A few months has passed since the last time we have seen Rihoko and Jun’ichi together, still as friends. Rihoko’s arc is special in that it is set more on the eyes of Rihoko than that of Jun’ichi’s. We first see Rihoko lazily trying to wake up to the sound of her alarm clock; however, it had to take Itou Kanae, Rihoko’s best friend, to fully wake her up. At the peak of summer, the school is having all of their students take summer classes. However, this is going to be one summer that neither Rihoko nor Jun’ichi will forget.
Inside the classroom, Kanae asks Rihoko to hang out with her, but Rihoko already promised to clean the tea clubroom with Jun’ichi. Kanae asked if any progress has been made since the two are leaders of the club, to which the answer was easily “no”. And, of course, in the background, Jun’ichi was returning a pron video back to Umehara when he has such an awesome girl who has been with him longer than the any of the six main heroines. Seriously, why do these girls fall for such a guy like him. Anyway, Kanae once again gives Rihoko a push to get her feelings across to Jun’ichi.
Inside the club room, Rihoko and Jun’ichi were cleaning up the room when Jun’ichi takes a break. It seems like the heat is getting to him, since he calls it heat fatigue. During their conversation, Jun’ichi asks if she has gained weight recently, since he knows her as a big eater. Of course, she denies this, and to prove it, the two go inside the nurse’s office, which was vacant at the moment. Rihiko weighs herself on the scale, but Jun’ichi teases her by putting his foot on it. Despite weighing herself again, she still seems dissatisfied with her result. Rihoko recalls the time when she and Jun’ichi went to a nurse’s office before back in fifth grade. The two were competing to see who was taller. To both’s surprise, Rihoko wins, which has not happened before. Jun’ichi attempted to compete with her on something else, and being perverted since he was a child, suggested chest measurements. Of course, at the time, Rihoko was innocent and agreed to it. When Jun’ichi measured her chest, he seemed to be quite pleased. Of course, Rihoko would win the match, but Jun’ichi personally won something of his own worth. Jun’ichi suggests that they compete again like last time. After checking their heights, Jun’ichi measures her chest. This time, she is more conscious about it, but still allows him to measure it. Jun’ichi once again is surprised by the result in how much her chest grew. Despite obviously losing in the height category, they were able to redo something they’ve done in the past.
Junichi and Rihoko were now at the school courtyard. Apparently, his uncle strained his back and his parents are taking care of him. Miya and Jun’ichi have been eating nothing but soba and watermelons since their departure, which, of course, is a bad thing. However, neither of them know how to cook well. Rihoko offers her assistance, to which Jun’ichi is highly pleased of. Junichi informs Miya that Rihoko would be making dinner tonight, to which Miya is also highly pleased of. It was Miya who suggested they could live the summer solely by watermelon. Miya asks Jun’ichi to buy ice cream as well, to which he agrees.
At home, Rihoko changes to a more suitable attire for the summer heat before setting out to buy groceries for dinner. Along the way to a grocery store, she meets Yuzuki Ruriko and Hiba Manaka, seniors of her school and leaders of the tea ceremony club, who were working at a stand for a store. Both Ruriko and Manaka pointed out correctly that Rihoko has not made any development since their departure. Ruriko suggests that she buys certain ingredients to help cure Jun’ichi’s heat fatigue. Rihoko claims she is tricking them again, but both inform her that they’re already university students and would not do something childish like that. When put that way, Rihoko has no choice but to believe them. Apparently, the two are in the tennis club, which caught my surprise as well. Rihoko thanks both of them and leaves. Once again, she has been tricked by her sempais, but it is all for the greater goo to get their relationship to bear fruit.
Upon going to Jun’ichi’s place, she was stopped by Makabe, a boy who claims to spend his entire summer hitting on girls and getting a girlfriend. Makabe asks her to follow him to somewhere. While Jun’ichi was buying ice cream, he also spots Rihoko. Curious, he decides to follow him. Makabe brings her to a dark alley, immediately starts hitting on her, and confesses to her. Of course, Rihoko denies his feelings, stating that she already loves someone. When he was about to say whom she loves, a train passes by, deafening the words coming out of her mouth. Of course, Makabe was close enough to hear what she said, but Jun’ichi was watching the two from afar. It is unclear whether or not he is able to discern what was going on or what he heard. Makabe quickly gives up and searches for the next girl to hit on. Makabe turns to hit on Haruka, who was accompanied by Hibiki. Makabe actually excuses himself and runs away. Could he possibly mistaken Hibiki as a guy and believed that he was hitting on a girl already taken? That would be funny.
Anyway, Rihoko returns with food, and Miya is easily ecstatic with her arrival. Jun’ichi actually comes home later than Rihoko, much to Miya’s surprise. Rihoko goes on to work on the kitchen while Jun’ichi and Miya watch TV. Jun’ichi goes on to confront with Rihoko about something, but the conversation turns awry for what he actually wants to say. Soon, Rihoko finishes making dinner. Of course, Jun’ichi and Miya were pleased since they were actually going to eat something nutritious. As expected, all of them were satisfied with their meals. Miya leaves to pick up a phone call while Rihoko starts cleaning up the table. Before she leaves, Rihoko was about to ask something until Miya shows up excited after the phone call about seeing a show with her friends.
As they were eating dessert, heavy rain befalls the town. Miya suggest that Rihoko stays over, since she has done so before. As Rihoko was taking a bath, Jun’ichi opens an album and recalls all the memories he had with her in the past. Later, Jun’ichi double-checks to see if his clothes fit her and enters Miya’s room. Of course, he was turned on her chest touching his clothes. Later at night, Rihoko was unable to sleep. Miya got up and wanted to go to the bathroom, but actually sleep walks to Jun’ichi’s room, who immediately snaps her awake before she puts her pants down. Even after that commotion, Rihoko was still unable to sleep. Rihoko wanted to confront to Junichi, but instead went downstairs. Apparently, Jun’ichi was also downstairs as well. It seem as though neither of them were able to sleep well.
Rihoko and Jun’ichi decide to light some sparklers. Again, more nostalgic memories appear as they competed which of their sparkler would last the longest. Jun’ichi tells her that they have been together since kindergarten. He wishes that they could stay in this type of relationship. Before Rihoko was able to tell him something, her sparkler flew to his body, causing a large ruckus until everything comes to a halt. The two of them find themselves on top of one another, but quickly leave their position afterwards. After a rather awkward moment, Jun’ichi comes out and confesses to her, telling her he has actually loved her all this time but never realizes it because of their close relationship. Rihoko answers back, wanting to be with him forever. That night, at his porch, the two sealed their love for each other with a deep kiss.
The next morning, Rihoko was brewing tea for Jun’ichi to drink. Recognizing each other as lovers now, it was hard to look eye-to-eye without getting embarrassed and blushing. Miya comes into the scene, noticing the rather stiff atmosphere between Jun’ichi and Rihoko. Miya begins her attack, asking exactly what was going on between the two, to which Jun’ichi answers that nothing happened.
As a Rikoho fan, I was very pleased that Rihoko was now out of the friend zone and into the lover’s district. That was mostly what I cared about if there was finally going to be some action between the two. Sure, the confession came out from the blue and was abrupt, but the fact that they now see each other in the lover’s light is evident. This is one of those times when the childhood friend can finally say that they won this bout. Congratulations, Rihoko, you finally got his heart, and you deserved it. Continue to stay strong.