Sawako’s training with Kazehaya has paid off, and she’s actually able to practice with the other girls for the athletic festival. She also runs into Kurumi afterward, and the two have a friendly conversation that culminates in Kurumi complimenting Sawako about looking like a doll. Sawako later sees Kurumi talking with Kazehaya in the hallway, and Sawako gets the idea to use Kurumi as a role model. In particular, she admires the quality of Kurumi’s hair and talks to Ayane and Chizuru about changing her own hairstyle. They object to the idea though and convince her to stay as she is, and Sawako realizes that she’s envious of how cute Kurumi is. The three girls decide to practice some more for the festival, and while waiting for Ayane and Chizuru to get a ball, Sawako sees Kazehaya being as popular as always. In the process, she overhears him refer to Kurumi by her given name, and this reminds her of how he wasn’t able to do the same towards her earlier that day while being teased by Ayane. This causes an unfamiliar feeling inside of her, and while she’s trying to deal with this, Kazehaya walks over to talk to her. He decides to try to call her by her given name again, but he’s interrupted by the arrival of Kurumi, so he stops himself. Sawako’s own concern over Kazehaya takes a backseat to her surprise when Kurumi calls the two of them friends.
I spent most of this episode hissing whenever Kurumi was on-screen. Despite her the portrayal of her this episode as very friendly, it’s pretty clear that she doesn’t like Kazehaya and Sawako together (that shot of her eyes from last episode is the most obvious clue of her true intentions), and so I’m basically pegging her as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It doesn’t help her case any when she interrupts such a critical moment between Kazehaya and Sawako, and I’m just waiting for her to backstab Sawako. On the other hand, these past few episodes have caused me to really appreciate Ayane and Chizuru’s characters. When the two main characters are sort of dense and slow at engaging each other, it’s great to see those two helping move things along. And plus they make for some very good comedic relief, like in the hilarious hair scene this episode. Maybe they’ll be the ones who will finally expose Kurumi too, though I imagine Kurumi’s act will go on for a while longer.