Mahiro and Yoshino take a bus to the countryside where a Fruit emerges from a mountaintop. Yoshino tries to save an elderly couple and a pair of boys, but they succomb to Black Iron Syndrome along with every living thing in the area. Mahiro breaks into a house and takes a bath. Yoshino cooks dinner while talking to Hakaze about how he met Mahiro – and how he was essentially forced into being his friend, and eventually went along with it. Hakaze also asks Mahiro, who concludes he probably wouldn’t still be around if he’d never met Yoshino.
After lots of action, this episode slows things down and offers up some character building, and it was still great. Yoshino and Mahiro are safe for the moment, but are still living day to day, so there’s not much to do except maintain. Meanwhile, Hakaze, ten time zones away, has little to do on her deserted island. She has time for those stories people deem too long to tell, and Yoshino is happy to let loose. Mahiro was a spoiled, privileged little brat, you see, who one day got hit by a motorcycle while walking home. He just happened to survive, and Mahiro just happened to be chosen to visit him in the hospital, against his will. He’s ultimately dubbed “Mahiro’s Guardian” (complete with name tag), and he runs with it.
But just like the grown-up version, this young Yoshino did his duty without complaint (well, with few complaints), even investigating the accident when Mahiro asks him to (not confident adults would listen) and concluding a disgruntled former employee of his father’s ordered the hit and tried to make it look like an accident. Then as now, Mahiro did what he wanted, because he could, while Yoshino did what he was told, but did it his way. We like how Hakaze gets both sides of the story, but Mahiro’s is so much more succinct – after all, he’s more interested in a future in which he gets revenge than he is in the past that got him to this point. Mahiro, on the other hand, still sees Aika when he closes his eyes.
Rating: 8 (Great)