To everyone’s surprise and joy, Satoru finally wakes up, and realizes he can’t remember anything that’s happened since February 1988.
The episode presented the expected aftermath of Satoru’s awakening – he’s told of what happened to him, needs to spend time rehabilitating his near-atrophied muscles, and is visited by his friends; but it’s done with much endearment. In the previous episodes, Satoru has had a profound impact on many characters, and this is the episode where they finally show his gratitude, as well as update him on their lives – Kenya has become a lawyer, and gives Satoru a large document detailing what happened to him, how he was found, and what happened in the years that followed; Satoru’s mother (who was portrayed excellently in this episode, especially regarding the emotional response to Satoru’s awakening) has been looking after him, and has devoted four hours every day to stretching his muscles and exposing them to some activity; and Kayo eventually married Hiromi Sugita (one of the kids saved by Satoru, who eventually became a doctor), and they’ve just had a child named Mirai (which means future in Japanese, and references the future given to Kayo by Satoru’s selfless actions).
While in rehabilitation, Satoru meets a young leukemia patient named Kumi, who is nervous about her upcoming operation – Satoru instills courage in her, and while they talk, they are encountered by a younger Airi (who is about fourteen at the time). Satoru strikes conversation, as he vaguely seems to recognize her, and eventually he remembers her name – but passes out simultaneously, ending the episode.
I genuinely enjoyed this episode, as it spent a lot of time working on the relationships between Satoru, and his mother and friends. This kind of content was condensed to half an episode in the anime (so 10 minutes), but here we got a full 30-minute episode focussing on the aftermath of Satoru waking up. I liked that. I also liked how they expanded the story by showing how people reacted to the news of his incident. It was particularly heartbreaking to see his mom receive word of what had transpired, and her remarkable devotion to caring for her son easily reinforces her status as one of the most likeable characters in the series, if not cementing her as the most likeable. She’s just a damn good mother.
I’m not sure what the focus will be in the next two episodes, but I expect a build up to a climactic finale. We’ll soon be seeing what has become of Gaku Yashiro, and whether Satoru will remember enough to comprehend his danger; and formulate a way to stop him. I believe that Sawada and Kenya will be crucial to this.
Side Thoughts and Observations:
- Baka Nano count: 11 (it was a pretty explosive one too).
- It was sweet to see that Satoru’s friends tried to raise money for his treatment after hearing of the incident; and sickening to see Yashiro try and look sad and teary-eyed when he broke the news to the class.
- If Airi and Satoru get involved romantically (as she has a major crush on him, and he really needs more in his life than manga), then they’ll not only be 12 years apart (i.e. she was born after the incident), but she’ll be fourteen and he’ll be twenty-six. Hectic. But I reckon they’ll meet again somewhere down the line when their ages are more respectable.
- When Satoru is struggling to get to the end of the rehabilitation-rail, he sees Kumi and thinks, “I better get to the end, or I’ll lose face” – that was funny.