Ep 9 – “Secret Society “Lucky Cat Chinese Restaurant” / “Himitsu Kikan “Fukuneko Hanten”” (秘密機関「福猫飯店」)
As a freshman, the protagonist joins the Secret Society Chinese Restaurant, not suspecting it to actually be a secret society. The Society appears to be a syndicate of sorts which has organized most of the dubious campus activities from the previous episodes, in particular the Cheery Cycle Cleanup Corps which stole bikes and planes from episode 3, the Library Police from episode 4 and the Print Shop which had provided the protagonist with papers in episodes 6–8. The society is led by Aijima, who sets the protagonist and Ozu on various missions for the organization, several of which were alluded to in previous episodes. Ozu rakes up a string of successes, and the protagonist several failures. Eventually, Ozu ousts Aijima and the Protagonist rises through the ranks, eventually to the point where he is the one who steals the plane Akashi made in the third episode. Akashi catches and scolds him, much to his dismay, though he can’t understand why. Master Higuchi meets the protagonist and explains to him the central concept behind his dissatisfaction: that he is always convinced that it was possibility which would send him to an ideal life – a life that doesn’t exist. In the depths of his depression, he discovers that Ozu has a girlfriend who turns out to be the raven haired maiden he had once joined the softball club to be with. Ozu steals the dirigible from the Honkawa group but fails to rescue her. Nonetheless the Protagonist is shocked to consider that Ozu, who always seemed to have wasted even more time than the protagonist had truly enjoyed his college years. In a major change from every episode prior, the protagonist declares he should simply stay in his 4½ tatami room and time does not appear to rewind.