The episode opens with Mitsumi talking with Fumi, her best friend back home. Fumi tells Mitsumi that she’s fallen in love, and Mitsumi asks her how you know when you’re in love. As Fumi shares her observations, I had a feeling that what Mitusmi hears in this conversation would be referenced later in the episode.

It’s now the rainy season in Tokyo, and it’s almost time for finals. Mitsumi, of course, is obsessed over doing well and staying in the single digits for her ranking. Sosuke has called out sick, and Mitsumi texts him about the upcoming tests. He responds pretty quickly, and Mitsumi thinks he can’t be very sick. He admits that he overslept and decided not to come to school that day, which bothers Mitsumi. She then overhears some girls asking Sosuke’s friend from middle school about rumors they heard about Sosuke and what he was like back then. His friend refuses to answer, but as we see, Mitsumi takes what she hears seriously and has a nightmare about Sosuke dropping out of school.

The next day, Sosuke arrives late, and Mitsumi isn’t talking to him. However, since they’re class reps, they’re forced to work together on a job that the teacher needs them to do. Their conversation ends up being very awkward, and Mitsumi slips about the rumors she’s heard about him. She also gets on Sosuke’s case about taking the upcoming tests more seriously, and he ends up giving her a curt response. When they finish their task, Mitsumi beats a hasty retreat out of the classroom.

Most of the rest of the episode focuses on the awkwardness between these two characters and how they’re analyzing the conversation and the other character’s reaction to it. What happened bothers Mitsumi, to the point that she’s unable to focus on her studies. Sosuke feels bad about what happened, and he goes to see an old friend of his. He opens up about the situation to his friend, but when the friend suggests talking things out with Mitsumi, Sosuke says he’s not the type to have “clearing the air” conversations because he doesn’t find them to be useful. After Sosuke leaves, though, the friend comments to himself that this is the first time Sosuke has opened up about a relationship he has with someone else. That one comment tells the audience that being around Mitsumi has already had some kind of an effect of Sosuke.

At school, Mika picks up on the tension between Mitsumi and Sosuke and asks her about it. She tries to claim nothing’s wrong, but then Mitsumi couches a question as if she’s asking about something that happened to a friend. Mika sees right through it, of course, but she still humors Mitsumi. By the end of the conversation, Mika leaves her with a question to ponder: Did she say what she really meant? After thinking about it, Mitsumi realizes that she didn’t, and she runs up to Sosuke and asks if they can talk.

In the end, they do have a “clearing the air” conversation, but it’s one that Sosuke tries to rush through at first. But Mitsumi also explains her side of the situation, and ends with a comment that matches something that Fumi said to her at the beginning of the episode. This causes Sosuke to open up and admit that he usually doesn’t care if people believe the rumors being spread about him, but he doesn’t want Mitsumi to believe them. He then starts laughing, and admits that he hasn’t had this kind of a serious and dramatic conversation with someone since elementary school. Sosuke also tells her that he feels this is the first time that he’s really been friends with a girl. At that moment, as she remembers something else Fumi said at the beginning of the episode, it starts hitting Mitsumi that maybe she’s falling in love with Sosuke. She refuses to admit that to herself, though, as we see at the end when she frantically calls Fumi.

From what I can tell, it appears that Skip and Loafer is going to have 12 episodes. If that’s accurate, then this would be the halfway point of the series… which is an appropriate time for Mitsumi and Sosuke to go through this awkward phase in their friendship and the drama that surrounds it. This also seems to be the right time for Mitsumi to start realizing that maybe she’s in love with Sosuke, even if she refuses to believe it. I’m guessing over the next few episodes that Mitsumi will come to accept how she feels, and then trying to figure out how to navigate those feelings around her desire for academic success. I also suspect that we’ll see Mitsumi trying to figure out how to act around Sosuke when she admits her feelings to herself, especially with his comment in this episode about how she’s the first girl that he’s really been friends with. Knowing that, will Mitsumi want to avoid trying to rock the boat? There are so many possible ways that the story could progress from here, and I’m curious to see what direction it ultimately goes in.

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