In episode one, when Natsuki lunges towards Haruka to tackle her with a hug, Masato makes his first appearance by appearing out of nowhere and grabbing Haruka's arm to yank her out of the way. Before running off with her, he shoves Otoya into her place causing Natsuki to land on Otoya instead. 'That was close.' he tells Haruka who gets flustered and hastily thanks him for saving her from Natsuki. Masato tells her that she doesn't need to thank him. After Natsuki introduces himself to Haruka, when Haruka asks for Masato's name, he introduces himself as 'Hijirikawa Masato'. Otoya asks him if he could call him 'Masa' and he replies that he doesn't mind. Natsuki also asks him if he could call him 'Masato-kun' saying that it is super-duper cute and Masato again tells him that he doesn't mind.
He is later seen confronting Ren in the lunch queue after Ren tries to hit on Haruka. When Ren bluffs saying that he can't believe Masato ended up in A-class since Ren was placed in S-class (a special class), Masato tells him to not go far with his jokes. Tomochika, Haruka's best friend tells Haruka that Masato is the heir to the 'Hijirikawa Financial Group', and Ren is also an heir to the 'Jinguji Financial Group' saying that it is intense when the scions meet in person. Masato is later seen eating a melon bread by himself.
In episode two, Masato is shown in class putting up his hand for the students going down the idol course route. When Haruka goes to study musical composition and scores in the Study Hall, he is seen with Natsuki, watching Haruka from afar. Natsuki compliments Haruka as a serious, positive and straightforward girl, which he agrees to. He is later shown in his room practicing his japanese calligraphy when Otoya goes up to him asking him how he writes his lyrics and telling him that he is the only person he can rely on after asking the other guys. Masato gives Otoya a sheet of paper which reads 'Dam of the Heart' which Otoya finds too idiosyncratic.
In episode three, he is seen entering the classroom with Natsuki and shocked when they see Otoya and Tomochika vigorously erasing a bad rumour written about Haruka on the blackboard. When Haruka freezes up on the piano again, he is shown to be very concerned about her and watches her run out of the classroom after the gossips have reached a boiling point. Later that day, Masato is on the staircase when he overhears Otoya trying to tell Ringo-sensei that the bullying has gone too far and that Haruka needs help, which is turned down. He bumps into Haruka at the school tuck shop where he is purchasing a calligraphy brush. Masato takes Haruka by the lake and asks her whether she's alright. He tells her he understands that it won't help being told to not let the bullying get to her. Haruka suddenly tells him that she just enrolled into Saotome because she loved music and how everyone has been studying hard while she wasn't. Haruka suddenly cuts off the conversation and runs off making him even more concerned. He is then seen walking down the hallway next to the courtyard, and is spotted by Ren.
The next day, Masato skips class to look for Haruka, eventually finding her in a practice room attempting to play the piano. He enters the room and confronts her, sternly telling her that she doesn't go to class but practices on her own, then slightly softens when he sees that she's depressed. He tells her that he used to be the same way. Masato explains to Haruka that when he was small, he couldn't eat in front of his father. Having had been raised in a strict environment, his relationship with his father was no more than head of the incorporation and the heir. However, he was cheered up the family's butler who taught him how to play the piano which made him forget the painful moments of his life. Haruka in return, tells him that when she was a child, her health was fragile, so she was sent to live with her grandmother in the countryside. She was taught how to play the piano there. Masato goes over to the piano and starts playing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars', Haruka's favourite song since childhood. While he is playing, Haruka joins in halfway surprising herself that she just played. When she tries to play another note, her hand freezes up again and Masato places his hand over her hand to stop it from shaking. He tells her to calm down and to try and remember the first time when she played the piano. Haruka does and remembers that she really enjoyed listening to songs and playing the piano with her grandmother. Seeing that she has calmed down, Masato removes his hand from Haruka's and she plays 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars' with ease. When she's finished, she graciously thanks Masato, and he tells her that he wants her to listen to his song.Masato serenades Haruka with his song, 'Knocking on the Mind' and in his thoughts, he tells her that he created this song when he first met her and wants to show her his feelings through that song. He helps Haruka practice the score for class and while practicing, their hands collide into each other causing Haruka to flush and she quickly pretends to be reading the score to avoid embarrassment. He is then seen in class watching Haruka, who is playing the piano confidently in front of her classmates, proving to them that they have misjudged her skills. Later that day, Masato is with Haruka standing by the lake in the sunset where Haruka thanks him again for helping her, but he tells her that he should be the one thanking her much to her surprise. He reveals to Haruka in his mind that he had actually seen her before meeting her at Saotome Academy. Before, he didn't have a goal and was skeptical about the future his family had planned for him. It was one snowy day, when he fatefully saw her in a park surrounded by a group of small children singing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars' (which is probably how he knew it was her favourite childhood song). Seeing that she was really enjoying herself, Masato was inspired to become an idol and therefore enrolled into Saotome Academy to pursue this dream, and that it was her singing that lit up his path. It seemed as though it was fate they met again. When Haruka goes up and stands closer to him, Masato smiles and in his mind; thanks her for getting him to where he is now. Unbeknownst to Masato and Haruka, Ren is watching them from afar and clearly jealous of their bond. 'So that's how it is... Hijirikawa...' says Ren.
In episode four, Masato, Otoya and Natsuki are in the courtyard practicing their dance routine for an upcoming test. As the dance finshes, Masato tosses his hair and his sweat flies off his forehead. Haruka, who was watching their dance and in charge of the music, praises their dance saying that they got her 'toes tapping'. Otoya and Natsuki get excited and confidently say that they'll ace the test, but Masato tells them that they are far from being perfect by pointing out the flaws and he reminds them that they have to be careful with the tempo, much to their dismay. They then see Ren passing down the hallway near the courtyard with his harem making them excited. After Natsuki compliments Ren saying the goddess of love must be fond of him, Masato brushes this off calling it nonsence and tells them to get back to work. When Haruka kneels down next to the cassette player and asks if he wants her to replay the music from the beginning, Masato goes over and kneels down extremely close to her to instruct her where to start the music. They are interrupted by a jealous Ren who asks Masato, 'When did you become cosy with the little lamb? Hijirikawa...' Masato stands up glaring at him. When Haruka misunderstands Ren's romantic phrases, Masato sternly tells her that Ren is only teasing her and that she can't believe what he says until they are interrupted by the arrival of Syo who runs up to Ren to remind him of the lyrics assignment and Hyuga-sensei's warning if he continues to delay it. Masato also witnesses Hyuga-sensei threatening to expel Ren if the lyrics assignment isn't handed in by the end of tomorrow.
Masato is seen in his room his Ren, and he asks him if he is still going to ignore Hyuga-sensei's warnings, but Ren brushes it off telling him that it is none of his business. Masato thinks to himself that he and Ren were never on the same page, unlike during their childhood. In a flashback, Masato first met Ren at a social party. Ren saw that Masato was bored and asked if he would like to skip out of the party, as he himself was bored too. Masato thought is sounded fun and agreed. They ended up sneaking out of the party and played by a nearby lake, where they enjoyed splashing each other. Masato and Ren grew up and finally understanding their position as heirs to their families financial group, their friendship was strained and they stopped communicating with each other. Masato, who had grown up in a strict environment remembers how it was hard for him to persuade his father to let him attend Saotome Academy, as his father opposed the idea of him becoming an idol. He was only allowed to attend since it was only for a year. Ren then asks Masato if he is worried about him, but he ignores him.
Masato is then seen walking down the school corridors when he hears Ren playing his saxophone. When Ren tells Haruka that it is best for him to be expelled from Saotome Academy, Masato appears and tells him 'Then get the hell out!' He tells Ren that he doesn't like him and how his whole life had been decided by his father and that music is his only freedom. He is jealous that Ren lives a free life, while his own life is controlled by his family. Masato angrily tells Ren that he cannot forgive him for treating music trivially. He also mentions that the song he heard Ren playing on his saxophone wasn't a lie and why didn't he show it. This prompts Ren to rip up his lyrics and allow them to drift in the wind and saying that he has wasted his time in the academy. After throwing another insult about music, Masato loses his temper, runs up to Ren and punches him across the face. 'I'm sorry to hear that,' he tells him, 'I took you for somebody with a little more spirit.' before leaving.
Masato is then seen listening to Ren's song, 'Sekai no Hate Made Believe Heart' (To the ends of the Earth, Believe Heart) and smiles.
In episode five, he is seen in the study hall with the others sipping his tea. When Otoya asks him if he's going join in helping Syo overcome his fear of heights, Masato replies 'Knowing what is right and not doing it, signifies a want of courage', which Otoya takes as a yes. Masato is seen throughout Syo's training cheering with the others. When Syo gets too petrified from the training, due to the fact they went overboard and Otoya asks how Syo became acrophobic, Masato implies that Syo may have gone through something terrible in his past, prompting Saotome to appear out of nowhere. He watches Saotome hynotize Syo to find out what caused his acrophobia.
He is then seen with the others when they find out that Syo has changed his mind about auditioning, after finding out that the role was going to be the main character's younger sister. He is seen walking away with Ren when Syo breaks down after his idol mistook him for a girl, as Syo had been tackled into a dress by Natsuki.
In episode six, Masato is seen in the study hall with Tomochika, Otoya and Haruka. When Haruka tells them that she is going to see a live concert of her favourite idol, HAYATO, he along with Tomochika and Otoya express their concerns for Haruka going by herself as they know she easily gets lost. Ren joins them and offers to take Haruka to HAYATO's concert. When he asks her if he can call it a date, Masato says, 'Now I'm even more worried.' As he and Ren exchange glares, Haruka quickly assures them that she is perfectly fine and quickly makes her leave. He is then seen in his room reading a book when Otoya bursts in and tells him and Ren that they are not going to believe this, and turns on the TV on Ren's side of the room showing a live footage of Natsuki as Satsuki performing 'Orion de SHOUT OUT' (SHOUT OUT at Orion) on stage. Masato appears shocked and under the assumption that Satsuki is still Natsuki, asks why he's on stage. While watching the performance, Masato comments that it is like Natsuki has become a completely different person. After Syo reverts Satsuki back into Natsuki, Masato is with Otoya and Ren still staring at the screen, watching Syo angrily shout at Natsuki with confusion.
In episode eight, Saotome whisks everyone to his private island to help them decide on their partners for the graduation audition. Several girls are heard claiming that they want Masato to be their partner. He is later seen leaning against the sliding door to the porch of his and Ren's cabin. When Ren asks Masato how he's going to choose his partner, Masato replies that he has already decided who he wants as his songwriter in his head, then asks Ren whether he has decided, which Ren replies that he's following his heart. Ren then asks Masato whether he has thought of anyone, Masato says that he plans to tell 'her' sooner or later, causing Ren to get slightly suspicious.
In episode nine, Masato is in class, listening to Tokiya's song, 'BELIEVE MY VOICE'. After Ren informs Haruka that he has chosen her as his graduation audition partner, he catches Masato, who had overheard his conversation. Masato tells Ren that Haruka is not like the other girls and to stay away from her. When Ren asks, 'And if I tell you that I won't?' Masato angrily replies that he won't forgive him, which Ren laughs it off. Masato tells him that he needs Haruka saying that any other partner is just unthinkable, only to be shot down when Ren says that he's the one who needs her and after a brief silence, Masato straightforwardly tells Ren that he won't let him have Haruka, then leaves. He is then seen walking along the bridge, then stops and stares up into the blue sky. He tells Haruka in his mind that she was the one who lit up his path by her singing, as she had inspired him to become an idol and his desire to continue chasing that dream with her forever, wherever it leads them. Masato informs Haruka through letter that he has chosen her as his graduation partner which he puts in her letter box and she discovers it while checking for letters.
He is later seen in his room with Ren, dissolving an ink stick on an inkstone. When Ren tells him that the five of them (including Otoya, Syo and Natsuki) have enlisted Haruka, Masato responds saying 'The number of applicants has no bearing. All you can do is perform your best and leave the rest to fate.' Ren tells Masato that he agrees with him for once which is unusual for him. During Haruka's song, 'Maigo no Kokoro' (My Lost Heart), Masato is in his room writing in calligraphy when he hesitates, causing his brush dipped in ink, to create a splotch on his paper. He is then seen in the classroom when Ringo-sensei calls Haruka over to play the piano. As Haruka passes by, Masato smiles at her along with Natsuki, but Haruka turns away from them and proceeds to the piano. He turns around with Natsuki and appears to be hurt by this.
In episode ten, Haruka summons the guys who enlisted her for the graduation audition to the third music room. Masato is already present with Otoya and Ren just as Natsuki and Syo arrive. After Tokiya arrives, they discuss what Haruka plans to do with them and why she called them here. When Syo and Ren agree to settle the matter of who's going to be Haruka's graduation partner, Masato says that showdown depends on their luck. He suddenly hears Haruka's footsteps and stands up. Haruka enters the room and apologizes for making them wait and that she's finished. He appears confused at first until Haruka hands out a score to everyone and explains that she couldn't bring herself to choose one of them and therefore, came up with an idea of having them debut as a unit. Masato along with the other guys agree to her idea, but Ringo-sensei, who had overheard their conversation has informed Saotome of this and he tells Haruka to stick to the rules and choose one of them.
After Otoya, Syo and Natsuki tell Haruka that they will sing her song as a group no matter what, Masato appears and joins in. Together, they run to the helipod where Saotome is heading to, hoping to persuade him to let them debut as a group. After Tokiya and Ren arrive and persuade Saotome to listen to Haruka's song. Masato and the guys sing Haruka's arrangement with Haruka at the synthesizer. The song stuns Saotome and when he questions for the title, they get confused, so Saotome names the song 'Maji LOVE 1000%' (Serious LOVE 1000%) before leaving on his chopper, meaning that he has given permission for them to debut as a group, which Masato, Haruka and the guys celebrate.
In episode twelve, after learning that Tokiya is actually HAYATO, Masato is seen in the practice room with the other guys fustrated. 'If he's HAYATO,' says Masato, 'him being late or absent multiple times makes sense.' When Haruka admits that she knew all along that Tokiya and HAYATO were the same person, Syo asks her why she didn't tell them, but Masato backs up for her saying 'The fact that he would come here after finishing his work as HAYATO, shows that he didn't do it on a lark...' and that Haruka couldn't tell anyone about it. He tells everyone to try and understand how she feels as Tomochika comforts Haruka. Masato then asks if anyone managed to get a hold of Tokiya, to which Otoya reveals that he managed to contact him but they got disconnected during the call.
Later on during the day, Masato confronts Ren on the roof and asks why he hadn't said anything. When Ren replies saying that's he's sick of imagining what Tokiya did during his free time, Masato then asks, 'Then do we cut Ichinose from the group and go on with five members?' Ren then tells Masato that it is unusual to hear those words coming from him, and Masato tells Ren that he has changed, saying that if Ren hadn't, then he would've abandoned Tokiya without thinking twice. He then asks Ren, 'You think we need him... don't you?'
When Tokiya finally returns to the academy, Masato is seen with the other guys angrily confronting Tokiya, demanding answers from him. After Tokiya's sincere apology, he and the other guys forgive him and allow him to debut with them as Ichinose Tokiya. Saotome then announces the groups debut and names them ST☆RISH. He appears happy and excited when he and the other members learn that they have already passed the graduation audition, after Saotome listened to their song, 'Maji Love 1000%', but is shot down when Saotome tells the group that Haruka cannot be their composer.
In episode thirteen, he is shown with ST☆RISH, clearly angry at Saotome's decision on cutting Haruka off the program. When Haruka tells them not to worry about her and to go on and debut, Masato along with the other members appear worried. On the day of the rehearsal for their debut, ST☆RISH purposely do not turn up, still bearing a grudge against Saotome. Masato rejects Otoya's idea of trying to negotiate with Saotome again saying that he won't listen, and that it was a devious plot to get them and Tokiya together, and agrees with Natsuki that boycotting the rehearsal doesn't solve anything. Their conversation is interrupted when a frantic Tomochika bursts into the room and informs ST☆RISH that Haruka has ran away. He is shocked along with the other members.
Masato is then seen with ST☆RISH outside Haruka's grandmother's house singing 'Mirai Chizu' (Map of the Future) to convince Haruka to return to the academy. Masato tells her, 'I exist because other people exist.' and that she has made him realise that. After each of the members of ST☆RISH tell her that they need her, Haruka tearfully declares that she is done running away and tells them that she will be their one and only composer. As Haruka weeps, Masato is seen standing over her with Tokiya. Saotome as usual appears out of the blue and reveals that the whole thing was just an act. He never intended to cut Haruka from the program, for he had to test her first, to see whether she was worthy enough to be their composer. Since Haruka found what she lacked, Saotome declares that she will write their songs from now on which Masato and the other guys celebrate.
He is later seen doing a group hug with ST☆RISH and hi-fiving Haruka as they proceed to go on stage where they finally make their debut with 'Maji Love 1000%'.
Episode OneIn episode one, Masato is first seen cleaning Haruka's room. This caused Haruka to think she accidently walked into a boy's dorm room instead of her own. Masato comes out and apologises, saying that the movers asked him to show them to her dorm and seeing that it was filthy, he tells her that he couldn't help himself, but to clean it. Haruka thanks him and tells him that she is looking forward to working with him the Master Course. As he leaves her dorm, he tells Haruka that he too is looking forward to singing more of her songs. Once outside, he thinks of how his feelings for her had been growing and were continuing to grow. He then tells himself that he must find a way to suppress them.
He is later seen sitting on the piano in the main hall agreeing with Otoya that the Master Course reminds them of their days at the academy and how their life of idols is about to begin. When Ren mentions that it will be fun sharing the dorm with Haruka, Masato glares at Ren who brushes it off. The rest of ST☆RISH turn up and compliment that their dorms are great until Haruka appears and reveals to them that over the holidays, she had written individual songs for each one of them a song while thinking of them. Upon recieving his song from Haruka, he appears surprised that she was able to compose six different songs and happy. When Saotome introduces them to QUARTET NIGHT, a professional idol group, he is seen with ST☆RISH watching QUARTET NIGHT's performance, 'POISON KISS' and jumps back slightly startled when a hologram of one of the members, Kurosaki Ranmaru, appears in front of him. During the song Masato thinks in his mind, 'They're professionals...' He and Ren are assigned to Kurosaki Ranmaru. When Ranmaru voices his undesire of being ST☆RISH's mentors, Masato makes it clear to him that they are not taking this half-heartedly with Ren backing up for him.
When they learn that they are sharing a room with their mentors, Masato gets slightly uncomfortable sharing a bunk bed with Ren and panics when he notices his tatami is gone. Ranmaru reveals that he threw Masato's tatami out as it was taking up too much room much to Masato's dismay.
In episode two, he is seen with ST☆RISH heading out of the agency after dance practice. He points out to Ren that his dancing was lazy during their choreography. He also hears Cecil singing 'Ai no Reincarnation' (Reincarnation of Love) and spots Haruka following Cecil's song. When the song is over, after Cecil says, 'We meet again, Haruka.' he gets pretty tensed and is startled by Cecil's appearance. When Cecil kisses Haruka's hand, he and ST☆RISH are shocked. Enraged, Masato screeches, 'You!' followed by Syo yelling 'What do you think you're doing to Nanami?!' Cecil then attempts to kiss Haruka and in a fit of jealousy, ST☆RISH charges up to them and separates the two. Masato shields Haruka with Tokiya, while Ren, Otoya, Syo and Natsuki hold Cecil back. He and Tokiya appear confused when Haruka tells ST☆RISH that she met Cecil a couple of times in her dreams and is startled by Saotome who introduces Cecil as the 'Prince of Agnapolis' and that he had been scouted by him.
When Natsuki tries to warmly welcome Cecil, he is shown to be stubborn with the other members, especially Syo. Masato seems to have a change of heart when Cecil reveals what he knows about him and appears to be amazed. He is then shocked when Cecil has no interest in becoming an idol and only wanting to sing the songs Haruka writes. When Cecil makes another attempt to kiss Haruka, he is shown lunging with Syo, Otoya and Natsuki and then seen pulling Cecil away from Haruka by his shirt collar with Syo and Otoya. During idol training, they learn the fundementals through a card game, with Haruka reading out the meaning of a hiragana and the idols having to find the hiragana according to it's meaning. Cecil aces the game proudly declaring that his hiragana is perfect. Masato looks closely at the cards and informs Cecil that he's gotten all the cards wrong. He explains by rotating the hiragana on the cards to what it's suppose to look like.
He also doesn't show any sympathy after the training for Cecil.
In episode three, he is seen with ST☆RISH when Syo announces that he will be starring in a two-hour special of the 'Prince of Fights' drama. Masato is seen again with ST☆RISH and Ai, watching Syo train vigorously in the fitness room. He appears worried as the others.
In episode three, Masato informs Haruka that he has been invited to audition for an upcoming historical musical, The Singing Swordsman of Justice and he took it as an opportunity to advance toward the Utapri Award. In a flashback, Masato is in Saotome's office who informs him of the play. Saotome had told him that the directors of the musical took an instant liking to him when they saw his debut concert and therefore wanted him. Ringo-sensei excitedly tells him that it is his big chance to make his name well known and Saotome encouraging him to accept the offer. After the flashback ends, Haruka congratulates him and wishes him luck with his audition. Masato thanks her and also tells her that he is planning to sing the song she gave him in episode one for his audition which makes her very happy. Masato decided the study the fundamentals of acting, but after he did he was still unfamiliar to serious acting. The members of ST☆RISH join him in his room, telling him that they had heard the news and congratulate him. Otoya reads the script and they imagine themselves as the characters in the story. Natsuki and Ren are the antagonists, Ren, an evil warlord, with Natsuki as his bodyguard. Syo is a vengeful villager who attempts to attack Ren but is knocked out by Natsuki. When Ren is about to slay Syo for defying him, Masato is the story's hero and saves Syo. Otoya is another villager who helps Syo after he is saved by Masato. Tokiya comically plays the lover of the hero. The imagination ends there.
Otoya tells Masato that the story is interesting and Natsuki commenting that historical dramas are so intense. They offer to help him practice, but Masato declines, saying he can do it himself. When Otoya reads out a crucial scene where the protagonist has to embrace his lover passionately, Ren explains saying that the play is not just historical, but romantic at the same time and love scenes should be easy. Masato get all tensed, and states that an embrace is something that occurs naturally once the feelings of both people reach a boiling point. Masato starts to fret about that scene wondering if he could do that with the girl who will be playing the role of the lover and that he was meeting her for the first time. Otoya tells Masato that he should relax, but he calls them fools, saying that an embrace is not something that should be taken lightly. When Ren says that he will fail at this rate, Masato snatches the script out of his hands and sternly tells them to mind their own business before leaving. Later that night, Masato writes the word, 'Embrace' and puts it up on the wall which is discovered the next day by Ren. He informs ST☆RISH of this and they realise that Masato is indeed having trouble with that scene. Ren also tells them that Masato has disappeared but doesn't know where. Elsewhere Masato is at a waterfall where he stands beneath the running water, saying to himself that if he clears his mind of all mundane thoughts; an embrace is nothing to fear.
While visiting his grandfather's grave, he remember his grandfather told him that 'The performing arts is not something to do alone; it's something you do with those who perform with you; support you and watch you; and it is something to be done together.' Masato returns to the agency and was surprised when entering the practice room to find ST☆RISH already there waiting for him. When Syo told him they were ready, Masato asked what he was talking about. Otoya and Natsuki explain that they couldn't ignore him when he was so stressed and they wanted to help him practice. Ren added that it was not only Masato's audition and that their Utapri Award depended on how well he did. Tokiya tells Masato that he will succeed as he robes himself in a women's kimono, startling Masato, who asked why he was dressed like that. Syo explains that Tokiya is the most experienced and has agreed to play the girl to help. After remembering his grandfather's words again, Masato finally agrees to let ST☆RISH help him with his audition. While practicing, the act goes well until Masato freezes when he was supposed to embrace Tokiya. They try again. Masato almost succeeds in embracing Tokiya but fails. 'I'm sorry Ichinose!' says Masato, 'I cannot embrace you...' which shocks Tokiya who defends his acting skills. When Cecil asks why Tokiya is playing the role of the lover, Tokiya replies that there's no woman so he's doing it until Cecil mentions Haruka. Having had forgotten that Haruka is the only girl in the dorm, ST☆RISH decide that they should bring her in to help Masato practice, but he declines, saying that he doesn't want to cause her any trouble and that he'll do something about his acting.
Masato goes outside late at night to practice. Before he can practice, he hears Cecil call his name and is surprised to find him in a tree. They have a heart-to-heart talk. Cecil, who had been worried about Masato, asks him if he is really alright to go on with the audition like this, but Masato doesn't say anything. So Cecil asks him why he became an idol and Masato replies that he has always been interested in the performing arts, and knowing that it wouldn't come true, he hid his dream away deep in his heart. He continues, saying that one day someone reawakened his secret passion and led him down the path he is currently on. If it wasn't for 'her' he said, he wouldn't be where he is now, and Cecil comments that Masato must really love that girl, not knowing that the girl Masato loves is none other than Haruka. Cecil tells him that if he puts that passion into his acting he will surely succeed and he suggests to Masato; to imagine the other actor as the girl he loves then embracing her would be easy. So Masato tries to imagine Haruka as the lover, but gets embarrassed saying that he could never do something like that. When Cecil asks him why, Masato replies that to the audience; a play is a world of dreams then suddenly remembers his grandfather's words. Seeing that Cecil's advice and his grandfather's words intwine together, he thanks Cecil and heads back. As he returns to the dorms, he tells his grandfather in his mind to watch him.
On the day of the audition, before Masato performs, he remembers Cecil's words and draws himself into the story. In the imagination, he sings 'Koi Sakura' (Cherry Blossoms of Love), the song he wrote from the arrangement Haruka had given him, while acting the hero. When he reaches the love scene, he imagines Haruka as the lover and finally succeeds in embracing her. The imagination is over and Masato receives a thunderous applause from the directors who comment that they had never seen such an audition like this before and it seemed as though it was the actual performance itself. Hearing the directors's praises, he stares at his hands saying 'This is what it means to perform.' and realises that this is acting. Masato wins the role of the hero and is congratulated by ST☆RISH. He is seen standing next to a tree a day after the audition when Haruka comes running up to him to congratulate him as well. He tells Haruka that he got the part thanks to her, but gets embarrassed when he remembers hugging her in his imagination. He then tells Haruka that he wants her to watch him perform and that he'll inform her once the date is set, which she happily accepts. After she leaves he says in his mind, 'You saved me again, Nanami.'
Cecil, having had overheard Masato's conversation with Haruka, confronts him in a tree and says 'It's Haruka isn't it? The girl you love.' Masato goes all red in the face and tries to deny that he is in love with her, but Cecil sees right through him. He asks him why he didn't confess to her when he had the chance and Masato refuses to answer that question. Cecil guesses that it's because idols are forbidden to fall in love which Masato objects saying that he supresses his feelings because they are the most important to him and that he cannot tell her just yet. When Cecil gets confused, Masato explains that he is connected to Haruka through the 'bond of music', and by singing the songs she writes, he believes that he is firmly bound to her. He says that his feelings for Haruka so far is enough for him already and he is content with it.
In episode five, Masato along with ST☆RISH watch Otoya singing and practicing his guitar from afar. When Natsuki mentions that Otoya sometimes disappears, Syo guesses that he's been doing voice training, with Tokiya and Ren unconvinced that he is. Masato seeing that Otoya has improved with his singing says that they have to keep up with him. After Haruka finds out about Otoya's constant disappearance from the agency, she informs ST☆RISH and he appears concerned for Otoya along with the other members. He is later seen with ST☆RISH (minus Otoya and Cecil) in bear outfits looking humiliated and embarassed except for Natsuki. When Tokiya asks how long they are supposed to be dressed like this, Masato, who is being tugged at in his bear costume tells them that they have to endure it for the children.
In episode six, after Ren tells ST☆RISH that he will be appearing on a popular fashion show, Japan Boys Collection, while the members congratulate him, Masato notices that Ren doesn't seem to be looking forward to it. When in their room, Masato confronts Ren, asking him what is wrong.
In episode seven, he is seen with ST☆RISH when Natsuki runs up to them and excitedly informs them that he has finally got a job, which is a model for a gravure ad (lipstick ad). When Natsuki describes his job, he is skeptical when Natsuki uses the word 'strong', as he pictures him being surrounded by forest animals. After Haruka informs Syo that the job Natsuki recieved was really meant for his other side; Satsuki, Otoya asks what is going on and Syo sighs and reluctantly tells the group that they should also know about Natsuki's split personality. Masato appears shocked along with the other members upon learning that Natsuki's personality changes when his glasses are removed and comments that it is a surprise.
Masato is later seen with Ren in the lobby of the building where Natsuki's photoshoot is taking place. He recieves a call from Tokiya who apologises for disturbing their recording, but Masato assures him that he and Ren are done with work and have just arrived at the building. Tokiya frantically tells them to come to roof as soon as possible and Masato asks if something happened, but Tokiya says that he'll explain later and abruptly hangs up, leaving Masato surprised and confused. He turns to Ren and says slowly, 'Could Shinomiya-san have...?' Masato and Ren arrive on the roof just as Otoya confronts Natsuki who has reverted into Satsuki on the wooden canopy. 'What is this?' exclaims Masato who cannot believe his eyes. Masato and Ren's arrival briefly distracts Satsuki giving Otoya a chance to place the glasses back on his head, but Satsuki catches him and knocks him off, causing him to drop the glasses. Tokiya saves the glasses and throws it at Ren who catches them. Masato teams up with Syo by catapulting him onto the wooden canopy while Ren throws Syo the glasses. Syo nearly succeeds in placing the glasses back onto Satsuki, but he dodges and flps out of the way. Satsuki grabs the netting and hurls it onto Masato, Ren and Tokiya, trapping them underneath. When Satsuki drags Haruka along with him, Masato with ST☆RISH attempt to go after him, but he slams the door in thier faces, locking them on the roof.
Masato is then seen with ST☆RISH watching Natsuki's photoshoot and impressed with his performance. The next day, his appears next to Haruka with ST☆RISH (minus Natsuki) and comments that Natsuki is still Natsuki even after Satsuki agreed to have more faith in Natsuki.