Upon a time (October 14, 2007)Edit
Yuu Himura welcomes back Chihiro in the church and pats her on her forehead, acting like a father figure. He is aware that she has been seeing Renji and it concerns him. He reminds her that, for her own protection, she should not get too close to anyone, nor to let anyone get close to her. They talk about her condition and whether or not she should reveal it to Renji, and he says it is up to her to decide, but personally he recommends she shouldn't tell him. She agrees. Then she says ruefully, "I don't even have the ability to regret my mistakes."
Meanwhile back in Japan, Hiro pulls an all-nighter to meet his publishing deadline. At sunrise he falls asleep at his drawing desk. While he is still sleeping, Kei lets herself in with her key and gazes lovingly at his sleeping form, then she switches into tsun mode and kicks his ass and drags him to school. Kei lectures him all the way to school about his borderline grades and bad attendance record and that he's in jeopardy of repeating a grade. Hiro laughs and says she'd probably like that, because then they'd be in the same year together. (Note: This confirms that Hiro is indeed a junior - not a senior - because Kei is definitely a freshman.)
Kyosuke sees Kei haranguing Hiro in the hallway. After Kei leaves for class, Kyosuke teases Hiro that he has a girlfriend, which Hiro denies. Kyosuke (a self-proclaimed playboy) then tries to give Hiro some pro tips on how to pick up girls, which only annoys him further.
Using a secret key, Hiro skips class and sneaks up to the school rooftop to try to finish his manga before the deadline. He narrates that his world is 'missing a color', meaning that something important is missing from his life, and that his artistic creativity is suffering because of it. The angel Yuuko appears. He explains to Yuuko that because of his manga obligations that he "has responsibilities". Yuuko asks, "But to whom?" He cannot answer. He is then awakened by Miyako, who reveals that she also likes to sneak up to the rooftop. Hiro is surprised that she is a student (he has not seen her since Christmas), and she explains that because they both skip class so often, the two of them have simply not met in school before now.
In the Film Club room, Kyosuke is unable to edit his shot of Kei because a truck obscured the frame. His fellow club members complain to him that his shots are 'too bold', and that they cannot be spliced together with lesser shots made by the other club members. Kyosuke, who is a true film auteur, retorts that he always puts his heart and soul into every shot. Emi Izumi jumps to his defense, and she says that his work ought to be highlighted at the film festival.
Kyosuke is moody and walks out. He then spots Kei running in the hall but loses sight of her. Chihiro sends a text message to Kei that she is going to reveal her condition to Renji, and Kei texts back her support.
Meanwhile, Hiro and Miyako sit together on the rooftop and chat. (During this scene the color blue is conspicuously missing.) They admit they are both lonely class cutters. She says she is happy to see him again, as it is a "reunion with the guy I spent Christmas Eve with", which at first suggests that they had a one night stand. However, Hiro reveals that they only went to karaoke rooms and coffee shops all night long. Miyako, who is quite observant and intelligent, quickly figures out that Hiro is a secret mangaka. Before he can react she says it is wonderful that he already has a career while still in high school. Hiro begs her to keep it a secret, then admits he is noncommittal about his future. During the conversation he warms up to her.
Chihiro intently studies her diary (she is reading and re-reading the valiant attempt by Yesterday's Chihiro to describe her emotional third meeting with Renji in episode 1). It delays her from arriving at the abandoned train station until after Renji arrives. Chihiro comes to a decision: She reveals to Renji that she was "writing a book". Renji misinterprets it as her writing a novel, which he says he'd love to do too, as he has tentatively decided that he wants to become a novelist himself. She says it is important to do what you love (echoing Himura), and she admits that she has a secret dream of "writing a story" herself. Renji tells her to follow her dream, which greatly encourages her.
As they walk together, Renji is surprised to learn that Chihiro is actually his own age (16), as he had previously believed that she was a much younger girl. During the walk, Chihiro spots Himura approaching, so she balks and goes home alone without revealing her secret to Renji. Himura then warns Renji that if he wants to stay by Chihiro's side, that he will "have to be prepared."
The next day, Chihiro steels herself and escorts Renji to the beachfront at dusk. She is quite nervous, but Renji manages to calm her down. She then reveals to him her secret: She has a memory defect where she can only retain memories for 13 hours. She explains to him that the 'Chihiro from yesterday' will always be different from the 'Chihiro of today', as will the 'Chihiro of tomorrow'. Her memory defect is permanent and it will never be cured.