A Snake Came Slithering in Muddy Shoes
Season 1, Episode 31
Kodocha 31
Air date November 1, 1996
Episode guide
Rei and the Jolly Green-Eyed Monster
Daddy, You're Busted!

The episode opens with a magazine article showing Sana and Naozumi when they appear to be holding hands. Sana explains that this was not romantic, and that instead he was just handing her a handheld game, but nobody wants to listen. Sana passes it off as just the tabloids doing their usual over-exaggeration of events, but Rei is more worried about what's happening. Meanwhile, a reporter named Kurosaki, the one seen in the previous episode, is handing out incriminating photos of Sana and Akito together, despite it being near impossible for him to have obtained these pictures. He is rejected anyway, and so he sets out to get real evidence of Sana and Akito dating.

The next day, Sana gets through the crowd of paparazzi at work while Rei continues to struggle through it, but she gets caught by the reporter Kurosaki before she can continue on. At first, she tells him to get out, as reporters aren't allowed in, but he smooth-talks her into an interview on the spot. He asks a number of uncomfortable questions about her relationship with Akito, but suddenly she is pulled away by Zenjiro. He tells her that that man is a snake of a reporter, and that she should avoid him. The next day, Kurosaki stalks her, taking pictures of her at all times. She isolates herself away from Akito, knowing a shot of her and him together is what he wants. He constructs a plan by making it seem as though Rei called both of them however, and when they meet where he wants them, he gets the perfect picture of Akito grabbing Sana.

Rei learns of the picture, and contacts him for Misako. She questions his intentions, to which he responds that he doesn't care if anyone is hurt, he just wants to do his job. Misako is not disturbed by his words however, and says he is likely a good person on the inside. Meanwhile, Sana is upset at the damage the picture might do to his family. Indeed, Kurosaki questions Natsumi heavily, warning that he will come to her school next and making her afraid to leave her home. Sana decides she's had enough, and goes to confront him personally.

Akito goes with her, and tries to stop her from her rash action. However, she is not deterred, and goes straight to his house. His children answer the door, and after briefly talking, Sana and Akito decide to help them cook their dinner as their father is away. Sana helps cook while Akito helps the younger boy making his dinosaur costume, as he has strong interest in dinosaurs. Kurosaki comes home during all this, and while he is angered at their presence, he doesn't let in on in front of his kids. He takes them to the roof, and here tells his suspicions of their trying to blackmail him. Sana says he only thinks that because he does this to everyone else. His kids, who are both fans of Sana, ask that he keep the incriminating picture of Sana. He relents, and says he won't go after specifically Sana for now. After they leave, he also looks through a picture he took earlier that day, of what happens to be Tsuyoshi's father being arrested.