Sugihara is dismayed to learn that nothing really happened between Kiri and Hiroki. She even calls the two grade-schoolers for talking mainly about work, food, and television. Elis, who is still working on getting over her red-phobia, gets called to the director’s office about the France study abroad, but she still hasn’t decided yet. Her brother, meanwhile, gets an invitation to Yanagi’s upcoming art exhibition. Kiri gets the same invitation, but assumes that Hiroki didn’t. The next day, Hiroki sits down beside Kiri during lunch, but their conversation is limited to work, food, and television. A frustrated Kiri gets angry about it and leaves the table.
Yanagi’s exhibition is also the talk of the art club, and Hiroki offers to lead them there. They arrive at roughly the same time that Kiri is presenting Yanagi with a bouquet of flowers. After some friendly greetings, Yanagi goes off to attend to the other guests, so Hiroki and Kiri start to look at his art. Hiroki admits that when Yanagi first won the contest all those years ago with the stolen drawing, he had wanted to go tell the sponsors. But he’s now glad that he didn’t because he admires Yanagi’s work. He does, however, feel that his own progress has stopped, but Kiri disagrees because Hiroki is now going down his own path in becoming a teacher. After the event is over, Yanagi calls Kiri and invites her on a dinner date.
Following Sugihara’s advice, Kiri decides to try to get a reaction out of Hiroki by telling him about Yanagi’s invitation. Hiroki only gets her angry by not seeming to care. Kana later sets him straight by telling him that Kiri was looking for jealousy and that he should have expressed his true feelings. When Kiri’s and Yanagi’s date finally comes around, Kiri ends up talking mostly about Hiroki. Yanagi eventually says that he understands that Kiri has her eyes on Hiroki, just like in high school.
After dinner, Yanagi takes Kiri to the park and finally admits that he’s liked her for a long time. He tries to lean in for a kiss, but she pushes him away. Yanagi confesses that he just wanted to be honest and properly tell her. He encourages her to also convey her true feelings (to Hiroki) and tells her to try her best once again. From that last sentence, Kiri realizes that Yanagi knew about the first rejection. Yanagi turns her around and pushes her forward, yet again encouraging her to convey her feelings. The next day, Kiri asks Hiroki to meet her that evening on the rooftop. When the time comes, she follows Yanagi’s advice and tells Hiroki that she likes him.
To my surprise, this episode ends up being less about Yanagi confessing his feelings to Kiri, and more about him getting her to do the same to the person she likes. And while he is fulfilling the duty that most of us assumed he would (bringing Hiroki and Kiri together), I did not imagine that he would turn out to be such a nice guy in doing so. He got off to a rocky start, but after this episode, I’m beginning to like his character a little more.
Although we’re pretty close to the end (four more episodes), I don’t think that Hiroki is ready to accept Kiri’s feelings quite just yet. The preview doesn’t help much, and the Newtype spoilers seem to point to an Elis episode next week, so there’s no help there either. I just hope Hiroki doesn’t just put off answering Kiri until the last episode.