|Itsuki's Chosen Path|
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Itsuki's Chosen Path is the 8th episode of the Dream Festival! anime series. The episode aired on November 18, 2016.
The group get an idea to combine into a five-person unit and everyone is delighted with the idea - except for Itsuki, who remains unsure if being an idol is what he really aspires to do. As a big test approaches he starts pulling away from the others.
KUROFUNE is gaining steam around the Idol world. Everyone is talking about the unit and its recent win- including a little girl, Azusa, who is revealed to be the little sister of Itsuki. She gets up to say farewell to Itsuki as he finishes preparing to head off to his exam. Before going, he listens as his sister brings up the idea of him joining with Traffic Signal, saying that he could probably win Dream Fes. This confuses Itsuki, but he pays it little mind and takes off.
At school, a student returns some notes to Itsuki and asks if he would like to do his homework with him. But as it turns out Itsuki already finished his during lunch. This leaves the classmate surprised as he heads off.
At D-Four Production, Shin happens to spot Keigo walking by and attempts to speak to him again. But once more Keigo hardly pays him any attention, leaving him feeling hurt when Yuto shows up to ask who he is and head off when Keigo barely responds.
Feeling defeat, Shin sadly joins the already late Kanade and annoyed Junya, but decides not to speak of it. Unfortunetly neither of the trio is able to focus on their training, with Junya claiming them to be too slow and Kanade claiming he was too fast. They decide to take a break for lunch but continue to argue as Shin keeps to himself until Kanade asks Shin to back him up. But as neither of them understand his own feelings, further tension is caused.
Seeing this Chizuru decides to help by stealing their food to get them to snap out of it. Itsuki then approaches, offering some sweets to them in hopes of keeping the mood light with some wafers he brought from home. The guys seem to enjoy them and calm down a little, and in better moods, Chizuru and Itsuki also appear happier. They thank them for their help and Itsuki suggests Chizuru takes some for Yuzuru as well; but he gets distracted after eating too many at once and choking on them.
Suddenly, Kanade gets an idea and suggests the five of them form a brand new unit. This leaves everyone confused and unsure of the decision, but they quickly accept it- all except for Itsuki, who happened to notice Junya's subtle response near him and refuses, asking to think about it since he needs to study for his exam. Junya suggests they leave him be, stating they don't need to worry and Itsuki takes off.
Later, Shin, Chizuru, and Kanade stand outside trying to figure out why Itsuki seemed off. Shin explains that besides being an idol he plans to attend college, and Chizuru recalls that Itsuki wasn't sure if Idoling would be okay for him since he was supposed to inherit his families business. He is sure Itsuki won't quit being an idol but he has a lot to balance and may not be able to handle doing it all. They realize that while they want to work with Itsuki, it isn't their decision to make.
That night Itsuki studies for his mock exam. He finds himself wavering, unsure of what to do and lays in bed. He recalls the day he formally met Junya, who had joined D-Four Production around the time as he and Chizuru. Itsuki has admired Junya for being devoted to Idoling, but he knows his aspirations aren't the same.
The next few days Itsuki focuses on school, studying, and his Idol career. Eventually he decides to separate from the group, deciding to grab a book he needs for his exam. The others wish him luck, except for Junya.
The following day Kanade approaches Junya outside and they walk together while discussing Itsuki's exam. Kanade is anxious but he tries to convince himself that things will be fine in the end, then reminds Junya that Itsuki also said he would join them after finishing.
Heading to the exam site, an exhausted Itsuki attempts to focus. As this is going on the four head to dance practice when a late-running Itsuki joins them. He apologizes but before they resume, they notice he doesn't look okay. He insists he is fine, but Junya isn't convinced and keeps an eye on him as they resume- but things worsen when an overly exhausted Itsuki passes out.
Later, Itsuki wakes up in the health office to find Junya sitting on a nearby chair. Surprised, he tells Junya that he didn't need to help him and admits that he has to balance everything and thought he could do it, but when he sees them working towards a single goal he feels as though he can't keep up. Even when Junya claims opposite, he knows Junya doesn't think of him as an equal and doesn't want him to join the Unit, and now he fears he will never accept him.
To his shock, Junya says this is untrue though. Even though Itsuki may be chasing two alternate dreams he works very hard and never cuts corners, so he feels proud of him. He wants to make things easier for Itsuki, and the reason he wasn't sure about Itsuki joining was because he didn't want him to have to work even harder than he does now, terrified he would get sick or hurt. With that Junya decides to let Itsuki rest and heads off to resume training.
Later that evening, Itsuki observes the jacket Junya left behind and recalls back to when they formally met again. He had come across Junya practicing by himself on the buildings roof when the wind blew his jacket towards Itsuki. He complimented Junya for his efforts and they quickly began to strike up conversation until Junya recalled he had to get back to work. But before he left he asked Itsuki something; leaving him in a deep thought the entire time and now Itsuki wonders just who it is he wants to be now.
Getting up, Itsuki runs through the building to try to tell Junya his decision. He heads up to the roof and happily spots him, surprising Junya, but instead of answering his questions he tells him that his dream is to form a unit with the others. He will give his all to both things and knows with his entire being that this is what he wants. Junya, proud of his resolve happily converses with him. But as it turns out, Chizuru, Kanade, and Shin didn't actually leave as they assumed. They had been concerned and wanted to see what happened, with everyone happy with his decision to join them.
Together the five take out their phones to release the Dorika they had been collecting all of this time together and admire the brilliantly shining lights forming in the sky from them. Suddenly inspired, Kanade reveals he thought of a name for their unit: Dear Dream.
- The picture of Junya in the magazine is a copy of an illustration of him for a Flow Terrace High Emblem Coord.