Houkiboshi goes under maintenance with the hope her voice will come back. Sadly, it didn’t, but there is something that might.
From Nagi trying to perform some tweaks on Houkiboshi, he hoped to fix her voice issues. Sadly, it seems that even with all the tweaks, it wasn’t enough to bring back her voice. So, he asks about resetting her, which means Houkiboshi would lose all her memories. Despite this, Houkiboshi still wants to keep trying no matter what.
Then again, just like how Haizakura managed to bring a smile to Gekka’s face and make Yugiri activate herself, perhaps she can play her luck. This time, help get back Houkiboshi’s voice. Thankfully, she allows Haizakura to glimpse into her past. She used to fire cannons and was able to talk. However, she hid the other part of her until Karasuba suggested trying that one method. Resetting Houkiboshi, which causes panic in Haizakura.
Eventually, Houkiboshi reassures Haizakura that she isn’t going to reset. Instead, she allows Haizakura to read more into the past from one of her diaries. We find that Houkiboshi also sang to boost soldiers’ morale, so they won’t fear anything, even death.
However, Houkiboshi witnessed death so often that she realized that her singing had no special powers. She believes the soldiers see her song as a way of seeing them off. After all, there is no hope for them to survive. While she sang her last song before the battle the next day, she broke down in tears.
From this, she developed remorse for singing. After all, it did nothing to allow them to escape the inevitable. In other words, her inability to sing or talk ties to her PTSD, even if it’s not her fault. Either way, she had a sad past, something that Nagi can’t really fix. Sure, resetting her memories would solve this, but she wouldn’t be Houkiboshi anymore.
While Haizakura feels sad after reading the story that she teared up, she is hopeful that Houkiboshi can bring back her voice. After all, it might return if she resolved the thing that caused her remorse.
Sure, Haizakura practiced singing with Houkiboshi, but the thing that helped resolve the underlining issue was the news of the 525th Regiment returning. Houkiboshi seems hesitant as she wrote that everyone had already forgotten about her. Still, Haizakura insists as Chiyo comes along. I feel that she did the right thing by bringing her. More on that later.
When the people left the ship, they discovered nobody survived in the Regiment. The mood breaks as Houkiboshi breaks down after seeing a girl carry a box of remains. Then, of course, the girl notices Houkiboshi as she runs away. She starts acting funny after that day. It’s not surprising that this brought back bad memories of that time. Maybe it’s a lost cause, and maybe Haizakura should give up.
Thankfully, she didn’t as she found the girl carrying the box containing her brother’s ashes. Apparently, the girl’s brother worked with Houkiboshi. She gives Haisakura a letter to give to Houkiboshi. She finds out that Captain Yamae is grateful for Houkiboshi’s singing and hopes that Houkiboshi makes it out alive. Yep, he knew he won’t make it out. He also saw the burden Houkiboshi was going through. While this moment was emotional, I felt that this gave Houkiboshi the resolve she needed.
During a night when all the parents and family of the deceased soldiers gathered at the cafe, we find out if Houkiboshi is finally fixed or not. Eventually, through a miracle, she became able to talk. I guess resolving her remorse did the trick!
Believe it or not, Haizakura’s touch is what allowed Houkiboshi to talk and sing again. However, I don’t mind her communicating through writing. This makes me wonder if Haizakura solved Houkiboshi’s problems through her ingenuity or if she was first-generation. Either way, there is still one automata that haven’t appeared yet with silver hair. Maybe she will appear soon, or it’s Karasuba’s turn next. We’ll find out next time.