With this turn of events that had Hiromi revealing that she’s his half-sister, Shinichirou is still shocked and refuses to believe it. Nevertheless, he wonders if he should give up on her if this is true, and he recalls that he had intended to do that even before all this. At school, Noe tries to give him a boxed lunch, but Shinichirou claims to have no appetite. Realizing that he’s troubled about something, Noe offers to think about it together with him. She remembers how he had said that he felt confused when he was with her, but she believes that he actually feels that way because he’s alone. Thus, if he has someone with him, he’ll find his answer. Noe wants to be that person, however Shinichirou feels that it’s impossible for her because she doesn’t understand. Frustrated, Noe tries to feed the lunch to Jibeta, but even the chicken doesn’t want it, so Noe decides to go see Hiromi instead. She insists that Hiromi eat the lunch, though her real purpose is to get Hiromi to apologize to Shinichirou because she thinks that Hiromi is to blame for causing him to look away from the sky.
When Noe claims that it’s a waste for Shinichirou to be troubled by someone like Hiromi who can’t fly, Hiromi gets mad and says that Noe doesn’t understand. The two soon get into a fight over this, and the commotion attracts the attention of both Hiromi’s friends and of Shinichirou himself. Hiromi runs off as soon as Shinichirou arrives to break things up, leaving him to ask Noe what happened. In trying to express her frustrations over how she wants to understand him, Noe admits that it’s painful for her to see him troubled, especially since she can’t do anything to help. Hearing this makes Shinichirou realize that Noe might like him, but when he asks her about it, she gets embarrassed and runs away. Later that night, Shinichirou is walking home from dance practice with Aiko when she starts talking about knitting a sweater for him. Before she can really explore the idea though, Jun suddenly appears on his motorcycle. The first thing Jun wants to know is who Aiko is since Shinichirou is supposed to go out with Noe, and when Aiko asks him about that, Shinichirou has her go on ahead by herself. Once Aiko is gone, Jun urges Shinichirou to hurry up and go out with Noe since Jun himself has kept up his end of the deal by going out with Hiromi.
Aiko meanwhile returns home to the store and is thinking about what she just heard from Jun when her phone starts vibrating. She thinks that it’s a message from Shinichirou and is disappointed when it turns out to be from Nobuse instead. Aiko ends up going out to meet with him at a shrine, but when she hears how excited he is about the sweater, she tells him that she can’t knit it for him. Nobuse tries to rationalize this by joking about her clumsiness, however Aiko tells him not to be so kind to her. She then turns around to look at the shrine – the same place where he had originally confessed his feelings to her – but before she can tell him how she really feels, he changes the subject. Aiko still wants to tell him the truth, however Nobuse declares that he doesn’t want to hear it and grabs her hand to go home instead, saying that he only has her. Back at the Nakagami house, Shinichirou’s mother attempts to talk with Hiromi about what happened yesterday, but she gets interrupted when Shinichirou returns home. Seeing that his mother was near Hiromi, Shinichirou asks her if his mother was forcing her to do something again, but Hiromi doesn’t answer him and continues with her computer work. Shinichirou in turn brushes off his father when his father asks if he found something out from his mother.
At the Isurugi house, Jun returns home to find Noe sitting on the floor, and she doesn’t want him to get near her because she thinks that she’s changed. She reveals that her cheeks, chest, and ears all felt hot, and in asking Jun what she should do, she admits that she’s too embarrassed to face Shinichirou now. Holding her in his arms, Jun tells his sister that it’s okay for her to change. The next day, it starts snowing, and Shinichirou is surprised to find out that Nobuse doesn’t feel like eating lunch, so he goes out looking for Noe. He finds her at the chicken pen, however Noe blushes profusely when she sees him and tries to run away. After he catches her, Shinichirou asks her to go out with him, but Noe insists that he first properly say that he loves her. She blushes even more when he does exactly that, and to his surprise, she also wants him to write it out on the ground. Shinichirou runs out of rocks before he can finish spelling it out, but since he’s only two markings short, Noe gives him her pair of mittens to finish building the sentence. As she looks at the rock arrangement, Noe admits that she wants to cry and wonders why that is since she’s not sad right now. Hearing Noe say that she’s also happy, Shinichirou realizes that Noe really does love him.
After school, Shinichirou goes to Aiko’s store and waits in the snow until she comes home and notices him outside. He ends up telling Aiko that he’s going out with Noe right as she brings him out something that she knitted, and to his shock, she throws it at him and kisses him in the ensuing confusion. On the verge of tears, Aiko begs Shinichirou to look at her too.
I really like Aiko’s character, but I thought she was a lost cause after she couldn’t manage to reject Nobuse outright (even though it’s pretty clear that he already knows). However, she then went and kissed Shinichirou to end the episode. I still don’t think that Aiko has a realistic chance at Shinichirou, but this does finally show that she’s not just going to passively accept her fate, and I’m curious to see what else she’ll do. I was actually expecting Nobuse to walk in on them during the kiss, and while that didn’t happen, the scene overall still made for another good cliffhanger.
The majority of the focus this week was on Noe though. She had some very cute reactions during the episode (like when Shinichirou said he liked her), but I have a hard time seeing her as Shinichirou’s ultimate love interest. I’m not convinced that he has any true feelings for her, and if he does, they’re probably nowhere near as strong as how he feels towards Hiromi. I suspect I feel this way because of how Noe comes across as too child-like and innocent sometimes, making her seem less viable as a love interest. In that regard, I think that Shinichirou might help Noe solve her tears problem but will end up with Hiromi despite the half-sister relationship (which may or may not be true). We’re only a little over half the series though, and I’m looking forward to seeing what direction this goes.