Kyo has a nightmare where Ryoko figures out the truth. In it, she slices a movie screen that’s depicting the server world and Kyo yells for her not to come into the real world. After he wakes up, he yells out “Kaminagi” and then transports to the real world. Ryoko meanwhile gets up and watches the sun rise. She tells herself that morning has come, and then starts to cry. Kyo arrives on the bridge of the Oceanus and wants to know if Ryoko has come. Lu Sheng tells him that Maihama server has many people who are awakening and the Oceanus analyzes them all. Everyone around him is working hard looking at new Celebrant candidates. To Kyo’s surprise, Kuroshio reports that Tomigai’s Celebrant Mode has started to react. Shima decides that the Celebrant hunting time has come and tells Minato to press forward with the data analysis of the route the enemy took last time.
In the server world, Tomigai is showing up at school because he has to take supplementary lessons. Hayase is also there, and Tomigai finds it strange that the second and third years are put together. A Celebra-Icon appears on his head and the girl next to him notices it for the short time that it’s there. When he catches her staring, she doesn’t mention to him what she saw. Suddenly the lights dim and the screen in front of them comes alive with raw data. Out of all the students, the Celebra-Icon appears only on Tomigai and Hayase’s heads; they are the only two people to realize that the data they are seeing is Kyo. Shima decides to keep them in that room for a while because he doesn’t need bridge personnel right now.
Minato then reports that the analysis is complete: the enemy went for the North Pole. The route the enemy took is thus Arque’s parting gift to them. When Kyo tells Chris the news, Chris’ face immediately gets angry and asks where the location is. But first, he and May-Yen have to go out to do some tactical training in the Hraesvelg. Kyo thinks to himself that he understands how impatient Chris feels and how much he wants to avenge Arque. Chris wants to be paired with someone as soon as possible so that he can take part in battle. Thinking about all this, Kyo tells Shizuno that he’s decided to protect Ryoko. Shizuno says that it’s ok, but the person who decides this is not Kyo. When Kyo asks her what she means, she doesn’t answer and just walks away.
Meanwhile, Mizuki is checking out the videos on Ryoko’s computer but finds out that they’re all of Kyo. She opens up the video of Kyo confessing to Ryoko, but Ryoko quickly moves to turn it off. The two discuss her relationship with Kyo, but then Ryoko’s little brother interrupts them by asking for Ryoko’s help with the PAIN of ZEGA game. Ryoko’s strategy for beating the stage is to shoot the gun at the ocean, creating a wall of water. This is of course the same strategy that Kyo came up with in one of the previous battles. Afterwards, Ryoko pays a visit to Kyo’s apartment and announces to him that she’s become the same as him, a Celebrant.
Because it’s hot, the two go to a convenience store to get ice cream. With no clerks around, Ryoko helps herself because she knows that there’s no one to get angry at them for not paying. Ryoko tells Kyo that she knows this world is the artificial world. For fun, Ryoko activates a nearby motorbike with her Celebra-Icon and has Kyo drive her around. On the bridge of the Oceanus, reports are coming in that Ryoko has matured as a pilot. At first Ryoko is fine with going anywhere on the motorbike, but then she decides that she wants to see the edge of the world. After watching those two pass by from on top of a pedestrian bridge, Shima tells Shizuno that this world changed with their entering this world. Shizuno seems ok with such a conclusion, but when Shima suggests that Kyo and Ryoko have “started,” Shizuno teleports herself away. She finds the stray cat in the park and starts petting it, all while having a painful look on her face.
Ryoko and Kyo arrive on a bridge that’s in the middle of construction – the edge of the world. They can’t go to Shibuya like she originally wanted to, and she realizes that the real world really is like how it’s depicted in the game. The one thing Kyo does tell Ryoko about the other world is the beautiful ocean over there. Ryoko thinks it’s unfair because she really wants to see it together with Kyo. He tries to tell her that everyone in this world is still alive, but she’s keener on jumping onto his back. Ryoko wants to film the real world and wants to do a documentary this summer from Kyo’s point of view. She tells him that she understands that everyone here is alive, but admits her own feelings of sadness and pain. Kyo raises his arm and pretends to cut the scenery in front of him, telling Ryoko that this is the answer. He then carries Ryoko back in the direction of home.
Some minor changes to the ED this episode: they added shots of the Altair carrying Ryoko to the end.
Ryoko’s awakening turns out to be a lot less angsty than all the stuff Kyo went through. She pretty much accepts all of it and seems more interested in capturing it on film than anything else. Kyo won’t have to counsel her that much after all lol. It was interesting seeing how Kyo didn’t want Ryoko to cross over the gap in his nightmare, yet he was the one pretending to slash the world for her at the end of the episode. Shizuno, meanwhile, remains the character I feel sorry for because she lost her love because he lost his memory. And now it seems like Kyo’s fate has become entwined with Ryoko’s instead of hers. I guess I’m still waiting for some heavy triangle romance drama to enter into the plot (I think it’s inevitable).
In addition to Ryoko, it seems that Tomigai and Hayase are also Celebrant candidates. It’s not clear what Shima plans to do with them, but I bet that all of Kyo’s friends will become Celebrants by the end of this series. And Ryoko is definitely going to see the real world/Oceanus if the preview is any indication for next episode. Actually that preview is quite weird because it shows the AIs in cat form…