Her father left their family shortly after their mother died of an illness, with Kei being left alone to fend for herself and raise her younger siblings. While their father does send them money for their expenditures, proving that he is still alive, Kei refuses to use any of his money and instead opts to work and earn the money herself.
Kei makes it to the fifth round of the yearly auditions held by the famous Stars Agency, with Arisa Hoshi, the Stars CEO, her son Akira Hoshi and internationally acclaimed director Sumiji Kuroyama being among the judges for the round. The candidates are tasked with showcasing the emotion of sadness and Sumiji is thoroughly displeased with the performance of all the other candidates but Kei catches his eye with her incredibly realistic performance. He is shocked to see that she has no prior acting experience and Akira suddenly bursts out and asks what she is doing, having the complete opposite view of her performance. Sumiji asks her to show him sadness that even an idiot would understand and tears instantly start flowing down her face, to his excitement and the shock of all the others present.
On her way back, Kei sees a poster for a film starring Chiyoko Momoshiro, a famous Stars actor but decides against buying tickets for the film, as she feels the funds would be better utilized feeding her family and thinks that she will get tickets if she wins the audition. Later, Kei receives a letter from Stars Agency informing her that she had not passed the round and Kei deflates. She goes back inside her house and her siblings, Rei Yonagi and Rui Yonagi jump out at her. She begins to play with them and takes them to bathe, while washing her siblings she tells them the results of the audition and attempts to put on a smile but only manages a grotesque expression that scares the children. Tears start flowing down her face as she says she will get a real job to be able to support them all and Rei tells her she should be an actor anyway. After putting the children back to sleep, Kei goes through their finances and begins to cry again, Kei quickly goes over to watch a movie from her large collection to reset her feelings. Rei quietly watches from her bed as her sister begins to get lost in the world of the movie and suddenly is able to smile properly, noting how her sister has once again gone into such a reverie while watching a movie.
At Stars Agency, Sumiji asks Arisa Hoshi why she rejected Kei and Arisa responds that while it was impressive Kei had mastered method acting all on her own, she did not believe acting would bring the girl happiness, instead of believing that it would be too dangerous for her emotionally given her acting style. Sumiji asks if she believes that Kei would eventually have a breakdown the same way Arisa had in her own acting career and Arisa pauses before saying that she didn't create the agency to ruin people's lives. Quickly retorting that she is speaking nonsense, Sumiji says that he would remind Arisa what a real actor was and the thrill for the people who could only survive as actors.
The next day, the Yonagi siblings set out for school as Kei shows off her newly rediscovered smile but Rei says that Kei needs to become an actor because otherwise her skills of conveying whatever expression she wished would just make her creepy. Rui tears up and Kei tries to comfort him when suddenly they are both interrupted by Akira arriving on the scene. Instantly recognizing him as "Ultra-Masked Man", Rui cheers up and gets excited at the actor's presence but Akira gets cold and tells him he is off duty before quickly changing gears and winking at the boy with a smile, telling him to keep his secret. Rui agrees loudly but still calls him Ultra-Masked Man while doing so and the passersby recognize him as well and Akira begs them to quickly get in his car so he may take Kei to the final round of Stars auditions.