「Chapter.22 ゆく年 / Chapter.23 くる年」 (Chapter. 22 Yukunen / Chapter. 23 Kurunen)
“Chapter.22 The Old Year / Chapter.23 The New Year”
What a great way to start my Christmas Day. Also, huge props to the director and the team at SHAFT behind this one for having this episode line up perfectly with Christmas Day (or Christmas Eve in some areas). Not that it would have made a huge difference, but the fact that the time matches up with real life really helps it feel that much closer to our own lives.
After an entire season of watching Rei get pummeled by everything ranging from his shitty life circumstances to that god awful step sister of his, it’s about damn time he’s found some happiness. This week’s episode took the opportunity to finally shed some light on Rei’s circumstance and was so bright it eliminated any shadows that tried to creep back. Under the guise of our three favorite sisters showing up to Rei’s place to drag his sickly self to the doctor, what started out as an episode about nursing Rei back to health turned into something so much more.
Watching Akari and Rei have a heart-to-heart right before ringing in the New Years kicked off what I hope is the turning point for the theme and mood of the upcoming episodes. In that moment when Akari finally admitted why she was so appreciative for Rei being at the house (and probably vice versa) instead of just muttering words under her breath, it felt like the pair (and the story) had reached a point where the healing could finally start. Toss in all the warm moments prior when Akari reminded Rei that family, no matter how disconnected or how far, is family and when Rei realized that none of the three sisters never really talk about their dad and I think there’s no denying that moving forward has been cemented into the story.
God, everything that happened after the break warmed up my heart so much that I can barely describe my feelings. With Rei getting to join in with all the New Year’s celebrations and even getting some New Year’s money from Akari’s aunt, you just couldn’t help but have a smile on your face throughout the entire thing.
With things looking up and Rei having a newly ignited vigor in his heart, I can’t wait to see what happens next week. Judging from the preview and what Rei says though, it looks like the match he’s about to play is going to be an important one and seeing how he’s confiding in Momo, I’m fully expecting some awfully cute or at least somewhat cute moments.
See you guys then!