As Rihoko gets ready for school she looks at a photo on her board that was taken when she, Junichi, and Miya visited the shrine. However between that and the winter break her relationship with Junichi didn’t go as far as planned, so Kanae wants to plan something to speed it up but Rihoko is okay with how they are now.
They start talking about her diet and it isn’t long until Rihoko heads over to where Junichi is and they go to get some juice, with Rihoko opting for some tea instead. While they drink Junichi tells her how her diet should work this time after wishing for it and asks if he can visit the Tea Club later, where Ruriko and Manaka come back from the park feeling down. The reason for this was that they had challenged Haruka in order to get her to join, unfortunately her control of the puppies was unparalleled and even if they had defeated her, she would have graduated with them anyway. They start pressuring Junichi to join, even offering Rihoko as a bonus and they all end up laughing about it.
Rihoko and Junichi walk home together after this and his gloves that were once kind of small now fit his hands perfectly, they start talking about the Tea Club and how it can stay as long as there are two members. She stops and then tells him how her reason for wanting to protect it is in order to repay her upperclassmen for always looking out for her as well as how it’s going to be kind of lonely without them, her stomach then growls so Junichi offers to treat her to some cakes however she offers to treat him when he finds that he doesn’t exactly have enough to do that.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, Rihoko makes some choux cremes being sure to put some love into them, elsewhere Miya, Ai, and Sae are making cakes to give to each other and Junichi gets to meet them for the first time in this arc. Where Miya also teases him about how he’ll only receive chocolate from them as leftovers, their mother, or Rihoko. The next day he spends some time at the Tea Club where Ruriko and Manaka tell him how he and Rihoko would make a good couple and slide him a registration form while teasing him about his reasons for coming today. As school is about to end for the day, Rihoko tells Kanae about what her upperclassmen had told her about choux creme, however she knows that this wasn’t exactly the truth, she then goes to give this to Junichi throwing Umehara into despair.
She gives them to him and they eat them together with them both asking if there’s someone the other likes with neither of them giving an answer, he then notices some chocolate on her cheek and wipes it off for her. As time passes she continues her diet while Ruriko and Manaka watch over her until they graduate, where on the day they do she congratulates them and apologises for being unable to find any new members yet they don’t mind and just thank her for the time they were able to spend together, Junichi then arrives to offer his congratulations to them by handing in the form they had slipped him earlier, bringing Rihoko to tears of happiness.
In the Spring of their last year Rihoko and Junichi hold an event to attract new members with Ruriko and Manaka paying a visit and teasing them on how they look like a couple. Students start to come in and as her arc draws to a close Rihoko reflects on how Junichi is by her side and how someday she hopes her feelings will reach him.
With Rihoko’s arc at an end we move onto the long awaited and final Tsukasa arc.
At first I thought that this was kind of disappointing as an end to Rihoko’s arc as unlike any of the previous heroines she was the only one who’s ending didn’t have her romantically involved with Junichi. However in some other ways it was actually kind of nice as an ending, as we saw things like Ruriko and Manaka’s graduating and the plot around getting Junichi to join the Tea Club resolved.
How Rihoko was the only one so far to receive an ending where she wasn’t exactly romantically involved with Junichi was actually kind of depressing as well in a way, as when you consider how long she had liked him for it was really something that she deserved. However much of this could probably be placed to how dense Junichi was when it came to this in this arc and probably that awkwardness that came from them being friends for so long. Where the former came in as would be completely oblivious to the hints to him about her and the plans that the various other characters, such as Kanae, and Ruriko and Manaka, had to set the two of them up. The awkwardness that they both felt from being friend for so long may have also been something that got in the way, as when they ate the choux creme together and even before that, there were a few hints that they both liked each other but neither could really move forward.
But if anything I’d like to move on to the more positive aspects of this episode, such as Ruriko and Manaka graduating and the plot to get Junichi to join the Tea Club in order to save it being resolved. Which were both pretty nice where in the former we were shown just how Rihoko felt about her upperclassmen leaving and how her main reason for wanting to find new members was to repay them. And it was actually a pretty nice scene when she congratulated them on graduating and they were just happy that they had fun spending time with her, so it really managed to have a bitter sweet feeling to it. Other than that it was also nice to see the plot about getting Junichi to join the Tea Club being resolved, where towards the end he had handed in a registration form as they were about to graduate. In a way this also sort of implied that her feelings would one day reach him, as he seemed to know what she had wished for considering that he thought her diet would work and had also joined the Tea Club, so in a way it’s feels like it’s only a matter of time until they do.
Overall I kind of liked this arc more than I expected I would as we were able to see Rihoko a bit clearer after she had made appearances every now and then in the previous arcs. She also presented the childhood friend angle to the story which was pretty interesting in itself and Rihoko also proved to be pretty cute at times, and overall she and Junichi made a pretty good couple as they seemed to work rather well together. Other than that we also got to see and know some characters who hadn’t really appeared outside this that much, like Kanae, Ruriko, and Manaka, though the same can really be said for some of the other arcs as well. However even in her own route it still didn’t feel like she was able to progress things much further than what they had been at the start, which was actually kind of sad to see compared to the other arcs as something like a confession towards the end would have been nice enough. However with that it also presented that hope that it may some day progress further than that.