The chimes go off...
No Guard Strategy
Signaling the end of the day's lesson. But, apparently, they have something to prepare for: midterms! It's a tough time to get through, but it'll be a cinch for students who keep up with their homework. But for those like Tomo who copy wholesale from Chiyo? Not a chance. Tomo says she also copies from Yomi
, earning her a "Shut up, you moron!"
A couple of female students are wanting shaved ice.
Yomi is getting out her bento
box when Tomo runs up and sits in the seat in front of her, wanting to see her math homework. Yomi reminds her of the warning she got. Tomo says that's why she's asking her instead of Chiyo. (Well, 1, you already said you copy partially from Yomi, and 2, the exact identities of those you copy from is almost irrelevant in terms of whether or not it's okay.) Yomi suggests she do her own work sometimes. Tomo says she didn't catch the assignment, and claims she really does want to do it. Yomi is skeptical. Tomo offers to do Yomi's homework, but Yomi wants that even less for her own grades' sake. Tomo figures her only choice is to see hers. Yomi asks why she doesn't do her own. Tomo doesn't consider it a big deal, and tells her to lighten up, and not be so uptight about it, after all, this is "you and me". Yomi resignedly takes it out and offers it. Tomo wants Yomi to give it to her now. (Well? It's right in front of you, girl.) But then, Yomi stands up and withholds it, saying "'Thank you so very much.' Come on." Tomo doesn't get it, and asks if she's an idiot. Yomi quakes, and yells that the only idiot is her. They growl at each other as Chiyo skitters around them, facing us no matter whether that means facing them or not, pleading with them to stop fighting and calm down. I guess it works... but we zoom in on Tomo's mouth, and she says "Idiot." This starts it up again.
After school, they walk a brick path together. Tomo says it's because Yomi's being stingy, but Yomi says that's not the issue. Chiyo points out to Tomo that she really should try harder, right before the test date if at no other time. Tomo tells her not to worry, as she's done nothing this whole time, so there's no point this late. She figures what will be, will be, and laughs. (She's been listening to too many Jay Livingston and Ray Evans songs.) Yomi tells Chiyo that's the kind of person she is, and that worrying about her is a waste of time. Chiyo acknowledges this. Tomo says, "Really, such a problem, isn't it?" Yomi says they're talking about her. Tomo tells Yomi she's really good at taking digs at people, and says that she's no match for her. "The fruit next door is a fruit that feeds on families," she continues. When Yomi is silent, Tomo encourages her to take a dig at her, only to be punched. (We only get Chiyo's reaction shot.) Tomo is felled. She compliments Yomi on her left uppercut.
In the classroom, Tomo approaches Yomi. Yomi says "no" before Tomo even sits down. Tomo points out that she hasn't said anything. Yomi predicts that Tomo is asking for another favor, like homework. Tomo says it's not that, so Yomi asks what it is. Tomo wants to know the scope of the grammar test. Yomi was apparently correct in the first part of her prediction. Tomo says she forgot what was going to be on it. Yomo stands up and yells that she's never telling her, and that someone as lazy as her can just keep forgetting for the rest of her life. Tomo says it just slipped her mind.
A pinwheel becomes embedded in the wall. Osaka, who's standing beside it, will give Tomo a run for her money any day. Kagura blazes by, then slides up beside Osaka, and says she can't have her forgetting about her. Tomo acknowledges both, and joins them, asking Yomi to extend her loving help to them. Kagura's forgotten the scope of the test for every subject. (I wouldn't put that past Tomo, either.) Osaka asks when the tests are supposed to start. Tomo is... impressed that she's forgotten the schedule. Kagura says her title of "Great Queen of Forgetfulness" is deserved. So, in conclusion, they tell Yomi to tell them the scope of the test. They then walk around bent over in a circle, telling her to tell them the scope. Yomi says she's not going to tell knuckleheads (bonkurasu
) like them. Tomo is flabbergasted. She then notices Kagura and Osaka, and asks why they're acting so cool, and want them to say something back at her. They point at Tomo and say "Knucklehead." Tomo points out that she pluralized it. (What I am led to understand is that pluralization is normally more or less implied in Japanese, but sometimes people add the letter su
to make it clear.) They respond with a "Who you callin' knuckleheeead?")
Yomi sighs. Tomo figures that they won't ask her, and figures they'll just have to study everything and work together. She says they'll have the last laugh... on their honor as Knuckleheads!
At the study session, Kagura doesn't get a part, and Osaka doesn't know what it could mean. Tomo says they can't lose heart, and they'll figure it out if they work together. Kagura suggests making a sincere apology to Yomi so she'll tell them. Tomo figures if they lose, they'll have lost. Osaka sets to wondering if "Blue Three"'s last name is "Blue". Kagura considers that random. Tomo thinks it's dumb... because "Blue Three" ("Buru Suri", "Burusu Ri", Bruce Lee
) is a foreigner, and therefore, his name is "Three". They understand it, and Kagura calls Tomo awesome, which she knows. Osaka wonders what happened to One and Two. She imagines a humanoid, almost all covered in blue, the exception being a yellow "3" on his face. He kicks away all comers. Osaka figures Blue Five or so would be Jackie Chan
. They others seem to get it. A brown bird lands on Osaka's head, then flies away.
Divider: Crying Kaorin, and Sakaki in profile.
Kagura understands that it's no use if all she has to turn to are other Knuckleheads.
With the big test coming up, she's got to do something about it. However, she's taken no notes, and she's paying for it. She pleads with Sakaki for a quick peek at her notes. Sakaki quietly hands them over. Kagura thanks her, and figures having a rival can come in handy. (Uh, yeah, I don't think that was as a rival.) She wonders what she should copy first. Unfortunately, she finds herself without the educational foundation needed to understand Sakaki's notes. She grows increasingly frustrated. She twirls a mechanical pencil and taps her foot. She finally runs across a "key point" (po-i-n-to
) marked with a doodle of a cat. Kagura thinks she's not much of an artist. She returns the notes, thanking her again, but says just looking at them didn't tell her as much as she thought it would. She then leaves. Sakaki leaves through her notes... and finds a few arrows in her cat.
In the hall, Osaka calls out to Yukari, as she has a question. Yukari figures it to be prompted by tests, and says to ask her anything.
Osaka wants to know if it's true if you can go inside American homes with shoes on. (I sometimes do, but with things like work shoes, I tend to leave them on the back porch when I come in.) Yukari says, "Yeah," in a way that sounds like she has no idea where Osaka is going with this. Osaka wonders what if you stepped in dog poop in the street, and went home without realizing. And then if the entire immediate family did the same. Yukari is shocked and disgusted, by the look and sound of things.
In the classroom again, Tomo is humming merrily and rocking in her seat. Yomi thinks she seems rather relaxed, and asks if there isn't something she should be doing, as the test is tomorrow. Tomo holds her arms out to the sides, then starts laughing. She stands up and announces that she has a secret plan, and holds up two small books. They're her predictions for what'll be on the test. She asks if everyone else is going to be okay. She finds a boy putting up a futile resistance.
She mockingly guesses that he was cramming the night before, and asks if he can memorize it all in time. He irritatedly tells her to shut up, as she's going to make him forget. She tells him not to take it out on her. She leaps to the front and generously lets everyone know her predictions, such as translating the text on p.32.
The day of the test comes, and it's time to begin. A number of students simultaneously say it's not on there. Yukari wonders what they're talking about. Tomo drops her pencil. Yomi, having studied properly
, just sighs.
The tests have come back, and students are looking at their own grades, as well as those of their fellow students. Kagura finds herself with a 30. She figures the test was pretty hard, and figures it'll be a low-scoring competition. She approaches Sakaki, but sees that she has an 87, and backs off, claiming it was nothing. Kagura had no idea Sakaki was that smart. She figures it was Sakaki's lucky day. Kaori and Chihiro are comparing grades. Kaori got an 85, while Chihiro got 80. They figure the test seems like it was pretty easy, and that the average score will be high. Kagura thinks to herself that this could be really bad.
Osaka and Tomo compare scores. Tomo got a 31, while Osaka managed a 42. Tomo is surprised that she lost to Osaka. Kagura runs up and cheers for the Knuckleheads. Tomo asks why she's calling herself one, and asks how she did. "Don't tell me you're gonna brag to us how good you did!" Kagura reveals her 30. Tomo calls it insane, asks what's up with that, and says it's worse that her
score. Kagura says, still smiling like Itsuki Koizumi, "Wow! I lost! Well damn it!" This raises Tomo's ire for some reason. Osaka wonders if her 42 makes her the leader, but Tomo doesn't think she's leader material, and Kagura doesn't envy her over it. Besides which, shouldn't the leader be the one with the lowest
score? (Not if you're looking to stop being a Knucklehead...) The two higher-scoring Knuckleheads look at Kagura
, and Osaka calls her their leader. Tomo says they'll follow her the rest of their lives. Kagura doesn't want to do this. They call her "Leader" again. Kagura points out that there's not that much difference between 30 and 31, but Tomo counters, thumbs to the fronts of her ears, that a win is a win, even by one point. Kagura calls that "so not cute". Tomo is confident that she's at least cuter than Kagura. This is getting Kagura angry, now.
They hear Yomi and Chiyo ask about each other's scores. Chiyo: 100. Yomi's no match with her 92. She thought she had her. Chiyo thinks it went really well for her this time. The Knuckleheads come up behind Chiyo. Osaka, Kagura, and Tomo call out their scores in that order. "By our three scores combined, we have 103!" They laugh. "The Knuckleheads win! We ain't knuckleheads no more!" Canceling out the double negatives, they're absolutely right.
Tomo announces the disbanding of the Knuckleheads.
Tomo explains that she'll no longer be Knucklehead 1, as she's found a way to do it: steal the abilities of Chiyo and Sakaki, i.e., Sakaki's athleticism and Chiyo's prodigy abilities. She figures nobody'll call her a knucklehead after that. She laughs. Yomi doesn't know where to start poking fun. Osaka offers her lateness and forgetfulness. Tomo staggers, having "gained" extra, unnecessary abilities. Chiyo asks what happens then. Tomo proceeds to tell them.
The scenario is the classroom during class. Yukari is explaining something when Tomo opens the door and greets everyone. She approaches Yukari and loudly apologizes for being late. Yukari tells Tomo to get to her seat. She leaps into the air and does more somersaults than one would think possible, landing neatly in her seat. She answers... something... as being "a delightful little breeze" and apologizes for forgetting her textbook.
Back in reality, Tomo concludes her explanation. Osaka apologizes. Yomi points out that she won't get anywhere if she doesn't fix her tendency of relying on others. And not just for these tests, but the entrance exams next year. Tomo doesn't know, but Kagura does. Tomo is sure it'll work out. Yomi graciously provides an image◊
for Face Palm
. Kagura wonders how she got into this school. Tomo's not sure what Kagura means, and suggests she try another language. Kagura suggests French. "Oui oui." "Tu es... uh... tu es... stupid!" "Pardonnez-moi?!" Kagura asks how she got into this school when she's so stupid. Tomo retorts that Kagura can't say "school" in French, and that what she says applies to her
, as well, or if "Miss France" prefers "tu", "also". Yomi corrects it to "aussi". Kagura reluctantly admits that Tomo is right. Tomo says that's what makes her her rival. She says that even though they both have a big disadvantage, they both got into that school, and so wonders if they can get through entrance exams by continuing to do what they're doing. Chiyo and Yomi look back and forth between them, then Kagura "understands", seeming to think that's the way to go. Yomi puts her head down and sighs.
The group go walking. Yomi explains that Tomo was like that up until the second year of middle school, then suddenly started studying. Tomo adds that she hadn't done any up unto then, so her textbooks were in great condition. Chiyo thinks it's amazing that she got in, guessing that she can do thinks if she tries. Tomo says it was because she heard that Yomi was trying to get in. Chiyo asks if it was because she wanted to go to the same school as Yomi. Yomi says that wasn't it. Tomo recalls that when she said she'd try for it, too, Yomi said something. Tomo swipes Yomi's glasses to do an impression of her while she says, "Ha, with your grades? It'll be impossible, Tomo." (Yomi's eyes don't become 3s, by the way.) This prompted Tomo to study extra-hard. Yomi swipes her glasses back. Tomo relates that when Yomi learned she got in, she had a look on her face that Tomo thinks the others should have seen. So, if she feels like doing something, she can. Because of this, she wants to be showered with lavish admiration. Kagura asks her why she puts effort into doing things that other people don't like her doing. Tomo asks what she means. Yomi says she's been like that since grade school. Tomo thinks they're sounding like she did something bad. Kagura tells her to get a clue. "What?!?"
Next time: Episode 14!