Mugi and Hanabi prepare for their entrance exams. They decide to tell their teachers about their feelings for them after they finish their homework.
Atsyua, Sanae's socially incapable first cousin, is introduced in this episode. She is aware of his attraction to her, but she has no interest, and he essentially takes on his own form of scum, though – I found it a bit odd because marriage between cousins was more commonplace in earlier Japanese times. I don't have a good feeling for where the needle is right now, especially among younger people.
I am guessing that he is being introduced to provide an additional partner for Hanabi in future episodes, but the writer's plans for him may actually be to partner with Sanae, even though she's not interested in men. Sanae reveals that she considers herself a man hater as well, but Atsuya tells her it's not true [paraphrased] on an individual level since she tolerates him.
Mugi meets with his teacher to talk, but that leads to tea, and they end up in a hotel. If you've been following the series, it's easy to predict what will happen with both main characters as they are fairly consistent in their behavior. The teacher, Akane, being the scum that she is, entertains Mugi's advances. We can assume it's for the sole purpose of infuriating Hanabi since the teacher is aware of Mugi and Hanabi's relationship and has done it before. But Mugi calls Akane scum while leaning over her in the hotel bedroom. She asks why he's at the hotel with her and he says it's because he wants to change her and make her fall in love with him; he wants to be her first. Mugi reinforces his scum narrative by his continued search for loose women who are incapable of love and need fixing. If you've been following the series, you'll remember that his motivation stems from the emotional trampling of an older student who stole his adolescence from him before he was probably emotionally ready.
Hanabi's teacher, Narumi, later meets her outside at a park and comforts her when she reveals that she loves him. He is surprised, but as the only character with a decent moral compass, his predictability and boring neutrality come through and the scene ends flaccid.
At the end of the episode, Hanabi is heartbroken, knowing that Narumi will keep distance between them from then on. She is simultaneously optimistic, knowing that Mugi is with her, yet unaware that he is in the middle of having sex with his teacher.
Overall, the episode was not terribly interesting because of the predictability, but I was surprised that Mugi decided to pursue Akane for more than just a one night stand, even though it suits his MO. Akane will probably continue to use Mugi until Hanabi loses interest in him and pursues Atsuya, who Akane may also end up trying to steal, seeing Hanabi as a weak rival that is easy and enjoyable to defeat.
When Hanabi discovers what happens between Mugi and his teacher in future episodes, she is likely to take a few steps back into the psychological dysfunction that has resulted from the lack of a strong male figure during her childhood. These personal issues will ultimately prevent her from rising above her scum status and linger until the end of the series – if she manages to get over them at all.
Have you been watching this series? What do you think of the series? This episode?