Kaoru catches Sentarou as he is about to leave without saying anything, and he ends up staying, meeting his father again and practising for their festival performance, which has an addition in the form of Ritsuko as the vocals. The night before, Sentarou goes out with Sachiko to return some sheet music to Kaoru, and gets hit by a van, with Sachiko suffering severe injuries. The festival performance is called off, and Sentarou disappears without telling anyone, blaming himself for the accident.
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I won’t say that it was a given, but the scenes leading up to the unfortunate crash had a happy feel to them – too happy, in fact. And when you put lots of effort into animating someone walking back home in the dark, as well as driving a motorbike, it’s a glaringly obvious danger flag that I failed to notice until it was too late to brace myself. Cue the wide-eyed, lip biting, “oh shit this can’t be happening” face that I seem to be getting far too often nowadays. I mean, the signs were all subtly there – the happy flashes of Kaoru, Sentarou and Ricchan, their convo on what their favourite things were among other hints. It might be a bit cruel to say this, but it would have been a lot worse (for Kaoru/Ricchan, and for us fans) if Sentarou was the one grievously injured. They did troll us brilliantly though, since everyone must have thought that Sentarou took heavy damage, especially Kaoru xD
On the other hand, if he was the one hospitalized, then at least he wouldn’t have done a runner ;_; He failed the first time, but I’m as frustrated as you are to realize that he succeeded on his second try. I’m not sure what Sentarou intends to achieve from abandoning his friends and family other than to punish himself for the accident, but you know he’s taking this seriously when he’s even left his rosary necklace behind. Sentarou once beat the hell out of a guy that took it for fun, so to willingly leave it behind is not a light matter at all. It seems Sentarou’s father is willing to put their past behind as well, which must have made it all the harder for Sentarou to leave.
I’m very glad no-one mentioned the lost festival performance, and that Kaoru immediately took off to the hospital to see Sentarou, and didn’t even hesitate a bit. Ahh, the power of friendship ^_^ The power of love is good too, and that scene near the beginning with Kaoru leaning on Ricchan got my hopes up again xD Hang in there, both of you! Kaoru saying his favourite thing was Ricchan would have been terribly corny yet so romantic at the same time~
Ack, this is the first time I’ve hated the lack of a preview.