On the train to school, Mitsumi tells Nao-chan about self-intros, which explains her sleepless eyes. Nao-chan squishes her niece’s face and tells her to smile. She get the attention of other passengers, who notice her height, wrist and Adam’s apple.
Mitsumi’s aunt is a trans woman, but it’s clear that doesn’t matter in the slightest to Mitsumi. You get the feeling Nao-chan can feel the eyes of others—probably nothing new—but Mitsumi takes her hand and re-centers her attention where it belongs: on her adorable niece.
Mitsumi’s self-intro goes well until she tries to tell a joke about being a natural born leader, the reaction to which is colder than Wisconsin in February. Sousuke has her back, saying in his intro that he’d like to work for her one day, which gets the laughs she was going for. When the two are picked to be the class reps, the girls see the instant easy chemistry they have and wonder whether they might’ve made a huge mistake.
Among them is Egashira Mika, whom we saw only became friends with Mitsumi when she learned she and Sousuke were close. She takes Mitsumi aside and tells her not to take everything Sousuke tells her at face value. She explains that due to his looks he’s nice to everyone so it doesn’t cause any trouble. Mitsumi thanks Mika for the “advice” but wishes she never heard it, because it has her suddenly questioning what everyone is saying.
Mitsumi’s country upbringing can’t prepare her for the sheer chaos and din of after-school karaoke, but when she heads to the bathroom, she’s stopped by the cool beauty Murashige Yuzuki, who tells her Mika is using her to get to Shima, and if she wants to bounce, she’ll accompany her. When Mitsumi peeks into the booth, she sees Mika chatting and laughing with Sousuke.
This is all a lot more complicated and confusing than Mitsumi had hoped, and she hesitates going back in when she gets a call from her best friend Fumi, who may as well be a serene Buddha on that grassy beach. Despite Mitsumi saying otherwise, Fumi can tell Mitsumi is down, simply because they’ve known each other so long. She urges Mitsumi not to overthink things. After all, in Kindergarten Fumi thought Mitsumi was scary, but in time realized she was actually sweet.
Mitsumi gets back in the booth, heartily sings a childhood song everyone knows and is charmed by, and basically stops overanalyzing everyone. Before everyone splits, Yuzuki exchanges her contact info with Mitsumi, while Mika keeps chatting with Sousuke, not-so-subtly asking if he has a girlfriend. Sousuke shuts her down rather bluntly before joining Mitsumi on her walk home.
Mitsumi accidentally called him “Sou-chan” since he’s similar in name and appearance to her family dog. But the next morning Sousuke runs with it, calling her Mitsumi-chan where everyone can hear. Mitsumi is courted by all of the brainy clubs, culminating in the second-year president of the drama club personally inviting her to watch a play and giving her roses in hopes that she’ll join.
Mitsumi remains undecided about clubs all day, and asks Sousuke how he usually makes such choices. Looking a bit distant and distracted ever since the drama club prez showed up, he tells her that he tries to consider that anything he’s undecided on was “never that important”.
For what it’s worth, he’s very much not undecided on wanting to be friends with Mitsumi, but when the drama club prez flags him down and tells him he recognizes him as “Kanade-kun” from television, Sousuke is even more blunt with him as he was with Mika: he does not want to talk about it.
Mitsumi accepts that she can’t tell what anyone is thinking (only Fumi can), but she’ll try harder to understand her complicated new friends little by little. She is also perceptive enough to know that while Sousuke is so bright and cheerful and kind to everyone, he also seems to be masking a sadness.
That night, Mitsumi tells Nao-chan that she’s decided to join the student council. In addition to helping prepare her for a future as a government official and leader, it will allow her the opportunity to interact with a wide variety of her peers, which helps her overall mission to understand others better. Going from a class of eight to a school of hundreds is a hell of a change, but Mitsumi is determined to handle it in stride.