Continuing with the analyzing of the arcs I played in Kanon, the next girl’s arc I am going to focus on is Mai Kawasumi. She is viewed by everyone as an anti-social, quiet girl who seems to have this urge to go to the school at night with a long, sharp sword. There could be a reason why she is like this because of the events that happened in her childhood she couldn’t get over.
Mai and Kotomi arc’s seemed to have a lot of similarities mainly they suffered some tragic event and have their only childhood friend abandon them. The big difference between Mai’s and Kotomi’s arc is that it contains a lot of the supernatural such as the demons and miracles. These elements have some importance, especially towards the end of her arc where we are revealed her childhood, how Yuuichi first met her and the creation of the demons.
Before we discuss Mai’s demon problem, we first have to understand the psychological event that happened before she met Yuuichi in her childhood. Basically, her mother was her only parent she had and suffered from some illness that requires her to stay in the hospital. Mai wanted to visit the zoo with her mom and they did, except they stop half way so her mom can take a break. While her mother took a break, she created all those snow bunnies and her mom seen them (shown above). Unfortunately, her mom was rush back to the hospital in critical condition and that she wouldn’t make it.
However, the supernatural powers that Mai receives to miraculously heal her mother became a bad thing in her childhood. This was a result of appearing on some cirrus show where she healed an injured dove through some supernatural power she had. However, popular consensus for things like supernatural powers is mostly viewed negatively. Because of the insults and the emotional drama she receives as a child, she did not have the ability to make any friends, except a few that understood her.
Sayuri Kurata became her friend after the incident with the dog eating her hand and giving up her lunch because it was hungry. Their friendship is important for Mai since they have gone through similar psychological childhood events. Additionally, Sayuri doesn’t mind Mai’s strange personality even though she doesn’t know about Mai’s demon huntin. Since they have a strong relationship, they seem to be concerned about each other. For instance, Sayuri become more sociable and be less of an outcast and Mai wanting to protect Sayuri from someone harming her.
The demon hunting signifies as the fighting against her difficulties that happened in the past. It mainly happened because she thought that Yuuichi was abandoning her for good when in reality, he was returning to his hometown for school. Her supernatural powers manifested the demons because of her dissatisfaction with herself and society not accepting who she is.
Its inevitable the demon hunting will ultimately cause social harm to Mai. This social harm happened when the demons attacked out of nowhere and she whipped her sword out in a crowd of people. As a result, people were scared and outraged, especially the student council who tried to expel her from school. Even after Sayuri and Yuuchi got all the petitioning to get Mai back in school, Mai still has a feeling of regret. It was taken even further when she unintentionally attacks Sayuri who was bring stuff for her birthday at school in trying to defeat the demon near her. Following the incident, Mai was full of regret and rage that she went berserk at school to vent off her displeasure of her life.
Yuuichi has a significant role of resolving Mai’s difficulties towards the end of her arc. He realized that her anti-social behavior happened as a result of her demon hunting. He believed that Mai became too consumed by the activity that she didn’t give any regard to him nor Sayuri. When he found that Mai had gone berserk over her unintended attack on Sayuri, he wows that he would help Mai defeat the demons once and for all. Later on, he finds out about Mai’s past and how Yuuichi first met Mai. After meeting the last demon. This flashback was crucial since it revealed Mai’s problems and that she was just harming herself in trying to defeat the demons.
The rabbit ears that Yuuichi receives from Nayuki are the last part of the puzzle in solving Mai’s problems. The rabbit ear symbolizes Mai’s former self before the demons manifested. Yuuichi puts the bunny ears on her since he wanted her to get over her problems and be normal again. She agrees to stop hunting for demons. However, she took the sword and stabbed herself. In comparison to Kotomi wanting to “to ride the airplane with mom and dad… and sink together to the bottom of the sea,” Mai done this because she still could not get over her childhood and thought that she can never be her former self ever again.
The last scene after Mai committed suicide, we are shown the future that Yuuichi pictured living with Sayuri and Mai went down the drain. Conversely, Mai’s supernatural powers finally revive Mai after it understood the troubles that Yuuichi would have after snapping Mai back to reality. As her powers implies, she calls herself “hope.”
Besides Shiori’s arc, Mai’s arc was filled with a lot of drama mainly pertaining to her past at the end of the visual novel. Besides her former self and her quirks, she is still a pretty amusing character that it annoys the crap out of Yuuichi to try to understand what she had said. Of course, she has a strong appetite for food while she hunts for demons.
What happen to Sayuri’s arc? I will do that another time considering how long this review is.
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3 Comments… read them or add your own.
Ah, Mai accidentally attacked Sayuri? Is that true in the anime as well. Ah, actually, I guess that’s possible; that’d actually make sense since she was beating herself so badly over it. Oh wow…
But anyhow, I loved this story the most in Kanon (Shiori and Mai’s stories were the best) The interaction between the 3 was quirky, funny, and ultimately heartwarming.
In episode 13 I think, it showed a scene that she was lying on the ground in a bathroom in a mess and sent to a hospital in the anime, so I guess it did happen.
Ah, I had assumed the demon caused the injuries before but it adds up now.