The English-language subs are rolling out -- there's already one for this episode, from someone other than the two groups that have already been active -- and the forum at AnimeSuki is filling up. This show is clearly becoming more popular in Western countries. Real characters, intense relationships, and actual sex are hard to resist.
Perhaps some people are not that thrilled with the animation, but I am. This is one of the best-looking shows to come down the pike since, say, Mushishi -- another Artland show, which shares some staff members with this one: episode directors, episode animation supervisors, key animators. And maybe the similarity in visual feel to Honey & Clover is no accident: the art director, Shibata Chikako, did the same job on both Honey & Clover series (as well as on Fruits Basket, Azumanga Daioh, and Rozen Maiden).
At the end of this episode, there is a long scene of some gulls in the air over the sea. As the scene went on for 40 seconds with music under it, and then another minute or so under the titles, I thought: an artist's self-indulgence. The gulls are very well done, but really.... But I gradually saw symbolism in the gulls, as if they were Nana, Yano, Nana-san, Takeuchi.... And when the preview began, I realized that the long, peaceful scene had really made the separation of Yano and Nana-chan, which had happened a few moments before, feel real. By the time I saw the scenes from the preview, time had really passed.
Before the OP, we see again the scene where Yano confesses that he and Yuri had sex. And we see how it devastates Nana-chan. Then after the OP we see Nana in her room, unhappily refusing to answer Yano's calls. But Yano actually comes to the door. Nana's mother tells him that Nana can't come because she is in the bath, but he sees her at the window. He leaves a huge bouquet for Nana (that he has ripped off from his mother's garden, but the thought's what counts, isn't it?). Nana is moved by the thought that he carried the bouquet all the way on the bus and rushes out after him, catching up to him on the street. "I love you. You idiot!" Is all she can say.
Later, she is at school with her confidant Takeuchi. She tells him that she wanted to teach Yano a lesson, but once she saw his face it was all over. He asks if he can give her a piece of advice: if the love becomes all one person giving themself, then it's best to end it.
Nana and Yano go to the beach. It is all wonderful until a bug crawls over Nana's foot and she screams and wants to go home. This is exactly what happened when Yano and Nana-san went to the beach, so it fills his head with thoughts of her. Nana-chan intuits this and starts expressing her ill feelings toward Nana-san, then asks Yano what he would say if Nana-san were alive. Big mistake. Visions of Nana-san dance through his head and he tells the truth: he can't hate a girl he loved so much. He forgives her everything and would be happy if she were alive. To Nana-chan, this makes all the words of love he has said to her into lies. She realizes that she can't make him happy and, in deep sadness, walks away.
Another day, Yano sees Yuri at the lockers. He tells her he has been dumped and asks if she's satisfied. She asks him -- apparently in all seriousness -- if he would like to be comforted again. He says he won't fall for that one a second time and walks away. The way she is slightly twirling her umbrella in this scene is great. Pain and hope. Hope and pain.