Sakura tells Nozaki that Miyako has started writing a new story. She is introduced in Monthly Girls' Romance as 'a very ambitious mangaka who draws fantasy and modern life manga'. They are confused as to why Miyako incorporates tanuki so often in her stories, with Nozaki calling it 'half of the mystery'.
On their way back to his apartment, Miyako overhears Nozaki and Sakura in the hallway. She rushes over to Nozaki, asking to return the things she had borrowed before. Sakura, recognising her as his neighbour, becomes slightly jealous of their 'close' relationship - assuming that the borrowed item is either soy sauce or salt. It turns out to be black ink, causing Sfkura to question their relationship even more.
Miyako turns to Sakura and introduces herself as 'the college student that lives upstairs.' Sakura immediately recalls the author of the manga with 'those tanuki' as having the same first and last name. Nozaki informs her that Miyako is the author herself - 'incidentally, her pen name is her real name'.
Miyako invites Nozaki and Sakura back to her apartment and offers them tea. She tells them that her editor/Nozaki's previous editor, Maeno, had just left after a meeting. They had been discussing 'the new idol'. Perplexed, Sakura asks whether they discuss manga ideas. Miyako says that Maeno had offered to include elephants in her next manga, as they are 'second in cuteness to the tanuki'.
Amazed by the absurdity of this idea, Sakura asks Miyako what she is going to do. She sighs that since elephants are too big to fit in manga panels, the background would be hidden. Exasperated, Nozaki and Sakura tell her that the elephant is not the problem.
Miyako offers to show the two of them a new blog run by the editors at Monthly Girls' Romance. However, it turns out to contain no useful information, instead being used as a place for Maeno to post random articles about himself.
Miyako points out that her manuscript is included in the blog as well. As it turns out, it was only included in a photo where Maeno had scattered the pages on the floor. Sakura tells Miyako that she 'should really get mad at him'.
At that moment, Maeno bursts through the door, claiming that he had forgotten something. Sakura and Nozaki are frustrated, while Miyako is indifferent.
Noticing that his blog is open on the computer, Maeno asks whether he can take a picture 'here' (at Miyako's apartment) to post on the blog. Sakura objects immediately, claiming that there will be a panic around Nozaki if his identity was to be revealed. Miyako timidly agrees. To their irritation, Maeno was actually asking them to take a photo of him, not the other way around.
Miyako asks Maeno what he had lost and offers to look for it. He dismisses the item as 'just a little thing' and 'not really important'. However, in the end, Maeno takes up the offer for help. Sakura and Nozaki are furious to learn that he had lost Miyako's manuscript.
Nozaki goes upstairs to Miyako's apartment with Sakura. They overhear her conversation on the phone with Maeno, in which he is suggesting she add a female tanuki to her manga - 'Make it a tanuki couple!!!' Sakura is exasperated while Nozaki is reminded of how 'extremely blessed' he is (to have Ken as his editor).
Sakura asks Miyako what she is going to do about the idea of a tanuki couple. Miyako shows her a draft of her manuscript. One of the characters, a popular girl named Ako, walks around with a tanuki by her side. She falls in love with a boy who is 'different from the others'. Sakura suggests that this is because 'he is carrying a tanuki, is he not...'
Miyako tries to placate the bitter ending by having Ako and the boy switch bodies, as well as their respective tanuki. While Ako and the boy seem to be able to find positive aspects of their situation, the two tanuki stand still with grave expressions. Having no difference in appearance, they do not seem to have changed at all.
Nozaki wonders whether a submissive person such as Miyako is prone to being taken advantage of. Miyako argues that even she 'most certainly fights her battles'. She recalls one meeting before when Maeno suggested changing the name of her manga from 'Hold Me Close' to 'Tanu☆Pon'. Unwilling, Miyako declares that she 'fought to express her opinion'. In the end, Miyako's original idea was only used as a subtitle, making the name of the manga 'Tanu☆Pon ~Hold Me Close~'.
Miyako agrees with Nozaki that misprints occur often when manga is published. She recalls her experiences, including grain being printed as groin and sixth sense being printed as sex sense. The title of one of her manga, Ootsuki-kun's Circumstances, was misprinted as Ootsuki-kun's Affairs.
Nozaki encourages Miyako to get angry at Maeno. Determined, she agrees to make a call and 'lash him straight'. On the phone, she tells Maeno that the title is written incorrectly, to which he apologises and claims that it was his mistake. However, he goes on to say that there are too many difficult kanji in her manga which 'burdens' him. Miyako starts apologising herself, forgetting the original goal.
Nozaki suggests that Miyako put a secret message in her manuscripts, where the first kanji in every panel lines up to read 'swap editor'. When she attempts this, the message ends up reading 'much tanuki'. Nozaki declares that this is not a complaint - simply stating the facts.
Another suggestion from Nozaki is to create a 'tanuki show' that is so extravagant that even Maeno will object. Miyako sketches a protagonist wearing an exaggerated tanuki costume and sends it to Maeno, hoping for the best. However, he finds it 'adorable' and hails it as his favourite protagonist she has ever drawn. Nozaki, Sakura and Miyako are lost for words.
Sakura tells Miyako that the kind of protagonist who wears a tanuki costume would definitely not appeal to readers of shoujo manga. Miyako misunderstands her and comments on the 'strong visual mismatch', proceeding to make changes to the character instead of just removing the costume. She redesigns the character to be (unintentionally) similar in personality and appearance to Nozaki. This causes Sakura to have a change of heart, gushing: "He is also my favourite character out of everything you've done 'til now!!!"
Maeno arrives at Miyako's apartment to pick up her manuscript. Noticing multiple scratches and bandages on his face, she asks him what had happened. Maeno explains that Ken 'suddenly went on a rampage' last night after going out for drinks. Without knowing the full extent of the situation, Miyako passes this on to Nozaki, who later confronts Ken about it.
At college, Miyako's friends decide to eavesdrop on her phone conversation with whom they assume is her boyfriend. They overhear her saying apologetically: "I'm sorry! I'm at school right now. I'll call you back tonight..." and "Y-yes! I'll be on time, I promise...!" The implications of these words lead Miyako's friends to assume that she is leading 'a lifestyle of ruin'.
The rumours are passed on to Haru, who argues that Miyako already has a long-distance boyfriend. She came to this conclusion after noticing Miyako plan her manga in dot points during lectures. Under the impression that the plans were love letters, Haru and her friends are appalled at their contents - "I can't believe he had ten other girlfriends beside me..." and "Absolutely put in a tanuki!!"
Miyako invites Nozaki and Sakura to a café for tea. She asks them what kind of conversation a high school girl would have, as one of her new protagonists is a high school girl. Bursting with excitement, Sakura tells Miyako and Nozaki that Seo taught her how to get all the kernels out of 'a new canned corn soup' she really likes. Settled by Sakura's innocence, Nozaki and Miyako start patting her on the head as if she was a child.
At the café, Miyako tells Sakura that she can always rely on minor characters if thinking of a conversation is too difficult. She shows Sakura a page of her manuscript where two girls are gushing over the protagonist's trendy clothes. Sakura agrees that the main character looks like 'a really fashionable lady'.
Miyako tells Nozaki that Maeno has already decided on a title for her new manga. Nozaki mentions that reusing the title as the final line usually gives the manga a clean ending. Miyako reveals the title Maeno had come up with for her manga - 'The Tanuki Forest'. The two of them are discouraged at the result when they try to use this as the final line.
Haru enters the café and spots Miyako. Noticing that she is sitting with 'a high school boy' (Nozaki), Haru assumes that he is her boyfriend. Miyako and Nozaki are still dejected from their efforts of using 'The Tanuki Forest' as a final line. Haru misunderstands this grim atmosphere as the two of them having relationship problems. Sakura joins them at the table, further confusing Haru.
Nozaki tells Sakura and Miyako that he is thinking of 'throwing in a few more girls' (referring to 'Let's Fall in Love'). Miyako interjects with "How about adding more boys, too? And breaking up once might be interesting..." Once again, Haru takes their conversation from the wrong perspective.
Miyako asks Sakura what she should do (about 'The Tanuki Forest'). With a serious expression, Sakura tells her that addressing the tanuki should be her top priority. Haru is perplexed.
Nozaki is reminded that 'it's about time for swimsuits' (referring to a common trope in shoujo manga, the beach chapter). Miyako agrees. She tells Nozaki that she is thinking about doing a bikini with a floral design, and asks what he is planning to do. Nozaki says that 'a red polka-dot with a frilled skirt would be good'. Haru asks herself why he is willing to wear such an outfit.
Haru realises that 'Ribbons' (Sakura) has a crush on Nozaki. She looks around, trying to find Miyako in order to warn her that 'he'll wander off before you know it'. However, she finds Miyako asking to take a photo of a male waiter's uniform - "You'll wander off, too?!"
Nozaki asks Miyako if she knows how to bake a cheesecake. Miyako replies that she is more partial to creamy cakes than cheesecake and asks him to make her one. At the sight of this 'disgustingly cavalier invitation', Haru slams her head on the table in frustration.
Nozaki and Miyako get ready to leave the café. She apologises to Sakura for 'taking so much out of your time'. Haru watches on with irritation. The next day at college, she remarks that "High school girls these days are terrifying..." Miyako jumps out of her chair, enthusiastic to know more (so as to relate it to her high school girl protagonist).
Mikoshiba and Mayu are sitting stranded in front of Nozaki's apartment, waiting for him to come home. Without Mikoshiba's knowledge, Mayu approaches Miyako in the corridor and explains their situation. She invites them into her apartment, offering them barley tea and green tea.
Miyako smiles when she notices Mikoshiba kneeling anxiously in a corner, thinking to herself that he 'still gets so antsy every time...'. He reminds her of a cat that gets scared easily. On the other hand, Mayu is lying down comfortably with his head in a beanbag. This reminds Miyako of a sleeping cat.
Miyako asks Mayu whether he reads Nozaki's manga. The situation becomes awkward when all Mayu can recall about any of his manga is that 'a girl got together with a guy'.
Mikoshiba attempts to summarise one of Miyako's manga. The situation becomes awkward when all he can take in is the plentiful appearance of tanuki.
Looking around Miyako's apartment, Mikoshiba draws comparisons between her office and that of Nozaki. He notices that she and Nozaki both own books such as 'Flower Encyclopedia' and 'Guidebook of Colour Schemes'. He chuckles at the fact that she does not collect the full series of 'Let's Draw Backgrounds' and 'How to Draw Manga'. However, Miyako appears to own the complete collection of 'The Male Nude'.
Miyako hands Mikoshiba and Mayu a slice of cake each. Mikoshiba offers to 'repay her with his body', surprising Miyako. She is pleasantly relieved when he reveals that he only meant to help her draw the flowers.
Mikoshiba goes to the bathroom and warns Mayu 'not to do anything'. He returns to find Miyako kneeling in front of a shirtless Mayu, sketching. She throws her notepad over her head defensively and apologises when Mikoshiba starts yelling in exasperation.
Miyako briefly compliments Mikoshiba on his skill of drawing flowers. She then turns back to Mayu - who is still shirtless - and has him pose in different ways while she sketches. Mikoshiba looks on pitifully as Miyako showers Mayu with praise, thinking that something seems 'totally unfair'.
Nozaki consults Miyako for help after being asked by Ken to draw a chibi Mamiko which will be printed on merchandise. Miyako tells him that she is 'not so great at drawing chibi characters, either.' As it turns out, all of the merchandise relating to her manga feature tanuki.
Nozaki considers adopting an animal mascot for 'Let's Fall in Love'. Miyako advises him to take references from illustrated encyclopedias when drawing animals. Nozaki agrees. She goes on to tell him 'from experience' that elephants will be too large to fit in a panel, and that giraffes will break out of a panel. Nozaki suggests that she stop looking at encyclopedias.
Miyako invites Nozaki over to her apartment. She asks him to help her draw the background cast for a new chapter. Miyako considers it to be 'luxurious' that a fellow artist is drawing some of her characters.
Miyako, at 18 years of age, is checking a fax machine for instructions regarding cover art for a new issue of Monthly Girls' Romance. She is relieved to find that a different supervisor is issuing the instructions and not Maeno, since she will likely not be made to include tanuki. However, the other supervisor has assumed that she draws them of her own free will. Thus she is instructed to 'put up to 2 tanuki (For 3 and above, please consult us.)'
Back in the present day, Miyako tells Nozaki that her supervisors back then must have thought of her as a tanuki fan. Recently, her cover art requests have had tanuki subtly included. However, the ones that had been issued by Maeno have tanuki as their main focus, with the heroine subtly included.
Miyako envies Nozaki for getting normal cover art requests. Nozaki corrects her, claiming that he has gotten strange requests before. For example - Mamiko wearing a white scarf and gloves in a field of snow for a December issue. Miyako questions how this can be considered 'strange'. Added on to the list of requests is 'Eat nabe', 'Mushrooms for ingredients' and 'Mini-skirt Santa costume'. Miyako comments that the image has strikingly changed. However, the finished art depicts Mamiko doing a peace sign with both hands. Miyako asks where the nabe is.
Miyako tells Sakura that, in order to keep her job as a manga artist secret, 'smiling out of it works like a charm'. The scene flashes back to a time at college when Ryosuke was asking Miyako about her part time job. To all his questions - "Waitressing?" "Is it an unusual job?" "I get it - a night job!" - she smiles innocently. This gives Ryosuke the impression that she really does have a night job.
Haru passes the rumour that Miyako has a high school boyfriend on to Ryosuke. Ryosuke is shocked, unable to believe that she 'fell so low'. He is shocked even more when told that Miyako was 'all smiles' during her 'spat' (with Nozaki).
Miyako invites Nozaki to a café for help with her storyboard. For this chapter, she is drawing the theme of 'transformation'. Miyako shows Nozaki a page of her manuscript. On this page, the protagonist hears a voice saying "Save us" and turns around to find a tanuki, which has presumably been transformed. Nozaki is not surprised.
Miyako suggests cat ears for the tanuki. Nozaki thinks that this will be better than a transformation, however, it turns out to look creepy. Miyako then attempts to add bunny ears, which Nozaki does not object to. However, she ends up adding bunny ears on top of the cat ears. The tanuki is also holding a carrot and a magic wand. Nozaki hails this as 'a new species of monster'.
The perspective changes to that of Ryosuke, who works as a waiter at the café. Recalling what Haru had told him about Miyako having a boyfriend in high school, he also considers it to be Nozaki. As he eavesdrops on Miyako and Nozaki's previous conversation, Ryosuke is convinced that the two of them are planning some sort of cosplay ('cat ears' and 'bunny ears').
Ryosuke irritably approaches their table to serve food. Miyako becomes anxious, wondering whether Ryosuke heard her conversation with Nozaki and is planning to spread the word that she is a manga artist. On the other hand, Ryosuke takes her anxious expression as worry that her 'boyfriend' is not interested in her. He resolves to confess his feelings for Miyako and blurts out: "I'm extremely interested in you!!!". Miyako assumes that Ryosuke is interested in her being a manga artist, and yells at him to "Stop that!!!"
Miyako sits anxiously as Ryosuke tells Nozaki to 'take a stand' (on behalf of Miyako). Nozaki takes this the wrong way and physically stands up.
Ryosuke turns away angrily, his parting words to Nozaki being "You're just all size, you stuck-up brat!". Miyako reprimands him. She then turns back to Nozaki who has whipped out a camera, ready to take photos of Ryosuke's uniform as a reference. Miyako shoves the camera into his lap, telling him to 'keep it down'.
Miyako apologises for Ryosuke's behaviour. Nozaki assures her that he does not hate him, and decides to draw Suzuki working a part-time job. He begins to list Ryosuke's actions, such as the way he held the plates, and incorporates them into a page of his manuscript. Miyako thinks that 'it's kind of nice to hear him being praised'. However, Nozaki ends up drawing a waiter who tells Suzuki not to be 'stuck-up'. Miyako considers this character to be 'straight up Ryosuke'.
Nozaki and Miyako ask for separate cheques at the counter. Frustrated that he 'couldn't do a thing in the end', Ryosuke takes Miyako by the hand and blurts out: "If it were me, I'd be really stoked if you wore a bunny girl outfit!!!" Miyako smiles her way out of the situation.
During a meeting at Monthly Girls' Romance, Miyako tells Maeno that as a college student her summer break is one month longer than usual. At first Maeno appears to be jealous, but Miyako soon realises that he regularly goes out drinking anyway despite having responsibilities at work.
Miyako tells Nozaki that she does not really get invited to drinks. Nozaki suggests that they think she can't hold her alcohol. Meanwhile, Miyako sends Haru and several of her college friends a text informing them that she will be coming to drink. Miyako sends another text alluding towards her alcohol intolerance. Her friends freak out, assuming that this is because she chugs at her night job. They resolve to keep Miyako away from any alcohol, insisting that this will be 'a holiday for her liver'.
Miyako shows up to the party with ideas for a new college manga. She observes two students arguing and imagines several clichéd situations in which they fall in love (brushing hands, a drunk confession etc). The boy notices Miyako looking their way 'with warm eyes', and decides that their fighting must seem like 'a cat video' compared to what she sees at her night job.
Two girls are encouraging each other to take different shots of alcohol. Miyako finds the atmosphere heart-warming and approaches them, looking to try a sip herself. However, Haru jumps out in front of Miyako with a plate of food, intending to distract her from drinking. Everybody she approaches gives the same reaction. Ryosuke, who also has low tolerance to alcohol, is holding a beer when Miyako approaches. He intends to catch her attention, but she walks straight past him.
One of Ryosuke's friends informs him that Miyako has been 'skipping all the beer folks', as she finds beer to be too bitter.
Miyako finally approaches Ryosuke after he orders kahlua milk instead of beer. Ryosuke reveals that he has also ordered salty dog, Campari orange, Moscow mule and matcha milk - in preparation for the case that she does not like kahlua. Instead of becoming attracted to him for his taste in alcohol, as Ryosuke had expected, Miyako ends up drinking it all.
Nozaki is writing cards with plot points on them, to help him get through an art block for his next manuscript. He asks Miyako to write some ideas to put in the box of cards. To begin with, she writes regular themes such as 'teacher', 'secret between two people' and 'misogyny'. However, she proceeds to think of increasingly outlandish ideas. When Nozaki inspects the cards afterwards, he finds 'reverse', 'miss one turn' etc. As it turns out, Miyako had fooled herself into thinking she was making a card game halfway through.
Nozaki offers Miyako the box of cards so that she can try using them. While drawing the cards, she comes across 'Tall guy' and 'Large height difference'. It is obvious to her that Sakura wrote them, which she finds heartwarming.
Miyako stops Nozaki on the way to his apartment to inform him that Ryosuke's sister got a boyfriend. This is based on a misunderstanding which led to Ryosuke becoming convinced that Wakamatsu and Seo are dating. Nozaki is indifferent, not knowing that Ryosuke's sister is Seo. Miyako goes on to claim that 'her boyfriend' (Wakamatsu) declared that he likes Ryosuke's sister. Nozaki is disappointed that he did not get to witness this.