As we approach the final half of ‘Candy Color Paradox‘, viewers are left with several unanswered questions.
Will Onoe gather the courage to finally confess his feelings to Kaburagi? Will they finally become lovers or will they stay as rivals? In addition to the romantic plotline, the series has also introduced an intriguing mystery. Is Inami truly innocent as Onoe fervently believes, or is there more to his story? The answers to these questions and more will be revealed through the episodes below!
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. Read at your own risk!
Onoe arrives at work and expresses his doubts to his boss about the authenticity of Inami and Haruta’s supposed relationship. However, his boss insists that he must have concrete evidence before conducting their final interview for the magazine. Continuing from the previous episode’s rooftop scene, Onoe becomes too nervous to confess his feelings to Kaburagi and instead asks him if he likes “peaches,” stumbling over his words. Kaburagi misunderstands and buys Onoe peach yogurt the next day. As Onoe eats the yogurt, he makes a mess, and Kaburagi wipes it off his face and licks his finger. Onoe is taken aback by the intimate moment, and their unclear relationship continues to torment him. Onoe continues investigating Inami but finds out that the actor is not involved in any scandalous affair. He tells Inami that merely denying being in a relationship with Haruta is not enough; he must provide concrete evidence to prove that there is nothing going on between them. Onoe shares his belief in responsible reporting and the importance of not being reckless with someone’s life. Onoe’s genuine honesty impresses Inami, prompting him to confide in Onoe about his secret crush on his male best friend. The two have a heartfelt conversation that leads to the development of a genuine friendship. After Onoe tells Kaburagi about Inami’s situation, Kaburagi confirms that the rumors about an affair with Haruta were indeed false. However, their investigation takes a dark turn as Kaburagi receives information that suggests Inami may have been coercing female celebrities into performing in adult videos. Kaburagi criticizes Onoe for letting emotions cloud his judgment and obtains a list of the blackmailed actresses that can incriminate Inami while Onoe is determined to prove him wrong. Kaburagi decides that he will meet with Inami so as they wait for Kaburagi to arrive at Masayan’s restaurant, Onoe and Inami chat about their past, including a male friend that Inami was close to in high school. Onoe mistakenly assumes this is the guy Inami has a crush on, but Inami denies it. Later, when Kaburagi shows up unexpectedly and sees Onoe and Inami getting along well and misinterpreting the conversation they were having, he becomes jealous and walks out in anger. Onoe tries to chase after him and finally confesses his true feelings. They embrace as the episode ends.
During the last interview for Inami and Haruta’s cover story in the weekly magazine, Kaburagi confronts Inami about the list of actresses obtained from Kaori. Inami admits his wrongdoing and threatens to harm Onoe if exposed. Kaburagi decides not to pursue the investigation, keeping the truth from Onoe. Trusting Kaburagi’s judgment, Onoe believes that the issue has finally been resolved after Kaburagi claimed that Inami was innocent. However, Onoe’s trust in the actor is shaken after he stumbles upon a list of actresses on Kaburagi’s desk. While attempting to contact the actresses for their stories, he is interrupted by Kaburagi. Onoe is perplexed by Kaburagi’s decision to halt the investigation despite the existence of compelling evidence. However, Kaburagi reveals that Inami had threatened to blackmail Onoe into the sex industry and warns him of the danger of the investigation, but Onoe persists in exposing Inami’s wrongdoing and protecting potential victims. Despite the initial reluctance, Onoe eventually got to convince one of the actresses to come forward and share her story. She reveals how Inami recommended her to a production studio and deceived her into filming erotic videos. She was reassured it would be fine because the company is owned by Inami’s friend but they coerced her into doing more videos until she was forced to join the adult video industry. With the actress’s permission, Onoe uses her story in his article and publishes it under her name. Onoe and Kaburagi meet up with Inami to inform him that he will be exposed in the next week’s issue of the magazine. Inami’s threats to Kaburagi turn out to be a bluff, and he reveals his involvement in the sextortion plan stemmed from unrequited love for the friend who runs the AV studio to Onoe. However, he soon admits to lying about the crush and calls Onoe naive. As Inami takes his leave, he gives Kaburagi a piece of advice: to avoid becoming like him, Kaburagi should express his feelings to the person he cares about, as they may not know unless he speaks up. Onoe is understandably upset, but Kaburagi comforts him with a hug and tells him that Inami may actually have been telling the truth about his secret crush. After the article exposing Inami’s crimes is published, Onoe expresses his doubts about his ability to handle the job, admitting that he is easily deceived. However, Kaburagi reminds him that with a single pen, he was able to make a difference and help people, which is a clear indication that he is indeed cut out for the job. The episode ends with Kaburagi and Onoe sharing a kiss on the rooftop.