|Mysterious Step Up|
Nazo no Suteppu Appu
|Japan Air Date||
May 12, 2012
Oka shares ice cream with Tsubaki, and implies to him that he and Urabe should be intimate with each other by calling each other by their first names.
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|List of Episodes|
( Manga cross-reference---Manga Chapter 15, "Mysterious Step Up" & Manga Chapter 2, "Mysterious Photograph " )
While shopping for clothes, Tsubaki is met by Oka, who talks to him about using first names with her boyfriend, Ueno, who she sometimes calls " Kouhei ". Oka figures out that Urabe and Tsubaki do not use each others' first names via an abridged drool routine with Tsubaki. At school lunchtime, Oka chides Urabe and talks to her about first names briefly, before doing a quick drool check with Urabe. Miffed, Urabe excuses herself. Later, on the walk home, and stopping at the park, Tsubaki preys upon a sleeping Urabe by whispering " Mikoto " to her. This seems to make her happy, but neither of them are willing to talk about it. That night, Tsubaki has another weird dream again, this time of taking the perfect picture of Urabe smiling sweetly.
The next day, Tsubaki blurts out that he wants a photo of Urabe when they are walking to school. She at first agrees, then reneges. Later, after school,Tsubaki is waiting for Urabe at a bridge and his old middle school crush, Hayakawa, invites him to a cafe to talk about old times. After he turns down the invitation, Tsubaki finds Urabe hiding at one of the bridge ends, and she states that she did not want to interrupt the conversation. While walking back, Urabe and Tsubaki talk about his crush inviting him to coffee. After the daily drool routine, Tsubaki understands Urabe's sad feelings about the matter of Hayakawa, and when Tsubaki reassures her that he loves only her, she shyly smiles. Tsubaki whips out the camera again to try and take a photo of Urabe when she is smiling, but she gives him a sour picture of her sticking out her tongue. While it does not end up as the kind he wanted, he says that he will treasure it anyway, and puts it in his wallet. Urabe has a gush of drool, showing how happy she is.
One summer day, while shopping for new clothes, Tsubaki is stopped by Oka, who is surprised to see him in that section of town. She is somewhat intimidating to him by her reveling outfit (a stretchy 'boob tube' halter top and booty shorts), by taking his hand in public, and by buying ice cream for the both of them. Tsubaki is concerned that Oka's boyfriend will have a fit knowing that they are together, but Oka reassures him that Kouhei and her are very tight, in fact, they use each others first names. Oka then uses Tsubaki's first name, Akira, to distract him so she can do a drool taste. Sure enough, Tsubaki wishes that Urabe and himself could be on a first name basis.
During the beginning of the first day back to school, Ueno chides Tsubaki about going to the beach with a girlfriend ( He actually did, see Chapter 16 of the manga, Episode 5 of the anime ), but Tsubaki fibs that he went with his sister. At lunchtime, Oka chides Urabe about the fact that they, Urabe and Tsubaki, are not on a first name basis yet. She sneaks a drool taste to confirm that that is what Urabe wants, but Urabe denies it. Miffed, Urabe leaves her presence. On the walk home from school, it is so, so hot. Urabe seeks shade under a tree at a nearby park, while Tsubaki goes for cold drinks. When he returns, Urabe has fallen asleep on the shady park bench. He doesn't want to awaken her, but the drinks will get warm. Tsubaki then becomes devious, and he whispers Urabe's first name, Mikoto, into her ear. She awakens, and smiles ever so shy and sweetly. Both know that her first name was used, but neither are willing to talk about it. Tsubaki tries once again to call out her first name, but botches it.
That night, in bed, Tsubaki berates himself for not using Urabe's first name, then falls asleep. He dreams of both of them in the bazaar cityscape, wherein he takes a picture of Urabe smiling ever so sweetly and shyly. He awakens in the morning, gets his camera out, and muses about taking pictures.
The next day, while walking together, Tsubaki entreats Urabe to let him take a picture of her. After some contemplation, she agrees. But when he implores her to smile sweetly, she declines and simply walks away. That night, in bed, Tsubaki again muses about taking her picture.
The next day, Urabe is delayed in meeting with Tsubaki to walk home together, so he is left by himself on the bridge that serves as their daily meeting spot. As he is waiting, who should randomly walk by, but Hayakawa, a girl that he had a crush on in middle school. Both are surprised at the chance meeting, and Hayakawa suggests that they go to a nearby cafe to spend time together and get caught up on old times. Tsubaki is greatly taken aback by how beautiful and down-right attractive Hayakawa has become, with her long, beautiful hair, and wearing the sharp looking, mini-skirted school uniform of the all-girls school that she now attends. Tsubaki declines the invitation, since he is waiting for Urabe to show up. Wondering if Urabe is ever going to appear, Tsubaki meanders to the end of the bridge, only to find Urabe hiding behind a post, listening to every word of conservation that had occurred between himself and Hayakawa. Urabe stands up and declares that she knows who that girl was. She is the girl that Tsubaki has kept a picture of in his wallet for such a long time.
As they walk in tandem, with Urabe in the lead, Tsubaki becomes more apprehensive, and Urabe becomes sad and dejected. During their daily drool routine, Tsubaki becomes sad to the point of tears, with Urabe explaining that the sadness was her sadness transmitted by her drool, for what almost happened. She feels that Tsubaki came so close to accepting and preferring Hayakawa over herself. Tsubaki reassures Urabe that Urabe is the only girl that he truly loves. Urabe responds silently with a shy, sweet smile. Seeing a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity, Tsubaki whips out his camera. He tells her to step back and repeat the heart-warming smile that she just did. Counting down, 3, 2, 1, Tsubaki snaps the picture, but when it is ejected from the camera, it is a picture of Urabe pulling down her eyelid with her finger, and sticking out her tongue, in a 'f*ck you' pose. Greatly disappointed, Tsubaki demands a retake, with Urabe's reaction being to tell him that the picture can be cut up right here and now, with no retake.
Tsubaki resigns himself to placing the picture of Urabe, looking as if to say, " Screw You " into his wallet, and telling her that he will treasure it always. Urabe stares at him for a moment, then does a 'drool vomit', as a silent indicator of how happy she is !