When Fumi reports that there’s a boy she likes, Mitsumi does a milk spit take. She then asks Fumi how she knows it’s love. Fumi gives all the usual answers: you find ways to be closer to him, but also worried about saying the right thing, to the point that sometimes you have to run away. Mitsumi feels left behind, and wonders if she’d recognize love if she experienced it.
That day, Sousuke is out sick. Mitsumi believes the timing is terrible, as the syllabus for the final exams will be distributed today. But when she texts him he tells her not to worry; he simply overslept. One of his friends from middle school says he’d often quietly skip when it didn’t bother anyone. Other girls in the class bring up all sorts of rumors about his playboy past.
Those rumors are churning through Mitsumi’s head that night, and she dreams of Sousuke arriving at school in a purple suit and bozozuku bike to ask her to hand in his notice of dropping out. The next day he’s not there for roll call, and Mitsumi seems genuinely low until he hears him come in late.
When they’re put to work stapling printouts after class, things are a little awkward. Sousuke asks if Mitsumi is mad at her. She’s not, but she’s concerned about him skipping school after hearing the things she heard. That gets Sousuke miffed, as he surely detests such rumors.
As such, when she says stuff like studying for final exams is important, he fires back “maybe for you,” which oddly echoes something she said to him when they first met. Mitsumi runs off blushing.
That night she finds it hard to study, as she ponders whether Sousuke held a grudge from way back on that first day. Sousuke stops by an actor friend’s house to ponder if he was holding a grudge, and asks his friend for advice. His friend is shocked, as this is the first time he’s sounded so serious about a girl before.
The next day, Mika instantly assesses Mitsumi’s situation: that she and Sousuke are having their first little tiff. That said, she doesn’t help her too much. Mitsumia and Sousuke are class officers together, she has ample opportunities to figure out the best way to make up. But she does tell Mitsumi if “she said what she wanted” at the time, there’s no reason to go back on it.
Mitsumi thinks on that, and determines that she didn’t say what she wanted to say. So after class she takes Sousuke aside. He tries to cut off a lengthy discussion by apologizing for coming off as harsh, which wasn’t his intention. She in turn, apologizes for getting on his case. She also explains the reason she did: the bottom line is that school is more fun when he’s around.
As she walks off, Sousuke moves without thinking and grabs hold of her wrist. And then he opens up about what’s going on at his home (it’s very “uninvolved” at the moment) and that he hated the idea of her believing stupid rumors about him. He tells her to ignore them, and she says she will, blushing as she does.
The palette of the scene brightens considerably as the clouds outside part and the mood improves, with Sousuke laughing about how he hasn’t “made up with someone so dramatically since grade school.” But that’s precisely the kind of pure earnestness you get when you’re friends with Mitsumi!
Mitsumi rebuts that it’s okay to do stuff like this “now and then”, and starts feeling things that seems similar to the things Fumi was describing about realizing she liked someone. When Sousuke gives her a sheepish smile and tells her she’s the first time he’s been “real friends” with a girl, her face gets even redder and she has to withdraw.
As she runs home at top speed, Mitsumi calls Fumi to declare that she believes you can feel “that way” about a friend too. But I’m not entirely convinced, and nor do I think Fumi will be, either.
If this is the episode where Mitsumi finally realizes she might like Sousuke as more than a friend, then it’s also the episode where she first denies it, in favor of maintaining their easy, breezy status quo.
However things turn out—and if they were to go in a romantic direction, I don’t necessarily see Sousuke being opposed—there’s one constant with these two: they are immensely fun to watch!