Episode 9 –
[details=spoiler]With the start of the new year, Kazusa stopped going to school and has isolated herself, refusing to even see Setsuna and Haruki. She seems to be devoting herself to her music to the exclusion of all else. But Setsuna isn’t happy about this and talks to Haruki about it. He tells her that Kazusa is concentrating on getting ready for her recital, and that they shouldn’t bother her. However, he’s a bit stunned to hear that Setsuna actually spoke to Kazusa on the phone. Why won’t she take his calls? They make plans to have more fun once the recital is over. Setsuna’s birthday is on Valentine’s Day and they make plans that include Kazusa. Their own relationship is progressing nicely too.
The day of the recital finally arrives and Kazusa steps onto the stage. She sees Haruki in the audience with his arm around Setsuna, and sits at the piano. Kazusa closes her eyes and begins to play. Haruki is holding Setsuna’s hand as Kazusa plays, but he’s thinking of Kazusa at the school concert, and all the time they had spent together. Kazusa finishes her piece and stands as the audience applauds. Setsuna looks over at Haruki, but he isn’t in his seat. It looks like Kazusa’s music affected him a little too much.
Setsuna cries as the three friends meet once again at a café. Kazusa didn’t win at the recital. In fact, she didn’t even place, and this is why Setsuna is so upset. Kazusa tries to explain that it would have been unfair to the others if she had. After all, she had given up the piano, while the others at the recital were more serious players. She tells Setsuna not to worry about it. Kazusa tells Setsuna that for her, the recital was a personal victory, because it moved her friend so much. But is she talking about Setsuna or Haruki? Setsuna begins to cry again and Haruki puts his arm around her to comfort her. Once again, I don’t think Kazusa liked that.
While Setsuna is on her phone, Haruki has a moment alone with Kazusa. She stares intently into his eyes and it makes him very uncomfortable. He tells her that she was ignoring him up until now, but she cuts him off and tells him not to talk to her, or to get in her way. Haruki doesn’t know what she means by that, but she just continues to stare at him. Now that the recital is over, he assumes she will be returning to school, and he tells her about Setsuna’s birthday. She asks Kazusa if she will go, but she’s still just staring at him.
When he turns his face away, Kazusa tells Haruki to look at her. She says that she could look at him forever and never feel a thing. Haruki is annoyed now and asks her what her problem is. Kazusa just walks away, saying goodbye. Haruki calls after her, but she keeps going. To herself, she says – “I’ve remembered it.” – and – “I’ll never forget it.” She obviously means Haruki’s face. But, what is going on with her? Is she never going to see her friends again? Kazusa gets in a cab and is gone. Setsuna is done with her call and comes back to Haruki, who is still staring after the cab. He looks annoyed and Setsuna asks him what’s wrong. He doesn’t answer her.
On the way home from school, Setsuna tells Haruki that Kazusa has a new piano teacher. She seems surprised that he and Kazusa haven’t spoken. But he changes the subject and brings up her birthday. He thinks that Kazusa forgot about it. Setsuna doesn’t seem to mind, saying that this is an important time for Kazusa. Haruki asks her if they can celebrate her birthday with just the two of them. He’d like to take her to a restaurant that weekend, but Setsuna hesitates. She wants to know why and Haruki tells her that he needs to make sure that she’s the one for him. He does this now? Geez!
This stuns Setsuna and Haruki quickly apologizes, asking her to think about it. He says it’s their first anniversary and he’d like to be alone with her. Setsuna says that she will think about it. She later calls him and says that she would rather have a party at her house “with everyone”. Haruki is truly disappointed, but doesn’t let it show. Setsuna will also invite Kazusa, although she doesn’t think she’ll come. She also tells him that it’s too soon for him to be taking her to an expensive restaurant, but I’m sure that isn’t what Haruki really had in mind when he told her that he wanted to be alone with her. LOL And her “it’s too soon” comment really gave him the answer to that!
But wait a minute, it sounds like Setsuna’s family isn’t even going to be around for her birthday. They’re going on a trip! Her brother says that it’s their last family trip, but Setsuna tells him that she promised her friends a party. She actually plans for just her, Kazusa, and Haruki to be there though. Setsuna sends the invite to Kazusa and tells herself that if she doesn’t show up, it will just be her and Haruki. What will she do then?
Haruki has bought a birthday present for Setsuna and it looks like jewelry. A ring, perhaps? It’s still two hours before the party, but Haruki heads to the house anyway, hoping to help Setsuna with the prep work. However, once on the train, he thinks of Setsuna saying that she really hopes that Kazusa will come, so he gets off at her stop instead. As Haruki rings Kazusa’s bell, Setsuna receives a delivery of flowers from Kazusa.
As Haruki gives up on Kazusa and turns away from her house, Kazusa’s mother answers the door. She was asleep and speaks to Haruki in French before she realizes that she’s in Japan. Switching languages, she asks Haruki who he is, but he asks the woman who she is. It suddenly hits him that this is Kazusa’s famous mother! And she recognizes him as well, calling him the “guitar player from the school festival”. But where is Kazusa? The girl is on a plane! She’s looking at her phone and sees the many calls from Haruki, as well as the invitation from Setsuna. The plane is about to land in Narita, so I wonder where she was.[/details]