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the waltz dramatic...
...is the front page of my honey and clover fansite. You will find my blog, hachikuro radio, blog links, the episode guide, episode summaries, character profiles, some of the soundtracks in SWF format and the soundtrack lyrics as well.
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will not fade...
...or memories will not fade is the picture gallery. You will find episode screenshots, avatars and wallpapers. It's the place to be when you're looking for HnC visual art!
just keep pedaling...
...a little bummed with the ending? Read their diaries and find out what happened after. You can find my roleplay diaries of Takemoto, Hagu, Mayama, Yamada and Morita here.
my simple wish
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For a long time, Takemoto had wondered if a love that didn’t ripen had any meaning and if things that disappear were are the same as things that weren’t there in the first place. In the aftermath of Shuuji’s confession, he and a visibly shaken Yamada are having coffee together. Shuuji confirms that his feelings are just as she heard - he loves Hagu. But as for how long he’s liked her, Shuuji is too embarrassed to say. He also hasn’t told Hagu, although he thinks that she probably knows. Still in shock, Yamada is stuttering through her words, barely able to talk since she had never noticed until now. She suddenly turns around to go tell Hagu, but Shuuji holds her back. It’s at this point that Mayama walks up to the pair, having returned from Spain. He immediately hugs Shuuji happily, saying that he heard the news from Professor Tange. After they settle down, Mayama asks if it’s ok that Shuuji is leaving the school, worried about his living expenses. Shuuji thinks he’ll be ok since some publishers have asked for his work and he’ll be able to do some art history seminars, causing Mayama to realize that Shuuji has really decided this time. Later that afternoon, Mayama thanks Yamada for contacting him about Hagu. In return, Yamada thanks him for finding Morita, but she also has doubts about whether she did something unnecessary again. Mayama tells her that he felt that things could only develop like this and goes on to talk about the meaning of living, saying that there are people who love and there are people who don’t. He thinks that Hagu has things that she must do, prompting Yamada to ask if those are more important than love. Mayama responds by saying that it’s not about which is important and which is correct. He suggests that Yamada use her instincts to judge before worrying.
By nightfall, Shuuji returns to his room at school and finds Rika waiting there. He confirms to her that he is indeed leaving, and the two then share a tearful embrace. Shuuji remembers how he and Tange had earlier talked about his leaving. Tange had said that Shuuji had looked like he couldn’t move from here because he lost the exit. After what happened with Harada, Shuuji had been unable to honestly face things. It wasn’t until Shuuji brought Hagu here that it was apparent that he was gradually returning to normal. Tange had ended by saying that this time it was Shuuji’s turn to save Hagu, which is also the same as saving himself. Rika admits that she had wanted to come sooner, but she was in the middle of some important work. It was in fact Mayama who had stopped her and told her that if they returned, they wouldn’t be anything that they could do. When Mayama had said that returning then would cause Shuuji pain, Rika had countered by challenging what Mayama understood about Shuuji. Mayama claimed that he had indeed understood because he had been with Shuuji for these past six years and the Shuuji he knows is a respectable man. Having now heard about this, Shuuji thinks that Mayama should have said it to him face-to-face.
Around this period of time, Kaoru is walking through a town looking for an address, remembering what had happened when he had taken over the company from the Floyd Electric president. He arrives at the home and finds the president’s family preparing the garden trees to get through the winter. The president’s wife is remarking about how there was someone who would lend them this big of a house on the sole condition that they maintain the garden’s greenness. The president, who is sitting nearby, apologizes to everyone for their hardships since he lost the company. His grandson actually thinks it’s fun, and his son agrees, saying that he’s happy because they can all be together under one roof now. The president’s daughter-in-law also agrees and his wife suggests that he feel better. Watching as the scene unfolded, Kaoru can’t help but be reminded of his own childhood since this is actually his old home. He realizes that this must all be the doing of his brother and Shiroyama. Kaoru ends up calling Shiroyama, but doesn’t say anything at first. Shiroyama figures out that it’s Kaoru on the other end and wonders where Kaoru went off to for all this time. He says that there’s a mountain of documents waiting for Kaoru’s signature, but more importantly, he tells Kaoru that everyone is waiting for him. As Kaoru starts to cry, Shiroyama turns less serious and asks if Kaoru would be interested in a system that took 190 yen from each woman aged 20-34 in the world. A now smiling Kaoru says that it would have to be 230 yen, and then declares that he’ll return tomorrow. He also has Shiroyama to gather everyone up to prepare a meeting. When Shiroyama asks what Kaoru would like to eat when he gets back, Kaoru of course answers curry. In the end, Kaoru thanks Shiroyama for everything.
Meanwhile, Hagu remarks to Shuuji outside the hospital that the white pigeon in front of her resembles Yamada with its eyes, good posture, plump chest, and pink feet. She then recalls how Satsuki-sensei had told her that she could touch clay during rehab, and she hopes that she can learn from Yamada how to make pottery. Hagu wants to make pigeons first; she’ll give one to Yamada and one to her father’s wife and new baby. Hagu is unsure if she can make it in time, but Shuuji believes she can because the baby won’t be born until spring. The two walk off, holding hands and talking about spring. It was the next day that Kaoru returned to the company and Shinobu found him eating curry. Shinobu is pissed off at his brother, but Kaoru simply has Shiroyama get another plate of curry for Shinobu, one with extra meat. That night, as they are sleeping in the same room, Shinobu reveals that he’s going to Peter Lucas’ place. He explains that he really likes the old man and that company and recalls how happy everyone was to play with beam sabers after the electricity went out. That was the first time he had seen such foolish adults, outside of their own father. When Kaoru asks about Hagu, Shinobu remembers that she had told him that she’s always going to be watching him. She had seen through him when he had wanted to throw everything away and had told him to not run away so that they could struggle through it all together. Because of what she said, Shinobu feels that he can’t do anything but his best. Still, he wants to stand in front of her again and show her something new that he’s created. To him, it at last feels like it has become bright before his eyes. Kaoru attributes that to the fact that it’s already morning, but says that he finally understands what their father said about heading towards the light.
When spring comes, Takemoto and the released-from-the-hospital Hagu both graduate. The group holds a celebration for both the graduations and for Takemoto going off to Morioka to work. The only one not with them is Shinobu, but he happens instead to be on TV with Peter Lucas. Shuuji notices Hagu’s smile as she watches Shinobu go crazy on TV, and then asks Takemoto what time his Shinkansen leaves tomorrow. After Takemoto reveals that it’ll be 9:30 in the morning, Shuuji wonders about Takemoto’s apartment. Takemoto explains that he already finished tidying up the place, and Mayama interjects that Takemoto will be staying with him tonight since this is the end. His choice of words causes an awkward silence between the group as they think about this last time. Shuuji finally suggests that Hagu go buy some ice and he has Takemoto go with her. Once those two go off, Mayama, Yamada, and Shuuji all admit that they were almost about to cry. Takemoto ends up taking Hagu to the store on his bike with sakura trees blooming all around them. Hagu tells him that she thinks the temples he fixes will be blessed because she had seen how he hadn’t cut corners while working on his tower. That’s why she thinks he’ll be putting his heart into fixing those temples, and surely those temples will be happy. After Takemoto thanks her for her words, Hagu says that she’ll also do her best so that she won’t lose to him; she believes her right hand will definitely heal. It has to because otherwise she can’t return anything to Shuuji. Takemoto disagrees, saying that the things that Shuuji wants aren’t the things that Hagu can return to him, but rather the things he can find himself - that’s the type of person he is. Hagu starts crying, but she thanks Takemoto.
As he gets ready to leave, Takemoto recounts the details of his now-empty room: it is six-tatami with no bath, a ten minute walk from college, built 28 years ago, rent of 34,000 yen, and the morning sun shines because the room faces east. Today is the day that Takemoto leaves this place. He arrives at the station and is putting away his bags on an empty train when he sees Hagu outside - it seems that she came with a special package for him. Takemoto responds by hugging her as a goodbye, but then the bell sounds for the train to leave, separating the two. As the Shinkansen starts off, Hagu runs after it and waves goodbye, unable to hear what Takemoto yells to her. Takemoto sits down afterwards and opens up the package, revealing several slices of no-crust bread forming a large sandwich. At first, he smiles and just checks to see what the filling is. He is quite surprised to find honey and a four-leaf clover between each piece. Hagu’s wish had been to give all of the happiness to him. Crying as he eats it, Takemoto recalls how he had always thought about the meaning of love that didn’t go well, about things that disappeared being the same as things that weren’t there in the first place. He understands now: there is meaning. Takemoto is glad that he liked Hagu. .
In the aftermath, Rika and Mayama return to Spain where Mac Carlos is as feisty as ever. Miwako, Yamazaki, and Leader remain at Fujiwara design with Mario and Luigi. Yamada continues her pottery and appears to be warming up to Nomiya. Kaoru works with Shiroyama while Shinobu works with Peter Lucas. Shuuji and Hagu are determined as ever to get through Hagu’s rehab. Takemoto meanwhile rejoins Shin and the repair crew he met on his bicycle journey. Looking up to the blue sky, Takemoto remarks that time passes by and the day when everything becomes a memory will surely come. However, he was there and she was there - everyone was there, searching for only one thing on that day that was like a miracle. It will always be a sweet pain, that distant place inside his heart - always nostalgic, always continuing to turn.
For this final episode, I thought Nojima Kenji did a pretty good job in Takemoto’s part. It did sound different, but I quickly got accustomed to it. (For those of you who don’t know, Nojima Kenji voiced Takemoto for this last episode because Kamiya Hiroshi was injured in a car accident.) Although I do wish that Kamiya Hiroshi had been able to voice the role to the very end, this way worked too.
As for the ending, it did a good job wrapping everything up, with maybe a few minor exceptions. Since they were strapped for time, they cut out all of the NomiyaXYamada stuff from the final chapter. In a way, I feel a bit jilted given how much development Yamada and Nomiya (and Mayama) had, but I also understand that there were more important things they had to show. And of course, the final lines of the series reflect back on that day when they were searching for the four leaf clover - a very fitting end. hop to: [the frontpage] [my hnc gallery] [roleplay blogs]
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After Hagu wakes up and finds a sleeping Shinobu beside her, she suddenly gasps and lets out a small cry that wakes him. He quickly asks Hagu what is wrong, and she tells him that her hand is swollen, so she must return to the hospital. Starting to make her way out of the room, she calls out for Shuuji as Shinobu grabs her arm. With Hagu insisting that she needs to go back to the hospital or else her hand is going to get worse, Shinobu gives in and takes her back. Upon arrival, Hagu and Shinobu find Shuuji waiting by the entrance. Hagu runs to him and he escorts her back to her room, leaving a disheartened Shinobu. While Hagu sleeps, Shuuji steps out to the corridor and punches Shinobu in the face, knocking him down.
A little while later, a light tap from her window wakes Hagu up. She turns to see that it is Shinobu, who asks how her hand is. Hagu tells him that it is fine and apologizes for scaring him earlier. She then asks what happened to his cheek. Shinobu reveals that Shuuji punched him and that he returned the punches to Shuuji thrice as much. He assures her that it is all right because, after all, they are in the hospital. As he approaches her bedside, Hagu tells him that she is sorry, but she does not answer when Shinobu asks her why she apologized. He then realizes the meaning of her silence – she has already decided. While holding each his hand, Hagu asks Shinobu to watch her and promises that she will get better. She shares that it is all right if she doesn’t get better to leave her mark. All she wants is to draw. She will always be watching him and she will never forget the words he said to her the night before. She also urges him to say all the things he had told her to his brother.
Afterwards, outside the hospital, Takemoto greets Shinobu by saying that Shuuji will kill him when he finds him, but Shinobu reveals that he and Shuuji had already exchanged blows. He adds that he should have punched Shuuji more than just four times as much. Takemoto then asks Shinobu to get on the bike he is riding. He takes Shinobu to Shuuji’s office where they find it all cleared out. When Shinobu asks if Hagu is aware of what Shuuji had done, Takemoto answers that she does not and that Shuuji had asked him not to tell her because he wanted her to decide on her own. Shinobu swears under his breath as he realizes that Shuuji has finally made his move – to sacrifice everything for Hagu. There was no way he could beat that. As Takemoto looks around, he sadly thinks about how they can no longer go back to the happy times they had spent there together.
The moon was already out when Shuuji decides to return to Hagu’s room. Hagu lets him hold her hand while she asks him to please give his life to her. She apologizes for requesting that of him when she does not know if she can give anything in return. She just wants to draw for the rest of her life - that is why she is asking him to stay by her side till the end. In stunned silence, Shuuji buries his face into Hagu’s bed. Hagu quickly says she is sorry and wonders if it was too much to ask. Shuuji lets out a laugh and tells Hagu that he will give everything to her even if she does not give him anything in return. In Hagu’s thoughts, she says that she loves the rain. The sound of it soothes her and it feels as though the rain is healing her and everything around her. To her, Shuuji is like the rain; the sight of him is so comforting that she is moved to tears. He always comes to look for her when she is lost and gently reaches out to her. Being with Shuuji makes her at ease and causes her to feel that she can become more than what she is now. Shuuji is very precious to her – he is her rain.
The next day, Shinobu wakes up shivering as he realizes that he had slept on the floor. He then hugs Takemoto to warm himself up. Both are disoriented after drinking beer all night, and they wonder whether it is 5 o’ clock in the morning or in the afternoon. After hearing both their stomachs grumbling, Shinobu invites Takemoto to get some food with him and volunteers to pay for it. The two eventually find themselves sitting by the riverbank enjoying a meal together. Shinobu admires how the river is so bright and shiny as though it has a layer of oil on the surface. Takemoto concludes that the brilliance of the river and how only the convenience store was open mean that it could only be morning right now. After Takemoto sneezes, Shinobu scolds him. Takemoto apologizes, saying that catching a cold cannot be helped since they slept on the cold floor without using a futon or anything else.
He is about to eat the grilled pepper garlic sausage he is holding when Shinobu suddenly strangles him and demands him to give the sausage back. After a few moments of struggling, Takemoto surrenders it to Shinobu and comments that he agrees with Hagu for not picking a guy like Shinobu. Shinobu demands an explanation and wonders if Takemoto is not bitter about Hagu’s decision. Takemoto answers that he is bitter, but after some thought, he realized that only Shuuji can make Hagu happy. Out of anger, Shinobu eats the last of Takemoto’s food, an act which results in a fistfight between the two. Shinobu throws a flurry of kicks at Takemoto while yelling that he is the last person he wants to hear that from and that Hagu rejected him ages ago. Busy blocking Shinobu’s attacks, Takemoto answers that he has accepted Hagu rejecting him, but he is satisfied knowing that he did not lose her to Shinobu.
Annoyed by Takemoto’s words, Shinobu calls him unskilled and a pauper. Takemoto retaliates by saying that he’d rather lose to compassion and honor than to money and talent. He succeeds in landing a solid punch square on Shinobu’s face and knocking him down. Lying down on the grass silently, Shinobu thinks about how talent can cause someone to love, hate, or curse you. He had lost people he loved because of his talent and saw Hagu as a safe haven for him. This realization makes him feel like he’s the worst. Shinobu gets up and bitterly admits that he knew from the beginning that Shuuji was the one who could make Hagu the happiest. Two dogs then bite his and Takemoto’s legs and stop them from exchanging another round of punches. They turn around to see that a group of old men have been watching them. Nostalgic and misty-eyed, the old men give them approving nods and thumbs up. Takemoto and Shinobu freezes and start making excuses that they were just getting some practice. The old men reminisce about their younger days as they watch Takemoto and Shinobu walk away.
Back at the hospital, Shuuji is busy tending to his aching back and shoulders because he slept sitting on a chair when he suddenly hears a soft thud coming from outside the room. He goes out and discovers that somebody had left a box filled with money with a note saying that he should help Hagu get better no matter what. Shuuji soon realizes that it was from Shinobu, who is already walking away from the hospital. When Shuuji calls him from the room window, Shinobu turns around and gets hit with the box of money. This leaves him confused and he starts to tell Shuuji that it is for Hagu. Shuuji cuts him off, shows him a fistful of money, and tells him that this much is enough. Shuuji promises to return the money, but not Hagu, so Shinobu warns him that it is not over yet. Shuuji knows that very well and promises that Hagu will definitely get better, so he can rest easy. In the end, Shinobu asks Shuuji if he loves Hagu or not. Slightly embarrassed, Shuuji declares that he does, he loves her very much. After hearing this, a number of people, including Yamada, start to blush and are in a momentary state of hysteria. Shinobu slowly continues on his way, satisfied at what he heard. hop to: [the frontpage] [my hnc gallery] [roleplay blogs]
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Yamada meets with Dr. Satsuki, Hagu’s doctor, at the hospital after Yamada brought some food, but was unable to find Hagu. Dr. Satsuki tells her that Hagu, after finishing her rehab session, has gone to do some hydrotherapy with her father, referring to Shuuji. Yamada quickly corrects the doctor that Shuuji is not Hagu’s father. They both suddenly hear a wail right as Yamada is asking about Hagu’s condition. The wail came from a boy named Ryo, who was doing some rehab work in a room nearby. Yamada and Dr. Satsuki look on as Ryo vents out his frustrations about the pain he is experiencing and how sick and tired he is of doing rehab everyday.
Dr. Satsuki shares to Yamada that Ryo was involved in a car accident and has been in rehab since last month. Ryo continues to bawl in pain as Dr. Satsuki expresses how difficult rehab is - even grown men would be afraid. She continues by saying that most people tend to give up rehab when they heal to a certain degree. However, the same cannot apply to Hagu because her future as an artist relies heavily on her full recovery. Furthermore, her injury is on her dominant hand. Still, the doctor believes that Hagu can do it because she is strong and because her fear of pain is probably nothing compared to her fear of not being able to draw.
As Yamada was sadly thinking of what the doctor has told her, she hears Hagu call out her name. Yamada looks up to find Shuuji and Hagu walking towards her. Shuuji questions why Yamada is at the hospital again and whether she has been taking care of herself or not. Yamada cheerfully tells them not the worry, as she is very well. She then presents the food, sweet-boiled tendon and kumquat, that she cooked for Hagu. Shuuji, with a terrified look on his face, comments on the odd odor, but Yamada is oblivious to his apprehensions. When Hagu finds it quite tasty, Dr. Satsuki becomes interested, so Yamada invites her to have some too. Shuuji tries to stop her, but is too late. The adverse effects force the doctor to lay down on a couch with her eyes closed and arms crossed. She tells Yamada that it is not necessary to mix together different nutritious food into one dish. Shuuji, in a panic, tries to ask for help as more people fall victim to Yamada’s cooking. Hagu, meanwhile, happily scarfs down the food and continues to praise the cooking. Yamada then announces that she will make more, much to Shuuji’s terror. Later that night, after serving her last customer at her family store, Yamada notices a bottle labeled “Morita” and wonders where Shinobu is, recalling how he promised to leave a videophone in the event that he goes away again. Under her breath, she calls Shinobu a liar because he did not fulfill that promise. She stares at her laptop for a brief moment and then decides to send an email to Mayama. In Spain, Mayama receives that email after wrestling Mac Carlos out of Rika’s door.
Sometime later, Yamada is giving Takemoto shattered pieces of pottery for him to use on his tower when Shinobu suddenly shows up and asks where Hagu is. In shock due to his sudden appearance, Yamada starts throwing a barrage of questions at Shinobu. However, he cuts her off and asks where Hagu is again. As soon as Yamada tells him, without a moment’s hesitation, Shinobu dashes out through the window and heads toward the hospital. Takemoto, still in disbelief, wonders aloud how Shinobu came to know about Hagu’s condition. Yamada reveals that it was her doing - she had sent an email to Mayama asking him to find Shinobu. As she starts to apologize to Takemoto for what she did, Takemoto stops her and tells her that an apology is not needed. He decides to take off too, but when he tries to go through the window in the same fashion as Shinobu did a while ago, he bangs his knee and crashes into a pile of trash outside the window. Gritting his teeth, he picks himself up and asks Yamada to lend him her bike. He knows he will be rejected, but he also knows that Hagu is the one in pain. This is not the time to be thinking about how pathetic, pitiful, and powerless he is. He declares to himself that he must not make a mistake, he does not want to, and that he desires to be at least that much of a man.
Back at the hospital, Shuuji aids Hagu in her rehab work by applying a bit of pressure to her right palm. He asks Hagu if it hurts or not and tells her not to push herself. Hagu admits that it does hurt, but she can still handle the pain. Suddenly, the same boy from yesterday starts screaming and crying from pain as he loudly expresses his hatred of rehab. Seeing how Hagu distressed becomes from the boy’s anguished words, Shuuji suggests that they go out for a while. Outside, Shuuji holds Hagu in an embrace as they sit together on a bench. When he tells her that she can freely throw a tantrum as she must not keep her emotions locked up inside, Hagu confesses that she is afraid that once she starts, she may not be able to stop herself. Shuuji reassures her that it is all right, but she insists that she must not. Hagu worries that if she causes anymore trouble for Shuuji that he would eventually end up hating her. Shuuji then relates to her all the times that he had to take care of her in the past and tells her that he did not hate her then, so he will not hate her now. After Shuuji promises that he will never change, Hagu finally breaks down and let’s all her fears come to the surface. She admits that she is very scared to the point of not knowing what to do. With deep desperation in her voice, she asks what the meaning of living is and expresses her deepest fear of not being able to draw for the rest of her life. Hagu remembers that when she was little, she saw God once. She was alone despite being surrounded by people. Without her pencil and paper, without her drawing, she wonders how she could have lived. She promised God that at the moment she stops drawing, she will return her life to Him.
Morita arrives outside the hospital and finds Shuuji and Hagu sitting together. Not long after, Shuuji goes off to find some hot cocoa for himself and Hagu. Sitting alone, Hagu looks at her hand and she remembers the vow that she had made with God back then. It is at this moment that Shinobu appears before her. By the time Shuuji comes back, the bench is empty. Takemoto also comes running and reveals that Morita is back - he is probably with Hagu that very moment. Shinobu actually brings Hagu to an empty room overlooking the city which he describes as he and his brother’s secret base. After the two of them both comment on each other’s loss of weight, Hagu, with a smile, asks if Shinobu was able to go to a lot of places and if he was able to experience a lot of things. She asks him to wait until she heals so they both could create things again and show their works to each other. Shinobu kneels down in front of Hagu and puts his hands on her shoulders, telling her that it’s ok. With a sad voice, he says that she does not need to draw anymore and that life will still have meaning even if she doesn’t leave anything behind. He assures her that living and being together would be enough - that is all he wants. Shinobu then pulls her in for an embrace. Hagu, after being stunned at hearing those kind words flowing out from him, pulls herself away. She has never heard him like this before - kind yet sad - so she asks him to tell her what had happened. Without answering, Shinobu buries his face in Hagu’s shoulders as she wraps her arms around him.
Back at school, Takemoto seeks the advice of Shuuji as to what they should do about Hagu’s disappearance. Shuuji tells Takemoto not the worry as she is most likely to be with Shinobu. Takemoto is surprised to find their normal room empty, and Shuuji asks him not to tell Hagu since he wants her to choose without knowing what he plans to do. When Takemoto wonders if Shuuji intends to quit his job at Hamabi, Shuuji reveals that it would be best if he did, since he plans to dedicate the next 3 years to helping Hagu in rehab. However, if Hagu chooses Shinobu, then Shuuji plans to travel around the world until he’d had enough. Takemoto could not understand why Shuuji would not tell Hagu his feelings and why he would not tell her to choose him. Shuuji simply replies that he could not say something like that. Takemoto reveals that he had already said it even though he knew he didn’t stand a chance, which is why he wants to know why Shuuji can’t say it. Shuuji simply chose to not to answer Takemoto’s questions and instead gets up to go back to the hospital.
At the Morita brothers’ secret base, beams of sunlight shine through the window as Hagu soundly sleeps beside Shinobu. hop to: [the frontpage] [my hnc gallery] [roleplay blogs]
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After the string of surreal events that happened recently in the lives of the Morita brothers, Kaoru went missing on the first day of snow. Shinobu thinks back about his conversation with his brother. He recalled that it was snowing outside and they were talking whilst sitting by the windowsill. Shinobu suggested that they should go somewhere warm and relax for a bit, but Kaoru refused out right and pointed out that Shinobu looked relieved as if he has finally been freed of his burden, the burden of supporting Kaoru and staying by his side even if it meant disobeying his father’s wishes. Kaoru asked for confirmation on whether or not what he said was true. Shinobu did not answer. Kaoru remembered what his father told him about heading towards the light. However, he confessed that he couldn’t see the light. He did not even know where it came from. With a sad voice, he told Shinobu that his dad only cared about Shinobu until the very end. Painfully, Kaoru wondered what it would’ve been like to be his brother. Shinobu now doubts as to whether he did the right thing in helping his brother exact revenge. Shiroyama assures Shinobu that the efforts, loyalty, and friendship of all of his father’s former employees and Shinobu will prevent Kaoru from harming himself. In a snow-filled park, Shinobu sits with his head down.
Meanwhile, Yamada and Takemoto are in the hospital to visit Hagu. A troubled Shuuji meets them and asks them to come back another time. Earlier that day, Hagu had been crying, shaking, and cringing in pain from the numerous injuries she sustained during the accident. Shuuji asked her if she wanted to take painkillers to numb her senses, but Hagu refused and told him that she would endure it, so she would be able to tell whether the nerves in her right arm have connected or not. Hagu was aware that in the case that she would not feel any sensation in her right hand soon, she would have to have another surgery. Thus, Hagu chose to endure the pain. Just then, she calls for Shuuji. In tears and with every bit of strength left, Hagu tells Shuuji that she could feel her right hand again. She weakly utters how glad she is and right after, succumbs to a deep sleep due to exhaustion. Takemoto, Yamada, and Shuuji are talking in the hospital hallway by a vending machine later, and Shuuji shares that he told Hagu everything about her present condition. He also recounts all the things that Hagu endured. Shuuji tells them that Hagu refused to take painkillers, refused to sleep, and even ignored the pain from all her other wounds just to feel the slightest hint of sensation from her hand.
As Yamada and Takemoto are walking home, they contemplate on the earlier events - both of them are overwhelmed with what they have heard, and they are still trying to imagine how Hagu could have dealt with all her struggles. Hagu’s inner strength, will, and courage, is beyond their comprehension; they are in awe of her. Takemoto ponders on what Shuuji told them earlier about the probability of Hagu not being able to regain sensation and feeling to her fingertips even after rehabilitation. Hagu might also develop other sensory disabilities for the rest of her life. Takemoto pauses, looks up to the night sky and utters a silent plead to God to save Hagu. The next morning, Nomiya spots Yamada looking at cell phone brochures. They go back to Fujiwara Design where Yamada explains that she wants to be of help to Hagu and Shuuji, so it would be better if she owns a cell phone. She feels that she doesn’t really have much to offer to someone like Hagu. Nomiya points out that Yamada may not be the only one thinking the same thing. He continues saying that if everyone looked at Hagu that way, then Hagu would definitely end up all alone. Nomiya then asks whether Yamada is Hagu’s friend or not. The question strikes Yamada like a thunderbolt as she realizes that she should stay with Hagu. She must…
All the while, Miwako and Yamazaki are behind them listening to Nomiya and Yamada’s conversation. Both are in tears, so moved by Nomiya’s speech. Yamazaki agrees that as they get older, they do lose touch with their friends and ultimately sever ties with them. Miwako reassures him that she will not allow it to happen with them and declares that they will be friends forever, much to Yamazaki’s dismay. Yamada works through the night and goes to see Hagu the next day. She has Hagu put on the coat that she made, and Hagu comments that it is warm. Yamada then suggests that they should also make a better pillow for Hagu’s arm. She cheerfully tells Hagu that she bought grapes, the non-peel kind that Hagu likes, as well as books and other things that Hagu might need. Hagu then notices a feather in Yamada’s hair. Yamada starts explaining that the feathers came from her father’s jacket, which she used to make Hagu’s coat, and how it made a big mess that took her 2 hours to clean up. There are more of those feathers on Yamada’s back, much to her dismay, so she asks Hagu if she could get them off. Hagu is misty-eyed - she gently smiles, thinking of how Yamada looks just like an angel.
Sometime after Yamada leaves, Shuuji and Hagu’s doctor are talking in the hallway. Shuuji remembers the shock on Hagu’s face when, earlier that day, she had touched the surface of a sand paper and realized that she could not feel it’s roughness. This memory is so powerful that the doctor has to call for his attention again as she continues to give him instruction on how to make Hagu relax and avoid getting her upper body stiff. Meanwhile, Takemoto ponders on how expensive a single flower is in the flower shop when Yamada appears behind him. She asks Takemoto if he wanted to go somewhere nice. They end up at a field by the riverbank near the train tracks, which is filled with flowers. Yamada exclaims that Hagu would be happier if they pick the flowers themselves. The two return to the hospital and present Hagu a small bouquet of flowers that they picked, making Hagu quite happy. She then tries to touch the flowers with her right hand, causing tears to form in her eyes. It’s later that evening, on the rooftop of the hospital, that Shuuji explains to the two that Hagu has lost sensation in her fingertips. Yamada and Takemoto are saddened with this revelation and question whether it is possible and whether it is really true. Shuuji encourages them by saying that a lot of people similar to Hagu’s case have regained the sensation in their fingertips. He adds that they must remain strong and faithful, so Hagu would be able to depend on them - they must continue to live their lives. Back downstairs, Takemoto asks Shuuji whether the man who came to visit Hagu the night before was her father. Shuuji tells him that it was, and Takemoto realizes that the place that Hagu is supposed to return to is no longer the same. He asks God why all these things happen to Hagu, because at this rate she won’t be able to endure it.
Soon after, bruises starts to appear on Hagu’s left hand. All the stress that has been inflicted upon her has caused her to bite herself. Takemoto notices that soon after the bruises moved to Shuuji’s hand. He can hardly believe how Shuuji remains composed despite of everything - it so unreal that it is scary. Takemoto also receives a letter from the restoration workers whom he met during his journey. The fax reads that they are starting their new work and would like him to join them sometime soon after graduation. He then starts to think of not taking the job at all because of what happened to Hagu and debates with himself that what good would come if he did not. He questions whether he would be capable of offering anything worthwhile to Hagu. Takemoto later concludes that he is not in a position to give her anything and would ultimately become a burden to her. Despite that, he still juggles on a few ideas on how he could sustain himself. He could take on part-time jobs, and try living more thriftily. Yet, if that were the case, he would not be able to have time with Hagu. He remembered the words of Mayama about being able to provide for the woman he loved and being able to let her depend on him if something were to happen. In the end, Takemoto admits that he did not want to save Hagu… it was more selfish than that… he just wants to be with the person he loves. hop to: [the frontpage] [my hnc gallery] [roleplay blogs]
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When she was young, Hagu saw God only once. From it, she understood for the first time the reason for her to draw, but she also thought of the time when she couldn’t draw anymore. Addressing God, Hagu says that if the day comes when she has to give up her art, she would give her life back. On this windy day, Takemoto retrospectively thinks about how he didn’t know anything. He didn’t notice even the things that were going to happen because she was right there, because she hadn’t changed and had stayed by his side. Takemoto actually found Hagu staring at his tower, which he had completed only a little while ago. Hagu calls it amazing because of how simple it seems from a distance and how elaborate the structure is up close. Hearing Hagu talk about how pretty it is, Takemoto can’t help but be both embarrassed and happy. Turning serious, he tells Hagu that he is thinking of becoming a person who does repairs on temples and shrines, which would allow him to move from place to place around the country. He explains that most of the old architecture doesn’t have blueprints, but when you dismantle them you can see all the original parts, which you can then use to decipher how it was built.
Hagu says that when this festival is over, graduation will be here in the blink of an eye. Takemoto will be somewhere in Japan, Yamada will be in Tokyo, and Hagu will be in Nagano, meaning that it would be possible to meet so easily anymore. They won’t be able to ask each other about lunch or go to the bakery together to get a snack; their ordinary days of being together will soon be over. Takemoto asks Hagu if she’s really going back to Nagano and if that’s really ok. She doesn’t answer, so he then asks her why she’s not telling Shuuji her real feelings. Hagu admits that she’s afraid and wonders about choosing the path that changes the important life of the person you love. In exchange, what can she give to Shuuji? She is afraid because he would definitely give her everything. At that time, Shuuji is staring out the window when Yamada comes in. She wonders if he stayed up all night because of festival preparations, but actually he just woke up early. When Yamada wonders if Shuuji’s not feeling so well, he says that he’s just thinking about what happens after the festival. Meanwhile, Hagu has parted ways with Takemoto, but she’s his words - about if it’s really ok for her to go back to Nagano – are still on her mind. Although Hagu is standing still, there is a fierce wind blowing leaves everywhere. In fact, this wind has Yamada commenting to Shuuji that it looks like a storm is coming. Hagu is unaware that above her, a guy is pushing a cart with a sheet of glass sitting on its side. And so she doesn’t notice until it’s too late that the cart tipped over, smashing the glass and raining the deadly shards down on her.
Over in Spain, Mac Carlos is calling Mayama a useless watchdog in Spanish while Mayama is calling Mac Carlos a nice guy with unnatural hair in Japanese. While those two are arguing, Rika and a woman named Emma greet each other. Emma comments on how Rika’s expression looks good and attributes it to Mayama coming here from Japan. Rika agrees, saying that after Mayama came, things got easier for her because he became friendly with the hard-to-please Carlos. They go out to drink every night, allowing Rika to sleep soundly. It’s the first time she’s gotten sleep like this since she came to Spain. Coming home from drinking one night though, Mayama finds that he’s been locked out again. He feels swindled because he had thought that two bedroom meant one room with two beds, not what they actually got, which was just two rooms. What’s more, the rooms require keys. In his drunken state, Mayama starts thinking about how a key is there to open things. But if he were to forcefully open it, the door to her heart would close up. As Mayama sits outside plotting to be careful, Rika is inside the room getting bad feelings in her sleep because of Mayama’s crazy laugh.
Back in Japan, Mayama’s cactus falls over, causing Yamada to wonder if something happened with him. Shuuji instead thinks that the cactus is receiving radio waves from its owner and wonders if Rika is ok. Yamada notices that people are running around frantically outside and realizes that something is happening. Shuuji then gets a phone call that shocks him. At that time, Takemoto is also hearing the rumors spread about a girl getting crushed under a glass panel, a short girl with long hair. There is apparently a lot of blood and the female that Takemoto is listening in on reveals that the girl is a fourth-year oil painter. Takemoto realizes who they’re talking about, but stays in denial until he arrives at the scene of the accident. There, he finds the ground covered with glass and blood, and the crowd talking about Hagu. Still in disbelief, he kneels down beside the shards, touches the blood, and remembers how Hagu had been with him just a little while ago. Yamada comes running to tell him that Shuuji is with Hagu aboard an ambulance and that something happened to Hagu’s hand. Seeing Yamada’s own bloody hands and her panicked manner, Takemoto realizes that this is reality. He recalls that after that, he and Yamada helped the staff pick up the glass and wash off the blood with water - the blood of the girl that he likes.
Over at Floyd Electric, the president of the company is getting a report about how sales grew by 12 to 15% everywhere except for one North American factory. The president suggests that 120 people aren’t needed there, so they should decrease the number of people and increase the hours worked by the remaining employees. When he asks his assistant if his opinion is wrong, Kaoru answers him by saying that it’s a big mistake because it’s stupid for him to get rid of experienced people. Kaoru then excuses himself for interrupting the meeting and announces that he’s brought a birthday present. It’s not the president’s birthday, but he opens the package anyway and finds a work uniform inside, just like the one that used to be worn at Morita Technical Research Institute. Kaoru tells the president that this present is to commemorate today, which is the day the president gets to start his life from scratch. Kaoru has actually done some research and knows that the president’s father was a splendid engineer. The president entered the same technological field as his father, but forgot the pleasure of making things. For the sake of profit, he manipulated people through money.
Kaoru wants to get back all of the things his father left at the company, including the company itself. He announces that from today on, he and his brother are the directors. The president can’t believe that they could have taken over all the company’s stocks and declares that he still has 35% of Lucas Digital Arts. It’s at this point that Shinobu pulls out a t-shirt from Peter Lucas and passes on a message about how there was only an XL, but if the president could wear it if he wants. The president then gets angry and asks them to think about his position and his family. His assistant says that they also had a family and pulls out an old picture from the Morita Technical Research Institute days. Everyone had a family: himself, Tatsuo, Tsukasa, and these kids (referring to the Morita brothers). Getting desperate, the president asks them what grudge they have against him. Kaoru remembers how his father claimed all the cursing and grudges as his own duty and told them to move forward. The president says that all this happened so many tens of years ago, and for them to bring it up again after all this time… Kaoru wonders if the president expected them not to remember, but he had figured that the president would think this way. To Kaoru, it’s rather trivial.
He then remembers to tell the president to find a new house by the end of today since his current mansion is under the company name. Kaoru also tells him to prepare a lot of money because afterwards there will be various compensation lawsuits. Then there’s the matter of the president’s sons and grandchildren, which Kaoru asks the president to entrust to him, saying that they’ll keep company with them until the end. He’s ok with the president wanting revenge because after all, that’s how he got here. Losing his cool, Kaoru says that no matter how many times, they’d accept the challenge. While this is happening, Shinobu remembers their father introducing Kabu-tan to them, a name made up of the Ka from Kaoru and the Bu from Shinobu. Afterwards, Kaoru is laughing triumphantly as he and his brother walk through a park. Kaoru feels like things are just getting started because no matter where the president goes, they’ll make sure his life won’t be restful. There’s still plenty of time - they’ll make the president feel like dying would be easier. Kaoru yells out zamamiro (You’ll get what you deserve), but then falls to his knees with tears in his eyes. In his head, he apologizes to his father for not keeping their promise and for not protecting the important thing.
On the first day of the festival, a strong wind blows even in the afternoon and a light rain falls - a gloomy day. Hagu’s exhibit attracted a continuous line of people, and by the time Shuuji called Takemoto, it was night. Hagu’s injuries resulted in 10 stitches to the head and 13 to her right hand; that right hand was also where the injury was most severe. The surgery took over six hours. It is on this day that Takemoto and Yamada visit Hagu in her hospital room, and Yamada presents Hagu with a bag of things that she might need to use. Hagu says that it’s becoming gradually more painful because the anesthetics had been cut. As for her right hand, she admits that it doesn’t hurt and the bone didn’t break either. Shuuji then comes in and sees the two visitors. Yamada gives Shuuji the bag which she says includes a change of clothes and a towel. Shuuji explains that Hagu just took some medicine, so she’ll be sleeping for a little while. He suggests that Takemoto and Yamada go home for now, especially since there’s still the two more days of the festival. Takemoto starts to protest, but Yamada tells him that they should leave things to Shuuji and go home.
After those two leave, Hagu asks Shuuji to tell her everything that the doctor said. Shuuji takes her outstretched hand and explains to her that the injury goes from the base of her fingers to her palm; the tendon got cut. Today’s operation sutured the blood vessels, the tendon, and the nerves. The stitches can be removed in ten days, but the problem is that the nerves are concentrated at the base of the fingers. In order to prevent more damage, she needs two months worth of hospitalization and rehabilitation. Hagu admits that she thought it was strange that her right hand didn’t hurt, which she now knows is because of her nerves getting cut. She’s also realized that it’s a good thing if her hand hurts now. Unbeknownst to them, Takemoto and Yamada had overheard the entire conversation, and Yamada is in tears. Takemoto thinks that Hagu wanted to ask if her hand could be healed, but her voice was crushed and interrupted. hop to: [the frontpage] [my hnc gallery] [roleplay blogs]
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Years ago, a man named Tatsuo, who worked at the Morita Technical Research Institute, visited the office of Morita’s father one day to talk about the final interviews for the people who want to join the company. Morita’s father claimed to want someone skilled at making curry, so Tatsuo had asked him to be serious for a moment. However, Morita’s father seemed to have just finished an invention: a remote control walker. Since remote controls always tend to be lost, you could set the remote control into this walker, and then leave it anywhere. When you call the remote control walker, it would come to where it heard your voice. With an unimpressed look, Tatsuo addressed Morita’s father by his first name Tsukasa and said that something like that isn’t needed. He also suggested that Tsukasa clean the room. Tsukasa wasn’t too thrilled with how Tatsuo was always so boring, always shooting down his ideas. As the two argued, the interviewees outside the room were starting to get very uneasy. One of the other employees thought that it was probably better for them to know early on what their boss was really like.
Bandaged and bruised, Tsukasa and Tatsuo emerged from the office to start the final interviews. However, Tsukasa took over and gave the interviewees a challenge: using the materials in this room, make an airplane in three hours. The person with the airplane that flew the furthest got hired. Of course, he forced his employees, including Tatsuo, to participate too. Tsukasa’s two children Shinobu and Kaoru also showed up wanting to make airplanes. Tsukasa decided to add the condition that if the interviewees lost to the elementary school kids, not only would they not get hired, but they’d also have to run 10 laps around the company campus. Adult Kaoru thinks back at this strange company that his father had created. Though it was small, it was quite lively. His father made machine parts, a lot of which were sold overseas. Kaoru remembers that what happened back then got burned into his eyes. Shinobu’s airplane had so easily danced through the air and their father had watched so proudly. In that youthful appearance, feelings of longing were directed at his father. Tsukasa ended up declaring Shinobu the winner and said that the company wouldn’t be accepting anyone this year. Kaoru recalls how Tatsuo had been standing by him, holding an airplane that didn’t fly - that was his profile.
In a separate incident later, Kaoru had led their father to a dirty and bruised Shinobu after he had fallen into a hole at a cement factory. Their father had called Shinobu an idiot, and Shinobu admitted to having been after the many loquat down there. Kaoru had been the one to urge their father to hurry and take Shinobu to a doctor, and so their father had asked him to go back to the company to tell everyone that Shinobu had been found. After that, their father had biked away with Shinobu. However, Kaoru noticed afterwards that he himself had a bloody leg from falling down earlier. With fresh memories of how worried his father had been and how his father had left with only his little brother, Kaoru started to cry. It had been Tatsuo who had then found him and asked if he was ok. Adult Kaoru recalls that Negishi Tatsuo had been his father’s childhood friend, his best friend, and his important partner at work. At that time, Tatsuo had carried him home and Kaoru had told him what happened. Tatsuo had laughed and remarked that Shinobu was just like his father when he was little: greedy and free-spirited.
Tatsuo recalled that their class had a child who was in the hospital on sick leave and Tsukasa would rush to eat that child’s share of the school lunch. If there was an argument, Tsukasa would go over there and make things worse. With a chuckle, Tatsuo remarked that their father really did as he pleased. Still, he was loved by everyone. Tatsuo remembers a baseball game when they were older and when Tsukasa had been at bat. There was no fear in him. Tatsuo thinks that either Tsukasa was holding down the fear with his strong heart or he just didn’t have any fear; although he’s been by Tsukasa’s side, Tatsuo doesn’t know for sure. And even if Tsukasa was the last batter in a losing baseball game, he would still laugh. In a pinch, he only saw the chance it presented him. Back then, Tsukasa had hit a home run on that at-bat. Tatsuo thinks that he never had a lot of the things that Tsukasa had, so he had felt envious of Tsukasa being loved by everyone and being so dazzling. With those dazzling eyes, he had stopped Tatsuo’s breath many times. Tatsuo had always thought that there would be something that only he was able to do. At this point, Tatsuo - still carrying Kaoru - stopped at a fork in the road that said “Stop” on the ground and said that he always wanted to think that there was something. The present Kaoru thinks that at that time he hadn’t noticed, but in those days Tatsuo already had an incurable illness. Of course Kaoru understands now.
Sometime in the past, Tatsuo had been at his elderly mother’s side, giving her her meal. She had mistaken him for her husband, so he had to correct her by saying that he was Tatsuo. Hearing that name, his mother remarked that Tatsuo was of a marrying age and wondered if the tobacco shop Ricchan girl that Tatsuo liked would be his bride. Tatsuo recalled an image of Tsukasa with his wife & two kids and told his mother that “Ricchan is already…” but never finishes his sentence. He then remembered how a doctor had asked him to hospitalize himself. But Tatsuo had resisted because he knew that doing so meant he wouldn’t be able to go out. He had told the doctor that he wanted to work until the very end because he had a reason for having to work. If he died, who would look after his mother? Addressing Tsukasa, Tatsuo said that he himself had always been strange. Why are the “Haves” and the “Have-Nots” separated in this world? Why are there people who are loved and people who aren’t loved? Who divided this and where is the dividing road? Was there a dividing road in the first place? Wasn’t everything decided back at birth? At this point, Tatsuo asked God that if this is true, then what is the purpose of his life?
One night sometime later, Tatsuo had suggested to Tsukasa that they list their latest motor patent under the company’s name instead of Tsukasa’s own name. In addition, Tatsuo says that they need to issue more stock to increase their funding for expanding the factory. At that time, the busy Tsukasa had left everything up to Tatsuo. In his head, Tatsuo had asked Tsukasa to show him the differences of the people in their worlds. He had wanted to be smashed into pieces and returned back to the mud. Tatsuo had gone to the Floyd Electric and told their president that all the patents had been rewritten to the company’s name and that the stocks and preparations were in order. All they had to do now was to set a day to carry out their plan. The Floyd president had wondered if it was painful for Tatsuo to betray his friend. As repayment, he promised to give Tatsuo a reward that will correspond to all of Tatsuo’s pain and courage. Thinking in his head again, Tatsuo asked Tsukasa to show him if his light is real. Does it not fade away no matter what happens?
The Floyd Electric president had come to the Morita Technical Research Institute sometime after and started commenting on how the place wasn’t dirty but the layout needed to be changed to increase efficiency. Addressing Tsukasa, the Floyd president asked him to join their company as an important engineer. Although the management would be under Floyd Electric, the president said that Tsukasa and his employees can continue as they are. Ignoring the man’s offer, Tsukasa turned to Tatsuo and asked him what this person was talking about. At first, Tatsuo had kept silent and Tsukasa knew that in any case his words wouldn’t have been good. Tatsuo had eventually said that the terms stated were fairly good because nothing here would change and Tsukasa could devote himself freely to his research.
Tsukasa admitted defeat and said that he was leaving this place. Although he loved money, Tsukasa said that he hated having to obey others for the money. Tatsuo had asked him not to decide hastily and to think about it a bit; everyone’s salary would double, and as the top-class, Tsukasa’s annual salary would… Tsukasa cut him off and said that it’s enough. He really wanted to punch Tatsuo, but he won’t today. Tsukasa told Tatsuo that all the employees will depend on him now, and if he betrayed this, Tsukasa would kill him. With a smile, Tatsuo remembered that baseball game and thought that finally he would be able to sleep. He hadn’t been able to for a long time recently, but he thought that now he could finally sleep for a long long time, as if he were like the mud. In the middle of these thoughts, Tatsuo collapsed onto the ground.
At the hospital, Tsukasa had asked Tatsuo if he was going to die. Tatsuo had confirmed it and apologized. He had learned earlier that if he died, according to his contract, all his assets would go to Floyd Electric. Tsukasa called him a fool and said that he won’t forgive him. He would have a grudge against Tatsuo until he dies, and even if Tatsuo was reincarnated 100 times, Tsukasa would still have a grudge. But because of that, Tsukasa asks Shinobu and Kaoru not to hold a grudge. Shinobu had immediately agreed, but Kaoru said that it was impossible. In tears, Kaoru asked Tatsuo “why”, but Tatsuo didn’t answer him. Tsukasa had patted Kaoru on the head and claimed all the cursing and grudges as his own duty. He wasn’t going to let his kids have that and he asked them to move forward. In the end, the Morita family had to leave their home, and Kaoru had been the one who pressed the button that turned off all the lights.
It was in the city sometime later that the two kids had come across a walkman at a storefront. Shinobu identified as something their father had made, but now it was being sold under the name Floyd Electric. Kaoru had gotten angry and tried to pull the walkman out of its display, but it was tethered. The store employees noticed and started coming after them, so both kids ran. However, Kaoru wasn’t quite as fast as his little brother. He remembered how his father had told them to not get caught by the dark feelings and to go forward toward the light. But Kaoru thought to himself that it was no good - he can’t run as fast as Shinobu. He finally understood Tatsuo’s feelings. As all the memories filled his mind, Kaoru thinks that he’s always been envious of Shinobu and his father. He felt that he had nothing, and, with memories of Tatsuo carrying him after the cement factory incident, Kaoru said that he had also wanted to think that there was surely something only he could do.
When Kaoru tripped, the darkness jumped at him. Shinobu turned around and ran back to shield his brother. Right as the darkness was about to cover both of them, the current Shinobu wakes up. Kaoru, who is sitting right beside him typing away at the computer, tells Shinobu that there’s nothing more for him to do. Everything else is left up to Kaoru, so it’s ok for Shinobu to go over there now. But Shinobu decides not to go anywhere after all - he’ll stay here with his brother. It is sometime later that the two brothers are told by an assistant that the car has been prepared. Kaoru and Shinobu are ready to go send them all to Hell. At this time, Takemoto notices that the wind outside is blowing pretty hard. Yamada, who is with Shuuji, wonders if the exhibits outside will be ok. Riding in the car, Morita says that they did not know… In front of his tower, Takemoto says that it was not possible to even have noticed…. In Spain, Mayama says that they had no way of predicting it…. …the things that are going to happen from now on, each day from now on, nothing. hop to: [the frontpage] [my hnc gallery] [roleplay blogs]
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As everyone at school is making preparations for the festival, Morita is lying on the grass dreaming about his father. A long time ago, at the Morita Technical Research Institute, a man had gotten a phone call and hurried out of his office. The employees soon realized that the company president was gone and were in disbelief because they had a new project presentation the day after tomorrow. One of them heard the president shouting as he ran out that tonight was curry. At home, the president greeted his two boys. He turned off the lights and switched on a flashlight, shining it on a speck on the table. That speck started slowly moving towards the light. Morita’s father explained that this is the world’s smallest robot, named Kabu-tan. That name came from using the Ka in Kaoru and the Bu in Shinobu. Afterwards, the three enjoyed a curry dinner together as a family. Back in the present, Morita opens his eyes and sits up, putting his head up against the cat that was sleeping on his chest.
Takemoto, meanwhile, is still working on his giant tower piece. He’s figured out that to make something big, he needs to construct an even bigger scaffolding for it. By doing this, the work will be simple and not endless. Still, Takemoto feels ok right now. When he told everyone that he had biked to Wakkanai, they had all been surprised and amazed even though all Takemoto had done was pedal left and right, left and right, over and over, endlessly. Because he knows this, he thinks that he’ll be ok. At that same time, Hagu is in the library studying a book on sculptures. She notes how smooth they are and how the outlines melt away, as if they were made with cream. Hagu wonders how much white marble is used and how the sculptures are carved. She knows that there are so many things she wants to try to do and thinks of herself in a world full of closed boxes. Inside of her, the things she wants to create are endlessly scattered about. When she opens a box, various images come flying out, and she chases each of them. Hagu would capture the image, grapple with it, ascertain its taste, swallow it down, give it a name, and return it to its rightful place. She does this repetitively for huge amounts of time. As the sun dawns in this world, Hagu sees all the boxes before her and knows that she wants to open all of them. However, a person’s life is too short to do that. In one lifetime, there is a limit in the number of boxes a person can open. However, if there is another person with whom to fight together, if there were such a person…
It’s at this point that Shuuji shows up behind Hagu and sees that she’s looking at Auguste Rodin’s The Gates of Hell. He notes that Rodin is featured at The National Museum of Western Art and then goes on to say that The Gates of Hell is based on Dante’s The Divine Comedy - the door before Hell where you abandon all hope. Shuuji says that the artist Gustave Doré that Hagu likes also drew the same door. Looking at the book, he wonders what worries Rodin had when choosing the motif. Hagu has fallen silent through all this. Shuuji continues, commenting on the marble and how it looks like it is shining from the inside. This is because the light coming in gets reflected and shines out from the surface; the marble allows light to pass through. Hagu finally says “Shuu-chan,” but when he asks her what’s up, she looks back down and says that it’s nothing. Returning to her studio, Hagu thinks that it’s no good. Shuuji has his own life and she has no right to take that away.
Over at Fujiwara Design, Miwako are Yamazaki expressing their surprise when Mayama reveals that Rika finally contacted him. They see in a magazine that Rika is with a Spanish architecture designer named Mac Carlos, another person participating in the project. Miwako gets the feeling that Mac Carlos already loves Rika, and Yamazaki thinks that his approach would be very strong. Nomiya wonders if Rika will be ok because it looks like she’s already lost her soul. They figure this is why Rika sent Mayama a fax asking for help, as if he were a watchdog. Mayama doesn’t care what they say because once he gets to Rika’s side, he won’t let anyone lay a finger on her. Miwako and Yamazaki are horrified that the most dangerous man is right beside Rika, comparing Mayama to a rabid dog. Looking at the picture again, Miwako notices that Rika seems like she’s lost weight and comments on how she would like to go over there to help take care of things for Rika. Of course, Mayama has not let that slip his mind. He takes out a small rice cooker (complete with power converter) and explains that even if Rika has no appetite, he can make an okaka (bonito flakes) meal with a little soy sauce which she would definitely eat. Watching as Mayama pulls out all sorts of stuff from his bag, Yamazaki comments on how this is like a care package a country-side mother would send in the mail.
One of the items Mayama brings out is soumen, and it sparks a conversation about the spices and herbs Mayama has and doesn’t have. Mayama gets pissed off at their fussiness and says that having mint and lemon balm in soumen is not something humans would eat - that’s more like something from Yamada’s special menu. Unbeknownst to him, Yamada had shown up and is now standing right behind him. Yamazaki points behind Mayama and starts saying ushi (short for ushiro or behind), but Mayama interprets them as saying ushi (cow). He finally realizes that Yamada is behind him when she hits his head with a bento box. She’s not as angry as she looks, instead suggesting hatsuka daikon (a type of small red radish) because of its spicy taste. If you wrap it in wet absorbent cotton for three days, you can eat it. And if he brings the seeds to Spain, he should plant them immediately. Mayama smiles at this advice, saying that he’ll do it as soon as he gets over there, and then thanks her.
As Yamada walks home alone, Mayama’s words stay on her mind. But just like last time, she hears Leader’s barking behind her. And just like last time, there’s Nomiya walking up with the dog. Yamada turns back around and keeps walking forward, asking what Nomiya wants. Nomiya claims to be giving Leader a walk, but then asks her if she really wanted him to be chasing her. She denies it, and when he keeps staring at her, she covers her face and asks him to stop. He puts his hand on her head and recognizes that she’s already doing her best with everything that was said earlier. Yamada can’t help but start crying again. Meanwhile, Morita peeks from behind a cloth screen into Hagu’s studio as she is staring at a notebook in front of a blank canvas. He closes the screen and Shuuji asks him if he’s not going to say something to Hagu. The two go up to the rooftop where Shuuji thinks that Morita knows what Hagu is currently stopped in front of. Shuuji warns that if Morita doesn’t tell her what he has to say, their paths will diverge - is this ok with him? Morita simply says that it can’t be helped. Shuuji tells him that those words don’t suit him, but Morita thinks that regardless if it’s being separated or whatever, they weren’t very close to begin with. A surprised Shuuji wonders what Morita is thinking about.
As Morita is walking down the street later, his mind is actually on his brother. At this moment, Kaoru is standing in front of where the Morita Technical Research Institute used to be; it has since been replaced since by a Floyd Electric company. He remembers how he had watched as their father had patted his brother on the head. He thought that there was a thing that only he would be able to do, or at least he wanted to think that. Kaoru vows to himself that he’ll regain his father’s company. An electric crackling sound can be heard nearby, directly his attention to the nearby bug zapper that’s doing its job. This causes Kaoru to remember the Kabu-tan robot that moved toward the light. As the two Morita brothers are lost in thought, Hagu is still staring at her notebook in her studio, Shuuji is still smoking on the rooftop, Yamada and Nomiya are sitting together on a park bench, Mayama is packing, and Takemoto is still working on his tower.
Sometime later, Takemoto is staring out of the window thinking about how Mayama has already arrived Spain by now. Yamada calls Takemoto over to confirm that he got his drivers license. He does indeed have it, but he’s limited to automatic cars. When Yamada suggests going out for a drive, Takemoto admits that he hasn’t ever driven outside driving school without his teacher. On top of that, he doesn’t have a car. Much to Shuuji’s dismay, Yamada says that they do have a car. Shuuji is unwilling to let a driver who just got his license take a first drive in his car. Not listening at all, Yamada comes up with the idea that they should go the beach. But she realizes that a normal car can only fit 5 people. There’s her, Hagu, Takemoto, Morita, Shuuji, and Mayama - that’s one too many. However she then remembers that Mayama is in Spain now, so it’ll just be five. Shuuji thinks that it would be better if they waited for Mayama to come back, since he had said he’d return in a month. It might be a bit cold by then, but it’ll also be more beautiful when there’s no one else around. And plus there’ll be a lot of shells on the beach. Hearing this, Hagu says that she really wants to go pick up shells.
Takemoto realizes that they’ve never gone to have fun at the beach together before. Yamada recalls that although they’ve been on a ferry and to a hot springs, they’ve never gone to the beach. Takemoto, Yamada, and Hagu all want to go, and they start imagining the experience. Everyone would be there and they’d bring boxed lunches along with the camera. They would take a lot of photos, eat a lot of food, and collect a lot of shells; they’d be carefree. Yamada thinks that it would definitely be a lot of fun and the others agree. However, Takemoto retrospectively explains that in the end they never went to the beach. They didn’t even leave one photograph. At that time, the scene of everyone together got burned into their eyes. They would not be able to erase it in their life, this one photo. hop to: [the frontpage] [my hnc gallery] [roleplay blogs]
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Yamada and Miwako are working together at Fujiwara Design choosing some color arrangements. When Miwako comments on how Yamada seems really busy, Yamada reveals that she’s working on flower bowls for an old private house that was dismantled and reconstructed, a job introduced to her by Rika. On the topic of Rika, Miwako admires how she’s is in Spain and has the Valencia museum job. Yamada thinks about how Rika left for Spain a week ago and how Mayama didn’t go with her. She doesn’t know what happened between them before Rika’s trip, but she does know that the way Mayama talks to Rika over the phone is different now; it’s now a mix of calmness and deepness. With their work now done, Miwako decides to take Yamada to a Kenko Land (a health spa). There, the two enjoy a rose and fruit bath and then an akasuri performed by two very muscular women. Afterwards, Miwako dances around in her one piece muumuu. Yamada can’t help but laugh at the clothes, prompting Miwako to say that wearing these means that you can’t think about sad things.
While enjoying draft beer and edamame, Yamada realizes that Miwako probably brought her here to raise her spirits. Since the two are outside on a patio, Miwako points out the good smell of the kinmokusei (the Osmanthus fragrans). It reminds Yamada of how this smell would flood the town right around the time when school’s interdisciplinary preparations started every year. It was in this smell that Yamada looked for the back of the person she loved, passing by numerous times through the place where they could meet. Even for just a little, she had wanted to see his figure and hear his voice. These memories cause Yamada to start tearing up, and when Miwako asks her if she likes the kinmokusei, Yamada proclaims that she loves it. Her tearful smile turns to just tears, so Miwako tries to tell her about all the other fun stuff they’ll be doing. The two eventually return to the office by taxi and Yamada collapses on a bed.
It’s at this point that Nomiya calls the office and Miwako picks up. She tells him that Yamada is over there sleeping after a full course treatment at the Kenko Land. Nomiya wonders if something happened and Miwako says that it was something about Rika and Mayama. Yamada did cry a little, but she’s ok and sleeping now with her leg out and in her underwear. Nomiya reacts to that last bit of information by honestly saying that he wants to see it. Miwako talks about how Mayama isn’t swayed by Yamada’s charming proportions, yet he still considers her very important. After the phone call, Nomiya curses at his phone, frustrated over how Yamada didn’t call him even though she was feeling down. Yamazaki then walks in wondering if something happened with Yamada and if Nomiya is going to go over there to answer an SOS. A furious Nomiya isn’t going anywhere and instead starts smoking on the balcony. Actually, he knows that he’ll be able to go back to Tokyo soon, and until then, he begs her not to cry alone and not to cry in front of anyone else. Back in Tokyo, Yamada is asking herself in her sleep why she can’t let go of the sand on the hill, the expression on Nomiya’s face, and those words he said. With her eyes still closed, Yamada starts crying again.
Sometime later, at school, Takemoto is freaking out because Morita is eating his food. It seems that Takemoto spent all of his money to get his driver’s license, leaving him penniless for the month. With 100 yen, he could only buy a bag of bread crusts, which were supposed to last him until next month and Morita is now eating. Hearing this, Hagu offers him her steamed bread, though Takemoto tries to turn it down. Just as Hagu is insisting that he take it, Morita comes up and glomps down on Hagu’s hands, consuming the bread whole. Hagu starts crying and screaming “filthy” as she quickly goes to cleanse her hands. When Morita and Takemoto start arguing, Shuuji lifts them up by their heads and tells them not to make so much noise. If they get in the way of Hagu’s work, he’ll kill them. With that, he chucks both boys out the window, and all of the money that Morita was carrying comes flying out. As Morita frantically tries to collect it back up, Takemoto wants to know why Morita ate his stuff if he had all that money. He asks Morita about his job; Takemoto sees that Morita works so much, yet he never sees Morita spend any of the money. Why does he need to earn so much money?
Before Morita can give a clear answer, his phone rings. Seeing the message, Morita apologizes because he has to go. That night, he arrives at his brother’s office. Kaoru has something he wanted to show Morita as soon as possible. What is finally complete is a system that will allow them to take 50 yen from children all over the world every month for almost eternity. Kaoru says that his assistant Shiroyama is so emotionally moved by this that he’s crying. Morita knows that Shiroyama is crying for a different reason. Stopping with the nonsense, a serious Kaoru asks if his little brother can do some more work by next month. But Morita doesn’t think the one hundred million figure that his brother cites is possible, so Kaoru turns to Shiroyama and refers back to the earlier system. He orders Shiroyama to condense “almost eternity” into “one year” and to change “children” to “single people under 30 years old.” Hearing this, Morita decides to do it after all. In a serious tone, Morita asks his brother if he’s sleeping properly. Kaoru claims he is even though he’s only getting four hours. Morita lectures him about sleeping more, but Kaoru doesn’t want to hear this from him. As for how much more they have to go, Kaoru thinks it’s just a little more.
Meanwhile, Mayama is feeding Takemoto back at their apartment building. Mayama asks Takemoto why he wanted to get his driver’s license so much, so Takemoto recalls how Shin (from shrine repair group) had told him to get a driver’s license while he was still in school if he wanted to go work for them. Mayama realizes Takemoto’s goal and decides to treat Takemoto to a bath at the public bathhouse tonight. On the way there, Takemoto asks Mayama why he’s living at the apartment if he’s working and can afford to rent a better place. Mayama says that he’s saving money just in case. He explains that when he was little, he had read in of a book about how everyone gets at least three chances. When a chance comes along, it’s up to you to have or to not have money. Takemoto realizes that means Mayama must have a lot of money saved up, making Takemoto the only poor one left. Mayama says it’s ok because Takemoto is still a student. Another way of looking at it is if something happens to the woman you like, you can tell her not to think about anything and just to go rest for a while. That’s why he thinks it’s good to have some money saved. Mayama suddenly realizes that what he’s saying is kind of stupid and urges Takemoto to forget about it. In retrospect, Takemoto thinks about how he had nodded his head to Mayama’s words. However, it was only nodding without a real understanding of the meaning of those words.
At Fujiwara Design, one of the employees apologizes to Yamada for her trouble of coming over when Miwako has gone off somewhere. Fortunately, Yamada is willing to play with Leader while she waits for Miwako. With Leader in her lap, Yamada remembers their trip to the Kenko Land and the kinmokusei which in turn elicits painful memories of Mayama and Rika. She looks over at the telephone and remembers how Nomiya told her to call him when she feels helpless. Instead of doing that though, she just hugs Leader tighter. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. Yamada walks over to the hallway thinking that Miwako’s back, but the person who enters is actually Nomiya. He walks over and plays with Leader, who is still in Yamada’s arms. Nomiya then leans in close to her and announces that he’s back. Because he got so close, she screams and delivers a whirling kick that leaves a streak on the wall. Ready to cry, Yamada runs out of the office and onto the street. She felt like he could see through her heart: in reality she really did want to call him because there were a lot of things she wanted for him to listen to. But she felt that the her who had those thoughts was somehow unpleasant. Yamada is afraid that by thinking like that, all of her feelings for Mayama would become lies. No matter how others might see this miserable or shameful, these cold and bright feelings are her treasure. Having stopped on a bridge, Yamada hears a barking behind her. She turns around to see Leader, with leash in mouth. And walking up behind Leader is Nomiya. Thinking to God, Yamada says that she didn’t want to be saved because she always thought and cried for Mayama. Nevertheless, Nomiya came back, making her very happy and at the same time very sad. hop to: [the frontpage] [my hnc gallery] [roleplay blogs]
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Watching the preparations for the school festival, Shuuji remembers a discussion he had with another teacher about Hagu’s future. Hagu had gotten another invitation email to go study abroad, but it looks like Hagu will instead return to Nagano after graduating. The teacher voiced her concern about Shuuji continuing to look after Hagu even after graduation. However, the current Shuuji thinks of this as his final school festival. Nearby, Hagu is looking from a drawer for some brush cleaner when she finds a card with print of the Moonlight painting. Shuuji gets nostalgic and tells Hagu that it’s a drawing by Edvard Munch, who Hagu identifies as the man who painted The Scream. He recalls how when he was in college, there was a big Munch exhibit at the museum of modern art. He had gone with his friends and that’s when he bought the card. Shuuji remembers how those friends had been Harada and Rika, and how they had been drinking and admiring the view of the moon on water after having seen the exhibit. The scenery reminded Harada of the movie song “Moon River”, and he had suddenly gotten the urge to cross over the water, though Shuuji had tried to hold him back. Shuuji tried to get Rika to help him stop Harada too, but the drunken Rika said that she’d go if Harada goes. Harada freed himself from Shuuji, made it into the water, and then urged Rika to join him. Shuuji had tried to stop Rika from going in, but she starts falling towards Harada. It is at this moment that Shuuji wakes up from the nightmare.
Shuuji then remembers the accident which took Harada’s life. It had also left Rika with half her body in agony. When Rika stopped eating, Shuuji had told her that she couldn’t let herself die - she couldn’t go to the place where Harada is. She eventually came to her senses and started trying to eat and live with all her might. Rika completely absorbed herself in the work that Harada had left, but Shuuji could always hear the silent scream from her back. He realized that although it had always been the three of them together, it was in reality two people and one person. No matter how much he liked Harada or considered Rika precious, the only thing he could do was to continue to watch them be happy; Shuuji had wanted them to be together forever. Finally, on one occasion, he had walked up behind her with his hand outstretched. When she spotted him, he had tried to figure out what he was doing. She had embraced him and apologized because she realized the emotional condition that he was in. Rika suggested that they separate because they couldn’t stay together like this, though she had confessed to loving him first. Thinking about it all in the present, Shuuji feels bad for not being able to lead and support Rika, but being with Hagu is what’s allowed him to walk this far. He thinks that the man standing beside Rika now will be able to take her towards tomorrow.
Sometime later, Rika is with Mayama seeing an old man off at a train station. Afterwards, Mayama is thinking about how Rika no longer has anyone beside her because that person has been lost for eternity. The next train that pulls in beside them is the Cassiopeia Train, and Mayama catches Rika looking destination sign that says “Sapporo.” Remembering how she stared at her computer screen, Mayama decides to lift her up by the arms and put her on the train. The door closes behind them soon after and the train starts moving. A confused Rika wants to get off at the Oomiya stop, but Mayama suggests that they go to Hokkaido because she’s never gone back home. He doesn’t think that she’d agree, so when the train conductor comes by to check their tickets, Rika surprises Mayama by asking if there are still any vacant rooms; she wants to go all the way to Sapporo. The two check into their cabin and sit down, but Mayama has a hard time breaking the silence between them. Rika finally says that they left at 4:20PM, and that they’ll arrive in Sapporo the next morning at 9AM - a total of approximately 17 hours. With no laptops and their materials back at the office, Rika wonders how long it’s been since she’s had nothing to do. This is the kind of time people pay money to get. Mayama thinks to himself that her mumblings are like a soliloquy that melts the scenery blurred by the rain - becoming sleepy, becoming lonely, and becoming happy.
Mayama admits to himself that he’s always been uneasy whenever they finish a job, whenever Rika hums that song, and whenever he looks up at the moon. As night falls outside the train, Rika decides to get ready for bed so she heads for the shower first. Mayama is ready to let Rika have the bedroom to herself, but she insists that he’s big person and needs to be sleeping on a bed. After his own shower, Mayama joins her in the bedroom and the two go to sleep once he sets the alarm clock to 7AM. However, he is kept awake because of a mix of happiness and anxiety. By the time Rika wakes up the next morning, she discovers that Mayama is not in his bed. Instead, she’s astonished to see him sleeping on the chair in the adjoining room. The two soon arrive in Sapporo and disembark from the train. Rika explains that her home is far from the urban areas of Otaru. Going off to go rent a car, Mayama inquires if she wants anything, so Rika asks for some milk and biscuits.
During the drive, Mayama admits that this is his first time in Hokkaido and that’s it really spacious here. Rika says that there aren’t any traffic lights or signs, so it’s good that they have a navigation system. She thanks him for the blanket that’s covering her legs and then expresses her concern over his lack of proper sleep. Mayama just consumes a handful of Black Mint Gum and says that he’s ok. As the two drive north on the small national highway that’s surrounded by rock, Mayama sees to his left the colorless Sea of Japan. The two eventually reach the place that had fallen into ruin, Rika’s hometown. Rika explains that the house that everyone left became crushed by the snow and then became exposed to nature once spring came. The last time she came here was when her father died. That time, Harada had been with her to comfort her by telling her that she had him. Rika then walks forward, opens the pack of biscuits, and buries a few in the dirt. She apologizes to Shiro for not coming to visit. Shiro was her dog from when she was little all the way until she was in high school, a span of 13 years. In this land with nothing, Shiro was always by her side. Rika then thanks Mayama for bringing her him because she couldn’t have come on her own. She was finally able to come here and properly visit. As she’s wiping her tears away, Mayama grabs her dirty hand and starts rubbing it. He hugs her, understanding that the thing she tied has become untied. She’s tearing up the tapes of separation one after another.
Mayama and Rika spend the night together at a hotel, with Rika sleeping in Mayama’s arms. The next morning, Rika attempts to sneak out, but an alarm goes off when she tries to take her purse. Getting up, Mayama disarms the trap that he had set because he had a feeling she was going to do something like this. He knows that going together to Europe was a lie because he knows that she’s arranged a plane ticket for only one and that she’s searching for an apartment for only one. Mayama accuses her of going to finish her husband’s work and then planning on dying. His voice now in a yell, he tells her not to think that it’s possible to die so easily. As his tears hit the floor, Mayama begs her to try to live properly. She collapses on the ground with him and puts her arms around him. After a while, Mayama picks himself back up and asks her to leave the room so that he can get himself together again. He suggests that she go to the lounge for some tea, though he refuses to let her leave with her purse. Sometime later, a now-embarrassed Mayama comes to the hotel lounge and tells Rika that he’s checked them out of the hotel. He’s also reserved them seats on a 12:30PM flight back. He’s about to say something concerning what had happened earlier, but she suggests he sit down because they still have some time before the flight.
Two days later, Mayama sees Rika off at Narita, and right up to the last minute the two talk about work. Mayama returns to the office, and while he is tidying up the place, he peeps into her mail again. He discovers that the requirements for the apartment she was searching for have now been changed to an apartment with two bedrooms. hop to: [the frontpage] [my hnc gallery] [roleplay blogs]
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Yamada and Hagu are admiring all of Yamada’s snow globes, including a Hawaiian one that Hagu considers romantic because it shows snow falling on the beach. At the same time, Nomiya is admiring a similar snow globe of snow falling on sand. He is with Yamazaki in Tottori where their boss Fujiwara Luigi has asked them to get some souvenirs because as Yamazaki explains, Luigi loves junk. Returning to the snow-on-sand thought, Nomiya talks about how it snows in Tottori in December. Thinking about how it’s romantic, Yamazaki imagines himself bringing Miwako here to admire the scenery when it’s snowing, though the image in Nomiya’s mind is more along the lines of Miwako getting excited about the crabs and alcohol. Yamazaki asks if Nomiya wants to show Yamada those sand dunes, and Nomiya’s uncertain answer causes Yamazaki to wonder if he doesn’t want to see her. Nomiya hasn’t contacted her because of how hard it is to reach someone who doesn’t have a cell phone. And there’s also the fact that she lives at home, which is guarded by her father. Nomiya is concerned about her, but feels that it’s troublesome and doesn’t want to hurt her. Yamazaki surprises Nomiya by asking him why he assumes that he’ll hurt the one he loves. Yamazaki thinks that if the right girl came along, he’d always treasure her. Nomiya continues to be shocked at this until the sand blows into his eyes. That night, Nomiya learns from Miwako on the phone that Yamada is working at Rika’s office. They both agree that it’s foolish for her to do this, and Miwako suggests that Nomiya call her when she’s at Harada Design on the weekends.
Sometime later, at Rika’s office, Yamada catches Mayama staring at Rika’s computer and jumps to the conclusion that Mayama is checking out Rika’s net browsing history. A flustered Mayama says that he was wondering about the weather in Hokkaido. Fortunately, he’s saved from Yamada when a fax arrives. He brings it to Rika, asking why she’s getting a fax about a Valencia art museum’s building addition championship that will require Rika to go to Spain. Rika explains that this is something her husband undertook when he was still alive. Mayama is unhappy that Rika didn’t consult with him about this, but she interrupts him to tell him that he’s going too because it’s part of work. For various reasons, it’ll be another half year before they have to get involved. Rika then excuses herself to her room because she’s not feeling well. Afterwards, Mayama shows Yamada a live camera weather forecast for the city of Otaru in Hokkaido - Rika’s hometown. Mayama says that Rika doesn’t talk about herself, but her browsing history is full of visits to this site. He thinks that she’s probably still got some contacts there, but she probably also has never gone back. Later that night, Rika is thinking about how her husband once told her that he wanted to create a huge home for paintings and sculptures and how he wanted to see Valencia. Rika remembers how much fun they had working together, but she knows that this is the last time. She asks him to wait a bit longer because it’ll soon be completed.
The phone starts ringing at the office, so Yamada answers it. Nomiya is calling just like Miwako suggested, and the two of them do some quick catching up. When Nomiya says that he’s surprised that she’s working there, Yamada starts talking happily about Rika and Mayama. Nomiya then asks if she’s ok, and Yamada answers yes, then continues to talk about the things she does at work and the things going on in her life. After she tells him to take care of his health, the two say their goodbyes and hang up. But all is not well with Yamada, as she is crying now that she’s hung up the phone. Nomiya acts on a hunch, gets in his car, gases up, and starts driving. By the next day, Nomiya arrives at Fujiwara Design, but finds out from Miwako that she sent Yamada to Tottori - in other words, where he just came from. Miwako explains that Yamada was looking really sad, so she decided to have Yamada bring some stuff to Nomiya. And unfortunately, Yamada doesn’t have a cell phone so they can’t just call her back. Since Miwako is curious why he came, Nomiya says that Yamada had told him that she’d be staying at Miwako’s place. Nomiya then leaves to go all the way back to Tottori. Miwako tells Leader that she can’t believe that Nomiya couldn’t wait for a morning flight and dashed over by car all the way from Tottori instead.
Yamada, meanwhile, is on the train to Tottori thinking about how concerned Mayama was about Rika the previous night. Upon arrival, she’s greeted by Yamazaki. He notices that she’s looking rather worn out, and she notices that Nomiya didn’t come. Yamada assumes that Nomiya is busy and starts to head back, but Yamazaki insists on taking her sightseeing. After a whirlwind tour, the two return to Nomiya and Yamazaki’s apartment. Yamada still feels that she should go home, so Yamazaki tries to stall until Nomiya returns. Fortunately, Nomiya comes back right then and collapses on the couch. He takes Yamada’s hand and doesn’t let go because he wants to talk to her after he wakes up. Yamazaki springs into action by bringing Yamada a futon and saying “4946″ (a play on words on an old Japanese way of invertedly saying 「よろしく」 (yoroshiku)). With no other choice, Yamada spends the night there. Nomiya wakes up the next morning to find her still sleeping soundly, though her legs are exposed. He also sees a bunch of unicorns surrounding her, protectors of her purity. Nomiya goes out and comes back later to wake Yamada up. She notices that he’s brought back various breads for breakfast, and the two eat.
Afterwards, they go out to the sand dunes by the water. Walking along, Yamada asks Nomiya where he went yesterday and he answers Tokyo. She thinks it was for work, but he says that he went so that he could see her. Yamada doesn’t seem to believe him, so Nomiya asks her if something happened. He could tell that she was crying during the phone call. She denies it, so Nomiya says that it must have been after the phone call then. Yamada can’t believe that Nomiya knew. To himself, Nomiya says that he knew because he’s always been watching her, knowing that she’s always looking towards Mayama. Yet that person she’s in love with is going far away with someone else. Nomiya thinks about how Yamada is always crying, and how he can’t comfort her because she’s in a far away place alone. He delivers Yamada to the train station and to her train. There, she thanks him for the great time and the souvenirs, and tells him to take care of himself. As she boards the train, Nomiya tells her that if there’s a time when she doesn’t know what to do, then she should call him. Yamada is confused at that statement and asks him why. A slightly frustrated Nomiya finally says that it’s because he likes her. The train door closes between them, and the train pulls out of the station with Yamada still standing by the train door with a surprised look on her face. Nomiya immediately turns around and wonders why he was so honest, and then spots Yamazaki giving him a thumbs-up from behind a noodle stand. Nomiya thinks this is a disaster. And so while Yamada is nervously chowing down her bento on the train ride back, Yamazaki takes Nomiya out drinking. Following alongside Yamada’s train are of course the unicorns, whose entire force is returning to the Kanto region with the “princess”. hop to: [the frontpage] [my hnc gallery] [roleplay blogs]
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