuna seems not to be able to see them and Hazumu realizes that a certain something must have happened.
At the hospital, the doctor tells Yasuna’s mother that Yasuna’s condition is deteriorating. Not only can she not see males, even females are hard to recognize now. Indeed, she can’t even see her own mother anymore. When Yasuna gets home, Hazumu is there waiting. Yasuna confirms Hazumu’s fears: not only can she not see Hazumu or Tomari, she can’t see anyone now. Yasuna starts blaming Hazumu because Hazumu had split her kindness between the girls, meaning that neither was secure about their respective relationships. After Hazumu leaves, Yasuna realizes that she can’t even see anyone’s faces in pictures or drawings. Yasuna desperately tries to draw Hazumu from what she remembers, but her memory becomes a blur and she’s unable to draw in the facial features.
Hazumu returns home to find Tomari waiting for her. Tomari tries to say something, but Hazumu simply says “sorry” and starts walking inside. Tomari stops Hazumu by saying that her feelings haven’t changed and that she hasn’t given up. She likes Hazumu and doesn’t want to hand her over to Yasuna or anyone. But Hazumu has her mind on Yasuna and says that she isn’t thinking about Tomari at all right now. Tomari still wants a straight answer on who Hazumu likes, but Hazumu runs into the house without saying anything else. Tomari runs to the riverside and has to fight back her tears. When Ayuki finds her there, Tomari really starts bawling to her friend. The next day, Hazumu tries to make plans with Asuta because she doesn’t want to be alone. Ayuki sees Hazumu chatting happily with Asuta and gets angry. Even though she didn’t get on the stage, she feels that she still has to do something now.
Asuta notices that two plants are growing in the same pot where normally only one should grow. While Hazumu tries to decide what to do, Ayuki comes and pulls one plant out. She says that Hazumu should know that two plants cannot grow together or both will die. Ayuki paints a story of how Hazumu would raise both plants and watch them die because she couldn’t choose one or the other. Hazumu would blame herself for not choosing and cry. But those tears are not for the sake of the dead flowers but rather because Hazumu is lonely. Ayuki questions why Hazumu didn’t give Tomari an answer even though Tomari is serious, as is Yasuna. Ayuki accuses Hazumu of being afraid of getting hurt or hurting others. Hazumu asks if it isn’t natural not to want to hurt others, but Ayuki responds that it causes deeper wounds. Meanwhile, Tomari is in the infirmary because of lack of sleep.
In Hazumu’s room that night, Sora and Jan-puu are getting ready to leave. It seems that Yasuna was important in Sora’s research because her symptoms were similar to that of the people on Sora’s home planet, who, because of a lack of the desire to communicate, eventually lost their ability to distinguish between people. In order to cure it, the person needs a strong interest in others; in other words, love. Sora’s work here is done because Hazumu caused Yasuna’s condition to deteriorate. At the same time, Tomari has been called out to the mountain by Yasuna. She explains her condition, including how it’s deteriorated to the point where she can’t identify Hazumu or Tomari. When Hazumu sees Yasuna’s appearance, she wants to stay with her, and Yasuna doesn’t want that because it just ends up being mutually painful. However, Tomari doesn’t believe that because she knows that Yasuna wants to stay with Hazumu regardless of how painful or if she can’t see her. Tomari has come to realize that Yasuna needs Hazumu more than she does. Tomari remembers how they had met at that spot both trying their hardest to save Hazumu when she was being beamed down by the aliens. She had known then that Yasuna liked Hazumu. Because of it, she had been mortified, she had been lonely, she had been insecure; but she was also glad that the other party was Yasuna. She holds her hand out in thanks to Yasuna, and Yasuna responds by calling her “Tomari-chan.” The two shake hands, once again friends.
It’s now 4AM, and both Hazumu and Yasuna can’t sleep. Yasuna remembers what Tomari said in conceding Hazumu, but it appears that Yasuna has something planned herself.
Wow, that was a lot of angst in the first part of this episode. Like everyone else, I was thinking catfight when they started slapping each other. Pity the animation went down a notch. The music however, delivered the full force of the angst in all of the scenes. I can’t wait to hear the OST coming out next month.
My favorite character out of this episode (and perhaps even the series) is Ayuki. I love how her words are often metaphors – Hazumu and the butterfly, the plants and Tomari and Yasuna. I was getting kind of angry at what Hazumu was doing myself, so I think Ayuki did a good job telling Hazumu the reality of the situation (caring less about the girls and more about having nothing and being lonely, while also being overall indecisive).
The series seems to be going for a Yasuna ending now with this development in her condition. Tomari basically gave a concession speech to Yasuna (which in my opinion came a bit too easily), and Hazumu is trying to figure out how to make Yasuna better. The hope for a three-girl ending is still with me though.
Next week, the final episode!