I must say that this episode was pretty amusing. Okay, we now know that the third girl likes Shinichiro as well, but that was of course to be expected. Noe’s antics proved to be quite interesting for this series to work with. We also learn that Noe has a brother (whom Shinichiro mistakes for her boyfriend), and she also forces the guy to give her a piggy-back ride by faking an injury. I especially liked how everyone reacted when the two entered the gymnastics-room in that way.
It seems that in terms of romance, Shinichiro and Hiromi both like each other, though Hiromi doesn’t want to admit it. At the end of this episode, we see Shinichiro overhear Hiromi say this, which leads to the cliff-hanger. I can see where Noe fits into the picture, but I’m not sure what Aiko can add to the scene. It would be interesting for her to go after Miyokichi in the later episodes, though. I really must praise the guy. Most “best friends” in similar series make me want to punch their eyes out, though Miyokichi has been really enjoyable up till now.
We also see a small flashback. It turns out that Hiromi has been living with Shinichiro’s family for quite a few years now, and it seems that she once got lost during a festival, and got helped by the younger Shinichiro. We indeed seem to be dealing with yet another childhood crush, though this one is so much better than the standard protagonist who meets a bunch of random girls in his past, and these girls end up still loving the guy even ten years afterwards.