This week, cute foxes travel through time and space.
Overview (Spoilers Below)
Yuzu is getting some cleaning done with Tsubaki when she stumbles upon a mysterious scroll in an old box. Later that night, when Yuzu is getting changed to go to the shrine to celebrate the new year, Satsuki recognizes the school as a kenzoku scroll, a scroll used by the servants of the gods. In order to dig up some info about its mysteries and how it relates to Tsubaki, Yuzu and Satsuki take the scroll with them to the shrine.
The shrine is crowded with kindly spirits, but things are warm and friendly; Yuzu takes the moment to reflect on how her life has changed since last year. While in the crowd, she gets bumped and drops the scroll. As it rolls away, she chases it down in a panic, only to find herself lost in some kind of mysterious ethereal realm. The place is ominous, but Yuzu runs into a mysterious red-haired girl who thinks Yuzu is the “new recruit” and takes her by the hand.
The two emerge from a mirror in another shrine-looking place with more friendly spirit foxes. Yuzu observes them and soon realizes that these are the servants of the gods who answer the prayers of humanity. She presents them with her kenzoku scroll to find some answers. They examine the scroll, and the servants tell Yuzu that she can never go home because Konohanatei apparently does not exist in this world.
Yuzu is shocked, but this doesn’t stop her from offering to help the servants with their prayer answering. Initially, she is confronted with the evil prayers of negative people, but they soon give way to the warm prayers of people wishing for the happiness of others. She manages to get through her shift and meets the goddess which the kenzoku serve, Inari Okami, the goddess of agriculture. The goddess soon figures out that Yuzu stumbled upon the path of the gods, which she explains is how the different shrines across Japan are connected. Unfortunately for Yuzu, though, the shrines are also connected across time, which explains why Konohanatei doesn’t exist; simply because it does not exist at this point in history.
The goddess is delighted at the idea of a hot spring hotel like Konohanatei, but believes that since fate brought her here, Yuzu should stay here and work with kenzoku. But Yuzu insists she must go home with a tear-filled plea. When challenged as to why she thinks the shrine is so important, Yuzu responds by telling them how much she’s changed and how close she is to her new family at Konohanatei. Even if she eventually parts ways from her friends, she’s happy to spend as much time as she can with them. Her dedication inspires the kenzoku to help her.
The kenzoku who first found Yuzu tries to help by finding a more powerful spirit to send Yuzu back to her original time, but without warning the old scroll Yuzu found unfurls. With the echoing wishes of Tsubaki back in the future for Yuzu to “come back home”, she is transported through time. and falls from the sky into Satsuki’s arms. She weeps with joy at being returned to her friends, and they all reunite with a joyous “Happy New Year.”
They return back to the inn, where Tsubaki asks them where they’ve been. Yuzu thanks her for bringing her back home. Later that night, we see Tsubaki sleeping in her room, while we see a flashback of Tsubaki’s past. It turns out, Tsubaki was the senzoku who found Yuzu, and the idea of making a hot spring hotel was Yuzu’s all along.
Another week, another lovely little story about cute fox girls making me want to cry my guts out. This episode benefits from having one long story instead of two smaller ones, and while the twist of “It was Tsubaki in the past the whole time” isn’t very surprising, seeing the sheer joy on Yuzu’s face when she returns back home is enough to make this episode another solid addition to this season.