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!
Firstly, I want to apologize for the delay in this recap. I had some internet issues, but they’ve been resolved now, so I shouldn’t have any trouble for the rest of the episodes. And secondly, thanks to gohyk91 for commenting in the last recap to explain that Corporate Guy wants to shut down the store because their sales are horrible and Not So Friendly Boss is being terrible to Riko because he doesn’t want to lose his own job because he has money issues. With this in mind, let’s take a look at episode seven!
So when we left off last week, Riko was asking to give her store one last chance before it was shut down, and now Corporate Guy agrees but they only have until July to turn things around and increase their sales by 20%. Seems pretty impossible. After that, Riko gets down to business and talks to the Gossipy Trio to convince them to come back to work.
After an introspective montage set to some nice music, the Trio decides to return and help the whole crew improve the store’s sales.
They all get together to brainstorm ideas and Shiho cheers everyone on.
Aki invites the Gossipy Trio over to her apartment and they’re amazed by how big it is. Also Obata visits too. Together they continue to think up ideas for the store.
Meanwhile, Riko meets up with Tashiro at the usual restaurant.
Once the Gossipy Trio leaves, Obata and Aki have a serious talk. They talk about the future. She mentions marriage, and Obata says that he understands how much Aki loves her job and books, but he’d want her to quit if they got married. Aki is disappointed, of course, because she thought Obata understood her dedication to her work. Why shouldn’t she be able to have both? Things get super awkward and Obata says they really shouldn’t think about this kind of stuff yet. And then he awkwardly goes home.
Back with Riko, she and Tashiro are having a nice chat on a park bench and then Tashiro kisses her. Then they walk away (into the proverbial sunset or something. But either way, it’s a nice moment) Riko tells Shiho about it the next day. Riko thinks she probably shouldn’t be so involved with him since it’s a distraction while she’s trying to save the store, but Shiho encourages her anyway.
At the staff meeting, Mita gets fired up! And everyone is impressed by that. Good for you, Mita!
Aki gets a surprise visitor at work: the friendly author with the cool hats. (I’m gonna call him Nice Hat because I am always terrible with names. Sorry!)
The two of them go talk to Riko because Nice Hat is concerned about the store as well. Mita has an idea and runs to tell Riko about it. His idea involves something about book covers. So Nice Hat volunteers to help out because he’s awesome.
After much convincing, Obata agrees to help out with their idea too. But the happiness is short-lived because Obata’s boss isn’t happy. So Obata meets with Aki and tells her it’s impossible. This is all-around disappointing.
Meanwhile in Riko’s personal life, her father returns home from therapy. Yay!
Back at the store, Nice Hat is showing off his cool drawings for everyone. It’s great until they notice Aki is a bit upset. She explains that Obata isn’t going to help much. But of course Obata is eavesdropping outside because everyone has a degree in Eavesdropping 101 on this show. He has a change of heart and agrees to help again.
Mita and Riko talk. They’re optimistic of the outcome and Riko thanks Mita for the great idea. As she walks away, Mita gives her a sort of I-still-like-you-just-saying look. Keep hope alive, Mita. Keep hope alive.
So far, it looks like the book cover idea is going well. Everyone is excited, people are talking about it on twitter, and Mita even hangs up Nice Hat’s drawings on the wall. Actually things are going extremely well. One week later and the sales are up 24%?! which surpasses their goal of 20! (I don’t think I misheard that. Or was the goal 120% and they made 124? IDK) So obviously something’s going to go horribly horribly wrong in a few minutes. …right?
Tashiro visits Riko at work. Mita sees that and gets kind of sad. Nevermind what I said about hope earlier, man. It might just be easier to move on. Anyway, he eats lunch with Shiho again and she tries to cheer him up. It sorta works.
For lunch, Riko goes out to the usual restaurant with her father, and Tashiro happens to be eating there as well.
Tashiro doesn’t stick around longer than to just say hello. So Riko and her father celebrate his recovery together and they even take an adorable picture. Later they walk home and Father asks if she’s dating Tashiro. Riko still says no but I have no idea why because it really seems like they are dating. IDK. Anyway, seems like Father doesn’t like that idea.
Back with Corporate Guy CEO, he’s surprised that they managed to actually meet and surpass the goal he set for the store.
But while things are finally good for our friends at the bookstore, it looks like things are definitely not good for Obata. His boss isn’t happy about him going against what he was supposed to do. Oh no!
So there we have it! Episode seven was an improvement in my opinion. Mostly because we focused on the bookstore itself instead of all the corporate politics going on behind the scenes. Not that the politics part is completely bad, but this episode made it easier to focus on the characters and their development. I always think it’s fun to watch characters come together for a common goal. This episode was also a bit more upbeat than the others. There was a better balance between the bookstore plot and the romance plot, where we switched back and forth between both but never spent too much time one on bit in particular. This show works so much better that way.
And the one thing I thought was particularly interesting was the conversation about marriage between Aki and Obata. Since this show sheds a light on some feminism issues in Japan, it’s definitely important to point out this issue. A lot of times in Japanese culture, when people get married, the woman is expected to stay home after that. Just give up her job and stay home to take care of everything. You can see examples of this idea in many different dramas. But things are slowly changing. Women shouldn’t have to quit working unless they want to. I was surprised to see this addressed. Aki’s job at the bookstore is obviously very important to her, so it’s really disappointing to see that Obata doesn’t support that. By the end of the episode, this topic isn’t mentioned anymore. So I’m very curious to see if they’ll bring it back up again and how they will resolve it.
There are only two more episodes left. With the problem of the bookstore’s sales seemingly solved for now, I wonder what the end of the series will entail. Either way, we’ll find out soon.
Final Thoughts and Questions
- Am I the only one who thinks Mita should focus his affections towards the waitress at the cafe? Because she’s so friendly and they’d probably get along great. …I ship it.
- Are you jealous of Nice Hat’s hats? Be honest.
- Who is the best eavesdropper in the show?
- Will Senpai ever notice Mita-kun?
- Did anyone else catch the screenshot of the “Orion” music chart (parody of Oricon) they were looking at? It had “Hey!Hey!PUNCH” listed as the number one artist. That was a fun little easter egg reference to Inoo Kei’s group Hey!Say!JUMP.
So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Just want to make book covers for every book you own now? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
Bonus picture this week is a great example of why you should never watch things on MioMio because this happened during the kiss scene: