Knowing what she has to do, Otome says goodbye to Yoshiyuki while he’s sleeping and then heads for the sakura tree. Yoshiyuki is of course troubled by how she’s been acting and is later surprised to learn that she’s taken the day off from school. With the support of his friends, he decides to leave school early to go look for Otome, but even after an entire day of searching, he still can’t find her. Yoshiyuki has no choice but to return home empty-handed, and while Yume is in the kitchen, he wonders aloud what’s going on with Junichi’s disappearance and if it’s connected to Otome. This leads to Yume commenting on how he’s always thinking of Otome, and she accidentally lets it slip that she likes him, but by this point, he had already fallen asleep from exhaustion. In his sleep, Yoshiyuki dreams of Sakura standing under the sakura tree, and she reveals that she has a lot to say to him. She admits that everything is her fault because she brought back the sakura tree after having made it wither a long time ago. She had researched the tree while she was in America, and when she returned to Hatsunejima, she found that a lot of time had passed. Because she was lonely, she had revived the tree and wished for a family – that’s how Yoshiyuki came to be.
Sakura goes on to explain that the tree now grants any wish made, even the bad ones, and she can’t control it by herself anymore. The only way to stop it is to make it wither, but that would mean that Yoshiyuki would disappear. Yoshiyuki quickly realizes that this is the reason Otome has been so bothered, and Sakura starts blaming herself again for all the pain she’s caused. To her surprise, Yoshiyuki responds by hugging her and thanking her for letting him exist like this. Showing that he’s ready to accept what’s going to happen, he expresses how he’s glad to have met all his family and friends, and he calls Sakura his mother for the first time. Sakura then cries in his arms for a while until Yoshiyuki announces that he has to go because he thinks that Otome won’t be able to kill the tree on her own. He wakes back up shortly after Sakura says goodbye to him, and, knowing that it was more than a dream, he heads to the forest where the sakura tree resides. There, he finds Otome by herself, staring at the tree after having cried her eyes out. He tells her that he understands finally what she’s feeling, but he also thinks that the right choice is clear: she has to make the tree wither. Otome still refuses to because she doesn’t want him to disappear, and, through her tears, she questions why she can’t save everyone.
Yoshiyuki’s answer to all this is to confess that he likes Otome, just as he also likes Yume, Wataru, Suginami, and everyone else, and he knows that Otome is the only one who can saved all of them. He feels that he’s already had a happy life and doesn’t want anything else, so he once again urges her to make the tree wither because he doesn’t want everyone to be unhappy due to him. Unable to refuse him, Otome goes through with it the withering, and unbeknownst to her or Yoshiyuki, Yume watches from nearby, shocked at what’s going on.
So is Sakura alive or dead? Alive in spirit, dead in person? It seems like, aside from having a truly happy ending where everyone survives, there’s no more need for her character now that she’s explained everything to Yoshiyuki. Plus, he referred to her as his mother, and that seems like the kind of emotional thing said before a permanent goodbye. Actually, now that I think about it, if both she and Junichi are joined with that tree, that’s kind of like them being together forever. So much for Nemu…
For the most part, this episode did a good job explaining things and moving along the story. If I had a complaint, it’d be that Otome’s crying scene went a bit too long. I wouldn’t say it felt forced (in fact I thought Takagaki Ayahi did a good job with it), but about halfway through, I sort of lost interest and just wanted Yoshiyuki to stop standing there and do something. But that’s a minor thing, and I’m more interested in what happens from this point on. Yoshiyuki technically hasn’t disappeared yet, so I’m sure there’s more emotional moments in store, especially with Yume.