Yamada meets with Dr. Satsuki, Hagu’s doctor, at the hospital after Yamada brought some food, but was unable to find Hagu. Dr. Satsuki tells her that Hagu, after finishing her rehab session, has gone to do some hydrotherapy with her father, referring to Shuuji. Yamada quickly corrects the doctor that Shuuji is not Hagu’s father. They both suddenly hear a wail right as Yamada is asking about Hagu’s condition. The wail came from a boy named Ryo, who was doing some rehab work in a room nearby. Yamada and Dr. Satsuki look on as Ryo vents out his frustrations about the pain he is experiencing and how sick and tired he is of doing rehab everyday. Dr. Satsuki shares to Yamada that Ryo was involved in a car accident and has been in rehab since last month. Ryo continues to bawl in pain as Dr. Satsuki expresses how difficult rehab is – even grown men would be afraid. She continues by saying that most people tend to give up rehab when they heal to a certain degree. However, the same cannot apply to Hagu because her future as an artist relies heavily on her full recovery. Furthermore, her injury is on her dominant hand. Still, the doctor believes that Hagu can do it because she is strong and because her fear of pain is probably nothing compared to her fear of not being able to draw.
As Yamada was sadly thinking of what the doctor has told her, she hears Hagu call out her name. Yamada looks up to find Shuuji and Hagu walking towards her. Shuuji questions why Yamada is at the hospital again and whether she has been taking care of herself or not. Yamada cheerfully tells them not the worry, as she is very well. She then presents the food, sweet-boiled tendon and kumquat, that she cooked for Hagu. Shuuji, with a terrified look on his face, comments on the odd odor, but Yamada is oblivious to his apprehensions. When Hagu finds it quite tasty, Dr. Satsuki becomes interested, so Yamada invites her to have some too. Shuuji tries to stop her, but is too late. The adverse effects force the doctor to lay down on a couch with her eyes closed and arms crossed. She tells Yamada that it is not necessary to mix together different nutritious food into one dish. Shuuji, in a panic, tries to ask for help as more people fall victim to Yamada’s cooking. Hagu, meanwhile, happily scarfs down the food and continues to praise the cooking. Yamada then announces that she will make more, much to Shuuji’s terror. Later that night, after serving her last customer at her family store, Yamada notices a bottle labeled “Morita” and wonders where Shinobu is, recalling how he promised to leave a videophone in the event that he goes away again. Under her breath, she calls Shinobu a liar because he did not fulfill that promise. She stares at her laptop for a brief moment and then decides to send an email to Mayama. In Spain, Mayama receives that email after wrestling Mac Carlos out of Rika’s door.
Sometime later, Yamada is giving Takemoto shattered pieces of pottery for him to use on his tower when Shinobu suddenly shows up and asks where Hagu is. In shock due to his sudden appearance, Yamada starts throwing a barrage of questions at Shinobu. However, he cuts her off and asks where Hagu is again. As soon as Yamada tells him, without a moment’s hesitation, Shinobu dashes out through the window and heads toward the hospital. Takemoto, still in disbelief, wonders aloud how Shinobu came to know about Hagu’s condition. Yamada reveals that it was her doing – she had sent an email to Mayama asking him to find Shinobu. As she starts to apologize to Takemoto for what she did, Takemoto stops her and tells her that an apology is not needed. He decides to take off too, but when he tries to go through the window in the same fashion as Shinobu did a while ago, he bangs his knee and crashes into a pile of trash outside the window. Gritting his teeth, he picks himself up and asks Yamada to lend him her bike. He knows he will be rejected, but he also knows that Hagu is the one in pain. This is not the time to be thinking about how pathetic, pitiful, and powerless he is. He declares to himself that he must not make a mistake, he does not want to, and that he desires to be at least that much of a man.
Back at the hospital, Shuuji aids Hagu in her rehab work by applying a bit of pressure to her right palm. He asks Hagu if it hurts or not and tells her not to push herself. Hagu admits that it does hurt, but she can still handle the pain. Suddenly, the same boy from yesterday starts screaming and crying from pain as he loudly expresses his hatred of rehab. Seeing how Hagu distressed becomes from the boy’s anguished words, Shuuji suggests that they go out for a while. Outside, Shuuji holds Hagu in an embrace as they sit together on a bench. When he tells her that she can freely throw a tantrum as she must not keep her emotions locked up inside, Hagu confesses that she is afraid that once she starts, she may not be able to stop herself. Shuuji reassures her that it is all right, but she insists that she must not. Hagu worries that if she causes anymore trouble for Shuuji that he would eventually end up hating her. Shuuji then relates to her all the times that he had to take care of her in the past and tells her that he did not hate her then, so he will not hate her now. After Shuuji promises that he will never change, Hagu finally breaks down and let’s all her fears come to the surface. She admits that she is very scared to the point of not knowing what to do. With deep desperation in her voice, she asks what the meaning of living is and expresses her deepest fear of not being able to draw for the rest of her life. Hagu remembers that when she was little, she saw God once. She was alone despite being surrounded by people. Without her pencil and paper, without her drawing, she wonders how she could have lived. She promised God that at the moment she stops drawing, she will return her life to Him.
Morita arrives outside the hospital and finds Shuuji and Hagu sitting together. Not long after, Shuuji goes off to find some hot cocoa for himself and Hagu. Sitting alone, Hagu looks at her hand and she remembers the vow that she had made with God back then. It is at this moment that Shinobu appears before her. By the time Shuuji comes back, the bench is empty. Takemoto also comes running and reveals that Morita is back – he is probably with Hagu that very moment. Shinobu actually brings Hagu to an empty room overlooking the city which he describes as he and his brother’s secret base. After the two of them both comment on each other’s loss of weight, Hagu, with a smile, asks if Shinobu was able to go to a lot of places and if he was able to experience a lot of things. She asks him to wait until she heals so they both could create things again and show their works to each other. Shinobu kneels down in front of Hagu and puts his hands on her shoulders, telling her that it’s ok. With a sad voice, he says that she does not need to draw anymore and that life will still have meaning even if she doesn’t leave anything behind. He assures her that living and being together would be enough – that is all he wants. Shinobu then pulls her in for an embrace. Hagu, after being stunned at hearing those kind words flowing out from him, pulls herself away. She has never heard him like this before – kind yet sad – so she asks him to tell her what had happened. Without answering, Shinobu buries his face in Hagu’s shoulders as she wraps her arms around him.
Back at school, Takemoto seeks the advice of Shuuji as to what they should do about Hagu’s disappearance. Shuuji tells Takemoto not the worry as she is most likely to be with Shinobu. Takemoto is surprised to find their normal room empty, and Shuuji asks him not to tell Hagu since he wants her to choose without knowing what he plans to do. When Takemoto wonders if Shuuji intends to quit his job at Hamabi, Shuuji reveals that it would be best if he did, since he plans to dedicate the next 3 years to helping Hagu in rehab. However, if Hagu chooses Shinobu, then Shuuji plans to travel around the world until he’d had enough. Takemoto could not understand why Shuuji would not tell Hagu his feelings and why he would not tell her to choose him. Shuuji simply replies that he could not say something like that. Takemoto reveals that he had already said it even though he knew he didn’t stand a chance, which is why he wants to know why Shuuji can’t say it. Shuuji simply chose to not to answer Takemoto’s questions and instead gets up to go back to the hospital.
At the Morita brothers’ secret base, beams of sunlight shine through the window as Hagu soundly sleeps beside Shinobu.
Choose Morita!!! Choose Morita!!! Choose Morita!!! I found myself silently cheering for Hagu and Shinobu as we now officially have a battle royale between Shinobu, Shuuji, and Takemoto for Hagu’s love.
This episode started very light with Yamada visiting the hospital. I found the scene where Yamada was claiming her victims hilarious. I especially found it funny when Shuuji was shouting “Yamada genocide”.
I am really happy with this episode as I am a big HaguxShinobu fan. I do not read the manga, so I do not know how the story will end, but I really want the two of them to end up together. The conversation between Hagu and Shinobu was my favorite scene. This was the first time that I really saw Shinobu as someone very vulnerable. In most episodes and in the first season, Shinobu has always been a comic relief. Yet, the last couple of episodes have really turned him into a deep character as we learn about his past and the motivations behind his actions. I think Shinobu is very lonely and he has a very sad life. I think this is the first time that he has done something to consciously convey his feelings for Hagu. Overall, I thought the episode was excellent and did a very good job in kicking the intensity of the show a notch. I cannot wait for the next episode!!!
Omni’s note: This week’s entry was once again done by guest writer Seleria. Insert song this week was Spitz’s 「涙」 (Namida).