As Christmas approaches, Kobato notices that Kiyokazu has been acting even more distant to her than usual, and she worries that it’s her fault. At the same time, Doumoto has been coming to see her more often, and when he hears about her worries, he tells her that she’s not at fault. Kobato learns later from Chitose that the reason Kiyokazu is this way is because Christmas Eve is when he became all alone and had to be taken in by Sayaka’s father. This leads to Kobato crying prior to the nursery’s Christmas party, where Kiyokazu is playing Santa Claus, because she recognizes how admirable he is. He, however, continues to act cold towards her and tells her that she doesn’t need to worry about him. Afterward, Kobato meets with Doumoto again and confesses how much it hurts her heart to think about Kiyokazu, and Doumoto realizes the best present to give her. He goes to visit Kiyokazu, who is working another job, and makes Kiyokazu understand that his behavior is hurting her. Doumoto sends him to where Kobato is, and once he gets there, Kiyokazu tells her that it’s not her fault. Kobato eventually realizes that Doumoto’s present was to let her make up with Kiyokazu, and the snow leads her to start singing.
This was the best episode of Kobato I’ve seen in a while, if not the entire series. That’s not to say it’s without problems, but I really liked what they did in terms of keeping the emotion level high and in terms of the production quality, namely the snow scenes of the entire last third of the episode. It irked me a little that Kobato continued to blame herself even after multiple people told her it wasn’t her fault, but at least she finally got the message once Kiyokazu himself told her. Given that she hasn’t healed Kiyokazu yet though, I assume we might be coming back to his past again later. Anyway, her song was definitely a nice way to end the episode, and I found it interesting that Ioryogi’s comment about how he’d have to say farewell to Kobato come springtime cast a bit of a foreboding heavy air. If nothing else, it reminds us that there aren’t many episodes left, and it looks like next week will feature Fai and white Mokona.