After watching Nanaka turn down another popular guy – this time the soccer club’s Hayashi -Yoshiyuki asks Koko why Nanaka always rejects them, but she isn’t sure. Rumors spread quickly about this latest rejection, and when Yoshiyuki catches a group of girls angrily confronting Nanaka about it, he steps in to protect her as her friend. The girls get scared off after Mayuki and Otome show up, and Nanaka privately thanks Yoshiyuki for doing all this. Because he wonders why she didn’t stand up for herself, Nanaka explains that she didn’t think that doing so would change anyone’s minds. Those who distrust her would still distrust her and those who believe her would believe her even without an excuse. She thinks that Yoshiyuki believes her, and she’s happy with that. Unbeknownst to them, someone is watching from the bushes and takes some pictures of them getting close, and Koko later finds those photos along with a warning to be careful in her shoe locker. Koko, however, trusts her close friend and her boyfriend.
When she finds out about all this, Nanaka feels bad about causing trouble for Koko because she realizes she was getting too close to Yoshiyuki, but he points out that being cold towards friends would be weird too. He suggests that she can just stay as she is, and that makes her so happy that she hugs him. At band practice that afternoon, Koko and Wataru are running late because of cleaning duty, so Yoshiyuki and Nanaka get some time to practice with only each other. Afterwards, she gets him to look into her eyes and asks him if likes her singing, though she words it in a way that makes him initially think that she’s asking if he likes her. Koko and Wataru eventually arrive, and the group starts practicing, but Nanaka messes up during a song. She looks at Yoshiyuki in a way that makes him think it’s his fault, but she gets embarrassed and tries to take responsibility of it. The next day marks the arrival of a big storm, and although the group has called off practice, Nanaka decides to practice independently. Unfortunately, the music room is occupied, so she has to go to the roof. Soon after, however, the winds start blowing violently and close the door to the roof, locking Nanaka out there in the middle of a storm.
By chance, Yoshiyuki discovers that he left his notebook at school and weathers the rain to go get it. It is there that he hears a cell phone ringing, and he finds it in Nanaka’s bag in one of the classrooms. The person calling turns out to be a worried Koko who informs Yoshiyuki that Nanaka never came home, but the call gets cut off because of a low battery right after Yoshiyuki tells Koko that he’s at school. Yoshiyuki goes looking for Nanaka, and when he doesn’t find her in the music room, he thinks to check the roof. Right as a drenched Nanaka is thinking about him, Yoshiyuki arrives and charges his way through the door. Once he gets her back inside, Yoshiyuki gives Nanaka his jacket to warm her and scolds her for going out there even though she knew a typhoon was coming. She was doing this because she didn’t do well at band practice yesterday, and she admits that the reason for that was because she couldn’t concentrate.
Nanaka is really happy that Yoshiyuki came to save her even though he claims it was a coincidence. When he suggests that they go home because she’ll catch a cold here, she calls him kind and surprises him by hugging him from behind. She seems ready to say something, but Yoshiyuki touches her hand, and this makes her realize that that he was only really concerned about her as a friend. Because of this, she backs off and notes that he’s kind to everyone. And while being nice is fine, she tells him to remember that there is someone who will get hurt by it and asks him to cherish Koko. The two then head back downstairs and see Koko running around looking for them outside because she was worried. Nanaka pushes Yoshiyuki towards his girlfriend and then happily runs towards the two of them herself.
This episode had such a great cold open with Nanaka hugging Yoshiyuki from behind and looking like she’s about to confess. That got my hopes up, but I knew deep down that the chance of this succeeding hovered somewhere around 0% given how they’ve built up the relationship with Koko. As much as I would have liked to see some Sakura vs. Nemu type stuff between two best friends, it was unlikely to happen with Nanaka, particularly since we’ve long since been shown that the Shirakawa character is too nice and never wins in the anime version. And unfortunately, when they got to that point again by the end of the episode – with even an insert song playing – Nanaka didn’t confess to Yoshiyuki. While that made this episode very frustrating and emotionally unsatisfying to watch, I’d still say this was easily the most exciting one so far. I doubt any of the future episodes will get close to being as interesting as this was unless Yume or Otome somehow get into the mix, and that’s looking less and less likely to happen with every passing week.