Are the Mountains Sunny? (連峰は晴れているかRenpō wa Hareteiru ka) is the eighteenth episode of the series.
The group of friends are discussing the best methods to help a plant grow in the beginning of this episode because Eru mentioned casually that the shiitake mushrooms she was growing grew quite large after she played some classical music for it. Satoshi comments that plants with grow really large as well if you run lightning through it with a generator. Mayaka is shocked at hearing this. Yeah, says Satoshi, and further mentions that the electricity from the generator will cause enough pain to the plants for them to release more spores because of its survival techniques. So basically, you are torturing the poor plant to make it grow bigger, swell. Houtarou looks up from the book that he is reading to listen to the sound of a helicopter flying above the school building. And then calmly, Houtarou tells Satoshi to stop talking and to finish his homework. But instead of being productive, everyone in the room stops what they are doing and they all become silent to listen to the rotors of the helicopter. Satoshi even gets out of his seat to get a better view of it as it is flying by. The helicopter reminds Houtarou that Ogi likes them.
After the opening credits end, Eru asks if they are talking Ogi-sensei from class 2-B, but Houtarou asks Eru who she is talking about because there is no way that she knows the Ogi that he is talking about. Apparently, this Ogi-sensei was his English teacher back in middle school along with Satoshi and Mayaka. Satoshi remembers Ogi-sensei, but he doesn’t remember him liking helicopters. Houtarou replies in a shocked tone, well shocked for him, that he thought that everyone knew about it and tries to confirm this with Mayaka, but she isn’t all too sure about Ogi-sensei liking helicopters also. Now this gets Houtarou a little confused and he starts to wonder why he is the only person that remember Ogi-sensei and helicopters. This is really strange for Houtarou because all three of them went to Kamiyama Middle School; hell, Mayaka was in every single on of Houtarou’s classes. She, of all people, should have remembered this.Eru asks Houtarou if there is something about this Ogi-sensei that he is talking about. It’s not very important, says Houtarou; he then turns his attention to Mayaka and asks her if she remembers that one time that a helicopter fly over the school (in middle school). Mayaka lamely answers that had happened a lot of times. Houtarou, a little more annoyed, recalls that of all of those times, one of them caused Ogi-sensei to stop his lecture and to walk to the window to stare up at the sky. Houtarou says that Ogi-sensei watched the helicopter until they couldn’t see it anymore, and then he laughed and made some excuse like, “I like helicopters” or something and afterwards he resumed class. Mayaka starts as if she remembers something finally and says that she kind of remembers hearing about the whole story from someone else. Yeah, she is pretty sure that happened. She is more surprised that it was Ogi-sensei and asks Houtarou if it was really Ogi-sensei, and Houtarou says yea, it was Ogi-sensei. He sighs with relief that it wasn’t only him that remembers this unique episode.
Satoshi pipes in and says that doesn’t sound right to him. Houtarou asks him what he means because that event most certainly happened. But, says Satoshi, one time a whole squadron of JSDF helicopters flew right over them; he says that it was quite the sight, but he doesn’t remember Ogi-sensei caring at all about it. Houtarou asks what a squadron is and Satoshi informs him that it is a formation. Houtarou wants to know why Satoshi knows so much about JSDF helicopters, but mainly how he knew that they were JSDF. Satoshi reasons that there aren’t any other companies that have helicopters who fly in that particular formation. This seems solid enough for Houtarou, who knows Satoshi’s gift as a database is quite flawless. Instead, he asks if Satoshi is certain that Ogi-sensei was present at that time. He’s pretty sure that Ogi-sensei was there because he remembers looking up AGM in his English dictionary right after seeing them. Both Mayaka and Eru look at Satoshi and ask what AGM stands for. But it is Houtarou who informs them that it stands for Air-to-Ground Missile and says that Ogi-sensei would probably have run outside and dance for joy if that ever happened.Mayaka goes ‘hoooo’ and ‘hmmmm’ and wonders about Ogi-sensei being the one that liked helicopters. She thinks that this happened right after they entered middle school. This sparks some memory from Houtarou because he mentions that he had thought that Ogi-sensei was pretty weird at first. But like Satoshi just said, Mayaka doesn’t remember Ogi-sensei ever having another strange episode involving helicopters after that one time. It has been a long three years, thinks Houtarou; his memory is getting to be a little fuzzy. But now that he thinks about it, he also doesn’t remember any other times that Ogi-sensei went crazy for helicopters. As Houtarou is thinking this, Satoshi says that Ogi-sensei had other stories with more punch to them than this one, like the rumor about Ogi-sensei being immortal. Houtarou scolds Satoshi for making stupid things up, but Satoshi replies that he didn’t make this up and explains that he heard this rumor from Ogi-sensei himself. Satoshi doesn’t really believe Ogi-sensei either, not that you can blame him. That is a really far-fetched thing to say.
Satoshi recalls what Ogi-sensei has told him. Apparently, he was struck by lightning on three different occasions. This naturally gets a good reaction from the two girls. Houtarou looks to Mayaka because Eru is being stupid, and Mayaka shakes her head when she changes Houtarou’s eye as if telling him that she doesn’t believe Satoshi is telling them the truth either. To be fair, Satoshi says that Ogi-sensei was never actually hit directly by lightning before, but all the same, he has never walked away unhurt. One time, Ogi-sensei was knocked out and received burns from the lightning. Eru nods her head in understanding and says that Ogi-sensei must be very glad to be alive. However, Houtarou mentions that he’s never seen any obvious scars. Houtarou becomes silent and grabs his hair like the famous The Thinker statue and starts thinking about their conversation in detail, as if this is a mystery to be solved. Basically, Houtarou knows that Kamiyama isn’t know for their thunder storms, and he doubts that anyone would survive if they were struck by lightning three times. He doesn’t think that Satoshi is lying either. If anything, thinks Houtarou, Ogi-sensei is trying to fib about the story to make it sound more exciting than it really was.Suddenly the gears in his mind stop and they come falling down. They do so when Houtarou remembers the look on Ogi-sensei’s face during class. He gets up quite suddenly and asks if the library as any old newspapers. They do, reports Satoshi, though only a few. Mayaka chimes in that the school library has some old newspapers, though they only have to do with the school. Houtarou doesn’t need these and intends to head to the public library. Houtarou pauses for a moment before he heads out of the classroom and turns to Satoshi and tells him that he is going to the public library and asks if he wants to come. Satoshi becomes pale as if he has just witnessed a real life ghost. Houtarou actually wants to do something, asks Satoshi in a voice that makes it quite plain that he is scared that Houtarou will kill over any second. Houtarou says that isn’t it, but his next words cause far more alarm with his friends. Houtarou says that he is just a little curious. He seems to be a little abashed to be admitting this at all.
The reaction with all of his friends is immediate. Satoshi and Mayaka are genuinely concerned about Houtarou right now, but Eru on the other hand is excited and is very curious about what would make Houtarou curious. Houtarou thinks that Eru is a very rude girl, but also very honest in her feelings. Satoshi thinks that Eru has done something to Houtarou; nothing else would explain why he is suddenly curious about things and is willing to act upon that curiosity. He also believes that an alien or something has taken control of Houtarou, because there is no way that this energy-conserving guy will do something. Mayaka, in a very worried and motherly tone, advices that Houtarou head straight home, get into bed and to wear something warm. If he does that, then she is sure that he will feel better in the morning. Houtarou half-yells at his friends and says that he didn’t know that it was so strange for him to want to do something.Outside, Houtarou explains to the audience that Satoshi couldn’t come because he is still doing his homework. Mayaka could have been very useful, but she doesn’t owe him any favors, so he didn’t ask her for help. At this point, Houtarou stops thinking and he quickly noticed a young couple right next to him riding home together on a bicycle. As soon as they leave, Eru comes riding up to Houtarou on her bicycle. Houtarou is now suddenly again very conscious that Eru is a very attractive young woman that he most likely has feelings for. Eru asks if they should be going now, but Houtarou thinks for a second or two and then answers that Eru should go on ahead. Eru points out that her bike has a seat in back for another person to ride. Houtarou thinks about his arrangement for a moment. He imagines himself riding in back while Eru cycles, but this vision doesn’t fit well with his stomach, so he then imagines what it would look like if he peddles while she sits in back. This second imagination is more damaging to him because in it he thinks that Eru will holds onto him in a loving manner. Both options are no good for Houtarou, but he doesn’t tell this to Eru. He practically forces Eru to go on ahead to the library, so in the end she does. But before Eru leaves, Houtarou tells her to ask the librarians to do a search for a guy named Ogi Masakiyo once she gets there. She promises to do just that and the first half of the episode ends with Houtarou looking longingly after Eru.
Houtarou is taking his sweet time walking to the library. On the way there, he thinks about what his sister has said about Kamikakiuchi Range, because she has been there a few times. The Kamikakiuchi Range is a 3km tall mountain range that results in different climates on both sides of it because of its size it changes the atmospheric currents. He thinks that he shouldn’t make Eru wait too long, and before long he makes it to the public library. Arriving there, Houtarou walks inside where he is hailed by Eru who is sitting in a museum-type lobby with records pertaining to Ogi Masakiyo. Eru hands Houtarou the piece of newspaper and he reads the headline: Kamikakiuchi Trail Restoration Work Continues. Eru mentions that it sounds like Ogi-sensei really loved to go hiking.Houtarou reads the article: “Restoration work on the Abumidake Trail began on the 26th, sponsored by the Kamiyama Climbing Club. Eleven volunteers participated in garbage collection along the trail. Kamiyama Climbing Club president Ogi Masakiyo (39 years old) said, ‘Due to recent popularity of mountain climbing, many new folks aren’t aware of the rules. I want everyone to understand that the rules are there to protect you from life-threatening dangers.’” After reading this, Houtarou says that it as he thought. Eru asks him about it, and he replies that it is nothing. He then asks Eru if she has checked all of the newspaper archives. Eru answers that they can go ask at the counter on the second floor. They proceed to do so. Along the way, Houtarou mentions in his mind that he hopes that he isn’t right about this.
They arrive on the second floor and Houtarou takes charge and asks the librarian to help them find a newspaper article from three years ago, probably from April or May. To help narrow the search, the librarian asks Houtarou if he knows some keywords and he replies with only one word, ‘stranded’. This single word has Eru startled. The librarian reports that there are twelve articles in that time period with the word stranded and asks if he has any other words he may know as a filter. Instead of narrowing it down further, Houtarou asks if he can see the titles of the articles. She female librarian allows Houtarou to look at her laptop screen. Once he does so, he scrolls down the list of articles until he comes across the one that he was seeking. The title of the article says “Difficulties Rescuing Stranded in Kamikakiuchi. The date from the article is May 9th.Eru asks if they can see this article when they hand the laptop back to the librarian. Houtarou seems to believe that Eru has figured out why they are here as well after seeing the article in question. The librarian asks another librarian to show them where the article is located. The new librarian leaves to go fetch it, but she then suddenly stops and warns them that it’ll take at least half an hour for her to dig it out. That perfectly fine with Houtarou, so the librarian goes off on her duty after telling them that she’ll give a shout when she has found it. Eru bows and thanks her for her hard work. In the meantime, Eru asks Houtarou is he wants to look around the library since they are here. He agrees with this plan. Houtarou heads to a bookshelf and grabs a book. Eru runs over to his side and peeks at the title of the book he is looking at. Sometimes her curiosity needs to have a lid on it; sometimes, like this, her curiosity is just plain annoying. However, Houtarou seems to be okay with dealing with Eru by now and doesn’t think that she is intruding in his personal space. Heck, he even tells her about the book, all in stride before she can ask about it. They also have small talk about other topics like food and bugs, which Eru is oddly interested in.
After roughly half an hour of aimless wandering, the couple returns to the second floor counter and ask if they have found the article yet. The librarian on duty shows Houtarou handmade book, saying that all of the articles from that time are organized within this book. Houtarou and Eru both thank the librarian and Houtarou takes the book away. The first thing that he notices is that the book is heavy. Houtarou and Eru head to a secluded part of the library where they can flip through the article in peace. The second thing that Houtarou notices is that there are a lot of articles in the book from a wide range of topics. Eventually, they come across the article they are searching for. Eru points out the article with enthusiasm. Looking at the date of May 9th, Houtarou mentions that this was the day that Ogi-sensei said that he loved helicopters. The headline to the article reads as thus: Kamiyama Mountaineering Team, Two Members Stranded.Eru looks at Houtarou with worry and asks him what this means. Simply put, replies Houtarou, it means that Ogi-sensei didn’t like helicopters. Houtarou sits down in a chair and tells Eru that Ogi-sensei was struck by lightning three times. That is probably true, but there’s no reason why an ordinary English teacher would get struck by lightning so many times. Eru admits that he is right. That’s when it came to Houtarou that Ogi-sensei most likely went to places that are often struck by lightning. Eru asks if that place is the mountains and in reply, Houtarou nods. Eru asks if Houtarou thought this was the case. Kind of, he says. He thought that Ogi-sensei might be a mountaineer as well as an English teacher and he came here to the library today to confirm his suspicions. Houtarou then asks Eru why did Ogi-sensei want to see the helicopters that day. And he immediately answers his question by saying because there was something special involving helicopters that day. Ogi-sensei was anxiously waiting to see a helicopter that day. Eru asks Houtarou what he means. More accurately, replies Houtarou, Ogi-sensei wanted to see a helicopter that day and that’s why he wanted to see it when he heard it that day.
An English teacher wanting to see a helicopter fly doesn’t mean a thing, says Houtarou. But if a mountaineer wanted to see a helicopter fly, then that would be completely different. Houtarou informs Eru that Kamiyama City is next to a 3000 meter high mountain range. A mountaineer in the city wanted a helicopter to fly. Houtarou muses that they were filming or transporting materials. If not, then the only answer remains that it was a rescue helicopter. At this point, Eru reacts pretty much how you would expect her to react, with tears swimming in her eyes and a downcast expression, but she is still clinging onto every word that Houtarou is saying for a small glimmer of hope. Eru remembers that the article said that the weather was bad on the 8th, so helicopters couldn’t fly that day. That’s right, answers Houtarou and tells Eru that Ogi-sensei was only interested in police helicopters flying. He was also interested in the weather conditions surrounding the Kamikakiuchi Range. If it were sunny, then the helicopters will fly. If the mountains are sunny, then survival rates changes.Eru comments that she wonders what Ogi-sensei was feeling. Houtarou replies that he doesn’t know what Ogi-sensei was feeling, but he is sure that he was smiling back then. Afterwards, Houtarou reports that he and Eru looked through the newspapers for the following days. The two people that were stranded were eventually found, dead. It was a police helicopter that found them. On the walk home, Eru cautiously asks Houtarou if she can ask just one question. Eru must really be restraining herself to ask only one right now. Houtarou gives the okay and Eru asks him why he was curious. Houtarou gives her a sour look and then asks her in reply if it is so weird for him to want to look something up. Yes it is, Eru replies bluntly. She further says that this doesn’t seem like something that he would do. Well, Houtarou can’t complain about this and says that if he doesn’t have to do something, then he won’t.
No, that’s not it, says Eru. She ever so simply rejected Houtarou’s life’s motto. Eru says that Houtarou does a lot of things for a lot of people, not to mention that he has helped her out so many times already. That’s a misunderstanding, thinks Houtarou. But, says Eru, Houtarou never does anything for himself and yet she asks him why he wanted to look into this today. While Houtarou is thinking about the way, eru apologizes for being curious. Houtarou answers Eru’s honest feelings with an honest answer. He says that when Satoshi said that thing about the lightning that it gave him a bad feeling and he wanted to know what he thought was true. And that is why he wanted to look into it and the most natural place to search was the library, he thought. Houtarou does try to redeem his reputation by adding that if it were an investigation that took a week, then he wouldn’t have done it. But just flipping through a few pages was easy enough, and besides, Houtarou says that Eru was there to help. Houtarou then mentions that he has to be careful, and Eru asks him why.If Houtarou heard the phrase that Ogi-sensei like helicopters and left it at that, then that would be insensitive. That’s why he needs to be careful. Eru looks at Houtarou in a new light, with large, sparkling eyes. Houtarou mistakes these eyes to mean that she doesn’t understand. He then says that it is less of being insensitive and more of not knowing how someone feels. Though, he admits that he’ll probably never see Ogi-sensei again, so it’s not like he needs to know how he feels. Eru tells Houtarou that is very… and her voice trails off here because she doesn’t know how to phrase what she is thinking. What is she trying to say? Well, says Houtarou, that’s it for today. He then thanks Eru, and Eru replies that she is glad to have seen a different side of him today, while sheepishly looking to the side. I do sense a slight flush in her cheeks as she is saying this. The two part here. Houtarou looks after Eru and knows that it’ll be dark by the time she gets home; well, he reasons, he didn’t ask her to come so it isn’t his business. But just for today, Houtarou owes her one.