Warning: Contains spoilers for the events of episode 12 (season finale) of School Days. Avoid reading if you have not yet seen this episode, it will spoil the delicious baking surprises!
Episode 12 shares the title of the anime (School Days) and is the conclusion to the main series.
This finale to a happy-go-lucky slice of life anime was so brimming with romance and love that it offended many Japanese people, because it reminded themselves of how unlucky they are, so many old fogies protested the anime.
They claimed that the way it ended was overidealistic, and would give the children of Japan watching this anime falsely unrealistic hopes of how well relationships turn out, glazing over the harsh burdens and tribulations that can occur.
Fans of the series have defended it, saying that not all anime has to be realistic and depict negative scenarios. Sometimes people just need a bit of happiness in their life, and sometimes there are happy endings, and School Days conveys this kind of possible outcome in the best way.
Sekai, Kotonoha and Makoto overcome their problems by filling their stomachs with delicious food:
Koto comes out of her depression as she happily enjoys a romantic meal at a fancy restaurant.
Sekai is delighted with how well her cooking has improved as she prepares a turkey feast for the family. This gives her a renewed sense of confidence in herself, which will likely trickle down for generations to come.
Unfortunately, Sekai was so happy that she turned into a big of a klutz and tripped over herself and spilled the meal.
Sekai expresses her anguish about wasting all that food. Mako and Koto are very understanding about it, and comfort her.
To show how much they appreciate the effort Sekai put into cooking the meal, Makoto and Kotonoha both begin eating the food spilled on the floor.
Sekai is surprised and kinda grossed out. She is moved by how they express their love to her, but that floor wasn't very clean!
She quickly interjects and makes sure that dirty food is in the garbage, so that they don't get food poisoning! It would be just awful if Mako got a stomach-ache on her account.
After conveying her concern about food poisoning, this reminds Makoto about how Sekai had mentioned tripping and falling when she knocked the food over. Kotonoha volunteers her knowledge of an excellent hospital that rich people go to, so that Makoto could get her body checked out there in case tripping injured her somehow. Sekai continues to rejoice at how much concern her friends have for her.
Finally, Mako decides to open up and let his pain out. He begins to trust Sekai enough to show her how he really feels.
Now that she has permission to help, Sekai examines Mokoto's burn injuries.
Oh no! The injury to his fingertips got even worse! It seems in his consternation about hiding his injury from Sekai so that she wouldn't be worried for his sake, he ended up hurting himself further by clutching his fingers to his chest so forcefully. That Makoto is such a baka! Sad music plays as Makoto reflects on his foolish machismo, he should have asked for help sooner!
In an effort to slow down the bleeding from his teakettle burn (although it's not life-threatening or anything), Kai selflessly pulls his hand to her dress to use as a makeshift bandage. She laments why he tried to use her teakettle like that when he didn't even know the proper method to operate it.
Sekai's makeshift first-aid treatment works well, as quickly the wounds Makoto inflicted upon himself stop bleeding. She lovingly helps him to clean his hand on her dress. After all, that's just another load of laundry, but if Makoto's hands are injured they can't send any more loving text messages to her.
The culprit gloats in the background. If it thinks it got away with injuring Makoto, think again! I bet Kotonoha will have revenge on that kettle for hurting the one she loves! Replace it with a new model that has an insulated plastic handle so that nobody will get burned preparing tea anymore!
Now that the first-aid is done and his bleeding wounds are cleaned up, Sekai realizes that it would probably be a good idea to go seek out some medical care. Unfortunately, Makoto damaged the cell phones so she doesn't have the contact number for the place Kotonoha recommended. She runs out to seek help in case Makoto needs some kind of healing balms for his fingerpads.
That damn kettle, hurting Makoto! This villainous tea-brewer is an out-of-control lech. Why is it always turned on? Why can't it keep its liquids in its spout? Its being constantly hot in a desire to spew its hot fluids everywhere only brings people suffering!
While Sekai is out finding a balm for Makoto's burns, Kotonoha arrives to help set up the tea party for her little sister's arrival. Seeing Makoto's burn, she is concerned, and decides to also go out and find some bandages to wrap his hand in.
Makoto is now beginning to feel guilty about both girls going to so much trouble as a result of his clumsiness, so he goes and sees the school nurse who treats his hand instead. Afterward, he invites them to the rooftop so they can continue the tea party as planned.
When the girls arrived, there is concern if everyone has gotten the proper medical care they need after tonight's events. It turns out that Kotonoha got over the food poisoning she got after eating off the floor, that Sekai's scraped knees are okay, and that Makoto's burned fingers are properly cleaned.
Kotonoha is very embarassed about her messy eating habits, and tries to divert attention to the excellent medical skills of the doctor she recommended who helped them.
When Makoto says he went to the doctor, Kotonoha points out that he was technically wrong, that she knows he went to see the school nurse instead, and that nurses are not doctors. She wishes he would take better care of himself and not lie to make them feel better.
Hearing Kotonoha's words, Sekai realizes that they are two peas in a pod, and are alike in their love for Makoto. The way they had been quarreling in the past was clearly misguided. They should be friends just like before. Sisters, even!
Kai and Koto continue to bond as they discuss their mutual desire to become mothers some day in the future.
Kai breaks down in tears, regretting her betrayal of Koto in the past, realizing that they were really the same all along.
Why did they even begin getting into silly slapfights in the beginning? There really was no good reason for the conflict, just petty jealousy, and as they both realize this, the girls begin to care for each other once again.
Both girls decide that perhaps they can share Makoto and BOTH be his girlfriend. They love him that much!
Koto agrees to this idea though she figures it would be a good idea to ask Makoto first.
It appears that to give the girls some privacy while they talked things over, Makoto went down to the lavatory to change the dressing (bandages) on his fingers and apply some fresh balm. The girls notice he left his bag behind. The curiosity builds, there is a delicious smell coming out of it!
Kai can't help her curiosity, she hasn't eaten all evening (Mako and Koto caught a late lunch together) and opens the bag, as the delicious scent overwhelms her. What did Mako bring for them!?
Why, it's a delicious cake! It looks like Makoto went to the trouble of baking the same kind of cake that Kai had accidentally ruined when she tripped and dropped it.
Kai decides to ruin her second cake of the night, but this time, it won't go to waste!
Delicious! She can't stop herself, this is totally going to ruin her diet for the week!
Uh oh! Kai was so caught up in her ravenous hunger she didn't even ask Koto if she wanted a slice of the cake that Makoto baked!
Koto assures Kai that it is okay. While she was out shopping for bandages for Makoto, he had called her and told her about his cake-baking plans. Koto has explained she did not like the vanilla icing that he put on the cake, so she told him she would buy her own cake ahead of time, and had enjoyed a strawberry jam cake from a local pattissier (she has very refined tastes).
Kotonoha lovingly pats Kai's hand, explaining that she has no reason to feel bad about eating the cake, because she was the one who went to all that trouble to bake the original cake.
"Besides, I've tasted Makoto's cooking before, it's not very good. I prefer my 'Ichigo Jammu' style cake from the Antique Bakery! It creates a liturgy of flavour in my mouth! I ate an entire cake there too before coming here! I didn't even clean my spatula because I wanted to lick it off later!"
Kai wonders if Koto might be lying to make her feel better about her thoughtless gluttony. She is embarassed because she jammed her face into the cake with such gusto that she mushed the strawberries and icing into a paste on her cheek. What if Makoto came back now!? How embarassing!
Kotonoha then realizes, Makoto usually runs around everywhere like an idiot, so he probably got the inside of his gym bag all dirty while transporting the cake there! Looking inside, she sees she's correct, jam everywhere!
Kotonoha admits to herself (out of hearing range of Kai who is snarfing down the last tidbits of the cake) that she was lying, she did want to try at least a slice of the cake Makoto baked. As she stares sadly into the strawberry-encrusted cake bag, she realized she missed her chance to have this particular cake.
Even though she didn't get to have any of the delicious pretty cake he baked, Kotonoha decides to make the best of things, and enjoy hugging Makoto again the next time she sees him.
As she smells Makoto's hair, she realizes she has found the secret to make everyone happy, both her friend, her boyfriend, and herself.
Even though Koto and Kai agreed to share Makoto, they decide that it would also be good to have individual time, so Kotonoha and Makoto take a sailing trip together, as they stare into a romantic sunset. Makoto's hand is also feeling much better, he can't feel any pain at all from that burn! Everything turns out fine, and both girls share the boy they love, and some day, he and his harem will bake forty cakes so that there is enough strawberry and vanilla goodness for everyone to enjoy together.