AsuKimi – Tsukino Mai

Mai’s route finished. It focused on Asuka and Shuuji’s relationship as well, and I think the ending was rather sad if seen from Asuka’s point of view.

Tsukino Mai is the daughter of the owner of Gekka, a popular Chinese restaurant where Shuuji works part-time at. Mai was born and raised in the mainland, and currently she’s attending an all-girls high school there. Though she is technically Shuuji’s boss, she told him to call her by her name since they’re of the same age. A slight tsundere, though according to Nanami she’s more like a villain than a tsundere.

While her father is occupied with cooking and her mother is busy with stocking up, Mai took care of everything else. Including interviewing part-time workers and dealing with them. Intending to inherit her family business someday, Mai focused more on working rather than her studies at school. Though she always smiles when working, Nanami called her ‘a demon with the face of an angel.’ Mai often threatens to cut Shuuji and Nanami’s wages whenever they teased her.

Being a beauty who works in a Chinese dress, Mai has a lot of fans. Mostly regular male customers at Gekka. After Shuuji started working there, some of her fans got worried about the existence of a male in Gekka and became desperate. Mai was tailed when she was roaming around the city, so she called Shuuji afterwards to accompany her.

It wasn’t long until a rumor saying Shuuji and Mai are dating was spread among the customers in Gekka. Shuuji felt some people were glaring at him during work. Mai herself felt that compared to Asuka and Shuuji, who have met the deity of Mikaze island, she’s just a very ordinary person. After Shuuji told her he thinks she’s special, Mai realized that she’s in love with him. She then kissed him and confessed.

Meanwhile, Asuka was worried about Shuuji spending a lot of his time in the mainland. She didn’t oppose him increasing his shift in Gekka, but she seems disturbed whenever the topic of Mai or part-time work came up. It’s true that Shuuji came back to Mikaze island for her, but it wasn’t the same as seven years ago. Swayed between his feelings for Asuka and Mai, Shuuji was unable to give Mai an answer.

After having a talk with Nanami, Shuuji realized his feelings. What ties him to Asuka was their past, but accepting that his feelings were going towards Mai won’t deny the fact that Asuka was someone precious to him. Shuuji rushed to see Mai and finally answered her feelings.

Ever since Shuuji and Mai started going out, his time with Asuka decreased significantly. After their last exam, Asuka was about to invite Shuuji somewhere when he received a mail from Mai, telling him to meet her at the station. Though she seems sad, Asuka only smiled and kissed him on the cheek before telling him to go.

Shuuji was having fun with Mai when suddenly Rika-nee called Shuuji. Just by hearing her voice, he knew right away that something was wrong. It appeared that Asuka disappeared. She was nowhere to be found, exactly the same as seven years ago. According to Rika-nee, Asuka was going home together with Ruriko that day. Without warning, suddenly Asuka ran towards the forest. Ruriko chased after her but she lost her on the way.

Days passed with Shuuji feeling down. He was in a daze everyday, skipping his part-time work and didn’t meet Mai even once since that day. Shuuji went to the forest everyday, hoping to find Asuka or a way to go to the other world. Mai was obviously confused and tried mailing Shuuji every so often, but he couldn’t bring himself to open it.

After Summer vacation started, Shuuji realized that he had to talk with Mai. He lost Asuka and couldn’t forget her, but he didn’t want to lose Mai as well. When he met Mai in front of Gekka, he apologized and asked for some more time off the work. Of course Mai warned him that if he continues skipped work without giving any notice, he’d be fired for sure.

Disappointed that Shuuji only came to talk about his job, Mai invited Shuuji to her room to talk about their personal matter. She confirmed whether he’s ignoring her mails because of Asuka’s disappearance and he said yes, much to her grief. Upon hearing Shuuji’s vague answers regarding his reason to come and see her, Mai got angry and asked if he really thinks of her as his girlfriend.

While Shuuji was worried that Mai’s affection for him would disappear, Mai couldn’t bear seeing Shuuji keeping all the pain to himself. She loves him, so she wanted him to share with her during the hard times. Shuuji was only pretending to face Mai, as actually his mind was still wandering somewhere else. He was only thinking of Asuka and himself without considering Mai’s feelings. Feeling dejected, Mai told Shuuji to go home.

After being told such things, Shuuji started to stand up once again. He realized that not only Mai, but he’s been ignoring the people around him as well. That night Shuuji called Mai and apologized to her, asking for a chance to start over. Shuuji also asked Mai to believe that he really loves her, which she answered happily. But even so, Mai was still afraid of losing Shuuji.

Mai was shocked upon seeing Shuji’s reaction regarding Asuka’s disappearance. She knew Asuka was really precious to Shuuji, though it wasn’t love. Mai felt as if Asuka carried Shuuji’s heart when she vanished. Thus, she begged to Shuuji not to leave her. Realizing how much damage he did to Mai, Shuuji apologized. It’s true that Asuka was someone precious, but more than that, he loves Mai. His place was there by Mai’s side.

Knowing that Shuuji has recovered, Rika-nee handed him a letter left by Asuka. It was written for him. In her letter, Asuka said that she was glad Shuuji has found his place. It was too bad that his place was not by her side, but she didn’t like it that Shuuji was always looking at her past self. Just like Shuuji, Asuka wanted to search for her own place as well. That’s why she decided to go to the world of the gods, together with Rin.

Rin would pick her up when the time comes, so Asuka herself didn’t know when she would go to the other world. She wrote the letter for Shuuji just in case she couldn’t say goodbye due to her sudden departure. Asuka also told him not to chase after her, because Shuuji has someone that he loves. She wished for his happiness with that person, and said goodbye.

The next day, Shuuji went to the spring in the forest to say goodbye to Asuka. He’s been chasing after her all this time, and if he didn’t have Mai by his side he would go after her too. In the end he let go of his feelings and cried in Mai’s arms, who followed him into the forest. As he calmed down and told Mai he was glad he met Asuka, he heard Asuka’s voice.

For a split second, Shuuji was taken to the alternate dimension between the two worlds. Asuka was standing there with Rin, saying that she was glad she met him too, and that she wanted him to be happy. She didn’t know if they could meet again, but she wanted to believe that they will meet again someday. The two then said goodbye to Shuuji and went to the other world.

Shuuji and Mai went to the hill afterwards. There, Shuuji held out Asuka’s ribbon and let the wind carried it away. Both Asuka and him were released from their past, so he returned her ribbon to the world — just like what she asked him to do. Shuuji and Mai watched as the ribbon disappeared into the blue sky.

Shuuji started working at Gekka again. It appears that he was looking for a new place to live in the mainland, near Mai’s house. The two spent their ordinary days happily, supporting each other.

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