Partners! (あいかた！, Aikata!) is the 9th episode of Maesetsu!: Opening Act.
Tokonatsu is on the verge of a break-up due to the duo's lack of self-confidence. To remedy their friend's malaised dispositions, Rin and Nayuta switch things up.
At a bridge, Fubuki looks at a family of turtles as the sun goes down. Earlier that day, both Tokonatsu and R凸 in front of a live audience. Tokonatsu's performance, however, is considered tepid. After they're done, Fubuki tells Mafuyu that while she's alright, she's going to head home for the day.
Back in the present, Fubuki recalls when she and the others meet Keiko back in Osaka. At The Baron, Mafuyu, Rin, and Nayuta talk about Mafuyu's concern for Fubuki. In Mafuyu's perspective, she believes that Fubuki is planning on ditching her because she's an inadequate partner. Meanwhile, Fubuki continues watching the turtles while throwing in a joke in here and there.
That night, Rin and Nayuta inform Junki and Ubuno of Tokonatsu's situation. It's said by them that they're in a slump and that not so long ago, they themselves nearly broke up. Ubuno denotes that their trip to Osaka must have been a grand revelation to the two of them and thus they simply need to reflect on their shortcomings. Walking home, Nayuta and Rin discuss this advice for Tokonatsu further and their concern for either Mafuyu or Fubuki. The two girls in their respective homes, then watch a playback of their most recent gig and each believes they're a hindrance to the other.
The following day at The Baron, both Mafuyu or Fubuki talk with each other as Rin and Nayuta clandestinely watch. Once the conversation is over, Rin talks with Mafuyu and Nayuta with Fubuki. In their heart to heart with the girls they learn that basically, they believe they're keeping the other one down. Because of this the two of them lost their self-confidence. Watching a JK Cool skit, Rin has an epiphany and explains it to the girls the next day at The Baron. Rin's idea is a team shuffle, which is to switch partners within their respective owarai. For the sake of the shuffle, Fubuki partners with Nayuta and Mafuyu partners with Rin. Afterward, the new teams practice their craft together and because of this, Mafuyu and Fubuki rekindle their relationship together. They also switch standings whereas Mafuyu is the comic and Fubuki is the straight man.
Later the revised Tokonatsu practice their craft, while Rin and Nayuta celebrate their accomplishment with a spa bath.