This episode begins in the dream word with the junk doll and the girl hurrying to build a craft so they can leave the world they are trapped in. The doll says that they must hurry to beat the cold or the girl won’t be able to move anymore.


        In the “real” world Nagisa and Tomoya are walking to school when she asks him about what he’s going to do after graduation, Tomoya tries to dodge the question by asking her what kind of gift she wants? She asks him why she deserves a gift and he asks her if he needs a reason to give his loved one a gift? She says no, but in that case she should give him a gift everyday, “hell yes”. Then we find out that Nagisa’s birthday is December 24, so Tomoya changes the subject from giving Nagisa a gift to taking her on a date. As Tomoya walks away, Nagisa seems to be not feeling well or frustrated that Tomoya dodged her question about his future, but later we see that he’s really thinking about it in silence.


       Later, everyone meets in an empty room where Tomoyo asks them what they are all going to do after school is done; Youhei wants to be a model, Ryou wants to go to nursing school, Kyou wants to be kindergarten teacher, Kotomi is going to America to study, then Kyou asks Tomoya what he’s going to do? She also tells Nagisa that she should kick his butt more often to keep him in line, but before she can respond she becomes ill and passes out.



       Nagisa’s illness keeps her from school again, and Tomoya worries about her even though he tries to put on a brave face. Later at school, Tomoya runs into Kyou, Ryou, and Botan and Tomoya gets roped into watching Botan. Tomoya is nervous about watching Botan until Kyou commands Botan to act like a doll, she tells him that Botan is trained to act like a doll on command, inside the school Tomoya gets lots of strange looks for having a doll with him. Later, we find out that Kyou planned the whole thing from the start to try and take his mind off of Nagisa’s illness for a while.


        Then the series jumps forward one month with Nagisa still not attending school because for her illness, and Tomoya spends most of his free time with her. Nagisa tells Tomoya to go and have fun but he refuses telling her that spending time with her is enough for him. Nagisa’s illness continues into November with no let up in sight, and as winter approaches Nagisa is still ill and Yukine asks Tomoya if he is losing weight? Later, Nagisa’s parents tell Tomoya that Nagisa might have to repeat her senior year of school again, and her parents tell him that she might not graduate with him. Tomoya tells them “no” he doesn’t want to leave her behind, but her father calls him a child and tells him that his not graduating would hurt Nagisa even more.



         In the end, Tomoya knows that Nagisa’s father is right and he was acting like a child, so he continues to move towards graduation as December passes by. On Nagisa’s birthday everyone shows up for her birthday party, and Tomoya gives her a giant dango as a present. As Nagisa feels the love from being surrounded by family and friends she begins to tear up, and then her parents tell her to seize her happiness.





         As Nagisa’s birthday passed so did the deadline for her having to repeat her senior year, and as the end of the school year approaches Tomoya spends most of his free time with Nagisa keeping her company. Finally, graduation day arrives at the school, Tomoya and Youhei run into their old teacher who tells them that since they are graduating his job is now done and he can retire. Tomoya asks him if he had arraigned the first meeting between him and Youhei? Tomoya asks him if he knew that without a friend at school neither Tomoya or Youhei would have bothered to stay in school, and he tells them that since he’s old he can’t remember.


        After bowing to their teacher in thanks, Tomoya and Youhei go around the school saying their goodbyes to their friends and acquaintances. It seems that everyone is heading to a graduation party but Tomoya heads back to see Nagisa. As he approaches the shop, Tomoya finds Nagisa waiting outside to congratulate him on graduating, Tomoya breaks down in tears telling Nagisa that until he met her he hated school, but he enjoyed every minute of it when he was with her, and he wished that he could have graduated with her. Nagisa asks Tomoya if they could go for a walk holding hands, Tomoya takes Nagisa’s hand and they head off, and Tomoya thinks to himself that he wishes that they could walk like this forever. Well, that’s all for this episode.



       Well, with the end of this episode we really will begin the ~After Story~, while the additional character arcs were enjoyable the meat of the series is “after” the graduation. While Nagisa’s illness is back in full force keeping her from graduating for at least another year she at least got part of her dream fulfilled. One of Nagisa’s main objectives was getting Tomoya to be a better more responsible student, and in that she got her wish.

        But, I think that whether Nagisa does graduate or not is besides the point, her health is far more important, and her parents also told her to seize her happiness. So, if Nagisa’s happiness is being with Tomoya does it really matter if she graduates as long as they are together?

       The most important thing in this episode to me was the maturing of Tomoya from a child to a young adult. When this series began Tomoya really acted like a child, hiding his emotions and acting out when he wasn’t happy with something. When Nagisa’s father told him that his reaction to Nagisa’s not being able to graduate was childish he buckled down and acted like a young adult, he finished the job when he didn’t feel like doing it. Also, Tomoya’s emotional growth has increased greatly, at first he was afraid to show his true feelings in front of others, but now he has no problem letting others know how he feels about Nagisa. It was quite something to see Tomoya express openly to Nagisa his true feelings for her, and the old Tomoya would have never shed tears in front of her.

       I know that many people have expressed disdain about how this series blatantly pulls at the viewer’s heartstrings, but if your going to do a anime melodrama make it sad and weepy, and if you can make an old bastard like me shed a tear then you’ve done your job right.