Sae’s words of thanks to Junichi for being the one she went on her first date with throw him into his planetarium, as he really felt troubled by them due to the experience he had two years ago on Christmas.
The two of them go to a restaurant that Sae wanted to go to where she wants to order the special banana parfait for them to share after hearing Ai and Miya talking about how couples that share it are together forever. He agrees to eat it with her and they’re surprised at how big it is when it arrives, they’re determined to eat it all so Junichi starts shoveling it into his mouth, ending with him getting brain freeze.
The Best Couple Contest is about to take place as Ai helps Hibiki with her costume since she and Haruka will be entering together in Old Western styled costumes, they wonder if it’s okay for them to enter as a joke. Umehara will also be entering with Toroko, a giant rubber Tuna which Kaoru and Keiko can’t stop laughing at him for. Before the contest starts Miya wishes her brother and Sae good luck and tells Junichi that what they’re wearing was ordered by Sae’s mother.
Tsukasa announces the entrants, starting with Umehara and Toroko which has the crowd laughing. Outside Rihoko and her fellow members of the tea club have noticed that things have slowed down so they decide to take a break but there’s an argument when it comes to who gets to make the tea. By the time it gets back to the contest, Hibiki is carrying Haruka off the stage and Tsukasa announces the next entrant, Sae is a bit nervous but this disappears when Junichi offers her his hand. The crowd is speechless when they step up, revealing that they’re paired up like a bride and groom, and though Sae may have slipped Junichi manages to catch her. When they’re asked a few questions about each other their answers may have been a bit awkward but they step off the stage with the crowd cheering them on.
As the entrants are being judged Umehara is confident that he’ll win, however the unanimous winner was Haruka and Hibiki followed by Junichi and Sae, though they may have won Haruka and Hibiki consider them the real winners. The prize that Junichi and Sae receive for second place is a ticket private box at the movie theatre. They decide to use the tickets to see a movie on Christmas and though Miya said that their outfits were ordered specially, the truth is that Sae had sown them herself.
Things are a bit awkward between them when they sit down and they both end up running off to do something, Junichi asks himself what to do in the mirror but help comes unexpectedly when a mysterious man encourages him and wishes him good luck, all in correct English.
When he comes back he’s surprised to see Sae in a Gothic Lolita dress which just like the swimsuit, she was helped by Miya with it and Junichi complements her on it. She then tells him a few details about the movie that they’ll be seeing, where the director was able to perfectly capture the beauty of the female lead as they were lovers, he recognises this director as the man he met in the bathroom and they try to look for him in the crowd but the movie is about to start.
They watch it happily together and when the credits roll Sae feels as if this was completely true, Junichi tells her that he could do the same for her but the back of the seat falls back with him on top of her. As a tear comes down her cheek Sae tells him that she’s happy to spend time with him like this and him embracing her when he returns this. Soon after this he takes the chance to properly confess to her and wishes that she’ll accept him, and as they look into each others eyes they kiss. However immediately after this he suffers a moe death as his chest tightens up.
They stand next to the giant Christmas tree together as Sae asks if people would think that they’re a couple and as he takes her hand he tells her that they would since they’re lovers. It begins to snow as the narrator concludes their story as one between a shy girl and a boy who was afraid of love.
Sometime after this in the epilogue, Junichi is filming Sae in a penguin costume when Miya comes in to join in with a cat costume so he has no other choice but to film both of them, the episode ends with Sae wishing for Junichi to continue to perfectly capture her beauty like he said he could.
With Sae’s arc now over the series moves onto the next heroine, Nanasaki Ai.
As an end to Sae’s arc I thought that this episode I thought that this episode was alright with the bad experience that Junichi had two years before the series coming up quickly around the start and sending him to his planetarium, which was something that seemed to have been overlooked aside from some comments by the narrator. It also managed to have quite a few nice moments between Junichi and Sae, like when they entered the Best Couple Contest and the time they spent together at the movie theatre and ending in a particularly nice way as they looked up to the falling snow.
Aside from that the contest that Junichi and Sae entered itself was pretty fun, from Haruka and Hibiki also entering as a couple to even Umehara entering with a giant rubber tuna that he insisted on rubbing against proving to be entertaining in itself. Let alone it also provided a few nice moments between Junichi and Sae before her arc went into it’s ending, such as when he offered her his hand and caught her when she slipped onstage, and though they may have not won the contest what Haruka and Hibiki said was something that seemed to come across.
During what could be considered the ending, it was also surprising to see Michael Rivas who had previously voiced TK in Angel Beats provide the voice to the man who gave Junichi some last minute encouragement when it looked like he was still struggling with what happened two years ago. This also went on to become part of the instructor and instructee relationship that Junichi and Sae had as the relationship that the director had with the lead actress was said be similar to theirs, with Junichi saying that he’ll capture Sae’s beauty while making camera gestures.
Overall I think that this arc was alright since I came into it not expecting all that much and towards the end it surprised me a bit. As I found it a lot more enjoyable once Junichi’s weird “training” methods were dropped and though Sae may have not been as strong as a heroine as either Haruka or Kaoru I also found her more likable than I had expected to. The training methods being dropped also allowing his relationship with Sae to take that step further while still retaining a bit of it with Sae referring to him as her instructor, which seemed to be a large part of the route itself. And aside from the weird training methods in the first two episodes there was also some alright humour at the same time, with things like Miya walking in at a rather compromising moment. Though I’ve heard that some people didn’t quite like the idea of a narrator being suddenly thrown in after two arcs without one, I didn’t really have a problem with it as it helped with giving this arc a different feeling which so far, each arc has had.