Women have a knack for doing unexpected things or showing up at the most inopportune times. And for Tsubaki, it’s always the unexpected that throws him off. This week steps up the pace a little, and throws our fearless hero into situations where, once again, an opportunity to test his strength of character and resolve to get closer to Urabe. And how does he do?
Oka Ayuko. This girl is a complete opposite of Urabe. And for both Tsubaki and Urabe, is quickly turning into a relationship counselor in their relationship. Short and outspoken, she keeps putting thoughts into each of their heads, almost as if to stir the pot up. Our show opens with Oka running into Tsubaki while they’re both out and around in the city. Oka convinces Tsubaki to join her for some ice cream, and the two of them start talking. As the conversation progresses, she mentions Ueno by this first name. This catches Tsubaki off guard, and makes him wonder what it would be like for Urabe to call him by his first name. In that moment, Oka sneaks up and whispers his first name in his hear, startling him.
Later in the show, Oka makes her second move, as she starts talking with Urabe at lunch about running into Tsubaki. She mentions that they had a conversation about first names, and Tsubaki’s reaction. To gauge Urabe’s reaction, she sneaks her finger into her mouth for some drool, and begins blushing when tasting it. For Oka, that’s mission complete.
With the seeds planted in both their minds, Tsubaki and Urabe begin walking home. With the heat of the day getting to him, Tsubaki offers up resting in the park, and getting some cold drinks. When he returns, he finds her fast asleep on the bench. When a gentle nudge doesn’t wake her him, he gently whispers in her ear “Mikoto”, and she wakes up with a smile and a blush. But when given a second chance to use her first name, he chokes, and changes the subject. The look on Urabe’s face is almost that of disappointment, as if she want’s Tsubaki to show some backbone in their relationship. And maybe that’s what she’s wanted up to now, for him to stand up to her.
Aika Hayakawa. In middle school, they were in the same class, and was the crush of Tsubaki. As he waits for Urabe one afternoon, she runs into him waiting on the bridge. After a brief introduction, she asks him out for coffee. While he momentarily thinks about it, in the end, he turns her down. You can see by the expression on his face, that in a different time and place, he might have taken her up on that offer. As Aika leaves, he goes in search of Urabe, who he finds secretly hiding by the bridge. She had overheard everything. As they walk away, Tsubaki asks Urabe how she would have felt if he had gone with Aika. Urabe gathers up some drool, and sticks it into Tsubaki’s mouth. Instantly, tears of sadness begin to well up in his eyes. In a brief sign of emotion, we find that Urabe cares more for Tsubaki than she lets on, and that her disappointment if he had left her at the bridge would have been impacting. For the first time, we get to see some of Urabe’s true feelings for Tsubaki. She is so emotionless towards him, that we miss what her true feelings might be.
Urabe Mikoto. Girlfriend of Tsubaki Akira. Well, at least that’s how three people know it. But there really isn’t a record of their relationship; no letters, pictures, nothing. In a dream sequence, Tsubaki takes a cute picture of Urabe. Waking from his dream, he finds that his dream is a great idea. Consider he kept a picture of his last crush, what could you expect. The day after his dream, he asks her if he can take her picture, and she easily agrees. As he gets set up to take the picture, he asks if she could smile. Rejection! If she can’t keep a straight face, then she won’t take a picture.Tsubaki is left their holding the camera.
But a second chance is in the wind. After confirming for Urabe that he would not be leaving her for another girl, and that he does really like her, a blushing Urabe gives him one more chance. He gets his camera out to capture the moment, and she strikes a classic high school girl pose. Not completely satisfied that he got the post he wants, he keeps the picture regardless, to the happiness of Urabe. And again, we get a hint that what Urabe really wants is for Tsubaki to take the initiative.
And the story of the mysterious girlfriend rolls on.