Chihaya tries to get people to sign up for her new Karuta club at school, but no one seems to be interested. She decides to have a chat with her friend Taichi about it, but Taichi doesn't seem too interested either, saying that karuta is just a children's game that he no longer has time for. As the two of them prepare to board a train, Chihaya is shocked to discover that Taichi found a girlfriend without her knowing.
The episode then flashes back to a few years ago, where Chihaya first fell in love with the card game. It started when she noticed an odd transfer student named Arata in her class. Arata delivered a newspaper to her with her sister on the cover (as a footnote), and Chihaya later recognized him as the paper boy in class. When the other kids (including Taichi) start bullying Arata, she stands up for him.
When they later go to his house after school, he shows her the card game of karuta, a game where a referee (in this case, a tape player) reads the first line of a random poem, and the player has to grab a card with the second line of that same poem on it before their opponent. Arata snatches up several cards, but Chihaya manages to snag one before him, a small victory for her. From that point on, she became infatuated with the card game.