Next is Ninokami Yuzuru (CV: Narita Ken), who is the student council president and friends with Yakumo (or so Yakumo claims). Despite his sharp tongue and seemingly abusive language, he helps Sakuya out a lot. Rumour also has it that he’s into cosplay? I recommend reading Yakumo’s review first ‘cos all the common stuff is explained there; I’m not going into overlapping details for the following routes.
The common route is the same – just that the wishes are different, Sakuya takes on someone else’s request instead of Aki’s, and everything else is Yuzuru-focused. It’s also amusing to note this conversation when they meet Yuzuru for the first time, whom remarks that Sakuya’s taking her role as a god seriously.
Yakumo: That’s right, she’s a wonderful girl who will do things till the end once she has set her mind on it! She’s a sister I’m proud of!
Sakuya: St……stop it, Yakumo Nii-san. It’s embarrassing.
Yakumo: She’s often late, can’t study, and is reckless, but she’s a sister I’m proud of!
Sakuya: It’s embarrassing! Yakumo Nii-san!
Yorihito: No……he’s not praising you. Sakuya-dono.
When Sakuya chooses Yuzuru to accompany her in order to lure out the one watching them, she tries to pursue about his cat ears and tail from the other day and Yuzuru continues to insist that he isn’t a youkai.
Yuzuru: Fu, don’t you know? That is what is known as cosplaying in the human world.
Sakuya: ……Hu, human world? It’s like you come from another world……
Yuzuru: Oh my, you’re saying weird stuff again like “another world”. It’s good to have a rich imagination, but things like youkai and spirits, it’s not praiseworthy to escape from reality you know?
Sakuya: No no no……or rather, the way Yuzuru-senpai makes excuses is shocking…… ……and so, in the end what is Yuzuru-senpai?
Yuzuru: Student council president. A very normal student council president you’d see anywhere else. Are you satisfied with this?
Sakuya: A normal student council president wouldn’t grow ears and a tail!
Yuzuru remains firm anyway. On the day Mikoto suggests Sakuya finding a wish to grant, she decides to approach the Three Gods. She can’t find them though and ends up going to Susanoo where she overhears him talking about paranormal happenings in the mountains. Apparently he received a request to investigate this, but Sakuya gets excited and runs off to start on the case before he can stop her. She gathers everyone at the shrine and tells them that they themselves are already like supernatural existences so they can’t possibly lose here! Lol.
Rei: If it’s scaring the neighbouring residences, we must expose its true identity!! If we look closely at a spirit’s true form, it’s actually a withered flower. Once you know the true identity, the paranormal are mostly trivial items. A fireball is actually plasma. A human’s soul is unscientific.
Sakuya: I never thought that……I would hear such words from Rei-kun’s mouth.
When they go into the mountains though, Sakuya ends up fainting after seeing suspicious shadow-like figures. It’s evidence that something is up so they split up later to gather information. Sakuya joins Yuzuru and Rei to search any history relating to the mountain area. But both Sakuya and Rei can’t read the text at all so Yuzuru has to do it by himself in the end – and to shut them up when they loudly cheer him on from the sidelines lol. He finds out that a circus troupe came to the mountains before but a fire broke out and so the paranormal activity may be caused by those spirits. They tell this to the rest and go to the mountains again the next day, but for some reason they keep going in circles. Eventually, Yakumo and Yuzuru catch the culprits – the Three Gods. Sakuya tells them off and they promise to no longer scare the humans if they’re not disturbed. Yuzuru thinks that she should’ve punished them but anyway the case is closed for now and it appears that the circus incident has no relation.
The first wish Sakuya tackles is to help a girl’s confession – though Yuzuru laughs at how none of them have any love experience though when asked the same by Sakuya he goes silent pfft. Aki joins them too, as she happily proclaims that she has researched on love from shoujo manga and her own imagination.
Rei: Aki-san is on the same level as us. Narumi-san.
Narumi: No……I don’t do stuff like brain simulation or fantasies.
Sakuya: No……why are you saying it to me?
Narumi: ………… /blushes
Aki has also been stalking-observing the girl, Yuriko, ‘cos of work and personal motives – it’s part of her job to watch over people with higher sensitivity to spirits since they can easily attract them. They manage to find Yuriko, who seems pretty aggressive having stalked her classmate and knows every last detail about him! Sakuya can’t force love but she promises to help by preparing the perfect “stage” for her to confess. Yuzuru starts to suggest spots like the legendary tree, legendary fortress, legendary shrine etc. since confessions should succeed 100% there but there are no such spots in the school pfft. In the end Yuriko manages to confess her feelings even though it ends in rejection. But she thanks everyone as it’s better than being bothered over not confessing at all. Sakuya still feels bad though and Yuzuru tells her that god isn’t omnipotent and that she did her best.
On her rest day, Sakuya decides to go to the shopping street but no one is free to accompany here. Just then she spots Yuzuru working at the new clothes store that recently opened. When he continues his badmouthing, Sakuya tries to get him to treat her as a customer. The store owner mistakes them as a couple and gives Yuzuru the rest of the day off to have their date lol. After getting chased away, Yuzuru sighs and decides to accompany Sakuya. After walking around, they go to the park and Sakuya sees a crepe store – only to realise that she only had 150yen in her wallet all this time. Yuzuru laughs at this, questioning what shopping she was going to do, before offering to treat her. As they eat, Sakuya remarks that he’s kind after all but Yuzuru denies this – he hates humans and only acts kind to live in this society.
On another day, the rumours of the paranormal activity are still around and Sakuya decides to go to check things. She arrives at a small field with a little shrine, which is the site of the fire incident. The Three Gods are there too and explain that it’s where all the gods rest, and that they kept their promise of not scaring humans as long as they don’t trouble them. But the humans want to destroy the place, apparently to build an entertainment facility, so they spread the rumours. Sakuya wants to help them out and they consult Aki, who says that her organisation can pay for the land if it’s determined that it’s an important spiritual place to be protected. They also learn from Mikoto that the land belongs to the shrine parishioner, Suzuki, and Mikoto doesn’t think that he’d destroy the land. Suzuki is the grandfather living next-door to Sakuya and she goes to find him. It turns out that he was deceived and had a large debt, so the dishonest business people took his land as repayment. Sakuya goes to find the person in-charge while contacting Yuzuru, but he even threatens to sell her off for repayment too. Yuzuru intercepts just then and chases the guy away, telling Sakuya not to worry him like that. The next night, Aki tells everyone that her agency can’t buy the land but it appears as though the people who bought the land is involved in shady business – so they could try to find evidence on it. The Three Gods tell Sakuya not to worry though as it’s their own affair after all, and never mentioned about the shrine after that night. But Sakuya feels sad at her helplessness.
On the day when Yuzuru corners Sakuya on the wall to lure the Three Gods out, they walk back home together afterwards. Yuzuru questions if she really enjoys being a god as there doesn’t seem to be any benefits for her. Sakuya says that she’s just happy to be thanked by others and asks if he doesn’t feel the same way – though she admits that she also accepted it ‘cos it seemed fun. He smiles at this and says that just for now he’ll agree with her.
The second wish is about strange disturbances occurring in the shopping street, and Aki joins them too since she’s investigating it too – there hasn’t been any huge damages but there’s no clue on what the cause is either. There, Sakuya decides to look around for now since there have no clues to begin with.
Yuzuru: Fu……well, it isn’t a bad idea. If we’re too focused on the methods, we won’t achieve our goal. In any case, we’ll first search on the strange accidents which have been taking place.
Sakuya: Senpai isn’t badmouthing me……on……on the other hand I feel uneasy, Senpai! Please scold me more!
Yuzuru: ……what a troublesome person……
As they walk around, they discover that people keep tripping over. Later, they also hear from a clothes store that weird accidents have been happening too. They eventually go to the train station area, and Sakuya feels a presence nearby and discovers an old, red, painted bowl. They head back to the shrine, and Yorihito explains that old items will have spirits in them, otherwise known as tsukumogami – he himself is an advanced tsukumogami. The peaceful ones, nigimitama, have been loved by humans and in turn protect humans or serve gods. But the ones treated harshly become aramitama and would pull pranks on humans. The bowl must’ve been treated importantly to have lasted for so long, but perhaps it wasn’t treated as well by the owner’s children. Yorihito tells Sakuya that she can easily purify the lower-ranked tsukumogami like this one as long as she prays with all of her heart. Seeing how she’s nervous at first, Yuzuru supports her and tells her to not think about it in a complicated way. Sakuya is able to purify it, wishing for it to meet its owner. She promises Yorihito to treat him well always and hopes that everyone can remain together forever – though her wish may not necessarily be granted.
On her rest day, Sakuya spots an ad looking for a one-day part-timer at a clothes store. She decides to take it since the pay is attractive and it turns out to be the store Yuzuru is working at. When he sees her, he immediately tells her that they’ve no clothes being sold at 150yen lmao. After hearing her real purpose, he remarks that only people with spiritual power can see the homepage so she’s hired. The owner is away today on an errand but there’s a time sale this afternoon so that’s why there was the ad. Yuzuru adds that they probably won’t have customers till then and indeed that’s the case. Sakuya gets bored and tries to play word games with him, but he either cuts it off her shiritori or ignores her lol. Later, Yuri drops by to get new balloons, much to Sakuya’s surprise. Yuzuru explains that half of their customers aren’t humans, plus the owner is actually a god. Indeed, when the time sale starts they receive a hoard of jelly-like customers. At the end, Yuzuru praises her effort and gives her some juice to drink.
Days later, Sakuya is still feeling down about the issue. After talking to Mikoto, Sakuya feels more encouraged and decides to ask the Three Gods about creating a new place for the shrine. She calls up Yuzuru and he appears to be in a bad mood. He remarks on how humans are selfish and as long as it’s in their own benefit, they throw away the gods they once respected. Feeling hurt by his words, Sakuya questions if he hates them too and he sadly answers that he hates all humans. Sakuya feels down but tells herself to buck up and focus on the issue at hand. They find the Three Gods but unfortunately they turn down her offer, even though they are grateful. They’re meant to protect this place, and if it’s gone they might as well disappear along with it.
100 years ago during the Meiji era, the circus from the West made the genre popular and many young people went overseas to learn more about its operations. There was one man, Sasahara Genpei, who wanted to go overseas for this too. But he couldn’t bring his fiancee who was weak in her health, and he promised to return 10 years later. After overcoming much hardship, he returned as promised 10 years later and married his fiancee. Together, they toured the country with their circus – the most popular ones were Tama, Yuri, and Genpei (the bear had trained with Sasahara since young so he named the bear after himself). One day, they toured Sasahara’s home village but ‘cos a customer left behind a cigarette a fire broke out. Many of the circus people and animals died, including Sasahara’s wife. Ironically, Sasahara was out with Tama, Yuri, Genpei to perform for those who were too poor to pay to watch them. Sasahara only learnt that he’d lost everything 3 days later. He cleaned up the site alone, build a small shrine, and a small house to live there. But the families who lost their loved ones also took it out on him. Sasahara slept outside next to the shrine a lot, but even during these times he treated the three of them kindly.
Sasahara got more frail with time, and would often whisper before the shrine that he wants to go over soon, and to perform with everyone again on the other side. He questioned why his wife had to be the one to die and not himself. One winter day, he ended his life with only the three animals to look over him. They never moved from their spot since then, even when his body finally returned to the ground (decomposed) and no one longer remembered about Sasahara’s circus. That is till a voice called out to them (Mikoto), telling them that they’re dead already and if they continue this way they will never rest peacefully nor reincarnate. They still want to protect this place forever though, so Mikoto granted them their wish. Yuzuru doesn’t care what their reason is to be honest, since this world has numerous tragedies, and they don’t have the energy to sympathise with all of them. But he doesn’t want the humans to have their way and he’ll protect this place with Sakuya. After that, Sakuya tried to gather the residents to oppose but only Suzuki has shown his support. Mikoto tries to cheer her up and tells her to just focus on what she can do, one after another.
The third wish Sakuya grants is about a strange presence in the forest, which seems to be searching for something. They discover an ayakashi but he doesn’t seem to respond to them and leaves. He appears as though he lived here since long ago, but only recently started to act like this. Rei also confirms that he’s dead, adding that he has a presence like his own. Aki then recalls an old tale from hundreds of years ago: there was once a girl who’d lost her family, and was taken in by her relatives. Thanks to her strong spiritual power, she often predicted misfortune beforehand and protected many people. She also played often with an ayakashi since young, and the friendship eventually became love. But since long ago, people believed that such a love was taboo and if it’s broken, disaster would befall. So they kept their relationship a secret, but they were found out in the end and separated. The villagers also planned to kill the ayakashi, and sacrifice the girl, to avoid any possible disaster. The ayakashi could escape but he was too late in saving the girl. And so ever since then, the ayakashi went mad as he couldn’t accept the reality and is forever lost in the forest till today.
Yuzuru agrees with Sakuya that the ayakashi is pitiful, especially when it was humans’ foolishness which drove him mad. They don’t mind killing anyone, as long as they don’t do anything taboo and protect their own beliefs. Yuzuru somberly asks if humans can sacrifice anything to continue living on. Though Sakuya doesn’t know the answers to these, she thinks that the ayakashi is pitiful after all and goes to find Fuu-san for help. He gives her an old temari, saying that he chanced upon it while researching on the land’s folklore. He believes that it belongs to the girl, and it’s said that the ayakashi gave it to her. He guesses that perhaps something triggered the ayakashi to start roaming like this. With the temari, they go find the ayakashi again and Yuzuru gives it back with Sakuya, to ease her uneasiness. Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Sakuya wishes for their happy memories to continue living on. The ayakashi disappears as he cries and receives it, but everyone else is left in a heavy silence. (Yakumo even remarks that stuff like curses, taboos etc. are too heavy for a simple-minded human like him sobs.) Yuzuru tells everyone to feel proud instead, for having saved the ayakashi.
On a rest day, Sakuya goes to find Yuzuru at the student council room but sees him busy preparing for the school’s participating in the Hoshi Matsuri with the other members. He spots her though and calls her in, where the other members mistake her for his girlfriend. Yuzuru asks Sakuya to help them out while he leaves to go negotiate with the townsfolk. Later on, everyone leaves first while Sakuya waits for Yuzuru. She sits at his chair and starts imitating him – and Yuzuru walks in on this pfft. He starts sighing at how the other members have misunderstood them and insults them but Sakuya recalls her conversation with the members earlier – his badmouthing is out of love lol. Yuzuru thanks her as she has worked hard, which makes her happy since it’s a rare thing. He blushes at this and says that he was merely conveying the other members’ thanks. He then asks if she’d consider joining the student council but Sakuya rejects as she has her role as a god too, and this answer seems to make him happy.
The contractors will start their work on the shrine tomorrow, and Sakuya has had the Three Gods gather all the other gods to help to delay this construction for as long as possible – operation Hyakki Yagyou. But Aki, Yuzuru and Rei show up soon as Aki presents a copy of evidence that Suzuki was deceived – his money was never invested in any company so basically he was deceived of it all; the contract of him repaying with his land becomes invalid so it still belongs to him. They can’t present this in legal court though ‘cos Yuzuru and Rei got their hands on it illegally – sneaking into the house and opening the safe lol. Aki will get her lawyer acquaintance in to help and they should be able to do so by tomorrow night. This delights Sakuya, though she could only understand 30% of it, and she puts things simply for the gods who can’t understand either: they just need to delay things till tomorrow night. That night, everyone gathers at the shrine to devise their plan for tomorrow.
Yuzuru: Before that, can we do something about this operation name with no naming sense. In Japanese it’s “Hyakki Yagyou Operation Super Operation”. I don’t understand it.
Yakumo: Is that so? I think it’s cool! “Ultra Hyper Operation”! Doesn’t it sound strong!
Narumi: This operation name, as expected it’s Yakumo……
Sakuya: ……did the operation name just become longer?
Rei: I agree with Yakumo-san! It sounds strong and cool! “Ultra Hyper Super Operation”!
Later that night, Sakuya finds Yuzuru standing outside. He guesses that she’s feeling a bit scared and she can stay behind if so – but knowing her she’ll tag along, he won’t stop her. He also starts to insult her, saying that he has never seen someone like her – in a bad way. Seeing her energetic reactions, Yuzuru says that it looks like she’ll be alright tomorrow. The next morning, they manage to chase away the contractors but later that night the in-charge shows up with Fuu-san. Thinking back, Sakuya recalls that she heard about this case from Fuu-san’s telephone call so he must’ve been hired for this. No matter what they do, Fuu-san dispels all the illusions as he’s actually a genius exorcist. Thankfully, Aki shows up at the critical moment with all the towns people to back them up. She exposes everything and Fuu-san isn’t willing to be a partner in crime, moreover he specialises in spirits, not humans. They chase the guy away and later, it’s only a matter of time that Suzuki gets back his land and the criminals are arrested. Everyone goes to pay respects at the shrine the next day.
One day after school, Sakuya wakes up from a sad dream but she can’t remember what it was – Mikoto seemed to be in it though and she wonders if it’s ‘cos of their conversation that morning (see Yakumo’s route). Sakuya decides to go find Yuzuru and he’s willing to be her conversation partner. He prepares tea and cake, and takes everything up to the rooftop for them to sit down as the scenery’s nice at this time. As he looks on, he catches a maple leaf and recalls his past – good things, bad things, what was right and wrong, even now he still doesn’t know. Sakuya doesn’t pursue the topic and Yuzuru’s thankful to her for that, which makes her feel happy as he’s like approving of her. They continue their conversation as per normal, though Sakuya takes all his insults in a good way.
Yuzuru: You’re really an idiot. Say something which uses a bit more thinking.
Sakuya: Fufu……it’s okay to not worry so much over me.
Yuzuru: Do you have a loose screw? Did your IQ drop after you became a god?
Sakuya: That side of you is cute too.
Yuzuru: You really have a rare way of thinking – in a bad way.
Sakuya: Not at all……you don’t need to hide your embarrassment.
Yuzuru: It’s the first time I’ve met a person like you – in a bad way.
Sakuya: You want to say that I’m special right. Yuzuru-senpai.
Yuzuru: When I see you, a feeling wells up in my chest. It’s the first time I’ve felt this way. If I were to name it……it’s probably “hatred on a physiological level”.
Sakuya: Seriously, please don’t praise me so much!
After they’re done, Sakuya is reluctant to part ways from Yuzuru and is happy when he offers to walk home with her.
YUZURU’S INDIVIDUAL ROUTE STARTS FROM HERE
Sakuya dreams of a young boy standing in a forest – but it’s not her calling out to him but the boy’s friend, asking why does he need to return when there’s no need for him to die. The boy doesn’t want to escape though, even though he’s frightened to the point of tearing up. Sakuya’s woken up by Yuzuru, who’s annoyed that even though she wanted to talk to him she fell asleep and he was left waiting in the student council room for an hour. They head to Susanoo where Narumi, Rei and Yakumo were waiting too as everyone is going to help clean the shrine grounds in preparation for the Hoshi Matsuri. ‘Cos it’s Sakuya’s fault for being late, they make her pay for all the sweets and Yuzuru purposely picks the most expensive ice-cream too lol. After they’re done, Yakumo suggests roasting sweet potatoes and he, Narumi, Rei disappear off to get some from his place. Sakuya is left with Yuzuru, who stares intently at her and remarks that her powers are now greater. A shrine god’s powers strengthen or weaken depending on the people’s wishes and prayers – ‘cos she’s been helping out many people her powers have strengthened now. Sakuya takes this as a sign that she’s being thanked for by many people and feels happy. Yuzuru frowns at this though, telling her to be careful to not be betrayed as there’s nothing more unreliable than gratitude and sincerity from humans. Hearing this, she questions if he doesn’t see all of them as comrades and after a short pause, he sadly answers that there’s no way he can be their comrades.
The next morning, Sakuya wakes up from a sad dream again but can’t remember its contents. At school, she overhears one girl excitedly recounting how Yuzuru greeted her back very kindly and even called her by her first name. This puts Sakuya in a bad mood as she grumbles over lunch at the rooftop, wondering why she’s being discriminated by Yuzuru.
Sakuya: I’m always addressed as “you there”, “stupid”, or “idiot”……
???: It’s the reality so there’s no helping it.
Sakuya: Even so, isn’t there another way of saying these things? My delicate otome heart is so torn and tattered that I don’t even have the appetite to eat my lunchbox!
???: ……but I see that you’ve almost finished eating it?
Sakuya: Ah……it’s true……I take back what I said……Nn? Se, se-se-se-se-se-senpai!? Since when where you there!
Despite the surprise, Sakuya takes this chance to improve her relationship with Yuzuru, whom clarifies that he generally treats people like how he treated the girl earlier. Sakuya insists that he treats her in the same manner.
Sakuya: Yuzuru-senpai, I think that the attitude with which you treat me, is too different from when with other girls……
Yuzuru: Sakuya, that’s because you’ve become a special existence to me.
Sakuya: Eh……Senpai……does that mean……
Yuzuru: ……did you think that I would say that, you idiot. Has your brain’s neocortex started to grow mold because of the autumn rain?
Sakuya: Th, that’s cruel!! What! What are you saying!! My heart skipped for a beat just now!! In any case! I want to be called as “kimi” too! I want to be called by my first name!
Yuzuru: Didn’t I call you those just now?
Sakuya: It was brimming with ill intention!
Yuzuru: Then, I’ll call you once for every 1000yen.
In the end, Sakuya couldn’t improve her relationship with Yuzuru at all and a tiring lunch break ended like that. After school, Sakuya gets called out by a group of dead spirits. They were killed a few hundred years ago by a disaster brought forth by the sesshoseki. At the moment, Mikoto is thankfully suppressing its powers. But the one who used the sesshoseki to cause the disaster back then is about to do so again, and they want Sakuya to kill that ayakashi. They don’t want her to tell anyone else, saying that it’ll bring disaster if so. But Sakuya doesn’t think she can do it alone and goes to consult Yuzuru the next day. Hearing her story, he immediately grabs her and warns her not to get close to them. He tells her to ignore them and that there’s no need to endanger herself. But from his attitude Sakuya senses that he knows the spirits and Yuzuru eventually admits so, and asks her to take him to them so that he can destroy them. Sakuya is both angered and saddened by his words, and decides to save the spirits by herself.
But no matter how much she searches up she can’t grasp the true identity of the ayakashi. As a last resort, she goes to find Mikoto. She learns that there was once a terrible youkai Taiyou rampaged the lands. Both the humans and gods defeated it but its corpse which is now this stone still emits evil aura. Even after death, it would still call upon disaster so it was sealed by the Sakaki family members. A regular ceremony for the seal would be held in order to avoid disaster, and now Aki’s organisation is in-charge of it. But there was once that the seal lost its effect, ‘cos an ayakashi intervened the ceremony. As a result, an endless winter occurred that year and many people died. Mikoto sense that something’s up and offers to help since it must be a heavy issue. Sakuya decides to get permission from the spirits first before telling him everything. But when she goes to find them, they accuse her of not killing the ayakashi even though he was with her, and start to attack her. Sakuya realises that they’re referring to Yuzuru, whom happens to come in and save her then. After he chases them away, Sakuya still can’t bring herself to believe that he’s the one, for she recognises him as a kind person. Yuzuru doesn’t give any excuses, and remarks that he can’t trust any words from humans. Sakuya soon faints and wakes up later at Narumi’s, who said that he found her sleeping here. Narumi decides not to pry further and Sakuya messages a word of thanks to Yuzuru.
The next day, Sakuya goes to find Yuzuru. The other student council members tell her that he’s on the rooftop, and asks her to cheer him up today as he appears down, pointing out that he looks the happiest when he’s with her. But things don’t go quite as smoothly. He questions if she believes what the spirits said, and if she’s scared of him now. If she hates him now, having known what he did, she can very well try and kill him now. Sakuya replies that she can’t possibly do so, and continues to insist that he’s a kind person. But Yuzuru reveals that when he’d broke the seal and an endless winter occurred, he received punishment for it in the form of a curse from all the gods in this land. In order to undo it, he’s been doing good deeds and helping people so that he can gain the power for it. Just like how a god can get stronger from people’s prayers and faith, so can ayakashi. That’s why he approached her, though he felt that it was a pain to be with her. Naturally, Sakuya is speechless by all of this, and can only ask why does he hate humans so much, or why did he save her yesterday. Yuzuru doesn’t know why he saved her either.
He reassures her that he’s not planning to do anything to the sesshoseki, but now that she knows his true identity he has to disappear. When Sakuya continues to persuade him, and asks him to rely on her if there’s anything, Yuzuru fails to understand what benefits she’d gain from doing so. When she exclaims that they’re comrades, he pins her against the fence and says that she’s no exception – she’s another filthy human being just like the rest. But he can’t forgive himself the most, in order to save her, a human, he committed the same mistake again. Yuzuru bids her farewell and indeed, Sakuya no longer sees him after that day. In fact, no one seems to remember Yuzuru, not even Rei or Narumi. Sakuya hurries over to check with Mikoto, but the Three Gods (who don’t remember Yuzuru either) say that he’s currently out to check up on something urgent. Just then, she runs into Yakumo who still remembers Yuzuru. He seems to have figured out what happened and gathers everyone at Susanoo.
Apparently after Sakuya asked them, Rei and Narumi recalled loose bits of memories of Yuzuru. Yakumo hypothesises that Yuzuru performed some form of hypnotism on everyone to erase their memories. Every time his identity is exposed, he’d do so and that’s how he probably could continue to live in human society for several hundred years. But the ones closest to Yuzuru couldn’t have their memories erased so easily. Sakuya tells everyone else about his past. But they don’t believe that he’d do such a thing, and it doesn’t change the memories they’ve had together. Everyone is determined to find him. The next day, Sakuya tries writing down Yuzuru’s name and the text disappears – eventually she will forget him too. She goes with Aki to meet Narumi at the shrine and on the way, Aki fills her in on what she’d found out: at least now, there’s no way that the sesshoseki could’ve been manipulated to cause a disaster. Together with Mikoto and Fuu-san, they’ve made it powerless so no disaster will befall. According to records, the ceremony did fail ‘cos of an ayakashi but there’s no further details – a human sacrifice was made in the ceremony so as to suppress Taiyou’s cursed powers, but yet the ceremony still failed.
At the shrine, Sakuya tries to use her powers to search for Yuzuru’s location but fails to. Yakumo stops her from trying again as it’s tiring her and they go search by foot instead. But Sakuya is afraid of the fact that unknowingly, her memories of Yuzuru are slowly fading. Narumi holds himself back from saying something, before assuring her that they’ll definitely find Yuzuru. Mikoto then appears with Yorihito, and takes Sakuya to learn about Yuzuru’s past from the land’s oldest god who’d cursed Yuzuru. All this time Mikoto had been requesting for an audience with him, and ‘cos he’s not worshipped by others he has no form nor name. Through Yorihito, the old god converses with Sakuya, wondering what she has to do with the cursed god, since he can no longer be saved from his hatred and fear. Sakuya pleads for him to tell her everything, and he recounts Yuzuru’s past.
Some hundred years ago, years after Taiyou was killed and sesshoseki was sealed, there was an arrogant, high-ranking god who came down from heaven called Ninokami. As he toured the lands and observed human’s foolish ways, he began to look down on them. Then he met a crying child, who refused to tell him the reason he was crying. Instead, he showed Ninokami around the Hoshi Matsuri and for the first time, Ninokami saw the beauty of human creation (fireworks). Due to the boy’s request, he stayed on for a while longer. The boy would visit him everyday in the forest, and exchange stories of heaven and humans. As they became closer, Ninokami eventually learns that the boy is to be sacrificed for the ceremony – he’d learnt it on the night they first met and that’s why he was crying. As Ninokami questions why he doesn’t run away, the boy replies that if he does so many people will die as a result, and refused no matter how many times Ninokami offered to help him escape. He even stopped Ninokami from trying to kill the people holding the ceremony. One year after they’d met, the night before Hoshi Matsuri, the ceremony was held and Ninokami cried before the boy’s dead body, unable to understand why he had to die. He then decided to break the taboo and steal a medicine to revive the boy.
The boy continued to live on, but his blood is tainted by the stone’s curse already and it will get passed on to his descendants too. Ninokami received punishment and became an ayakashi, unable to return to heaven. He can only accumulate good deeds as a human so as to lift the curse. But then the endless winter came and people blamed it on the fact that Ninokami saved the boy, even though it was a natural disaster. Sensing danger, Ninokami helped the boy to escape and was caught himself and chained and locked up in the darkness. As an ayakashi, he can’t die at their hands and ends up bearing the brunt of their anger and hatred – until he’d been forgotten all about. He believed that his friend would come to save him, but that hope changed to despair as time passed. 30 years later, his hope and trust changed to anger and hatred. Even more years pass, and finally he’s able to escape from underground. And while hiding his hatred towards humans, he continued to do good deeds so as to lift the curse.
Yuzuru was actually just a step closer to returning as a god, but he’d used all of his accumulated power to save Sakuya when she was attacked by the spirits, and to heal her wounds. Sakuya finally joins all the dots, and realises why he said those words to her on the day before he disappeared. If he really were only fully of hatred and anger, he wouldn’t feel this tortured – but Yuzuru is too kind. Sakuya begs for the god to release the curse on Yuzuru, but the old god refuses as one can’t twist fate but he did so, and as a result no one was happy. He didn’t save the boy, as his bloodline was tainted in the end. After the old god disappears, Sakuya is determined to do all she can then to save Yuzuru and grant him happiness, just like he’d done for her.
The next morning, Sakuya fails to remember Yuzuru’s name. Her memory is fading, and while everyone else no longer remembers, only she and Yakumo have pieces of memories left. As they recall their memories to each other, Yakumo says that Yuzuru was always worrying about her and despite his sharp tongue, he’d always have a gentle expression. The next day, Sakuya has to search by herself as Yakumo calls to say that he’s feeling unwell (Yakumo…sobs). And the next day, Sakuya skips school to search the town for her important person. As the day goes on, she no longer knows why or who she’s search for – till she catches sight of Yuzuru. She’s driven by the urge to just chase after him and finally hugs him from behind – and all the memories flow back to her. She has lots she wants to say to him, but can’t put her words well and ends up confessing that she likes him and for him to not leave her behind. With a softened expression, Yuzuru promises her and tells her to let go, so that he can see her face. He admits that he’d planned to no longer meet but now he feels so happy. Sakuya tells Yuzuru about everything that had happened, and Yuzuru promises her again to not run away upon her insistence. He’d cast his strongest spell and she was still able to find him. The others will soon regain their memories too. Sakuya thanks him for saving her and also apologises, but he tells her not to feel guilty even though he’s not sure why he saved her either. What she’d heard of his past is pretty much accurate.
In that darkness, he questioned himself over and over – what did he do, what crime did he commit, why is he here. He never figured things out. Everyone knew that it was a natural disaster, but put the blame on him so that they can throw their anger and sadness at him. He’s locked up just for that, all alone in the dark with no food or water, and no helping hand. The first 10 years were hell, the next 20 years despair, and the next 30 years hatred. He tried to kill himself countless times but failed and that just added to the pain. Even now he still can’t forgive what happened back then. He managed to escape ‘cos the kid, who’d grown up and was elderly already, undid the locks. Yuzuru had thought of killing him then, but couldn’t do so as he didn’t want to worsen the curse. He then fled to the mountains and with his remaining power he learned how to manipulate memories. As he recalls his birthplace and comrades in heaven with much nostalgia, Sakuya can’t help but feel sorry since it was them humans who did that to him. But Yuzuru admits that not everything was bad. He didn’t mind his student council work, being thanked for, and being with them – and for the first time he’d hesitated to erase their memories. He’s somewhat relieved that she found him. When Sakuya offers to help him return to heaven, Yuzuru tells her not to mind it as he himself took some hundred years to almost achieve it – she just needs to stay by his side as always.
Their normal days return, and Sakuya feels more blissful after what happened – but in the corner of her mind she still can’t help but blame herself. Amidst it, Yuzuru remarks that if he can exorcist the some thousand dead spirits it’ll be a huge good deed and he’ll probably return to heaven. But they hate him so it’s probably impossible. They’re grieving over the lost of their loved ones and he doesn’t think words can get through them even if you attempt to explain. He’s also thankful to Sakuya and when he asked everyone else what would be good to do in return – everyone replied “studying” lol. So he plans to have a study session at her place that night. Later, Sakuya goes to visit Fuu-san for advice and he answers that the fastest way is to transfer the power she has accumulated to Yuzuru – but it won’t be much unless she does something huge. She recalls what Yuzuru said and Fuu-san sees through her, so he gives her a charm to transfer her good deeds to Yuzuru and tells her to be careful.
That night, Yuzuru cast a spell on her such that if she slacks in her studying, she’ll turn into Yuuri – both body and mind! By the end of their session, she’s become a penguin and talking like Yuuri pffft. Yuzuru finally releases her from it and she hugs him out of gratitude. She gets embarrassed soon after, and Yuzuru pushes her down. While he still can’t forgive humans and still hates them, but he was happy enough to cry when she chased after him. He believes that this feeling is called “love” in heaven and asks if it’s the same for the human world. When Sakuya answers that it is, he leans down to kiss her. Sakuya has a renewed determination to help Yuzuru and asks Aki out the next day to teach her how to exorcise spirits. Aki teaches her that the first step is to remove the spirit’s hatred and negative energy. So she’ll need to calm their hearts, speak to them, let them understand, before seeing them off. Sensing that Sakuya is about to do something major, Aki gives her a necklace which would help her to exorcise spirits more easily. Feeling encouraged, Sakuya goes to see the spirits later and when she bumps into Yuzuru, she tries to hide her intentions.
When Sakuya goes to see the spirits, they refuse to accept that Yuzuru wasn’t at fault, and want Sakuya to experience the same pain as they did. As one of them reaches out to her, the burning sensation spreads and soon turns freezing cold as she witnesses their memories of the hellish winter – no food, no warmth, having to eat those who died and apologising profusely but still dying in the end. If they did’t throw their hatred and sadness against someone, they couldn’t live on. Sakuya then hears a voice, begging for someone to save their child, and she responses, telling them that their pain has now come to an end. She releases them from their sadness, using the stone necklace from Aki to successfully exorcise them before collapsing. When she wakes up, she sees that the charm from Fuu-san is torn and probably fulfilled its role. On her way home, Yuzuru had been searching for her. As he sees her home, he says that he’s looking forward to this year’s Hoshi Matsuri since he’ll be with her. That night, Sakuya develops a fever but she forces herself to go to school the next day, wanting to see Yuzuru.
After school, Sakuya learns from Yuzuru that the old god asked to see him. Sakuya tags along with him, while trying to act as per normal. The old god appears in Yorhito’s form, and tells Yuzuru that he can return to heaven on the night of the Hoshi Matsuri, when a god’s powers are at its max. The dead spirits have been saved and hence his curse is lifted as of now. It’s all too sudden and he isn’t able to accept it at first. But later he pulls Sakuya into a tight embrace as he remarks how he’d waited for this moment all this time. Sakuya can sense just how much he’d longed for his home, and is happy that she was able to help him as she congratulates him. Sakuya’s fever never went down, but she still could get by as per usual as everyone prepared for the festival – that is till she fainted while performing a ceremony before the festival itself. She wakes up to see a worried Narumi, who informs her that at this rate she’ll die. Sakuya tells him everything, and apparently ‘cos she took on all of their negative energy, it’s slowly eating away at her life. While Sakuya gets Narumi to promise not to tell anyone, he firmly tells her that he won’t let her die. Sakuya sees Narumi as per normal, and he reassures her that he’ll visit her regularly even after he returns. Though he senses that something’s wrong, he doesn’t pursue further when she appears reluctant. Not wanting to give up just like this, Sakuya decides to try and ask the old god if there’s any way out.
While waiting, Sakuya falls asleep and dreams of Yuzuru running through the forest. He’d just stolen the medicine to revive his friend and is rushing back in hopes that he’ll still make it in time, for the medicine will only work within a limited amount of time after one’s death. Sakuya can see how kind Yuzuru is and how important his friend meant to him, the friend who taught him many wonderful things about humans even though he looked down on them. Sakuya wakes up to see the old god, who decided to see her since she’d saved the spirits. There’s a price for everything and the only way she can live on is for Yuzuru to use his powers to save her. But he’ll become a human, and can no longer return to heaven. The other choice is to just leave things as they are, and she’ll die in a few years. He tells her that both humans and gods can only live within fate, even himself too. But it’s up to the individual on how he/she reacts to fate. On the way back, Yuzuru finds Sakuya and says that he knows everything after having asked Narumi.
When Sakuya tries to convince him that she’s okay with dying, he tells her not to lie. He doesn’t want her to die. All this time he’d been thinking why he’d saved her back then and he finally realised that the reason was simple – the short time with her were more important to him than those hundreds of years. It’s more painful to lose her than to not return home. She’s the most important to him now and so he doesn’t want her to say such a sad lie. Sakuya finally breaks down and admits that she doesn’t want to die, and wants to continue living with him. So does Yuzuru and he hugs her till she calms down. He sees her home later and before the part, Sakuya tells him that she loves him. This surprises him at first, but he later smiles gently and tells her not to steal his line, before kissing her.
On the day of the Hoshi Matsuri, Sakuya still feels a tinge of regret and tries to convince Yuzuru. But he doesn’t like how she belittles her own life when she’s his important person. He has already sorted out his feelings and if she feels bad towards him, then she should enjoy today. After they enjoy the festival, they rest in the park and Yuzuru thanks Sakuya for everything. He admits that he was happy when people thanked him, and after meeting her, her smile started to be a source of comfort to him. Though he did still hate humans and can’t forgive them, in the end he realised it’s ‘cos he was afraid of being betrayed. But thanks to Sakuya who taught him what a “bond” was, he realises that he has already long forgiven humans, and thinks that he can love them again. And the real reason why he couldn’t kill his friend back then, was ‘cos he was crying and apologising for being late. Yuzuru saw that he must’ve had his own reasons. Also, “Ninokami” is his god name but his friend was the one who gave him the name “Yuzuru”. “Yumi” (bow) and “Tsuru” (crane) were the symbols of his friend’s family’s crest. They watch the festival fireworks together at night, and Yuzuru feels as though he has finally accepted everything for the first time. He’s thankful to have met her, and he bids heaven farewell.
Afterwards, Yuzuru takes Sakuya to a hilltop to perform the ceremony – she’d lose her god powers and the curse pretty much the same time. Sakuya thinks to herself that since Yuzuru is saving her, she’ll do everything she can to make him happy then. There, her clothes change as an embodiment of her power. If the hundreds of years he went through were necessary in order to live together with her – then perhaps it’s for the best and he’s happy with it. He then kisses Sakuya, as by sending his energy into her it’ll neutralise the negative energy.
In the epilogue, a month has passed and Yuzuru is busy doing the necessary procedures before he leaves the student council. Though he’ll graduate soon, he’s joining Aki’s organisation and is in-charge of overseeing this town. Sakuya’s delighted to hear that they’ll still be together, to which he replies that it’s meaningless if she isn’t with him. She takes this chance to give him a muffler she knitted herself as an expression of her gratitude. It turns out that she spelled his name wrongly though (Yuzuru vs. Yuduru) but he wears it anyway and also wraps it around her when she feels cold. Yuzuru thinks that he’ll be happy for sure, having chosen the future with Sakuya. If she feels sorry in any way, then she should continue to stay with him. He also asks her to stay together with him at his new place – he’d already gotten her parents’ permission so it’s up to her now. Sakuya agrees in the end, and they start living together after a few months. Some years later, they also got married but that’s a story for another time.
I’m sorry for misspelling your name, Yuzuru! The pronunciation is something like “Yudzuru”. But I will continue with “Yuzuru” as I think it’s more accurate for people to instinctively pronounce than “Yuduru”. Anyway I really loved his route and his character a lot! I don’t know why my review still ended up being so long, I really don’t. /cough I didn’t sob as much here but his past was so pitiful, I couldn’t help but tear up a bit. You finally understand why he despises humans so much and still helping them out, but deep down he’s still a kind person and it doesn’t just show here, but also in Yakumo’s route. Since Yuzuru and Yakumo’s routes are a bit connected, it makes me a bit sad to think of how Yakumo is doing here. Did I mention that I love his insults too? He can be quite creative with them and they’re really like a whip of his love lol. Not that I didn’t mind his very honest lines towards the end too.
I ended up feeling so much for two characters whom at first, I didn’t expect to have such sad backgrounds. What about the rest whom I predict will have sad backgrounds? Uhh…yeah. With that said, I’ll be doing Rei’s route next!