On an early morning trek, Hazumu heads to the top of Kashimayama while thinking about how much she loves both Tomari and Yasuna. She wonders what love is. As the day starts, Yasuna is packing her stuff away – it appears that she’s moving. Hazumu goes looking for Tomari, but she’s not at home. Hazumu finds Tomari at school watering the plants and tells her that she’s finally decided – she’s wants to be by Yasuna’s side. She then starts to apologize, but Tomari understands and sprays Hazumu with water. Tomari had wanted to play together, and Hazumu ends up agreeing to the request. They go biking, eating, hitting balls in the batting cage, trying to get a prize out of a game machine, CD shopping, and karaoking. After praying at a shrine, Hazumu asks Tomari what she had wished for. Hazumu reveals that she had hoped Yasuna would get better, and Tomari says that hers was the same.
Hazumu then has one last request: she wants to ride with Tomari on the same bike. They do so, but Tomari jokes about going to the ocean, triggering painful feelings in both girls. When Hazumu tries to hug Tomari from behind, she causes Tomari to lose her balance and causes the bike to tip over. Hazumu starts crying again, but Tomari reminds Hazumu that she’s already made her decision. Tomari starts recounting the time when Hazumu crossed the river to prove that he was going to be Tomari’s bridegroom. At that time, Tomari considered Hazumu hers – someone that she wouldn’t hand over, someone that no one could deprive her of. She had bragged about getting married to Hazumu, growing old together, and having children and grandchildren. The present Tomari tells Hazumu to go to Yasuna and even says that Hazumu is a guy, implying that Hazumu should take responsibility. But Tomari’s no longer able to hold back her own tears, and because she screams “Hazumu!,” Hazumu turns around and gives her a hug. Tomari then skips across the rocks in the river the same way Hazumu did back then. But when she turns around, Hazumu has already left for Yasuna. Ayuki, who had noticed the bikes before, now appears to give Tomari a shoulder to cry on. Tomari acts like she’s fine, so Ayuki hugs her and says that she’ll cry instead.
Yasuna has packed her stuff and left home. She drops her bag while crossing the street and a lady she can’t identify hands it back to her. Soon, her entire field of vision, not just the people, turns fuzzy and gray. But then a bright yellow figure – Hazumu – appears. Hazumu wants to be with Yasuna and declares that she loves her. Hearing those words once again reveals the world to Yasuna. Sora, who is watching them from his ship, starts talking about love. It is something that’s hard to talk about, and it cannot be seen. Love can cause pain and cause gaps to widen between people, but they want love anyway; it is their reason for living. The heart can go back and forth between a wide range of emotions, from laughter to tears to anger. But no matter how painful it is, without love, the lives that are lived lose their worth. Sora and Jan-puu then disappear in their spaceship, covering the world in a beautiful rain of sparkles. Yasuna decides not to leave after all, and everything returns to normal. One afternoon, Yasuna tells something to Hazumu and Hazumu in turn tells Tomari from the symbolic spot across the river, but we don’t hear what it is.
Eh, I think they spent too much time on Tomari for this to be a Yasuna ending. They spend the first 17 minutes on Tomari and Hazumu, resolve Yasuna’s problem in two minutes, and the rest is conclusion. Actually, they kind of left the ending open, so who knows. With Hazumu saying something to Tomari from across the river, they seem to be implying that the three girls will be together.
Maybe they’ll continue where they left off in the DVD 13th episode (yes there’s going to be a DVD 13th episode).
Having made that complaint, I found myself rooting for Tomari near the end here. She’s gotten a lot more character development and moments of angst in the past few episodes, and you can’t help but feel sympathetic for her after Hazumu chooses Yasuna.
Final Thoughts: It’s rare to find a series that follows the manga, but can go a step above and beyond to make it even better. That’s exactly what Kashimashi does for the first nine or so episodes. Over the course of the series, I changed from being a Yasuna fan to wanting all three girls to be together, and now I slightly lean towards Tomari. I didn’t like certain aspects of the final arc (the Yasuna ending and the lack of focus on Yasuna in this ending), but there was certainly a lot of angst getting there. I’m holding out and hoping that this episode isn’t the true ending and that title will go to the DVD episode.