After the Founder’s Festival the students work together to put away all the equipment that was used and Hibiki passes on the Swim Club’s recipe to Ai with Haruka trying to convince Hibiki to go with her to the Swim Club’s stand the following year. The Tea Club is also busy putting things away, but Ruriko asks Rihoko to come with her so that they, Manaka, and Junichi can have tea together outside. Where Manaka tells them how various roads are difficult.
It isn’t long until they head inside and Ruriko tells them how they had to cancel one of the events they had to attract new members, after this Junichi tells them how he liked having tea outside and suggests that it could be better with music. Ruriko and Manaka graduating is also brought up again with Rihoko telling them how she’ll keep the club alive, seeing Junichi’s interest they also give him a go at mixing some tea, but he’s no good so Rihoko takes over, however she isn’t much better. As Junichi and Rihoko head off to walk home together, Junichi’s teacher, Maya Takahashi apologises for getting drunk at the Founder’s Festival.
Miya and Sae are finally able to have their Christmas party together with Sae’s father having prepared a cake and Ai giving them the presents she had for them. While Junichi and Rihoko walk home, she wants to ask him something so they head to the restaurant where Kaoru works. She ends up eying his cake and we learn how Kaoru is working over Christmas so she can have the New Year off to clean, prepare food, and go on a shrine visit with her mother. She then goes back to her job and Rihoko manages to ask Junichi if he wants to visit the shrine on New Years Eve with her, he easily accepts so she also accepts the offer he made to her for the cake he had. He then takes the chance to joke about how Kanae can see her eating cake when she can’t, leading to her playfully biting on his finger and telling him how she’ll just do extra exercise later.
The phone rings and Miya has to get out of the bath to answer it, it turns out to be Umehara who’s happy about how a beautiful girl got out of the bath to answer his call. He then moves on to what he wanted to ask Junichi, which was whether they could hang out together on New Years Eve to watch videos and play video games together, however he feels betrayed when he finds out what Junichi is doing with Rihoko then and also reminds him how she’s pretty popular. At Rihoko’s house, she confesses about the cake she ate to Kanae and does the exercise she said she would do, only managing two push ups.
The door bell rings while Junichi is in the bath so he gets out to answer it when Miya didn’t respond, it turns out that Rihoko decided to come over early and unexpectedly his towel falls down. The three of them then have tea together with the skills Junichi learned from Ruriko and Manaka shining through, Rihoko then brings out some cheese souffles she made. They then start talking about the Idol show that’s on television soon, leading to Miya and Rihoko reenacting the dance which Rihoko is surprisingly good at. They then ask her why she doesn’t want to be an idol, and though she doesn’t say it her reason is that she wouldn’t be able to spend time with them like this.
Before they go to visit the shrine, Junichi asks Rihoko to wake up Miya who fell asleep under the kotatsu while he gets ready, making sure he has the gloves she made for him. However she ended up falling asleep under it as well so he sits down and waits, at the shrine Kanae wonders whether the two of them are together at the moment. The next morning Rihoko wakes up and realised that they missed being able to visit it at midnight, so they visit the shrine in the morning and on the way Junichi and Rihoko remember how they had studied together, while it may not have been a good choice they both passed.
When they get there he gives her a board where she can write her wish down, after which they draw their fortunes from the oracle and end up competing over who has the best luck, where Miya boasts how she beat them both. What Rihoko had wished for is also revealed and aside from her diet working and finding members for the tea club, there’s also a line about her feelings reaching Junichi.
With how fast the last episode had progressed forward I was actually kind of surprised in a way with how this episode had carried out, as it actually went further than any of the previous arcs had. But in retrospect I’m actually kind of glad for this, as though Rihoko already has feelings for him this episode suggested that he still thinks of her like a childhood friend, so more time would have been needed to shift this.
How this episode had went further than any of the previous arcs had gone was actually something that surprised me in a way, as while in the past things had generally stopped at Christmas Eve or Christmas itself, this episode went past that to New Years Eve. This had also meant that we were able to see what had happened after the Founder’s Festival as well with things like Hibiki passing on the Swim Club’s Oden recipe and with it the fate of her club as well, and the Christmas party the Christmas party Ai had with Miya and Sae. Where they had talked about the latter previously but it hadn’t really been shown, other than that there was also the apology that Maya Takahashi would have had to be made. And while these things may have not been that relevant to Rihoko’s route I still thought that they were okay to see for what had happened to some of the characters afterward.
While it may have just been him trying to save face in front of Umehara, this episode also suggested that Junichi possibly still thought of Rihoko as his childhood friend at this point. So it was nice to see him and Rihoko get to spend a bit of time together such as when they were at the restaurant together and when they had visited the shrine together to steadily shift this. With the former even leading to another instance of the series’ namesake, Amagami or playful bite while the latter still counted even though Miya tagged along.
With stuff like how Rihoko had hummed and danced along to her own ending theme, the stuff that lead up to the visit to the shrine was also pretty fun. Where we saw that Junichi had gotten pretty good at making tea due to Ruriko and Manaka’s plan to get him to get him to join and set Rihoko up with him, and how while Rihoko may have been able to become an idol with her singing and dancing. She chose not to since she wouldn’t have been able to spend New Years Eve with them, which was pretty nice to see. How they had all ended up falling asleep under the kotatsu and missed the midnight visit to the shrine was also something that I found kind of funny and how the episode had ended by showing the last line to Rihoko’s wish was something that I thought was a nice way to end the episode on.
So with one episode left to her arc and with things are as they are now I’m looking forward to how it will turn out next week, as there’s still things like how Rihoko will get her feelings to reach him and whether they’ll get Junichi to join the Tea Club to keep it going. Both of which I’m looking forward to how they’ll be carried out.