This is going to be a short one because I don’t have much to talk about in this episode, other than that this episode fleshed out Hina’s way of thinking even more, and made me appreciate her even more as a personality.
The episode starts off where the last left off, on Hina’s drawings. Rei, like Akari, finds the colorful drawings delicious. Hina lets out a sigh and laments that she has so many ideas for sweets that she’s going to sell in a future festival, but she has a mountainous pile of homework- which has built up since her class got behind because of the bullying incident. The conversation takes an awkward detour where Hina asks Rei when he decided that he wanted to be a pro-shogi player.
Rei starts off with a prelude of being in fourth grade and then the memory of his family’s funeral came up, that made him steer more towards more to the real reason- that he didn’t have anything to hold onto when tragedy befell him.
Anyway, Hina talks about wanting to help her Grandpa with the shop with her ideas, but she can’t do that because of entrance exams and homework. She also levels with the idea that maybe she just wants a distraction- which made me appreciate this angel of a personality even more. She is anxious about getting in a new environment, who may or may not bode well for her. With all of this laid out, Rei, considerately so, invites her and Momo to a flume noodles party (I don’t know what exactly it’s called).
When the Kawamotos arrive, they confuse Noguchi as the teacher, a joke that weirdly hasn’t been done before. Hayashida also gets introduced to the Kawamotos, and he gives some jabs to Rei after he sees how cute Hina is. But, on seeing Akari, he forgets all about Rei and Hina, and freezes. It’s love at first sight.
A light-hearted sequence follows where the science boys have a bit of a problem with calibrating the height of the bamboo shoot, and then Hayashida fails to get tempura. Among this, the Kawamotos see Rei having a fun time and Hina says, ‘I didn’t know there were fun high schools like this.’ And one can guess where the conversation goes from here. Hina wants to give entering Rei’s high school a try.
When Rei finds out that Hina will be trying to get into his school, he is ecstatic; so he comes by the next day with a serious study plan. Akari also joins in to help with Pampered Udon, which she got the idea from her mother. This is shown through a neat little flashback where Mikako cooks that udon for Akari during her entrance exam prep.
The episode ends with Hina confronting her Grandpa about her going to a private high school and him having to work even more to pay for her tuition. And he gives the best speech imaginable. He praises Hina that she has a sound mind on family finance, but he says that he wants Hina to enjoy her life more than anything else. And that brings Hina to tears- who wouldn’t cry when you hear a cool speech like that?
The viewers are reminded that it’s New Years in Sangatsu’s world.