On the way home, Hiromi reveals to Shinichirou that it was last year during an interleague basketball game with Hotarugawa High School that she met Noe’s brother. At the time, she thought he was a good guy, and she came to be attracted to him. Hearing all this makes Shinichirou think that this is not the Hiromi that he knows, and he feels that she’s shackle-less in a world that he isn’t familiar with. The next morning, Shinichirou runs into Hiromi on his way out, but he purposefully seems not to say much to her. He ends up going to the waterfront to lie around, and it’s Aiko who finds him there. When she notices that something is wrong and asks him about it, Shinichirou blames the false hope that she gave him. To cheer him up, Aiko suggests that he go shopping with her, but because he assumes that this means bringing along Nobuse too, she claims that Nobuse had something else to do. At the shopping center, Shinichirou barely pays any attention to the clothes Aiko is looking at, though he seems attracted to a particular purple sweater. Aiko thinks that it’s plain looking, but after Shinichirou walks off, she decides to buy it.
Aiko treats Shinichirou to lunch because she feels responsible, however Shinichirou attributes it to his own misunderstanding. He knows now that there’s someone closer to Noe than him, and that was the person Hiromi that was interested in. Trying to console him, Aiko says that the time will come when he’ll naturally forget, and he needs to cheer up because he’s like a little brother to her, so she worries about him. Back at home, Shinichirou runs into Hiromi again, and this time she directly asks him if he’s avoiding her. Before he can say anything, she goes ahead and apologizes for what she asked him to do. Shinichirou claims that he was merely surprised at how she wanted to be friends with Noe so that she could hit it off with Noe’s brother, but he blames his own foolishness. Hiromi looks ready to cry as he talks about how he wishes that she had told him this from the beginning and his calling it unfair. Their conversation, however, is interrupted by Shinichirou’s mother, and as soon as she appears, Shinichirou runs off. As Hiromi excuses herself too, Shinichirou’s mother coldly comments on how Hiromi’s eyes are just like her mother’s.
After school the next day, Noe finds Shinichirou and presents him with some berries that she refers to as the day’s serving. Shinichirou brings up how he can give her the tears she wants right now because he feels like crying, but when he refuses to tell her why, she claims that his tears are worthless right now. Noe offers to clean them for him, however this turns out to involve dunking his head into a cold fountain. Afterwards, she gives him her coat to warm him up and reveals that it belonged to her grandmother – the same grandmother that took Noe’s tears to the heavens. Years ago, Noe had been crying at her sick grandmother’s bedside, so her grandmother had talked about taking her tears with her on her trip to the sky. Noe’s brother had spoken up about tears not being something that could be given away, but their grandmother had explained that it could be done if it was someone precious to you. True to her word, Noe’s grandmother took Noe’s tears, and Noe’s been unable to cry since then. Noe feels that she’ll want to cry some day, and she’ll need someone’s tears for that, but it has to be someone precious to her. What’s more, she wants it to be someone who looks upwards and has tears close to the heavens – that’s why Shinichirou’s ordinary tears right now are no good.
Nobuse and Aiko meanwhile are on what Nobuse thinks is a date, but Aiko is not really interested in what he wants to do. After two spot Shinichirou and Noe walking together, Aiko comments on how cute Noe is, so Nobuse says that Aiko is cute too. Seeing the look on Aiko’s face makes Nobuse want to hold her hand, but him trying to do so shocks her and causes her to pull away. After a round of apologizes, the intersection light turns green, and Aiko surprisingly takes Nobuse’s hand to cross the street. As for Noe and Shinichirou, she figures out that Hiromi is the reason for his tears, and she attributes this to her sincere imagination and how she uses it to think about why people are suffering. She goes on to say that she’s okay with helping him to hit it off with Hiromi to raise his spirits, surprising him a little. Shinichirou then brings up how he can’t eat the berries and gets her to try them when she asks why. Noe does just that, and the pained face she makes afterwards makes Shinichirou laugh. On the way home, Shinichirou wonders to himself if he can give up on Hiromi, and though he still doesn’t know, he feels the need to shout at some crows.
At the supermarket with her brother that night, Noe tries to decide on vegetables because she intends to cook for Shinichirou. As her brother tries to put a helmet on her to go home, Noe can’t stop talking about Shinichirou, but her brother focuses his gaze on her chin and neck. At his own home, Shinichirou goes in to see his father in the brewery, and his father asks about his picture book. His father saying that he wants to see it next time makes Shinichirou smile. Shinichirou then starts working on his picture book again, and in it, the red snow turns white and accumulates until everywhere is white. The following morning, he runs into Hiromi just as she’s finishing washing up in the bathroom, and he apologizes for how he spoke to her earlier. Unfortunately for him, he accidentally tries to use facial cleanser as toothpaste, and Hiromi runs to get her cell phone so that she can take a picture of him. She laughs at how he looked, and though Shinichirou is embarrassed, he feels that even he can make her laugh. As Shinichirou is leaving the house, he’s surprised to find that Noe’s brother Jun is waiting for him. Jun has a favor to ask: he wants Shinichirou to go out with Noe.
My oh my, there are so many potential relationship links now. This episode alone adds at least three more to the mix, with Hiromi and Jun, Jun and Noe, and Aiko and Nobuse. You could argue that Hiromi and Jun was introduced last week, but I didn’t think it was viable until Hiromi explained the background behind it this episode (and she does apparently know that he’s Noe’s brother), showing that she probably didn’t just pick a name out of a hat when she was talking to her friend. Still, it’s pretty clear that the majority of her feelings lie with Shinichirou.
Aiko and Nobuse has also been mentioned before, but this is the first time she’s really actually shown feelings for him, even if they were somewhat misdirected in the sense that he’s like a consolation prize and she really still likes Shinichirou. And then there’s Jun and Noe and what could be interpreted as a siscon moment when he was trying to put the motorcycle helmet on her. That could be a false alarm, but I’m also a little bothered by the fact that Jun told Shinichirou that he’s not at all like his sister – it brings back memories of not-related-by-blood stories.
There’s also the prospect of what happened between Shinichirou’s mother and Hiromi’s mother, and more than one person has pointed out the possibility of Hiromi being Shinichirou’s half-sister or something. I’m a bit leery of that idea (two possible siscon elements seems like too many), but I admit that it’d make an interesting twist. I also have to applaud the production team on ending the episode on what I thought was a funny, yet cliffhanger moment with Shinichirou’s reaction to Jun’s request. The overall production on this series has just been incredible. Anyway, I’m very curious to see what happens now between Noe and Shinichirou, and what next week reveals about Shinichirou’s mother’s (seemingly bad) relationship with Hiromi’s mother.