Ota reminiscence events that occurred over the last few days and realizes how Haruto has been there for her through all her difficult times while Tenma could not take her word over his best friend. It then dawns upon her that perhaps she has fallen for Haruto. (Yeah! One mistake from the sweet and loving second lead and the female goes running into the arms of the main lead. Such a thankless babe!) But she then recalls Haruto’s decision to formally ask Megumi out and she quickly brushes off the thought saying its too late to act upon her feelings. Also, Tenma has done a lot for her to disregard his feelings like this. Exasperated, her friend advises her to not take a decision just to make others happy but to follow her heart instead.
Next morning, Ota meets Tenma and tells him that even though she is hurt by his mistrust in her, she does not want to hold it against him and ruin their relationship. She says she treasures the time they have spent together and does not want anything to affect the feeling they share for each other. He is happy with her decision and thanks her for the same.
Tenma then tells her about the competition between him and Haruto. She feels worried and he assures her that it has nothing to do with her but is his decision to finally sort his problem with Haruto. She tells him that she will be rooting for him which brings a big smile to his face. She thinks to herself that supporting Tenma will help her get over Haruto.
Haruto bows his head begging Megumi to forgive him as he confesses his feelings for Ota. He tells her about the bet with his father and Tenma and requests her to break-up with him. She flatly refuses saying that if Haruto loses they still stand a chance to date. So, she sees no point in breaking up now. Unable to hide her tears she rushes out saying that she has a shoot to go to.
Haruto chases after Ota at school and asks her if she is aware of the duel between Tenma and him. She asks him if he has ever learned any martial art and he nonchalantly replies that he hasn’t. Shocked and worried, she pulls him up for his stupid decision when the rest of C5 arrive. They too scold him for taking decisions in a haste without consulting them. He tells them that he wanted to get rid of Momonozono in one blow for which he is ready to face Tenma in any challenge. They then carry him with them while Ota breathes a sigh of relief for talking to Haruto without going weak in the knees.
The male members of C5 help Haruto prepare for the judo and kendo competition. But seeing his poor performance they advise him to back out of it and send Sugimaru instead. But Haruto fiercely refuses to withdraw himself from the duel.
Ota’s mother informs her of her father’s arrival and she jumps with joy hoping to once again be able to live like a family. Tenma’s stepmother Rie tells her that since her father will soon be in charge of the cosmetic department in their company, the company is giving him a new house to live in with his family. Ota’s mother feels ecstatic at the prospect of going back to her lavish living but Ota does not look very excited about it. Ota’s mother reminds her that she will be there with them for just a year and after that, she will be living with Tenma as his wife. The two mothers jump with excitement as Ota tries to calm them down. On the way back home, Ota spots Haruto jogging and exercising but turns and walks away without talking to him.
C5 urgently invite Ota to their lounge and inform her of Haruto’s poor performance at the practice sessions of Judo and Kendo. They request her to ask Tenma to call off the competition. Angry at their lack of faith in Haruto, she pulls them up for not supporting their friend when he needs it the most. She storms out of the lounge and Airi follows her and thanks her for scolding them for not believing in Haruto’s determination. Ota tells her that she will cheer for Tenma and that Haruto is now totally under their guidance.
Thanks to Ota’s scolding, C5 restart Haruto’s training with new vigor.
Meanwhile, Tenma too is busy training hard for the competition. To boost Haruto’s confidence, C5 invite a special person to teach him archery. Haruto drops to the floor with his mouth agape when he sees F4 member Nishikado Sojiro in front of him. (Yaaaaaaaaaay!!! My favourite Shota Matsuda has finally made an appearance. Wooohhoooo!!!)
Sojiro asks him the reason behind the competition. Haruto honestly states that his friends think that he is doing this for Eitoku Academy but that is not the only reason and that he is also doing this to win his lady love. Sojiro laughs and says that had he been doing this just for the school he would have walked off but since it involves a woman it makes it all the more interesting. He then walks up to Haruto and placing his hand over his shoulder wishes him luck to win.
A star-struck Haruto cannot help feeling overwhelmed by Sojiro’s gesture. But Airi is angry with him and she beats him with a pillow for keeping the complete truth from her and for hurting Megumi and everyone around him. She expresses her disgust at his idea of betting Ota. He thanks her for yelling at him for the right reasons. She head butts him and warns him from screwing this up. Ota notes that Megumi has been missing from school for several days. At a shoot, Megumi longingly looks at Haruto’s photo and recalls her conversation with his father in which he told her about the competition before Haruto and tells her not to worry as Haruto will certainly lose to Tenma as he is a very strong opponent. He tells her that he will send Haruto to Switzerland after he loses the competition and that he wants her to be with his son then. Megumi looks unhappy with his plan and excuses herself before stepping out of his car. Before leaving she declares that she will never leave Haruto’s side which makes the old man very happy.
Ota accompanies Tenma to the dojo for archery practice and they are both surprised to see Haruto practicing with Sojiro. Haroto tells Sojiro that Tenma is the guy he will be facing at the competition. Haruto and Tenma start arguing over the dojo (i.e. the place where they practice archery) till Ota screams at them for fighting unnecessarily. Tenma then challenges Haruto for a face-off right then and there and Haruto reluctantly accepts.
Haruto gets the first shot and he misses by a huge margin. Tenma then takes his stance and shots the arrow which hits the bullseye. His impeccable aim impresses everyone present. They shoot a few more arrows in which Haruto continues to miss by a huge margin each time while Tenma’s arrows always hit the board. After a few attempts Haruto finally hits the board and while Haruto and C5 feel happy, Airi notices that Ota, who is supposedly on Tenma’s side, is also happy to see Haruto finally hit the board. Sojiro too notices Ota’s reaction at Haruto’s shot. Sojiro walks up to Haruto and asks if Ota is the girl he is fighting for. When he answers in affirmative, Sojiro tells him that he is a cool guy and must fight for her till the very end.
Haruto and Tenma meet in the changing room and Tenma teases Haruto about his progress in archery under Sojiro’s guidance. Haruto scoffs that he is better than Tenma who does not even trust his girlfriend. Tenma then states that he will spare no pain in beating Haruto and will never give Ota to him. (Yeah right! She is his car keys that he will not hand over to Haruto.)
As Ota waits for Tenma outside the dojo, Sojiro approaches her and asks what makes her face fall like that. She looks dumbfounded and freezes in her place. He walks closer to her and asks her if this is what happens when a guy approaches a girl but she continues to stand transfixed like a statue. As he walks away, she asks him about Haruto’s progress and he says that he is improving with each passing day but is still no match to Tenma. He adds that despite everything, you can never predict what might happen in the match. This frustrates Ota even more. He then tells her that looking at her makes him wonder of how different things would be if he ever starts over in life. He then mounts his bike and makes a call to his bestie and fellow F4 member, Akira saying that he will be there to see him soon. As he has to share something interesting with him.
In class, Megumi tells Ota that the outcome of Haruto and Tenma’s competition is quite clear. Shocked, Ota tells Megumi that she must cheer for Haruto because being cheered by someone you love helps boost your confidence. Annoyed, Megumi drags Ota out of the classroom and asks who she is planning to cheer.
Ota says that she is in a fix as she does not want either of them to lose and wishes that they could call it off. Enraged, Megumi grabs Ota by her shoulders and screams that she cannot speak like that as the boys are fighting for her. Stunned, Ota asks what she is talking about. Megumi tells her about the bet and that if Haruto loses he will have to give up on Ota as per his promise to his dad. She says that Ota has ought to support Haruto as he is doing his best to win her. Taken aback by the revelation Ota remembers all the hard training and practice the two boys have been going through for just her sake and feels guilty for making them go through this.
Sojiro asks Haruto about his progress in Judo and Kendo and he gets to know that even though he has made progress, it is nothing compared to Tenma’s proficiency in the two sports. Sojiro then asks to accompany him to someplace.
Ota confronts Tenma about the competition and asks him the reason why he would challenge someone in a competition where he is more likely to win. Tenma goes on to say that when she refused to transfer to Momonozono he wondered why he didn’t stop her then. Had he done that she wouldn’t be torn between the two boys today. He says that he has stopped taking decisions on his own and that he will accept her choice and that she should cheer on for the one she loves. She tells him that she wants to be by his side. He smiles and says that he has heard her answer before but the truth is that she is still unsure of her choice.
Tenma pulls Ota close and tells her that if she goes to Haruto they can go back to being how they were. He says that he is the only one who can make her happy. Ota feels guilty for being selfish and not considering Tenma’s feelings. She then wraps her arms around him and resolves to stay by his side.
On the day of the competition, the stadium is filled with Tenma supporters, but Haruto hardly has anyone cheering him on. C5 assumes that their students do not want to see their academy lose which is why they have chosen to not come to the match. Just then, Ota arrives with her and Tenma’s mother and joins them on Momonozono’s side of the stadium while wearing Eitoku’s uniform. Haruto’s father arrives with Megumi to see the match.
Amidst cheers of his name, Haruto arrives in the stadium and is stunned to see Ota sitting on Tenma’s side. Feeling guilty, Ota reminds herself that she will be cheering Tenma.
Tenma’s name is announced and the Momonozono supporters break into thunderous applause and cheers for him as he walks towards Haruto. Haruto notices Ota’s cheer for Tenma. The match begins and Tenma slams Haruto to the floor in one swift move. Surprised by the move, Haruto places his hand on the floor while being flung in the air and breaks his wrists in the process. Tenma is declared the winner of the first round. Disappointed, Haruto’s father leaves the stadium. As the crowd cheers for Tenma, it is suddenly noticed that Haruto is unable to get up. Ota looks worried for him as he clutches his wrist in pain.
Let me start with Shota Matsuda’s cameo. Awww…..!! He was my favourite F4 member. In the Korean version of Hana Yori Dango i.e. Boys Over Flowers, the second lead Ji Hoo was my favourite. In the Japanese version, it is Sojiro who I like the most. 🙂 Though he doesn’t look like the old Sojiro that much now, he still holds the charm.
Coming to the episode, I cannot help but hate Ota for her pendulum type of feelings that keeps swinging between two guys. Why can’t she just select one and stick to him till the end? Because of her the poor guys have to go through all that pain.
Other than Ota the one person I despise the most is Megumi. Ugh!! That girl makes me pukish. How can anyone be this clingy? Does she have no other option in life despite being a very popular model? Her character does not evoke pity, it only evokes anger for me. I like her a lot and hate to see her so helplessly trying to win over Haruto. She does that in every episode and it’s too annoying to see someone that weak.
I can’t wait to get to the final episode to see the winner and finally be done with two boys fighting over Ota.
Image Courtesy: Tokyo Broadcasting System