This episode begins with Ran, Midori, Rui, and Rin enjoying the ski slopes, but soon Rin gets a cell call from mom telling Ran and Rin to get working on some research for a future project of hers. Once they return to the ski lodge Ran asks Rin what the research assignment is? Rin tells her that they have to check into the local legend of Yuki-onna (the snow woman), to every one’s amazement Ran doesn’t know about the legend of the snow woman, so Midori tells Rui to tell Ran the legend. The legend goes something with this; two men are caught in a snow storm and seek shelter in a building, and later that night a woman appears out of the storm, she freezes of the men and spares the other man then disappears back into the storm. This story leads to Midori daydreaming that she freezes Rui and spares Rin so she can be alone with him, but Ran quickly figures out the nature of Midori’s dream and starts bickering with her.
After a bit of bickering between Ran and Midori the group decides to head into the village to do some research on the snow woman legend, and on their way off the slopes Ran gets her hearing voices thing again. When they stop in a local shop they get two versions of the legend, the shopkeeper is frighten of a local area woods, but some children tell them that the snow woman is actually a snow girl who shows lost people the way out of the woods. Midori wants to check out the woods right away but the shopkeeper tells them that will be dark soon so they shouldn’t go there now, so the group takes his advice and returns to the ski lodge.
While Ran is sleeping she gets a dream about a little girl called Non-chan who lost a locket in the blizzard forest (Non-chan is the name from the voices Ran heard earlier). Ran awakes to a voice telling her to come and find Non-chan, Midori soon awakens and Ran tells her about the voice calling out to her, Midori tells Ran that they better go because Ran’s voices always lead to a interesting case. The girls decide to let Rui and Rin remain sleeping and head out to the frozen forest alone.
Once outside, Midori asks Ran to use her powers to find out where they have to go. The voice calls Ran towards the frozen forest, once inside the forest Ran and Midori spots some footprints and they follow them deeper into the forest. After a while they come across a young woman (Noriko) who is searching of a villa from her childhood, Ran discovers that the Noriko was called Non-chan when she was young, so they search the woods together until they find Noriko’s lost villa.
After checking out the inside of the villa Noriko relates her memories of her youth to Ran and Midori, then Ran hears a voice calling her to follow quickly. Ran rushes out of the villa with Midori and Noriko giving chase, the snow girl leads Ran’s group further into the woods until she disappears, then Ran and the other girls slide down a slope and they end up at a river bank.
Soon the snow girl appears again urging Ran to follow quickly, as Ran rushes forward but Midori is worried that it might be a trap, the snow girl lead them to the base of a large cliff. A large avalanche starts flowing down the cliff face towards the group, Ran and Midori combine powers to protect the three of them, but the avalanche threatens to overwhelm their barrier, then the snow girl appears and she lends her power to help protect the group.
After the avalanche is over Yuki-onna speaks to Noriko through Ran, it turns out that Noriko rescued a fox when she was young but Noriko (Non-chan) lost her mother’s pendant in the process. Noriko nursed the fox back to health, and Noriko named the fox Yuki, Noriko played with Yuki and loved Yuki while she lived at the villa.
When Noriko had to leave the villa to return to Tokyo she told Yuki that she wished that Yuki was a human girl so she could come to Tokyo with her. After Noriko had to leave Yuki behind, Yuki searched high and low until she found Noriko’s precious pendant, and she called out to Noriko in her dreams so they could meet one more time. After Yuki returns Noriko’s pendant, Yuki says goodbye to her precious friend for one last time and then Yuki disappears into the night sky. The next day, Ran and Midori tell their tale to Rui and Rin who listen intently. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, this was a interesting and cute retelling and mixing of two classic Japanese folktales. Firstly, the legend of Yuki-onna has appeared in so many anime, manga, and movies that I can’t even begin count them all.
But the most popular versions go something like this; two men are traveling through a deadly winter storm when they are forced to take shelter inside a forest cabin or shack, late at night a ghostly pale woman dressed in all white enters their shelter and she freezes the older of the two men with her breath, she lets the younger more attractive man live on the condition that he never tells anyone what happened to them. Then much later in life the man tells his longtime wife about his encounter with Yuki-onna, and then his wife then transforms into Yuki-onna and does one of two things; she either melts away into a puddle of water (kind of like how the crane wife leaves her husband once he finds out his wife is a crane), or she gets really angry with the man but spares his life because of her love for their children.
Also, this episode mixed in some Japanese folklore involving supernatural foxes (Kitsune), in Japanese folklore the fox has many supernatural qualities, even the ability to transform in to attractive human women (this ability only comes to the fox after it has lived a very long time 50-100 years). Many of these tales involve a human man falling in love with and marrying an extremely attractive young woman and after several years of marriage and many wonderful children the man discovers that he married a fox, most of the time the Kitsune leaves the heartbroken man forever, but sometimes the Kitsune will stay with the man. In other versions of Kitsune tales a fox will just seduce many attractive young men, and in other versions the Kitsune will become an eternal pain in the ass if you piss them off.
Overall, this was a nice cute episode and I’m really coming to enjoy Midori’s and Ran’s constant bickering with each other. It’s a shame that there’s only four episodes remaining, but since this anime has pretty good TV ratings (top 15 weekly anime) I can always hope that this series will get a second season.