It’s now late November, and while Chizuru is looking forward to New Years, Ayane is in the middle of some problems with her boyfriend. She ends up breaking up with him, but that in turn leads to her getting slapped. In order to cheer Ayane up, Chizuru decides that they should have a sleepover. Chizuru herself meanwhile has been shopping for a birthday present for Ryuu, and she finds the perfect glove bag while out with Sawako. Given how Ryuu told her about his feelings towards Chizuru, Sawako decides to ask Chizuru if there’s anyone she likes. It turns out however that Chizuru sees Ryuu as only a sibling, and the person Chizuru actually likes is Ryuu’s older brother Tooru. What Chizuru doesn’t know, and what Ryuu finds hard to tell her, is that Tooru is coming back home the following week. When Ryuu tries to go over to her house to tell her directly, she panics because she thinks he’ll see his birthday present and kicks him out before he can say anything.
This was a pretty enjoyable episode, especially since I find Chizuru and Ryuu’s characters to be fun to watch, though it’s clear that the main romance/drama in the their apparent love-triangle relationship is still yet to come. Their face-to-face closeness in that final scene certainly seemed like a hint of that, and the fact that Ryuu wasn’t able to tell her about his brother’s return screams misunderstanding and drama. The birthday present will probably be important too. I actually thought, halfway through the episode, that there was going to be another misunderstanding in terms of who Sawako thought Chizuru liked, but that got cleared up surprisingly quickly. I do wonder though if Ayane being single again will mean anything in terms of her role this arc or if she’ll get her own story arc later. Either way, it looks like Ryuu’s brother will show up in next week’s episode, so things should start heating up again.