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Episodes 4 to 6 of Sakura Diaries find Touma Inaba's love life becoming even more confusing. He's still pretending to be a Keio student while attending a cram school, and he's still pursuing the gorgeous Mieko while remaining blind to the affections of his cousin Urara. Meanwhile Tuoma begins to make friends with his fellow students, but the appearance of a rival suitor for Mieko further complicates his romantic entanglements. After a student party--and a lot of beer--Touma and Mieko spend the night at a love hotel, but Mieko falls asleep and Touma is too embarrassed by his lack of experience to make a move. He decides that the only way to prepare himself for Mieko is to seduce Urara, for practice. Even as he sets his plan in motion Inaba suffers pangs of conscience--he doesn't know how much Urara loves him, but she has been kind to him and he feels guilty about using her. Nevertheless he buys a box of condoms and talks Urara into a late-night game of strip rock-paper-scissors (yes, really). What happens next contrasts sharply with the goofy comedy of the early episodes, suggesting that Sakura Diaries will take a more melancholy turn as the show progresses. Episode 6 contains a long flashback that explains how Urara and Touma first met, giving some real emotional depth to Urara. Before the end of this second volume of episodes, Touma starts to realize that his feelings for his cousin are developing into something more than either lust or simple friendship. --Simon Leake
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