One year after Junichi was stood up on his Christmas date he went to the Founder’s Festival but couldn’t quite find it within himself to go in, and though Umehara wanted to see Haruka’s part at the Miss Santa Contest they both went to hang out at his place. Haruka ended up winning it and Tsukasa found herself alone working as a member of the management committee.
The year after this Junichi meets Rihoko on his way to school and she asks him if he’ll be going to the Founder’s Festival, offering him some stuff as a member of the Tea Club as he remembers how he and Umehara had resolved to be the one to get a girl by the next Founder’s Festival, which also makes him decide to go. When he gets there his teacher asks if anyone wants to volunteer as a committee member, and while no one really wants to do it Tsukasa steps up with Junichi also deciding to help her out. Umehara and Kaoru tease him about this but he tells them how his reason for it was so that he would have to go, Tsukasa meets him soon after this to tell him to ask her if he has any questions and she smiles as his friends cheer him on.
Miya finds out about his decision to help out Tsukasa as a committee member and if anything she plans to use his position to get what her class wants, and so all of the students and clubs meet Junichi and Tsukasa the next day to hand in their request forms. When they finally get through all of this Junichi is impressed at everything that Tsukasa has done for the Founder’s Festival and after this they go to the supply room, however they find themselves stuck inside when a breeze closes the door.
The door won’t open and there’s no way they could get out through a window but Tsukasa is sure that someone will come soon and isn’t worried about spending the night inside if he’s there. While they go over the equipment inside they start talking about their reasons for volunteering, with Tsukasa wanting to help bring happiness to people and Junichi telling her that he volunteered so that he could try to change. It’s sunset when they finally get through all of this and no one came to help them out, however Miya and Sae show up to get some costumes for their class’ play. So they tell her how to open it and they almost get stuck inside again when Miya forgets to leave the door open.
Junichi and Tsukasa walk home together after this but when they meet her older sister, Yukari her personality seems to change as she talks to her and they both walk away quickly. The day after this Junichi struggles to cope on his own as all of the students make their requests and complaints at once, so he goes to the pool where Tsukasa is giving supplementary lessons to Kaoru and Keiko and tells him that she’ll help him as soon as she’s finished there. Kaoru’s reason for the lessons is also revealed as she skipped to many classes in order to keep her hair dry. As he prepares to head back he looks back and is surprised by Haruka who thinks that he’s joining her in peeking on them, but she ends up being caught by Hibiki.
Just as he’s about to finish for the day Junichi finds a notebook but can’t find a name on it as he looks for it, meanwhile in the changing rooms Tsukasa realises that she’s missing something and heads to the classroom. When she gets there she sees the notebook in his hand and suddenly grabs him by his tie, asking if he read it.
“Nageki no Tenshi” by Kaori Nazuka, download.
With this episode the final and long awaited Tsukasa arc has begun, and I must admit that alongside Kaoru’s arc this had been one of the arcs that I had been looking forward to seeing around the time that this was announced. Particularly because she was the flagship/main heroine for the Visual Novel which just about every Visual Novel seems to have, meaning that if it wasn’t for the omnibus format her route would have had the highest chance of being adapted. The heroine, Tsukasa Ayatsuji is also voiced by Kaori Nazuka, who’s past roles have included the likes of Eureka in Eureka seveN and Nunally in Code Geass.
Other than that though I thought that this was a great start as while some of the previous arcs had chosen to overlook it, the heartbreak that Junichi went through before the series had been brought up and it presented things from a rather different angle. Where he chose to volunteer to help Tsukasa with the Founder’s Festival when it could be assumed he had just sat there like everyone else had, so to see things go from here was something that I found pretty interesting. Above all though I liked how the two of them had interacted together, as how Junichi and the heroine of each arc had interacted was generally one of the things that I like about this series.
However I will admit though that after Rihoko’s arc there was something depressing about how she had shown up in this episode to invite him to the Founder’s Festival, because with the knowledge that she had liked him ever since they were in kindergarten it was almost as if she was trying to ask him out then. But even then it seemed to hit a bit harder when he had just brushed her off as a childhood friend after this. How Haruka had fit into this episode was actually kind of nice though, as her victory in the previous Miss Santa contest was shown along with her questionable habit of peeking on girls in their swimsuits coming up when least expected.
How Tsukasa’s arc comes as the last one to end the series on is also something that I think it benefits from, as over the past episodes and arcs there had generally been that feeling that she had needed someone like him there through things like her being shown on her own when the festivities at the festival reached their highpoint. And alongside that there was also that sense that she may have liked him, however what it benefited the most from this was that it steadily built up and got us familiar with Tsukasa as the helpful and nice class rep. When even in the first episode of her arc there’s definitely that feeling that she’s really nothing like that and that it’s more of a front, as shown when they bumped into her sister and more notably at the end when she grabbed him by the tie for finding her notebook. Which her ending theme also does a good job at reflecting.