|Character(s) Shown on Cover|
| Chiyo Sakura|
Issue 80, published in Volume 8, is the 80th chapter of the manga.
Page Titles Edit
- Stressing Gender Equality
- The Maiden's Heart Within Me ♡
- Cast And Setting
- Names And Distance
- A Stupid Conversation
- Chiyo-chan's Devotion
- The Eyes That Look At His Girlfriend
- The Quietest Table In Any Place
- An Easy Question
- A Lot Of Likable Qualities ♡
- In The Heart Of A Maiden In Love ♡
- Withdrawing The Flag
Mikoshiba and Sakura are walking past a cafe which has recently opened. It is said to be cute and filled with couples. However, when they look into the window, they notice Nozaki drinking tea alone in a fancy seat.
Nozaki complains that he visited the cafe to conduct research on couples' conversations, but was disappointed when they started talking about 'normal stuff'. He then asks Sakura and Mikoshiba if they could help him enact an ideal couples' conversation. Sakura gets embarrassed when Mikoshiba concludes that Nozaki can play the role of 'boyfriend' with her playing the role of 'girlfriend'. Nozaki declares that anyone playing the role of 'girlfriend' would be fine - even himself. Mikoshiba tells him not to make such an open-ended decision. Sakura glares at Mikoshiba, stating that there is only one spot left either way. Intimidated by her game face, he assures Sakura that she is welcome to take this spot.
Nozaki is reminded that Sakura once said she has someone she likes. Sakura is taken aback by the sudden confrontation, and begins to consider her options. She wonders whether telling Nozaki that she does like someone will make him choose her for the role of 'girlfriend', or vice versa. Sakura compares this risky decision to betting on horse races. In the end, she decides to tell Nozaki that she doesn't like anyone. He asks her to play the 'girlfriend' and Sakura is triumphant.
The roles are decided: Nozaki will play the 'boyfriend', Sakura will play the 'girlfriend'... and Mikoshiba will play the 'Sakura family guardian spirit'. Mikoshiba chokes on his drink at this sudden declaration. As a 'good' guardian spirit, Nozaki explains, Mikoshiba's character has been protecting the Sakura family for generations. His role is to save Sakura when she is in trouble. Realising that he needs to be nothing more than an advisor, Mikoshiba warms to the idea. That is, until Nozaki mentions that Sakura can't hear his voice since he is a spirit. Mikoshiba retorts that "There's no damn point!!!"
Mikoshiba suggests that Nozaki and Sakura change what they call each other (e.g. by their first names instead of their family names). Nozaki agrees and starts out with 'Chiyo-chan'. This makes Sakura ecstatic yet embarrassed. Smugly, Mikoshiba whispers to Sakura that he is happy that 'you two got a bit closer'. Meanwhile, Sakura is resting her head on the table whispering the words 'Chiyo-chan' like a mantra. She finally raises her head to say "Thank you, Mikoshiba-sama!" Due to her usage of the formal honorific, Mikoshiba wonders why he is the only one who seems to be 'getting farther away'.
Hysterically, Sakura takes part in the roleplay with an enthusiastic "Umetarou-kun!!!". Mikoshiba asks Nozaki why he looks so puzzled. He replies that using their own names seems 'surprisingly subdued'. Instead, Nozaki suggests calling each other 'Cherry' ('Sakura' means cherry blossoms in Japanese) and 'Plum' ('Ume' means plum in Japanese). Mikoshiba outwardly wonders why Nozaki is acting like he came up with a good idea. However, Sakura does not hesitate to say 'Plum-kun'. Mikoshiba tells her not to get on board so willingly.
Reverting back to 'Chiyo-chan', Nozaki asks Sakura what she would like to order. She immediately replies with 'cheesecake'. However, Nozaki decides to steer their conversation back to 'couple talk' by pretending that she cannot decide between cheesecake and Mont Blanc. Mikoshiba picks up on this - a common shoujo manga trope. Acting as her 'guardian spirit', he advises Sakura to get both cakes and split them. His advice backfires when she insists on eating a whole piece of cake and tells Mikoshiba not to get in the way.
In the end, Nozaki and Mikoshiba split the two cakes - "Isn't this yummy, Mikoto-chan?" - and Sakura gets her own slice. Realising that the girlfriend is meant to be watching over her boyfriend, Sakura offers Nozaki her slice of cake. Confused, Nozaki turns it down, but she insists. With 'the eyes of a mother', Nozaki reads Sakura's thoughts: "You're saying that, but you actually want to eat all of it, don't you?" He then offers her his whole share.
Having overlooked his main goal, Nozaki reminds Sakura that they are meant to be enacting an ideal couples' conversation. He asks her what kind of conversation would be pronounced ideal. Nozaki goes on to explain that he wants the conversation to have a climax, comparing it to a dramatic two-page manga spread. Mikoshiba points out that this is an unrealistically high expectation for an everyday conversation. Cluelessly, Nozaki elaborates that conversations in manga are never pointless. Even seemingly meaningless words turn out to be some form of development. Unable to meet his expectations, Mikoshiba and Sakura hang their heads in silence while the ordinary conversations of others echo throughout the room.
Realising his mistake, Nozaki suggests that he and Sakura take turns saying what they like about each other. Sakura rises to the challenge. However, when it comes down to it, she has difficulty finding the right thing to say. "You're tall" sounds shallow, while "You're kind and have a sense of humour" sounds too cliche. Sensing Sakura's hesitation, Nozaki attempts to reassure her that she doesn't have to force an answer. Sakura settles on a response nonetheless - "I like when you kneel for a long time, your foot does not fall asleep..."
Nozaki declares that it is now his turn. He starts off with "I think it's nice that you're always trying your hardest." Warmly, he goes on to call Sakura "a hardworking person", "always passionate about trying to do your best", even claiming that she "has guts". Sakura is flustered throughout this ordeal, embarrassed that Nozaki likes so many things about her. Watching the scene unfold, Mikoshiba recognises that Nozaki is merely taking the same fact (that she is strong-willed) and repeating it in different ways.
Sakura revels in her compliments with enthusiasm. Meanwhile Nozaki confronts her once again, asking whether she actually has somebody she likes. Sakura is taken by surprise, and considers hinting towards the truth versus keeping quiet. She compares this critical decision to the act of betting on a horse race. After a moment's hesitation, Sakura decides to deny the fact that she likes anyone. This answer appears to satisfy Nozaki, as he asks her to help him again next time 'in that case'. Sakura is ecstatic and pictures herself having won the hypothetical racehorse bet.
Sakura does not hesitate to tell Nozaki that she would certainly be willing to help him again. Nozaki mentions that, thanks to their cooperation today, he has thought of something to use in 'Let's Fall in Love'. Sakura is embarrassed yet excited to hear what this is. As it turns out, Nozaki has not accounted for Sakura at all. He has only incorporated Mikoshiba - or rather, a guardian spirit - into the storyline, watching over Suzuki. Mamiko is shown being introduced to his guardian spirit. Annoyed, Sakura turns to Mikoshiba. She sarcastically mentions that she can't hear his voice ("Goodbye, Mikoshiba-sama...") Mikoshiba tells her to stop taking out her frustration on him.
Characters in Order of Appearance Edit
Volume 1 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 10.5