Oh my, where to start.
Shin as usual, is constantly shoving his foot into his mouth. He does it with such regularity, that I'm left wondering if they based his character off of me. In all seriousness, Shin's character does some great things here. From the oblivious way he tells Miyokichi about Aiko, to his being upfront with Noe, and the confusion that she engenders in him. Basically, he's falling for her, but he doesn't want to give up on Hiromi, and that's causing inner conflict. Then we finally see him standing up for Hiromi, and telling his mother to lay off the poor girl.
Aiko also gets things off her chest, and begins to tell Miyokichi the truth about her feelings. Poor Miyokichi. Of course the camera panned away before we could find out what happened, but it should definitely change the dynamic between the two best friends and the little shop girl.
Hiromi though, is still not being entirely truthful with anyone. Which Jun looks like he might be quite willing to take advantage of in order to make Noe happy. Then that's coupled with her big reveal of the conversation that she had in the snow with Shin's mom. Yet, I'm left wondering if she didn't say that for the sole purpose of hurting Shin. She had just recently been told by Jun that Noe and Shin were going on a date, and she didn't handle that well, and then couple that with her emotional response after the reveal. Let's just say that I'm left wondering about the truth, and I don't think we've heard the end of things here.
Miyokichi is still being kicked around emotionally, but here's to hoping that something good will come out of this for him.
Noe is still innocent, and all the better for it.
The episode starts off right where the other left off, with Aiko trying to keep Shin from opening the door. When Shin asks for a reason why, she doesn't reply, and he gets up and does so anyway. Miyokichi comes in with a bag of snacks, and notices the sweater in her hands. He asks if she wants to measure against him, and Aiko kind of explodes, and kicks both of them out of the shop. Shin and Miyokichi walk home together talking about what was bothering Aiko, and Shin tells him that they had went shopping together. Miyokichi puts 2 and 2 together and is somewhat shocked. Then it's back to Aiko's shop, and she notices the bag of treats that Miyokichi had brought. Opening it, she discovers that he had brought all of her favorite things. Of course that's the queue for a flashback sequence on how Shin introduces the two of them, and ultimately hooks them up together as a couple. At which point she utters what is probably the most true line in this anime.
Shin has just arrived home, and when he went into his room, he noticed that the photo album was missing. So he went downstairs and asked his mother about it, and she told him she had thrown it away. The next morning, Shin and Miyokichi are chatting about Aiko and then Hiromi, and Shin tells Miyokichi about the deal he had made with Jun--which makes Miyokichi utter the single most true question in this episode.
And since we mentioned Hiromi, it's now her turn to pop back up in the anime, with her at basketball practice. Jun comes in and goes right to her, and announces that he's there to see her and asks her to meet him at the park after school.
Once everyone is having lunch in their classrooms, all the girls are squealing over Hiromi's little adventure, and Shin gets up and leaves. As he's waiting on the stone benches, Noe appears with a bento for him. His stomach growls, so he doesn't have a clear excuse to blow her off, so he ends up eating it. Halfway through the lunch, he tells her that he wants her to leave him alone for a while, because she confuses him. She grabs his belt, and asks for how long. So he, being the creative genius that he is, leaves her the belt.
Hiromi meets up with Jun, and they have a short discussion, and a bit of character development for him. Mainly, there's something that he used to like, but is no longer allowed to like, he then gives her a ride home. Then we get a flashback from Hiromi, where she's remembering why she both loves and hates the snow. Apparently, Shin's mom told her something while she was outside admiring the snow.
Shin gets home, and Hiromi is there giving him the angry eyes. They chat about Jun, and Shin manages to shove his foot into his mouth. After Hiromi storms away, Shin's mom comes into the house, and tells Shin that Hiromi came home with a guy. Which makes Shin a tad upset.
Next we jump ahead to Hiromi looking sad as she preps for the date.
After that, we flip over to Noe staring at Shin's belt talking to a picture of her late grandmother. Jun comes down the stairs and tells her that he has a date. So, she jumps up and inspects him, before pronouncing him 'cool.' Jun then tells her who he's going on a date with.
After we're done with Jun for a bit, we go to Aiko and Miyokichi at the mall. He wants to buy her a sweater, because the one that she picked out with Shin looks to plain for her.
And by a bit, I meant less than a minute, as we're back to Jun and Hiromi at the movies. They chat for a bit before the previews start, and we learn that Jun's father and Grandmother have died, and that Jun's mom works, so they're at home together a lot. We also see that Jun pays way too much attention to his little sister.
Back to sweater boy, and he picks out something he thinks appropriate for Aiko; but right before he buys it, Aiko says to forget it and leaves the store. Miyokichi forces the issue, and lets her know that Shin picked out the sweater. She then confesses that the reason she bought the sweater was not because Shin picked it out for her, but rather because it was the one that Shin said he liked.
Jun drops Hiromi off, and tells her to basically tell Shin to get his butt in gear about going out with Noe. Hiromi is a bit surprised at that news, and Jun gets a sly smile thing going on. She rushes inside, and Shin is there. He asks her if anythings wrong, and she pushes past him peeved.
Cut to Hiromi using the computer, and she starts to daydream about Jun. When Shin's mom shows up. She basically comes straight out and tells Hiromi that she thinks she's "easy." Which Hiromi reacts to rather vehemently. We also get to see a second's worth of remorse in Shin's mom's eyes, before she because that hateful wench of the series again. This time it's right in front of Shin though, and he starts to chew his mom a new one for being so mean to Hiromi. Hiromi jumps up and tells him that he needs to butt out of things, and then rushes away.
Shin finds Hiromi standing in the courtyard, and asks her what conversation. To which she replies that he's her older brother. She goes back into the house, walking past the 'deer-in-the-headlights' version of Shin. Once she's inside her room, she breaks down into tears, and declares herself a 'terrible person.'
Then we get another of those soliloquies from his story book.
The final scene is Noe, wearing Shin's belt, cooking a meal, dancing, all the while singing her roach/shin song.