Yuuichi tries to throw a birthday party for Shiori the day before her birthday, trying to invite Kaori as well to acknowledge her sister and spend time with her before her final minutes tick away.
Wow. That episode was amazing. They did a great job at the end of Shioriâ€™s arc. Whether it was better ending then Toeiâ€™s is discussed below, but this was truly one amazingly. The scene with the snow and the fountain just made the scene beautiful, adding to the plot and characters so much. I just was not expecting this ending. I was expecting something like Toeiâ€™s version. Because Shiori dies in the game in all arcs except her own, I was expecting it to be different then the game in order to keep Shiori alive. The only way they kept Shiori alive in the game hasnâ€™t been introduced yet; however I still held hope they would do what Toei did and just say a miracle happened or something. Thereâ€™s a chance she is alive, but wow did the end still surprise me.
Ok, here is my breakdown on the possibilities of Shiori being alive or dead. It isnâ€™t for sure either way, and thatâ€™s a fact. It doesnâ€™t matter for a second what happened in the other version or the game, this anime has a chance so far for her to be alive or dead. The ending made it seem like she died just because of the tone of things and how Yuuichi responded to the note Shiori left. However, in one way that just makes this ending and episode work better. There wasnâ€™t enough emotion in other places to make this arc work as well without this kind of supposed ending. It would make things much more real and deep for her to die though. Makoto really disappeared, with Mai still alive the way for this show to keep a tragedy flow for everyone would e her dieing. It would make more logical sense. However this show is also about miracles. Even though Makoto disappeared her existence itself was a miracle, Maiâ€™s powers and surviving her stab was a miracle, so whereâ€™s Shioriâ€™s miracle? The main thing that makes me think Shiori could still be alive is the theme of miracles. I mean, in the game if you followed Shioriâ€™s arc and she lived, Yuuichi didnâ€™t find out about it until spring. That leaves a perfect chance for Shiori to still be alive in this series but only appear at the end, still keeping the emotion and drama of the aftermath of her death. However, on the side of her dieing there is the preview, which doesnâ€™t favor her survival. It seems like Yuuichi is telling people about her death, and there is a scene where he is crying with Shioriâ€™s shawl on. Not only does that point to him crying because he knows about her death, but he has her shawl. The only hope is that Shiori left that behind somewhere and he picked it up. Otherwise he would have had to get it from Kaori somehow and if he did that he would know for sure if she was alive or not, and if she was he wouldnâ€™t be crying. However one big thing that points to Shiori being alive are those scenes he imagined of Shiori and Kaori spending time together. It was in the spring because of the lack of snow, and they werenâ€™t things that had already happened because it was all the things they dreamed like eating together, so it almost seemed like things that were going to happen. All in all, it boils down to there is still a chance she is alive. Next episode will be a real determiner in that as it could easily diminish all but one percent of a chance her surviving. Because, as I said before this is all about miracles. Even if she dies and they bury her and Kaori tells Yuuichi she is dead, vitals nothing, proclaimed dead, sheâ€™s six feet under or they cremated her, there is still a slight chance of her coming back somehow some way, however that isnâ€™t very likely. Still, that isnâ€™t the only hope she has so far. Next episode can either leave us with that one percent, or with the same amount of chance we have now, just waiting for the end to find out for sure.
Honestly, itâ€™s hard to say which version is sadder. The endings were different in more of a sense then her surviving or not. In the Toei version Kaori never came to any birthday party, didnâ€™t make up and accept her sister there or anything like that. That came later; she visited her and Yuuichi at the fountain near the end. Honestly, for absolute certain the Toei version gave Kaori a MUCH MUCH MUCH greater and more emotional part. Most of the old series tragedy and sadness about Shioriâ€™s arc came from the relationship between Kaori and Shiori. In the end, what made it really sad and amazingly great was how they were both crying into each others arms saying how Kaori wants her to be her sister and Shiori was crying that she didnâ€™t want to die, she wanted to do all those things she dreamed of and Kaori said thatâ€™s all she has wanted all along too. Yuuichi played a very little part in the end of Shioriâ€™s arc, at least what made it sad. For certain Kaori and Shioriâ€™s relationship was much better portrayed, or at least at the end, in the old version. Not to say which was overall sadder, but the thing that made Toeiâ€™s version sad was the sisterly relationship between them and both of them wanting to be together and not wanting her to die. Whether itâ€™s like the game or not is irrelevant, it was done well.
Now, actually deciding what version was sadder is hard. Itâ€™s almost a tie really and it truly is hard to compare because of how different the endings are. In the Toei version it was obvious she lived, at least for a while longer. The next day and week I think Shiori was fine and Kaori said the doctors were reporting she had made a turn around and it seemed obvious that she would survive. In Kazahana, an apparently non canon but still interesting final episode (retelling kind of) it showed the spring and Shiori was alive so basically, she survived. However, even though she survived it was still sad because of the aforementioned dealings between Shiori and Kaori. This version’s sadness stems from the thought and possibility that she actually did die. I talked about this more above but it seemed, at least at that moment that Shiori had died. Thatâ€™s the impression I got from the end and Yuuichiâ€™s expression. Iâ€™m sure we will find out much more next episode but there’s a chance she survived but not much, but I already talked about that. This versionâ€™s true tragedy came from the high possibility that despite all they had talked about, all the talkings of future plans for Shiori, all of her getting over adversity, finally being acknowledged by her sister, after all of that, all of those accomplishments, she still dies. That is truly tragic and if Shiori does indeed die it is devastating. The slight hope and possibility that she may still be alive doesnâ€™t even absolve the tragedy and emotion that came from this end.
Iâ€™m at least glad they included the attempted suicide in this episode. I was a bit worried that they werenâ€™t going to show it and as Iâ€™ve said before, and someone nicely commented, her attempted suicide is rally big in the story. It makes things more then her struggle to be happy with her condition, it makes things truly much darker and more about her being able to live with herself and her condition, being able to survive long enough to face her fate. That made things interesting and so much more real; it made it less of a fairy tale situation.
Can’t really say anything here without needlessly saying things that happen, next up Nayuki and Ayu’s arc.