This OAV begins with Tsubomi looking through a old family photo album and seeing pictures of when she was born. She says that people fall in love and then have children, but she wonders why people fall in love. Later Rea-pi tells Tsubomi that Daiki definitely likes her, and she tells Tsubomi that he thinks about her all the time. Then she ask Tsubomi about her and Daiki and she tells Rea-pi about the time he gave her a gift, and he helps her. Rea-pi says that since and he lives close by so why doesn’t she just confess? When Rae-pi asks her what she really thinks of him all she can do is reply that she doesn’t know.
When Tsubomi describes her feelings about Daiki to Rea-pi she tells Tsubomi that’s what you call liking a person, so she says that they should have a Christmas Eve party so she can confess her feelings to him and find out where she stands. When Rea-pi tells everyone about the Christmas Eve party everyone thinks it sounds nice and Yuu volunteers to have the party at his house. As Daiki is opening his locker a letter falls out and Futoshi opens it and it looks like it’s from another girl who wants to confess to Daiki, this puts Daiki and Tsubomi in an awkward situation.
Futoshi and Rea-pi make a big deal about the letter, later Yae comes up to Tsubomi and tells her not to worry it looks like Daiki turned down the other girl. That night Tsubomi doesn’t think at she has the courage to confess her feelings to Daiki like the other girl did. The next day the crew arrives at Yuu’s house for the party, Daiki and Tsubomi exchange furtive glances at each other. At the party Yuu’s sister seems to recognize Saya from somewhere but she doesn’t say anything to anyone. The kids play games and do fun things but Tsubomi seems uncomfortable around Daiki because she feels Rea-pi’s pressure on her to confess.
Tsubomi excuses herself to use the bathroom and Saya seeing Tsubomi’s stress level goes with her, Tsubomi tells Saya about the pressure she feels, and they have a conversation about why people fall in love. But, Saya tells Tsubomi that she should try to tell Daiki her feelings and that she’ll be cheering for her. Just before they are about to rejoin the group Yuu’s sister tells Tsubomi that she received a call from her family saying that Tsubomi’s mother is at the hospital about to have the baby, Tsubomi rushes off to the hospital to see her mother.
When she gets to the hospital she sees that her father isn’t there yet and that her mother is in pain, and it’s time that she must help and support her mother. After they take Tsubomi’s mother into the delivery room Tsubomi must wait outside in the lobby. As Tsubomi is saying a little prayer for her mother Saya shows up and tells Tsubomi that she has to go and she needs to tells Tsubomi how she feels. She embraces Tsubomi and tells her thank you, and that she loves her, and she also says that she hopes they’ll meet again. Just as Tsubomi’s father arrives at the hospital she notices that Saya has vanished.
Within a minute the baby is born, now Tsubomi has a little sister, inside the hospital room Tsubomi and her father meet the new addition to the family. Tsubomi is immediately taken with her new sister and when she’s asks her parents what her new sister’s name is they tell her that they decided to name her Saya. Later, her mother and father tells her now that everything is OK she can go back to her party because her mother and the baby needs to rest.
Once Tsubomi returns to Yuu’s house everyone is happy that the birth turned out alright, but every one’s memories of Saya Endo seems to be fading. Rea-pi again begins to bug Tsubomi about her confession to Daiki. After the party ends Daiki and Tsubomi walk home together and just as they are about to go to their separate houses Tsubomi remembers Saya’s advice about telling Daiki her feelings. Tsubomi stops Daiki and thanks him for always being there for her and she tells him that she likes him. After a moment of silence and several longing glances back and forth Daiki tells Tsubomi that he wished he had the courage to tell her that he liked her first, and then they part ways and head home.
As the school year progresses most memories and traces of Saya existence begins to fade. Tsubomi and Daiki are now a couple but they haven’t progressed to the kissing phase yet but that’s OK to them, they’ll move at their own pace. Daiki tells Tsubomi that he had a dream with a dark haired girl who looked like Tsubomi telling him that he should take care of her, and she tells him that she also had a dream with the same girl telling her to be kind to him. Well, That’s all for the OAV series.
As far as I’m concerned this was the best episode of the OAV series, the first two episodes while interesting were filled with a almost over the top level of puerile concerns. But, this episode deals with a subject that viewers of all ages can identify with, the age old question of why to we fall in love, and if we do fall in love is it purely the results of random events, or as Saya argues, is it also fate?
Now that’s a question people have been asking since time began, and as far as I’m concerned it’s never been properly answered, if there is any answer at all. What I really liked was how this episode dealt with the issue of Tsubomi’s stirrings of love for Daiki in a very sensitive and kind manner. I agree whole heartily with what was said about this episode in the Bluemist anime blog
” It is the love story between Tsubomi and Nemoto-kun that, while extremely simple in anime standards, was entirely heartwarming! I was all smiles during this episode, really, because the couple reminded me more than ever about my favorite anime pairing (Sakura X Syaoran). And just like that, I was shown one of the best kokuhaku (confession) sequences in an anime!”
This episode was filled with so many warm and fuzzy things that I felt good most of the day. For Tsubomi the whole situation couldn’t have turned out any better, gaining a new sister, and a new boyfriend at the same time, how sweet.
But to me the most interesting thing about this series was Saya, and what exactly is/was she, in a earlier review I had suggested that she was a puberty angel/fairy, and Bluemist calls her a cupid or a guardian angel for growing up kids. But after viewing this episode I have changed my opinion entirely to a more Shinto/Buddhist explanation of Saya.
After putting together Saya’s almost unnatural life experiences in comparison with the other children, Tsubomi’s dream of saving her from water, Yuu’s sister’s almost shocked expression at seeing Saya, Saya’s almost always sad knowing expressions, and her disappearance at the moment of Tsubomi’s sisters birth lead my to conclude that Saya is really a spirit of a dead girl.
In many versions of Shintoism/Buddhism the boundaries between the world’s of the living and the world’s of the dead aren’t as fixed or permanent as they are in the Christian worldview. For the very elderly (over 60) and the very young (under 15) the boundaries are very liquid or fluid in nature. Because the soul during these periods are not considered to be entirely of our impure world they still partly belong to the pure other world.
So, what I think Saya is/was a girl roughly Tsubomi’s age or a little older who had a very rough life or was abused then she either died early, or was killed, or committed suicide then she went to the spirit world. Once in the spirit world either through the intersessions or prayers of others for her salvation or through the intervention of certain Kami/Bodhisattva such as Jizo (the protector of children in Limbo) or Kannon (Lord of Compassion and Goddess of Mercy) Saya’s spirit is granted rebirth into the human realm.
So Saya’s spirit went in search of a loving family to give her the love, caring, and protection she never had in her previous life, that’s why Saya appeared after Tsubomi’s mother became pregnant, and that’s why she disappears seconds before Tsubomi’s mother gives birth. During the in between time Saya is able to use her knowledge gained from existing between worlds to setup the her ideal future situation, what could be better that having a loving older sister with a kind boyfriend, and a caring mother and father. Well, I maybe totally wrong about this but I’d like to think I’m right about Saya’s nature.
Below is a chart explaining the fluid nature existing between the spirit world and the human world. Please click on the pic to view at full size.