Ep 11 – “The End of the 4½ Tatami Age” / “Yōjōhanki no Owari” (四畳半紀の終わり) 

The protagonist, still trapped within the 4½ tatami world of the previous episode, continues searching for a way out, to little avail. After much exploration he eventually comes back to the room he started from and despairs, thinking of how fervently he wishes he’d done everything he did in the past episodes. He realizes that in every room, Akashi’s lost mochiguman is still hanging from the ceiling, finally admitting to himself that he had loved Akashi. He proclaims his intent to seize this opportunity, and a swarm of white moths appear, which he moves back to avoid and in doing so ends out tripping out of the tatami world back into reality. It is the night of Gozan shown in the first episode, and Ozu, dressed in woman’s clothing he was shown getting into in episode 6 is standing on the side of a bridge being threatened by Jogasaki and Aijima, while Akashi watches among the crowd. The protagonist runs to Ozu, followed by the swarm of moths, and saves him from drowning in the river. He finds Akashi, still petrified from the moths, gives her the mochiguman, and asks her out to the ramen shop, which she gladly accepts. Jogasaki finally gets a job. Master Higuchi leaves town to travel around the world with Hanuki. And though not explicitly stated, as the protagonist claims such details would be boring, it is understood that he and Akashi become a couple. The protagonist finds a new 6 tatami apartment, wanting never to go in another 4½ tatami room. He visits a hospitalized Ozu with Akashi, pokes fun at his having a girlfriend and offers to help him out in much the same way as Ozu has to the protagonist in every other episode. Ozu, thoroughly embarrassed and awkward much the same as the protagonist has been, asks why he does this, and again quoting Ozu, he responds that its how he shows his love, to which Ozu responds quoting the protagonist “You can keep that icky stuff to yourself!”