A Story That Began As We Realized It (気づきを与えられて始まったという話 Kizuki o Ataerarete Hajimatta toiu Hanashi?) is the eleventh episode of the anime series.
|A Story that Began as We Realized It|
|Season 1, Episode 11|
|Air date||September 16, 2012|
The episode begins with Taichi and Inaba frantically searching for someone amongst the New Years festivities. With them are two young girls, one resembles a kindergarden-aged Iori and the other, an elementary school Yui. The two children continuously parrot everything Taichi and Inaba say, to the latter's annoyance. Suddenly, what appears to be a child-version of Aoki races towards the group, proudly declaring he found some takoyaki. Inaba punishes the child Aoki for his recklessness but then affectionately feeds an embarrassed Taichi a takoyaki.
At that moment, Fujishima, dressed in a festive kimono, takes a picture of the gang, wishing them a Happy New Years. Fujishima is curious who the children are but Taichi claims they are family members. Just as Fujishima begins noticing how one of the girls bears a striking resemblance to Iori, the group scurries away, Taichi wondering how they got into this situation.
Taichi reflects how after the previous phenomenon ended, the StuCS enjoyed a brief time of peace. That is, until the gang returned to the clubroom at the end of the semester to find a message for them sprawled on their chalkboard. The message depicts the names of the StuCS members, minus Taichi, and the times 12pm and 5pm, though no one understands what it all means. When 12pm comes around, Iori and Yui both claim their bodies feel uncomfortable and quickly find themselves reverted to younger ages. Taichi and Aoki can't believe their eyes and the bizarre phenomenon nearly drives Inaba insane.Trying to get a grip on the situation, Taichi asks both children how old they are and Yui informs that she is 11 years-old while Iori states she is 6. The two girls, although they can't remember their general situation due to being mentally reverted as well as physically, are still able to identify Aoki and Taichi. The group suspects Heartseed is somehow behind this strange phenomenon and as soon as 5pm passes, the two girls are returned to their proper ages.
At a diner, the gang concludes that Heartseed is reversing time for them this time. Iori and Yui are unable to recall their time spent with their ages reverted, though they can now more vividly recall memories from their younger ages. Realizing that they run the risk of being discovered by their families now that winter break has started, Inaba suggests they hide out in an abandoned building near her home during the 12pm to 5pm time frame. Everyone agrees.
Returning home, Taichi is greeted by a Christmas-garbed Rina. Just as Taichi goes to get settled in, he is stopped by his sister, a dull look in her eyes. Taichi immediately recognizes that she has been possessed by Heartseed. Rina's possessor confirms, but states that he is different from the Heartseed Taichi is familiar with and asks to be referred to as No.2. No.2 tells Taichi that he must become a "knight" to protect his friends while they are children, claiming that the phenomenon will not last long. However, Taichi is also warned not to inform the others that No.2 exists, threatening that if this secret is revealed, the phenomenon will never end. Just as a bewildered Taichi demands to know more, Rina returns to her senses.
Elsewhere, Iori talks on the phone with Inaba, worrying that Taichi won't like her once he learns more about her childhood. Inaba assures her friend that Taichi isn't like that and the two share a laugh, realizing how friendly they still are despite their competition for Taichi's affections. At that moment, Iori's mother returns home and Iori ends their conversation.
The next day, on his way to the building, Taichi encounters Yui who is having an argument with Mihashi, apparently an old friend of hers. Mihashi is outraged to hear Yui has quit karate and accuses her of breaking a promise made between the two of them. Before the argument can escalate further, Yui chooses to flee, insisting that she and Taichi are needed elsewhere as Mihashi shouts her disappointment.
As they walk together, Yui clarifies that Mihashi Chinatsu was an old karate rival of hers but they fell out of contact when Mihashi moved away during middle school. Taichi asks about the promise Mihashi mentioned, but Yui claims she doesn't remember. The pair then come across Iori who is talking on the phone with her mother. Iori is startled upon seeing her friends and tries to cover up her phone call by joking that after winning over Inaba, Taichi is going after Yui, though her statement only confuses Yui who does not know about Inaba's feelings.Having made it to the building, the group settle down, preparing themselves for the phenomenon to occur. This time, Inaba and Aoki are reverted to children, though the group has provided smaller clothes for them to wear this time. Inaba, who has been reverted to a pre-schooler, is swarmed by Iori and Yui who gush over how cute she is. However, Inaba, a shy child, is frightened and hides behind Taichi. The two girls apologize and offer Inaba a can of juice. Elementary school Aoki, in turn, receives some soda and he thanks Yui, but refers to her as "Nana's older sister." Yui is confused, wondering who Nana is.
Later, as the teenage StuCS members enjoy playing with the children, they realize too late that 5pm will come around soon and while the children will grow back to their normal sizes, their clothes will not. Iori and Yui break into action, demanding Taichi take Aoki to a different room while they change Inaba's clothes, but a frightened Inaba refuses to let go of Taichi. Their time running out, Iori pulls child Inaba off of Taichi, who in turn covers Aoki's eyes as the clock strikes 5pm. Their ages returned, Aoki is suffocated by his clothes that no longer fit. Inaba, on the other hand, is left distressed and completely naked, Yui and Iori having failed to dress her. Taichi and Aoki struggle to avert their eyes.
That night, Inaba reflects on the phenomenon, confused about why Taichi is the only one still unaffected, though Taichi remains silent. Yui questions Aoki who Nana is, and the blond StuCS member is surprised Yui knows Nana's name. Clarifying that his younger self stated that Yui and Nana resemble each other, Aoki informs Yui that Nana was his first girlfriend in junior high, though they broke up when Nana had to move away. Realizing the implications of resembling Aoki's first love, Yui falls silent, as does Aoki himself.
On their way home, Taichi mentions to Aoki that he seemed bothered by something. Aoki laments how having his age reversed has made his past memories and feelings very vivid to him once again. Confused by his love for Yui and his now-rejuvinated love for Nana, Aoki wonders what it even means to love someone.
At her house, Yui looks over her many karate awards and memories, one photo depicts her and Mihashi standing proudly side-by-side, as Anzu enters. Yui's younger sister muses how she never admires her awards anymore and questions why Yui decided to quit karate in the first place. Yui suddenly breaks down in tears as Anzu questions what's wrong.
The next day, Iori appears depressed but when Taichi approaches her, she becomes her usual cheerful self. On their way to the building together, Iori asks Taichi to observe her while she's a child. Taichi deduces that Iori wants to know what she was originally like when she was younger, before she started altering her personality. Suddenly, Iori asks Taichi if he has any regrets in his life that he wishes he could take back. Iori admits that she would want to redo her life if she had the chance, regretting many of her past choices.
Iori and Aoki are later shown to have had their ages reverted to 14 and 11, respectively. On their way to buy more supplies, Iori acts especially cute and playful, referring to Taichi as "onii-chan" (big brother), much to Inaba's displeasure. As Inaba punishes Taichi for enjoying Iori's persona, Iori compliments the two, stating they would make a good couple. Delighted, Inaba decides to treat Iori to something as Taichi looks on, terrified of Iori's persona-changing ability.
At the market, Inaba asks Taichi what she was like as a child. Taichi describes her as easily scared, which Inaba finds appropriate, remembering her childhood as a lonely one filled with fear. Inaba muses how there are some things people wish to forget about their past selves and admits that this phenomenon worries her more than any of the others.
- This is the only anime episode without an opening song.
- In the English dub, unlike all the other characters, Aoki's first and last names are ordered as appropriate in Japanese: Aoki Yoshifumi. However, while he is a child in this episode, his name is ordered the English way: Yoshifumi Aoki.