Episode 9: Merry Christmas in the Theatre


It is three weeks before Christmas, and everyone is gathered together.

Oogami remarks that the year is almost over. Everyone discusses what they love or hate about the winter. Sumire remarks that she gets to wear nice o-kimono, which Kanna retorts bugs do as well, much to her ire. Sumire responds that Kanna has been heartily eating in order to prepare for hibernation, which amuses Kanna. Maria tries to get them to calm down, since they need to prepare for the Christmas performance, "Kiseki no Kane" (Miracle Bells), a one night only performance given on Christmas Eve.

It's the Kagekidan's last performance of the year, and all the lead roles have been decided except for one-- the role of the Holy Mother.

They decide to go rehearse and invite Oogami to come watch. Kaede also invites him to come to her room at 4:45

Doing his rounds, Oogami discovers that Tsubomi has been put to work in the Cafeteria now that Tsubaki has returned.

He also catches Kohran and Maria making preparations for rehearsal, but they also seem to be hiding a secret from him concerning the director of the production.

Reni and Kanna are working on the costumes, but when asked about who will play the lead role of the Holy Mother in the production, they become withdrawn.

Yuri asks Oogami to help her hang posters at 5.

Sumire and Iris tell Oogami that Reni's birthday is the 24th, the same day as the Christmas performance.

Stopping by to see Yoneda, Oogami talks about Kyougku, and they wonder just what he was trying to achieve, they and speculate that the truth behind that will always remain in darkness.

Yoneda tells Oogami not to worry about it, and to focus on the upcoming play.

Heading to Kaede's office, Kaede tells Oogami that the Hanagumi has asked Oogami to decide who will be the lead in the play.

There are four candidates that Oogami will have to choose from. He has a day to decide. Initially, Oogami balks at the notion--he declares that he's an amateur at this, but Kaede explains the Kagekidan members trust him deeply and want him to choose with those feelings.

Going to help Yuri hang posters, Oogami is surprised when she invites him to dinner at the fancy western restaurant Renga-Tei. There, she gets him to admit his worry over selecting one of the girls to be the lead, but tells him he should feel free to pick the one he likes best. She thanks him for agreeing to eat with her.

Oogami then returns to the theatre and does his rounds.

He spots Iris, still awake, worrying that she's too young for the lead role.

Oogami tells her that while he's no expert on the world of the stage, that he believes there's no adult role a child can't play, that Iris has the gift of pure and innocent acting. She vows to do her very best no matter the role.

Then he runs into Sumire, who is listening to a record, envisioning herself in the lead role. She asks Oogami if she will be selected, then tell shim not to answer, that she's not mentally ready to know one way or the other yet. She promises that if she is chosen she will show him the greatest performance.

Next, he meets Orihime, wno is in the piano room, listlessly trying to play Kiseki no Kane with no luck-- the music just isn't flowing from her heart. She says she's worried she wouldn't be able to play the lead role in the upcoming production.

Oogami tells her that she of all people can do it, but she needs to be her usual confident self. This cheers her up, and she's able to play again, which makes her even happier.

Afterwards, he finds Kanna, who is worrying whether she can play a womanly role like the Holy Mother since she is used to playing manly roles like Son Goku and King Lear.

Oogami reassures her that as long as she does her best the results will show through.

Subsequently, he encounters Kohran, who is worried about her bad hair--which is usually hidden by braids-- and her need to always wear glasses. She's concerned that playing the Holy Mother on stage with glasses would look silly.

Oogami emphasizes that in acting it's not the glasses or the hair but the person's feelings that are the most important, and that her omnipresent good cheer is her strong point and she should bring that quality to the stage. Kohran is cheered up and heads to bed.

After Kohran, Oogami bumps into Sakura. who is practising dancing on stage. He wonders if she's practising for the new role, but she says it's an old dance form she always does when she's losing sight of the role she's doing in the play.

Oogami exhorts her to do her best, and she says she will, so she can never look back with regret and say she should have done her best.

The next morning, Kaede asks Oogami who he has picked for the lead role.

Oogami picks Sakura. The others acquiesce without issue, and Kaede reminds Oogami that "The lead role is not just one person. The Hana-Gumi, together as one, is the true lead role."

Kaede reveals Oogami will have a large hand in this production, picking the lighting and the setting as well, in addition to aiding with the direction.

Over the next two weeks, everyone chipped in to get ready for the production with rehearsals in the day and set preparation at night.

Then, as Oogami put it:

"Finally, the day came. December 24th, the debut of the Teikoku Kagekidan's Christmas performance 'Kiseki no Kane.'

Before the performance, the Great Imperial Theatre overflowed with people as the audience continued to arrive. With anticipation and excitement, the audience seats were filled with such enthusiasm that it was almost difficult to breathe.

The audience was overjoyed at the bright, dazzling stage. The play progressed together with a glorious stage, appropriate for Christmas.

Through the performance of the Hanagumi the moving story unfolds.... the angels' performance was completely in tune with not a hair out of place...

For this day... for this moment... everyone has worked their hardest. h the stage and the audience become one, everyone has worked their hardest.

And, finally... the play drew to a climax.

The audience could only sigh at the form of Sakura-kun's pure Holy Mother.

The applause that engulfed the theatre would not cease resounding.

The dreams of the Hana-Gumi onstage... and the dreams of the audience in their seats...

So many dreams, this one night, become one... and resounded together.

On this holy night... the miracle bells resounded throughout the theatre."

After the play, the others have a party to celebrate the successful production, Reni's birthday, and Christmas.

Reni says this is the first birthday celebration she's ever had.

Yoneda and Kaede join the party as well. Yoneda tells them all that if fighting evil and protecting the people of Teito is the Kagekidan's job, then giving dreams and rasing the spirits of the people is the Hanagumi's job.

He congratulates them and tells them not not hold back and party.

Hours later, Oogami wanders off a bit buzzed, and, meets Sakura in the hall. She says the performance will be one she remembers for the rest of her life, and thanks him for selecting her.

Yoneda chances upon them and jokes that it must be nice to be young and on a Christmas date. He tells them to go have fun and be back by midnight.

Sakura and Oogami head out on the town to have a date on a holy night.

They marvel at the snow covering the city. Sakura remarks she feels like she's dreaming, and that the play is still going on.

They go take a walk up to a church. Sakura asks to go see it, since it is Christmas. She says she's always admired churches at Christmas.

They go in the Church, and Sakura says Christmas is a day when you can feel a lot of love and it's a day to offer a prayer in thanks.

She says she's thankful for Oogami's love.

They kiss just as the bells strike midnight. Sakura asks Oogami to stay with her for a long time after this, and Oogami agrees.


To be Continued

Secret File

Orihime is not good at getting up Early Tsubaki was probably chosen to go to Hokkado because of all the Kazegumi she had the least experience.

Television is still being invented in England and Kohran's Kinematron is ahead of it in development.

Sailor suits have started to come in vogue in schools.

Kohran considers herself very unattractive.

These episode guides are based on the Translation FAQs by Kayama. All images and FMV copyright SEGA, Overworks and RED company.