After being kidnapped, Tsukushi finds herself dressed up expensively in the Domyoji home. Tsukasa thinks that by prettying her up and giving her expensive things, she’d be happy, but Tsukushi is furious instead. She storms out, wandering from room to room looking for her clothes and sees a picture of a beautiful woman in one of them. By the front entrance, she encounters Tsukasa’s mother, who has her kicked out (in her own clothes). The next day at school, Tsukushi finds a message plastered over the dining hall window saying that she has had not one, but five abortions. She goes out to her secret stairwell spot and yells that she’s still a virgin. Rui happens to be nearby and teases her lightly about it, but doesn’t say much more. Her friend Sakurako visits her at work, and apologizes for ignoring her at school. After the two make up, Sakurako spots Rui sitting nearby staring at several walls of advertisements with Toudou Shizuka as the model. When Tsukasa approaches Rui and starts talking to him, he leans in as if going for a kiss. However, it turns out that he’s just wiping something off her face. Incredibly flustered, Tsukasa bids him farewell and quickly runs off with Sakurako.
The next day, Tsukasa is happy to see that she doesn’t have another F4 notice in her locker. The problem is, Sakurako finds one in hers. She’s pelted with flour and abused until Tsukushi arrives to stop them. Using a broom, she bats away a bottle that someone throws at her, except that it spills its contents onto Tsukasa’s shoes. Tsukasa then wants her to lick it off his shoes, and, after much consideration, it looks like she’s actually going to do it. But Rui steps in once again to save her. Tsukushi’s mind is filled with thoughts of him for the rest of the day. When she arrives at school the next day, Tsukushi is surprised when everyone greets her. She finds the three bitchy girls all of the sudden apologizing and wanting to be her friend. They invite her to Toudou Shizuka’s welcome-back party, which they claim is casual dress. So Tsukushi arrives dressed semi-casually, only to find that the party is full formal-wear; she stands out like a sore thumb. The three girls claim that they were only joking when they said it was casual. Despite that, a man actually approaches her and says that she looks really cute and pretty. The girls show up just in time to scare him off by saying that Tsukushi has had five abortions. While they make fun of her, Rui and Shizuka arrive arm in arm. The girls tell Tsukushi that the two of them are lovers and that she has no chance. While telling her to go home, they dump their drinks on her. Tsukasa is sitting nearby and starts to move over to intervene, but Rui gets there first and hands her a handkerchief. Shizuka then sprays some champagne on the girls, making them fall into the nearby pool. Shizuka takes Tsukushi and dresses her up. She asks if perhaps Rui likes Tsukushi, but Tsukushi replies that it’s not possible. After Tsukushi is presented to the crowd like a princess, Rui comments on how cute she looks. Tsukasa starts getting angry about how happy Tsukushi is to be dressed up here, but not at his house. He gets snaps at Shizuka, so Rui comes to defend her. Tsukasa punches Rui, then tries to walk over to continue the fight, but Tsukushi pushes him aside. Everyone gasps because the two land in an awkward position: with Tsukasa on top of Tsukushi, kissing her.
I congratulate you if you’re still reading this; I realize that I wrote a rather lengthy summary. -_-;;
It suffices to say that this episode is quite good. There are a couple of side storylines being developed concurrently with the main plot, including the ones of Rui & Shizuka and Tsukasa and his sister; the former is the centerpiece of a large part of the episode, while the latter is briefly hinted at in the beginning. But we still mainly focus on Tsukushi and her troubles at school. Like last week, they follow the general manga storyline, but with heavy changes. The kidnapping, the girls pretending to be her friends, and the party parts of volume one all happen, but they throw in the Shizuka elements which are later in volume two. The accidental kiss doesn’t quite happen like it does at the end of the second volume, but the kiss itself is there. So again like last week, there’s nothing really wrong with it all because it follows the main timeline.
Those three girls (Yuriko, Erika, and Minako) annoy me so much. Their voices just grate on my nerves, and they’re so mean to Tsukushi. But I guess that’s all part of their characters. As for Tsukasa, he acts like a jealous little schoolboy the entire episode, but it’s clear that he’s developing feelings for Tsukushi, whether he shows it or not. The accidental kiss between Tsukasa and Tsukushi seems a bit implausible with the way they fell, but it makes for a more interesting story. Tsukushi, however, likes Rui who likes Shizuka, who doesn’t reciprocate his feelings. Next episode, we’ll get to see Tsukasa’s sister, who is played by the lovely Matsushima Nanako (famous for several roles including Fuyutsuki-sensei in the GTO drama). I look forward to it!
Closing Thought: Come to think of it, the most recent appearance of Matsushima Nanako I remember is in a drink commercial from a few months back. But then again, I don’t watch many dramas.
Closing Thought #2: Wow, I didn’t know they were making Grave of the Fireflies into a TV special. Too bad the story is too depressing to watch…