The day before New Year’s Eve, the girls set up their second annual “We” Exhibition. They fall behind, but finish strong with help from Shimokamiyama, Dougou, and Yakusa. Kanae is sad about the fact that come next year she’ll have to focus on exams, and that she’ll have to leave the photography club. The next day, a large crowd awaits when the doors are open, and the exhibition is a resounding success. After ringing in the new year, Sayomi picks everyone up before dawn to see the sunrise by the seaside, where everyone yells out their hopes for the new year.
There were times during this episode when we were worried that Kanae was going to disappear in a wisp of vapor on the stroke of midnight, so apprehensive she was of the coming new year. Part of us wanted to jump into the tv screen, give her a shake and say “Honey…everything will be fine!” She’ll always remember the past year as the year she broke out of her shell, inspired and supported by Fuu and her friends. As Maestro says, Kanae and Fuu shaped each other in that year, and they also enriched each other’s love for photography, and life in general. We like how their year is documented in photos and exhibited in chronological order, so that anyone who cares to can see the progression of their friendship along with their growth as photographers.
When the bells chimed midnight, the new year began, Kanae was still there in one piece, albeit having closed the lens cap on her camera. The series pulls out all the stops for the tearful, heartwarming final scenes that take stock of the past year and all it meant to everyone. We especially liked the sweet “parent meeting” in which Potte’s mom and grandma and Maon’s folks marvel at how far their kids have come since deciding to move to Takehara. Sayomi shows up to make sure the girls don’t miss the first dawn. Kanae makes sure to savor her last moments with Potte as her president: when the sun rises, she’s aggressive and pulls her in for a big ol’ hug, thanking her for a wonderful year. Potte tears up and reciprocates, which makes everyone else tear up…including us. A bit.
Rating: 8 (Great)
Keima courts Ayumi from outside her bathroom window as Haqua and Chihiro look on. He gets Ayumi to meet him by the river, but he has to relocate the setting of his confession numerous times due to the presence of Vintage agents all over town. Chihiro suggests they hole up at Miyako’s house, where Chihiro calls Keima a liar and plays for Ayumi a recording of him talking about his “conquest”. Ayumi flees, but Keima intercepts her on horseback. Testing his resolve, she proposes marriage, then takes him to her parents’ house. She then tells him to meet her by the waterfront to confess to her sincerely.
Ayumi, Katsuragi’s first and now last conquest, is making all the previous ones look like a cakewalk by comparison, but that’s apparently what Keima gets for persuing the girl he calculated as more likely to be hosting a goddess, Chihiro, first. Now time is seriously running out, but every attempt to close the deal is interrupted by a swarming Vintage. It’s a good thing Ayumi is actually in love with Keima, or she probably wouldn’t tolerate being dragged from one corner of town to the next on a marathon evening tour of potential confession spots. And all of it under the eye of Chihiro, who’s with Haqua for her own safety and still sore over Keima scorning him.
Chihiro now knows that Keima is after a power Ayumi possesses that only he can draw out, but doesn’t know the whole story, and isn’t told how large the stakes are. Even if she knew the world was being threatened, she’d still probably do what she does here in sabotaging Keima’s “speed run” and making him do things honestly and consider Ayumi’s feelings. This may seem like wasting time, but Chihiro rightly recognizes that even if she didn’t interfere, a speed run on conquering Ayumi wouldn’t have worked; as long as Ayumi thought she still liked Keima. Her bold act breaks the love triangle and allows Ayumi to proceed without guilt. Now it’s up to Keima to convince Ayumi he’s serious…and Haqua’s job to keep them alive.
Rating: 8 (Great)
- All things considered, Ayumi’s quite a sport about the whole stolen underwear thing.
- Some nice assists by Nora and her buddy this week, as the former distracts Lune and keeps watch on Ayumi, while the latter plants decoys all over town.
- Miyako is a very gracious host, accepting four unexpected guests…but she’s not so spineless as to let them leave before cleaning up!
- Keima makes quick use of his raiment by creating a white horse and wedding garb with which to woo Ayumi.
- The whole scene at Ayumi’s house is fantastic, especially when her dad has simply had enough and heads to bed!
- The preview for the finale was nice and minimalistic, but very enticing: an unseen expectant crowd clapping rhythmically.
- Still wondering what’s up with Keima’s sexy teacher, Nikaido…we guess we’ll find out next week, if we find out at all, right?