夏のあらし！ Episode 11
Natsu no Arashi! – 11
Hajime and Yayoi have connected and gone back into World War II Japan. The shock of things has Yayoi unconscious and with the radio announcing a massive air raid coming, Hajime feels he has to do something. So he wheels Yayoi into town to head to the factory where he knows Kanako and the others worked. A mother and child recognize Yayoi and believe her to have been injured in the last raid. Yayoi comes to and recognizes the mother and child. Knowing they will die in an air raid, Yayoi becomes frantic in attempting to warn them. However, they don’t believe her.
Hajime wheels Yayoi to a nearby hill to rest. Yayoi calls Hajime “Niisan” and talks about her friendship with Kanako and how they’ve lived over the past 60 summers complete with how this most recent year began to see them fade from exsistance. Hajime promises to find a way to keep them all from disappearing when Kanako from 1945 arrives. She says some hurtful things to Yayoi but when a fighter comes and strafes the area, Yayoi gets up out of her wheelchair to save Kanako’s life. As a result, Kanako only gets grazed by a bullet.
Kanako limps back into town and Hajime points out that Yayoi got on her feet. She’s unsteady but she’s happy that she can walk again. They walk into town as Hajime has decided they should go see Arashi. Yayoi teases that no matter what era, boys like Arashi and while Hajime protests otherwise, Yayoi knows the truth. They meet the 1945 Arashi and Kaja on the road with Arashi telling Yayoi that they are counting on her for the playing of the piano at the performance later in the day. Yayoi encourages Hajime to attend the performance that her 1945 self will be playing but cannot come herself due to the risk of running into her 1945 self.
Yayoi returns to the hill as Hajime goes to the school. The 1945 Yayoi looks a bit depressed as she plays while Arashi and Kaja sing. Hajime figures it is because of Kanako so when he spots Kanako, he yells to get her attention. 1945-Yayoi sees Kanako and is very happy. Kanako apologizes for her remarks earlier and thanks the confused Yayoi for helping her. Thus a friendship is born.
Hajime returns to the current Yayoi and talks about how their trip made everything possible. The current Kanako has come back to the past with Hideo. Kanako is stunned to see that Yayoi can walk. Yayoi explains that without their current condition and abilities, their friendship wouldn’t have been possible. She makes Kanako understand and in doing so, the two link hands and hold out a hand to their partners to return to the present day Japan.
So now we know how Kanako and Yayoi became best of friends thanks to the present-day Yayoi going back in time with Hajime. While we again show a “completion of the circle” by having the trip to the past account for something in the present, I didn’t like the attack that caused Yayoi and Kanako to become friends. For starters, there’s no way a single American fighter would be out cruising the countryside looking for girls in wheelchairs to strafe.
That factory in the town would be the target of any American attack as well as rail lines. So having a single American fighter coming out of nowhere to strafe Kanako, Yayoi, and Hajime not only rings false, but annoyed me as well. The implication is that the Americans were only looking to kill innocent civilians when that was not the case.
That aside, the other aspect of the Yayoi and Kanako friendship was sorta sweet complete with Kanako coming to the past with Hideo (which was the only comedy moment in the episode) and Yayoi now being able to walk again.
I also liked Hajime getting to see the Yayoi from 1945 play piano as Kaja and Arashi sang. I’m going to guess that Arashi knew Hajime from his trip here and that’s why when he showed up, she immediately gravitated to him.
BTW, I note that no one noticed that Yayoi suddenly had longer hair when addressing her future self. Also, Kanako apparently didn’t notice that not only did Yayoi have longer hair when she saved Kanako from being killed, but that Yayoi then went back to having short hair during the performance. ^_^;;;
So why do these four girls only come to life during the summer? Why are they still alive? Why does Yayoi initially address Hajime as “Niisan.” These are the questions still to be answered. I sorta doubt there will be an answer since the manga is still ongoing unless SHAFT decides to make up their own answers.
Speaking of SHAFT, they continue the references but I’ve no clue what those things are from. It is very possible that the initial imagery after Yayoi and Hajime are historical in nature and not from any movie or TV drama. I just don’t know for sure (they do look like real photos from the period) but if one of you in the audience happens to, let me know.
So we are left with an interesting episode with some sweet moments, one small comedy moment, and one irritating (and some could argue anti-American) moment. Oh yeah, and SHAFT’s normal “I read a book” joke that’s not funny.