This episode focuses on the upcoming sports tournaments between classes. Right at the beginning of the episode, we see Mitsumi’s class getting fired up, and Mitsumi is incredulous. She even asks Sosuke something along the lines of, “Do people really get this fired up over events?” Her surprise makes a lot of sense, though, since she went to a middle school with so few students that events like this wouldn’t have been possible.
I found it somewhat amusing that Mitsumi signed up to be part of the class’ volleyball team, since the reason she ended up in the nurse’s office in the previous episode was due to getting hit in the face with a volleyball. Not surprisingly, though, Mitsumi isn’t athletic. She’s afraid of looking uncool during the event, so she asks Mika to help her practice. We can tell that Mika really doesn’t want to do it, but Sosuke is hanging around, so she uses this as a way to spend more time around him.
One day, though, Sosuke has to run an errand for a teacher and can’t be there. It’s supposed to be the first-years’ time to use the gym, but a couple of third-year boys are there. Mika has them go into another area of the gym to practice, but one of the boys bumps into Mika and makes her angry. Mitsumi, however, takes the initiative to go up to the boy who bumped into Mika and point out that it’s the first-years’ time for the gym. The third-year doesn’t listen, of course, but this makes Mika remember some events from her past, which help to explain why she tries so hard to follow the fashion magazines and trying to come across as a cool and popular girl. I appreciated finally getting this little hint about Mika’s past, because it helps the audience to realize Mika’s motivations and it helps to make her a little more relatable.
After this, Yuzuki and Makoto arrive in the gym, and Mika realizes that Yuzuki played volleyball in middle school. She wonders why Mitsumi didn’t ask her for help, and she even outright accuses Mitsumi of asking her to be mean to her. Mitsumi explains her reasoning, and admits that even though she finds Mika to be harsh towards her at times, she knows that Mika will be straightforward with her. Mika definitely wasn’t expecting this response, but it does seem like Mika starts to soften her attitude towards Mitsumi a little bit after hearing this from her.
The rest of the episode focuses on the actual tournaments. Most of the focus is on Mitsumi and the girls in her class in their volleyball tournament, although we do get some scenes of Sosuke and the boys from their class in their basketball tournament. For the girls’ tournament, the most important aspect comes near the end, when Mika encourages Mitsumi to keep trying even though they’re up against a tough opponent, and between the two of them, they score a point against that opponent.
During one of their breaks, the girls go to watch Sosuke and the boys playing basketball, and Mitsumi has brought along some pickled vegetables to share. However, she can tell that the crowd of girls watching are mainly there for Sosuke, and can read the room that it’s not a good idea to approach Sosuke after the match. But after a chance encounter with the drama club president and hearing something he says, Mitsumi is determined to try to approach Sosuke.
Right at the end of the episode, Mika watches Mitsumi and Sosuke interacting with each other, and she seems to be coming to an understanding that perhaps Sosuke sees something in Mitsumi that he needs. I think that even though Mika has come to this realization, she’ll still try to spend time around Sosuke in the hopes of maybe getting him to notice her. I could be wrong on that, though. No matter what happens on that front, though, this episode did a good job of making Mika a more likable character. I still may not like her as much as the other characters, but I finally understand her motivation. And seeing her starting to soften her attitude towards Mitsumi is also a good step forward for Mika’s character development.
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