The results of the serialization meeting are a mixed bag: thanks to Fukuda and Ashirogi’s help, Aoki’s manga gets serialized, but Ashirogi’s isn’t, and Takahama’s is cancelled. Katou rejects Nakai, and Aoki is hiring all-female assistants, so Nakai gives up and returns home, after apologizing to Aoki. Takahama goes behind Miura’s back and asks the chief for a new editor, but the chief reproaches him in front of Miura and Ashirogi. Impressed by Iwase’s story, Hattori meets up with Yuujirou, telling him she’s Takagi’s rival. Hattori wants Niizuma to do her artwork, which would make him the first Jack mangaka with two simultaneous serializations. Niizuma agrees to draw under a pen name for when the work is submitted.
As long as they’ve known each other, how in the heck has Takagi never even met Kaya’s parents? I guess her father isn’t around much. Well, it’s moot for now, as they can’t even ask permission to get married unless Ashirogi Muto gets serialized. If they fail, there will be no dreams for anyone. Yet another setback befalls them as their submission lacked the intensity of their NEXT one-piece. They complain about Miura once more, but witnessing Takahama get reamed out by the chief forces them to give Miura a break and focus on making their work better. As the chief says, complaining about one’s editor is just trying making excuses for one’s own shortcomings.
Speaking of talent, Nakai is throwing his away, after a hat trick of unfortunate events: Takahama’s manga being cancelled, Katou refusing to enter into a “special relationship” (despite the fact she still seems to like him), and Aoki refusing to let him come crawling back. As usual, his friends swoop in to try to mend fencs, but he leaves. At least the guy acknowledges he was a dick. Back to talent, Hattori and Yuujirou may have just built a dream team in Iwase and Niizuma. One can’t forget just how amazing a talent Niizuma is, and when he’s fired up by quality story, his rivals had better watch out. Mashiro and Takagi really need to dig deep, or Takagi may find the girl he scorned surpassing him.
As the red line draws nearer to the school, food and vaccine supplies are dwindling. Shu, now president, doesn’t want to use the void ranking system Yahiro devised, but he realizes he may not have a choice. Some low-ranked students including Souta get ahold of the ranking, and trick Shu into releasing their voids. Rather than practice, they head out to find more vaccines, but are intercepted by Antibody gunships and endlaves. Shu and Hare head out to help them, but both are seriously injured when Souta makes Hare try to fix a car, which Daryl Yan blows up. Hare heals Shu, at the cost of her own life. When he wakes up, she shatters in his arms. Consumed by fury, Shu uses Inori’s sword to destroy the Antibody attackers. After beating up Souta, he vows to purge his kindness and do what must be done.
This week the series didn’t hold anything back, putting Shu up against a wall. He has a clear choice between discriminating against the weaker students and surviving, or continuing to be kind to everyone and merely delaying the death of all, and the inevitable chaos when supplies run out. Taking over as class president was such a hopeful, optimistic moment, but this episode wasted no time bringing the reality of the situation to the forefront. Shu tried to stay on the fence, but in the end, his hand is forced by the tragic and surprising death of Hare, who was on the cusp of confessing her love to him when their last moment together was interrupted by the news Souta was going off to be a hero.
Hare has a powerful final episode, in which she’s nudged by Tsugami to confess, because there’s no telling what may happen tomorrow. She’s then her usual selfless self, doing all she can to heal the wounded in an extremely hazardous situation where she’s in the line of fire. Her final act of sacrifice to save her “kind king” is heartbreaking – there’s no words of goodbye- she’s dead before Shu wakes up. And when he does, cries of grief are stuck in his throat. Then, like a switch going off, the old kind Shu is gone. Kindness didn’t save Hare, and it won’t save his kingdom. The gloves are coming off. The dark side beckons…