Another con of Shiraishi’s lack of presence is that his P.E. partner will lose track of him when he’s running unless he announces when he’s finishing. On the other hand, Kubo always has eyes on him, even when he doesn’t know it. When she approaches him after his run he’s self-conscious about his sweat and smell, but Kubo doesn’t mind. She even lends him her scented wipes specifically so their smells will match. Marking your man, if you will!
Kubo doesn’t wait for Shiraishi to propose a time and place to hang out. When she spots him trying (and failing) to open the automatic door to the bookstore, she can’t help but assist. He’s there to buy the latest volume of a manga she wants to start reading (probably solely because he’s reading it) but the store doesn’t have Volume 1 in stock. Perfect excuse for her to stop by Shiraishi’s house so she can borrow it from him!
Kubo also learns that Shiraishi lives a five minute walk from her house, and also leaves earlier than her, so the next morning she gets up early so they can walk together. Her sister Akina sees her different hairstyle (and smells her hair mist) and knows exactly what’s going on. Kubo can deny it all she likes, she’s got a crush and wants him to notice her.
Kubo manages to intercept Shiraishi on his way to school, resulting in the very first time he’s walked to school with anyone, boy or girl. Kubo even suggests they sit at a park bench to chat for a bit since they have time. This ends up working against her, as her friends Tamao and Hazuki show up, and Shiraishi continues on alone; definitely not what Kubo wanted!
Shiraishi notes that his day is the same as always despite Kubo walking with him at least part of the way: no one notices or acknowledges him. Except her, of course. When he gets hit by mud from a passing car, she sees it, and when he realizes he forgot his key, she offers the use of her shower and a change of clothes. He briefly spots a hamper with her unmentionables, but otherwise it’s a pleasant house visit.
When she’s sitting outside the bathroom, Kubo has a noticeably forlorn look; an expression she also wears after Shiraishi has gone home. Suffice it to say, she’s down bad, and there is no such thing as spending too much time with her invisible-to-everyone-else crush. These scenes that are just Kubo alone with her thoughts might just be my favorite.
In what is hopefully a sign he may finally be catching on (though I won’t hold my breath), Shiraishi blushes profusely while walking from Kubo’s house where he had a shower, used her shampoo, and is wearing her tracksuit. Ain’t young love grand…