The episode begins with a flashback to ten years earlier. Ritsu Onodera, the main character and protagonist, is in high school and he has a crush an upperclassman named Saga. When Ritsu runs into Saga in the library, he blurts out that he loves him. The flashback ends, moving to the present day.
Ritsu is a new hire at Marukawa Publishing, but he's disappointed to learn that he has been assigned to the shoujo manga department when he had requested to be in the literature department. He asks to be switched over into literature, but the assignment is already official.
When he is taken to his department, known as Emerald, he finds the team extremely exhausted and over-stressed due to their "cycle" ending (a manuscript coming up). Ritsu wants to meet the "amazing" Editor-in-Chief he hears about, so he decides to stay with the job for two weeks, then quit. Takano, the Editor-in-Chief, gives Ritsu a cold greeting and tells him that he is "useless" because he has no experience with editing manga. Takano then heads off to meet a manga artist to help with work, and he tells Ritsu to come along so he can learn.
As Takano is editing the work, he doesn't like a kissing scene. He tells the artist to make the kiss more dramatic, but she is having a hard time. Takano then says he'll show her, and Ritsu thinks he's referring to references which Ritsu offers to get, but instead Takano pulls Ritsu over for a pose and kisses him. The tactic works and the mangaka furiously redraws the kiss, but Ritsu is startled and thinks Takano is a jerk.
Ritsu isn't sure he'll make it two weeks. As he later reflects on the kiss during a break, he's upset he was sexually harassed and his stomach hurts. His goal is also to work in literature, which he loves, not manga. Takano comes over and asks him about his last job at Onodera Publishing, Ritsu's family's publishing house, and if he's disappointed at being assigned to manga. When Ritsu reveals that's true, Takano tells him to quit if that's how he feels. Takano asks if they've met before, but Ritsu doesn't remember.
Ritsu becomes determined and begins reading shoujo manga to prepare for his job. He comes to work the following day exhausted after reading 100 manga volumes the night before, looking rather like the Emerald team did the day before. When he gets to his department, he is shocked that everyone is energetic and bright, and the place is cleaned up and sparkling and pink. Ritsu asks another coworker, who explains the 20-day manuscript cycle. This is how the team looks at the beginning of the cycle after the manuscript has been submitted.
Ritsu continues his training, and Takano mentions again that he thinks they've met before. Ritsu doesn't think much of it since they're both in publishing and might have crossed paths before. As he's working with another editor, Ritsu mentions that he used to read all the books in the library in high school, which catches Takano's attention. When asked if something's wrong, Takano says it's nothing, and Ritsu thinks Takano just thinks he's being weird for looking into manga so much. Ritsu continues reading manga, determined to not be "useless."
In order of appearance:
- Ritsu Onodera
- Masamune Takano, aka Masamune Saga
- Unnamed female employee from the General Affairs Department
- Shouta Kisa, an editor in the Emerald department
- Kanade Mino, an editor in the Emerald department
- Yoshiyuki Hatori, an editor in the Emerald department
- Iori Satou, a mangaka with Emerald who creates a last-minute manuscript
- Akihiko Usami (flashback only)
- Unnamed male coworker who explains Emerald's 20-day cycle