Kanon 13 - The Contradictions of Mai Kawasumi

What is eternity doing tonight? has become Mega Megane Moé. For the latest posts, please change your links accordingly. (my 2 cents: not every title like that is meant to be a Haruhi ripoff, okay?)

It's funny that I don't have any ideas for an intro to a blog post. And so I've gone to the lame and typical idea about talking about how I don't have anything to talk about. And now I'm talking about talking about not having anything to talk about. Want me to go for one more loop?

But seriously, have a list instead. Ideas rejected for intro to Kanon 13...
1) Talking about how I'm not blogging Shuffle! because 18 is EPIC (win? fail?), again
2) Rabid Mai fanboying
3) SaYURI (x Mai) joke, followed by getting self shot
4) Random pictures with amusing captions.
5) Rampant Mai fanboying
6) None at all because I'm a lazyass who wants to go watch Lucky Star 9
7) Ridiculous Mai fanboying
8) A list. OSHI~

What's that? Get on with the episode recap. Alright. Spoilers through the end of Kanon's 24 episodes as always, since there is a good job done at mixing the character's stories and developing them all a bit at a time.

So, technically, Kitagawa kicks off the foreshadowing list with a bit of Two Minute Foreshadowing, when he talks about going to a student council meeting to discuss some crazy girl with a sword who messed up last night's dance. Gee, I wonder who that would be (Shiori, of course). Jun was there last night - he should have noticed that Yuuichi was with Mai though, considering how much they stood out during the dance scene.

Dramatic door! But more interesting here is Mai's conversion to a trap, as I'm pretty sure that there's no form of conversation that allows a girl to be called -kun. Script error or translation error, it's uncertain, as it is hard to tell if Annoying Student President is using the right honorific or not.

And for some reason this Sayuri reminds me of James Bond, maybe the Casino Royale opening or something. The whole person-in-a-circle thing. On topic, note how much Sayuri reflects her emotions on her face, when a girl in the student council starts defending Mai. After all, it is just mildly implausible that a girl would be able to break all the windows in the gym, including those out of reach, within seconds. Maybe Kuzo's just bitter because a human that was actually a fox died on him recently, so he knows anything is possible.

Interesting enough is that Sayuri sports no sign of the injuries she probably sustained during last's nights demon rampage. Don't worry though, Sayuri, you'll get more. What, don't look at me like that, I like Sayuri as a character. She even manages to make a head cast look good. Also note that Mai shows emotion, caring about Sayuri's injury. Amazing, isn't it.

Sayuri is candid with her emotions again, and Jun's all 'OMFG a girl touched me' (again? this may be the first time). I don't think he'll ever wash those hands again.

Ordinary life, Yuuichi? You're in bloody Kanon for crying out loud. You are in normal life, being surrounded by 5 troubled girls. What do you want? Someone "normal"? Hmph.

Well, there's Sleeping Beauty in the picture above, and now it's time for Snow White. You know what you have to do, Kyon Yuuichi.

Yup, Shiori scene! With Makoto out of the picture by about a mile, Ayu...uh...somewhere else, eating taiyaki and waiting for her arc, and Nayuki getting 5 second scenes whenever convenient, Shiori's the only other one who seems to feature prominently in these episodes. Or maybe it's because she actually has some decent plot developing, even during Mai's arc.

The issue of the Misaka sisters is readdressed, this time with Shiori fielding the question. She seems first to respond affirmatively, being really excited that Yuuichi's in the same class as Kaori.

However, when Yuuichi mentions how Kaori ignores her (or, at least, says that there is no sister), Shiori quickly backpedals, making very implausible excuses that there are two Kaori Misakas in the world. Sure there are, Shiori.

Meanwhile, Kaori is being subtle again about the true existence (or not) of her sister, as she once again is caught (by the viewer) staring out the window at Shiori and Yuuichi talking happily. In random notes, Shiori pulls another Ayu with the iconic line, "Yakusoku dayo." It's a promise. Although, somehow I suppose that that phrase gets common use outside of Kanon as well.

Mai continues to show vague affection towards Sayuri (because they're friends and whatnot), going all scary-looking on Annoying President Kuzo's ass. What's surprising is that he backs off rather quickly - it seems Mai's gained a reputation around the school, but not a good one.

She still, however, continues to push away her friends, which is strange for someone who has as few precious people as her. Mai's always been a bit of a loner in life, with her power and all, and it probably wasn't helping that she was abandoned by the one person who was really close to her in her youth... (Sayuri comes later, y'know)

Oh, it seems Ayu gets some plot development after all. It's funny that I forget about it, probably because it's been here since the start of Kanon. Once again hints are dropped about the true nature of Ayu's school, which is located towards the forest. A school? By the forest? Where would they put it?

If at all, of course.

Not to mention the typical "Ayu searches for her lost thing" scene, which, as neither Yuuichi nor Ayu knows, is very closely connected to her school in the forest. I wonder if that's the same bench that Ayu always sits on.

And once again we find ourself at school in night. Ayu's here this time, as Yuuichi consults Dr. Kawasumi for relationship advice. It seems that since Mai knew so much about Makoto that Yuuichi is now tempted to drag every girl to Mai now for supernatural advice.

It's too bad Nayuki, Shiori, and Mai never really interact with each other, though.

Mai waits for Ayu to leave but eventually in the end dishes out the plot foreshadowing Yuuichi was hoping for, although in typically ambigious terms.

Yuuichi, as always, is a bit slow on the uptake though, and doesn't understand the true depth of Ayu. She may not be strong physically, or even strong mentally now, but perhaps that's because he is not seeing the real Ayu... in more ways than one.

There's your answer to why Ayu is strong, albeit still, in very ambiguous terms. What is nice is that both Mai and Ayu's connections to Yuuichi are foreshadowed. But what I don't understand, however, is why sometimes Mai seems to remember her past with Yuuichi, and sometimes she doesn't. This is the former. Maybe she's trying to pull a Nayuki and trying to coax the information out of him, trying to get him to remember instead of beating him over the head with "WTF you abandoned me seven years ago for some other woman, you two-timing pimp".

Mai also mentions a Vaguely Important Plot point, in saying that there are five demons left. It seems she can sense them rather well. I wonder how many demons there were total, although she probably ended up regenerating them at will. But then, she would've been totally destroyed long before Yuuichi came, no? Did this act just start recently?

Pause for Nayuki scene again. Yuuichi denies himself some free fanservice. How strange. I wonder if Nayuki was always that sleeps, even in her loli days.

Yay, plot flashbacks! Sayuri recounts her first meeting with Mai, and also hints at Mai's love of animals (irrelevant but still characterization).

And we also get a possible reason as to why Mai likes the simple gyuudon so much; it was the meal that her and Sayuri shared. Since they became close friends, the meal became something important to them, or at least to Mai. Aww, how sweet and sentimental Mai can be, when you least expect it. Although, I suppose, Shiori's tale of coming to like ice cream was much the same way, as perhaps Ayu's taiyaki craving as well.

Welcome to McInnuendo, how would you like your lines interpreted today? Mai suddenly gives off a Yuki vibe of paying subtly more attention, in the 'what are you two talking about' way.

And so Sayuri and Yuuichi go on a date-o shopping trip for Mai's birthday, which is conveniently coming up in the next day or two. It turns out the plush toy vender is an excellent used car salesmen as well, as he uses the pity trick to great effect to give Sayuri a reason to buy Mr. Anteater, along with the fact that...

Mai and Sayuri met three years ago. Coincidentally, this is when the universe, as they knew it, was created, with a data explosion centered around the Minase household. Did you ever wonder why Ayu kept saying she was in a dream? Perhaps she is in a dream, perhaps this world is a dream, under the control of one girl, who can create and alter reality as she saw fit.

Minase Nayuki no Yuutsu? I'd buy that.

This statement is quite possibly the most innocent-sounding important line in quite a while. In two episodes we'll delve into Mai's backstory, and talk about how her mother is dying and all. Now, since this is anime, it's 99% certain that, when a character is dying, especially a parent in a child's youth, they're going to die permanently. But, if you listen closely to Sayuri, you'll note that she talks in the present about Mai's mother, noting that she will be very happy that Mai got something for her birthday.

Implying that she's not dead. Not. Dead. If I only caught this the first run-through that would have been a lot of anguish saved.

Back to the school at night to cap off the episode again, and Yuuichi prods Mai for some more plot again, asking about her friends - and oddly enough, asking him not to include himself. So Mai talks about a male friend he had a long time ago, that left her. Definitely not Yuuichi, right? Of course not. It seems Mai definitely is erring on the side of 'still remembers', although she's being very subtle about it, something that she rarely is.

But yet we get a bit of inconsistency, with Mai's plot revelation of how the demons are after Yuuichi, not Mai. First off, it's a bit strange that she knows and understands this, although since she knows how many they are she probably can discern more information. Plus, since the demons are her, she should understand them - even if she doesn't really understand herself. But the confusing thing is that Mai asks Yuuichi who he is, like she doesn't know. But she DOES know. She's proven it.

Or is she just dropping hints very subtly again, waiting for him to remember? But then again, Mai said that she could not wait for Yuuichi. Why is she waiting now?