Why, Why and why.
I think I’ve more or less hit the limit of my patience in Alice’s route but I’ll go through them as I summarize.
First off as expected, Tooru chose to side with the scientific method of dealing with Natsuha’s problem. Seeing as in Sumi route we could obviously see that Natsuha’s problem was anything but scientific, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out here. In fact despite my complaints, Alice’s route was more entertaining than Sumi route for me. I’m not sure if it was because it felt more serious or simply because my mood was better but anyway.
Instead of comforting Natsuha we tell her the truth that we don’t know. However for things we don’t know, all we have to do is search for the answer! Splendid plan. Natsuha seemingly accepted it to a certain extent and everything is well. Tooru does some research regarding aging and rejuvenation but unfortunately found absolutely no cases that follow Natsuha’s symptoms.
When talking to Alice’s father they go through various points and come up with the idea that it may have to do with a problem called Idiopathic Acceleration Growth Syndrome AKA IAGS. Essentially what happens is that in one day the body will undergo the growth of an entire year. In 10 days they’ll be 10 years older and by the end of two months they’ll more or less die of old age depending on how old they were to begin with. It’s safe to say that more or less no cases will live past 100 days however.
With that said, it’s obviously unknown of for it to reverse the growth. To begin with, what sense is there in cells deciding to merge back together after splitting? And perfectly with no problems at all for that matter. Adding more onto things, if cells could do something like that we’d be looking at something along the lines of immortality.
Returning to the topic at hand, it’s revealed that it ever so happens that Tooru’s professor is the only group in the country which studies IAGS. It can’t be said that there’s much progress seeing the patients kick the bucket fairly soon and the case itself is very rare.
For time being it was proposed that Tooru followed the same steps as he did during the first time she rejuvenated, namely sleeping together. Besides that it was more or less the usual doctor advice: don’t give her stress. Besides that their options were only to call the professor (who was unfortunately absent to get the phone) and research by themselves.
Tooru followed the proposal and by the next morning…
Natsuha rejuvenated to, from what I’d estimate, her early/mid teens. I’ll add in at this point that, teenage Natsuha is best Natsuha! It’s depressing to think that in a few years she’d become that either way, sigh. Ahem, let’s return to the topic now.
So by the wonderful power of sleeping together with her brother (and Alice as an extra) Natsuha rejuvenated! Isn’t this an important clue to figuring out what influences her aging? No? No. Why Tooru, why. Let’s think a bit deeper about things Tooru, even if we don’t go into non-scientific areas we can at least point out that keeping her comfortable may have to do with preventing her from aging even more. But no, even if she rejuvenated both times Tooru slept with her, it surely is still something along the lines of IAGS. IAGS is a mysterious thing, this would surely fall into one of its mysteries.
Going through inspections and showing that she has no abnormalities as well as ignoring why no one has asked why Natsuha is growing and shrinking on a daily basis we’re now suddenly met with another landslide which had plenty of victims. Tooru was called to help and in the end many injuries were had with one death. The pain of a doctor having to give up a patient to save two patients was shown, how heart breaking.
Skipping along the story as there’s nothing of particular interest to see here, we arrive at a certain point where Sumi and Hishaku managed to dig up the photo of Tooru’s mother during her last days. This time we actually got to see the picture, I hold the doubt of whether or not they actually got the key from Natsuha or did the safe magically unlock itself but it’s fine I guess.
Shocked by this incident, Tooru has a nightmare that night, he wakes up with a scream which Alice, who was staying on the second floor, heard as well. To feel better he decides to take a look at Natsuha and finds a Natsuha who’s mentally unstable and returned to being completely adult (god damned). It turns out that Tooru missed taking a call from his professor and instead Natsuha took it, as the professor was ignorant of Natsuha being the patient in question, he went ahead and told Natsuha regarding IAGS and how it’s incurable at the present stage. Shocked by all of this, shes afraid all over again. Tooru’s attempts to calm her down but failed and eventually she runs out of the house but is barefoot as there’s no shoes that fit so Tooru concludes that she couldn’t of ran far and must be hiding.
In the end they find her on top of a tree and proceed to climb up. At this point shes… for some reason already calm and even complains about Tooru being slow. After that they watch the sun rise and talk about how the future surely has hope, it’s not even determined that Natsuha has IAGS after all!
No, sorry, what? Don’t tell me I was the only one who felt something strange about this scene? Just a few moments ago I was reading her being extremely fearful and nowhere near calm regarding IAGS to the point of even running outside in the pitch darkness but after climbing up the tree she regained her composure and listened to Tooru. You know what, forget it, I’ll just name the tree they climbed on as The Magical Tree of Relief and leave it at that.
But worry not, the story is not over yet, there’s still room for redemption!
Later at the clinic Tooru finally gets in contact with the professor and has some discussion, apparently they want to send her to a better hospital meaning that since the road is blocked, they’ll have to call a medical helicopter to pick them up. I would’ve thought all of the events so far would have been a sign of something not so scientific but apparently we’re still thinking on the lines of IAGS. Well whatever, we proceed and begin packing up and saying farewells.
Later that day they see the medical helicopter coming from the skies, it’s coming, coming and… It’s falling, falling, boom.
So… uh, yeah, they called a helicopter, it crashed, turns out the pilots both have serious injuries though they’re alive, Natsuha went into panic mode all over again and… yeah, wonderful.
Skipping along the story we find out that Himemiya has been researching regarding Tooru, clearly not a sign of anything good as Himemiya has been a target for suspicion from the start. There’s also sightings of youkai who should no longer exist as well as many of the peaceful youkai have been hiding since the start of the incidents.
And then later, after Natsuha literally cried herself to sleep, Sumi and Hishaku return home injured from apparently running away from Himemiya, Himemiya herself has arrived to ask Tooru some questions. It was at this point that Tooru remembered why hes a target of suspicion: He was asked to call the town mayor and report on things but… accidentally forgot to with all of the events happening.
Yes my friends, they are encircled by Himemiya and her merry friends because our dear protagonist, Tooru forgot to make a phone call. Thanks, Tooru, this was clearly a necessary development.
The confrontation with Himemiya begins and essentially Tooru refuses to let her meet Natsuha in fear of her being sacrificed for the sake of Monobeno. Since what’s her life compared to the lives of the entire town? I thought that’s what the scene with the sacrifice was supposed to teach us.
Himemiya mumbles at one point that they should’ve properly told her if they were going to send a medical helicopter in because while the barrier between the two worlds is unstable, sending a helicopter in is a suicidial action. Yet again, thanks Tooru, thanks to your wonderful communication skills the lives of two innocent pilots were put in danger.
Eventually they manage to make Himemiya back off for one day and after Himemiya left, Natsuha woke up and apparently remembered what she did in the past, something in relation to the waterfall. Though she was far too afraid and refused to speak of it, it means that Himemiya was pretty right to come knocking on their door. Eventually she fell back asleep with Tooru noticing that shes oddly cold. After a while they begin to talk about what to do from now on and Tooru remembers that the reason they moved out to Tokyo was partially because just before they left, Natsuha was afraid of something and insisted on leaving Monobeno and as far away as possible. Thanks for forgetting such an important detail Tooru, I would have thought it would leave a bigger impression.
So in the end they conclude, if a helicopter doesn’t work, let’s just escape Monobeno! Along with proposing to Alice for her to come over and marry him after everything is settled down. Now, let the great escape begin! Thankfully for a reason I can’t fathom, Himemiya decided not to put even a single person or youkai to keep an eye on Tooru and the others making the escape fairly easy with the help of Touko.
7 years later, Alice and Tooru have children and Natsuha has been in a coma with her aging stopped. Research regarding IAGS has been going fairly well and Tooru believes that they can soon cure Natsuha.
They proceed to have sex next to her for a reason I can’t fathom either and soon after it was over, Natsuha woke up from her coma, happily ever after.
Yeah, if you haven’t noticed, on the latter half of the story I more or less gave up trying to make sense of the story. I understand that there’s things that flow ever so conveniently for the sake of the story but still, the way everything was presented to me just felt silly. Misunderstandings, misunderstandings everywhere. Half of the problems could probably be traced back to errors in communication, by Tooru at that. Arguably you can say that it’s more realistic that way because such can happen in reality. Sumi’s route was better in the sense that, because everything was magic to begin with I didn’t really need to care whether or not things actually made sense. I mean, it’s magic, the hell do I need to explain.
All in all I’m… not looking forward to Natsuha’s route, at this point I just want to get things over with and move onto the next VN. I can only pray that the reason for Natsuha’s aging isn’t something stupid again.