Speaking with the director, Hiroki learns that a special lecturer is coming to the school. This triggers Hiroki’s memories of when he was still in high school along with Kiri and his friend Yanagi Shinichirou, a trio of childhood friends. Hiroki was very focused on his art, but was struggling at this point. When Kiri suggested that they go on a trip, Hiroki rejected the idea at first. But when he saw Kiri and Yanagi happily discussing it, he decided to go. The day of the trip, Hiroki showed up with Elis, who wanted to go along, but Yanagi convinced her not to come. But even with nature all around, Hiroki was still unable to come up with anything. It wasn’t until he saw Kiri playing happily in the fields that he got his inspiration. That night, while Hiroki was sleeping, Yanagi and Kiri talked about their future after graduation and going their separate ways. Yanagi believed that they’ll always be friends. Not actually asleep, Hiroki thought about being friends, together and forever.
Fast forward to when Kiri confessed to Hiroki. Yanagi was listening in on the conversation, but left before Hiroki answered her. Understandably, the rejection caused Kiri and Hiroki to grow distant from each other. Sometime later, Hiroki arrived in the art room to see Yanagi showing his work to a teacher. The problem was that sketch was the exact same one that Hiroki drew – Yanagi had sneaked a look at Hiroki’s work and copied it. Though he was shocked, Hiroki didn’t say anything, even after Yanagi confessed to stealing the drawing. Yanagi went on to win awards and got accepted into a Tokyo college of arts. Feeling guilty, Yanagi tried to explain himself, and Hiroki decided to keep it a secret between the two of them. After Hiroki left, Yanagi affirmed to himself that he didn’t want Kiri to be taken by Hiroki. Hiroki, who didn’t fare so well, ended up also going to Tokyo, but as a ronin. There, he aimed for the newcomer’s award, but failed to win. After he read about the winners in the newspaper, Hiroki finally picked up the class reunion notice he had been ignoring and decided to go. However, he never actually went in because, after seeing Yanagi and Kiri chatting happily together outside, he ran back home. Feeling even more dejected, Hiroki destroyed all of his art supplies and swore never to draw again.
Back in the present, Elis passes a familiar face outside the school gates. Kiri is also surprised when she sees this person walk up to Hiroki, who is sitting outside. But the person most shocked to see Yanagi is of course Hiroki himself.
This is the story we’ve been waiting to see: why Hiroki gave up painting. Having seen the episode, I’m still not completely sure if he did it because he couldn’t overcome Yanagi’s successes (even though Yanagi cheated) or because of what he saw as Yanagi and Kiri’s good relationship or a combination of both. In any case, the trio’s relationship is now far from the friends-forever belief that they held back then. It remains to be seen how Hiroki will react towards Yanagi (aside from the initial shock) and if he harbors any feelings of resentment. Whatever does happen, I bet that Elis will play a big part in getting her brother through it.
Though the root of the problem was that Yanagi/Kiri/Hiroki triangle, the more direct cause of the problem was probably because Yanagi didn’t stick around to hear Hiroki answer Kiri’s confession. If he had, then I think everything wouldn’t have so poorly for Hiroki. But I also think that Hiroki should have said something about Yanagi stealing his work too. Instead he decided to keep it a secret, which will most likely come into play in next week’s episode. Canvas2’s story seems to be picking up now, and hopefully they’ll have enough good material to keep this going for the second half of this series.