Well, I can’t say I’m particularly surprised by the ending. Okay, I might be surprised in a bad sense I guess.
So, Natsuha’s route starts off at the very beginning of the story (prologue). The difference this time is that instead of reading in Tooru’s view, you’re reading in Natsuha’s view. That was somewhat interesting in its own way as we learned about how Natsuha felt when seeing the dance, waterfall and that Natsuha had some nightmares regarding a waterfall after returning to Monobeno. Well details like that generally but nothing particularly shocking as the story development is essentially the same.
Once you hit route split, events take a different turn. This time, Tooru chooses not to keep secrets from Natsuha. In the previous routes Natsuha tended to be left in the dark in fear of stressing her out but this time Natsuha participated in all of the conversations regarding her future.
Should I say as a result of this? Much less misunderstandings were had. Although I swear Tooru is ridiculously prone to jumping to conclusions as there were many cases where Tooru nearly wandered off into the wrong direction before being set straight again by another character.
Generally speaking, they investigate both tokihami and IAGS. Thankfully this time they actually bothered trying to pull some more information out of Natsuha regarding the waterfall. So at the very least they realize that the waterfall might have something to do with Natsuha’s problem. Although Tooru wonderfully thought that “there’s no way Natsuha has been there so her memory must’ve been disturbed by nearly drowning in the waterfall from before”. Thankfully they made the connection between Natsuha’s symptoms and the waterfall at the very end.
With some more investigation here and there, they are on the right track thinking that the waterfall has relation to Natsuha’s case. Some of the notable information they revealed included that Tooru was predicted to die by fortune telling along with the doctor telling Tooru’s parents that there would be large danger in birth for both the mother and child.
Following the investigations, they also find out about Tooru’s father requesting a rat which is starving from Alice’s father who I assume keeps them as lab rats or well, pets. I would imagine the former but anyway.
They eventually find the book in the safe as well as the picture of their mother during her last days. Unfortunately they failed to find their fathers diary which probably would’ve clarified much of the things.
Upon organizing all of the information they gathered, they decide to talk to Himemiya. During the conversation with Himemiya it’s revealed that they believe in order for Tooru to be born safely, his father decided to call Sumi. However he knows that there’s a barrier surrounding Monobeno so he decided to open a small hole, just enough for Sumi to enter in the barrier.
Of course it’s not so simple to do so. There is a barrier surrounding the waterfalls which will prevent people who have some sort of intentions (not quite sure how to translate this bit, but just think of it as: if you want to enter the waterfall to do something like disturb the barrier you’ll absolutely be rejected by it).
But according to Tooru, that’s where the rat came in. Tooru’s father sent a starved rat in which ate some of the red beans near the holy water that maintains the barrier (also not quite sure how to translate this part). But anyway, by doing so the barrier surrounding Monobeno gets disturbed. The reason this is possible is because hunger is something pretty much instinctual thus the rat does not get affected by the barrier. In addition, Tooru’s father requested Touko to carry it there (it’s funny how Touko gets used as some sort of delivery service/taxi throughout the entire story).
Like such, they decide to visit the waterfalls the next day. Natsuha insisted on coming along as well so off they go.
Meeting up with the spider, we find that she recognizes Natsuha and Natsuha also recognizes her. How surprising. Now let the grand truth behind everything be revealed!
Let’s see now… one day Natsuha was lost in the forest.
She was crying and the person who found her was Touko.
Upon asking what’s wrong and was she lost, she decided to lie because she didn’t want Tooru to be blamed for it and ended up saying she wanted to go to the waterfalls. Touko takes her somewhere near the place as she can’t approach it any more and after that Natsuha went to the waterfall by herself.
Things are fine up to here.
After that Natsuha proceeded to slip and fall into the waterfall, would have died but the spider decided to save her. Then for some reason decided to let her rest in the place right next to the holy water which maintains the barrier.
And she was left… unattended. She woke up alone in a dark cave, ever so happened to be thirsty and oh look, there’s a cup of water here, let’s drink it!
Um yeah, after drinking it the spider immediately realized and proceeded to kick her out, telling her to get as far away from the village as possible and whatnot. In the end she lost most of her memories of the incident and had something similar to a trauma for going back to Monobeno.
And that’s it.
There’s some more details but I’m frankly too tired to properly explain them at this point. Point being she drank the holy water maintaining the barrier, at this point of time the water is more or less deeply linked with Natsuha and thus her emotions influence the barrier. Because the effect of the holy water is to “maintain the original state”, it’s the reason why Natsuha rejuvenates. Apparently she really does have IAGS just like her mother and the reason shes suddenly growing is because of the power of the holy water wavering thanks to Natsuha being emotionally unstable after coming back to Monobeno.
Himemiya obviously insists to take the water back for the sake of the town, Our dear protagonist Tooru refuses and insists on letting her have the water for a few years so that they can buy time and cure her IAGS and put the entire town at risk. In the end the conversation doesn’t get far and it’s postponed to the next day to allow Tooru and Natsuha to think things through. This time Himemiya remembered to keep an eye on Tooru and the others so that they don’t escape.
During the day to think about what to do, they end up deciding that it’s fine even without the water and that Tooru will surely manage to cure Natsuha. They proceed to have sex out in the open and during the process, her body shrunk back to her original size and the water decided to pop out and naturally got absorbed by the ground below them.
After everything, Touko appears and… we’ll set aside how long shes been there, for time being they should call Himemiya and ask about the entire thing. Himemiya arrives and Tooru is forced to explain everything, including what exactly they were doing at that moment. In the end Himemiya says it’s fine because Monobeno would have likely lost the barrier sooner or later anyway.
The barrier was set because people of that time felt it was better that way, but times change so it was fate. Or at least something along those lines, I was only half listening at this point.
And like such, they end deciding to back to Tokyo, they have a farewell party before they leave with all of the characters attending.
Then in the epilogue it’s shown on the news that they found a cure to IAGS. Happily ever after.
If you haven’t noticed I basically lost motivation to give a damn. Maybe there’s justifications for the actions, maybe I missed some details which would allow things to make much more sense, maybe this sort of story just isn’t my cup of tea but regardless, Tooru ended up being the kind of character that I grew to hate overtime instead of like. The story itself tended to be seemingly whimsical at times and the main factor that drove the plot was essentially misunderstandings at certain points. The story was less about unraveling mysteries and more of watching how the characters unravel the mysteries because you could basically guess the important parts of the truth after Sumi route.
All in all, the production quality seems top notch but I didn’t particularly like the story. Ah well perhaps others would find it more to their liking.