Takemoto Yuuta, Mayama Takumi, and Morita Shinobu are college students who share the small apartment. Even though they live in poverty, the three of them are able to obtain pleasure through small things in life. The story follows these characters' life stories as poor college students, as well as their love lives when a short but talented 18 year old girl called Hanamoto Hagumi appears.
An unusual transfer student arrives at the art school Takemoto attends and attracts the attention of Morita, causing him to go on a photo-taking spree on her. Mayama, Takemoto and Yamada soon discover her artistic talents.
Morita's motive for his terrible treatment on Hagumi is revealed in his website, and the stressed out Hagumi is enraged by what but he did. However, Morita soon repays her for her troubles.
Takemoto, Morita and Mayama are invited over to the Hanamoto's for a dinner party after Hagumi brings back some soba from her summer vacation in Nagano. However, Morita and Mayama fail to attend. Takemoto offers to help Hagumi with something but soon finds that he has taken on more than he can chew.
And Mayama's job puts a serious strain on Yamada.
Mayama's love life still remains difficult. Hagumi feels the stress of being different from everyone. And Morita organises a Christmas party for the Christmas Eve.
Takemoto reluctantly returns home for the New Year and meets Kazuo, his step-father.
In the second part of the episode, the gang takes a road trip to a hot spring using the money won from a lottery ticket.
The group visits a rather eerie zoo. Shuuji reveals to Mayamoto his history with Rika and her husband. In the second half of the episode, the students are hard pressed to complete their final term art work especially Morita.
Shuuji Hanamoto has to be away for a year for a job assignment and he worries about whether he should bring his niece, Hagumi, along with him.
Intending to give her uncle a good luck charm for his trip, Hagumi searches for a four-leaf clover.
Hagumi and Ayama hold a dinner party and invite the guys over but it soon turns out that it's a special day for one of them. And in the second part of the episode, Hagumi has to spend a night alone in the apartment when Ayama has to return home to her family.
Everyone is working late preparing their exhibits for the school festival including Hagumi, who has trouble with her wax work. She later finds a white broach that someone had made for her. The broach is quite similar to the one she had doodled on her notebook. Hagumi also gets a job to help Yamada sell Christmas goodies at her family store but they have to compete with a new supermarket that has opened nearby.
The five friends decide to take a ferry ride over the Sumida river and visit the Kasai Seaside Park.
Takemoto and Yamada talk about Mayama's future and how Hagu has grown before they are interrupted by Professor Hanamoto's sudden and early return from his trip to Mongolia. Everyone then gathers at night to hear about Professor Hanamoto and his teacher's trip. The next day, Hagu goes out shopping with Morita for art supplies due to everyone else being busy. Hagu wrests with her feelings for Morita as he treats her coldly the entire day. Eventually, Hagu returns and cries to Professor Hanamoto, nearly regressing to the past where she only trusts Professor Hanamoto.
It is spring again. The whole group attends the annual school festival. Some of them tell stories about what happened recently to them, while others think of their loved ones. Later on the next day, Hagu is still in an uncomfortable mood. She went out to buy tobacco for Professor Hanamoto and took a look of cherry blossoms for a while. Morita suddenly appears in his eccentric behavior, giving her his scarf and kissing her unconsciously. He ran away the moment he realized what he had just done. Hagu was quite shocked after that and she got a fever which, according to Professor Hanamoto, is often caused to her by stress. Professor Hanamoto told Takemoto about Hagu's uncomfortable feelings while going out with Morita last time, and he said she did not realize that was because she liked him. Takemoto, feeling depressed, comes back home, finding the person responsible for summoning Morita to work, who is seen breaking into Morita's overly secured room. The room shockingly resembled that of a master control room. This mysterious person then finds Morita's passport, in order to be delivered to the airport. He then tells Takemoto that Morita is about to go to Los Angeles for six months for a job. Takemoto jumps into the car with him to go to airport but he could not make it in time to bid Morita farewell. The person is later revealed to be Morita's older brother, Kaoru Morita, who also portrays eccentricity. Takemoto asks Kaoru whether Morita will return or not. In turn, Kaoru asks Takemoto whether or not he wants Morita to return.
Takemoto later announced the news about Morita leaving to Los Angeles to Hagu and the rest. Later, they all went to Morita's room, since the door was destroyed by Kaoru. Takemoto asked Hagu whether or not she wants Morita to return, but her stern and straightforward answer before was really hurting him. The story mainly talked about Yamada and her feelings later on. To save money, Mayama asked Yamada to help making some artwork for his firm's project. Takemoto, seeing Hagu all fired up creating her latest work, reminded him of Morita's dedication in his work. Yamada invites Hagu along with the gang to the fireworks display that will be taking place that evening. Both Hagu and Yamada choose their yukatas for the event. Later that evening, Yamada, being conscious with her look, revealed that she just wanted Mayama to compliment her on her yukata.
Mayama dreamed of Rika-san. His co-worker said when one dreamed of another, that was because the person in the dream wanted them to meet so much that the soul escaped the body and came to the dream. Mayama was doubt about that but on the way came back from a conference, he and his co-workers passed a park where Rika-san was just behind a fountain watching him passing by. Mayama didn't notice until later on. But when he ran back to the fountain, she was not there anymore.
Mayama's work is going well, but he still misses Rika-san. Her current assistant suddenly has health problem and needs to stay in hospital. Mayama meets Rika-san in hospital and asks her if he can come back, but she rejected. Nomiya at the same time wants to meet Yamada and really gets his eyes on her. Mayama tried to protect Yamada from him (much like a mother) as he says he wants her to meet a guy who treasures and don't just hook her up for fun. Takamoto was searching for jobs and doing his final project, which later on was given name by Hanamoto-sensei. This name made the idea become clear and his work masterpiece.
The firm Mayama was about to be apart. For some intentional purpose, his boss put him into the group of people who have to leave Tokyo to another place. At the same time, Rika-san's assistant was is hospital and she hasn't been able to find a replacement. Hence, Mayama decided to leave the firm and came back to work for Rika-san, without much of asking for her permission. Yamada acknowledged about this through Nomiya (Mayama's boss) and she was really depressed after that. After that, she was proposed by four guys from the shopping arcane (they were friends since small) but she ran away. Hanamoto-sensei later on explained for her that the situation of her and Mayama was similar and in that case (loving someone who doesn't love you), people could just choose either "make some effort or give it up" and advised her to tell those guys her true feelings. After Yamada left, Hanamoto-sensei's thinking revealed that there is a third choice, but he would never speak it out.
Having lost Mayama from the Fujiwara Design Office, Miwako expresses her depression by buying a massage chair for their new office. Yamada, who was brooding over the proposal of her childhood friends, confronts them and turns them down properly, later wishing for their own happiness while selling cakes with Hagu. Meanwhile, Takemoto is being depressed from the fact that he has not realized yet what his goal in life really is, giving him trouble on his job applications. He then took down the artwork he made for the art exhibition, much to a surprise for the others. His depression made the opening of their Christmas party a little dull, but Professor Hanamoto's antics made things lively. Rebuilding another artwork for his graduation art project, Takemoto suddenly collapses and is brought to the hospital to be diagnosed for an ulcer. Visited by Mitsuko and Kazuo, he decides to stay and study for another year. Takemoto was about to confess his feelings to Hagu when they were interrupted by Professor Hanamoto, who has brought him a handheld television. What they saw on television totally surprises them.
Morita, airing on television in a startling appearance, is given an Academy Award. After making a ruckus on the hospital ward, they were shocked to see Morita on the bed right beside Takemoto. The next day, they return to the hospital, only to see Morita well. After Professor Hanamoto drags Morita away for his thesis, Yamada asks Mayama about his work, realizing that she herself is being hurt from the fact that only Mayama and Rika are working together. Later, Morita was given a heavy lecture by Professor Tange, but still ends up graduating due to his graduation thesis being finished and submitted in time, being that his work was a self-portrayed hand-made sculpture made of gold. But he returns later, enrolled as a third-year student in the Japanese painting department.
Mayama arrives at the Fujiwara Design Office, only to found out that Yamada is there. After she leaves abruptly, Mayama mistakes Nomiya's business interest with Yamada for his love interest. Mayama then goes to the apartment to meet up with Takemoto and Morita. When the three gather to eat dinner prepared by Morita, Takemoto reminisces over the time when Morita departed to America. The following night, Mayama meets up with Takemoto, Morita, Yamada, Professor Hanamoto, Yamazaki, and Miwako at the annual school festival. Later after the festival, Yamada agrees to go with Nomiya, after she had an argument with Mayama. However, Yamada begins to have second thoughts about going out with Nomiya, as she faces the truth about her relationship with Mayama told by Nomiya. Meanwhile, at the Fujiwara Design Office, Yamazaki and Miwako talk with Morita and Mayama about Nomiya. Miwako explains to Mayama that he and Nomiya are alike in personality, which makes Mayama frustrated. Nomiya and Yamada bought food at a pastry shop. Nomiya brings her to the sight of a Ferris wheel at his place, while Yamada reminisces over her time with Mayama in the Ferris wheel. Yamada then admits that Nomiya was right about her relationship with Mayama, causing her to cry. The next morning, Yamada is shocked to have slept overnight with Nomiya, but Nomiya calms her down by offering her a ride on the Ferris wheel.
Nomiya calls Yamazaki and Miwako to the office early in the morning to assist a drunken Yamada to her father's house. Later on, Morita meets up with Mayama, and Morita tells Mayama that he wants to visit the office again sometime. Mayama views pictures of Ferris wheels taken by Nomiya, noticing how much Ferris wheels meant to Nomiya. Morita finds Yamada, having great concern over her. Morita then walks her to her house. The next day, Professor Hanamoto explains to Takemoto how he became a teacher. Takemoto then tells Professor Hanamoto that everyone except him has their future planned out, including Hagu. Morita becomes surprised that Hagu doesn't want her paintings to be displayed and shown in museums and art galleries. Professor Hanamoto tells Morita that it is up to Hagu to do what she wants with her art, but Professor Hanamoto questions himself if that is the right thing to do. At the office, Yamazaki and Miwako accuses Nomiya of having a perverted personality. However, Nomiya recalls that he was trying to change his ways until Mayama started working at the office, since Mayama had the same personality as him. Yamada is seen by Professor Shōda, making pottery. She had made too much pottery, which Professor Shōda realized that something was troubling her.
Takemoto meets with Professor Hanamoto and a businessman. The businessman offers Takemoto a job, and Takemoto quickly accepts the job. Takemoto celebrates this occasion with Morita, Mayama, Hagu, Professor Hanamoto, and Yamada. However, the businessman had declared bankruptcy. Meanwhile, the Tottori firm joins back with the Tokyo firm, resulting in some unfinished work in the Fujiwara Design Office. Yamada catches Nomiya before he walks out, dropping off some pottery at the office. Miwako tells Yamada that Nomiya is headed over to the Tottori firm, which surprises Yamada. Takemoto disappears and hasn't returned to the apartment in a few days, causing the others to be worried. Professor Hanamoto concludes that Takemoto wanted to be away for a while to find himself and that he will return within a few days. It is revealed that he went away for a while to find himself in the past, ending up at a beach. He begins to worry about the others. Morita, Mayama, and Professor Hanamoto set out to look for Takemoto. Takemoto seems to fear what his future will turn out to be.
Takemoto travels to many houses to get water to drink. Miwako text messages for Yamada to Nomiya, as she wonders how he is doing. Hagu believes that she is selfish for not displaying her paintings. Takemoto is uncertain to return to the apartment. Unfortunately, his bicycle breaks down when he passes by a temple. He meets with carpenters who restore temples and shrines. He decides to help them until he is able to buy a new bicycle. Professor Hanamoto reveals to Hagu that Takemoto reminds him when he was younger. Yamada meets Rika for the first time, and she eventually starts to feel sorry for Rika.
Takemoto cooks for the carpenter, and they seem to like the food he prepares. Takemoto calculates that he will work for ten days until he is able to buy a new bicycle. Meanwhile at the Fujiwara Design Office, Rika ask if Yamada could work with her, since she takes an interest in Yamada's pottery. Mayama becomes worried when he hears the news. Takemoto reluctantly wants to stay with the carpenters, since they love his cooking. He gradually starts finding himself after bonding with the carpenters. One of the carpenters lends Takemoto his bicycle as well as a map, giving Takemoto quite a surprise. The carpenters say farewell to Takemoto, as he leaves to finish the rest of his journey.
Takemoto views the map the night before he starts traveling the next morning. He comes across a store near a school, and ends up eating sweet rolls. The store owner talks to him about her time in America, offering him some corn for the trip afterward. Takemoto reminisces about the time he wished he could go to America with his father. Not paying attention, he falls off his bicycle, but manages to get back on and continues on his journey back to the apartment. When he arrives home, he goes to see Hagu. Professor Hanamoto goes to see Hagu shortly after, but finds out that both Takemoto and Hagu are asleep. Takemoto wakes up the next morning and receives a warm welcome from everyone. Takemoto explains to them that he was simply trying to go on a journey, meeting people along the way. It is revealed that Takemoto has been away for two months. Everyone goes to a harvest festival, and they all see the fireworks. After realizing that what he leaves behind can mean so much to him, Takemoto admits his love for Hagu. As Takemoto spends the night with all friends in the apartment, a four-leaf clover is secretly shown next to his bicycle.