Ep 17 – “Mercury Retrogrades at Christmas” / “Kurisumasu ni Suisei wa Gyakkōsuru” (クリスマスに水星は逆行する)
Minori becomes disoriented during a baseball game because of what Ami had said, and makes a mistake that causes her team to lose the game. Christmas is coming up, much to the joy of Taiga, whose suspension from school has just lifted. After Ryūji tells her that his relationship with Minori has not progressed, Taiga declares the need to play Cupid for him, since she wants to be good for Santa. At school the next morning, students who became fans of Taiga after her fight with Sumire, surround Taiga and Ryūji. After acknowledging her victory, Taiga and Ryūji head to their classroom to see Minori wearing a bald wig while speaking nonsense. Yūsaku arrives and lies down in front of Taiga in admiration for her actions to help his relationship with Sumire. Later, Yūsaku announces the student council will organize a Christmas Eve party to boost romantic feelings among students. Taiga and Ryūji ask Minori to go to the party with them, but she vehemently declines. Taiga, Ryūji, Yūsaku, Haruta, Noto, and Maya eat together at the restaurant where Minori works (who was off that day), and they pair Yūsaku and Taiga up at a table by themselves. It is soon after Yūsaku leaves with Taiga to get the group drinks that Ryūji begins to think how he really feels about her.