Episode 8

Shinkai anxiously asks Ogawa what is wrong and whether he has said anything wrong – the tears remain in her eyes and she merely apologises to him.

He blocks her way and tells her that to apologise to him does not let him know what's wrong and if he has done anything to upset her, but she merely runs away from him in tears leaving him perplexed and extremely concerned.

Reaching home, Ogawa asks Kaori where the annual 300,000 yen from the nameless person is. "It's all in the bank. We can hardly spend it when we don't know whose it's from, can we?" Kaori answers and shows her the passbook for the deposit account.

Shinkai stands on his balcony in the darkness, extremely troubled as he thinks of Ogawa’s tears. Suddenly he hears a sob and notices Mee Sook sobbing on her balcony.

"Aren't you going to ask me why I'm crying?" she demands. When Shinkai obligingly asks her why she is crying, she says "How can I tell you? I wish I'd never met you!”

When he mumbles that he never asked to meet her, she shouts: “No, don't be nice to me!" and storms inside muttering in Korean- leaving Shinkai totally baffled.

Of course first thing in the morning, Shinkai comes to look for Ogawa in the hangar. She sees him and hides from him. He asks another mechanic if she is around, giving as an excuse a question about one of the aircraft he had flown the previous week. Abe comes over and tells him that she is at the Training Centre to check up on the drills that start this week. He offers to answer Shinkai’s question but Shinkai says it is all right and leaves.

Ayumi comes out of hiding, and silently bows to Abe.

Shinkai is not happy as he walks towards the flight gates for his day return flight. Naito Jane who is to be captain joins him. Koda passes by and reminds Shinkai that there is an emergency evacuation drill in two days time.

Shinkai’s flight is a chartered one taking junior high school students on an end-of-school trip to Seoul. The teenagers are in high spirits and the cabin is noisy. One of the boys asks Ota if he could visit the cockpit. The others also demand to see it too. Ota explains that it is not possible, but after a look at one of them, he goes to the talk with the pilots. Naito Jane turns them down and points out that Ota should have refused them.

Always perceptive, Shinkai asks if Ota is all right, wondering why Ota of all people would have made such a special request.

A little embarrassed, Ota replies that they reminded him of his son who is about the same age – the Chinese subtitles appeared to suggested that it was estranged son. Both pilots are surprised to hear he had a son. He apologises for having bothered them and leaves the cabin.

Shinkai asks Naito Jane for permission to make a PA announcement, as he too had once been allowed inside the cockpit and had been very happy.

As Ota tells the disappointed boys the bad news, Shinkai’s voice comes over the PA system.

Shinkai announces over the intercom that they cannot visit the cockpit, but he speaks to them about the cockpit, explaining what it looks like, why it's called a cockpit and what the different instruments do.

Naito Jane then takes over and the students listen attentively and are genuinely interested in the narrative. He assures the students of a safe journey, joking that he has a clean record with no accidents or traffic offences so all will be well. They hear the students burst into good-natured laughter.

Shinkai points out to Naito Jane that "no accidents" should have gone without saying but Naito Jane answers, "There are some people who are flying while haunted by memories of accidents. You heard about Koda, didn't you? A brave man, that. I'd be too scared to fly after something like that."

The pilots then discuss the Koda situation. Both freely admit that had the same thing happened to them, both would have been too frightened to fly again and they respect Koda's courage. Shinkai has a flashback as he thinks about Ogawa’s fear of flying.

While working, Abe wonders why Ogawa asked Abe to lie to Shinkai for her. He wonders if perhaps Shinkai has tried to force her into something.

Ogawa flatly denies this but her thoughts are elsewhere. As a result, while lifting a heavy box, she stumbles, gashes her hand rather severely and begins to bleed profusely.

In yet another of their little tete a tetes which sort of bother me, Shinkai and Togashi discuss Koda's past. The conversation is a nice one though as Togashi admits that she still loves Koda and wishes that they could still be together. Shinkai basically encourages her to try again and not to give up if she really does feel that way.

Shinkai then goes to the hangar in search of Ogawa yet again. Abe initially fobs him off but then appears to relent and calls him back, advising him that Ogawa is at the clinic. This clearly freaks out Shinkai who demands to know what has happened. Abe merely tells him that Ogawa injured herself while working – causing poor Shinkai to go on one his madly frantic dashes through the airport to the clinic.

When he finds Ogawa, she holds up a bandaged hand, tells him that the wound was not too serious and did not even require stitches. The two stare at each other awkwardly and Shinkai abjures her to take more care – hands are particularly important for a mechanic. Ogawa is at a loss for words and merely thanks him and dashes away.

Shinkai follows close behind, taking her coat and bag away from her and telling her that he is going to take her home. When she tries to protest, he tells her that she cannot ride her bike in her condition and walks away before she can argue.

In the car, she apologises to him for her behaviour at their last encounter and explains that she was just quite shocked. When Shinkai says nothing but merely listens, Ogawa asks him if he isn't going ask her why she was shocked. He glances at her – rather tenderly – and asks if he's allowed to ask her why. I found this very touching and sweet – he really wants to do the right thing by her and he is so considerate and loving.

She nods and explains that when she told him that a good friend's parents had been killed in a crash – she had actually been speaking of her own parents. 12 years earlier, her parents won a trip to America. It was their first plane flight and when they died, she was filled with loss and anger. She was therefore shocked to discover that Koda was supposed to have been the pilot of that flight.

She asks why Shinkai expresses no surprise at her revelation and he tells that he had already guessed it and that he had known something was wrong when he discovered she was afraid of flying. When Ogawa wonders how she is going to face Koda, she explains that she had always been proud that someone as skilled and conscientious as Koda respected her work. Now it appears that he was only nice to her because he felt sorry for her and was making amends.

Shinkai tells her that although it is possible that this is how it might have started, he thinks that by now Koda would respect her for her own abilities and for her hard-working attitude. When he asks her, Ogawa tells him that she does not hate the foreign airline or Koda any more even though she might have felt anger once. For her, the anger did not heal the pain and she is proud to be a mechanic and to assist in making the skies safer.

Shinkai tells that this is exactly what she should tell Koda now. He says that he should let Koda know that she is well and going on with her life and that she should be treated as a mechanic. Ogawa tells him that she finds it hard to speak like this to a person she has long-respected and that she is still shocked to discover that he is indirectly connected to her parents’ death.

When Shinkai tells her to stop acting like a character in a Greek tragedy, she tells him that not everyone can be like him and just speak his mind. She attempts to storm away in a huff.

When Shinkai says he'll drive her home, she refuses and continues walking. Shinkai asks her mockingly if this means she doesn't want her bag (which is in his car) any more.

She stops abruptly and then in a comical moment the two of them dash back to the car and seize her bag.

They have a brief tug-of-war until Shinkai finally pulls it away from her and says that he will take her out on his ship. [In the English version he says: "I will take you out on my boat". In the Chinese versions, he say he will take her out on a ship - implying that he's taking her on a boat since she can't fly etc. 我帶你去坐船什麼]

When they arrive at the boatyard, (Ogawa being dragged along by Shinkai as they squabble), Ogawa is extremely surprised to hear Shinkai address the old man as “dad”. He gives her a look as if to say: “Yes, I have a father”.

Shinkai whispers to his father he wants to take the boat out, clearly wanting to please Ogawa. The old man glances curiously at Ogawa who bows back politely.

Ryoji informs an extremely disappointed Shinkai that the boat is being used by customers and that next time he should book in advance.

Ryoji then looks at Ogawa standing awkwardly by the door.

The following scenes are so cute. Ryoji walks off telling them to follow. When a baffled Shinkai demands to know why, his father says that he is making sashimi. Shinkai says that he is not hungry, starts to ask Ogawa whether she wants sashimi and Ryoji interrupts him and says he wasn't asking if Shinkai wanted sashimi, he was asking their guest.

A quizzical Shinkai asks Ogawa if she wants sashimi and she nods and the two of them followed the old man into the house.

Ogawa is extremely impressed by the large plate of sashimi placed before her and Ryoji explains that he brought up two motherless boys single-handedly.

When he walks away in search of soy sauce, Ogawa looks at Shinkai questioningly as if to say: "You never told me this?" Shinkai explains diffidently that his mother died after giving birth to his brother and that at that time his father was a deep sea fisherman. After his return, he opened the boat business so as to be able to stay in Japan and care for them. He offers Ogawa some chopsticks. [In the English version he says - will these do? In the Chinese he says - do you want these ones or those ones? :)]

Shinkai then stares at the sashimi platter and demands to himself: "What's with the flowers?" as he notices that his normally grouchy father has placed two happy looking yellow flowers on the plate as a garnish. For some reason the way he asks it made me laugh out loud. [The Chinese subtitles make no reference to the flowers at all which is a shame].

When Ryoji returns with the soy sauce, he asks if they want sake. When Shinkai says no, he's driving, again his father says: "I wasn't ask you – I was asking her, idiot." Shinkai complainingly asks why is father needs to call him an idiot but obediently goes to heat up the sake for Ogawa and his father.

While Shinkai is in the kitchen, Ryoji speaks to Ogawa. He tells her that when he learnt about the death of his wife, it took him 10 days to return to Japan. At that time although Shinkai was only a secondary school student, he had arranged the funeral and looked after his baby brother. Upon his father's return, Shinkai had wept and hit out at his father but after that had never reproached or blamed him.

Ryoji says: " He's dumb and hasn't got much to recommend him – but for that alone, I'm very proud of him."

It's an odd comment and I wonder whether something was lost in translation, but Ryoji concludes that his son is a good person. While at first one might think it seems strange that he isn't proud of his son's achievements given that being a pilot seemed so glamorous – Ryoji isn't impressed by that sort of thing. Clearly though he does want to please Ogawa and let her know that Shinkai is a nice person. [In the Chinese version he says - even though he is an idiot with no good points / good for nothing idiot, for that point alone, I think he is a good person.] 雖然是個沒有長處的笨蛋不過就這點來看他也是個不錯的人]

When Makoto returns, he goggles at Ogawa in fascination, asking if she is Shinkai's woman and wanting to know if she's a flight attendant. Shinkai explains that she's his colleague from work.

When Ogawa says she's a mechanic not a flight attendant, Makoto exclaims: "That sucks!" and is cuffed about the head by Shinkai who sends him off to wash his hands before eating. [In the Chinese version he exclaims: "What??" in disappointment. I think he does in Japanese too actually although perhaps one permutation is that he means that it sucks].

When Shinkai returns to sit hear her, he asks her with extremely endearing anxiety: "He (Ryoji) didn't say anything strange/embarrassing did he?" clearly hoping that his father hasn't scared of Ogawa or told terrible tales about him.

Ogawa shakes her head and the four of them sit around the table companionably eating sashimi and the words you can hear as the camera fades out are Shinkai asking again: "What's with the flowers?" and Makoto exclaiming: "Flowers!!!????" [In the Chinese version, you just see Makoto exclaiming: "Give me some to eat!"]

Clearly urged on by Shinkai (who waits for her outside), Ogawa goes to meet with Koda. He expresses extreme remorse for allowing himself to fall ill and not avert he disaster.

She tells him that this is being arrogant, that it was a systems malfunction and not even he would have been able to avert such a disaster. She assures him that as someone personally affected and as a mechanic she has studied the cause of the accident many times.

She then hands him an envelope filled with the money he has been sending over the years and explains that she and her sister are fine, they are living their lives and getting over the tragedy but each year the money arrives and reminds them that they are victims and that someone is pitying them.

“But we've got no reason to be pitied. We aren't The Pitiful Children of the Couple Who Died in a Crash, but Ogawa Kaori and Ogawa Ayumi.” She then accuses him of using the money to make himself feel better and urges him to go on with his life and look upon her as a mechanic in the same way she sees him as a pilot.

After she leaves, in an uncharacteristic display of emotion, Koda pushes the envelope containing the money across the table and it falls to the ground as he stares into the air in a tortured fashion.

Ogawa heads out to her usual meeting place with Shinkai – that weirdly placed barbecue area with the dead grass and park benches. Shinkai is already sitting there waiting for her – apparently for quite a long time. I get the sense that they met there and then she went to see Koda otherwise how would he know that she was speaking with Koda and he should be waiting for her? But I digress.

Ogawa tells Shinkai that she has spoken with Koda and said her piece. Shinkai makes a sound of acknowledgment. Japanese seems to have a lot of sounds that signal assent. Sometimes, Shinkai makes the same noise four times but the subtitles have four different sets of English commentary. Ooops I'm digressing again ...

Ogawa then tells him that she wants to fly, that she wants to sea the sky and asks him to take her on his next flight.

Shinkai does not express any surprise, merely nods and suggests that she accompany him on his flight to Hawaii during the following week.

She jokingly says she wonders if she will be able to get tickets.

Shinkai grins and says he will give her the reservation number. They both laugh together.

Ogawa's face crumples again as she remembers and Shinkai looks at her and to stop her crying, asks her why she is looking like she wants to cry again. If she really wants to cry - she should wait until she is in the sky.

In a spirit of affection, he reaches out to take her hand (for the first time). Unfortunately he does it with too much enthusiasm and he seizes her left hand which is also her injured hand. She shrieks with pain and he apologises profusely, filled with remorse at what he has done but she continues to berate and scold him, angering him and he is hurt by her reaction, claiming that she doesn't have to be quite so angry/fierce about it and that he has been waiting for her in the cold for such a long time.

He mutters,"And it was going so well till then"," and walks away from her to stand at the fence to watch the planes. [In the Chinese version he says: "You really don't behave like a woman at all. So fierce! (你實在不像個女人。真是有夠兇的)" He keeps muttering the fierce line in the Chinese subtitles.]. Ogawa stares at him for a moment and then goes to stand on his left-hand side.

She shyly reaches out her hand and tugs lightly at his elbow before slipping her fingers through his. He looks very surprised but doesn't look down, merely reaching down and gripping her hand more firmly.

Then, again without looking at her he tugs at her hand so that she comes to stand very close to his side and they watch the sky together.

During the emergency training exercise briefing, Koda stands and explains the procedure to all participants with his usual seriousness, telling them that they must all take it seriously.

Although Koda looks hesitant when walking past Ogawa, Ogawa is fine and as usual, Shinkai is looking out for her to make sure she is all right.

Pilots, CAs and ground crew have been allotted roles to play in the drill. Naito Jane is disgruntled that Koda's pet Shinkai gets to be a pilot during the drill whereas they are relegated to role-playing passengers – Naito Jane even has a baby doll in his arms.

Shinkai enters the cockpit late and is astounded to discover that he will be captain during the exercise as Koda supervising the drill.

Shinkai diffidently tells Koda that Ogawa has asked him to take her on one of his flights and he intends to take her to Honolulu. He then tells Koda that he wants Koda to enjoy flying more. Koda just can't help being a cyborg and tells Shinkai to concentrate.

Shinkai, referring to the manual, announces to the "passengers" that one of the plane's wheels is jammed. They should be able to make the landing safely with the remaining wheels, but as there might be some jarring, everyone is asked to follow the cabin crew's instructions.

In the cabin the "passengers" feign concern, and the cabin crew start demonstrating shock-absorbing positions. Togashi notices that Ogawa is beginning to look tense. As Koda reads out landing time Shinkai gives the order and cabin crew call out to the passengers to put their heads down. On the landing simulation screen Shinkai counts down and then turns off the cabin lights and orders evacuation of the craft.

All around Ogawa people are filing out but she finds herself unable to move. As the crew help the passengers escape down the inflated chute, Shinkai takes a torch and goes to check out the situation.

As he walks around calling "Is there anyone left?" he notices a very pale and frightened-looking Ogawa still in her seat in the empty cabin. She stares at him when he shines the torch in her face but insists that she is all right.

Shinkai tells her to remain where she is and rushes to her side and tells Togashi who has come back to go ahead as he will accompany the last passenger to the chute. He assists her towards the exit where Koda is waiting for them.

Koda comes out to the emergency exit and sees Shinkai and Ogawa come from the cabin. Ogawa gives him a brave smile and, gathering her nerves, slides down the chute. When Ogawa slides down the emergency exit, she lands awkwardly, falling forward onto her injured hand and crying out in pain. At that, Koda lunges out in a panicked fashion and almost falls.

Shinkai desperately grabs Koda and prevents Koda from falling – but slides and himself falls over the side of the emergency exit.

He falls six feet and his right leg hits the ground first, taking the majority of the impact before his head hits the ground. All stare at his prone figure in horror. As everyone rushes to his side and desperately calls his name, his only response is to open half an eye, but then he closes it again without seeing anything but a faint, blurred image of an aeroplane in flight.

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