Tatakau! Shoten Girl Episode 2 Recap/Review: Riko and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Really Bad Day

"Wait for meeee! It's time for the recap!"

“Wait for meeee! It’s time for the recap!”

Jdrama Photo Recap Disclaimer: Since this is both a recap and a review of the show, there will be spoilers here. I’m watching this without English subtitles and while I understand a lot of Japanese, I’m not fluent. There are occasionally parts where I don’t understand what’s going on. And lastly, the photo captions are just snarky jokes and not meant to convey actual dialogue. So if you’re cool with all this, read on and enjoy! 

You ever have a really bad day where all you want to do is just go back to bed and hide away forever? Yeah, me too. Everyone does occasionally. Episode 2 was all about Riko having a couple of really bad days. This episode was less about the bookstore and more about angsty complicated love. So let’s talk about it!

At work the next day after the breakup, Riko tries to pretend like she’s okay but really she’s angry about Aki and Ex-Boyfriend (I think his name is Shibata? I’m gonna keep calling him Ex though). Riko and Aki have a brief conversation about replacing old books with new ones, and that really sets the tone for the rest of the episode because Riko thinks she’s talking about her.

"Are we being literal or using a metaphor? I can't tell."

“Are we being literal or using a metaphor? I can’t tell.”

Later, Riko explains everything to her friend/coworker Shiho (Hamada Mari). Riko complains that Ex won’t answer her calls or talk to her at all.

That night Riko wants someone to hang out with but all of her friends are busy. Mita eavesdrops a bit and gets concerned for Riko.

"Eavesdropping is one of my underused skills."

“Eavesdropping is one of my underused skills.”

Later, he shows up at the park and offers to keep her company but she turns him down.

"Time for a new plan. Gotta go read shojo manga and disappear for half the episode"

“Time for a new plan. Gotta go read shojo manga and disappear for half the episode”

So Riko ends up hanging out alone. But even her usual restaurant is crowded. So she goes to her last resort: lonely karaoke. It’s actually super sad to watch because she’s remembering good times with Ex when they used to sing duets together in weird cosplay. Hey, whatever floats your boat I suppose.

...probably a memory best left forgotten

…probably a memory best left forgotten

But anyway, she gets super drunk because she’s so sad. The Gossipy Trio of bookstore employees happen to go to the same karaoke place and see Drunk!Riko. How awkward!

"Guys, you'll never guess where that dying animal sound is coming from"

“Guys, you’ll never guess where that dying animal sound is coming from”

"Just another typical day on the job," the karaoke staff lady says as she casually cleans up

“Just another typical day on the job,” the karaoke staff lady says as she casually cleans up

They run so she doesn’t see them, but when they go eat later, she’s there too drunk-dialing Ex. All in all, a bad night for everyone.

"It's like a horror film we can't escape from"

“It’s like a horror film we can’t escape from”

Back at the bookstore the next day, Eavesdropping Bar Dude comes in.

"I'm not stalking you, why would you think that?"

“I’m not stalking you, why would you think that?”

He asks how the proposal went and Riko berates him for asking personal stuff at work. He backs off but introduces himself as Tashiro Toshiyuki. Shiho is immediately like “get it gurl” because that’s what friends are for.

Meanwhile, Ex tells his coworkers (including Obata) that he’s getting married (or that he wants to? I missed a little bit there). They think he’s talking about Riko and Obata scares Ex with a story about a 40 year old lady stalker.

At dinner that night, Riko runs into Tashiro at the usual restaurant. And he’s much more protective of his food this time.

"I like you, Lady, but don't you dare touch my food again"

“I like you, Lady, but don’t you dare touch my food again”

Finally, Riko tells him about the proposal that didn’t actually happen. He gives her a motivational speech and then also sets up a date? It might not have been official but they do agree to meet. He gives her his phone number on the back of the business card.

So with confidence now, Riko goes to confront Ex again. She’s not mad; she just wants to talk. So she waits outside of his apartment until he returns, which would be okay if Ex hadn’t been spooked by the stalker with a knife story. He freaks out and even pushes Riko down before running away. To be honest, Ex is an idiot. Listen Riko, you dodged a bullet there really.

"Help! Help! I'm being threatened by an unarmed lady who clearly said she's not angry with me!"

“Help! Help! I’m being threatened by an unarmed lady who clearly said she’s not angry with me!”

But still, having your ex-boyfriend physically assault you and then run away screaming would ruin anyone’s day. So of course, Riko cries some more as she bandages her hand. Who can blame her?

Shiho is concerned the next day so she takes her out for drinks. At this point, I am gravely concerned for Riko’s liver. They end up at the restaurant early for the actual drinking party and chat with Obata. He rambles on about how much he likes Aki.

"She's like so beautiful and smart and can like string complete sentences together."

“She’s like so beautiful and smart and can like string complete sentences together.”

That annoys Drunk!Riko and she goes on a rant about Aki. Unbeknownst to everyone is that Aki is right behind them listening!

"If only I had a tall potted plant to hide behind to look less conspicuous."

“If only I had a tall potted plant to hide behind to look less conspicuous.”

"Hey guys! Hope you haven't forgotten about me. I'm about to do my shojo manga love interest impression in a minute"

“Hey guys! Hope you haven’t forgotten about me. I’m about to do my shojo manga love interest impression in a minute”

Aki gets angry as everyone else shows up and says she’s leaving but Riko follows her out to apologize.

"Don't walk so fast. I'm drunk"

“Don’t walk so fast. I’m drunk”

But Aki’s not accepting it and Riko finally snaps. She accuses Aki of dating Ex and also being pregnant because she thought Aki had gone to a clinic for that that night.

“There’s been a big misunderstanding,” Aki says and explains that she’s not dating Ex (he’s not even her type!), the taxi thing was a part of a group, and she wasn’t going to the clinic on the second floor of that building but the office on the fourth. Riko gets so upset once she understands, she gets sick (also she’s really drunk, remember?). And suddenly, Mita appears to save the day! He’s super touchy and checks Riko’s fever with his forehead. (LOL WHO ACTUALLY DOES THAT?)

"Don't worry. I read about this fever-checking technique in a book once. It's super legit."

“Don’t worry. I read about this fever-checking technique in a book once. It’s super legit.”

Anyway, he piggybacks her home. Maybe next time, just call a taxi, man?

"Piggyback ride from potential love interest? Check!"

“Piggyback ride from potential love interest? Check! Everything’s going according to plan.”

At Riko’s house, her father gives Mita some curry and they chat a bit. So that’s… nice.

So the next day, Riko remembers her date with Tashiro and runs to meet him in time. While that’s going on, Aki wants to talk about Mita. She remembers earlier when he gave her a band-aid and said things she thought was nice.

"Wow, proper first aid. I am shocked and impressed."

“Wow, proper first aid. I am shocked and impressed.”

Riko can’t call Tashiro because she lost the phone number when Ex pushed her. Before she can cross the road to catch him, he leaves. At the same time, Aki tells Mita in the park that she likes him and wants to date. But he apologizes, saying that he likes someone else. Of course, that someone (Riko) is currently on her knees on the sidewalk, upset again. As Mita walks away, Aki asks herself “Did I get dumped?”

So in the end, no one is happy really.

Gosh, romance dramas are exhausting, aren’t they? Who likes who is getting really complicated. (I’m gonna have to make a chart next week like I did for Suikyuu Yankees, lol) This episode was focused on showing more of Riko’s point of view after we focused mostly on Aki last week, so it was good to see that. But dang, it was just so depressing. I think the episode could have benefited from Aki clearing up the misunderstanding earlier instead of dragging out Riko’s misery until the episode was almost over. The plot slowed down a bit too much during this episode because they needed to set up all the romance intrigue. Hopefully, the next one will pick up the pace more. How is everyone going to react now? We’ll see next week!

Final Thoughts and Questions

  • Can we all agree that Ex is a scumbag? Riko is a million times better off without him. Hopefully he’ll disappear and we never see him again.
  • Has Mita been reading too many shojo manga? Let’s be real here.
  • Even thought they aren’t very important, I really like the Gossipy Trio. Their scenes were my favorite in this episode. But maybe I’m just biased because I like Inoo Kei‘s face.
  • The drinking game for the rest of the series is gonna be take a drink whenever someone is eavesdropping and take a drink whenever Mita just randomly pops up out of nowhere. Please drink more responsibly than Riko though.

So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments! I’ll be back with another recap/review next week!

Bonus photo: Shiho in a situation where saying “fudge” would be appropriate. I feel like there are all these little visual jokes hidden in the background all the time. I love it!

tatakau 2 oh fudge

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6 thoughts on “Tatakau! Shoten Girl Episode 2 Recap/Review: Riko and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Really Bad Day

  1. I agree on watching the Gossipy Trio part. I laughed the most during their scenes of awkwardly handling and running away from the situation. Even more so, the long haired girl who I think was quite naive to actually want to call Riko and then wanting to see Riko in the shop.

    • The Gossipy Trio is always fun to watch! And yeah, it would have probably been a bad idea to go visit Riko in the shop. lol

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. If I took a shot for every time I slapped my hand to my forehead and sighed, “Men” in this episode, I’d be raging drunk right now LOL.

    POOR RIKO OMG THIS GIRL was just not having a good time.

    Shiho is the real MVP here, as is Keiichiro (yes I did have to Google his character name; how did you know?), but I’m totally a little bit biased. Yeah. Not even gonna lie BUT YEAH HOW GOOD WAS THE TRIO’S SCENES LOL. Need more about their friendship. Yes. If there isn’t any, I will write some. Or y’know, bug people into writing some for me. /side-eyes the floor-length piece of parchment my to-write list is written on

    THE COSPLAY i had no idea japanese karaoke had cosplay. GOING ON THE BUCKET LIST. but realtalk though i liked the panning between present and past.

    “It’s like a horror film we can’t escape from” combined with that shot of Inoo’s face i LOST it.

    /smacks Shibata upside the head. YEAH RIKO, YOU DESERVE BETTER.

    /smacks Obata upside the head too. MEN.

    MITA + READING SHOJO MANGA LOOOOOOOOOL so accurate it hurts. Oh Mita, just. No.

    I was just thinking I wanted some AkixMita backstory because evidently they knew each other and then it turned out to be….. bandaid giving and a passionate speech about books. It was a very nice bandaid though, Mita. And I still ship them. >___<"

    I admire how direct Aki is, in addition to being compassionate. EVERYTHING CAN BE CLEARED UP WITH A BIT OF COMMUNICATION, GUYS.

    1. SHIBATA IS A SCUMBAG INDEED.
    2. I bet Mita was in charge of the shojo manga section once.
    3. GOSSIPY TRIO FOR LIFE they're so cute + inoo and short haired girl stopping the innocent long haired girl loool favourite. ❤
    4. raises glass

    can't even choose my favourite caption. maybe the karaoke cleaning lady LOL

    • Boys are dumb sometimes. /bangs head on wall

      Cries for Riko.

      Cheers for Shiho! lol in my head, the Gossipy Trio will never have names. 😛 But yes their scenes were my favorite!! Haha I wish I could write Gossipy Trio fic but… then I would have to learn their names. /more side-eying

      IF ONLY I HAD KNOWN ABOUT COSPLAY KARAOKE WHILE I WAS IN JAPAN. You should do it! Totally do it! Hilariously bad wig and all! But yes, the switch between past and present was one of the good things about this episode.

      This show is worth watching if only for Inoo’s amazing faces 😀

      Boys. /bangs head on wall again

      Chiba Yudai would be great as basically any shoujo manga love interest.

      Band-aids are important yo! Because of all the deadly paper cuts you can get handling books! (I make this joke, but I get paper cuts all the time too though and they HURT)

      Again, COMMUNICATION. Seriously, Aki is pretty different from usual female drama protagonists and I like that. 🙂

      1.) SHIBATA /shakes fist angrily
      2.) He’s probably still in charge of the shoujo manga section (secretly) lol
      3.) Gossipy Trio is forever and always my favorite. I’m completely not biased. /coughs/
      4.) cheers!

      Casually cleaning karoke staff lady is the best. Such a pro 😀

      • LOL omg but i’d love to read fic about the gossipy trio.
        NEVER FEAR
        Gossipy Trio Member 1, GTM 2, GTM 3…. /runs aay

        LOL I WILL MAYBE IF I FIND ONE. i’ll send a pic.
        ONE DAY YOU SHOULD GO TOO

        ikr he makes so many of them in such a short span of time im impressed, son.

        /gives you an ice pack for your head D:

        • Maybe one day I will write you hilarious bad crack fic for the Gossipy Trio. Maybe.

          YES PICS. DO IT. (if you can’t find a place, you should just BYOW: bring your own wig) 😛

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