Suzuka – 23
Yamato, bent on becoming first, runs whenever he can, usually until well after normal practice is over. He tells Miki, who is helping time his runs, that once he becomes number one he’ll try confessing to Suzuka again because, as he explains, he wants to be on equal footing with her. As Yamato continues to practice, he starts improving, which Miyamoto shows him on a graph. Suzuka is getting pissed at Yamato’s drive, and finally tells him one day that doing all the running can be counterproductive. Yamato gets angry after she calls him an idiot, and walks away. Regretting what she said, Suzuka chases after him and stops him and apologizes. As she runs off embarrassed, she tells him to do his best. With the words of encouragement fresh on his mind, Yamato is ready and determined at the next track meet.
They did a lot of jumping around this episode when compared to the manga, though nothing really important is different other than the Nana/Honoka scene. They changed that scene so that there’s no photo shoot element, and Nana is simply there to listen to and comfort Honoka. I find that understandable because the anime isn’t going to go far enough to reach the later point in the manga when the photo from the shoot comes back.
For the most part, this episode is just Yamato running, running, running. Of course, the important scene is the one at the end with Suzuka, who’s once again showing off her confused/wishy-washy attitude. But since Yamato still likes her, there’s really no harm no foul in what happens, and it instead serves to encourage him.
Three more episodes of Suzuka left….