Upon seeing how this episode left out the opening sequence in favor of more time, I just knew things weren’t looking good for the SSS members now that Otonashi has decided to help them move on. As hinted by the preview last time, Yui turned out to be his first target. After devising an elaborate plan where Kanade confiscates her guitar by telling her she’s killing the band with her crappy playing (and the other members agreeing with her), Otonashi eventually gets some time alone to talk to Yui. That’s when she actually goes after Kanade to get her guitar back that is, since Hisako wanted her to just concentrate on singing and not play at the same time anyway. Much to my surprise and Otonashi’s dismay though, Yui happened to have a hell of a lot of regrets after being paralyzed from getting hit by a car. As such, most of the things she wanted to do were physical activities she saw on television.
With everything from trying to execute a german suplex and failing miserably several times because she’s as inflexible as a board, to scoring a goal in soccer in a one on five situation and hitting a home run in baseball, the comedy took center stage again making it hard to feel sorry for Yui’s past. In fact, watching Otonashi get his head smashed in over and over again and still continue to let Yui use him as a rag doll for wrestling was pretty funny to see. The same goes for how he coaxed Noda, Hinata, Fujimaki, and TK to help him with the soccer scenario. I got a good laugh out of how Hinata said even an idiot like Noda could read the letter of challenge “from Tenshi” that Otonashi prepared, simply because all the kanji had Furigana written with them. Likewise when they were suspicious as hell upon arriving on the field to see Yui there, yet joined in immediately when they saw her charging towards the goal with the ball.
In the end, this proved to be Maeda Jun’s attempt at misleading us with a lighthearted showing to confuse our emotions like he always does, because a huge curve ball was thrown once the baseball portion came around. It was pretty unsuspecting too, seeing as Yui has no hand-eye coordination whatsoever. When she eventually gave up on hitting a home run and thanked Otonashi for helping her make her other dreams of physical activity come true, I really wasn’t expecting her to say her last regret is never being able to get married. I honestly thought Otonashi was going to peacefully let her move on by insisting that he would marry her, so it was quite a surprise to see Hinata show up and do so instead. Given their love-hate relationship, it was pretty touching to hear Hinata say he’d marry her and tell her he would’ve met her and fallen in love with her even if she was paralyzed. He even went on to say how he’d hit a baseball into her room’s window by accident and meet her that way.
I couldn’t help but be moved by the visions of what it would’ve been like if the two of them did meet while alive, especially with LiSA’s 「一番の宝物」 “My Most Precious Treasure” song playing in the background. However, it wasn’t quite enough to get me teary-eyed due to the revelation that Hinata has decided to help Otonashi as well now. In addition, they just axed off the new vocalist of Girls Dead Monster! (OH MY GOD WTFBBQ!) I guess that means we won’t be hearing any more songs from them in the series anymore, such as the new single “Little Braver” that I was really looking forward to seeing. Story-wise though, they threw in a really nice twist at the end with Ooyama getting attacked by a shadow and Noda in disbelief over what he just cut down. New last boss?
* I agree with Otonashi that handsonic version 5 needs some feathers so it looks more angelic-like.
* Sekine (bass) and Irie (drums) spoke for the first time in the series. They’re played by Katou Emiri and Asumi Kana respectively.