Episode 23 Summary, "Embrace the Bond"
Shin and his friends were all lying unconscious on the floor of the Marebito base. Kanaru was the first to wake up. Immediately she went to look for Shin to see if he was all right, the ambience of her true Persona following her lighting the way. She soon finds him down some stairs and as he stirs, she reaches out her hand to hold his but hesitates when she sees the handkerchief wrapped around her hand concealing her secret.
Soon, the special ops team was swarming the area and the friends were being taken back into the city for questioning. The only remaining evidence of Kyujo's research was the Ayane clone which lay before Nakamura and Inui.
At the hospital, Kanaru was sitting by Shin's bed when he woke up. After learning he was feeling all right, she explains that Megumi was safe but Takuro had burned his back during the fight. Both were being questioned by people she didn't recognise. As for Jun, he had disappeared. She apologises for not having done anything when she was with them but Shin tells her not to blame herself. He was sure Ryo must have taken Jun away.
Shin asks how did Kanaru end up at the facility. Kanaru is a little hesitant at first, tightening her hands before answering she was taken there together with Jun. She then gets up to call the nurse. As she walks to the door, Shin stops her and to her surprise asks if she was all right and thanks her for saving them. Her grim expression returns as she covers her hand and replies that she was fine. She also says she should be the one thanking him as Shin remembers the dark Persona that appeared from Kanaru.
The hospital was completely deserted apart from the guards who were keeping watch over the Persona users as Kanaru went about to visit Yumi and Tomohiro. She apologises to them.
At the police station, Akihiko and the others were given back their mobile phones. Immediately he gets a call from Shin and was glad to hear they were safe. Shin reports they had encountered Kyujo who he couldn't tell was a human or Persona. The Marebito were all killed including one of their classmates and they came across something that looked exactly like Ayane. Hearing this, Akihiko replies that it must have been created to transfer all the Personas they had collected over to create a more powerful Persona.
As Shin makes his way back to the dorm, he lets Akihiko know that he had already told the police the same thing. Akihiko replies it doesn't matter because their phones must have been bugged by now. If Ryo took Jun away then there may still be hope. He tells Shin not to worry about Kyujo's research because they will try to sort something out themselves. Akihiko continues, thanking Shin for their hard work and apologises for getting them caught up in trouble. Shin answers that he should be the one apologising, saying he was sorry for hitting him the last time. He still felt he had to hold some responsibility for what his parents had done.
Suddenly, more images flash by his mind. He turns round quickly only to see a white feather left behind.
Kanaru had also returned home now, looking around her house. Still unable to accept the fact that she was created by Kyujo, she began to see what her house really was. There were no daily necessities lying around and there was nothing in the fridge. It was all just programmed into her mind. Her room was really just a laboratory filled with equipment and a capsule to keep her running. She begins to cry as the painful truth sunk deeper until she sees something that showed not all of her were lies. That something was a photo of her time together with Shin and the others at Kurobe.
Meanwhile all the Ayane clones had been transported back for analysis. They appeared to be Bionoids created from multi-purpose cells so that their composition were very close to humans. Many of them showed that they were part of failed experiments while some were part of brain operations. Only one of the clones appear to be the final product.
The analysis team also found records that Kyujo had sent an older ageing model of his, slightly modified with a multi-OS added to it so that it could infiltrate Naganomori High and use Kagenuki to seek out the potential Personas then retrieve them. Nakamura asks if that Bionoid was still active and learns that she was supposed to have stopped working six months ago. Noticing Kanaru's photo in the profile, Inui sneaks off.
Back at the hospital, Kanaru was in Takuro's room with Megumi. She was there to bid farewell to them. Megumi didn't want to lose her friend and insists there must be something they could do. Maybe they can find Kanaru's creator to take a look at her? Unfortunately, Kanaru doesn't know who her creator is and was prepared for the worst. She tells Megumi that she was happy to have met her. After Megumi runs out the room, Kanaru turns round to Takuro and thanks him for being such a gentleman. She hopes he and Megumi will continue to get along.
As Kanaru leaves the room, Megumi stops her and says that she was not just a puppet. Even though she was programmed to carry out Kagenuki, Kanaru had managed to overcome the command. What's more, she had lost that dark Persona. Megumi was sure the round Persona that appeared afterwards is her true Persona, a newborn baby Persona that proves Kanaru was now human. However, Kanaru knew she didn't have much time left. The two friends embrace for the last time.
Shin soon arrives at the hospital too to visit his friends after Kanaru had left. He brought some clothes for Takuro and wonders what was wrong with Megumi when he sees her tear-stricken face. Just as Megumi takes the bag of clothes and was about to explain, Takuro tries to get up saying they'll explain to him later, urging him to go find Kanaru as quickly as possible. Megumi says the same, telling Shin not to ask but to go find Kanaru and be by her side. Immediately, Shin rushes off.
Kanaru had made her way to the school now, taking one last look at her classroom before heading to the roof. Closing her eyes, she leaps off the building and arrives by the sea. She pauses for a moment as she stood amongst the others who wished to be taken away. She begins walking forward and finds the grown-up Ayane appearing before her, holding out her hand. Images of the "Feathers of a Whale" book flash by her mind as she falls into the water.
Moments later, she wakes up to find herself back in the park where she hid herself whenever she was upset. Shin catches up with her, almost out of breathe but was happy to have found her. They sit by a bench as Shin goes off to buy a hot drink for each of them. Shin sits down by Kanaru, remembering the time they had sat here talking about what they were going to do in the future. Kanaru looks down at her can, fidgeting with the tip and apologises for talking about completely unrelated matters back then. Shin smiles, taking the can and opening for her. He apologises too for not making it to her speech contest to cheer her on.
Soon, the two friends had finished their drinks and had fallen into silence. Shin begins talking again, asking if Kanaru was troubled by something. He stresses that she doesn't have to tell him if she didn't want to but was ready to listen if she felt like it. Or perhaps it would be better if she spoke to Megumi if it was a girl matter.
Smiling, Kanaru reveals that just like Shin, she doesn't remember what happened ten years ago but she had just found out the reasons why. She never had those memories to Shin's surprise but he remains silent. She goes onto talking about the "Feathers of a Whale" book that she had borrowed from them sometime ago and said that she never understood why the people of the village had disappeared, even though the young man in the story had brought back a glowing feather to bring happiness to them. However, she now understood why. The young man had closed up his heart and chose not to see them but she didn't understand why he done that.
Kanaru clenches her hands, turning round to face Shin and asks what he thought of her. Does she look like a normal girl to him? Shin looks away awkwardly and answers she didn't look like just any ordinary girl. To him, she was very cute.
For a moment, Kanaru is speechless as she looks at Shin. She then looks away and reveals that her memories as a child were all made up. Only the times that she spent together with Shin, Jun, Megumi, Takuro and the others were real and she doesn't want to forget them. Suddenly, it begins to snow. As Shin looks up into the sky remarking how early it was for such weather, Kanaru starts to find it difficult to speak. As she tries to speak her last words, her head falls onto Shin's shoulder and her injured hand loosens around the lucky charm Shin had let her keep.
Shin looks at Kanaru and smiles, continuing to gaze out at the park. His phone rings and a few seconds later, his face is filled with shock. Slowly, he turns round to Kanaru and calls out her name but she doesn't answer. Shin reaches out to her injured hand that was still holding his lucky charm and pulls her closer to him, wrapping his arms around her shoulders and letting her head rest in him as tears welled up in his eyes.
Next episode, "The Pledge of Atonement"
Ten years ago on that day. The day when everyone thought would just go by as normal and onto the next. Many accidents occurred simultaneously that afternoon with Ayanagi City at its centre, including many other disasters such as an unknown earthquake. In an instance, a large number of people had fallen victim to Apathy Syndrome and the city was brought to a halt. During that time, Ayane Komatsubara was with Ryo and his parents at the pale coloured shores of Toyama. In Ryo's arms were...
Nooooo! They killed off Kanaru too! First Eiko then Saki, now her. They like to kill off the good characters huh? A sad episode but at least she had Shin by her side before she died. It would be great if they find a way to fix her but since all the researchers are dead, I don't think it's going to be possible.
From the look of the preview, it appears Ayane is trying to take the Kanzato brothers away with her as a form of revenge for what's been done to her. This would explain why she keeps going after them even in this episode and why the brother's Personas would try to keep her away. Now it's only Shin left unless something changes her mind. She doesn't look like a happy girl at the shore so I wonder how the Kanzato family managed to escape if she attacked them back then?