Isabella is admiring her lovely white rose garden when George comes and starts cutting them off the bushes. He has plans to dye them all blue to match the dress. Yukari meets Miwako at the festival, but finds it strange that her hands are blue. It’s because the entire group has been spending their time painting roses to compensate for the confiscated accessories. When George takes Yukari to rehearsal, the two kiss, which, as Yukari notes, is violating her I’ll-kiss-you-if-you-win-grand-prize condition. Meanwhile, Hamada-sensei introduces Shimamoto to an aspiring young designer named Aso Kaori who won grand prize at a previous fashion show and is currently studying in London.
Yukari apparently screws up during rehearsal and goes to practice on her own afterwards. She calls Shimamoto, whose only advice is for Yukari to think that she’s the most beautiful person in the entire world while she’s on stage. During hair and makeup time, Yukari thinks that it’ll be her fault if they don’t win. George tells her not to worry because if she screws up, then it’s their fault for choosing her – a statement that doesn’t make Yukari feel any better. In the classroom, Miwako and Arashi have finished the last of the roses and hurry across campus to put them on Yukari. Hiroyuki, who’s with his old friend Noriji (cameo appearance of the Gokinjo Monogatari character), see them. After they talk about Miwako and Arashi always being together, Noriji asks if Hiroyuki has a girlfriend. Hiroyuki replies that he likes a girl who’s modeling today, but that she already has a boyfriend.
In the dressing room, Isabella tells Yukari a story about her past with George. He made her feel like a girl by creating a dress especially for her and encouraging her to be who she really was. Isabella concludes by saying that beautiful clothes give people courage, which is the belief she holds when she makes clothes with George. With her dressing up done, Yukari wows everyone with her beauty. As George puts the large butterfly ring on her, Yukari vows to herself not to let them regret choosing her.

Wow, this is arguably the best episode so far. They kept in every element of the story I wanted them to, including Noriji’s mini-biography. And again, I have no complaints about the animation. Actually, I was very surprised they kept in both Noriji and Aso Kaori, the latter more than the former. I’m not a huge fan of Kaori’s character, as she comes in rather late in the story and serves to come between George and Yukari. But that’s not the problem; my issue with her here is that we only have two episodes before the end, but they introduce her, and her involvement in the story is going to take more than we have left. If they’re going to try to finish out the manga (through the end of volume five), which I really want them to do, then adding her as a character isn’t helping them get towards that goal unless they really rush the story in the last two episodes.
So I’m a bit uneasy about how they’re going to finish this animated version, but this episode itself is quite good. They kept in all of the Isabella stories, which are some of my favorite parts of the manga, since Isabella is such a mysterious character. As for next week, I am looking forward to seeing a beautiful Yukari in the dress, complete with the blue roses.

Closing Thought: Blue roses, blue roses…I can’t help but think of Blood+


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