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And now, after that scary post from yesterday, let's return to the family-friendly, wholesome Eternity blog that only cracks jokes about Mai x Sayuri. ...Actually, let's not.This episode actually is suprisingly, at this point, more of a Sayuri-driven episode than any other, so, yay for side character development! After this episode it's easy to see why Sayuri is such a popular and well-fleshed-out (as some might say, unfortunately only in story) 'side' character, coming in probably tied with Akiko and years ahead of Kaori and Amano (who doesn't even get to be called by her first name) in the Completely Unofficial Fanbase-o-meter, based on whatever I last read on the forums.So, this episode is plot and awesome, as is standard for Kanon. Those of you who also know the other standard for Kanon should be investing in Kleenex stock about now.As standard for us (and by us I mean me and that one other guy from The Otaku Spot who reads my posts. lol advertising, fail), this episode does contain spoilers for Mai's arc, through Kanon 15. This is 14, in case you can't count. Luckily we've gotten to the point in the arc where everybody else dissapears, so there's no all encompassing huge ground-breaking spoilers here. You want those? Go check out some of the streets 'round your neighborhood at night.And this episode starts with...breakfast. What!? No dream sequence? In my Kanon? It's more likely than you think. But it starts with something more deadly than a dream sequence...a jam sequence! Drama! Ayu becomes the fourth casualty of the jam so far this series (Nayuki and Kaori are implies either later or earlier in the timeline), in entertaining fashion, but fails to break the uguu~ sound barrier like Makoto did with auu~.Instead we get some amusingly ominous moments from Yuuichi and Nayuki, who stand up and leave the table in synchronized style like perhaps a team of secret agents or security guards. They also leave some final remarks with Ayu under their breath, with Yuuichi finally crossing off Ayu from the harem list in favor of Nayuki.. (If only.)Next up is an increasingly rare Nayuki and Yuuichi trip to school, in which Yuuichi recieves the bunny ears designed to pretty up Mai. Unfortunately, the rest of the outfit is missing - the shipment was intercepted by a Ms. Suzumiya along the way? More seriously, note that the pink bunny ears are of course incredibly important to Mai's arc, as they are coincidentally similar to the ones Yuuichi gave to Loli Mai in his pimpin' 10-year-old days. Makes you wonder just who Nayuki's contact in the drama club is.In incredible off-topicness, my first thought out of nowhere was Mio Kouzuki, a character from a past Key-ish work ONE who is in the drama (similar to theater?) club. I'd like to view that series one of these days. Has anyone seen it, and do they have thoughts about it? Much thanks.Here's the cap of the flashback to Conveniently Obscured Loli Mai, who is only shown for about a second in the episode - it's still easier to catch her in the intro sequence. This gets filed along with some more spoileriffic flashbacks in the early episodes with 'blink and you miss it, so just nod and smile'.Eventually Yuuichi gets to school and goes straight for the lunch scene with Mai and Sayuri. They talk about random Vaguely Important stuff, like the fact that Sayuri's a rich girl with a stuff about hide and seek. Hide and seek is a somewhat important factor in Mai's arc that will be referenced later both in the demon-hunting and the flashbacks to 7 years ago or whenever.Yuuichi also goes out for sword training and gets his ass beat, literally. I wonder how much Mai enjoyed doing that. At least Yuuichi didn't go for the Casino Royale option and cry out for more - although, since he sucks at attacking Mai, he got more anyway.Spiffy action shots of Mai ensue. They look just as good still, since usually with these types of shots, they are over before you have time to really appreciate them. Also, with the above screenshot of Mai using Yuuichi's semi-catchphrase 'yo', it seems that, to me, for some reason, Mai's eyes have gotten bigger or something, or maybe she doesn't have that 'I am strong and silent and do not talk to noobs like you' stare anymore. Hmm.Sayuri also comes out for a shot at getting beaten up in a heterosexual manner by Mai, which proves even more futile than Yuuichi - although perhaps ten times as cute thanks to the typical clumsy moe stereotype. Although, it never does get old... (does Sayuri falling technically count as an action shot? ehehe)Mai continues to be all cold and distant as she is 90% of the time, even pushing away her closest friends' (that's all two of them right there) attempts to train in swordfighting in order to help her with her battles at night (or, at least that's Yuuichi's plan).Although, as proven, Mai probably just doesn't want either of them to get hurt, although there are better ways of expressing it so that 1) Sayuri feels better and 2) Doujin artists don't get ideas. Once again I'm getting reminders of competely different scenes, this time of Yuki's equally melting line from Lone Island Syndrome (Haruhi). Although neither is particularly useful in the long run, and both can be misconstrued in entertaining ways.Yuuichi heads to the shopping district for an Ayu scene and is INTERCEPTED! (picture the football announcer voice) by Sayuri. That's the sign of an arc really kicking in, when the typical harem members fail to get scenes. No Shiori today, unfortunately, and very little Ayu and Nayu.The other sign, of course, is a bunch of obscure talking and flashback sequences. Sayuri does a bit of the first, but gets bonus points for explaining the title - a musical reference that only reminds me that everybody else I know but me is in band, although it'd be good to really analyze just how much Kanon is like...uh...Canon? (in D) Although, perhaps, the first instance of repetition would be how Yuuichi is tied to everybody 7 years ago (although, thinks didn't always get better peacefully, eh?).Eyecatch: Sayuri headknuckle. For some reason I've begun to screencap those now, as they're rare enough to be something interesting, and plus since Mikuru's pioneering of it it's actually pretty adorable, especially if I didn't do it too.And here's the second part of plot: a Sayuri flashback to her youthful years (y'know, more so than usual). She talks about her brother Kazuya, who, as viewers will notice, is conspicuously absent from the present day anime. It's quite obvious why. Sayuri killed him to death. Although perhaps Sayuri's behavior towards Kazuya, being very strict and giving him a 'proper' upbringing, was a sad coincidence. Of course, she only started to really care for him when it was already too close to the end...Did you wonder why that line sounded similar? Now you know. Similarities between Sayuri/Kazuya and Sayuri/Mai? Maybe, but not really. There are more similarities between Sayuri's backstory, the reference to Canon, and other backstories as well.Sayuri and Mai both had something in common, an ailing family member, but since you've finished Mai's arc (right?), you already know that Mai's mother lived while Sayuri's brother is decidedly rotting right now. Also, the way Sayuri started out all 'mean' to her brother and only started changing her behavior at the end is very similar to another family dynamic that you just might have figured out by now...Also, very similarly and our third or fourth breakout from Kanon discussion, doesn't Sayuri look a lot like Minagi and the scene look a lot like AIR in the flashback picture where she's walking with Kazuya underneath the blue sky? Their stories can't be considered entirely different as well...Sayuri, her plot exhausted, now serves as a time bomb. What did that giant anteater look like to you? Seriously, I say time bomb because she's left for the school - where Yuuichi is also headed, and where Mai is every night - to meet up for Mai's birthday party. She has no contact with the outside world in this land without cell phones - Yuuichi has to use a phone booth, allowing for a very ominous scratchy Akiko voice - and so it's up to Yuuichi to find her and defuse the situation before things go to all hell at school.That top screencapture is what the title is referring to by the way, the lines that make you groan/cringe when you hear them, since you know what happens next and it's either stupid or extremely bad. If you want a list, I'll throw out some more right now.- "Hey, look, the door to the mansion is unlocked!"- "Let's split up and search the house separately."- "How could this get any worse?"- "Well, now that that's over, it's time to relax..."- "Come on, ghosts? Who believes in ghosts, anyway?" (replace ghosts with object of choice)- Action: Women running away, usually in high heels. Tripping invariably follows.- "They couldn't possibly be behind/under/on top of/next to/inside/etc this door/bed/closet/grave/cliff/roof/etc ..."- In anime: Any verb in the past tense; "I had a brother..." (this one isn't so much bad as "Oh no, don't tell me...")- "Ponytails turn me on." (ehehehe, I'm evil for putting this one in the list.)You may have remembered how that situation turned out. That blur, of course, is one of the invisible demons. In case you were wondering what the awesomely ominous music playing during this scene was, as I was, it's a little track called 'kizashi', which loosely translates to "Oh Dear God Haruhi Running Gag No, Why Sayuri!? Why Not Somebody Else Useless!?"(actually, it means 'omen')Meanwhile, Nayuki seems to be a bit sad that Yuuichi's going out to play with all the other harem members except her. Isn't it sad, Nayuki? Perhaps, however, I am just interpreting things too closely on my 3rd pass through Kanon. Why do I say this? Ehehehe...Anyway, Sayuri. In a bit of trouble. I think this is the only time blood is technically shown in Kanon; although there should have been some bleeding when Mai stabs herself in an episode (you did watch the arc? Right? Right!?), or perhaps during some of the more dramatic events when the series pulls to a close.Also, Mai dies. Or at least a bit inside, in seeing someone so close to her hurt - and, if you know Mai's backstory, hurt by herself (Mai) as well.Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, Kyoto Animation is generous and doesn't end many episodes on cliffhangers, so 15 seconds later we cut to Sayuri, decidedly more alive and cute, in a hospital modeling a suprisingly good-looking head cast. Her prognosis is that she's OK and will survive, but she needs to be removed from the plot for a few episodes. How lame.The final scene on the episode occurs in closed space consists of more Mai cracking, as finally she shows a bit of real emotion, although this just may not be the ones we were looking for. I have a limit for sad girls in snow here, especially those who try to run themselves through with a sword. (She might have gotten Yuuichi at that angle too, unless we've got Kaede Physics running. That'd be a Happy End, eh?)See? Sad. Very sad. Mai's very sad that "she's the only one that was unhurt again," with 'again being the operative word as always. It's hard to tell just what this was referring to, perhaps 2-ish days ago when Sayuri got pwned at the ball, something about her mother being terminally ill (even though she lived through it), something about Yuuichi leaving her due to unexpected circumstances, or perhaps another hidden event mostly irrelevant to the plot.It's also interesting to speculate about how exactly Mai's power works. When is she able to heal people? Certainly she would had have a chance with Sayuri, considering that all it seems to take a considerable display of emotion (although she might have been too paralyzed to act). Or perhaps, it did take effect subconsciously, with it being the reason Sayuri lived - after all, it was a lot of blood for sure. Or, did Mai already reject her powers from 7 years ago when her old town drove her out or when Lolichi (new name for pimp Yuuichi? yup) left her? They're all interesting theories, something that Kanon seems to be full of.But is it good or bad that we'll never know the real (one might say canon) answer?-CCY
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