On Yasuna’s suggestion, the entire group decides to go to the beach. Asuta can’t stop thinking about how his best friend became a girl and it doesn’t help that Hazumu shows off her cleavage to him. When they arrive, Jan-puu flies in to greet Hazumu. Sora identifies her as his daughter, but admits that he’s lying when Tomari asks. Because Jan-puu seems to know everyone, Hazumu tells them that she is a relative. Hazumu then notices that Sora is wearing an odd, old-fashioned bathing suit. Hearing that, he rips it off for the much more revealing one underneath.
While everyone is having lots of fun on the beach, Asuta finds himself thinking about Hazumu more and more. When she gets too close for comfort, he escapes to buy everyone some drinks. On his way back, he spots Hazumu being harassed by two random guys. Asuta rushes in and protects her by pretending to be her boyfriend. Because Hazumu plays along with the lie, the guys leave her alone. After picking up the drinks, Asuta apologizes for calling her his girlfriend because he knows that she likes Yasuna. But Hazumu replies that she doesn’t mind at all because it was Asuta. That phrase alone gets him thinking all the more seriously about her. On the other side of the beach, Tomari is sitting in silence with Yasuna. Tomari asks why Yasuna invited her, but Yasuna doesn’t answer.
Around lunchtime, Asuta is lighting the cooking fire when Hazumu comes by and tosses him a towel. Asuta is energized from seeing her in an apron, but that goes away quickly because Sora also shows up in one…except he’s naked. Curry is on the lunch menu, but before the girls can start cooking, Tomari accidentally drops the curry powder in the sand. She leaves to get more powder, but Yasuna wants to come along for the walk. Asuta, meanwhile, is watching Hazumu cut up the vegetables. What Hazumu said earlier keeps coming back to his mind, and he becomes conflicted between seeing her as his best friend and as a romantic interest. His feelings for her eventually win out, so Asuta asks to speak with her.
Returning from the store, Yasuna finally answers Tomari’s earlier question. She had invited everyone because she had realized that she knew nothing about Hazumu’s likes. But she wants to know so that she can see and experience Hazumu’s favorite things. Hearing that, Tomari starts to understand how devoted her rival is. Yasuna then sees Hazumu and Asuta walking off together. On a cliff-side with the waves crashing below, Asuta finally asks Hazumu what she thinks of him. After thinking about it, Hazumu tells him that he is, among other things, frivolous, simplistic, and unreliable. However, she also says that he hasn’t changed at all ever since she became a girl: he’s kind, he stays by her side, and he helps out at the right times. After Hazumu even clears up the misunderstanding about what she said earlier, Asuta comes to realize how important of a friend he is to her. But since he now has his hands on her shoulders, Tomari flies in with a kick that sends Asuta into the sea below.
The gang returns home after a day of fun and a serving of very spicy curry. Hazumu manages to fall asleep on Yasuna’s shoulder on the train ride back. With just her and Yasuna awake, Tomari finally gets up the courage to declare to Yasuna that she also likes Hazumu.
This episode ends up being a combination of chapters nine and eleven of the manga. The basic plot (Asuta’s feeling for Hazumu and Tomari vs. Yasuna) is kept in, but there are some changes. Instead of Yasuna having invited everyone because Hazumu only smiles her brightest when everyone is around, Yasuna here invites everyone so that she can learn more about Hazumu and experience the same things that Hazumu likes. As usual, the end result is the same (Tomari recognizing Yasuna’s devotion to Hazumu), but I think the manga version makes her slightly creepier in the stalker-ish way. That also means that I like the anime version better because I’m still rooting for YasunaxHazumu.
And for a beach episode, this definitely has its share of fanservice (wanted and unwanted as the case may be). I don’t find Asuta’s story all that interesting, but I don’t really care for the manga chapter either. Next week, though, is Ayuki’s episode. To me, she’s a lot more interesting of a character than Asuta, so I look forward to how they extend (over the manga) next week’s story.