Shimao-as-Hazuki agrees to let Rokka wash his back, but she demurs when he asks her to bath with him. Both frustrated, he leaves, but not before drawing something in his sketchbook. Wanting to clear her head, Rokka spends her Sunday helping Miho tend her garden, but the roses there remind her of Atsushi. She retreats to the library, where Shimao-as-Hazuki happens to bump into her, and they go for a walk, during which time Rokka confesses to him that Atsushi was her first and only love, but now she’s fallen love in with him (Hazuki) too.
Atsushi remains in complete control of Hazuki, until the very last moment of the episode (we…think…?), and in this time, he and Rokka make a lot of headway. If there’s one thing he’s learned from both his time as a ghost observing Hazuki and his time as Hazuki himself, it’s that Hazuki ending up with Rokka is all but inevitable; it’s a matter of when, not if. This is confirmed when she finally confesses to Hazuki – Atsushi is the one to finally get her to say the words…and he’s the one to hear them as well. Learning he was the only man she’s ever loved (or been with) puts a look of shock on his face we’ve heretofore not seen.
Which brings us to the big dilemma of this episode (and last weeks, as well), at least from Hazuki’s perspective: he’s been lost in a pastel fairy tale land all this time, and thus hasn’t experienced any of these crucial moments in his relationship with Rokka. Atsushi half-reluctantly, half-regetably brought his wife closer to him, but will he know that when he wakes up? Will he gain the memories Atsushi formed while possessing him, or will he return to his body totally blank on the last two days? Will these recent events be a secret Atsushi will keep from him, leading to a misunderstanding between the real Hazuki and Rokka? We hope not. Or to put it like Hazuki did: we’re basically optimistic by nature, so we won’t let this bother us.
Rating: 9 (Superior)
Thanks to a bear, Michiko escapes and makes it to the bus stop where Keita’s siblings are fretting. After a crying session, she goes out to look for him, enlisting the help of Momou, and finds him passed out and bleeding. Momiji extracts fortune from her – enough to heal Keita, who wakes up in the morning with Michiko sleeping on him. The family goes home, and the next night, Michiko escapes. Momou and Bobby fetch the Aging Box for her, and she changes back to Ichiko. She’s then down in the dumps for several days, confounding Momiji & Co., until she finally gathers the courage to return Keita’s hanky, and returns to normal.
Safely behind her shield of little-kidhood, Ichiko enjoys being a part of the family she derided and insulted as a high schooler as a result of her inexperience dealing with anyone less fortunate than her (which is pretty much everyone). When Keita’s accident separates him from them, she shares in that drama and is compelled to act to preserve their family. She may outwardly say she’s doing it so she isn’t saddled with that bunch of troublesome kids, but she’s really doing it out of momentary, genuine compassion. Her body may have shrunk, but her heart grew. Then she’s back to normal, and suffers ‘family withdrawal’, of a kind.
After all that time surrounded by love and noise, she looks lonely and lost – nothing the celestial squatters do will faze her. It’s a load that’s lifted off her mind once she returns the hanky Keita gave her as Michiko. She not only feared that he’d realize the little kid was her (he didn’t, he’s not the sharpest tack), but was probably also worried about getting drawn back into that house – even though in her regular form, they’re not really big fans of her. So, lesson learned for Ichiko: some people have nothing she has, but everything she doesn’t – but it shouldn’t be – and isn’t – a simple case of ‘n’er the twain shall meet’.
Rating: 6 (Good)