- Hisao Nakai
- Emi Ibarazaki
- Rin Tezuka
- Akio Mutou
- Shizune Hakamichi
- Kenji Setou
- Yuuko Shirakawa
- Meiko Ibarazaki
Hisao and Emi continue their morning runs, growing closer each day. As the days go on, he notices she seems like a different person when she runs. At lunch she shows her goofiness, but on the track she shows her stubborn persistence. This comes to a head at her track meet. He sits between Rin and Emi's mother, Meiko, and sees Emi at her "Emiest" (as Rin says). As he's struck by how beautiful she is, he realizes he is falling in love with her. The next day, on a rest from training, Emi takes Rin and Hisao on a picnic. Though Rin and Hisao try to warn her, it rains. They escape into the Shanghai where they have tea and cake instead.
The next day, Emi does not show up for the morning run, Hisao tries to find out, while people like Lilly and Misha tease him about how much time they've been spending together. The nurse tells him she caught a cold from the rain. Hisao drops by her room after class. For the first time he sees her without her prosthetic legs.
In typical Emi fashion, they tease each other until the flirtations evolve into a pillow fight, where Hisao ends up on top of her. A moment of paralysis occurs where Hisao can't figure out whether Emi wants him to go further. They stop. After a little more conversation, she falls asleep in Hisao's arms. Hisao is quite content, until Emi begins to have a nightmare. When she cries out "Dad!" Hisao wakes her up, but Emi says she does not remember her dream.
Emi seems fine the next morning. Hisao contemplates confessing his feelings, but feels stymied by Emi's track captain, who often talks to her. The nurse laughs, and assures Hisao that nether is interested in each other romantically. Alone at lunch on the roof (since Emi gave Rin her cold), Emi admits that she has nightmares quite often. In typical Emi fashion, she prompts Hisao to kiss her, admitting she has a bit of a crush. They do. When he returns to class, Misha teases him about it, but for the first time, Hisao's heart feels light.
Hisao takes Emi on their first date -- a picnic in the park. On their way back, Emi stumbles, the same way as she did in the track meet. In the morning, she again collapses during her run, but refuses to tell Hisao what's wrong even as he presses her. Hisao tries to offer support, since clearly something is bothering her both mentally and physically. But she pushes him away.
One day, while Hisao is at the library, Emi calls him via the reference desk phone, asking him to come immediately. Hisao rushes to her dorm where Emi is in a wheelchair. Her leg has gotten an infection from overuse, which caused the stumbling and pain. She is frustrated at not being able to run, but resolved, as this is not her first time in a wheelchair. When Hisao comes to visit, their flirtations turn into wrestling. And for the first time, they consummate their relationship.
The next morning, though Emi can't run, she shows up at the track. They both steal away into a storage shed and get the idea to try anal sex. The experiment is... less than successful, and both end up feeling awkward and sore. Hisao returns to his room and sleeps until lunch. Emi comes by to see him and tells him they need to stop seeing each other so often, given that she needs to concentrate on exams. Hisao agrees, since he can still see her at the track and at lunch.
But Emi's condition is getting worse, not better. She says nothing to Hisao on the track and spaces out during lunch. After exams are over, Hisao confronts her about why she won't talk to him about it. Emi admits that, because the accident ripped everything away from her, she would never let that happen again.. Hisao leaves, feeling heartbroken that Emi will never let him get close to her. If Hisao asks Mutou and the nurse, Emi surprisingly invites him to dinner at her mother's house. Though nervous, they make amiable conversation until Mrs. Ibarazaki brings up the subject of Emi's father. Emi retreats to the bathroom.
If Hisao pursued her, Emi gets even angrier at Hisao and demands that he leave. Later at school, Misha tries to offer advice. If Hisao allows it, she tells him he needs to apologize to her. He does so in a tearful reunion on the track. (Otherwise, Emi tells Hisao that it's over and the game ends.) Appealing to her determinedness, citing examples of how she made sure he was at the track and created a dietary plan, Emi gives in. She tells him she needs time to think... but to show up for their morning run tomorrow.
If Hisao talked to Emi's mother, Meiko talks about how Emi tries to believe that the accident "wasn't a big deal", but -- keeping to Emi's promise -- tells him no details. Emi overhears and demands Hisao leave while she accuses her mother of breaking her promise. Meiko denies it, but Hisao acquiesces to go. Emi immediately regrets kicking him out, but Hisao knows if he stayed, it would only cause more pain. He returns to his dorm where he reads over a letter from Iwanako, the girl from his school before his heart attack, and wonders if he's giving up on happiness.
Hisao manages to apologize to Emi, saying that he won't stop trying to help her, not even if they break up (which Emi half-heartedly attempts to do) because he cares about her too much. Emi begins to cry and asks why he's trying so hard to help. Hisao says "because I love you." That seems to get through to Emi, as she finally breaks down in Hisao's arms. She asks him to come back to her house tomorrow, so she has time to "do this properly" and think about what she needs to say.
The next day, Hisao and Emi take the bus to her mother's, but all she'll say is they are going to meet her Dad today. They eat lunch and then drive somewhere. They stop at a graveyard where Meiko stays behind and Emi leads him further in. Hisao contemplates his mortality among these gravestones until they stop at one in particular. Emi starts confessing things about herself -- that she doesn't like pink, that she's not as popular as everyone thinks -- and that the accident that took her legs also killed her dad. And as a result, she resolved to stop worrying about the future, because there's nothing you can do about it. Until she met Hisao, who she couldn't keep at a distance anymore. Now she realizes if she is going to live in the moment, she doesn't have to do it alone.
When they return to the dorm, before they separate, Emi grabs Hisao. She asks him not to leave. Hisao doesn't care what context she's talking about, he says "of course". The two make love and fall asleep together. In the morning, Hisao thinks about how close they are now. That no matter what happens, as long as Emi's around, he'll be okay.