Surprising Tomoya and Nagisa even further, Kouko had heard the rumor of Fuuko being at the school and running around with her friends. At this point, Nagisa almost tells Kouko the truth, but Fuuko stops her, and Kouko continues on by saying that she knows this isn’t true because she sees Fuuko every day in her hospital bed. She would be happy if Fuuko were surrounded by friends, even if it were just in a dream since Fuuko can’t see anything else right now. Kouko’s question of if Tomoya and Nagisa would be Fuuko’s friends if she attended this school causes Nagisa to start crying. Tomoya tells her that he’s sure that Fuuko is cute and fun to be with, and this leads to Kouko hoping that they can be with Fuuko until the end of the dream. In front of Fuuko, Tomoya then asks Kouko to get married to her boyfriend and claims that Fuuko would want that. He and Nagisa are able to convince Kouko to become happy by getting married, and Fuuko smiles a little. Before they part ways, Tomoya also gets Kouko to admit that she believes her sister will wake up someday.
Afterwards, Fuuko reveals that she didn’t know her sister was hesitating about the marriage and vows to work harder to find people to celebrate it. Nagisa cries again because she feels she’s done something cruel to Fuuko, but Tomoya blames himself since he didn’t believe her. He thinks that her waking up now will make a happy ending, and Nagisa feels that it’ll be soon. The two, however, do notice that there are some people who completely ignore Fuuko when she tries to give them a starfish carving, and Nagisa comments on how it’s as if they can’t see her. Tomoya is then reminded that they haven’t given a carving to Kotomi yet, so he takes Fuuko to the library. Kotomi initially thinks that Fuuko is a bully, but Tomoya clears that up, and Fuuko is subsequently quite impressed with Kotomi’s knowledge of the starfish. Seeing Kotomi accept the carving and seeing the two girls get along well causes Tomoya to comment to Fuuko later on how she and Kotomi are both spaced out and clumsy. Fuuko takes offense and agrees to a tongue twister challenge, but she fails horribly at it.
When Sunohara interrupts their fight, Fuuko warns both guys not to trouble her unless they want something terrible to happen. Sunohara teases her about the consequences, so Fuuko whistles, and a horde of her fan club storms through the hallway and carries him away. After school, Tomoya has Fuuko go home by herself again so that he and Nagisa can visit Kouko to make sure she’s still getting married. To their relief, Kouko reveals that she’s already talked with Yuusuke about it, though she’s having trouble finding a place for the ceremony. She actually wants it to be at the school so that she can get married while surrounded by students, teachers, and her sister. Tomoya then asks her about the kind of girl Fuuko was before the accident, so Kouko tells them about how the two of them had gone to the beach together the first summer after she became a teacher. Fuuko hadn’t played with the other kids her age and had instead stayed behind Kouko, playing alone with a starfish. It was then that Kouko had realized that Fuuko was the kind of girl who doesn’t approach others.
Kouko felt that she couldn’t let things continue like this, so she tried being distant to Fuuko so that she’d have to make some friends. On the morning of the high school opening ceremony, Fuuko had promised to work hard to do just that, and it was after that ceremony that the accident happened. Finished with her story, Kouko wonders why Tomoya and Nagisa are so concerned about Fuuko since they haven’t even met her, and Tomoya tries to explain by saying that they share some resemblances with her. The next day, he and Nagisa talk privately about how Kouko must think that Fuuko sleeps with feelings of loneliness. Tomoya suggests that Kouko will find out the number of friends that Fuuko has made once Fuuko leaves the hospital and starts attending school. As for the task at hand of handing out starfish carvings, Tomoya confers with the others about distributing something else for all the people who are ignoring Fuuko. Although Fuuko doesn’t think this is necessary, Sunohara personally showcases one of the problems with the carving: people don’t know that it’s supposed to be a starfish. In fact, Sunohara had thought it was a shuriken.
The guys don’t like any of Fuuko’s ideas to inform everyone that it’s a starfish, and since Sunohara suggests giving out something cuter, Nagisa starts to offer an idea. Tomoya immediately cuts her off because he knows that she was going to propose the big dango family. He makes the point that it’s not cute, but Nagisa disagrees. Fuuko joins the discussion to say that a starfish is still cuter, and this develops into a full-blown argument between the two girls. Just as Sunohara and Tomoya are thinking that no one can stop this fight, Nagisa gets Fuuko to agree that the big dango family and the starfish can both be the best. The four of them still aren’t able to come up with other ideas, though Tomoya does get to have some fun at Sunohara’s expense by having Fuuko poke Sunohara’s face after she momentarily goes into her happy mode again. Afterwards, he and Nagisa head to the counseling room to meet with an old teacher named Koumura so that they can ask him about letting Kouko have her wedding at the school. Koumura had actually already known about this because Kouko had talked about it when she was still teaching, and he promises to discuss it with the principal and vice-principal.
The two pass along the good news to Kouko, however she has some bad news in return. It seems that Fuuko’s condition changed the other day, and the doctor now thinks that she won’t wake up. Kouko still believes that Fuuko will wake up some day, but she doesn’t know if that will be in a week or in ten years. After getting married, she plans to live in the neighboring town so that she can be closer to the hospital that Fuuko is in and be with her more. Nagisa bawls uncontrollably after they leave Kouko’s home, and even Tomoya gets teary-eyed in frustration. He wonders if Fuuko knew about this and if that’s the reason that the only thing she could do is to increase the number of people attending the wedding. Tomoya later finds out one more troubling thing from Sunohara. Earlier, Sunohara had tried to confront a couple of guys who he had thought were ignoring Fuuko, and he discovered that the two simply couldn’t see her. When Sunohara questions what Fuuko is and reveals that he had heard about Ibuki Fuuko’s accident, Tomoya coldly answers that she’s Isogai Fuuko. Sunohara notes that no one knows anyone by that name, and he’s got another revelation: people are forgetting about Fuuko, including those who got the carving.
The episode had some funny moments (Tomoya becoming a Fuuko master), but it was decidely more serious than previous weeks – just look at how much Nagisa cried – so it feels like we’re getting really close to the climax of the arc. Given how Kouko said the doctor thinks Fuuko won’t wake up though, it seems less and less likely that there’ll be a truly happy ending for Fuuko. Maybe she’ll just disappear after her sister’s wedding, knowing that her sister is happy now. The complication is that people are starting to forget about her, so I imagine it’ll be a struggle to reach that point, especially if Tomoya and Nagisa lose their memories of her too. There’s also the question of why some people can see her and why some people can’t, though I’m willing to chalk it all up to the complexities of her being a ghost/spirit/whatever. Anyway, the next episode title (The Wind that Disappears into Twilight) appears to support the idea that Fuuko will disappear since her name starts with the Japanese character for wind, and the episode after that (Until the End of the Dream) looks to be the finale of this arc, so those of you waiting for things to move on won’t have to wait too much longer.