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!
This week we continue with the romance drama and mostly ignore the bookstore again. It’s Aki’s turn to be sad for a while, while Riko picks up the pieces of her own love life again and Mita figures out what do to. The first half was a little slow but the last half of the episode got much more exciting. We even got an exciting cliffhanger at the end! Let’s talk about it!
We pick up not too long after where we left off last week. Aki is sad about being rejected by Mita and Riko is still sick in bed with a fever.
But at work, Mita approaches Aki and asks if they can hang out together at his usual cafe. She agrees and they go and read books together for a bit. Finally, Aki can’t stand it and she asks Mita what kind of person is the girl he likes. He explains and Aki just looks more depressed.
At the next staff meeting, Riko is back and apologizes for being out sick. After the meeting is over, Aki watches Riko and Mita talk cheerfully with one another (mostly about curry rice).
Riko tries to apologize to Aki later about all the things she said about her and Ex-Boyfriend Shibata, but Aki remembers Mita being all close to Riko and so she just leaves.
Aki goes to get her usual supply of new manga from Obata. Of course, Obata never gives up so he tries to convince Aki that the bag is too heavy for her to carry home. She doesn’t fall for it so he just suggests coffee at the office instead which she does agree to. He tries to sneakily find out if she’s got a boyfriend while she asks him advice about what to do if you get dumped by the guy you like. Anyway, as usual, Obata gets nothing out of this other than disappointment.
Riko invites Aki and Mita out for drinks. Mita gets all embarrassed and shy when Riko talks about him. Aki sits quietly in the corner. But then Tashiro walks into the restaurant and Riko goes to apologize for missing their date. Since she explained, he’s not too upset about it. While this is going on, Aki and Mita just casually listen in from their table. The waiter walks up and says “oh is a new love beginning for Riko?” because he’s completely oblivious to facial expressions I suppose.
Riko’s also pretty oblivious to her coworkers sad faces when they all walk home together, but that’s mostly because she walks in front of the THE WHOLE TIME. I know this is a Japanese thing but I just can’t have a conversation with someone walking in front of me. Can you? Anyway, Riko goes her separate way, leaving Aki and Mita alone together. Finally Aki just straight up asks if Riko is the girl Mita likes. And she’s shocked when he admits to it. Eventually Mita just says “you don’t understand Riko” and leaves.
Meanwhile, things are finally starting to look up for Riko at least. Tashiro sends her a text saying he was glad to see her. And also, Tashiro is basically a teenage boy.
The next day at the bookstore, the managers see a suspicious-looking dude on the security cameras. There was a warning to be on the lookout for him because he’s crazy. But then they all sort of forget about this for a while.
At the same time, the bratty high school girls, who Aki caught earlier taking pictures of magazines they weren’t buying, return to the store and are ready for trouble.
The plan is for one of the girls to steal a book and get Aki to accuse her of it. When they can’t find the book, Aki will look like a fool. A bunch of people start watching and Riko comes to see what’s going on. The bratty leader girl insists that Aki should get on the floor and apologize. They’re like literally chanting “dogeza” (rough translation is “kneel”) in the middle of the bookstore which is super ridiculous.
But before Aki can do it, Riko tells her to stop. Riko apologizes and turns it into a lecture and a learning experience for the girls. This is probably a good example of why Riko is a good manager because I would have just kicked their butts out of the store for being ridiculously rude and disturbing the customers. Anyway, the girls get mad and leave.
Obata calls and invites Aki to a lunch with him and a famous manga artist. She’s really excited about it! It’s nice to see Aki happy about things again.
While that’s going on, Riko finally goes to meet up with Tashiro. They go on a boat ride but Tashiro fails to mention that he gets seasick.
So that’s super awkward.
But Riko’s alternative plan is to go see Tokyo Sky Tree Tower. Tashiro is excited to go up but Riko points out that she’s afraid of heights. So that didn’t work out either. So their next plan is to go eat, but the restaurant they pick is SUUUPER CROWDED. So alternatively alternatively, they just go eat okonomiyaki. The date is saved!
Meanwhile, back at the luncheon where no one actually seems to eat anything, they talk about how much Aki loves books. She explains that she didn’t have any friends as a child so she would read her favorite book instead. It was nice that she left a good impression on the guys at the luncheon. Afterwards, she and Obata get snacks together. And Obata finally works up the courage to ask Aki out. But she turns him down because she’s still upset about getting dumped by Mita. Obata, ever the fountain of optimism, just tells her that his feelings won’t change and he hopes she’ll slowly come to like him back. It’s not all bad because she smiles and doesn’t automatically dismiss him.
So after that, Aki goes to the cafe to hang out and read books with Mita again. But they don’t actually read any books because Aki wants to talk. She asks about Riko again because she understands better why he likes her. Mita says it’s not really any of her business but she confesses her feelings again. And then she sorta gets carried away in a lecture. Once she realizes what she’s done, she flees the cafe.
But right as it seems the episode is almost over, back the the bookstore the next day Riko sees the sketchy dude on the security camera again. He’s stealing a bunch of stuff. Also he has a knife!!
When Riko goes to confront him, he starts waving the knife around. Mita decides to be a hero and wrestles with him for it. He gets cut pretty bad and the dude runs away. The episode ends with Mita passing out on the floor while everyone watches in horror.
Wasn’t that exciting?? The last three minutes were definitely the highlight of this episode (even though the Riko’s date and Obata’s chat were good parts as well). But I admit that I’m a sucker for the over-the-top storyline where someone gets hurt. It’s super soap opera-y. I’m really interested to see how Mita’s injury will affect everyone’s feelings and how they treat him in the future.
I also liked the romance aspect a bit more in this episode (mostly because Ex-Boyfriend Shibata wasn’t there). I don’t know who I want everyone to end up with in the end and that makes it much more exciting for me to watch. Things will surely twist and turn as the series continues! (I will say that I like Riko/Tashiro the most probably. Awkward first dates are just my favorite thing, okay)
The only thing that hurt this episode was probably the storyline with the bratty girls. While it worked effectively to patch up Aki and Riko’s relationship, I just didn’t like how it all hinged on girls being super mean for basically no reason. It just began to seem unrealistic once they started chanting “dogeza” and that distracted me from the story. I wonder if the girls will pop up again in future episodes. If so, will they get more character development to explain their behavior? I hope so!
Final Questions and Thoughts
- Do you just feel sort of bad for Obata right now? At least his “let me carry your heavy bags” was a better attempt to get into Aki’s apartment than “CAN I USE YOUR TOILET?”
- Is there anyone out there who likes having conversations with a person walking in front of or behind you?
- Is throwing up during your first date the most awkward thing that can happen? What else can top that? Feel free to share your own awkward stories in the comments… if you dare.
- Is Mita a superhero now after that knife fight and if yes, should he start wearing a cape to work?
- My apologizes for the poor quality of the screencaps this time. Hopefully I’ll find a better video next week. Please promise not to start chanting DOGEZA if I don’t though! ^_^;
So what did you think of the episode? Like it or hate it? Just wanna go heroically jump in front of crazy guy with a knife now? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section!
Bonus photo of the week:
Pajama-clad Aki sitting on the bed that Obata will never actually get to see