During their morning meeting, Rintaro announces an upcoming contest between salons, and that he'll be representing theirs. Sakura watches nervously as the magazine starts to slip. She runs across the room just in time to catch it, but Rintaro's not very happy to have her interrupt his announcement. So, he tells everyone that she finally got herself a boyfriend. While everyone congratulates her, Rintaro calls her a half-wit and warns everyone not to follow her example.
After the meeting breaks up, Sakura confronts him, and he tells her to just do her job properly. "And don't come to the competition. You'll bring me bad luck." In the middle of their conversation, Hiroto texts and asks her to meet up after work. She giggles to herself and Rintaro tells her that she gives him the creeps.
Miki's MIL complains about her other daughter-in-law, and how awful it was to live with her, since she didn't like MIL telling her how to run her household and criticizing her endlessly. That's why she's decided to stay with Miki's family for a while in protest. Poor Miki can't get a word in edgewise to object.
The three friends attend a baking class together, and while Miki complains about MIL and her other in-laws, Sakura makes a heart-shaped bread. Because she's so in luuuurve, hahaha.
Rintaro eats at the bar with his favorite junior, and the conversation turns to endorphins and their relation to chocolate and sex (especially with women). Kohei sits at a nearby table and eavesdrops, eventually switching tables so he can hear better. Somehow this leads to a desire to do endorphine-enhancing exercises (to help with cognition), and Kohei gets caught chanting along. The guys invite him to join them.
Sakura delights in her heart-shaped bread so much that she starts making out with it, vowing that it's too cute to be eaten. Shima teases her and asks if they've had sex again. (Sakura and Hiroto. Just to clarify.) Sakura says that kissing is enough for her, and decides that they'll have a platonic relationship, full of kissing. Besides, she can't show a guy like him her body. It only happened before because she was drunk.
Shima says that she can't have children that way—at her age she'll barely be able to have children at all—and Sakura says that that's too much baggage for a 24-year old. Miki and Shima are shocked to hear his age.
Hiroto practices at the bike park, and Chiyoko meets him. They talk about an upcoming competition and then he tells her that Sakura will fall for him soon. He asks how far he should take things, since she's so old she'll probably start asking about marriage. If that happens, he'll have to tell Sakura the truth. Chiyoko warns him not to, and he asks when she's going to start making her own moves on Rintaro. If he's into Sakura, he won't wait long either.
Chiyoko snaps at Hiroto and tells him that he of all people knows why she can't just make a move like that. Oooh, is there something psychologically off with her? Iiiinteresting.
In bed, Chiyoko can't sleep and turns on her Slideshow of Creepiness, feat. Rintaro. She pretends to hug his picture projected on her wall. I'm shivering here. Sooo creepy.
Sakura inspects her (nonexistent) body fat and decides to do an exercise DVD, complaining like an old man the entire time. In the end, she ends up turning it off in favor of enjoying a beer.
Rintaro tries to strategize for the competition and decides he'll do a wavy perm. When Sakura expresses her doubts, he tells her that his rival (the guy in the magazine) will be there, too. He asks Sakura why she's only eating vegetables, and she insists she's not hungry. Just then her stomach starts growling really loudly, but she blames it on the massage chair.
Hiroto shows of his BMX skills in a random park and explains to Sakura that he's a pro biker. He gets off his bike and starts fanning himself with his shirt, exposing his abs. Sakura shyly looks away, but can't help but steal glances at him. She says she wants to see more, and although she's talking about his biking, it also seems like she's talking about his body. Hahaha!
He tries to kiss her, but she jumps back and runs away. He calls her back and asks if they can go wherever he wants on their next date. She agrees and he tells her that he wants to go to her place. He wants to eat a home-cooked meal and just spend time in her home. She's surprised, but happy. That is, until she really thinks about all the work she'll have to do.
Rintaro is awakened by thumping and yelling next door. He goes outside and sees all of Sakura's things on the landing. She tells him to come in and makes him help her rearrange. He chides her for being so messy, and then gets annoyed when he finds out that she's not moving, just cleaning for a "home date". In the middle of moving a dresser, he drops it and goes back to bed.
MIL purposely creates extra work for Miki. Miki sneaks a beer.
Shima teaches her class, but is distracted to see Kohei standing outside watching her. After class, a man whispers to her that's it's been a while and asks to meet up later. She looks at Kohei before agreeing. As the man leaves, Kohei sizes him up and then complains that he's clearly married. Shima tells him it's none of his business and asks why he came. He tells her it's because Miki wants him to lose weight and made him. He begs to get a drink with her so they can talk.
They go to a restaurant and she asks what he wants. He tries to get her to go somewhere else, but she says that won't happen. He finally tells her that he's convinced he has erectile dysfunction, but he doesn't want to see a doctor about it. Since she's already seen that side of him, could he talk things out with her. She agrees and then tells him to go home to his wife.
Sakura practices her recipe. Hiroto leaves Naked Girl earlier than usual. At work, Rintaro brags about being able to find the perfect model.
Sakura is in bed protesting that it's too soon. As the camera pans out, we see that she's practicing her excuses on a mannequin. Hahaha! She switches gears and moves in for a kiss. But then she's interrupted by her phone and remembers she needs to buy groceries.
At the store she grabs a bottle of wine at the same moment someone else does. It's Rintaro, and he's not giving it up. They bicker and try Rock Paper Scissors
At Sakura's really really clean place, Rintaro snoops in her (incredibly cluttered) closet. He watches her try to cut some fish with a mandolin, then starts another fight about not being able to cook. She tells him to leave, but when he grabs the bottle of wine, things get physical.
In the morning, Sakura wakes up on the floor and finds a note from Barkeep. She flops onto the pillow next to her and then realizes that it's actually Rintaro. More bickering, then he realizes he has to run for the competition. He tells her to come, but she reminds him that she has a date. She gets up to prepare, and decides that she'll surprise Hiroto at the bike park near the train station where he practices.
When Rintaro gets to the salon, he finds out that his model is sick and has cancelled. His assistants offer to find someone at the train station, but he promises that he'll find someone.
Sakura heads to the bike park, but stops when she notices Naked Girl, who isn't paying attention (but is clothed for once) and almost burns a child's face with her cigarette. She starts another confrontation, but Naked Girl just leaves.
When Sakura gets to the park, she sees Naked Girl run up to Hiroto and kiss him. Devastated, she hides behind a ramp and cries.
On her way home she notices Rintaro trying unsuccessfully to recruit a new model. She decides to help him, but nobody will do it. Rintaro decides to give up, but Sakura gives him the same lecture he gave her when she wanted to give up on dating Hiroto. (He told her that she'd never know the outcome if she didn't even try.) She has an idea to try Naked Girl.
Hiroto's angry that she stood him up, but grudgingly agrees to help her. He shows up at the venue with Naked Girl, who doesn't want to have anything to do with Sakura. Sakura pleads with her to help Rintaro, but she says that Sakura has to bow and apologize first. Sakura drops to her knees, to the astonishment of Hiroto, Rintaro, and Chiyoko, who's spying on them. She abases herself completely and apologizes.
As Rintaro leaves with Naked Girl, Hiroto crouches down and asks Sakura what's going on. She promises to tell him later, then jumps up and says that they need to leave, since she promised Rintaro she wouldn't stay and bring him bad luck. As Hiroto trails after her, Chiyoko mouths a question, but he just shrugs.
Miki folds laundry at home while wondering where her husband is. She overhears MIL comparing her and her sister-in-law—sister-in-law is a devil while Miki's an angel. But then MIL says "she's such a pushover. I can do anything, since she's so naive." She also mentions their shotgun wedding. Miki almost throws the laundry on the floor, but then realizes she'll just have to pick it up later.
Sakura and Hiroto head back to her place to eat. He ends up cooking for her and she struggles to bring up the topic that's occupying her thoughts.
Rintaro walks home with Chiyoko, admiring his 1st prize. He wants to invest it in more equipment for the salon. He chatters about things, and then starts talking on and on about how silly Sakura was to drop everything and help him, and how worried she was about the Ginza manager, who is actually Rintaro's greatest student, not his rival. Chiyoko asks him if there's someone he likes, and he sadly answers yes. "But she's at a place where she's beyond my reach."
Sakura admits that she was jealous, too, after seeing him kiss Naked Girl in the park. She tries to brush it off by saying that she was immature to run away, and it's her problem, etc. Hiroto is stunned, and a bit angry. As she continues to babble, he realizes he can still salvage the situation and tells her that he is in a relationship with Naked Girl, but it's not really a thing, since they mostly just keep each other company. He promises to talk with her and break things off. Will she wait until then?
She looks like she's about to cry, but then looks up at him and says yes. He asks why she wouldn't let him kiss her, and she tells him it's because their age difference. She's uncomfortable kissing him in public.
He asks if she likes him. She says yes. "Well then get over that, because I like you. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks." He leans in to kiss her, and she puckers up, but then he pulls away and says that he'll wait until things are cleared up with Naked Girl.
She acts disappointed, so he teases her and asks if they should just go for it. She replies that they can just wait, but when he moves away, she jumps at him and kisses his cheek. But she hurts herself in the process. Haha!
As Rintaro crosses the street, Chiyoko calls out to him and then runs up and kisses him. His eyes widen in surprise.
Sakura wonders why she was so over-eager, and decides she needs practice. She leans in to kiss the mirror, and then falls into it at the last second, hurting her lips again.
Well, this one is pretty long. But lots of things happened, and there were so many great moments, I couldn't help myself. Sakura is so hilarious with her attempts to practice skinship. I love that she's such a spazz! I also love that her confrontation this episode was with someone who actually has something to do with the story. I think it sets things up nicely for the inevitable confrontations she'll have with Naked Girl down the road.
I'm a little bothered that she's so trusting of Hiroto. It's not like he's given her any real reasons to trust him, but I guess that conflict can't be over already, since it's such a major part of the plot. I'll have to chalk up her naivete to the fact that she does really want to be in a relationship, and she does really like him, so she's more willing to overlook/forgive such things. Especially when he puts up the facade of honesty to throw her off.
All of this just makes me love Rintaro more and more. And that moment of honesty with Chiyoko? Awesome. Because now we know that he's aware of his feelings, but he waited too long. I think it shows his maturity, as well as the depth of his love for Sakura that he's so supportive of her in her relationship with Hiroto, because he thinks she can find happiness. Hopefully he'll soon find a reason to get back in the game, because he's just so adorable.
I'm especially annoyed with Kohei right now. I mean, apart from the fact that he's cheating on Miki. It really bothers me that he's trying to trick/force Shima into a relationship. I admire her for standing her ground, but I think she's foolish to be trying to help him. Honestly, if he really wanted help, he'd go to a doctor.
Speaking of seeing a doctor, Chiyoko seems a bit unhinged. Honestly, I hope she's truly psycho and not just mildly so. It's not that I want her to be criminally crazy, nor do I want this drama to go darker—I just think it would be an interesting angle for her character and can add more to the story. If done right. We seriously don't get enough crazy people in romcoms, imo.