Ryuuji arrives at Taiga’s apartment with breakfast one morning and finds her still in bed. While she’s getting up, he notices a box sticking out of a closet, and inside the box is a photo album filled with blurry pictures of Kitamura. Taiga is angry when she sees him going through the album, but she admits that she has a hard time taking pictures of Kitamura, so Ryuuji offers to take some for her. This gets Taiga into a daydreaming mood thinking about the potential pictures, but the mood is partially spoiled after she screws up a run-in with Kitamura at school and then finds out how popular he is with girls. She also gets quite pissed off at student council president Kanou Sumire during the morning assembly and has to be restrained by Kitamura. Taiga becomes depressed for having caused Kitamura trouble by arguing with Sumire, but her mood swings again when Kitamura and Minori joins her and Ryuuji for lunch. The problem there is that Kitamura thinks that Taiga made her own lunch, but Taiga points to Ryuuji, and Ryuuji has to claim that he does it to earn extra income. Minori and Kitamura then get called away, and Taiga panics when she realizes that Kitamura now knows that Ryuuji makes her lunches for her.
Later that afternoon, Taiga drags Ryuuji to the softball field and wants him to take pictures of Kitamura playing softball. She gets so impatient waiting for him to configure the camera that she grabs it from him and starts frantically taking pictures herself, but all of her shots are still horribly blurry. Taiga drools over the photos and later that night, she helps Ryuuji in cooking since he had earlier promised to make lunch for Kitamura and Minori. Peeling potatoes doesn’t work out so well for her, so she ends up just making onigiri. After dinner, Taiga is all over the Kitamura photographs again, so Ryuuji tells her about laminating them. However, after going through some more pictures, Taiga suddenly slows down and then gets angry at Ryuuji, culminating in her deciding to go home to choose which to laminate. The next day, Ryuuji gets his wish of obtaining a picture of Minori when she brings by a photo of her eating the pudding she made in a bucket. After class, he finds Taiga still looking through the photos, and she decides to have him choose photos for her. As Ryuuji is looking through them, he’s approached by Kitamura and accidentally lets Kitamura know that the photos belong to Taiga. This in turn prompts Kitamura to show Ryuuji the photo he keeps of Taiga in his student handbook, and Ryuuji is shocked to find out that Kitamura has this because he had feelings for Taiga. Kitamura even confessed to her, but she immediately rejected him.
When Ryuuji asks Taiga about this, she admits that she had been surprised when Kitamura confessed and had initially rejected him, but she had then started to like him. She also reveals that Kitamura’s specific confession had mentioned her not hiding her anger and how he preferred a straight personality. Taiga knows that it was a strange confession for Kitamura to make, but it still made her happy because she felt needed. Concerning the photos, she had wanted one of Kitamura where his face was like that of when he confessed, but there were none like that. In thinking about all this later that night, Ryuuji wonders what meaning being needed by someone has for Taiga, and he decides that it would have been better if she hadn’t answered Kitamura right away.
Since this was mostly an episode about Taiga getting Kitamura’s picture, it had her acting embarrassed and blushing more than she spent being her normal pissed off self. That’s fairly uncommon for this kind of Kugimiya Rie character, but it’s part of what makes Taiga interesting. The best part (or at least my favorite) came at the end when it’s revealed that Kitamura actually confessed to Taiga a year ago, but she turned him down. This appears to be a reworking of the novel storyline when this came up during Taiga’s attempted confession, but it works out all the same. If there’s a formula with this series – and after only a few episodes, it’s not clear that there is – it appears to be that they build up a set of circumstances to get to one of these reflective moments that reveal something about the characters. Considering that I enjoy how those moments turn out, I think that that’s not a bad formula for them to keep using.
Incidentally, someone told me Inoue Marina was going to be voicing Sumire, the student council president, but it was actually Kaida Yuuko. It would have been nice to hear the former, but I can live with the latter. Next week also should have the introduction of Ami voiced by Kitamura Eri.