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Maboroshi (2023) | Transcript

A factory explosion plunges a small town into a timeless freeze, leaving 14-year-old Masamune and his pals to grapple with a quickly collapsing reality
Maboroshi (2023)

Maboroshi
Original title: Alice to Therese no Maboroshi Kôjô
Year: 2023
Director: Mari Okada
Running time: 1h 51m

Plot Synopsis: Time stands still in the small town of Kamikoshi following a mysterious explosion at the steelworks factory. Trapped in this timeless bubble, 14-year-old Masamune Kikuiri and his classmates grapple with an oppressive routine and forbidden change. Their days are stagnant, devoid of hope for a future outside the sealed town.

Masamune’s monotony is shattered when his enigmatic classmate Atsumi leads him to an abandoned area of the steelworks. There, they encounter Itsumi, a feral girl who behaves like a wolf and cannot speak. This anomaly sparks a chain reaction that threatens the precarious stability of the frozen town.

Intrigued by Itsumi’s “abnormality,” Masamune and his friends begin investigating the secrets surrounding the time-stopping event and the factory’s past. Their curiosity fuels a forbidden impulse – love. This act of connection, sparked by the yearning to break free from the stagnant present, becomes a catalyst for change.

As Masamune and his friends delve deeper into the mystery, they face escalating consequences. The “love impulse” proves to be a powerful force, destabilizing the town’s frozen time and unleashing chaos. This chaos manifests in strange phenomena: cracks appear in the sky, clocks melt, and memories warp.

Amidst the growing threat, Masamune must confront his own desires and motivations. Is he driven by genuine love or a desperate need to escape the suffocating reality of Kamikoshi? And more importantly, what cost are they willing to pay for a chance at the future?

Maboroshi started streaming Monday, January 15, on Netflix

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Maboroshi (2023)
Transcript

[radio] Speaking of the high-school entrance exams, here’s one from a listener nicknamed Sleeping Lamb.

[snacks crunching]

“Good evening, DJ Naoto.”

Good evening.

“I hate studying for the entrance exam so much that I wish I were dead.”

[boy 1 grumbles, crunches]

Not off to a great start.

“It’s not even really the studying that gets me.”

Masamune, you know this one?

[Masamune] Hmm? I don’t.

Happy Turn is the best!

Mm. Hey, lemme see what you got!

You’re covered in flavor dust, so hands off!

[boy 1] I’m sorry you hate joy!

[boy 2] Well, keep your joy off my paper.

[radio] I’m sorry…

Why bother complaining about it on the air?

If it’s pointless, then keep it to yourself.

Happy Turn!

[strains, farts]

[all groan]

Why’d you have to fart under the blanket where the heat is?!

That stink is apocalyptic!

Are you rotting from the inside?

You guys just gotta savor it.

[inhales deeply]

[distant booming]

What is that?

[booming continues]

Huh?

[electrical fizzing]

It’s the steel factory.

[metal clanking]

WEEKLY SHONEN ZONDAG 1991

[booming and crashing continues]

[silence]

[radio] “It’s not even really the studying that gets me.”

“I just hate feeling like there’s nowhere to run.”

“Like there’s this darkness I can’t escape.”

“I don’t know what I wanna be, and I don’t have any interest in my future, so why…”

[Masamune] After that, I just knew.

[radio] “I’m sorry.”

[Masamune] No one needed to say a word.

[radio] “This might sound…”

[Masamune] I knew, beyond a doubt, that this place was completely different.

[radio] “…exciting happens, maybe I can find out what I wanna be, a much better version of myself.”

Hey, you boys be safe, okay?

[radio] “…and find a part-time job, or…”

[boy 1] Hurry up, Masamune!

[radio] “…read a book every week.”

“I’ll help my parents with chores every now and then.”

“So please, God, let me pass. Please! I’m begging you!”

[Kamisama ga Orite Kuru Yoru by Kaori Kawamura playing]

[boy 2] The sky looks like it cracked. Whoa.

[boy 1] What?

[boy 2] Look at the steel factory.

[boy 2] There’s smoke.

[boy 1] Uh… You sure about that?

[pop-rock song continues]

[all yelling]

[whooshing]

[pop-rock song continues]

[Masamune] The smoke is closing the cracks.

Or eating them.

What’s going on?

[song fades out]

[whooshing continues]

[eerie music playing]

[chorus sings peacefully]

[breathes shakily]

[singing continues]

MABOROSHI

[boys] One, two!

[groaning]

[squealing]

[sighing]

[Masamune] Masamune Kikuiri, age 14.

[boy 1] Yup, it worked. He’s out cold.

Masamune, time to wake up!

That little squeal at the end sounded like a pig.

Hey, Masamune, you okay?

[weakly] Huh?

Underwear.

[Masamune] Masamune Kikuiri has long hair.

[schoolkids shouting]

[grunting]

Would you stop?!

Give it a rest, man.

Keep your horniness to yourself.

[boy 1] Oh, come on, man!

Masamune kinda looks like a girl from behind!

Oh yeah? Well, you’re the one with boobs since you’re fat.

Ooh! Erotic, I know.

[tittering]

[Masamune] It doesn’t bother me being told that I look like a girl.

Not that I like boys though.

I like girls, but there’s no one in particular.

I guess.

Look over there. Hottie with a body!

Mutsumi Sagami.

[schoolkids shouting]

Uh…

It’s too wonderful for words!

Nothin’ gets me goin’ quite like back of the knees.

[boy 2] That is a very weird fetish.

I’ll take that as a compliment. Thanks, kiddo!

Shut your mouth. You’re the same age as the rest of us.

She’s nastier than you are.

[Masamune] Masamune Kikuiri hates Mutsumi Sagami.

For those who haven’t submitted their Self-Monitoring Forms, please write something over the weekend.

Kikuiri, you know I’m saying that for you.

[calm music playing]

[Masamune] A practice in futility.

Writing the same thing over and over so we don’t change.

[boy 3] Just fill it out with whatever. Not like the teacher’s paying attention.

[boy 1] I don’t know about that.

They definitely read the “dream for the future” part.

I wrote something different and got yelled at.

[boy 2] What did you write?

[boy 1] “Mutsumi Sagami’s boy toy.”

[boy 2] Of course.

[boy 3] Why do you like her? She’s so average.

I just love how she looks like such a pushover, ya know?

Push. Her. Over!

That hurts!

[boy 1] Pushover!

[boy 2] Is that your catchphrase?

[Masamune] I don’t know why, but whenever we hung out, we’d play games that would hurt us or sting somehow.

[laughter]

[boy 1] Wanna go again?

[boy 3] Are you kidding?

I think I’ve had enough of that for today.

There they go.

[boy 2] Masamune, hurry up.

[grunts]

I’m home.

[woman] Masamune?

You’re just in time!

Hey. Welcome home.

Didn’t know you’d be here, Uncle.

Ready for my world-famous ginger pork?

[Masamune] Your recipe doesn’t even use ginger, just garlic.

[woman] Ginger, garlic, same difference. It’s the flavor that counts.

Oh yeah. Her cooking’s always…

[woman] Here.

[chuckles]

Tokimune, you’ve made me a bad host, showing up unannounced.

Two measly cups of rice won’t satisfy four people.

Well, don’t worry about me. I have what I need.

I want to know everything.

“I wanna know everything.”

[woman] Are you kidding?

Grandpa, you forgot to shut off the water in the garden.

The hose is still on!

[grandpa] Mmm.

Ugh! Unbelievable!

Sometimes it’s like I’m the only adult here.

SELF-MONITORING FORM

[Masamune] Masamune Kikuiri is…

Yo.

[gasps]

[Tokimune clears his throat]

Smoking and drinking?

Thought that wasn’t allowed.

Your job’s supposed to be sacred, right?

Please. The steel factory runs itself.

We all just… pretend to work.

Have some meetings, we check a thing or two, then we try to track where the smoke is going, and that’s it.

Were you drawing earlier?

Factory’s got a paper. Could use another artist.

[Masamune sighs]

[Masamune] I’m good.

Can you stop being nice to me? Always makes me feel weird.

Don’t be that way. Kids these days…

[Masamune] I’m not a kid, am I?

Who knows if I’ll ever get to be an adult?

[air-raid siren blares]

[Tokimune] It’s the second one today.

It’s happening more often.

[siren continues]

[birds tweeting]

[girl 1] Oh my gosh! Poor Sonobe. Are you okay?

[girl 2] What’s wrong?

[girl 1] Someone took her school shoes.

Seriously? Boys, this wouldn’t have been you, would it?

That’s bullshit.

Nitta! Rude! And get your dirty butt off Hara’s desk, would ya?

[Nitta] Huh?

[Mutsumi] That’s awful.

[boy 2] Want me to pull down my pants?

[Mutsumi] Cheer up, Sonobe.

[girls, in unison] You’re disgusting.

You go on ahead. I’ll catch up.

Mm.

[birds tweeting]

[softly] Oh.

[breathing shakily]

[mysterious music playing]

[panting, grunting]

I was right. It was her.

[Mutsumi] I saw you look.

Put them down.

Those shoes are mine.

MUTSUMI SAGAMI

Thank goodness.

These were really big and hard to walk in.

YUKO SONOBE

Sonobe?

[Mutsumi] Sonobe did it first.

Huh?

[Mutsumi] She stole my shoes from the cubby.

Figured since she thought we were sharing, I might as well take hers.

Why? What’s the point?

So what? You’re just stealing each other’s shoes back and forth?

[Mutsumi] I’ve seen you boys playing your stupid fainting game.

We have to fight off the boredom too. How about…

How about I show you something that’s really interesting?

Something that’ll blow your mind.

[Masamune] All around town, you sense it everywhere.

There’s a presence, breathing yet lifeless.

AUTO SNACK MIFUSE

Hey. Wait up!

We’re trapped here. This town.

This life.

Imprisoned.

Ever since the explosion.

Our investigation yielded answers.

The landslide during the explosion has caved in the train tunnel.

As for the port, the shifted current prevents sea travel.

For more information, an employee of Mifuse steel factory, Mr. Mamoru Sagami, who serves our Mifuse Shrine, uh… will give us more detail.

Hah. Mm! Mm! Hm!

[groans softly]

Thank you, Mayor!

[boy 1] Wait.

That’s Mutsumi Sagami’s dad, right?

Huh?

Akimune. I’m going to go talk to everyone.

[chuckles quaveringly]

Mm-hmm. Go on ahead.

Mr. Sagami. Come on now.

Ah… Uh!

Uh…

Um… As the residents of Mifuse, we have… benefitted from the iron produced in Mount Kanzari since the time of the Industrial Revolution.

[breathily] I suggest we take time to reflect.

We’ve married the spiritual and physical realms.

Mifuse Shrine is one with the steel factory.

We worship the mountain that provides for us, yet chip away at it piece by piece!

[inhales] This is a divine punishment!

What does that mean?

[residents muttering]

And who is this guy again?

You really don’t know?

He’s the only son of the Sagami family. Bunch of oddballs.

Your ignorance is your bliss!

[feedback whines]

Don’t deny what you know to be true!

What you see over there is no longer the steel factory.

It completely transformed in that explosion.

Your precious facility utterly morphed into a Sacred Machine of the gods.

The city of Mifuse is our prison. We must be worthy of escape!

[panting]

This is a bad idea.

What if an adult were to catch us running around?

[metallic creaking]

[whiny whirring]

Hey.

Is that a voice I’m hearing?

[Masamune] It wasn’t too long after that speech by Sagami’s dad everyone had to face the facts.

[Masamune] It’s not that we were just trapped here ’cause of some physical boundary.

Thanks to the machine of the gods, we were frozen in time as well.

NO TRESPASSING AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY

DANGER

Masamune Kikuiri.

In an endless winter at the age of 14.

[percussive music echoing]

THE FIFTH BLAST FURNACE

[crunch echoes]

Oh!

[foreboding music builds]

Led by the hand of Mutsumi Sagami, a person I despise…

[girl gasping panickedly]

[girl shrieks]

[girl whines]

[water sloshes]

[sniffing]

What are you doing? Don’t!

[girl sniffing intensely]

[Masamune strains]

[girl squeaks]

…to a girl in captivity.

[girl whimpering]

[whimpering intensifies]

[girl squeals]

[girl continues squealing]

Wait! Wait! Stop it!

[gurgles]

Damn, this thing reeks.

[Mutsumi] It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?

Though… you weren’t as surprised as I thought you’d be.

How am I supposed to react to something like that?

So then… are you gonna tell me who she is?

You two kinda look alike, ya know?

[Mutsumi] Disgusting. Don’t say that.

All right, fine. So explain.

How would you classify her?

Monkey? Gorilla? A chimpanzee?

I’d say she acts kinda like a… wolf cub.

Is that good enough?

Hm.

Whatever she is, she’s not allowed to leave this place.

And I’ve been forced to take care of all of her needs.

[Masamune] Ah. That because of your dad?

She’s not little anymore, so bathing her is kind of a pain.

[kettle lid rattles]

Getting a boy to help me take care of her would be great, but you see the issue,

so that’s why I asked you, since you kind of look like a girl.

What?!

You didn’t seem bothered when Sasakura felt you up.

That… You don’t know what you’re talking about! Screw you!

Aw, that’s cute. Now don’t start pretending you have a dirty mouth.

It doesn’t suit you.

Well, I’m outta here!

[girl giggles squeakily]

Be here Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Masamune.

Oh, now we’re on first-name basis?

I don’t mind you calling me Mutsumi.

[groans]

Do you know the meaning of the kanji used to spell my name?

“Mu” for “six” and “tsumi” for “sins.”

Way to tell a stupid lie.

If I recall, they stand for “harmonious” and “reality,” don’t they?

Oh?

So you are studying. Just not for class.

[Mutsumi] A wolf, funny.

All the lies I tell, the secrets I keep, I’m more of a wolf.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing.

[ominous chord builds]

[chord stops]

[gasps]

[gasps]

[grunting]

Shi… [groans, exhales]

[woman] Masamune!

Can you give Grandpa a ride? His meeting starts at eight!

[sighs]

[softly] Uh… Um… Uh…

[woman] Masamune!

Yeah, okay, I heard you. Just wait a sec!

Hop in.

Masamune Kikuiri has a driver’s license.

To think, the only right I have as an adult is a driver’s license.

You can’t do anything without a car out here.

[Masamune] Feels like I can’t do anything with one.

[grandpa] Name, Soji Kikuiri.

Age is 74.

No spouse. No hobbies.

Chronic back pain.

Oh. Please. You don’t have to stand up.

Hm… Ha-ha-uh…

Hitoshi Tachibana.

My age, 80.

Hang on.

Hey.

He go senile?

Or was it 90?

Ah, he’s always been that way.

Okay, so, whenever the world goes back to normal for us, it’s going to be problematic if you’ve changed since the event.

Be diligent.

You have to keep making sure you haven’t changed from how you used to be.

If there’s even the slightest deviation, do your best to fix that behavior.

[beep]

[clunk]

[boy] Masamune, you listen to the radio?

Nope. Why bother when it just plays the same thing?

The show where they read those letters.

Mm, not anymore though.

The DJ plays music sometimes now.

I thought there was a hidden meaning, so I was listening to figure it out, and I kinda… I started to think about being a DJ myself.

Senba, you don’t really strike me as the type who wants to be in the public eye all the time.

Hm. Yeah, maybe you’re right.

Before all this, I never would’ve wanted to, but anyway, since we’re not supposed to change, I still write down that my dream is to inherit the family business.

[door creaks]

That’s Mr. Yamazaki’s wife.

She was so happy she finally got pregnant.

Then this all happened, so she’s still the same.

That baby’s been in her womb for years.

[Masamune] She’ll get to see her baby one day.

Hm.

[enigmatic music playing]

[Akimune chuckles] “Philosophical secret art, Energeia.”

This is wild.

He’s here. Uncle came to pick you up.

You done skipping work?

This Energeia is an ability that only humans possess.

It needs no time to begin or end and will continue living in the current moment when action and purpose align.

[Masamune] You can’t keep running away from it forever.

[chuckles]

I’ve been doing that my whole life, running.

THE ART OF ENERGEIA

Long time ago, I dropped out to run away from college.

Also ran away from your mom, but she chased me all the way to Mifuse.

And then I knocked her up.

That was the worst way to say that.

I have no regrets on that one though.

Your mom is easy to be around, and you’re a goofball, but I like that.

Although I think time’s up.

From here on out, I can’t run away.

We can fix this. This isn’t forever.

If we earn forgiveness from the Sacred Machine, we might have a chance. We gotta try.

After that, my dad actually went to his night shift.

And then he never came home.

FAMILY: MOTHER, GRANDFATHER

SAFETY FIRST

[worker] Man, this is killin’ me.

Every waking moment working under that guy is like a living hell.

He talked a pretty good game, sayin’ he knew more about the gods of Mifuse than everyone.

It was way better when he was just the town weirdo, right?

Ridiculous.

[Mamoru speaking nonsense]

Hey, he’s calling for you, Kikuiri.

[Mamoru’s laughs] Here I am!

[Akimune grunts]

THE FIFTH BLAST FURNACE

[grunting]

[sniffs]

[girl giggling]

Wanna eat this?

Eat-ih!

Ah-hah!

Oh? Oh? Oh?

[slurps]

Ha-hah!

I had no idea that you could talk.

Huh? Nodeh… you… talk-uh?

Hey. Who exactly are you, anyway?

Hmm?

You look like Mutsumi Sagami, so are you, like, a relative or…

Moothumeh?

Uh… Um…

It’s the woman who comes to visit you all the time.

Womah! Womah!

Moothumeh! Moothumeh! [giggling]

Uh, okay.

Moothumeh! Moothumeh!

I should… What can I call you?

[giggling]

FIFTH FURNACE

THE FIFTH BLAST FURNACE

[girl continues giggling]

Itsumi?

Meh-thu?

Meethumeh!

That’s not what I said!

I… tsu… mi.

And I am Masamune.

Mah-sah-mah-nah, a womah!

No! I am a man!

[giggling energetically] Man! Man! Man!

Hey! Itsumi, wait!

Can I call her that?

[playful music playing]

There’s a train here? Uh…

[girl] Itsumi, wait! Hey!

[Masamune] What is this? Is this where you normally play?

Oh-ohh!

Be careful!

[playful music ends]

[Itsumi whines]

[Itsumi hums, giggles]

[Mamoru] Hey! [chuckles]

[singsong] Where are you?

Hello?

The patrol is here!

Where are you hiding, little one?

Huh?

Oh, wow! She’s grown more than last time! [chuckles maniacally]

She’s like a little adult! Do you see this?

Wow. Just look at her. She got so big and so fast.

Huh. Shouldn’t Mutsumi be here?

Hey! Now, don’t come any closer to us.

We don’t want you falling in love with me, do we?

I trust that Mutsumi is taking good care of you?

[Tokimune] Mr. Sagami.

Can’t we find her some better accommodations?

Holding her prisoner in this place is cruel.

How dare you! The Sacred Machine enticed her here, defying every obstacle!

She will be the woman of the gods. We know what they want from us.

With this girl, the Sacred Machine may forgive us our sins! And yet…

If my brother were here, I wonder what he’d say.

Akimune failed.

He faced several decisions and let us all down.

Even after I went through the trouble of making him my right hand.

Mr. Sagami.

In this world we live in, it would serve you to do as I say.

Why don’t you focus on your sacred duty, all right, Tokimune?

[softly] What was that about?

KIKUIRI RESIDENCE

[humming tunefully]

[woman joins in humming]

[Tokimune] Oh, an egg coffee.

Brings me back.

They sold ’em at this place near my old college.

Whoa, it’s great!

You both took classes there? You knew Mom in college, right?

Yeah. Misato came to visit my place there.

That’s where she met Aki.

And didn’t mean to, but I ended up playing Cupid for them.

Hey, uh, are you working at the fifth furnace?

Mm?

Uh… ’cause… you want Mom?

Ah! Oh!

[bell tolls]

Would someone be willing bring the handout to Ms. Sagami, please?

I’ll take it to her.

That’s very kind. Thank you, miss.

You want me to tag along so you’re not alone?

I don’t have any plans, so I can go with.

Ew!

[groans, sighs]

You know what I heard the other day?

All the unpopular girls who nobody wants buzz around the cute girls like flies because they want those leftovers!

Someone’s feeling feisty.

[Itsumi] Go, go, go a-ghost!

I brought some books I read as a kid.

Go, go, go a-ghost!

[giggling] Go, ghost!

[gasps, sneezes]

[sobs]

Are you cold?

You’re so weird.

Here ya go.

Oh, this was hand knitted.

[inhales sharply] Mitsumi’s present!

So that’s why it looks so ugly.

[grunts]

What’s wrong?

I thought that you hated her. She’s not very nice to you.

And whenever she’s around, you don’t really talk.

[Itsumi whimpers]

Hey.

Don’t you ever wanna get outta here?

I would.

Though even if you did, there’s only so far you could go.

Mm?

[horn beeps]

Sonobe?

What are you doin’ here?

She was skipping school.

Who?

That’s where Mutsumi lives.

[Masamune] What? But why?

Her family runs the shrine. They’re fine, right?

Mutsumi is a stepchild.

Huh?

Her mom passed away just before the world turned upside down, so she’s in there all alone.

Sonobe. But how…

[Mutsumi] The Sagamis just wanted to have an heir.

Although my father doesn’t care for women.

My mother came with extra baggage, but the Sagamis still chose her.

It’s harsh, but in today’s world, having an heir doesn’t really do anything.

I was useless and thrown out.

Uh…

That’s not okay, Mutsumi.

“Mutsumi”?

Uh…

You call her by her first name?

So I was right all along.

Uh, wait. Right about what?

Uh, what are you…

Ah, well…

What did I do wrong?

You came here in a car, so why not drive her home?

After all, you’re the reason she’s upset.

[gentle music playing]

The woman. She…

At the steel factory. She’s your…

She’s your sister, isn’t she?

[Mutsumi] No, she is not.

You’re a liar.

[Sonobe] It’s not that I don’t like her.

It’s just hard.

Whenever she enters a room, it’s like all the air gets sucked out.

Huh?! A test of courage?!

Meet at the Kanzari Tunnel, and you gotta go in.

The ghost of a factory worker who was killed by the smoke monster haunts the train tracks.

But the adults are gonna yell at us if we poke around the tunnel.

Not if they don’t know about it.

[Hara] I’m not saying I don’t want to, but hanging out with boys at night…

[girl] Everyone’ll make fun of us!

Uh…

Yeah, well, I don’t really give a crap about you.

What?!

Come on, man.

[Sasakura] Oops! Uh, that was a… a temporary demonic possession!

[Hara] What a pathetic excuse!

[girl] If there’s a demon here, it’s you!

[Sonobe] I think I’d like to go.

[kids gasping]

Are you sure, Sonobe? Why?

I thought you said you hated scary stuff!

If she’s gonna go, then I will.

For freakin’ real?!

Sounds like two girls are going, then.

Uh, well… Yasumin?

No! You’re not actually…

[boy chuckling]

MIFUSE

[grunting]

[Yasumi] I haven’t been to the station in forever.

[Sasakura] The tunnel’s been a dead end ever since the landslide happened.

Whenever you make it in far enough, write something on the wall and come back.

[Hara] Write something? A thorough plan.

[Sasakura] It’s a declaration of self, all right?

[groans] And… pair one!

Huh?

[giggling]

[Hara] So who’s next?

[footsteps crunching]

[Sonobe] It’s wet over here.

Yep.

[Sonobe whimpers softly]

Around here should be fine.

We can go a little further.

Yeah, but the tunnel’s…

Uh…

‘Kay. I’ll write on the wall.

Uh…

It’s done.

YUKO + MASAMUNE

[Masamune] Uh, who’s Yuko?

I’m Yuko.

Uh…

Come on, that’s embarrassing.

There’s no way that you like me.

Uh… No. I don’t understand.

I think that I…

We barely…

I think I like you.

I get that, but why?

Because I just do!

When we were in the car, I really enjoyed getting to ride next to you.

Uh… Come on.

You know that’s not the same as liking someone, right?

I knew it! Mutsumi’s the one you like.

[whimpers softly]

[gasps]

[kids screaming]

Uh… You scared us!

Uh… Sasakura insisted that he heard something weird in here.

Oh, yeah. I… I got worried, so I came to check on you.

Uh… What?

Is that a lovers’ umbrella?

Wh… No.

Stop it!

You two?

Cut it out!

[Sasakura] Ya sure? Why you tryna hide it?

[Yasumi] Shut your mouth, idiot!

What? Why do I have to…

[Masamune] Sonobe!

Hold on, Sonobe!

KANZARI TUNNEL CLOSED

[mysterious jangling]

[Hara] Sonobe!

[Masamune] The sky!

It looks the same as that night.

[Sonobe] Mutsumi?

We wanted to escape, but we played instead.

All those kiddie games helped take away the pain.

[voice trembling] I can’t do it anymore.

I… I’m so embarrassed!

I said what I felt, and you all thought it was funny.

[all gasp]

[booming]

[dramatic music playing]

[Sasakura] Whoa. Isn’t that…

[Masamune] The smoke.

[roaring]

[Masamune] It looks like a wolf!

[climactic choral music playing]

[screaming]

Get down, Sonobe!

Get down!

[Mutsumi] Sonobe!

[music fades out]

Is she…

No way.

[Sasakura] That did not…

[Yasumi] Sonobe!

[Sasakura] What do we do?

[Yasumi] I don’t know.

[kids whimpering]

[Sasakura] She’s gone.

[man 1] Everyone, please calm down. Let’s just take a breath.

How can you expect us to be calm?!

They said they saw a wolf made of smoke eat someone right in front of them!

Someone better start explainin’!

Bet he starts with the divine punishment again.

[Mamoru] Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

Huh?

Are we completely sure that it was a wolf?

That it ate someone?

Did it gobble them up in its jaws?

Uh… Not quite like that.

It was… How do you explain it?

The moment she made contact, it was like she disappeared into it.

[Mamoru] There you have it!

By now, you’ve all seen it.

Impossible to avoid, really.

Smoke from the steel factory has a pattern.

It flies up and into the cracks of the sky above.

That steel factory is now the Sacred Machine.

From its pipes is born a wolf of smoke.

The Sacred Wolf.

So it’s a Sacred… Wolf?

[Mamoru] The Sacred Machine turns on and seals the cracks to sustain this world.

If you like being alive, keep your emotions in check.

This poor girl, maybe her broken heart formed too deep a crack.

[gasps]

Relax.

Every single person here, we’re all in the same boat, see?

We’re all human.

We’ve all suffered the pain of love unreturned.

And that is precisely why there is no use in fleeing or fighting.

If you reject this world, it will surely reject you.

Hey, where’s Masamune?

MIFUSE COMMERCIAL DISTRICT

[voice over PA] There are excessive amounts of smoke.

Please return home immediately.

Lock yourselves indoors for safety.

Please await further instructions.

We will provide information as it is available.

[engine rumbling]

What are you doing, Masamune?

Uncle Toki.

It’s time to get home.

Your friends already did.

Come on. Let’s go.

Get off of me!

Why do we need to lock ourselves inside? We’re already stuck.

Is being trapped in this damn town not enough?

Calm down, Masamune.

Why should I?

I wanna leave, go to a big city, wander bookstores and see movies.

I would study,

explore the world, and see things that are worth seeing.

I wanna be an illustrator.

It’s gonna be okay.

‘Cause you say it is?! How am I supposed to trust you?!

You knew all about Itsumi!

Wha… Who’s Itsu…

[Masamune] Why?! You and my dad.

He knew too, didn’t he?!

You treat her worse than a prisoner in there!

That didn’t bother either of you?!

Why the hell don’t you answer? Goddamn it, say something!

That girl is…

She’s not supposed to be here.

You should be with your mom.

I know Aki was your Dad, but I’m here for you now.

You’re my family, and I’ll protect you.

[Masamune] Whatever.

Didn’t ask you to.

SAID SHE’S IN LOVE WITH ME

[Masamune] Masamune Kikuiri, for the first time, had a girl say she liked him.

SONOBE DISAPPEARED

IT WAS MY FAULT

IT’S ALL BECAUSE

I’M IN LOVE WITH MUTSUMI SAGAMI

[breathes raggedly]

[sobs softly]

[groans softly]

Did I wake you? Sorry.

[Itsumi groans]

You stink, but… I know it’s you.

Do you know what love is? Heard of it?

Know love?

I don’t get it myself.

Sonobe said she loved me ’cause I drove her home.

I know that’s not how it works. I know it’s not.

Although… I feel like… there’s no logic.

For me, being in love feels like…

It… It feels the exact same as hating someone.

It hurts and feels like I’m doing something wrong, but…

[sobs softly]

Why am…

I’m… Why am I…

Masamine?

[Masamune] I didn’t…

I’m sorry.

[Itsumi] Mm. Mm.

Masamine.

Itsumi.

Huh?

My heart’s not pounding, so this isn’t love, but it is warm.

Nostalgic.

Love doesn’t have to burn so hot.

Sonobe didn’t understand.

Neither does she.

[metal clanks]

The hell’s going on?

[Itsumi] Huh?

[Masamune] Uh…

What the hell are you doing?!

Tell me! You’re a dick like everyone else!

Wait. Hold on, I…

Who’s Itsumi?! Did you name her?!

That’s right.

Itsumi, “five sins,” so that means her soul has one less sin than yours!

[grunting]

[Masamune] I’ve had enough.

[Itsumi whines]

Come on. I’m gonna get you outta here.

Gun geh ow here. Come on?

There’s more to this world. I’ll show you.

What? Why are you crying?

[Mamoru] You there! What are you doing, boy?!

[Tokimune] Masamune!

Let’s run! Hurry!

Mutsumi.

I’m sorry. We gotta go!

[Mamoru] No, no, no. Stop, you!

Oh! Baring your fangs at the gods? You fool. That is blasphemy!

This platform’s huge.

If there’s a platform here, why’s there a train in the Fifth Blast Furnace?

It’s because…

[chilling music playing]

[Masamune] Itsumi?

[Itsumi inhales and exhales deeply]

[screeching]

[shattering]

[screeching and shattering fades out]

[chirping and buzzing]

[Masamune] What the…

It’s totally different on the other side of the cracks.

Itsumi!

[calming music playing]

Oh.

Itsumi! Get down from there! It’s not safe!

Wanna see!

Wanna see. Wanna see. Wanna see. Wanna see!

[Tokimune] Where are you, Masamune?

The woman of the gods! What is she doing? If we don’t get her back, our world is…

Aren’t you…

Don’t move, Masamune!

Why? What happens if I keep going?

[Itsumi] I see!

Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha! What’re you doing? Rebelling against the gods!

I wanna see it too, Itsumi!

All of it and more.

As much as I can!

See more! Lots and lots!

If anyone could, she’d be the one.

[crashing]

Stop her now. Stop her now!

You wanna see more of it too, right?

[Itsumi] More! More! More! More!

[Masamune] More! More!

Wanna see!

[gasps]

[music stops]

[chirping and buzzing continue]

Hah.

Uh.

Itsumi. Where are…

Oh, fu…

[whooshing]

[light tuneful jangling]

[gasps]

[Mamoru laughing]

[laughing maniacally]

See that?

No one escapes through the cracks in the sky!

Not even that girl! Hoo! Almost got me!

It’s here! The Sacred Wolf!

Please save us!

Mend the wounds of our broken world!

Uncle, there’s a whole world beyond those cracks.

It’s reality.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch!

Shut it, Tokimune!

We agreed that this would stay a secret.

Well, it’s not a secret anymore.

[gasps]

“Time is frozen.”

“We’ve received a divine punishment.”

“One day, the gods will set us free.”

All of that was just a lie to save you from the pain of the truth.

[Mamoru] We say that it’s a lie, but it’s a very small one if anything.

The world in which we live is akin to a liminal space, an altered reality created by the Sacred Machine.

But take heart! It’s not much of a difference.

[Hara] That is a huge difference!

If the world we’re in isn’t reality, then what does that make all of us?!

[man 1] Hang on. Are we dead?

[man 2] What are we supposed to do now?

[woman] Does that mean we’re all ghosts?

So this town and all its residents are fakes. That’s pretty funny.

[man 3] Why didn’t you tell us?

[man 4] Give us an explanation!

[man 3] It’s not good enough. We need answers.

[protesting continues]

[Mamoru] So what if this world of ours isn’t real?

What exactly’s the problem here?

If you can keep your heart clear of despair, then your life continues.

Are we phantoms? Great!

This divine punishment was a gift.

A gift for us all.

Our lives can continue for an eternity.

[Senba] I don’t want an eternity of this!

What?

That’s a nightmare, being trapped in this town forever.

Never getting to grow up.

I can’t live like this!

Yup. That’s enough of that.

The angst of youth.

Like it or not, we live in this world, and it falls to us to preserve it.

And to that end, the Sacred Machine requires that young girl.

How does that make sense?!

[Tokimune] Mr. Sagami, that’s enough.

Huh?

We tried confining the girl in the factory, but the cracks kept right on growing.

So it won’t matter if the Sacred Wolf continues sealing them.

Before long, this world will fade away.

The end of this world?

[woman] It’s over?

[man] We’ll fade away?

Is he serious?

What does “fading away” mean?

[panicked chatter]

We were never alive to begin with.

To… Tokimune.

What were you thinking… Agh!

[groans]

When this started, we were all terrified.

And, since you had answers, it was more comfortable to just follow you, but now…

Everyone!

Why should we sacrifice so much for a world that’s ending?

[man 1] That’s it, I guess.

[chatter]

[man 1] What’s the point in listening to that guy?

[woman 1] Yeah, you’re right.

It’s gonna end anyhow, so let’s do whatever we want.

[woman 2] If we do disappear, that means it’s our time to go.

[chatter continues]

Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!

Are you all insane?!

No! The lot of you are lunatics! Why?

None of you psychos are making sense!

Mr. Sagami.

Ugh! Ahhh!

Don’t you have an ounce of care for what happens to this world?

Is not one of you capable of rational thought?

Am I the only sane one here?!

Cut the crap already, old man.

Mutsumi.

You little…

[grunts]

Even if we are all phantoms, we’re real,.and you’re here with us.

No. I…

[gasping]

[Itsumi] Uh…

[Mamoru] Huh! [whimpers]

[Itsumi laughing joyfully]

Slow down!

Did you feed her coffee?

[Nitta] You saw reality? How was it?

Not great. Everything was rusted over from the accident.

Man, lot of folks must’ve died that day.

Without the steel factory, Mifuse’s probably a ghost town.

You’re right about that.

[Masamune] Thinking back, we must’ve known it all along.

The games we played, we wanted to hurt.

The truth was we wanted to feel something that would last.

It was always winter, but we never felt the cold.

There were these fleeting little sensations.

Somehow, I ignored them, but deep down I knew from the start.

OBSERVATIONS OF NOTE

We are all phantoms.

Hara, now’s your chance. You have to him how you feel!

Easy to say.

I don’t know if I can.

It’s difficult.

You said it could be awkward if you ended up at the same high school, but it turns out the chances of that happening are nonexistent.

Uh…

You know you love him, right?

Well… yeah, but it’s not that.

I do love him, but…

[Itsumi] It hurt?

Ah!

Oh.

You hurt? It love?

Uh…

Yeah.

It is a hurt.

Not in a bad way though. It’s a… sweet pain.

[giggles]

[chortles]

I can only stay serious for so long!

Hey! Cut it out!

Sweet… hurt?

I can’t believe you would say it like that!

“Love is like a sweet pain”?!

How dare you laugh at my suffering!

Your sweet, sweet suffering.

Cut it out, Yasumin!

[Nitta] Hey, the bus is coming.

[Sasakura] Uh, you two are friendly. Are you dating?

What?!

No, but Hara wishes she was dating someone.

She has a crush.

[Nitta] Jeez, can you give it a rest? Hara, you’re out of control.

[girls laughing]

[Hara] Yeah, I sure am.

[teacher] Come and get yours when I call your name.

SELF-MONITORING FORM

Aoyama.

[Aoyama] Yep.

Ueda.

[Ueda] Here.

[Aoyama] Now what exactly are we supposed to do with these things?

[boy] Burn ’em?

Kikuiri.

[Kikuiri] Oh. Yeah.

SELF-MONITORING FORM

You never handed in a single form.

Sorry.

Maybe you were right for not filling it out.

[Masamune] Whether I’m right or wrong, in this world… does it matter?

[melancholy piano music playing]

[whooshing]

[roaring]

[dramatic choral singing]

[dog barks]

[roaring]

[screaming]

Did he…

[teacher] Stop it. Don’t look!

[Hara] No! Senba!

[Hara] Is he gone?

[Mamoru] The gods have cast their malefic glare upon us.

They’ve given us our most difficult challenge.

I am your hero by divine providence!

Who wants salvation?

Wow! Couldn’t have said it better!

All right! And your hero is here!

Oh man, I feel like I just powered up!

The youth.

[Sasakura] Senba had his dad’s eyebrows. I didn’t know.

[Nitta] Yeah.

Can’t believe he’d just disappear like that. So lame.

There was a dream he had. Must be why.

A dream. Huh.

[Sasakura] Dumb bastard.

Everything’s gone to shit, and we’re just circling the bowl.

[Nitta] You need to cool it, or the wolf will come.

[Mutsumi] Are you sure about this?

[Misato] Of course I am!

She can stay here with me while you all are at school.

Masamune never asks for favors. I just had to say yes.

Hey. Hey, no!

Uh, I am so sorry, sir.

[Misato] It’s okay. You’re still learning, aren’t you?

So good. I love this!

Happy to hear it! Eat all you want.

Mm.

But it no hurt.

Masamine!

Oh!

Lookie, lookie!

Oh, my track jacket.

Looks good on you.

[giggles]

Thank you. The bath was nice.

O… kay.

Were there enough towels?

Hm.

[light jangling]

Hmm?

Here.

It’s done, Mutsumi.

Cow’s supposed to prolong Dad and Grandpa’s stay.

[gentle eerie music playing]

It’s kinda cute.

Evening paper came.

It turns out Bon festival is doing the fireworks.

The train from the steel factory’s gonna be running.

Probably for the last time.

More than likely. One last run.

[man] I’ll make some coffee.

PREP FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM CONTINUES

[Mutsumi gasps]

Don’t go in!

[both grunting]

[Mutsumi] I didn’t know you could see reality from indoors.

[Masamune] Huh?

[music fades out]

Sealed by the Sacred Wolf.

How are you so calm?

[Mutsumi] The girl, she had a backpack.

There was a name tag on it.

“Saki Kikuiri.”

Are you saying Itsumi’s our…

That girl is not mine.

[Masamune] You saw. That lady was you, wasn’t it?

[Mutsumi] That was me in a separate reality.

Here, where we are now, I’m a completely different person.

[Masamune] But… even at dinner, you acted just like her mother.

If I were that to her…

A mother would never lock her up in a place like that.

I wouldn’t force her to suffer, alone and afraid, for all those years.

But I know that lady is kind and loving to her daughter, and I bet she’s waiting for her to come back home, even though there’s no way for Itsumi to return there and reunite with them.

[Nitta] You’re serious?

I’m serious.

[Nitta] I see. Well, that’s…

I had no idea.

[Hara] I wasn’t going to tell you.

I was afraid, but now, fear is a thing I don’t feel anymore, so I had to know how you felt, Nitta.

[Nitta] Then let’s go out.

Uh…

Uh! You’re serious?

I’m serious.

So does that… does that mean you like me too?

Uh, well… I guess that I do a little bit.

Oh…

[cheering]

Huh?

[Yasumi] Har-itta, congratulations!

Hey, you two should kiss!

Kiss! Kiss!

Love wins in the end, once again! Woo-hoo!

[grumbles]

[Sasakura] I thought you would be going home with Hara today.

Nah. Thought it would be more fun to hang out with my tragically lonely friend.

I’m pretty sure something’s going on between Masamune and Mutsumi Sagami.

I feel it.

Oh yeah? Probably right.

Bet he even touched her boob already.

Jerk.

MIFUSE

GAMING ARCADE AUTO SNACK MIFUSE

[both panting]

Heater’s on now. We’ll dry faster.

[gentle piano music playing]

I’ve heard of love confessions. Never seen one though.

[Mutsumi] Is that so?

I assumed Hara would’ve been more confident, but she was shaking like a leaf.

Hara’s a hopeless romantic.

I read her monitor form.

She wrote that her dream was to marry for love.

And what’d you put on your form?

Nanny.

Come on. That’s obviously a lie.

You’re one to talk, Mr. “I’m too stubborn to write a single word on my stupid form.”

You could’ve at least written down, like, “art teacher” or something.

Since you’re good at drawing.

Hey, wait, how did you know I like to draw?

I didn’t know that you like to draw, but I do know that you’re good.

We’ve been in the same class for a pretty long time, huh?

Guess so.

That settles it.

That settles what?

I’m sure of it. It’s love.

[music fades out]

You cheated.

Through the cracks, you saw that you had me in reality, so now you think you should get to have me here too.

Don’t say that! You’ve always known how… I’ve always liked you.

This whole time, you knew that.

That’s why you would…

You’ve always toyed with me.

Yeah, I knew.

Mutsumi.

I don’t… I don’t love you back.

Hey!

Would you wait?

No, I will not!

You’re acting like an idiot, Masamune!

Well, I…

Because we’re not real! We’re not part of reality!

We’re not alive!

It doesn’t make any sense to…

[both straining]

I… Sorry.

You see?

What do you smell?

[Mutsumi] Nothing, right?

[Masamune] It’s snowing.

[Mutsumi] We’re just phantoms.

[Masamune] That’s the reason.

It’s too cold to smell anything.

[Mutsumi] We’re not really alive.

That’s the reason.

[Masamune] All right.

Then why’s your heart racing. Say it.

Oh… Even if it is, that’s not proof.

[Masamune] No.

It means you love me too.

No, I don’t.

Liar.

You idiot.

You know, spending time with Itsumi, it was like a question I didn’t know I’d asked was being answered.

Looking at the world with those big round eyes, she was fully absorbed.

Completely present in every moment.

That’s living.

That’s what being alive means.

She opened up my mind.

But you?

You opened up my heart, Mutsumi.

[jubilant music playing]

Looking at you overwhelms my heart, and when I’m near you, I can’t think straight.

I’m too distracted, and then my heart beats like crazy.

Living is one thing, but you’re the one that makes me feel like I’m really alive.

Only with you, that’s when I’m alive.

Your heart’s racing, like mine.

Ah!

Just a touch, and it beats faster.

[heartening music playing]

It’s raining.

Feels like summer.

It feels warm.

Sorry.

I don’t want this to end.

I feel like my heart will burst.

[Mutsumi] My chest feels so tight.

[music crescendoes, fades]

[Itsumi whimpering]

[Itsumi] Hurt. It hurt!

Hurt!

[indistinct shouting]

[rumbling]

[Tokimune] The smoke.

Where did it go?

[Nitta] Those cracks are huge.

Huh?

Ah!

Nitta, we gotta go!

What?

[clattering]

Ah! Ah! Ah!

So it wasn’t just the sky. It’s everything.

Oh. Oh!

Huh?

What’s wrong? Huh?

Itsumi?

[sniffling]

Itsumi. Are you okay?

Left me out.

Huh?

Left me out! Hurt!

What’re you talking about?

Ah! Itsumi, calm down!

[Masamune grunting]

[Itsumi sobbing]

[voice over PA] Emergency announcement.

Wait!

The Sacred Machine is not working. Please proceed to the evacuation center.

[Mutsumi] Get ready. I’ll meet you there.

MIFUSE PUBLIC HALL

When they found out the truth, a lot of people fell into despair.

The Sacred Machine was always on, sealing the cracks in their hearts, generating the Sacred Wolf nonstop.

We believe that this added excessive stress on the blast furnace…

[Mamoru] Wrong!

It’s because the woman meant for the gods left the factory.

That’s right.

Get your facts straight, idiots.

Huh?

Sounds like he’s back on his nonsense.

[Mamoru] Without the aid of the Sacred Wolf, it’s a matter of time until the reality through the cracks invades our own.

Unfortunately, our world will fall to ruin without its help.

[groans dramatically]

[groans]

[groans in anguish]

[man 1] Mr. Sagami!

[man 2] Wait, sir!

[man 3] What’s he got stuck in his craw?

[Misato] Masamune, do you have a sec?

I found this.

It’s a notebook your father left behind.

Looks like he wrote in it even after the accident.

He had a journal? Wonder what he…

[sentimental piano music playing]

[Akimune] Today, after a landslide at Mount Kanzari, a huge crack appeared.

The first one since the steel factory blew.

[worker] Ever seen anything like that?

[Akimune] I was working the night it exploded, so, over in reality, I must’ve died.

I ended up finding a little girl on a freight train.

She had a peculiar smell.

I know it sounds crazy, but I think the train must’ve brought her here from reality.

If the machine that mines the mountain of the gods can be sacred, so can the machine that carries the mountain.

What? So the train is a Sacred Machine?

Could Itsumi go home on it?

[Tokimune] Well…

[Akimune] The laws of physics are different here than they are in reality.

It’s hard to say what kind of effect she’ll have on us in our immaterial world of phantoms.

Using the train again to send her back over?

Yeah.

We can’t know what’ll happen if she stays.

There could be catastrophic results as she matures.

Or even if she finds her heart moved by something.

The world is affected by her emotions?

Yeah.

Huh?

That’s what Aki said, but then, Sagami…

[chuckles] I knew that you and I would feel the same way.

Aki, my friend, she’s a woman chosen by the gods, so her heart must be protected from impurity.

Anything less would defile her in their eyes.

Our only recourse is to lock her in the Sacred Machine.

She’ll sustain us all! She’ll save our world!

[Akimune] There’s a philosopher who once said that hope is the dream of a waking man.

[gasps]

[Akimune] Saki Kikuiri.

It’s pretty ironic.

If it weren’t for this separate world, I would never have met her, held her.

She was born after I died and surely brought hope to my family.

My granddaughter.

So Akimune knew.

[Akimune] Trapped in a hopeless world that only exists at her expense.

I watch my son work on his drawings.

No matter how good he gets, he’ll never grow up, and his art will never lead to the future he dreams of.

Still…

Stop hovering!

[Akimune] …he improves by the day.

People can still change, even in a crazy world like this.

That’s what I think, watching Masamune.

Guess I did.

It took time, but my drawing improved.

Even if it was great, it won’t help me get out.

Maybe it’s pointless, but I kept drawing every day, and I got better.

It made me happy to work on it, be praised for it.

I don’t care if it never leads to anything.

I enjoy it. My heart is full.

I feel like I’m alive when I draw.

[Akimune] Our choice robbed that girl of ever having the possibility to change.

I wanted to change, like Masamune.

But I couldn’t.

I didn’t.

[passionate upbeat music playing]

[roaring]

[playful piano music plays]

[music fades out]

Masamune.

Can you forgive your father?

This isn’t about forgiving him or not.

It was nice to know he liked my drawings.

Uncle, I wanna send her back.

[gasps softly]

Send Itsumi home to her reality.

Masamune.

All right. Masamune, take care of Grandpa.

And they’re off. Shall we go in?

Uh. Yes?

Misato.

There’s something I want to say before it’s over. May I?

Mm-mm. You may not.

Huh?

[chuckles lightly] If it’s all going to be over soon anyway, that’s okay.

I’ll end it as a good mom.

[softly] Uh…

[mysterious jangling]

[horn honks]

[grandpa] Mm. The spirit festival.

The Bon festival was always fun.

There were the fireworks, stalls for games and food.

Candied fruit, stir-fried noodles.

[horn honks]

Oh…

It’s my opinion that our world is not punishment from the gods.

Why’s that?

They’re like you. They cherish.

Think of the gods of Mifuse.

Wouldn’t you want to preserve a time of year or season that you were most proud of, knowing this land was nearing its end after the factory exploded?

The season they were happiest with, when everyone said how lovely it looked.

[softly] Hmm.

MIFUSE JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL

[Tokimune] Please give this a chance.

It’ll work like it did in reality.

We have to try operating the steel factory.

That way, we’ll generate the Sacred Wolf ourselves.

[man 1] This world will end anyway!

[man 2] Struggling is useless.

[man 3] You said it yourself, Kikuiri!

You’re right.

[man 4] You don’t have the answers!

Even if this actually does work, and it might all be pointless, but if it works, if we prolong this world for a year or just even half a year more…

No, even for a day, there’s no reason not to try!

Yeah! That’s right! Kikuiri!

[applause]

Is this some kinda joke?!

You couldn’t wait till Itsumi got through the crack?!

[Tokimune] Sorry, but this is serious.

What?!

[Tokimune] I know you wanna save that girl, but I have someone to save too.

Misato, you are a good mom, but I won’t let you die one.

[Masamune] Wait. What the hell?!

The crack in the tunnel has gotta be Mifuse’s exit point, a portal to the other reality.

The train is from that world, so it should be able to transport her there.

[Sasakura] Who’s gonna operate it though?

[Masamune] Doesn’t matter.

Failure’s not an option. We gotta act fast before that lovestruck idiot restores the Sacred Wolf!

Who’s lovestruck?

[Itsumi strains]

Itsumi?!

Hey, don’t pull those off the window!

Not gun go!

Hey, hey, hey.

What’s her deal?

Doesn’t she wanna go back to reality?

Is it really that much of a surprise to you?

She’s… She probably doesn’t even remember much of it.

Hey.

If she really doesn’t wanna go, are we doing the right thing by sending her back?

What?

Seriously?

Face the facts. Our world is done for.

Aw, man. This girl’s a little monster.

Besides, she’ll have the chance to survive if she leaves.

And how do you know?

[Yasumi] What if it speeds up this world disappearing instead?

[Hara] Don’t even say that!

[Yasumi] There’s a chance though.

[Hara] Can you stop, please?

Ugh, just when we…

Hmm?

Mutsumi, what do you think w…

Hey, Mutsumi!

Wait!

Don’t you dare get cocky.

It was one kiss, all right?

She saw us in the parking lot.

What?

That explains it.

Why else would we be seeing so many cracks all of a sudden?

I failed.

I’m supposed to take care of her because she belongs to the gods.

She was never supposed to fall in love with anyone, but she… I think she’s fallen for you.

We got a situation! She flew the coop!

Oh!

[worker] You really think it’s gonna work after ten years of no raw materials?

I think it will. It’s the same factory.

Been a while though. Forgot how good it felt to work.

Mr. Kikuiri!

Hm?

Sagami’s up to something at the Fifth Blast Furnace.

[Tokimune] Leave him.

You sure about that?

Gotta hand it to him.

He loved this broken world from the very beginning.

I see.

Hmm.

No matter when or where, our future can change, and all it really takes is an idea.

Took me forever to realize that.

Huh?

Let’s do this!

SHIN MIFUSE STEEL

[Mamoru reciting ancient Shinto prayer]

[Masamune] Do you see her?

[Mutsumi] No, she’s not in here.

[Mamoru continues reciting]

[Mutsumi] There are stairs up ahead. Maybe up there?

Beautiful.

We’re here for you, Itsumi.

[Itsumi] Mm.

[Mamoru] Quite the troublemaker.

She wasn’t happy about taking off that dirty jacket.

Hmm.

Wouldn’t you know it though? She decided her place is here.

When destiny is calling for the woman of the gods to stay, why would you interfere with their wishes?

That’s enough of your shit. Itsumi is…

Itsumi is stay here.

[gasps]

[chuckles] Ah, lovely, isn’t she?

[inhales deeply] Your mother was a beautiful woman, too, you know.

Like you.

She had those eyes, those glaring eyes that would mock my every move.

Though I suppose that’s all irrelevant now.

So you know, Mom never said one single bad thing about you.

Not even once!

[scoffs]

Well, it’s all in the past anyhow.

Damn it, Dad.

How could you be friends with this jerk?

Huh? Did you say “friend?” Wait, wait, wait. Hold on.

Did Akimune actually call me his friend?

Agh! So now you care?!

A sacred bond of friendship!

Let’s go!

No!

Tell me now!

Were we friends or not?!

[yells]

Don’t just sit there! After them!

[Itsumi] No!

Not gun go! Itsumi no want to!

No! No want to! [whimpers]

[Mutsumi] Itsumi, calm down.

[Masamune] What’s the train doing here?

Hold on, it’s dangerous!

[Masamune] Grandpa?!

[metallic clunking]

[tires screech]

Huh. Jeez, we’re trading paint already?

It’s proactive driving.

Yeah. No. Your girl’s a freakin’ menace.

Lucky. I think we’re gonna make it.

Ah!

[wails]

You okay?

Did we crash?

[Hara] Hey, Kikuiri!

Give us Itsumi!

[Sasakura] Masamune!

Don’t trust Hara! She’s lost her mind!

[Masamune] Hey!

Itsumi, no.

They took her.

Hara-chin, your driving sucks!

Sorry, but can you shut up?

Itsumi, love can hurt, sure, but real love isn’t just about hurting.

Real love means that today, tomorrow, every day until you get old, that you will always choose them because life hurts less when you’re together!

Huh?

[dramatic music playing]

[horn honks]

They’re here! And gaining on us!

More, go!

More, more! Faster!

[Yasumi] Wait, wait, wait!

More faster! Have to go more faster!

I’m sorry for my girlfriend.

Hey, Nitta, uh, speak to the culprit!

Oh. Right!

Hara! You have to stop!

I won’t!

[Mutsumi] Itsumi? Itsumi!

[Itsumi groaning]

[Sasakura] You hear that?!

Is that festival music?!

Beyond the cracks, it’s reality.

Playtime’s over. No holdin’ back!

[groans]

Ah!

Stay away, you pervert!

Get lost, nasty butt!

Oh, not you, Nitta!

Shut up, morons.

[all yell]

[Yasumi] They’re gonna flip!

Oh no! What do we do?

[horn blares]

Nitta! No, no, no, please don’t die!

[Hara gasps]

I got you.

Good to know you still have a human heart.

That wasn’t funny.

[Mamoru over PA] Return the woman of the gods, or suffer the divine punishment!

[Sasakura] It’s Sagami.

The more you resist, the wilder the gods will become.

You will be cursed beyond your comprehension and will be ultimately destroyed in the end!

Ah! The wrath of the gods is upon us!

We’re out of time. She’ll disappear if we can’t get her out.

Not if I can help it. I know we’ll save our daughter!

She’s not our daughter.

What the…

Don’t rush it. Calm down.

Damn it all. I’ll push!

Mutsumi!

Ahh!

Huh.

Now I get it.

I understand.

We’re free to laugh and cry all we want.

I thought we were stuck, but we’re as free as we allow ourselves to be.

But they, our other selves, are trapped by grief.

[girl] Pretty please? Can I have it?

[sustained flute note plays]

[future Itsumi] Mommy!

Look her! Look her! Ha, wow!

I want this one!

[future Mutsumi] Hey! You can’t just go and grab things from a stall.

[girl whines]

Mmh! I want this one, or I’m not gonna go!

All right, then you can stay here, but Mommy’s going home now.

Let’s go, Daddy.

[future Masamune] You sure about this?

[future Mutsumi] It’ll be fine.

She’ll give up and come running after us.

Saki?

Sweetie?

Excuse me. Did you happen to see a girl sitting over there?

She’s five years old, uh, light blue shirt.

[woman] And here’s your change.

[Masamune] We can go anywhere we want.

But in our minds, we feel we’re trapped, day after day.

Itsumi isn’t the only one I wanna save from all this.

[exhales sharply] I wanna help them and free ourselves in reality too.

Free ourselves.

[Tokimune] If you go in completely, you’ll disappear!

We should’ve done this a long time ago! It’s all over!

Not yet.

[rumbling]

It’s not over. I can’t let this be the end.

[roaring]

The Sacred Wolf.

[emotional piano music playing]

Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Stop the car!

[choral music playing]

I knew you would hear our prayer!

[Masamune] Okay, get in!

The Sacred Wolf is on the move.

And the tunnel’s closing. We have to get Itsumi through!

Let’s hurry.

[voice over PA] The commemorative train will…

[man] Excuse me.

Could you snap a photo for us?

Of course.

[train horn blares]

That’s right, the train’s here too. We have to get her on that thing!

Seriously? It’s on the other side of the crack.

We’ll figure it out.

We’re inside of it now! If we stay here too long, we’re gonna…

I’m aware! This is the only way to get her home.

We have to get her on that train!

[radio] …listener nicknamed Sleeping Lamb.

[Mutsumi] What’s that?

“Good evening, DJ Naoto.”

Wait, this is Senba’s favorite program.

“…exam so much that I wish I were dead.”

[both laugh]

That sounds rough. Just die and get it over with!

Die!

Hey now. That’s not nice.

Wishing for death like it’s a trivial thing.

You don’t know what death means!

[Mutsumi] It’s not like we do either!

[Masamune] That’s true, and I intend to keep it that way!

[all yell]

“I just hate feeling like there’s nowhere to run.”

Then forge your own path!

“Like there’s this darkness I can’t escape.”

If there’s darkness, then there’s light. Make that your focus!

STOP AND LOOK

“I’m thinking that if something exciting happens, maybe I can find out what I wanna be and be a much better version of myself.”

“When I get into a high school, I’ll dye my hair and work hard to lose weight.”

“I’ll journal every day…”

Learn from your mistakes and improve!

Masamune, a curve!

“…read a book every week.”

“I’ll help my parents with chores every now and then.”

“So please, God, let me pass.”

“Please! I’m begging you!”

[Itsumi screams]

Ah!

Ah!

What’s wrong?

I… thought I saw a car on the tracks.

A what? But we’re on the overpass. How is that possible?

No. No wanna!

Please, Itsumi.

We made it to the train.

No, no going!

Itsumi no gonna go! I stay here.

I stay here with Masamune and Mutsumi, right here!

Itsumi.

THE FIFTH BLAST FURNACE

[Mutsumi] From the moment I met her…

[Itsumi] Hmm?

[whines]

[Mutsumi] …I knew…

[babbles]

[poignant music playing]

[Mutsumi] …I shouldn’t let myself get close because…

Hah!

Huh?

…if I did, then she would…

[door slams]

Oh.

[Mutsumi] …well, she’d have my whole heart.

You said my name. You said “Mutsumi.”

Let’s go together, Itsumi.

I’ll go with you.

[music fades out]

‘Kay, hop on. Up you go.

Hang on. If you go with her, you’re gonna…

Mutsumi!

I’m going too! Don’t go. Please!

Masamune.

You can’t go!

If this is the end, I have to tell you… this was, our time together was…

[train horn blares]

…the best time of my life.

[rumbling]

[creaking]

[horn honks]

[Nitta] Masamune!

Get down here now!

[Mutsumi] The Bon festival fireworks.

I don’t see the cracks. On this side, there’s no Sacred Wolf.

Guess that means I’ll…

I get down. Mutsumi down too.

A peppermint pipe here?

This one. Itsumi know.

They’re so cute. I always liked ’em.

Bon festival is fun. You’ll like it.

You wear a yukata, do the Bon dance, there are snacks and toys.

You know, it’s always winter where I live, so there’s no Bon festival.

[Itsumi] Huh?

[Mutsumi] Listen, Itsumi.

There’s so much more beyond the tunnel.

This is just a glimpse.

Laughter, struggle, heartache.

You’ll find things that’ll open your mind and move your heart.

You’ll make friends, you’ll chase your dreams, and sometimes you’ll mess up.

And then you’ll learn from your mistakes so that you can start over with a brand new dream again.

Sounds nice.

Whatever you want to do, you can choose so much more than me.

Huh…

That’s why I’m hoping you’ll let me hold onto one thing.

[horn honks]

Well now.

Masamune’s heart belongs here, safe with me.

Wah?

[Mutsumi] You can have any future you want, but you have to let me keep Masamune’s love.

[whimpers]

If returning you to reality destroys this world, in its final moment, he’ll have one last thought.

Masamune will think of me as we both go.

No!

You know that I’ll do the same.

As I fade away, he’ll be my last thought.

No! No! No!

Masamune’s love is mine alone, and my love is meant for him alone.

You leave Itsumi out!

Yes, I know.

But when you go past this tunnel, people who miss you, who think about you every day, they’re waiting for you alone.

[fireworks boom]

Oh.

Hate you.

[sobs]

I hate you.

So you’re not gonna go with me.

Oh.

I hate you!

Yeah.

Okay.

[roaring]

Just a little further. Come on!

Sacred Wolves are all over the place!

Look over there!

Mutsumi.

Masamune Kikuiri learned…

[Mutsumi grunts]

[Masamune panting]

[sentimental music playing]

What were you thinking? Your head is bleeding!

[Mutsumi] Hey, Masamune, it’s awesome.

It really hurts!

Because you’re here with me, I’m alive, I know I am.

It’s just like you said.

Who cares if the whole world ends today?

No one knows how much time they have left.

I know I’m alive right now.

Mutsumi.

[train horn blares]

[sobbing]

[joyful music playing]

[train horn blares]

[roaring]

Itsumi. [gasps]

[train horn blares]

She made it through. Didn’t she?

OUT OF SERVICE

She did it! The train got through!

[all laughing]

Did I hurt you?

Don’t start copying Itsumi.

[Masamune] We are alive.

[music fades out]

[workers laughing and cheering]

[softly] Ah. Ah!

[emotional music playing]

[Masamune] You go on, Itsumi.

Go on and see things we’ll never get to see, try things we’ll never try, and live life to the fullest.

Get a room, you nasty little lovebirds!

[Masamune] No one knows how long we have on this earth, so for now…

MASAMUNE KIKUIRI WILL LIVE ALONGSIDE MUTSUMI SAGAMI

[both laughing]

Oh.

What’s that sound?

[Sasakura] What?

What is it?

I heard something, like a voice.

But it sounds like a newborn baby crying.

[Itsumi] Hurt!

[sobbing]

It hurt!

I hurt!

[wailing]

[birds squawking]

[birds tweeting]

MIFUSE, TOWN OF STEEL

[woman] Hello? Yeah. I’m in Mifuse.

[giggles] Slept the whole way here!

Nope, just me.

Yes. Yeah, I know.

Oh my gosh, relax. I’ll be fine.

Oh! There’s my ride.

Say hi to Mom for me. Bye.

RESERVED

Could you take me to the old steel factory?

HIRED

[driver] Huh. I haven’t had anybody ask to see the steel factory in a while.

Touring the ruins used to be pretty popular, so we had some eccentric visitors.

Most of the site’s been demolished now, though.

Here you go.

[woman] Thanks. That’s kind of you.

[driver] It’s kind of creepy leaving the remains behind like that.

Many years ago, I heard someone got spirited away.

[chuckles]

Yeah, but it’s just a rumor, you know?

Yeah. Sounds like quite a story.

MIFUSE STEEL FACTORY RUINS

[birdsong]

THANK YOU

WE WON’T FORGET

140 YEARS OF HARD WORK

[enchanting music playing]

Hmm.

[sighs]

Huh.

FAREWELL MIFUSE STEEL FACTORY

Hmm.

Hm. Hm.

So this is where it happened.

[inaudible]

The place my heart was first broken.

[Shin-on by Miyuki Nakajima playing]

[Miyuki Nakajima singing in Japanese]

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