WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Adachi & Shimamura Season 1, Episode 8, "The Briar That Weaves the Past: Old Rose," now streaming on Funimation.
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, Adachi is desperate to find the perfect chocolate for Shimamura in Episode 8 of Adachi & Shimamura. Meanwhile, Shimamura's childhood best friend Tarumi has returned and though she isn't seen much on-screen, her obvious excitement at their reconnection speaks volumes. As a result, Shimamura starts thinking more deeply about their past friendship and what her current bond with Adachi means to her.
While Adachi is singularly focused on her V-Day mission, Shimamura has distractions everywhere. Yashiro is still hanging around with the family -- literally, as it's revealed that the blue-haired, self-proclaimed alien can fly. (She also reveals her age: 680 years old?!) Hilariously, Shimamura's mother is more intrigued by the sparkly blue hair than the fact that a preteen girl is floating around her house. But what does all of this have to do with Shimamura, Adachi, and their developing story?
Adachi spends much of the episode fretting about what kind of chocolate to gift Shimamura for Valentine's Day. Should it be homemade or store-bought? Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate? She ends up buying about 15 different kinds at a store and tests them all before trying unsuccessfully to make some herself. Feeling both anxious and excited -- while also trying not to show how excited she is -- Adachi finally decides to buy some chocolate and simply asks Shimamura which flavor she likes best.
On top of all this, Adachi is also following the "advice" of a bizarre TV show that tells her horoscope's romantic fortune each day. This leads to wearing her hair in a ponytail -- which gets a heartwarming compliment from Shimamura -- and trying to be more open about her feelings, which results in even more awkwardness than usual. Adachi is unfailingly Adachi, and as Shimamura is increasingly realizing, that's what she likes best about her.
Shimamura has repeatedly used Hino and Nagafuji's exceptionally close friendship to rationalize her own developments with Adachi. Though it's natural to look toward her other closest friends first, Shimamura's comparison isn't quite accurate -- the two friendships are fundamentally different. Hino and Nagafuji have had their own unique bond since they were children, whereas Shimamura's connection with Adachi is still new and developing. Adachi is also slowly and steadily working to make their bond stronger, while Shimamura isn't sure what she wants them to be yet.
There may just be someone better to help Shimamura figure out what Adachi means to her: Tarumi. After their surprise reunion in the last episode, Tarumi excitedly chats away via text messages and invites Shimamura to hang out after school. She seems just as entranced by Shimamura as Adachi is, though Tarumi expresses her feelings more comfortably and openly. Shimamura has noticed this, and it has her pondering their past along with her current relationship with Adachi.
Adachi is often portrayed, including in this episode, as the one who desires attention and needs to be cared for, much like a puppy. However, she's perfectly capable of taking charge and looking after Shimamura in return. When Shimamura decides to skip school to keep a wandering Yashiro out of trouble, Adachi grows concerned and goes to her house to check on her. Yashiro even answers the door and tells Adachi to take care of Shimamura while she goes out to get dinner. Shimamura sees and appreciates this side of Adachi too, just as she's happy when Adachi lets her guard down and silently asks for head scratches. Both girls have learned to intuit what the other wants and know how to look out for each other.
Shimamura considers all this while trying to reconcile her past with her present. At first, she ignores Tarumi's calls but eventually decides to return one and the two old friends make plans -- just before Valentine's Day. What does this mean for Adachi, then? Does Tarumi have feelings for Shimamura, or is this merely a passing fascination with an old friend? Shimamura is Adachi's world, but how far do the feelings go in return? She doesn't seem to know herself just yet, but spending time alone with Tarumi will likely give Shimamura more answers.