As Junichi was walking home from being stood up on a Christmas date he bumped into Ai who was rushing home feeling the exact opposite to what he was feeling.
With school over for the day Junichi and Umehara wonder what they should do when they meet Tsukasa in the hall and see how busy she is compared to them. As they were walking back they’re struck by a gust of wind which reminds Umehara of the fish in season during winter but makes Junichi want to go to the toilet. In their search for one they run into the park where they see Ai leap off the swings, she notices them and they get nervous so they introduce themselves, which she says makes it easier to report them to the police. They quickly panic but she tells them that she was joking, she doesn’t make this clear as she runs off though.
On the way to school Miya tells Junichi about the stray cat that’s been hanging around the school, Kaoru grabs his butt so he threatens to do the same to her but it only makes him look like a pervert to Ai. When it comes to lunch he struggles with what to choose out of the two choices when Ai points out that he’s holding up the line and goes ahead of him to order her own lunch, in the end he goes for neither.
After lunch he spots the cat and follows, meanwhile Ai is practicing for the upcoming swimming tournament when she hears something. When she heads outside she finds Junichi and accuses him of something perverse but he was actually looking for the cat which Miya had been talking about. She notices him looking at her skirt and offers to show him what’s underneath, for this there isn’t really a right answer but she shows him that she was wearing her swimsuit underneath like when he saw her in the park. After accusing him of some more perverted things she introduces herself to him and it turns out she’s in the same class as Miya.
Later that night Miya comes into his room and tells him not to do anything to her important friend, Ai after she had asked what he was like. She then shows him a flier of a lucky draw where the first prize is a trip to Hawaii, he doesn’t really care and ignores her so she throws it in his face and storms out.
Ai and Junichi meet again at the drinking fountains at school where she laughs at him for having something written on his forehead about winning the trip to Hawaii, he now realises why Haruka and Hibiki laughed at him when they passed by. She tells him not to worry about it and gives him her towel in return for laughing at him, he tells her about the contest that Miya wanted to win and it leads to her asking if he’s free after school.
As the sun starts to set Rihoko finds the cat but is too busy with her club activities to pat it, Miya and Sae also pass by with Miya thinking it’s amazing that Sae can make her own clothes. It turns out that what Ai wanted Junichi’s help with was to help carry some things for her as she has to do a lot of the housework at home already, in return she gives him a few entry tickets for the lucky draw.
However all they won was a 500 yen voucher so he decides to tell Miya that he didn’t win anything and asks Ai if there’s anything he can buy for them with it. So they end up buying Oobanyaki with Ai trying the one with cream in it, they eat these on the beach and she asks for his trash since her club provided the bins as volunteer work. He thinks it’s amazing how she can do all these and even tries to do his bit by picking up some trash, it slips out of his grasp as she tells him how tasty the Oobanyaki was.
“Koi wa Mizu-iro” by Yukana. Download.
This was a good start, Nanasaki Ai’s arc was one of those things that I had been looking forward to from around the time that this series started for a few reasons. As seemed to be fairly popular by ranking first place in a poll that ranked all of the heroines and girls that appeared in the visual novel, so I was interested to see what led to this. Ai herself was also voiced by Yukana so that was probably something that added to it as well. Aside from that I also found her rather likable in the previous arcs, so those were a few things that had me looking forward to this.
Junichi and Ai also seem to interact well together, and while it may have started with things like her accusing him of being a pervert being pretty fun for what they were. However as the episode progressed this was dropped and they genuinely started to get along well with things like how they interacted at the fountain and how they ate the Oobanyaki together. With that front that she put up around the time they met and had met in the previous arcs being dropped. So due to things like these they look like they work well together and that this should be a good arc.
It was also good to see some things related to what Ai does, where we learned that aside from being dedicated to her swim club activities as we had seen, we also learned that she’s also busy doing things like housework due to both of her parents working all the time and also the volunteer work that comes with the club she’s in. So far this seems to present the problem that the relationship that she’ll have with Junichi will interfere with these and force her to choose one of them, which would be interesting to see.
The ending theme that came with this was also nice to listen to and I’ve found myself looping it quite a bit since I first heard it.