Noe reveals her true nature and stabs Shinichiro in the chest*
The trip back home becomes an awkward one, as Hiromi goes into further detail about the person whom she likes, to a depressed and visibly heartbroken Shinichiro. Still reeling in all the pain, he leaves early the next morning, to head down to the waterfront to laze about, with every intention of not wanting to be around Hiromi. There, he meets Aiko, whom he blames for giving him false hope. To seek atonement, she asks him out for a
date shopping trip, where Shinichiro tells her about how he had assumed Hiromi wanted to get close to Noe for his own sake, but it turned out otherwise, as the former had someone else in mind. Aiko apologizes and consoles him, telling him how time will heal all wounds.
It becomes tense once again, as Shinichiro heads home, only to see Hiromi, who confronts him as to whether he's been intentionally avoiding her. Unable to find the right words to reply her, they are suddenly interrupted by Shinichiro's mother. Shin takes this opportunity to take his leave, with Hiromi doing the same. Just as she was about to do so, the lady of the house coldly mentions how Hiromi's eyes resembled her real mother's.
Shinichiro's gloominess carries on to the next day, but it all takes a 360 degree turn, as the ever cheerful and energetic Noe catches him by surprise yet again. He asks her if she would want his tears, but she turns it down, claiming it was worthless. Performing some impromptu pseudo waterboarding torture(lawl) on Shinichiro to make him feel better, Noe puts her grandmother's jacket over his shoulders and begins to reminiscence her time as a child with the old lady. She reveals to him how she had been unable to cry ever since and that even if she were to do so, she needed someone who looks upwards and has tears close to the heaven, which explains why Shin's tears wouldn't suffice.
We turn attention to Nobuse and Aiko, with the former thinking it was a date, contrary to a disinterested Aiko who couldn't care less. Ouch. Still, they both spot Shin and Noe walking together, to which Aiko reacts unfavorably. Nobuse ceases the opportunity to hold her hands, but only manages to startle Aiko in the process. Again, ouch. Guessing Hiromi is the cause for Shinichiro's depression, Noe offers to help get him and Hiromi closer together. At the supermarket later in the evening with her brother, Noe tells him about the day she had with Shin. This in turn prompts him to approach our hero the next day, asking him to go out with his sister. ????!!!!
True Tears delivers yet again with this episode. Unlike most shows of the same genre where the main heroine route is hinted right at the beginning, there are now many possibilities that Shinichiro can explore, as every girl has equal opportunity at this point. It's pretty obvious by now that Aiko likes him, and is using the blissfully ignorant and clueless Nobuse as part of her plan. Unlike Taisuke of School Days, I don't think this side male character is going to get lucky any time soon.. Meanwhile, despite the fact Hiromi has admitted to liking Noe's brother, the brief moment she had with Shin when they were preparing to go to school, gave a glimmer of hope to their relationship. Finally, with Noe offering her services and Jun intervening, the possibility of her path looks brighter than ever before. I like all the girls here, so regardless of who Shinichiro chooses, my only hope is that they do it properly.
*Oops, wrong show.