Episode 24 Summary, "The Pledge of Atonement"
The members of the Persona research team stood in horror as they watched Ayane stand at the edge of the open helicopter over the sea. Haruka and Shigeru Kanzato try to close in but fail to catch her. Ayane jumps into the sea as the cables attached to her snaps.
Skipping a little further in time, the Kanzato family were happily walking back to their home. Their young children Shin, Yuki and Jun running ahead in a race trying to see who gets back first. Their parents call out to them to be careful and as the children answer back, Shin is the first to trip down falling on his face. Jun and Yuki run on pass their elder brother, finally reaching the door of their home.
The twins pick up the little leaf hat outside their house expecting to find the house key but it wasn't there. Shin catches up just as the door opens for them. It was their oldest brother Ryo. He had returned home.
As the family gathered back inside the warmth of their cosy home, Ryo helped Shin put on a bandage on his slightly bruised nose, teasing how he was using all the bandages in the house. Shin gives a little laugh and walks off quickly. Ryo returns to sit by his parents on the sofa where Yuki was having her hair combed. Shigeru asks how the test in Kyoto went. Ryo smiles, pretty confident that he scored over 80% in his entry exam and father reminds him he should spend some time enjoying the scenery too.
Haruka suggests they go visit Ryo once he settles down in Kyoto and little Yuki eagerly agrees. Shigeru was sure their jobs would be finished by then. Just as Ryo points out he wasn't entirely sure he'll be accepted, Yuki spots Shin and Jun playing ride the horsey and wants to play too. Ryo glances over at his brothers and lets his sister play too. This made Jun jealous when he saw how fast they were going. Ryo looks up, giving Shin a challenging look. As if accepting the challenge, Shin picks up the speed dramatically rushing off through the hall and into another room. Jun was now having a hard time balancing himself.
Suddenly, Shin stops and stands on his knees, almost flinging Jun off his back. A young girl was standing outside with a bag. She must have been standing for a while because the show had already piled up on her head. To Shin's delight, he recognised the girl as Eiko.
Haruka goes to open the door for her and Eiko brushes off the snow on her clothes. She hands over the bag of freshly caught fish and Haruka gladly accepts. Shin gives the big bulky bag a curious poke as Eiko explains her father was out with a friend from the hospital had caught a lot. Haruka invites Eiko to stay for dinner and calls out to let Ryo know she was here.
Eiko blushes as Ryo enters the main hallway to greet her. Little Yuki was also very happy to see Eiko, rushing forward to greet her but is stopped by Haruka who asks her to help in the kitchen. Yuki happily agrees to help and Shin makes his way back in too, giving Ryo an envious look before returning inside. Eiko and Ryo were now left alone. Ryo casually invites Eiko to go inside and the two ask how the exam had went. Both had felt it went so-so. A brief silence falls between them as Eiko hesitates but eventually musters up the courage to ask Ryo out for the next day.
That night, after the children were fast asleep, Ryo makes some hot coffee for his parents who were working in the workshop finishing off their picture book, "Feathers of a Whale". Just as he was about to enter, he overhears his father talking on the phone to the secret organisation they were working for. Shigeru was telling Komatsubara that they will not return to resume their research into the Personas that exist within the unconscious human minds. He had hoped Komatsubara too would have come to realise by now that what they were doing was wrong and by continuing the research, they will eventually lose themselves too. He tries to convince Komatsubara to give up the project that will end up affecting all humans and by reminding him of what happened to Ayane.
At this point, Ryo enters the brightly lit room and asks his father if it was the editor on the phone. As Shigeru nods, Haruka asks if the children were already asleep. Ryo said they must have been tired from all that running around. He glances at the painting which was to be the last page of the picture book that his parents were working on and is reminded that it's based on the amulet feather that Yuki wore around her neck. A grim look crosses Shigeru's face as he asks Ryo to take some time out tomorrow because they had something important to tell him. Haruka tries to stop him but knew they couldn't hide their secret any longer.
The next sunny day, Ryo was sitting next to his father by the sea. He had left Eiko to go to the theme park with his brothers and sister instead. Haruka walks over to sit by them too, sounding a little sorry for taking Ryo away from Eiko for the day. She laughs as Ryo doesn't seem to realise Eiko's feelings for him and that the trip to the theme park was supposed to have been a date.
As the three family members sat together, Shigeru realises it has been a long time since they had sat together like this. Haruka agrees and says that there may never have ever after Ryo had grown old enough to take care of himself. Slowly turning round to face Ryo, Shigeru apologises for leaving him alone all this time. He felt that it was time they explained to Ryo what they have been involved in, what they had been doing before they became authors and what their plans for the future were.
Meanwhile at the theme park, Eiko was having a hard time keeping the children together. Jun and Yuki had run off on their own and Shin wanted to go in the coffee cup ride with her. Eiko cries out in frustration. However, she soon manages to regain control and were now resting by a table. Shin was feeling sick from all the spinning. As he holds the bottle of water in his hands, he looks up and sees a sad look on Eiko's face. He asks if she had actually wanted to go with Ryo to theme park but Eiko tries to deny it with a smile. Shin lies his head on the table sadly thinking how they won't be able to see Ryo for a very long time if he makes it into Kyoto. Seeing his, Eiko puts a hand on Shin's head trying to cheer him up and asking which ride he wanted to go on next. He points to what Yuki was eating and tells Eiko he wanted some.
A moment later, Eiko returns but Shin was no where to be found. Yuki and Jun says he was off to the toilet but fails to trick Eiko who sees right through their lie. She manages to get the truth from them and learns Shin was off to bring Ryo to the theme park while Yuki and Jun tries to keep her occupied.
Back at the sea, Shigeru had just about finished explaining their circumstance to Ryo. Neither he or Haruka could forget the look in Ayane's eyes as she jumped into the sea. That is why they plan to confess to the authorities about their research and won't be able to stay by Ryo and the children's side. They apologise for running away from their crimes while leaving Ryo to suffer alone and in the end, having to hand over the responsibility of the family to him too.
As a heavy silence fall between the family, Ryo suddenly notices the sky was filled with seagulls. Turning round and seeing his parents stare ahead in horror, he too looks up in front of him to find Ayane standing before them. He did not know who she was but realised his mother had drawn her in a painting. She was back for them.
Moments later, the city was in chaos as burst of white light from Ayane surges through the city, turning almost everyone nearby into Apathy Syndrome victims. Planes fell from the sky, cars and trains crashed causing many deaths and injuries. The local hospital was filled up in no time.
At the entrance, Ryo was carrying Shin in his arms. He walks in quickly hoping to find out what happened to the rest of his family. He finally spots Eiko nearby and asks where Jun and Yuki were. Eiko looks up to tell they were in the operation room but it was already too late. She clasps her face in tears. Ryo leaves the shocked Shin by her side and runs off to find out what was happening himself.
Ryo finally finds a doctor who explains he will have to transplant part of his sister's brain over to save Jun. After the operation, Jun should be able to recover as he grows up. It was a questionable operation in terms of medical skill and with the law but, the doctor insists it was the only way. On the other hand, i was only a matter of time before Yuki dies because her sustained wounds were simply too much to be treated. Now it was up to Ryo to decide what to do. Either leave them both to die, or save Jun at least. The doctor leans in to pile in the pressure, claiming it was very fortunate opportunity. Eventually, Ryo gives in and signs the form in place of his parents due to the lack of time.
Returning to the waiting area, Ryo takes Shin from Eiko even though he hadn't been examined by a doctor yet. Eiko asks what happened to Shin and the others but Ryo was silent.
The next day, work was under way in repairing the damages of the disaster. Kunio was having a hard time trying to deal with people looking for their missing loved ones. He notices the young man Ryo leaving the police station and looked very angry. Kunio's partner tells him that Ryo claimed to have seen a monster but it was probably just due to the shock he has from losing his parents.
Soon, Ryo was back home. He finds the door to his parents workshop open and so walks in to find Shin lying curled up on the floor. Ryo kneels down trying to wake up his brother, worried that he will catch the cold when a small sculpture drops out of Shin's arms. It was a statue of two people holding arms with a sharp object piecing through them. In a weak voice, Shin says he had killed someone. Immediately, Ryo smashed the statue and holds his brother saying it wasn't true.
The two of them go to the hospital to see how their brother Jun was doing but it wasn't long before it was time for a check up. Ryo gets up to leave but the doctor stops them by the doorway. He noticed Shin's case of Apathy Syndrome seemed very different from the others and suggests they discuss the problem. Inside the doctor's office, the doctor says he can use a method similar to hypnosis to suppress the painful memories that were bothering young Shin. This way he will be able to continue living a normal life as long as he doesn't receive another shock.
Before the doctor could do that though, he had to understand what had caused the shock in the first place. At first, Ryo was hesitant because he didn't expect the doctor to believe what he said just like the police. However, after learning the doctor was Komatsubara and knows all about the research his parents had been involved in when they had worked as a neurologist and psychophysicist. Hearing this, Ryo tells Komatsubara his parents had regretted what they done and thus, shouldn't forget what happened but, Komatsubara stresses his brother may never smile again.
And so, Ryo reveals what happened that very day when disaster struck the city. Ayane, who had not changed since the day she jumped into the sea, had appeared before his parents and before Shigeru could call for backup her Persona had already engulfed them. Struggling, they reach out for each other's hand as their Personas were being extracted, their hands fusing together bodies as they began to wither away. Ryo cries out to Ayane trying to stop her but she wouldn't. As Haruka uses her last strength to tell Ryo to take of the family, Shin suddenly appears nearby.
Drenched in blood, Ryo runs over to his younger brother trying to stop him from looking but it was too late. Shin's Persona awakens and dashes towards Ayane's Persona, piercing its weapon right through their parents' joined Personas. Their physical bodies are released, dropping to the ground as Shin's Persona then proceeds to slash away at Ayane's Persona, slicing the Kanzato couple's Persona up in the process. As the Personas disintegrate into dust, Ayane holds out her hand in horror at Shigeru's smiling Persona nodding at her before it finally disappeared.
A tear slides down Ayane's face. Screaming out that she didn't want to lose them, her Persona explodes. Ryo summons his own Persona to shield him and Shin from the impact as a burst of white light spreads and covers the city.
Returning to the present, Jun had fully recovered from his operation and Shin too had overcome the shock. However, Ryo had already arranged from them to live away from Ayanagi City together with their aunt. At the airport, Shin clings onto his brother one last time before walking away with his aunt. Jun waves to Ryo hoping they will get to play riding the horsey again someday. Walking away, Ryo is reminded of Yuki.
Back at home, Ryo sat down in the darkness, changing the painting his mother Haruka had finished. One by one, he removed all the villagers that surrounded the young man who had returned from his journey.
Going further back into the present to the grown up Shin, both Megumi and Akihiko were visiting Kanaru's memorial which was set next to the Kanzato couple. Shin on the other hand, was lying on a couch tears streaming down his face as the memories were finally unlocked. He looks up to find Ayane sitting before him with the "Feathers of a Whale" book in her hands. She disappears in a burst of feathers, leaving Shin with the words, "You have gained a future in place of the young man."
Next episode, "A Loss without an Origin"
Ryo now held the truth with him, the truth that revolves around Personas. Shin on the other hand is shocked, as the unreasonable happenings return to shock him. As if struck with Apathy Syndrome, he too goes to the sea and sits clasping his knees just like everyone else and floating within his conscious mind was the normal family life he may have had. Back at that time, the Marebito were already activating their Bionoids at the underground facility and starting to send them to the Toyama Coast.
I hope they're not planning to round up the series just by clearing up the past. Looks like we might end up with a sad ending right now but nah... Most shows go with happy.
So this mass outbreak of Apathy Syndrome ten years ago has nothing to do with P3. Not really surprised and was expected really. In a way, I don't think Ayane was trying to kill the Kanzato couple for revenge because she actually cried when their Personas disappeared, smiling and nodding at her. I think she knew they were the only ones that still had a bit of conscience in them and cared about her thus, she was trying to take them away with her so that they can be her parents. However Shin's Persona breaks loose, freeing his parents by killing them since they were pretty much goners when Ayane's Persona had absorbed them anyway. Might as well end their pain early and they did want to atone for their wrongdoings.
As for Ryo, I guess he changed that painting because he felt the "Feathers of a Whale" was based around him and in the real world, he did not have a happy ending with what he was about to do and, that was to stop the Persona research once and for all. This meant he had to separate himself from everyone dear to him so that they wouldn't get hurt which is why he probably painted out all those villagers and changed the story book's ending. Now according to what Ayane said, Shin is the new character in the book but, what "future" awaits Shin now exactly?
And they still haven't explained about where they got the feather amulet and what this whale is.