As they make their way through the month of December, Kazehaya and friends finish exams and start planning a Christmas party. Sawako really wants to go, but she remembers how her family normally celebrates Christmas together and is hesitant to sign up. When Kazehaya urges her to go to the party, she makes up her mind that she will, however when she gets home, she’s unable to tell her father because he’s too busy thinking about presents and what they’ll do at home. To make matters worse, she finds out that her parents consider Christmas important because she was born soon after on New Year’s Eve, so Sawako feels that she has no choice but to not go to the party. She thus decides to give Ayane and Chizuru their homemade presents early, and through this Kazehaya finds out that she’s not going after all. When Christmas Eve finally arrives, Sawako’s father accidentally discovers the hat that Sawako had been knitting for Kazehaya and mistakes it for his own present. Sawako can’t bring herself to tell him the truth because her father likes it so much, and she spends the day with her parents.
As the night is winding down though, Sawako thinks about her friends at the party and gets a phone call from Chizuru and Ayane. They put Kazehaya on the phone, and this causes Sawako to start crying because she really wants to be there with them. Seeing this, her mother takes the phone and chats with Kazehaya who tells her that everyone would be happier if Sawako were there. Sawako meanwhile asks her father if she can go see her friends, so her father gives her his present, a cell phone, and sends her on her way. Unfortunately, by the time Sawako finally gets to the meeting place, the party is over and everyone has already left. Everyone, that is, except for Kazehaya. He uses this chance to give her a present – a cell phone charm – and so she shows him the cell phone she just got and gets his number. She also accidentally gives him the present she originally knit for her father, a haramaki, and Kazehaya mistakes it for a neck warmer.
This was an episode that had some touching moments (mainly when Sawako started crying) and a sweet end but a very frustrating middle. With the way things tend to work out in this series, I thought the misunderstandings would get cleared up earlier than they actually did and that Sawako would be able to go to the party or Kazehaya would bring to party to her somehow. Ultimately I enjoyed the episode and was happy to see things work out for the two of them, but I can’t help but blame Sawako a little for letting herself get into that situation in the first place. A little more assertiveness would have taken her a long way. I do have to applaud Production I.G though because this episode looked really good, and I’m a sucker for snow effects.
Anyway, we’re now nearing the end of the series, and if I had been paying more attention, I would have realized two weeks ago that The Television magazine revealed that this series is actually going to be 25 episodes total, not 24 as originally listed. The final episode will thus air on March 30th.