After getting irritated about Sawako crying with her, Kurumi questions her about her relationship with Kazehaya. Sawako isn’t so sure about Kazehaya’s feelings, but she’s happy to have someone to talk to about him. What frustrates Kurumi is how Kazehaya is convinced that she likes Pin, and Sawako thinks that Kurumi has to go clear up the misunderstanding, but Kurumi doesn’t think it’ll help. After she walks off, Kurumi remembers her middle school days, including how Kazehaya had realized that something had been troubling her and how she had cried in front of him. That’s how Kurumi came to know that he was different and that he saw her as only herself. She now runs into him on her way home, and since he’s still under the wrong impression that she likes Pin, she finally reveals that it’s him she actually likes. In light of this, he apologizes for the misunderstanding, but he also states clearly that he has someone else he likes. As a consolation, Kurumi asks him to say her real name for once, so he calls her Ume. This satisfies her and allows her to walk away from him after telling him that he has no eye for women, but it doesn’t stop her tears.
The next day, Kurumi arrives at school wearing sunglasses, and Pin correctly guesses that she cried her eyes out after being rejected, however he doesn’t realize that it wasn’t because of him. He does point out though that high school boys will think about a girl all day after getting confessed to. When Kurumi runs into Sawako again, she declares that she’ll hate any girl that Kazehaya likes, and instead of friends, she considers the two of them to be rivals. In the aftermath, Sawako’s class places poorly in the athletic festival, but they still get together for a party. By now Sawako has told Chizuru and Ayane about her feelings towards Kazehaya, so Ayane makes sure that, late in the party, Kazehaya finds Sawako sleeping by herself on the stairwell. He decides to use the chance to call her by her given name, and in her dream, Sawako remembers how he had addressed her back when they first got acquainted. Sawako realizes now that the moment he called her name, she had already fallen in love.
After both last episode and this, I think I’m finally getting to the point where I don’t hate Kurumi’s character. Part of that has to do with the fact that she’s completely lost the Kazehaya contest now, but the story has also done a good job of transforming her from an evil bitch to a sympathetic character, in particular with the middle-school flashback scene and confession scene this episode. It’s obviously much easier to like her when she’s being honest instead of manipulative. This episode also made me appreciate Kazehaya’s character a bit more thanks to how he reacted to Kurumi’s feelings, both past and present. I also loved the stairwell scene between him and Sawako at the end, and that incidentally had this great, possibly wallpaper/banner-worthy shot of Sawako sleeping. Anyway, there were a lot of strong scenes this episode, and once again I attribute a lot of the effectiveness to their wonderful use of the soundtrack, especially the piano pieces.
Unfortunately, it looks like next week’s episode is a recap episode of some sort. I’m of course going to watch (and blog) it anyway to see if there’s anything new shown, but odds are that there won’t be.