Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu - 3: 47 min and 32 seconds past 6 p.m.

Title:Iriya no Sora, UFO no Natsu
Episode:3: 47 min and 32 seconds past 6 p.m.
With Iriya being a member of the newspaper club now and Asaba spending ever more time with her, Akiho [image1] is aware that she's losing ground. When she enters the club room she finds Suizenji and Asaba working on a three-dimensional model of the Sonohara Air Base as their exhibition project for the forthcoming "Festival of the Rising Sun" at their school. Akiho is infuriated that Suizenji made this decision on his own, and she loses her temper even more when Asaba doesn't support her. Akiho manages to trick Suizenji away, but when she is alone with Asaba he starts to talk about Iriya. Akiho openly confesses that she hates the new girl (like everyone else at class), which of course makes Asaba defend Iriya; Akiho leaves soon after.
While the school festival is approaching, Akiho continues to wonder about Iriya and to argue with Asaba [image2]. Iriya receives her usual daily annoucements to attend to the staff room and leaves school early; but one day she shows up at the newspaper club room, telling Asaba she has one hour left before leaving again. Asaba tells her about the school festival and invites her to come. Iriya is surprised to see the Air Base model and foo fighter models [image3]; Asaba explains how they do UFO research. Shortly after, Enomoto comes to pick Iriya up. With the school festival approaching, Iriya doesn't attend classes any more. When Asaba arrives at the club room one night, he meets Enomoto there who invites him to a Ramen on the rooftop [image4] as to thank him and ask him for one more favor...
Asaba's parents visit the school festival, and Asaba's father questions Suizenji whether his son has a girlfriend now; Akiho uses the opportunity to introduce herself to Asaba's parents [image5], while Asaba just feels sad and lonely. Asaba and Akiho go out together this evening, but Akiho is in the mood for fighting, drinks too much alcohol very fast and asks embarrassing questions [image6]. In the end Asaba has to carry her back to school.
When the school festival is almost over, Asaba hears an announcement that orders him to the school's staff room to take a phone call! [image7] It's Iriya, asking him to meet her on the Rokobanyama hill near the air base at 06:45 p.m.; Asaba is chasing there as fast as he can, to meet his girl and do what Enomoto had asked him for: Folk dance with her at the campfire. And then Iriya arrives... [image8]
[2005-09-01, Devil Doll]:
This is my favourite episode of this series, and it is all about mood, not about events (there are other episodes to come...). Just look how Iriya cried when the cicada died, and how Akiho walks around like a vulcan on the verge of erupting. Despite certain funny elements (and still some occasional bits of fan-service) the overall mood is getting more and more depressing, as you can see by the dark colors of most important scenes, and the marvellous but morbid sunsets later in the episode. You might wonder if there will be a winner at the end of this series...
The incredible folk dance scene at the end of this episode sets the anime standard for me: Never before have I seen such a perfect combination of colors, movement, music and emotions! (I still hold my breath every time when rewatching this scene.) Another great moment is Asaba's and Akiho's date observed from a very unusual camera perspective (and with outstanding seiyuu performances), and of course Akiho's scene with Asaba's parents.

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