Fujiwara Design is splitting into two companies after the brothers have a feud. Deciding to nudge Mayama back to Harada Design, Nomiya and Miwako-san put Mayama with the group that’s moving to Tottori. Mayama, who has been thinking about going back to work for Rika the entire time, takes the bait and uses the move as an excuse to quit the company. He arrives at Rika’s place and volunteers himself to help. Rika is taken aback, but lets him start moving stuff around and setting up his desk.
Yamada is at the wedding of one of her childhood friends, drowning herself in alcohol. She ends up crying because of feeling rejected and the general depression of still being single. At school, Hanamoto-sensei comes across two judges looking at Takemoto’s graduation work. Hanamoto-sensei saves the piece by dubbing it the “Tower of Youth”, which the causes the judges to have great epiphanies about it. Back at the family liquor store, Yamada is visited by Nomiya, who informs her that Mayama quit working for them, then mentions Rika’s name. This sends her into a daze that lasts until the festival the next day. Encouraged by their friend’s wedding, four of Yamada’s other childhood friends show up to propose to her. She runs away and hides with Hagu-chan and Hanamoto-sensei. Yamada realizes how Mayama must have felt having to reject a friend, changing their relationship forever. Watching the sunset from the rooftop, Hanamoto-sensei tells Yamada that she has two options for responding to the proposals: try or give up. That is something that applies to everyone in their own situations. Later, while alone on the rooftop, Hanamoto-sensei thinks to himself that he didn’t tell her the third choice, the one that she has to discover on her own.
It happened again: when Hanamoto-sensei is smoking on the rooftop, and the music softly stops, I kept waiting for Waltz to kick in. I really miss the “bam” feeling and hope that they bring it back at the end of the last episode. It would be a great way to close out the series, which at this point is still a ways away.
This episode isn’t laugh out loud funny as previous episodes, nor is it as dramatic as last episode, but I feel that it is still pretty good. Most of the humor comes from the old men during the wedding (including Tatsu’s father), and from the judges of Takemoto’s work. There are several developments in the plot: Mayama is now working for Rika again, and Yamada realizes how Mayama felt rejecting her all those times. Hopefully now both Mayama and Rika’s relationship and Yamada will both be able to move forward.
Hanamoto-sensei closes with some mysterious words, saying that there’s a third option. Honestly though, I can’t really think of anything that could be a third option for Yamada, short of continuing to chase Mayama (which I don’t think will happen). And it doesn’t look like we’ll get to see next episode as that seems to focus on Takemoto and Hagu-chan. That does, hopefully, mean that Morita’s return is near.