At home by herself, Noe talks to the photo of her grandmother and says that she found a very important person who can help her with her tears. When Jun returns home moments later, Noe tells him about how Shinichirou said that he liked her and asked her out. Happy for her, Jun hugs his sister. Meanwhile, at the Nakagami house, Shinichirou struggles to draw more of his picture book and instead thinks about what’s happened recently between him and all three girls. In Aiko’s case, after she had kissed him, Shinichirou had told her that he couldn’t look at her in that way because he thinks of her as a childhood friend and as Nobuse’s girlfriend. Aiko had been quiet as Shinichirou hurried out of the store, and it’s not until later that night as she’s remembering all this that she really starts to cry about it. After class the next day, Nobuse invites Shinichirou to Aiko’s store, but Shinichirou claims that he has a date with Noe. He finds Noe out in the chicken pen holding Jibeta in her arms, and when he asks her what she’s doing, she explains that Jibeta seemed to be cold. Unbeknownst to the two, Hiromi sees them chatting happily together, and she refutes the idea put forth by her friend Tomoyo that Shinichirou had feelings for her.
After leaving school, Shinichirou and Noe head to the waterfront, and Noe takes a moment to enjoy the ocean breeze. She soon notices that Shinichirou doesn’t look very cheerful, so she has him squat down. To Shinichirou’s surprise, Noe hugs him and explains that he also seemed to be cold. When she then asks him what he sees behind her, Shinichirou observes the sky, and Noe reveals that she wants him to be always looking at that. Shinichirou realizes that he’s never seen the sky in this way, and the sight of it causes him to begin reciting the lines from his picture book. Excited to hear the story of Raigomaru, Noe wants Shinichirou to hurry up with writing the rest of it, so Shinichirou gets to work when he returns home. After he reads her more of it the following day, Noe expresses how happy she is that he’s brought Raigomaru back in his picture book. She feels that both he and Raigomaru will be able to flap their wings eventually, and she even goes as far as to suggest that this will become his wings. Noe then kisses him on the cheek and admits that she’s quickly falling in love with him. As the two continue to get closer, Hiromi sees them together more and more, and it gets to the point where she dreams that she sees them about to kiss. She wakes up from that dream thinking about her younger self crying and not wanting to be left behind.
The next morning, when Hiromi runs into a very cheerful Shinichirou, she briefly comments on how well he’s getting along with Noe. She then speaks with Shinichirou’s father who urges her to talk to him if anything happens because he considers her a child in his family. He also notes that Hiromi’s movements resemble her mother’s a lot, and once she’s out of earshot of him, Shinichirou’s mother tells Hiromi the same thing, except that she treats it in a negative way because she sees Hiromi so easily winning guys’ hearts. Hiromi is actually going out with Jun today, and when they meet, he observes how it’s always snowing when he sees her. She says that she wants to go to a city where it doesn’t snow, and the one place Jun can think of is the one that embodies the only thing the two of them have in common. That thing is basketball, and the place turns out to be the school gymnasium where Jun proposes a free throw game. The stakes are that each basket made means that the other person has to answer a question honestly. Jun is willing to let Hiromi shoot from the free throw line while he shoots from three-point range, but she insists that he shoot from half court.
Hiromi ends up getting two baskets to Jun’s none, and for her first question, she asks him about the number of boys that Noe has gone out with. His answer is zero, and he suggests that she’s got the wrong idea about Noe because of the various rumors. Hiromi thinks that this means Noe is a strong girl, but Jun reveals that Noe used to cry all the time. It was only after a certain event – their grandmother’s death – that she stopped crying and became a strong girl. Hearing Jun talk about all this causes Hiromi to call him a siscon (sister complex), and for her second question, she asks him why he’s going out with her. After Jun admits that it was because of the deal with Shinichirou, Hiromi wonders if this means that if either side breaks up, then the other side will break up too. Jun finds that idea troublesome and suggests that he’ll do whatever Hiromi wants. As the two are leaving the school building, they happen to run into Shinichirou and Noe who had just arrived. Noe is here to see Jibeta, so Hiromi joins her at the chicken coop while the boys sit together off on the side. The smiling Noe reveals that she thinks a little better of Hiromi now and explains that Hiromi was the first person to fight with her. Hiromi, however, coldly comments on how Noe’s cute smile and innocent face so easily won over Shinichirou’s feelings. When she realizes what she just said, Hiromi decides to go home.
Jun follows Hiromi and hears her admit that the words that inadvertently came out of her mouth were her true feelings. When Hiromi says that she doesn’t want to feel that way, Jun comments on how easily life would be if they could control their feelings as ideally as they’d like. All of this reminds Hiromi of how Shinichirou’s mother had treated her the same way she had just treated Noe. At home, Hiromi finds some burnt scraps outside in the snow and identifies one as part of a picture with her parents in it. She confronts Shinichirou’s mother about it, and though she claims that she doesn’t blame Shinichirou’s mother because she’d probably have done the same thing in that position, Hiromi still gets angry because it was her own mother. Hiromi feels that it was a mistake for her to come here and, before running out of the house, she apologizes for everything up to now. The only place she can think of to go is the Isurugi house, and she uses how Jun had said that he’d do whatever she wanted in order to get him to take her somewhere where it doesn’t snow on his motorcycle despite of the hazardous snowy road conditions. The two happen to ride pass Shinichirou and Noe on the road, and Hiromi and Shinichirou recognize each other as their eyes meet for a split second.
They present here the idea that Hiromi is like Shinichirou’s mother, and it makes me wonder if those parallels have any other implications. Maybe Hiromi will learn from Shinichirou’s mothers’ mistakes and decide to give up on Shinichirou in the end if she sees him falling more and more in love with Noe. That’s assuming that Shinichirou is going to end up with Noe – something that I’m much more willing to believe after seeing this episode where a large part of it was focused on showing the pair growing closer. Still, there’s always the possibility that they’ll come back to the sister thing and reveal that its not true, and that could make things really interesting if Shinichirou and Hiromi still have feelings for each other.
On the other hand, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Aiko has no chance anymore after Shinichirou (predictably) told her that he couldn’t see her that way. Barring any surprises, I think Nobuse’s the only person who can give her a happy ending here. Speaking of which, the biggest shocking moment this week didn’t occur in the episode but rather in the preview for next week where it appears that Hiromi is taking her clothes off. The only hint of who she’s doing it in front of is what appears to be a red colored sleeve, and that would point to Jun. I get the feeling that it’s a red herring though, and that the shot of the police car with flashing lights might be more important. Perhaps there will be a motorcycle accident?