Tatakau! Shoten Girl Episode 5 Recap/Review: Promotions

tatakau 5 fangirling tbh

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!

During this week’s episode, we take a step away from the romance mostly for a look at some office politics. I like the change of pace even if I’m not all that interested in whatever corporate intrigue is going on. Things are changing at the Pegasus bookstore, so let’s see how everyone reacts!

Mita has a chat with Riko about his concerns over the company Tashiro works for. Riko’s in a good mood though, and just brushes him off with a speech of her own. Meanwhile, the corporate dude is being rather threatening to the friendly bookstore boss. (and you can tell he’s up to no good because of the obnoxious music cue in the background)

"I'll just stand closer so you can hear me over the dramatic background music"

“I’ll just stand closer so you can hear me over the dramatic background music”

As it turns out, Friendly Boss is getting a promotion (?) or something, as Corporate Dude announces when he comes to the staff meeting the next day. He promotes Riko to the open position, making her the first female manager the store has had.

"Does this include a raise too?"

“Does this include a raise too?”

Everyone is excited except for Bitter Co-Manager who thought he’d get the job.

"This is my excited face." /eye twitches/

“This is my excited face.” /eye twitches/

Of course, Riko and Shiho go celebrate together at the usual restaurant. The staff is excited for her too! They ask about what her father thinks of the promotion, but she says she hasn’t told him yet because he’s not really interested much in her work. Tashiro arrives at the restaurant and celebrates with them. (But he does make a weird face when they tell him about the promotion. Hm…)

Meanwhile, Aki and Obata are on a (maybe?) date at a nice outdoor restaurant because Aki promised they’d hang out after the Children’s Day event from the last episode. They’re having a good time and so Obata works up the courage to confess his feelings again.

"Just need a moment... and some liquid courage."

“Just need a moment… and some liquid courage.”

He asks if Aki will date him and she actually says yes this time. It’s actually kind of cute how he doesn’t believe her at first and then she confirms it, and then that almost makes him cry tears of joy. LOL

Riko tells her father about the promotion when she gets home, and he’s not super enthusiastic about it, just like she predicted.

"If it was real news, it'd be in the paper I'm reading right now."

“If it was real news, it’d be in the paper I’m reading right now.”

But once she leaves the room, he smiles. Why couldn’t he do that while she was standing there? Man, parental relationships are weird.

Anyway, on the first day of her new job, Riko gives out new assignments to the Gossipy Trio. But as Aki is working, she sees them all struggling.


"Wow, how do you afford rent?"

“Wow, how do you afford rent?”

I never expected it to happen, but she invites him over to visit. He’s adorably enthusiastic about the whole thing as he looks over her bookshelves and geeks out over being the first guest she’s invited to the apartment.

"This is the best day of my entire life"

“This is the best day of my entire life”

At the bookstore the next day, Riko gets interviewed about her new position for a magazine. And at lunch, Aki brings bento boxes for the Gossipy Trio. They’re all excited until they discover that she decorated the food to teach them about the work stuff they were having trouble with. Poor Aki is so oblivious. They’re all a little disappointed at first but cheer up once they discover how delicious the food is.

"Is there going to be a test on this later or... can we just eat this?"

“Is there going to be a test on this later or… can we just eat this?”

But tragedy strikes at Riko’s house later as she discovers her father unconscious on the floor.

"I'm just... trying to find the comfiest spot on the floor."

“I’m just… trying to find the comfiest spot on the floor.”

So she ends up at the hospital without her cellphone when she’s supposed to be at a very important meeting. She calls the office and Bitter Co-Manager answers the phone. But since he’s bitter, he doesn’t pass on the message to anyone. Friendly Boss has to apologize to everyone for Riko’s absence because he doesn’t know what’s going on. Once he returns to the office, Riko calls again so it’s okay. But Aki suspects that Bitter Co-Manager was being a jerk.

"You're a dirty rotten liar who LIES"

“You’re a dirty rotten liar who LIES”

Riko’s father ends up being okay so she heads back to work the next day. She confronts Bitter Co-Manager about not passing on her message but he just denies it.

"Sorry, I just couldn't hear you over the really loud background music."

“Sorry, I just couldn’t hear you over the really loud background music.”

Friendly Boss gives Riko a lecture about responsibility while Aki listens in from the doorway. Also, Friendly Boss says some asshole-ish things about women and I’m reconsidering calling him Friendly Boss anymore. But anyway, Aki bursts in bringing Bitter Co-Manager. She demands that he admit the truth and she gives him a sterner lecture than anything Friendly Boss just said. It’s pretty awesome actually. AND THEN she even starts to yell at Friendly Boss until Riko tells her to stop. In the end, Riko ends up apologizing to Bitter Co-Manager. (but she also tells Aki thanks for sticking up for her) And later as Riko is leaving to go apologize to the corporate guys, Bitter Co-Manager comes to actually apologize, making him Not-So-Bitter anymore.

"I've thought it over and decided to be less bitter in future episodes"

“I’ve thought it over and decided to be less bitter in future episodes”

Even though that was nice, the guys over at Corporate were still pretty terrible. In fact, they want to close the store!

And to make matters worse, when she arrives at work the next day, everyone has read her magazine interview. In it, they’ve quoted her as saying negative things about the store. Riko, of course, didn’t say any of that. All around things aren’t good.

Mita tries to give Riko a pep talk but it doesn’t cheer her up.

Riko does, however, get a drink with Tashiro and he offers to help. The video I was watching cut out some of the end of the episode but there was definitely an ominous shot of Not-So-Friendly-Anymore Boss like stalking the two of them or something. Weirdly suspicious!

"No one will ever see me behind this plant that only covers my body below my chest. This plan is foolproof"

“No one will ever see me behind this plant that doesn’t obscure my face at all. This plan is foolproof”

So what’s going to happen next week?? I’m not overly interested in all the office management intrigue going on, but I am interested in where this storyline about shutting the office down is going. I also sort of liked how Riko’s promotion brought up discussion on the topic of women in management positions. Bitter Co-Manager was partly so bitter because he was passed over for a woman. As a woman myself (who works in a mostly male-dominated industry), it’s infuriating to see men act like jealous like this. And it’s infuriating to see everyone set Riko up to fail. But I applaud the series for bringing attention to this problem. It’s all too easy to just brush it under the rug and forget about the way women are treated in the workplace. It will be interesting to see how this story continues. Will the corporate guys treat her better, or will it be brushed under the rug and drowned out in all the loud background music?

Final Thoughts and Questions

  • As much as I complain about the dramatic music they play whenever something bad happens, I am still in love with this soundtrack. The violin and piano music is just beautiful.
  • Everyone’s spending a lot of time in hospitals lately, aren’t they? Let’s hope future episodes get away from relying on this kind of plot point.
  • Why does Mita always seem to disappear for like half the episode and then pop up again at the end? Give me your best crack theories. (Mine is that Mita has a secret identity as a superhero: Bookstore Lad!)
  • Are you happy for Obata finally getting to date Aki? How long do you think this’ll last?

So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Just wanna go make cute bento boxes for your coworkers now? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

This week’s bonus photo is Aki’s hilariously creepy lunch she made for herself, featuring the faces of all her coworkers. LOL She’s eating their faces:



8 thoughts on “Tatakau! Shoten Girl Episode 5 Recap/Review: Promotions

    • Hi! Thanks for reading!! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the reviews and I’m glad they help too! ^_^ (I’m watching because I like Inoo a lot as well! Wish he had more parts but at least he makes funny faces 😀 )

      • Oh highfive bias-fellow !! I will keep reading these review in the future! But do you know where to watch it ? I have passed ep 4 & 5 bcus I couldnt find online video any where o(╥﹏╥)o … Thanks ne ~

        • High five~! ^_^ Ah I’m glad you’ll keep reading!
          I usually watch the videos on youtube but you have to be quick because they get deleted pretty soon after they get posted. Here’s episode 4 (which hopefully will still be there when you get to watch it!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPQyoKd4Cjo

          And if I can’t find an episode, I usually just put this 戦う!書店ガール 第5話 into google search. Click on search tools and change “any duration” to “long (20+ mins)” and sometimes it’s helpful to change “any time” to “past 24 hours.” Along with youtube, dailymotion is a good website to check out too. Hopefully that helps! If you want subs though, I honestly have no idea. The AKB fandom is usually quick about stuff like that so there might be some floating around on some of their fansites or forums?

  1. This episode made me so upset, to the point of tears almost ffffffff. Corporate drama stresses me out, especially when it involves women’s roles etc. etc. Also I don’t understand why they’re being so damn sneaky about it – they’ve known they want to close that particular store for ages to focus on online store, but instead of directly closing it they want to make people quit of their own accord???? WHY? WHERE IS THE LOGIC IN THIS? What happens if Nishioka actually makes a kickass manager and brings their sales up? Nobody is going to quit then. ?!??!?!


    The ObataxAki scenes were so cute ughhjjhlkajkhlhalj whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy why am I starting to like him nowwwwwwwww. I really like they could chill in her home and have a nice conversation and LOL he even cooked.

    Aki’s bentos were amazing lmaooooo THE FACES IN HERS i just. why.

    And then a wild Manager Noshima pops up from behind a bush how do they not see him how is he just /there/. i don’t know whether to trust Tashiro or not, and I’m starting to root for Mita more in the romance aspect, but since Tashiro admires her work ethic she might be better off in Unicorn Hall after all. /glares at Pegasus Books. But she probably won’t leave the others.

    3. I like that theory. WHERE DOES HE GO INDEED. Maybe he lives like 2 hours away so every time something happens he’s all “damn it, gotta take the train back” “whoops missed it” “back i go” or maybe his superhero powers allow him to fly.
    4. IDK IDK I DO LIKE THEM TOGETHER NOW HOW IS THIS HAPPENING i am waiting for him to do another douchy thing but I guess if they continue like this I’m okay with it >_____>

    heads up, might actually finish this thing tonight because i need everything to be okay again so apologies in advance for the spam 😛

    also it’s the fifth episode and i keep forgetting to mention book cafe girl! i really like book cafe girl.

    • The corporate intrigue part is so stressful and dumb! I feel like most of it is just there for the sake of drama instead of being created and developed organically. Siiiiigh such is life in the land of jdramas

      /pats Chiba Yudai’s face

      Cooking is definitely a point in Obata’s favor!

      Aki’s bentos!! Sometimes she’s so clueless, it’s adorable

      I felt conflicted about the Mita/Riko/Tashiro triangle the whole time. I can totally see why you would start to root for Mita too. He’s much more honest. Ah, love triangles stress me out and I even know how this one gets resolved. >.>;

      3.) LOL poor Mita! I can just imagine him stepping off the train to finally get home, sees message, sighs and turns around to get right back on. (OR HIS SUPERHERO POWERS LMAO)

      Book cafe girl is excellent but a sadly underused character T.T (we should make the spinoff be Gossipy Trio/Restaurant Workers/Book Cafe Girl. And still no one will have names)

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