Since the last battle, Makoto has been unable to pilot the Nebula, but she blames it on the ground grew for not properly maintaining it. When Ami notes the dissonance between Makoto and the Nebula before the last fight and uses Haruka and the Imber as a good example, Makoto gets so angry that she almost punches her. Fortunately, Azusa stops Makoto and orders her to stand by at home. Makoto’s key to the Nebula had been broken too, and Saku Hibiki suddenly shows up to suggest to Azusa that Makoto has been rejected by the Nebula. At home, Makoto stares at the sunset and remembers how she used to be so excited about the Nebula. Back then, Azusa had been too caught up in her work to praise Makoto for progress. Azusa now shows up on the balcony and comments on how it’s been a long time since they’ve seen the sunset together. Makoto turns to head back inside, but she pauses at the door to say that she’s not making a mistake and that she’s been piloting the Nebula for seven years now. Azusa seems to agree, but Makoto then harps on how Azusa always gives vague answers. What Makoto eventually starts bawling about is how she had always questioned why Azusa never praised her or acknowledged her, so Azusa hugs her and apologizes.
Afterwards, Makoto falls asleep and Azusa calls up Haruka for a favor. Makoto wakes up the next morning to someone ringing the doorbell and discovers that it is Haruka. After inviting herself in, the first thing that Haruka notices is that the apartment has two sets of everything, meaning that Makoto is living with someone. Haruka assumes the worst, but then finds out that Makoto is actually living with Azusa. Makoto tries to kick her out, but it seems that Azusa gave Haruka an apartment key. Meanwhile, Chikako and Ritsuko are telling Azusa and Joseph that the possibility of Makoto returning to become a Master is zero. Azusa gets called away by Saku, and as she watches him move in, he reveals that he’s been transferred here as the assistant division chief. He then asks her what she plans to do about Makoto. Back at the apartment, Makoto explains to Haruka how she’s lived with Azusa since she was young and how they’re not really sisters. To Makoto’s surprise, Haruka makes sense of this because she had been wondering why Azusa was always concerned about Makoto. The doorbell then rings to signal the arrival of Yayoi – who Haruka had called over – but Makoto decides to leave by herself, saying only that she understands that person’s feelings.
While feeding pigeons in the park, Makoto remembers how Azusa had apologized and said that she thought Makoto had understood. She happily realizes that, just like Haruka had figured out, Azusa has been thinking about her all along. Makoto then receives a phone call from Azusa and gets summoned to the iDOL hanger. However, Azusa doesn’t have good news: Makoto’s been stripped of her qualifications to be an Idolmaster. Azusa also makes no effort to comfort Makoto and just walks off silently after having said this, though she tells Saku later that Makoto probably won’t come back home again. Saku thinks that this is a good thing since it saves Azusa a lot of trouble, but she gives him a dirty look in response. Azusa then informs Haruka and Iori of Makoto’s departure from Mondenkind, though she says that it was Makoto’s decision. Around this time, Makoto arrives at the seaside house of Turiavita and is welcomed by Karasu.
Well that episode wasn’t so bad and probably made up for any disappointment I had last week. They achieved quite a nice turnaround with Makoto being happy and then having the world come crashing down around her when she learned the bad news from Azusa. I think it was just enough for you to start liking Makoto’s character if you didn’t already, but now she’s on the other side and probably more disturbed and angry than ever. I really don’t understand what Azusa’s doing though and how much she really cares for Makoto.
The one particularly interesting thing was the person who was spying on Azusa breaking the news to Makoto near the end. The silhouette reminded me of Yukiho, which I don’t think is too far of a stretch since she’s still got some mystery around her from back in episode five. Maybe she was the one who sent Makoto to Karasu. Regardless, the story seems to be picking up again (at least for me), and I hope it can stay this way.