Aizawa Yuuichi arrives by train to a town where he waits for someone in the snow. That person arrives and comments on how the snow has piled up on him, but that’s because Yuuichi has been waiting for two hours. It’s been seven years since Yuuichi has been here and seen her, so the girl wonders if he still remembers her name. At first he says Hanako and Jiro, but he shows that he does remember that her name is Nayuki as the two go off together.
In a dream-like state, a girl remarks that she sees a dream, one that she sees every day – an endless dream with red snow and a world dyed in red. A small child was crying and she wanted to wipe the tears, but her hand didn’t move. The tears flowing down became soaked up by the snow, and unable to do anything but watch, she felt sad. Someone had said that it would be ok, to not cry, and had made a promise. The dream became dyed in another color. “It’s a promise.”
Yuuichi wakes up in an unfamiliar room and tries to remember where he is. In the hallway, he finds Nayuki looking for her school uniform, which he remembers is being washed by Natsuki’s mother Akiko. But first, she instructs him to say ohayou gozaimasu (good morning) in the mornings. Although it’s winter break, Nayuki is the captain of the track and field team, and has club activities today. And since it’s freezing outside, Akiko brings out a basin of hot water to melt the ice on the front gate. As Nayuki is leaving, Yuuichi asks her to show him around town after her activities.
Yuuichi spends the morning shoveling snow and recounts how Akiko is his mother’s little sister. He had come to this town to play when he was young, and it’s been seven years leading up to this reunion. Nayuki eventually returns home and takes Yuuichi out to see the town. She wants him to become familiar with it since he’ll be living here from now on for a long time. Yuuichi doesn’t know about a long time, but he thinks that he’ll live here until at least his high school graduation.
Nayuki takes Yuuichi to show him the school where he’ll be becoming a student, then by the hospital, and then into town. They run into Misaka Kaori and Kitagawa Jun, two of Nayuki’s classmates. Kaori is actually Nayuki’s best friend and Jun clearly has a crush on her. However, Kaori is only using him to carry her bags, so Yuuichi calls him her bag carrier. Jun then tries to keep Yuuichi away by claiming Kaori for himself, but she responds by stomping on his foot and leaving. After Jun chases after Kaori, Yuuichi suddenly has a flashback of a forest dyed in grey, but he is knocked out of it when Nayuki calls his name.
When the two go to a hill overlooking the city, Yuuichi admits that he doesn’t really remember the place or his previous experience here, causing Nayuki to feel that he’ll surely remember little by little. She notices that there’s a fox behind them and tries to approach it, but it runs away. Nayuki is about to say something, but then she claims to have forgotten what. The two then make their way to the market, but Yuuichi insists on waiting outside. She goes in only after telling him not to go anywhere.
Just as Yuuichi is feeling that he’s experienced this seven years before, a girl comes out of nowhere and runs right into him. She looks ready to cry, but she instead pulls him along as she runs away from someone. They go into a cafe where the girl explains that she had been buying taiyaki when she realized she didn’t have her wallet. By chance, a cat had gotten close to the taiyaki, so the owner had yelled to get the cat away. The girl had been so surprised that she had run away at that point.
Realizing that the girl is at fault, Yuuichi makes her go back and apologize. Afterwards, he asks about the wings that are attached to her backpack. The girl doesn’t know what he’s talking about and proceeds to turn around in circles trying to see the wings. When she does finally see them, Yuuichi calls her strange. As they are parting ways, the girl introduces herself as Tsukimiya Ayu. She’s surprised to learn Yuuichi’s name, but claims that it’s nothing. Ayu wants them to meet again and makes it a promise. Those words trigger a flash of a memory in Yuuichi’s mind, but nothing more.
Once Ayu runs off, Yuuichi realizes that he left Nayuki and so he goes back to the store. Nayuki isn’t happy with him because he lied to her about staying there. It’s not until later that night when Akiko tells them not to argue, that Nayuki finally forgives him. She thinks it’s ok since she had left him waiting at the train station yesterday. Before bed, Yuuichi notes that he needs an alarm clock, so Nayuki offers him one of her many clocks. She ends up giving him one with a cat on it and instructs him to say oyasuminasai (good night) at night.
As he sleeps, Yuuichi has a dream about his past. Nayuki had wanted him to go with her shopping so that he could help carry the bags. She had made him promise to wait outside the store, but after she went inside Yuuichi had been run into by a crying girl. Unable to figure out why the girl is crying, Yuuichi had asked what her name was, and the girl admitted it was Ayu. Her crying was drawing a lot of attention, so Yuuichi took her hand and ran off with her.
ED: 「風の辿り着く場所」 (Kaze no Tadori Tsuku Basho) by彩菜 (Ayana)
Watch the ED! Mirror 1 Mirror 1 (17.4MB, XviD)
Well the OP and ED haven’t changed from the Prelude DVD, but I decided to upload them anyway in case you wanted to see the version with credits. Both OP and ED are sung by Ayana, and while I like both songs, I like the ED slightly more.
So this is KyoAni’s version of
Sad-Girls-In-Snow Kanon. Although I know a bit about the story, I haven’t seen much of the previous anime or played the game, so most of this will probably be new to me. Kyoto Animation pretty much met all my expectations for this first episode in terms of plot of production quality, though I kinda wish the Prelude DVD hadn’t spoiled me so much on the high level of quality. Come to think of it, Kyoto Animation’s been doing a lot of ~13-episode series lately (SHnY, FMP TSR, AIR), so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle a 24-episode show.
Actually, there’s a lot of similarities with KyoAni’s Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu. For one, I just couldn’t stop being reminded of Kyon by Sugita Tomokazu voicing of Yuuichi. He’s got that same Kyon attitude here (which is a good thing). Then there’s how much Ayu resembles Mikuru. See the comparison shot (idea courtesy of this blog). In fact, young Ayu crying reminds me even more of Mikuru, mainly because of the crying and the long hair.
So I’m pretty sure I’ll be following this series. The only thing I have left to say is Uguu~! Those parts of the episode were just so cute. Now we can discuss whether Uguu or Gao is better 🙂