Otherwise known as the fall of Aoi and the rise of the Shuichi love triangle!
…What do you mean “who?” Shuichi is the boy that Kumiko hangs out with after school all the time to act cold towards! God, how can you forget?…Ok, so maybe he hasn’t done too much at this point. That’s ok – he plays in the band. Take my word for it!
Here, we witness Aoi doing the “high school duty” – prioritizing her studies over the extra curricular. Not an easy choice to make but ultimately one that many young people need to come to grasp with, often very early in their life. It seems that it goes deeper than a matter of prioritizing what is right – Aoi is motivated by guilt. She feels that because she was unable to stop members from quitting in the previous year, she is unfit herself to go to nationals. It seems that none can convince her otherwise, and the band moves on solemnly without her.
It would seem that Haruka is losing focus – however, she soon gets a grip on reality and returns.
And now, we’ve got love troubles everyone! Hazuki loves Shuichi, and depite the fact that I was quite convinced that Kumiko didn’t feel anything for him, it appears I was quite wrong! She seems to blush at the thought of him. In the end, Kumiko ends up snubbing Shuichi’s advances and he goes to the festival with Hazuki, only to turn her down. Hazuki is convinced to set both Shuichi and Kumiko up, although she didn’t do so without crying her eyes out. Poor thing.
Meanwhile, for whatever-the-fuck-reason, Reina decides it’s a good idea for her and Kumiko to drag their instruments to the top of a goddamn mountain and play at the top. It would seem that Reina finds Kumiko’s true, horrible personality as attractive. She states she has no desire to fit in the crowd (Is that really much of a surprise? No shit). It seems as though they’ve missed the festival entirely, instead opting for some character building! Definitely much need – things are awkward enough between the two of them.