The day of the Tokyo regionals. Naturally, Kanade is a bit excited about everyone wearing hakama (even if they’re the only ones). Tsutomu gets a bit depressed that he can’t take a card, but Nishida later reveals that he was paired up with the strongest player. He realizes that the team is focusing on Taichi, Nishida, and Chihaya, and throwing away Tsutomu and Kanade’s matches.
Things become even more complicated when Kanade wins a match. Tsutomu finally snaps and tries to go home, but Taichi convinces him to stay for the finals. Chihaya is shaken by Tsutomu’s outburst and starts to lose her edge in the next game, even losing her own card. Tsutomu hears about Chihaya’s performance and rushes to the game.
Taichi realizes his role and manages to reassure everyone through their games, which results in victory. Taichi is surprisingly perceptive. He makes a good leader (with Chihaya for motivation). I think the next episode will determine a lot of things. With these sorts of shows, there are the more common styles where the main character’s team just keeps winning up to the championships, like in Saki, or the style where the main character’s team loses the major tournament, but finds another path to their goal. I’m curious to see how this show approaches it.