Asuko March! Episode 2 Recap
So, like a lot of other dramas in the same vein, Asuko March! has Nao growing and learning and helping her classmates one by one. In the first episode she decided to give Asuko a chance and helped Tamaki out and even found his dad’s soldering iron that she accidentally threw out. In this episode she gets closer to the hot male host Aruto and learns about his situation. Of course, thanks to one jealous female student, things get a little crazy once more for Nao-chan.
We open this episode in the industrial class where Nao is working on heating and shaping metal. Instead of complaining about the hard work, now she complains about how the school is not designed with women in mind and we get to see all of the examples. Like how there is one women’s locker room located at the extreme end of the school and there are only 2 bathrooms girls can use. All of which require keys to get into. Oh, and of course the work clothes, tools, and equipment are for men to use so the clothes are too big and the tools and equipment too heavy.
Thus, Nao approaches Omukai about transferring to Yokohama Eirin High School. He asks how that school is different. Nao says that firstly it is a school for both boys and girls. Omukai smiles and says that this one is, too. Nao then iterates that it is a regular high school with a high rate of graduates accepted into college. Omukai says that since she has decided to go on to college, what does she want to do. Nao is stumped. She has no idea at the moment. Omukai looks down at the application and tells Nao that the transfer requirements will be tough, especially if the reason is unreasonable. Nao goes around to look at the transfer clause and says she has tons of good reasons for transferring. Such as being the only girl in a class full of boys. In class, they take off their shirts, wrestle, and some have taken secret pictures of her and did weird things with them. Omukai says he has no problem letting Nao transfer, but she needs to convince the principal and vice principal by doing well in her practical training courses.
So, what does Nao decide to do? She heads back to the classroom where she sees a row of boys shirtless (some even down to their underwear), lying by the window. Nao approaches Tamaki and asks for a moment of his time. Tamaki asks for what and then asks if it can’t wait until the sun goes behind the clouds and lies back down. Nao wonders at this, but does wait for him outside in a stairwell. Tamaki comes up and Nao asks what he and the other boys were doing. Tamaki replies that they were trying to tan and then asks what she wanted to talk about. Nao says she would like his advice on practical training. Tamaki asks what she means and Nao says
You know, girls absolutely don’t want to lose to you guys. So in order to perform better, please lend me your power… uh, something like that.
This surprises Tamaki and he asks if she hasn’t maybe understood the joys of industrial work. Nao immediately says this isn’t the case, but Tamaki is all pumped up now.
That’s great, Yoshino! You gotta have a special love for industrial work. Time to man up in practical training and sweat it out like the rest of us. […] Leave it to me, I ‘ll turn you into a top-notch industrial woman.
Needless to say that is not what Nao wants to hear at all. When Tamaki goes off she says how much she doesn’t really want to train.
We then get to see Nao carrying a plastic box full of various tools. She asks for help due to its heaviness, but Tamaki will have none of that. In order for Nao to survive Asuko for three years, she needs to learn how to depend on herself. Nao mumbles that she won’t be there for three years, which Tamaki doesn’t hear as he is so far ahead of her. He turns around and calls for her to hurry as she still has a lot more to carry. Groaning, Nao complains that Tamaki may not have been the wisest choice for help. At that time, Aruto comes and takes the toolbox and heavier box from her saying he will carry them. Nao happily thanks him, but Tamaki comes over complaining to not interfere as Tamaki is training Nao how to be tough for work. You can definitely tell these two boys will be butting heads often over Nao (and for the record I am on Team Tamaki vs. Team Aruto).
Aruto’s reply is priceless:
Didn’t they teach you in middle school that girls are delicate beings?
I have to say though that thinking girls are delicate and constantly need a guy’s help is a little archaic and annoying at times and at other times, it’s really sweet. And Tamaki’s reply is great:
For someone who hardly shows up in class, you’re just trying to act cool, aren’t you, huh?
Got to love Aruto’s reply back:
What does being kind have anything to do with one’s attendance record?
The last one stumps Tamaki. Nao just watches all this but then comes Takeuchi who asks her to please move since she is in his way. Nao apologizes and quickly moves. Then in comes Okano who announces that the class will be working in pairs on a new project. Tamaki tells Nao to follow him and when she goes after him, Aruto grabs onto her hand, stopping her. He tells her to team up with him. Then up comes Tamaki who grabs Nao’s other arm saying that Nao has already chosen him to guide her training and he goes to walk off, but Aruto stops them both and says that Nao should have a gentleman guiding her. Tamaki asks how Aruto plans on guiding her when he hardly ever comes to class. Then begins the tug of war over Nao. When the guys start to tease about fighting over a girl. Tamaki says that means nothing to him and drops Nao’s hand and walks away. Right. Aruto smiles at Nao and tells her not to worry.
At lunch time, Nao is in the clinic with Sugisaki who is all excited that two boys were fighting over Nao who adamantly states that wasn’t the case. Sugisaki says that Nao must not know, but women in industrial schools are basically popular. This surprises Nao and Sugisaki says that even a quiet girl gets at least 10 confessions within their first six months. Sugisaki then goes over to Nao and asks if she has received any confessions yet. Nao replies that she hasn’t which disappoints are lovely school doctor. Sugisaki then says there is someone else who is trying so hard to be popular with everyone. Nao wonders who this is and Sugisaki says that if Nao does start acting soon she will be left in the dust. Our naïve Nao wonders just what Sugisaki means.
We then cut to see Momo flirting with the boys in Nao’s class. Momo approaches tough guy Hirose and asks to touch his arm and coos over how he must work out. The other boys then tease him for his ears turning red. Hirose angrily gets up and says that they aren’t – that’s just how they normally look …right. Mirai then pulls up his shirt and asks Momo to check out his *cough* ripped abs (they aren’t). Momo ignores this and quickly goes over to another boy (Kishi, I think) and says that she loves his red hoodie. He asks if she likes red. Nao sees all this and thinks to herself that she can do what Momo does as well. I would have to say that I hate girls like Momo and you have to wonder why any of the guys would like a girl who flits for guy to guy.
That night at home, Nao practices different hairstyles and acting more like Momo. She is very awkward and says that is just silly. She decides that she doesn’t need to be popular at Asuko. Nao then jumps in shock as she notices her grandfather’s reflection. She scolds him for scaring her and he asks what happened about her desire to transfer. Nao can’t bring herself to say she still plans on transferring to a normal high school. Yoshino then asks if his granddaughter has a boy she likes now and that’s why she wants to stay. That completely shocks Nao and Yoshino explains its because of how she was looking at herself in the mirror. Yoshino says he understands because industrial men have the spirit of chivalry and are tough…and that is all that he can think of.
The next day at school when Nao comes in, half the boys in the class are wearing red hoodies. Hirose acts about it all, but when he puts up his feet, he is wearing red socks. There went Nao’s opinion of Hirose’s seriousness. Mirai then goes over to Watanabe and asks to borrow his red handkerchief, but Watanabe refuses to give it up. Seeing all this, Nao definitely doesn’t see the spirit of chivalry. Then in flounces Momo. The guys all rush over to greet Momo and still others flash their red shirts at her. Momo greets them but immediately rushes over to the sleeping Aruto, shocking them all. She asks to talk to him later and he agrees and then Momo rushes out, leaving the boys angry at him for having Momo single him out. It’s not the guys fault. Nao just watches in quasi disgust.
Later that day when Nao goes to change for practical courses, she hears a scream and then Momo runs out of the room with her shirt ripped open. The boys all notice this and Nao quickly moves to shield Momo from their gazes. More boys come out wondering what happened. Nao asks Momo and Momo replies that she was suddenly attacked. Then Aruto exits the changing room. This does not look good for him at all. This surprises Nao and enrages all the other boys. Poor Aruto gives an awkward smile to the angry and staring faces. Not good at all.
Later during class while Aruto tries to get some more shuteye, the boys surround him and asks what he did to Momo who supposedly called him out to borrow a CD and then was “brutally” attacked. Mirai then shouts out why Aruto needs Momo, isn’t Yoshino enough. The shocked Nao shakes her head – she isn’t seeing Aruto. Mirai then goes on to say that there is only two girls in the freshman class, how can Aruto greedily have both of them. Tamaki looks over and is surprised to see Hirose crying. Hirose goes over to Aruto and demands he explain what happens. Aruto looks up at him and asks who Momo is to Hirose who replies that Momo is his friend. Aruto stands up and says that he doesn’t have to report all of Hirose’s friends doings does he? Hirose then punches Aruto (he seriously didn’t help the situation with his nonchalant attitude). This shocks Nao. Aruto doesn’t fight back and just quietly leaves the room.
At the host club, the girls are wondering what happened to Aruto’s face and his club…mentor?…or at least like the number one host, says that Aruto is unprofessional as a host’s face is his life. The girls say enough lecturing and asks Aruto what he likes to drink and Aruto replies oolong cha. The other host complains about Aruto always says he doesn’t drink this or that. Aruto apologizes, stating he is just 19 (under the legal age for alcohol). The host grabs his shoulder and tells him that in a host club, that doesn’t matter. The creepy girl from the first episode says she likes oolong tea as well and Aruto goes about making her a glass. When Aruto goes home, his apartment is in a mess and his mother is staring listlessly. He asks what happens and his mom pours out her soup saying it’s like sand, It’s course and awful, but doesn’t taste like sand. Looks like he has a pretty tough life with a slightly not all there mother.
The next day at school Aruto is absent and Nao is being teased about her boyfriend not being there. Nao replies firmly that Aruto is not her boyfriend which garners the question did she break up with Aruto for what happened. Tamaki then saunters over and says that Nao probably wishes that she had teamed up with him. Nao then says that she would have been worked to death and then sets down her armful of pipes just to have them all fall on the floor, almost slamming down on other students’ feet. Yep, Ms. Klutz strikes again. She apologizes and quickly tries to gather the pipes back up.
Later in the library, Nao is working on studying for the transfer when Takeuchi walks in. Nao tries to quickly hid what she is doing, but Takeuchi asks if she is planning on transferring out then. Nao says that she is and asks Takeuchi not to tell. He says he won’t as he doesn’t talk to anyone either. He sits down and begins studying and Nao asks if he plans on transferring as well. Takeuchi replies no and not to put them in the same category, but he hopes she gets transferred. Nao smiles and thanks him only to have him say
I mean it’s better if there’s one less annoying person in that noisy class.
Ah, just when you think Takeuchi might not be all that bad. Oh, well.
We then cut to a hospital where a nurse sits with the jumpy Sachiko (Aruto’s mother) while he talks to the doctor. Aruto says that his mother is talking about nonsensical stuff and that this has happened several times already. The doctor replies that since Sachiko started treatment a year ago, the symptoms seemed to have worsened She can’t work, but there is no need to hospitalize her as of yet. The doctor then turns to Aruto telling him that even so, Aruto should be prepared in terms of payment for when that time arrives. Aruto says he will somehow manage. I am not sure exactly what is wrong with Aruto’s mother, but the doctor has brains scans. So I am thinking she might have some type of brain tumor or something in that vein. Poor boy has a lot on his plate.
Back at school, Omukai hands out envelopes for students – they need to pay 5,000¥. They ask what happens if they don’t pay it and Omukai says they will get a pep talk from him and then that means they can’t go on the field trip. Takeuchi holds up his envelope and says he has no plans of going anyway, so does he still need to pay. Omukai says it makes him sad if Takeuchi says such things. Watanabe then hands Nao Aruto’s envelope. She asks why he gave it to her and Watanabe says isn’t Nao seeing Aruto? Omukai hears this and asks if the two are an item. Nao replies that they are not and Mirai asks why since she and Aruto seem to be hitting it off pretty well. Poor Nao. She then says she doesn’t even know where Aruto lives. Omukai says leave it to him – he’ll give her the address later and she can go visit Aruto. Wow. This earns some hoots and laughing from the other boys.
Meanwhile, the absent Aruto is washing dishes and watching over his sleeping mother. She mutters and apology to Aruto in her sleep and he looks over and smiles at her. We then see Nao heading towards his house, wondering why she has to deliver the envelope. She sees him sitting on a dock and calls out to him. He doesn’t reply. He is sitting and working on a silver piece while listening to a CD. Nao notices him listening to music and goes to approach him, but decides not to disturb him. She gets out her homework and starts studying, but then she looks over and seems to get inspired by his happy and intense concentration on his work and begins sketching his picture in her textbook.
Nao is startled when Aruto suddenly approaches and asks what she is doing. She quickly closes her book and puts it in her bag. Aruto again asks what she is doing and if she waited that entire time. Nao says that she didn’t and then that she had called out to him, but he didn’t hear her. She then asks if he was listening to music. Aruto says yes, Jimmy Cliff. Nao is surprised that it is a foreign artist and Aruto replies that he doesn’t listen to much Japanese music. He then asks why Nao is there. Nao takes out the envelope and says she brought him that. He thanks her and leans across the opposite rail. Nao then brings up about what happened with Momo. She asks if it is true. Aruto says it doesn’t matter as he is quitting school anyways. Nao asks why and Aruto, being cutesy, says in a kind of girlish way that the scary yankees have threatened to beat him up. Aruto thanks her for the envelope one more time, but says there is no reason to pay it anymore.
The next day in school, Nao seems out of it. She stares straight ahead listlessly and then looks over at Aruto’s empty desk. When she goes to change for practical skills she goes to unlock the door and a light bulb goes off. At this time Momo comes up and asks if Nao is going in or not. Nao turns to look at her and asks about what happened with Aruto. The two go into the locker room and Momo then warns Nao away from Aruto because he will use an excuse like borrowing a CD to take advantage of you. Nao then asks what CD it was. Momo replies that it was of course the Spitz (Japanese alternative rock band). Nao shuts her locker and looks over at Momo telling her that Aruto doesn’t really listen to to Japanese music. Did Aruto really attack Momo? Momo gets defensive saying that she is the victim. Did Yokoyama-kun brainwash Nao? Or is it that Nao is in love with him? Momo goes to leave, but Nao grabs her arm and tells her to wait. She then asks if Momo can tell her the truth. Momo then recalls a time in middles school where she was bullied and called a liar by her classmates. Momo freaks out and says that it is happening again and yells at Nao to stop calling her a liar before running out of the locker room, shocking Nao. During practical training, Momo quietly slips into Nao’s classroom where she takes Nao’s bag and goes through it. She quickly finds the transfer application for Eirin and smiles. We all know what she is plotting.
During practical training, Nao is trying to use a saw to cut the pipes, but is having difficulty (looks like this is mainly because she is scare of the machine). Tamaki notices this and comes over to help. Nao thanks him and he says its better if he acts more like a gentleman isn’t it. This definitely makes him better than Yokoyama who hardly ever shows up. Nao says she guesses he’s right. Tamaki then calls over the other guys to help Nao cut the pipe. This makes Nao happy to see them helping her, but it looks like that annoys Takeuchi who is silently watching like always.
Aruto is surprised to come home and find Nao waiting for him. He asks why she is there again and Nao and he go for a walk. She tells him that only women can borrow the key to the locker room. Meaning if Momo didn’t open the door, then Aruto couldn’t have gone in. We then see what really happened. Momo leans in for a kiss and is rejected by Aruto who says he has no feelings for Momo who tells him that is okay. He apologizes and then they both hear the key at the lock. Momo then ripped her own shirt and ran out screaming. Nao asks why Aruto didn’t say anything earlier. Aruto replies that if he denied it then Momo-chan would be branded as a liar, something she is really sensitive about. Maybe she shouldn’t lie then. Nao then tells him to properly explain so he can go back to school in peace. Aruto says it is okay as there is lots of other schools. Nao then reminds him of his words to her earlier and telling him that was the reason she stayed.
Before Aruto can say anything, his mom comes wondering out, surprising them both. Sachiko asks why Aruto locked her up. Aruto wonders how is mother got out of the locked room. He then quickly tells Nao that she needs to go, bringing his mother’s attention to Nao-chan. Sachiko asks who Nao is and Nao introduces herself as Aruto’s classmate. At first Sachiko happily and normally greets Nao. Sachiko tells Aruto that Nao is pretty and asks if they are going out. Aruto replies that Nao is just a classmate and goes to take her back to their apartment. Sachiko asks why they are going back and Aruto replies that his mother needs lots of rest. Sachiko says she’s been resting all day. She then says she is disturbing him and Nao and he is hating her right now. Aruto says that isn’t true, but Sachiko starts going a little crazy and goes for Nao. Aruto holds her back and yells for Nao to go home quickly while his mother screams that Nao can’t have him as Aruto is her son (I know she has problems, but her screaming possessiveness is worrisome). Needless to say Nao is shocked.
After Aruto gets his mom calmed down and asleep, he goes back outside where Nao waits. He tells her that she now knows why he has to quit school. He went to Asuko because it was a free public high school and earning work credits while learning industrial trade would be beneficial. He thought things would be okay, but it turns out they are not.
We then cut to a scene where the arrogant ass of a host is scolding Aurto in an alley for not listening (and not drinking). Aruto says that by not drinking he can better serve the customers. The other host gets angry and punches Aruto for acting cocky. He then grabs the fallen Aruto and tells him that in the host business no one is ever really happy. He goes to hit Aruto once more, but the girl from earlier comes and tells him to stop. Besides, didn’t that host say that host’s face is his life? The annoyed hosts tells Aruto to go home before kicking him and leaving. The girl then says that Aruto isn’t suited to be a host. Aruto goes to walk away and the girl says he is a high school student after all. Aruto denies this, but the girl then says she saw his ID fall out during the fight. The shocked Aruto turns around and quickly scans the ground to only have the woman laugh. Meanwhile, Nao lies in bed and stares at the paper crane Aruto made for her.
The next day at school, the boys immediately stop speaking when Nao arrives. She goes to the back where Hirose and Mirai are and says she has something she wants to tell them (about Aruto and Momo I believe). Hirose says that’s great because there is something the boys want her to tells them, too. Wajima (I think, played by Minami Keisuki) points to the board and when Nao looks back and there is her transfer application. Takeuchi then says that Omukai must have explained that she needed to do well in practical training in order to transfer. Nao says he is wrong, but he mentions her secret studying. This annoys the class. Then Tamaki-kun comes in, surprised and upset to learn that Nao was only using him. Tamaki says he thought it was weird that Nao all of a sudden had a change of heart and he was right. Girls like her have no interest in the industrial trade. This hurts Nao, but it is the truth to an extent. Takeuchi then says that Nao used both Tamaki and Yokoyama to get what she wanted and Hirose says manipulation is a girl’s weapon.
Aruto comes in at that exact moment and says so that’s how things are. He then turns around and walks back out of the classroom. Nao says he is wrong and runs after him. She tells him to wait, but he just keeps on walking. Nao manages to catch up to him and says that it is true that she wanted to transfer at first, but things are different now. She grabs his arm and gets in front of him, stopping him. She says that if he continues to be absent, he won’t be able to move up to the next level. She worries every time he absent. Aruto tells her he is fine, but when Nao protests, Aruto yells that there is nothing Nao can do for him at all. Ouch. Why? Because a person like her who wants to quit Asuko shouldn’t be worried about him. He then rudely shoulders past her and walks away. Double ouch.
At lunch time, the disheartened Nao goes to eat lunch with Sugisaki in the clinic. Nao says she is all alone in class since they hate her. Sugisaki smiles and asks her to sit down. Nao sits down and asks how you can stop a person from quitting school. Sugisaki gets up for tea and says that it is hard because many students quit due to financial issues and family problems. It’s hard to stop them. Nao asks “Even if the person wants to come to school?” Sugisaki still says there is nothing you can do but hope for the best. Nao stands up and says she thinks it’s a waste. When she saw Aruto making silver charms, he was enjoying it in a serious way. Sugisaki says that each motif has a meaning. Nao, recalling Aruto’s pendant, asks about the meaning of wings. Sugisaki says that it means to rise – to rise above the current situation. Nao looks at Aruto’s crane on the rooftop and comes to a decision.
The decision? Nao is working hard in practical training all by herself. Kishi and Wajima says that Nao must be really desperate to leave the school if she is working that hard. Takeuchi takes note of this and gives a satisfied smirk. After class, Nao is in pain from working so hard and Omukai approaches her telling her that the mechanical arts teacher says she is late with her lathe project. Nao knows this and Omukai asks if it is because Yokoyama is always absent. Does Nao want to join another team? If she can’t complete the project on time it will affect the results of the exercise. Nao shakes her head and says that she is fine and will push through. She then calls out to him about something.
Tamaki approaches Omukai and says that it is too hard for him to pay the school fee for the trip. Tamaki says he will be able to pay next month. Omukai says he sees and goes to leave. Tamaki turns and is surprised to catch a glimpse of Nao hard at work in the shop. Omukai says that Nao is late and requested an extension to finish the project on time. Tamaki is shocked that she’d go that far to quit. Omukai looks at Tamaki and says that he is wrong.
Tamaki went shopping for his part-time job and is surprised when he sees Aruto cleaning outside of a host club. Tamaki approaches him and asks if Aruto works as a host there. Aruto says that he does. Tamaki then asks if that is why Aruto doesn’t come to school all that often. Aruto nods yes once more and got to love this from Tamaki:
So it’s senseless for Yoshino to wait for you then.
The surprised Aruto stands up and Tamaki explains what he means:
I’m talking about your teaming up with her at the mechanics course.
Then you can pair up with her at last. It’s obvious that you like her.
LMAO!!! Of course we all know that Tamaki might have a little something for Yoshino, but nothing he would admit to. The fact that Aruto has picked up on it and cockily threw it back in his face is amusing. These two guys are so awkward with each other, but they can really dish it out when they want to. Tamaki immediately asserts that he doesn’t like her and the toilet paper he carries begins to fall everywhere. When he goes to pick it up, even more fall out. As Tamaki sets the bags down and starts to pick up the fallen toilet paper he tells Aruto,
It seems meaningless for her to pair up with you since you’re not there to complete the work.
This seems to make Aruto feel a little bad and guilty. Good. Maybe that will get his butt in gear.
Our lady fair is in her room working hard on her lathe project. Yoshino says he is going to bed and asks if that project is part of an exam since Nao has been working so hard at it. Nao says sort of and Yoshino tells her that he is happy she is finally opening herself up to the joys of industrial work. This seems to make Nao feel a little guilty – probably because that is not her reason behind trying so hard to complete the project on time. Her grandfather places a snack outside her door and tells her to eat it while it is still warm to give her plenty of energy. It is a chivalry special. Nao comes out and thanks her grandfather, but when she looks down at the food it is a sizzling burger steak and veggies. How does that qualify as a light snack? She then doubles over in pain. It seems it’s that time of the month for her and it’s pretty bad this time.
The next day at school Nao is still in a lot of pain but doing her best to finish her project. She st ops in pain and then Hirose tells her to get out of his way. Nao quickly moves to the side and looks all around her where the boys are carefully and industrially working on their projects. That makes her smile a little before she turns back to working on her own project. The guys cannot believe how seriously she is working.
Momo joins Nao’s classmates for lunch where she overhears the boys talking about Nao’s sudden seriousness in her practical studies. One of them replies that her seriousness stems from waiting for Aruto to return. They can’t believe it. They then joke about the power of love. Momo, uncomfortable gets up and runs out. Hirose asks where she is going and she says just out for a bit. Momo then recalls Nao asking for the truth and the girls from her middle school surrounding her and calling her a liar. Hirose comes out and asks what is wrong. Momo turns around crying and says she can’t forget what Yokoyama did. She then rushes into Hirose’s arms. Both of them have some pretty dark looks.
That same day it is already after dark, but Nao is still at school working hard while Aruto watches over his mother and thinks about his withdrawal letter. We then cut to a shot of Aruto’s back where we see some pretty nasty scars. Did his mother do that? Or is it from something else? Aruto seems to be very conflicted. He wants to look after his mother, but it also seems like he doesn’t want to quit school What will be his choice in the end? Back to Nao. She finishes working for the night and goes to put her stuff away. She winces in pain and looks very pale and drawn. Looks like her cramps aren’t getting any better.
The next say they are told that they are nearing the final steps of the project. The teacher holds up what the lathe is supposed to look like and Nao’s is nowhere near being finished. Tamaki tells her she better catch up and Nao says that she will. Tamaki notices that she doesn’t look so good and asks what’s wrong. Nao tells him nothing because she is too embarrassed to tell Tamaki and her teacher that she is having really bad menstrual cramps. Her teacher comes up and asks what’s wrong as she needs to hurry so she can catch up and finish in time. Nao apologizes and after he leaves she pauses and begins to tear up. She looks around and thinks about how she can’t tell them as they will use her weakness as a woman against her. She says it is a shame as she has already come too far. Even if she’s a little late she really wanted to do this right.
As Nao slowly makes her way towards the toilet complaining about it’s distance from the shop class, she thinks that Asuko is really tough on girls and then passes out. But then here comes a male student who walks by and picks her up. Nao is hefted on to a back. She asks what is happening before she passes out once more. It is Aruto! He smiles and piggybacks her to the clinic. At last, Aruto has returned. Is he here to stay for good or just to help Nao finish the project on time?
When Nao comes to the sun is starting to set and she is lying in the clinic. She sits up and Sugisaki asks if her period is always that bad. Nao says that is the first time that happened. Sugisaki tells herself not to force herself when things get that bad. Sensei then tells her that it’s a good thing that things are starting work. Nao doesn’t know what she is talking about and heads off to the shop where Aruto is diligently working on their project. Nao is happy to see him there. He turns and notices her and asks if she is ok. Nao asks why and he says that he was taught in middle school that women were fragile. Nao smiles and says that she had to do almost all the work herself so he better treat her to something tasty when this is all done. Aruto promises and the two begin working together to finish their project on time.
When they finish, Nao is ecstatic. Nao wonders what they will be used for. Aruto says that he doesn’t know but he hopes that the do get used somewhere since Nao worked so hard on them. Nao smiles and thanks him and he in turn thanks her for all that she did for him. The moment is interrupted by the angry Hirose who can’t believe that Aruto showed his face at school after what he did to Momo. Nao gets in between them and tells Hirose he is mistaken that Yokoyama did nothing wrong. Hirose says that all Nao cares about is the credit anyways and then he pushes her out of the way. Not nice, Hirose-kun.
Hirose then yells at Aruto for flirting with other girls after hurting Momo-chan. Hirose then goes to punch Aruto, but Aruto (surprisingly) easily catches his fist and asks Hirose to please not hit his face while smiling. Hirose says he hates half-assed guys like Aruto and then he shoves him down. Aruto slams into a table, hurting his side and causing his withdrawal letter to fall out. Nao is shocked. Hirose then picks up their lathe project. Hirose tells Aruto that Nao did all of the work. Plus, Aruto’s attendance is proof he doesn’t want to be in Asuko so Hirose will hurry and make him leave. He goes to smash the project, but Nao rushes to stop him.
The angry Hirose tells Nao that she is annoying as well as she is desperate to get out of Asuko. Nao says she also thinks that Hirose doesn’t want to destroy the project. Hriose asks what she means and Nao says she isn’t the only one who made it. Hirose says if it’s about Aruto making it as well, but Nao cuts him off. She says that everyone in the class helped her make that. This shocks Hirose and Aruto. Nao then says,
I realized how you guys take on practical training. Everyone usually is rowdy and short-tempered. During regular classes, you hardly listen. Only when you guys are doing practical training do you become more serious and polite. I try to work hard, too, and to catch up with you guys. Perhaps it’s because of that. But seeing the way you guys work, the amazing way you learn, and enjoy it, I am finally understanding it a little. You really encouraged me a lot. I’m grateful. That’s why I don’t think you would want to destroy that.
Both Aruto and Hirose stayed silent for this speech and both seem to be touched by Nao’s words and how the boys inspired her. Then in walks some more boys from class who came to beat up Aruto. Hirose puts down their project and tells the others to go home and leave him alone. They demand to know. I love Hirose’s reply. It shows just how mature he can be.
We might regret it, so let him go. Besides, I am an industrial guy.
And with that, Hirose leaves and his friends follow suit wondering just what is going on. Nao picks up the project and Aruto says he has to go to work. He then wishes her good luck with her transfer if that is what she really wants. Nao is touched that he is encouraging her to follow her own path. He bids her goodbye and Nao notices the letter.She goes to give it back, but Aruto tells her it’s not needed anymore and that she can throw it out. He tells her he’ll see her tomorrow and leaves. Nao looks down and smiles as well. Aruto is finally coming back to school!
Momo approaches Takeuchi in the library, complaining about how everyone is stupid and how it is hard for her to talk to anyone. Takeuchi, not looking up from his books, says it’s hard for him to talk to her, too. Momo sits down and Takeuchi tells her to leave him alone and stop bothering him while trying to study. Momo then mentions she knows about his brother. What story is there?
Nao then talks about how tough Asuko is as a girl, but how she appreciates all she has gone through. She is happy to have reaped some rewards from studying there and working hard. However, she still doesn’t think she can survive three more years. So, when will she commit to the school, or will she eventually transfer?