So, this is one of those chapters which I saw the anime version of long before I read the manga chapter (if for no other reason than there STILL hasn’t been an official English release of it, though that should change in just a few months). I’m trying to remember, though, whether I watched this episode before or after the first time I read the Aqua manga.
Because, see, the anime never shows Akari’s Single promotion exam, though she does visit the hill in the chapter where her original gondola was retired. So I feel like readers of the manga will be reading this with the point of view of “ohh, I know where this is going” while watchers of the anime would be all “I wonder where this is going” - aside from anything else, the anime put the Athena-fakes-amnesia story in the immediately prior episode, with the trigger being that Athena was too busy to come for a mentor-student picnic that Alice planned (rather than accidentally tearing Maa’s hat), and this episode is presented as a kind of picnic take II thing.
Either way, the point is, when Athena reaches for Alice’s second glove, it definitely hit me right in the feels like a ton of bricks. Still does, actually. I dunno, I think I thought there was a fair chance that Alice would end the series as a Single.
Though, one little goof that the anime version took the time to correct: In the manga, Athena removes Alice’s right glove first, even though every other Single we’ve seen is only wearing a right glove. Kinda gives the whole game away.