|Period 8: The Matching Class|
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|Next||Period 9: Kasako-San is Coming|
Miki Oosaki is new to her school and assigned to class 2-4. At first everything seems to go well for the new transfer when she decides to fit in with the rest of the school by doing things like them. But is there more to the school than meets the eye?
Yomi stands among a busy street full of various school students and greets the reader. She asks if they have ever witnessed a place full of people who looked exactly the same- like having the same physical appearance, clothing, items, personalities. She asks to what extent should we fit in with others.
A shy girl introduces herself before her new classmates. She is met with dead silence, startling her as she remembers her father informing her that they would be moving and mentally wishes she could leave under the assumption they don't like her because she isn't from there. But suddenly, a few girls begin to make conversation with her, pointing out where she can sit and suggesting she might feel better if she gets their uniform soon. A boy nearby teases a girl -Yuko- by saying she should lend Miki hers. Miki begins to relax realizing how nice everyone is.
The following day, Miki changes into her new uniform and asks for the school bag she was given, explaining to her mom that while she can use any bag she would like, she would prefer to use the same one as everyone else. After locating it she takes off for school to return the CD lent to her by Yuko. She mentions that she might buy it because she liked the music, and Yuko happily brings up that currently everyone else is into the group too; there's even a fan-club for it. She suggests Miki join them for the upcoming Live by the group.
Since this instance, Miki has began growing closer to her new friends. She is delighted knowing everyone gets along very well, and because they all share the same opinions nobody is left out.
The next day, Miki chats with her friends when Miuchi, their handsome classmate approaches with the class monitors booklet for her, as today it is her turn to handle it. He takes off and her friends begin fawning over him and confess that they equally have feelings for him. Because of this they are in an agreement that nobody is allowed to make a pass at him. They ask Miki if she plans on it, and noticing their sudden suspicions, Miki denies having any such idea. They exchange pinky promises to make sure, then decide to hold hands with her while they make their way to the staff room to return the book.
As Miki thinks about how kind her handsome classmate is, the group is distracted when they hear a girl make a confession to him outside. They approach a window to observe the scene, and Miki sees how unpleasant her friends find it as she is not from their school. The girl apologizes for coming there to confess so suddenly, but she has had feelings for Miuchi since meeting him at their cram school. However, her feelings are not accepted, with Miuchi explaining that he isn't looking for a relationship at the time and he takes off to meet up with his friend.
This pleases her friends, but Miki can hardly believe he would turn down such a cute looking girl. She watches as the girl cries and realizes that if he would turn down someone like her, she probably doesn't stand out very much. Seeing as she and her new friends all wear their hair up in pigtails, she wonders if she could change things up with a new style.
Technically it's not like she's betraying them or anything.
The next day, Miki arrives to the school with her hair worn loose and straightened, and her uniform slightly different than before. Her friends are beyond shocked, initially concerning her until Miuchi approaches to greet her and make a remark on her new appearance. His friend agrees, saying that she's cute in a grown-up looking way and to her surprise her friends suddenly agree with them and begin complimenting her while asking her how she did certain things. Miki is glad they are accepting of this, but she wonders why they are suddenly okay with it when moments ago, they seemed upset.
From that day on, the other girls began copying her. When she read a manga Miuchi lent her they all went out and bought it, they changed their physical appearances to match her new style; Yuko even traded her glasses for a pair of contacts because Miki doesn't wear glasses.
By now Miki is aware that something is wrong, and she wonders how Miuchi would ever notice her if everyone looks the same, and she is beginning to grow annoyed by the lack of space and individuality. She begins to theorize that if getting attention from Miuchi caused this then she might not ever be able to remain as one for very long, and needing time alone she excuses herself to the restroom when the other girls offer to join her. She quickly refuses, and in her hurry to leave she accidentally injures her hand after hitting the desk near her. Miki assures the girls she is alright, but to her shock she witnesses them pick up various items on their person and injure themselves in the same location.
After failing to snap them out of it and seeing their vacant expressions, Miki runs away and bumps into Miuchi, who worriedly asks if something happened. When she begins to sob he brings her to another room and lets her unwind by explaining what happened. He genuinely understands her and appears remorseful, saying that he wants to remain his own person as well after she brings it up. She realizes in this time that she must be honest, and that she doesn't need the other girls if they will continue to act like this. Gathering her courage, she prepares to take her first step to individuality by confessing her feelings to Miuchi- but they find her friends and girls in her class outside of the room.
However, their once sinister expressions are replaced by those of remorse and guilt. The girls confess that they didn't realize they were bothering Miki, and apologize for making her feel this way, including a tearful Yuko, who didn't mean to act thoughtlessly. Miuchi is relieved and assures Miki of her sincerity, leading Miki to comfort Yuko, glad they understand now. She reconciles with the girls of their class and soon things begin returning to normal. In this time, Miki realized that she must have faith in her friends to know they will do the right thing.
One day, Miki is greeted by Miuchi at the shoe locker and she asks if they can chat after school. He agrees and leads her to class, where someone teasingly points out she is late. To their horror, they discover everyone in class now resembles them. Miki is stunned as they begin to explain that this is for the best- with everyone looking exactly the same, they can be loved equally. Miki attempts to leave the room when she bumps into Miuchi, or a boy resembling him, and she starts panicking. They ask if she is okay and begin surrounding her, and she is separated from the real Miuchi until all she can do is scream in fright.
As she makes her way through the crowd Yomi asks if the reader has their own identity before remarking on how lovely a world where everyone fit in and acted the same would be. She then invites them to join her, revealing herself to be surrounded by several Yomi all holding hands.