A relative quiet episode, but you can see where it builds up to. Shinichiro and Noe are now properly dating, and Hiromi and Noe’s brother also get a bit closer together this episode. Both Shinichiro and Hiromi hide with their partner, to forget about each other, but it’s apparent that this can’t go on forever.
Still, it’s been eight episodes, and I’m still not sure what Aiko is doing in this series. What can she offer, besides the role of a red herring that keeps popping up once in a while? Right now, if both she and Miyokichi were left out of this series, it wouldn’t have made any difference at all to how the rest of the main cast would have developed, and I’m missing a bit of interaction of Aiko with Noe and Hiromi. It would be interesting if in any of the following episodes, she actually met one or both of them.
In any case, this episode served its purpose well. The creators did a really good job to show how much Noe likes Shinichiro, and I liked how Shinichiro finally became happy again by hanging out with Noe, after all his worries of the past few episodes. What I’m hoping for the final episodes is that each of the three couples will get closer together, while sorting out their own feelings. I’m not really sure whether it’ll be good for this series to become some kind of love-variant of musical chairs.