When she was young, Ayuki had admired a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Her mother had told her that someday she’d be beautiful and be able to flap her wings too. However, content with only watching, Ayuki had said that she didn’t want to become that way. In the present, Sora suggests that they have a test of courage so that he can collect more love data. Hazumu hates scary things, but gets dragged into it anyway. Tomari cheers her back up by saying that she’ll be going along too. On the school’s rooftop, Hazumu overhears Ayuki rejecting a guy because there’s someone else that she likes. Hazumu gets spotted and apologizes for eavesdropping. She tells Ayuki to do her best, but Ayuki feels that it’s unnecessary because she hasn’t gotten up on the stage yet.
Tomari drops by Yasuna’s house to give her the photos of their beach vacation. Yasuna picks out a picture where Hazumu is having fun and says that it’s because Tomari was there. But Tomari seems to think that it was because Yasuna was there, causing Yasuna to wonder which it really is. Before she leaves, Tomari invites Yasuna to the test of courage. That night, everyone draws straws to see who gets paired together. The groups end up being Tomari with Hazumu, Yasuna with Ayuki, and Asuta by himself. Once inside, Hazumu is too afraid to even open her eyes and ends up clinging to Tomari’s back. On the other hand, Ayuki and Yasuna start talking about Tomari and Hazumu. Yasuna is actually relieved that there’s someone else who likes Hazumu and can be by her side. Ayuki doesn’t think that it’s strange, but rather beautiful because Yasuna is beginning to spread her wings. They hear Hazumu’s scream, so Ayuki urges Yasuna to go to the person that she likes. But first, Yasuna wants to know why Ayuki is always watching from beside Hazumu. Ayuki reassures Yasuna that she’s still in a triangle relationship, and that she shouldn’t worry about Ayuki getting involved.
Hazumu’s scream came from seeing Namiko-sensei sprawled out on the ground. Yasuna arrives and the three get scared silly by the appearance of a ghost (who’s actually Sora). The girls move on, with Hazumu still clinging to Tomari. Sora calls Jan-puu to tell her that their target is approaching. But Jan-puu scares Asuta instead and then summons an alien to eat him. He leads the alien towards the girls, but Sora is there to stop it. Hazumu ran from the group and finds herself in a science room with Ayuki, who is there admiring the butterfly case. Ayuki recounts how she loved looking at butterflies when she was little. But she hadn’t wanted to become like one and was happy just being able to watch them. For that same reason, she’s not getting on the stage. Tomari and Yasuna reach the roof without Hazumu. Yasuna thanks Tomari for inviting her, and Tomari tells her to use just “Tomari” instead of “Kurusu-san” or “Tomari-san.” Hazumu finally joins them, and all three admire the view of the stars. Watching the girls from below, Ayuki thinks about how Hazumu is now slowly spreading her wings.
Ayuki’s story is one of my favorites from the manga, so I was really looking forward to this episode. The test of courage situation becomes quite funny in this animated version. Though about halfway through, I got an iffy feeling because they didn’t group Yasuna, Hazumu, and Tomari together from the get-go. It ended up working out about the same (I find myself saying that about this series a lot in relation to the manga). The poetic nature of Ayuki’s butterfly metaphor even had more impact because of the way the director chose to show it. And the episode ended up not being just about Ayuki, but also about how Tomari and Yasuna are getting closer. I guess the TomariXYasunaXHazumu ending isn’t all that far-fetched anymore.
Next week, it’s festival time!