「心紡いで」 (Kokoro Tsumuide)
Episode at a Glance:
Feeling responsible for everything that’s happened, Yoite no longer desires to be erased and has chosen to die alone. Miharu however claims that everything’s his fault and explains that he wanted to help Yoite disappear if that’s what Yoite really wanted. After hearing how everyone sees him as an invaluable friend though, Yoite decides to live out his remaining days, so that he doesn’t waste the sentiments that everyone has shown him. Yoite also decides not to change the fact that he learned the Kira even though it would save his life, because he feels it’s the reason why he was able to meet Miharu and everyone else. Eavesdropping outside, Kotarou is disappointed that the Shinrabanshou won’t be used like he was hoping and decides to take off. Likewise, the Shinrabanshou is shocked about being cast off Miharu, who tells her she’s not needed anymore.
Back in Banten, some of Miharu’s regular okonomiyaki customers are surprised at how much he’s grown and how lively he is, while his grandmother surprises herself by recalling memories of Akatsuki and Asahi. Miharu, Raimei, and Kouichi then stop by Kumohira and Hana’s place, where Yoite and Gau are now both staying. With a lot of free time on his hands, Yoite has taken up knitting and hopes to finish a scarf before it’s too late (or too warm to use as Miharu puts it). Gau on the other hand is growing accustomed to going to school in Banten and has joined the kendo club to feel closer to Raikou. Hearing this, Raimei is reminded of how Gau searched for Raikou’s body at the temple but only found a charm he was carrying, which she asked him to hold onto instead since Raikou will always be in her heart.
In the kitchen, Hana tells Kumohira how having everyone around seems like they have children, and wonders if this is motherhood even though she’s never thought about having kids before. Shocked by the notion of children at first, Kumohira reveals that he never imagined he’d be able to live such a peaceful lifestyle and figures it makes him happy. Coming by to see if there’s anything they can help with, Raimei and Kouichi inadvertently walk in on their kiss. Over tea and cookies, Miharu and Kouichi catch sight of Shiratama outside, prompting Miharu to ask about Kouichi’s secret and if he’s okay with things like this. While he’s not sure what Shijima plans to do, Kouichi explains that he’s decided to live as Aizawa Kouichi with the parents that raised him. Elsewhere, Shijima discusses with Kotarou how he was quick to accept Miharu’s decision not to use the Shinrabanshou, which the Fuuma leader suggests can’t be helped. Despite being a bit disappointed, Kotarou adds that there were a lot of hosts that were unable to control the Shinrabanshou, but Miharu was the first to conceal it and refrain from using it. Feeling that there’s more to look forward to in the future, Kotarou is content for now, but Shijima points out that he’s not immortal like her and Kouichi. However, Kotarou retorts that she’s mistaken him for Fuuma Kotarou the human, when the successors of Fuuma Kotarou exist among the information collected about the Shinrabanshou.
Needing to pick up a few groceries for the restaurant, Miharu leaves early but Hana sends Kumohira with him to pick up a few things. On their way there, Miharu confirms that Kumohira knew the truth about him all along and finds out that he didn’t want to forget about his grandfather or Miharu’s parents despite how painful it was. With Kumohira feeling grateful to Asahi now, Miharu suspects that his mother purposely left Kumohira’s memories of that day because she felt that the feelings then were important. At the shopping district, Miharu asks Kumohira to cherish his memories of his mother, after which Yukimi and Kazeho run into them and drop off medication for Yoite. While Yukimi is concerned about Yoite’s health, he haven’t visited him once and refuses to do so since he’s a Kairoushuu. Kazeho on the other hand explains that the medication is merely a placebo now, but hopes it can relieve some of Yoite’s suffering. Before taking off, Yukimi entrusts the recipe of Yoite’s favorite hot lemonade to Miharu and says they’ll never be involved with them again. At the bottom of the recipe, Kumohira notices an address. Meanwhile, Kazeho thinks that Yukimi plans to go help Yoite, but he shows no signs of doing so and says he’s fine with things the way they are.
Some time later, Miharu and Yoite head to the address at the bottom of the recipe, which turns out to be where Yoite’s parents live. There, they run into Yoite’s father, but Yoite merely comments on how nice his garden is before taking off. Yoite later thanks Miharu for bringing him here, feeling that it was a small house with a beautiful garden, before expressing how he thought his father was taller than that. Not quite sure if he’s disappointed about this, Yoite simply feels grateful that he met Miharu. Back at Kumohira and Hana’s house later on, Miharu and Yoite are waiting for everyone to come by to visit. Miharu then steps away for a bit to get some drinks and comes back to find Yoite’s body dissolving into the air. Clutching onto the scarf that Yoite’s been knitting, Miharu vows to never forget him.
I don’t think the culmination of everything that Nabari no Ou represented really hit me until the credits started rolling. While there wasn’t quite enough impact from Yoite’s death for me to shed tears, the music leading up to that point resonating a real sense of bittersweetness, which comes off loud and clear after becoming fond of these characters for the past six months. Yoite moving in with Kumohira and Hana, dressed up in grandmother-like clothes and knitting a scarf, may inadvertently draw a lot of gender-type jokes, but it came across to me as someone on his last legs, trying to enjoy his last days as peacefully as he can. Gau attending school at Banten and learning kendo so that he can be closer to Raikou was a nice touch, as was Yukimi entrusting Yoite’s favorite hot lemonade recipe to Miharu. I was also glad to see that Miharu no longer held a grudge against Kumohira anymore, and instead asked him to cherish his memories of his mother. Most of all, it was nice to see Yoite make peace within himself by visiting the parents that didn’t want him, even though his father didn’t recognize him. It was a long epilogue, but I found myself glued to the screen listening intently to all the dialogue.
Despite Nabari no Ou not being the ninja action series that a lot of people expected it to be, I didn’t mind it one bit. While Miharu and Yoite’s relationship could easily be turned into a yaoi one, I never quite understood why a lot of people used that as the reason not to watch the series. In actuality, the whole yaoi premise never took off (nor did I ever think it would), so I imagine it was there just to appeal to the female viewers out there. Regardless, I still really enjoyed the unconvential ninja premise presented in the series and would recommend it to the more mature viewers out there, who are looking for something different than your usual shounen action or Sunrise mecha/politics. Looking back on the past spring and summer season, I kind of wish there were more shows like this, which proved to be relatively unpopular because it strived to be different from the norm. Since the anime is an alternate conclusion to the Nabari story, I think it’s time for me to pick up the mangas I bought and enjoy the ongoing one.
– Rokujou Miharu (六条 壬晴) / Kugimiya Rie (釘宮 理恵)
– Yoite (宵風) / Saiga Mitsuki (斎賀 みつき)
– Kumohira Thobari Durandal (雲平・帷・デュランダル) / Namikawa Daisuke (浪川 大輔)
– Aizawa Kouichi (相澤 虹一) / Hino Satoshi (日野 聡)
– Shimizu Raimei (清水 雷鳴) / Fujimura Ayumi (藤村 歩)
– Yukimi Kazuhiko (雪見 和彦) / Tsuda Kenjirou (津田 健次郎)
– Fuuma Kotarou (風魔 小太郎) / Okiayu Ryoutarou (置鮎 龍太郎)
– Seki Hanabusa (関 英) / Mitsuishi Kotono (三石 琴乃)
– Shinrabanshou (森羅万象) / Tamura Yukari (田村 ゆかり)
– Shimizu Raikou (清水 雷光) / Suwabe Junichi (諏訪部 順一)
– Meguro Gau (目黒 俄雨) / Okamoto Nobuhiko (岡本 信彦)
– Amatatsu Kazuho (天立 和穂) / Kano Yui (鹿野 優以)
– Kurookano Shijima (黒岡野 しじま) / Shindou Kei (真堂 圭)
– Yoite’s father (宵風の父) / Koyatsu Hisanori (小谷津 央典)
– Grandmother (祖母) / Takizawa Kumiko (滝沢 久美子)
– Regular customer (常連客) / Saitou Jirou (斉藤 次郎)
– Regular customer (常連客) / Mori Natsuki (森 夏姫)