「自主練」 (Jishuuren)
“Voluntary Practice”

I really hope Ume’s not behind all the rumour shenanigans from before, because I really don’t want to end up hating her. Yes, she’s a Hirano Aya character, so there are some inadvertent apprehensions already. However, I want to give her the benefit of the doubt since she doesn’t seem fake to me just yet.

While much of the Sawako’s class has accepted her as the bearer of good fortune if they can make her laugh, Ume’s dealing with her friends’ disbelief that Kazehaya would be interested in a girl like Sawako. In light of this, Ume elegantly suggests that the possibility isn’t completely out of the question and modestly rules herself out. Meanwhile, Sawako’s struggling to get accustomed to calling other people by their first names without any honorifics. After a bit of friendly peer pressuring by Ayane, she attempts to do so with Kazehaya as well but finds it too difficult to do for guys. When homeroom starts, Pin arbitrarily decides to make Kazehaya the class rep for the upcoming sports festival, in which he only wants the athletic people to participate in. Kazehaya notices that this leaves Sawako out, so he suggests that the class practice a bit during lunch.

Unfortunately, lunch period is much too short for Sawako to get any better, but she’s happy about seeing a playful and sporty side of Kazehaya for the first time. Kazehaya notices that she’s watching him and comments about her braided hair, causing Sawako’s heart to race in a way she’s never experienced before. In her constant attempt to not be a nuisance to others, Sawako decides to practice by herself after school but isn’t allowed to borrow a soccer ball for personal use. From the committee meeting classroom, Kazehaya notices her watering the flowers and kicking around a rock later on, so he brings her a ball afterwards. Speechlessly happy, Sawako practices kicking the ball and hopes it can convey her feelings to him, in lieu of a smile she can’t provide. Back in the classroom, Ume’s quietly watching this from afar.


I find that there’s a fine line between going after a guy subtley and sabotaging all the competition. Assuming that Ume’s wasn’t involved with the earlier stuff, I don’t disapprove of her joining the sports committee because Kazehaya did. She seemed geniunely humble about him not having an interest in her when talking to her friends. The only scene put her true intentions in a somewhat questionable light was when she noticed Kazehaya watching Sawako practice kicking a rock instead of paying attention to her, but even then she didn’t give any signs of being conniving. Whether or not that’s supposed to be the ultimate fake out I don’t know, but if they would go that far to deceive me, I’m willing to go along with it for the time being. For now, Ume gets to stay in my good books. Based on the preview though, it looks like she’s going to try and befriend Sawako, so I’m still a bit wary of any potential ulterior motives.

The other big thing this episode is Sawako experiencing what’s probably her first love. She still doesn’t seem to realize this herself, so it’s pretty cute in a very innocent sort of way. While this week didn’t have any real emotional melodrama, I loved the scene at the end where Sawako kicked the ball to Kazehaya. It led in really nicely to Chara’s “Kataomoi” (Unrequited Love) song, which grows on me more and more thanks to this series. That scene was a very sweet way to wrap up the episode, especially with Ume looking on from above. Hopefully she realizes what they have going and doesn’t try too hard to ruin it!

* I’m not exactly brimming with free time right now, but wanted to cover this series in Omni’s abscene since I like it so much.




  1. another great episode. more sawako with beads would be greatly appreciated. im still waiting for the inevitable love-triangle to show up which is a shame, im starting to warm to kurumi/ume even though shes pretty subtly manipulative in this episode.

    ps wheres epi gone? nothing wrong is there?

  2. well for some reason, even though Ume is gonna be a bad character, after reading the manga, i dont really hate her. i feel kinda bad for her instead.

    anywhos, this episode was cute and it was nice to see kazehaya and sawako bonding. AND seeing sawako getting closer to realizing her true feelings towards him is even better!


  3. Like Ceasar said “divide and conquer” Ume is going to get close to Kazehaya and Sawako with that “I’m such a good girl” face to mess everything up. I think they are showing this nice face to make it harder to hate herwhen her fangs show.

    I never thought that a soccer ball could be such a romantic memento 🙂

    Island Esper
  4. oh and i dont read the manga so i dont know… but from what i can see it looks like kurumi isnt putting up an act,more like if she is putting up an act, she would be in no competition against sawako… kazehaya simply isnt a guy that would fall for a fake girl…whereas if this is the real kurumi that is nice, then she might actually have a chance…. anyway, in romance theres no good or bad characters anyway, as long as they dont do anything dumb like spreading rumours, or two timing, it is simply fair competition.

  5. Ume’s not a very sympathetic character as far as I’m concerned, but she’s a very smooth operator; the subtle way that she manipulated her friends into nominating her to the sports committee — and then complained to Kazehaya about her “bad luck” — is brilliant in a Machiavellian kind of way.

    I’ve been enjoying the heck out of this series… I haven’t been this enthused about a shoujo anime since Ouran.

  6. Too bad I read the manga. Kazehaya is the kinda guy that can read a person’s heart – yeah they do exist & if they don’t act like him, then they’ll just end up being evil as hell. Kaze knows this so he won’t let that dark side take him over. The only problem is that since he basically knows all this shit is happening, is hard as hell for him to just let it happen.

    But the question comes around of how can you only like someone who doesn’t seem to have a dark side. Yeah Kaze is cheery & selfish…but its way better than a dark emo that can read you & brush you off in a second. Poor Kurumi, she never stood a chance.

  7. pues me gustó mucho en el momento que Sawako está tratando de decir su nombre a sus amigos, como que los japoneses no se pueden fratenizar a la primera vez en cambio en latinoamerica a la primera ya nos empezamos a llamar por nuestros nombres y a veces por apodos XD

    buen capitulo y espero que ya empieze el drama para derramar lágrimas XD

  8. naixil:
    Lately, I’ve been somewhat biased against Aya’s characters, so I’m actually giving Ume the benefit of the doubt despite that. I honestly don’t want to see her turn out to be a complete bitch, even though there are signs of things going that way.

  9. It almost makes me wish that I hadn’t read the manga. It would be so nice to throw suspicions in the air about Kurumi. And Kataomoi in piano is epic. Excellent scene, excellent BGM. I get surrounded by sweet-loving ants every time I watch this show.

  10. Like Thrashy said, she’s one smooth operator. I haven’t read the manga, but this episode did show her manipulative side. Using her friends to nominate herself (because she’s a ‘nice’ girl after all), and then acting like it’s a coincidence (ok… this isn’t unreasonable), I find it hard to believe that she was truly humble in that scene like you suggested.

    Anyway, Kata omoi in piano is good. It fitted the scene, and I was kind of disappointed that they didn’t carry the piano version over to the ED.

  11. I know this is an anime/manga and its part of the storyline but Sawako is clearly a very pretty girl (especially when she smiles). If this was real life she would still have people hitting on her left and right even if she appeared to be weird.

  12. Ahhh xD This is probably the most innocent show in the past 20 years!!

    I watch every episode without pausing!! xD (I usually pause whenever things start getting stale)

    ASDF and I’d never have picked this up if Divine hadn’t blogged it : D ty

    btw, I’ve never thought of you as a lazy-slob kind of person xDD I actually thought you were a girl some time ago…


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