Suzuka – 20
Still recovering from the breakup, Yamato and Honoka have an awkward moment when they bump into each other before class. Over lunch, Yamato tells Yasunobu what happened, and later, the entire track team, including Miki, learns of their breakup after Honoka doesn’t show up for practice. Miki feels bad for Yamato, but Suzuka says that Yamato is just suffering the consequences for what he did. Meanwhile, Honoka tells Nana of the breakup, and notes that Yamato still has Suzuka in his heart. However, she blames herself for what happened, and wishes she had more self-confidence. Nana cheers her up by saying that Honoka is cute and that there’s someone else out there for her. Feeling better, Honoka arrives at practice the next day, believing that when she gets more self-confidence, she and Yamato can start over again.
During practice, Yamato is chosen to be a member of the relay team. Miki is happy for him, but Suzuka is still angry from their last conversation. Miki waits for Yamato after school, and asks him about what really happened. Yamato admits that the breakup was because they fought over if he still liked Suzuka, but he doesn’t want Suzuka to know that. Seeing Yamato talking like that, Miki decides to invite him out to dinner. When the two are walking home afterwards, Miki is glad that Yamato is looking more energetic, and encourages him to continue with track and field.
With this episode, we learn more of what Honoka and Yamato are thinking. Honoka seems to still like Yamato, but wants more self-confidence first. Yamato, on the other hand, still likes Suzuka, but doesn’t want her to know that that’s part of the reason he and Honoka broke up. Boy this is sounding more and more soap operaish. Anyway, I think Yamato redeems himself somewhat this episode, but the character who gained the most points is Miki, who helps raise his spirits.
I’m a bit surprised that they only covered two chapters worth of material (54 and 55) this episode, but the pacing was fine. Animation was also good, though for some reason the eye blinking of a few characters stuck out (have they always blinked like that and I just haven’t noticed?). I’m glad that these episodes are getting better, but I wish that this was also true for all of the past episodes which looked horrible. Next week’s gonna be more Miki, Yamato, and Suzuka, and based on the preview, it looks like they’ll be going back to three chapters next week. The main reason chapters are important is because the manga readers have a feeling that the animated series will end at a certain special point in the manga, but the anime will only get there if it covers roughly 3 chapters a week.