Finally, an episode centered on Nanako.

Summary:

This time, President locates a fragment far, far away, at the very fringes of their galaxy.  Since it’s so far away, President suggests sending one girl out into space, so that they can form a sort of warp point for the other girls to get there instantaneously.  Although the trip will just feel like half a day to the person being sent out, it will be three earth months for everyone else.  Nanako volunteers herself.  Thus, President makes himself a copy of her to take her place during the three months she is gone.

Nanako…

They kinda glossed over the girls’ three months but I think this cap sums up pretty well how much they missed Nanako.

While in space alone on her journey, Nanako begins to think about her family life.  She used to live in a happy family of four, but it’s implied that her mother and father divorced; and her mother left while taking away her younger brother.  Thus, Nanako lives alone with her father, while her mother and brother go around the world and send her letters and souvenirs.  However, she’s never met them in person since then, and slowly forms a rather depressing mindset that everyone will eventually be alone.

I forgot to cap it the last few times, but every girl’s flashback involves seeing a strange shining star at a defining moment in their lives.

Back on earth, the others dearly miss Nanako.  By Christmas Eve, Nanako finally reaches the fragment, and also finds a lone planet that had been undiscovered.  She tries to capture the fragment on her own, but eventually her strong feelings of wanting the others to be with her manage to warp them to Nanako.  The horned boy also appears, having hitch-hiked yet again.  In the ensuing struggle, the fragment gets knocked towards the planet, causing it to undergo nuclear fusion.  Luckily, the girls manage to secure the fragment, and President says that this planet will eventually become a star and join earth’s solar system.

D’aaaawwwww.

The girls are quickly warped back to their clubroom, and they’ve also been sent back in time—three months to be exact; just a half day after Nanako left to start her journey.  And it is also Nanako’s birthday!  Thus, Nanako is able to pick up her life from where she left off, although the girls would have to redo those three months of their life again.  When Nanako gets home that night, she finds a gift from her brother and her mother.

This is probably the highest screencap count for a review I’ve made in a long time, because I had to at least include one cap of Nanako smiling.

Now that is one swanky pen.

My Opinion:

This was such a nice episode, which a much more reserved atmosphere than usual—fitting since the focus is on Nanako.  I had always been the most interested in Nanako, since I had always wondered what kind of life she lived to become so eccentric.  We finally get to see her home life here, and it’s actually fairly normal.  But, it was probably the emotional trauma of her parents’ divorce and separation that made her into the somber person she is today.

We also finally get to see how Nanako and President first met.  Apparently President only looks like that because that is what Nanako imagined him to look like.  Why only Nanako is able to understand President is a question left unanswered.

I really liked how this episode “resolved” Nanako’s issue.  Yes, I’m sure that Nanako would rather have her family back together again, as that would probably be what would make her happiest.  But that’s simply not a realistic outcome.  Instead, Nanako learns to treasure her friendship with the others; and also learns that while she may sometimes be alone, she’ll always have her memories to see her through hard times.

Not much for me to criticize this episode, though the horned boy once again proves a really weak antagonist.  The time getting turned back three months could be seen as a cop-out; but hey, after all that Nanako went through I think she deserves it.  Nanako is my favorite character so I’m biased just glad to see her so happy for once.

Out of five for this episode:

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I still hope she’s able to see her younger brother again someday.

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