Shouji finds Nana alone at a club and takes her home. She compares him to Junko in terms of being there for her as a friend. When Junko later suggests that they all go somewhere for summer vacation, both of them have already had their hearts set on the beach. During their trip, Nana lets Junko and Kyousuke share a room, but that means that she’ll be together with Shouji, even though there are separate beds. Trying to explain that it’s a bad idea, he tells her that guys can do things without love. Nana starts crying because she didn’t think of him like that, because she really loved him…as a friend that is. Shouji eventually just goes to bed as a gesture of trust so that she can regain the faith in him that she lost. Nana is so happy that she starts singing to him.
The next day, Junko tells Shouji that she’s leaving Nana to him because she’s going to Tokyo. Kyousuke explains that Junko got into an art college and that he’ll be joining her there. When Nana finds out, she cries and tries to stop them from going, but Junko makes her realize that they live their own lives. Nana feels that if Junko leaves, she’ll be lonelier and sadder than that time with Asano. Shouji suggests that they should both also try for Tokyo art schools. Nana takes the challenge and does her hardest at studying. However, several months later, she has failed to enter any of them, leaving her once again unsure of what she wants to do
The four friends happen to be in Tokyo because Junko and Kyousuke are looking for a place to live. Shouji decides to take Nana on some sightseeing, so the two pairs part ways. He tries to make her realize that she has other options, such as studying at a local art school instead of in Tokyo. Nana resists, especially since Shouji is also coming to Tokyo. He starts getting angry at her unrealistic idea of surviving off her allowance and a part-time job. When Shouji tells her that she should stay in her hometown, Nana responds by saying that he’d be lonely without her. He is furious at this point and yells that he wouldn’t be lonely, he’d be relieved. To him, Nana seems to be trying to find a nice guy who can be beside her all the time. Shouji leaves her there, crying on the sidewalk. Nana can’t return to the hotel because she doesn’t know the way.
When Shouji gets back to the hotel, Junko berets him for leaving Nana out there by herself and tells him again that Nana is in love with him. Junko leaves to search for her friend, and, after some thinking, Shouji goes out too. By chance, a familiar guy approaches Nana on the street – Asano-san. He takes her to a restaurant and she tells him about her not getting into an art college. Their conversation leads her to the strange feeling about how she can normally feel bitter about Asano, but when she meets him, she can’t hate him. Afterwards, one of his coworkers comes up to him and greets him by the Asano name, making Nana realizes that it really was his real name. They part ways after she tells him to stop being so unfaithful.
Nana gets a call from Kyousuke telling her about how Junko and Shouji are searching for her. After he tells her that Shouji is really in love with her, she decides to go searching for him. Running through the city, Nana knows that she really likes Shouji, even from when she first saw him. At that time, she was hurt and was afraid of her wounds getting bigger. But instead, he repaired her heart, and Nana now longs for Shouji’s warm strength to hold her tight.
This episode is about Nana figuring out what she wants to do and that it’s Shouji she really loves. Her chance (or fated) meeting with Asano allows her to break off ties with him in a way that brings her some closure. She can now pursue Shouji without the painful memories hanging over her. I’ve watched the episode several times now, and each time it’s Nana’s final lines that I like the most. This is, of course, also attributed to how I love the opening chords of the ending song playing in the background during her monologue. Actually I really appreciate all of Nana’s monologues and the music that plays during them, like the one while she’s having a drink with Asano.
The animation of this episode is definitely a mixed bag. There were some nice detailed shots of Nana (such as right before she parts ways with Asano), but there were also plenty of lower quality distance shots (Junko and Kyousuke near the beginning). Also, I think they would have been a lot better off covering through the end of Nana’s prologue instead of stopping just short. I think I would have enjoyed the monologue at the end of Komatsu Nana’s prologue even more than I enjoyed where they actually stopped this episode. Next week is definitely going to start the Oosaki Nana introduction, so I don’t know how they’re going to transition between the two stories. But I am looking forward to seeing Nobu, Ren, Yasu, and the others!