Tatakau! Shoten Girl Episode 8 Recap/Review: A Rollercoaster of Emotions

tatakau 8 cafe hanging out

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!

I’m late posting again this week because it’s getting more difficult to track down the episodes for this series. But I found it eventually, so I finally got a recap together. This episode deals with both the bookstore economic drama and also the romance drama. Things are getting crazy as we get closer and closer to the end of the series. Without further ado, let’s discuss episode eight!

So as we left off last week, things were looking up for the bookstore, but things were not so good for Obata. His boss was quite angry with him for going against what he was supposed to do. (which I believe was tell Nice Hat not to work on the book covers) Nice Hat finds out Obata is in trouble and so he goes to yell at their Boss. But Obata tells Nice Hat that it’s okay. He’ll accept responsibility and his demotion, etc, etc.

"Let's just continue to make a big dramatic scene so our coworkers will keep staring"

“Let’s just continue to make a big dramatic scene so our coworkers will keep staring”

But Nice Hat still feels bad about this and goes to talk to Aki about it. She’s not too thrilled about this news either. (In the last episode, Aki convinced Obata to help them because she didn’t know about his angry Boss) Riko asks what all the fuss is about when Aki returns to the store, but she decides not to tell her and acts all suspicious about it.

While Riko and Mita are eating snacks outside, they see a crying kid nearby. Riko comforts the kid and Mita soon returns with the kid’s mother.

"Riko, how am I going to find this kid's mom if he can't stop crying to tell us what she looks like?" "Just go find the nearest frantic lady running around in a panic."

“Riko, how am I going to find this kid’s mom if he can’t stop crying to tell us what she looks like?”
“Just go find the nearest frantic lady running around in a panic. That should be her.”

It was cute to see Riko interacting with the young kid, but I was kinda surprised by how short this scene was. (Plot twist warning! It will be important later)

Meanwhile, the happiness at the store is short-lived. Riko gets a phone call and it’s not good. I didn’t quite understand what it was about (seems like Corporate Guy reneged on his deal?) but the result was everyone frantically running to different stores to buy back some books? Perhaps they have to recall Nice Hat’s stuff? Or maybe they only have a limited amount to sell, so they need to get more from other stores? IDK. I’m watching a really crappy video stream this week and it’s hard to hear. 😐 Anyway, Corporate Guy tells her “good luck” which isn’t very encouraging at all.

Once the frantic running is complete, they gather for a not-so-happy staff meeting. Riko tries to give them an encouraging peptalk about holding out until the very end.

"2, 4, 6, 8 who do we appreciate!" *looks around the room* "My cheers aren't cheering you up?"

“2, 4, 6, 8 who do we appreciate!”
*crickets chirp*
“My cheers aren’t cheering you up?”

While walking home, Aki runs into Obata who’s been ignoring her phone calls. So they have coffee together so they can both apologize. Obata tells her not to apologize and is kind of upset about things, so he leaves and says he’ll call her later. (which is probably code for I’m-gonna-keep-ignoring-you-because-I’m-upset)

Meanwhile, Riko is at the usual restaurant as always and catches Tashiro up to speed on the situation. He doesn’t say too much but gives her a strange, contemplative look as she talks to the cook. Hm…

As it turns out, the store wasn’t able to keep up the increase of sales and so they’ve dropped down again. This isn’t good at all.

"Profits are plummeting just like our ratings"

“Profits are plummeting just like our ratings”

The next morning, Aki gets a phone call from Riko, checking to see how she’s doing. Despite all the hardships they’re facing at the store, Riko still tries to be positive and encouraging. I really love this characterization of Riko’s character.

"I appreciate you trying to cheer me up but did you have to call at 4:45 am?"

“I appreciate you trying to cheer me up but did you have to call at 4:45 am?”

At work, a guy from another company wants to meet with Riko. He proposes a collaboration to help them out. Things are looking up again! Problems are solved! When Aki gets to work, she tells Riko that the phone call earlier really cheered her up. This is just a brief moment between our two main characters but it’s really nice to see how far they’ve come since the way they were at the beginning of the series. In fact, they’ve even reached the point where Riko happily invites Aki over to her house to spend the night!

"If I tell you I don't like your cooking, am I going to get fired?"

“If I tell you I don’t like your cooking, am I going to get fired?”

They have a lovely dinner together with Riko’s father and then just the two of them chat together afterwards.

*just casually drinking with my boss in pajamas*

*just casually drinking with my boss in pajamas*

It’s a really nice and cheerful atmosphere (as they drink together in their pajamas LOL) until Riko finally asks Aki what’s bothering her. So Aki explains that Obata got demoted at work and she’s feeling guilty and upset that there’s nothing she can do. Riko is just as lovely and encouraging as ever, proving why she’s actually a great boss and a great friend.

So in the morning, Aki leaves early to go talk to Obata. They talk things out and everything is good again. Obata even asks if she would stay by his side (which sorta felt like a roundabout way to propose?? Or at least lead up to something like that. Dude, you’ve been dating for like a week. Think this through!) but Aki is happy and says yes. I suppose we’re not going to talk about the conflict about careers again?

Meanwhile, Mita is eating outside and sees the lost kid from earlier in the episode running around in the park. The kid’s with his mom this time. As Mita watches, the kid runs to meet his father nearby. And the father is… Tashiro!! PLOT TWIST OMG. I’ll be honest, I didn’t see this one coming.

"Come to Papa!"

“Come to Papa!”

Mita is understandably angry and confronts Tashiro about the fact that he has a family. He even raises his fist to punch Tashiro but in the end, decides not to. Tashiro doesn’t say anything so Mita says that he shouldn’t hurt Riko and that he needs to think seriously about what to do.

Next we cut to Tashiro thinking hard about life back at the usual restaurant.

"Currently contemplating poor life decisions. And yes, I'd like a refill on my drink."

“Currently contemplating poor life decisions. And yes, I’d like a refill on my drink.”

And then Riko comes in as always. Tashiro doesn’t say anything, even as the two of them walk together afterwards. AND THEN, he just randomly hugs her.

Ah, the good old Stop-Talking-Hug. Classic!

Ah, the good old Stop-Talking-Hug. Classic!

He tells her “I really like you, therefore, I need you to wait.” Riko is understandably confused. So he explains to her all about his son (and that he’s not with the mother anymore? Not quite sure. But I hope that’s what he said because otherwise, cheating is not okay). It’s nice that he explained all this stuff, but wouldn’t it have just been easier to mention this ages ago? Anyway, Riko says that she needs some time to think through everything, and Tashiro agrees.

Riko asks Mita about it at work, and he is truthful, telling her that it was the kid from earlier in the episode. Mita is barely hiding his disappointment in this scene, and I can’t blame him because it must be tough to find out your crush’s maybe-boyfriend has a family but your crush is still considering dating him. Poor, poor Mita can’t catch a break.

Also, Aki is eavesdropping because we can’t get through a whole episode of this show without at least one instance of this happening.

Eavesdropping requirement fulfilled

Eavesdropping requirement fulfilled for this episode

So Mita goes to the cafe to mope about things but Aki shows up to lift his spirits. They chat with the waitress girl too.

Back with Riko, she’s talking to her father at home. Remember last episode when Father told her she should stop seeing Tashiro? Well, now they finally talk about that. Afterwards, Riko just feels more upset.

So here at the end of the episode, we finally get back to the bookstore storyline. Riko meets with the Other Company Guy who helped them out earlier, and he casually mentions that Tashiro was the one who asked him to help the store out. So after that, Riko meets up with Tashiro and tells him that they shouldn’t see each other anymore. And that’s our dramatic cliffhanger for the end of this episode.

This whole episode was one crazy rollercoaster ride. Things were up, then down, then up again, AND THEN down again. Emotions were flying high. But the weird thing about this episode was that I felt like I just watched two separate ones. The first half dealt with the bookstore. I have to admit that I’m having a hard time understanding this plot more than I usually do. Perhaps it’s just because corporate jargon is not a part of my Japanese vocabulary? Or perhaps it’s just not as predictable as the romance parts? Whatever it is, there are still parts of that story I enjoy. Riko’s promotion has given her great opportunities to show how good she is at her job. I’ve enjoyed seeing her character grow throughout the series.

The second half of the episode pushed the bookstore to the background to focus solely on the love lives of our main characters. Aki and Obata aren’t communicating well and feeling guilty about things so they’re having troubles. And just when Riko thinks things are okay with Tashiro, he confesses that he likes her AND he has a kid. Even though these sorts of plots are sort of cliched and predictable, I think it’s good to see how the characters react to these different things, even with Mita thrown into the mix as well. It’s probably a good idea for Riko to take a break from Tashiro, especially since he hasn’t been honest with her. How will the romance storylines wrap up next episode? I’m definitely curious to see.

The only real problem I have with this episode is that they didn’t balance out the two main stories here. It might have worked more effectively if they’d dealt with both the romance and the bookstore drama throughout the whole episode instead of wrapping up one and moving to the other. It was a little too neat to be realistic. But other than that, there were some great parts in episode eight. I particularly liked to see the growing friendship between Aki and Riko. When Aki first started to work at the Pegasus Bookstore, she and Riko didn’t get alone very well because of their different ideas and a lot of misunderstandings. But things have changed and they’ve learned to work together. I’m satisfied with any show that takes the time to develop its characters and let them grow.

Final Thoughts and Questions

  • I’m still quietly thinking that Mita would be great with the cafe waitress. But that’s just my opinion.
  • Does anyone else get confused by the flow of time in this show? I’m always getting lost because they seem to skip forward a lot. How much time has passed since the beginning of this series? I probably shouldn’t think about it too much, right?
  • Poll time: Is Tashiro a scumbag for keeping secrets? Or is he not obligated to tell potential dates about having a family? Discuss.
  • Thoughts on having a sleepover at your boss’s house? Personally, my boss is awesome but I still wouldn’t want to just be hanging out in my pajamas with her. Just saying.
  • Next week is the last episode! Any predictions??

So what did you think? Like it or hate it? Feel free to discuss your thoughts in the comments!

Bonus Photo: this week it’s this weirdly cute screencap I got of Mita while he was eating.

Om nom nom

Om nom nom

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8 thoughts on “Tatakau! Shoten Girl Episode 8 Recap/Review: A Rollercoaster of Emotions

  1. I cant agree more! Mita should be with book cafe waitress!

    so, at first I thought Riko’s father forbid her to get close to Tashiro because of his intuition told him Tashiro wouldnt want to commit with Riko, but now it’s about he already has family? aw, I havent watch it,
    and, poor Obata san ;/
    I just.. everytime there’s another conflict for Riko, I was always like, why the hell, conflict after conflict, problem after problem. you’re right, probably it’s all for Riko’s character development.
    there is next episode released.
    and probably this is the first dorama that I want to watch quickly even without sub,lol, usually I wont.
    gotta go watching ep 8 then!

    • Hi! Thanks for reading and commenting! ^_^ Mita and the cafe waitress would totally be great together!

      As for Riko’s father, I’m not exactly sure what his reason is for not liking Tashiro. By the time I got to that part of the episode, the video had gotten so bad that I couldn’t follow the dialogue very well. I’m sure the next episode will explain it better though.

      I think Riko’s character development is important but, yeah, there have been A LOT of conflicts and problems so far!

      Glad you’re enjoying the story enough to watch quickly! Enjoy~! 😀

      • yep, no problem lol

        I think it was due to how he behaves or something, like it was Riko’s father’s intuition to know whether someone has married or not.

        I know right XD I don’t know why, this drama is somehow different, even though the story is somehow can be predicted, it’s still different, and I wonder why is that XD probably because I dont always watch drama, but rather anime, lol.

        • That makes sense about Riko’s father’s intuition! I agree.
          This drama is strange because sometimes it’s completely predictable like a bunch of other dramas I’ve seen, and then other times, it’s unexpected! Maybe because it’s based on a book series? I don’t know ^_^

  2. Re: bookstore drama, although Head Office promised to withdraw the reconstruction if their sales increased by 20% by July, they still went ahead with the preparations because it’s not July yet. Seriously. If you want to shut down a store, take responsibility and shut it down rather than setting hurdles to go about it in a roundabout way. Anyway, they talked to the distributors and told them to reduce the supply of books they gave to the store, so they had no books to sell; hence having to go buy them from other stores. Riko tried to ask other distributors to make a contract directly with them, instead of through HO, but that’s impossible. In the end major publishers contacted them directly and said they’d supply books to the store, because of the success of Nice Hat’s comic strip that led to increased sales of their books. Turns out Tashiro was the one who contacted the major publishers with the request, because he “wants to be Riko’s strength.” >__________>

    The AkixRiko scenes made me really happy. When I first started this drama I was really worried that the two lead females would butt heads constantly throughout the series, but I’m so glad that they’ve been able to work through their differences and cultivate a kickass girl!power friendship. 😀 I had no idea Riko’s ran a rice cracker shop until this very episode, even though in the last episode we see him with packets of crackers overflowing from the table. Talk about obtuse. 😛

    Iiiiiiiii totally thought she was going to break up with Obata, with the way that scene was set up LOL. “I’ll wait until we can face the future together again.” and then suddenly “I’d like you to stay by my side.”

    UGH TASHIRO. The main problem I have with Tashiro is that throughout the drama his intentions are never really clear, until they’re brought to the surface by Mita. In the beginning all Tashiro wanted to do was to scout Riko, but he never came out and said “I work for Unicorn Hall and we could use a person like you,” he said “Please show me around Tokyo and eat food with me.” ?!?!?!?!?!?!?! And then all the dates/not-dates and the treating to meals which, sure, could just be friendly gatherings, but then the almost-kiss and the MOST FORCEFUL HUG I’VE EVER SEEN EVER all of a sudden, which he only did in the end because he was discovered by Mita. >__< Dude, you shouldn't be needing a guy half your age to tell you to communicate your intentions clearly.

    1. I like bookstore girl a lot – she's super chill. I'd like to have seen more of her, and yasss definitely kind of shipping her with Mita.
    2. YES sometimes time passes s oo o o o o o slow and then other times you blink and it's the next week and Inoo's put in a transfer request and is moodily jogging at night listening to Visual Kei.
    3. I hope she and Tashiro don't get together, honestly, because he kept secrets and the roundabout way he went about doing things. I do think that once he realised he wanted to date her he should have told Riko about his wife and child? But also I guess nothing was really made clear by either of them so eh.
    4. LOL YEAH WOULD NEVER DO.
    5. Hopefully Obata and Aki will be okay and Obata now understands + supports her desire to be a bookstore worker. I can see Riko not ending up with anyone in the end, and realising that she doesn't need to rush w/ dating and relationships even though she's older; she still has her beloved friends in the bookstore (that will remain open, damn it), and her father. Mita…. Mita might end up with the puppy dog eyes forever but they both know he'll still be by her side always, even if not quite in the way that he wants to. Might move on? With bookstore girl? 😛 ONTO THE NEXT EPISODE FOR ME I have done nothing today j-dramas: 1, Me: 0

    • First off, thank you SO MUCH for the explanation of what the sneaky corporate guys were doing. For the life of me, I could not figure out why they were running to the other stores to buy books. (Although it was kinda fun to watch that running around scene). I totally agree with you that they should have been more straighforward about it. COMMUNICATION Y’ALL

      I probably said this in response to another one of your comments, but I love Aki/Riko’s friendship so much! Definitely one of the things that kept me watching the show. There totally needs to be more female friendships on TV, especially ones that are genuinely nice like this one and not catty. /steps down from soapbox

      Yeah, I was so confused that Aki and Obata didn’t break up. What a sudden change! Glad I wasn’t the only one surprised.

      AGREE 100% about Tashiro. I liked him at first but he just got shadier and shadier as the show went on. COMMUNICATION. At least Mita is sensible. Poor guy never gets any credit for all the stuff he does for Riko.
      (Also “MOST FORCEFUL HUG I’VE EVER SEEN EVER” lmao accurate description is accurate)

      2.) I feel like I needed “one day later” time cards all the time. (Also, now I’m thinking about VK Inoo/hsj again. NOOOOO)
      5.) Love your predictions! That’s how it should have gone down! (Mita/Bookstore Girl Togetha 4eva)
      (I’m sorry that jdramas distracted you from having a productive day but I am #sorryNEVERsorry for the comments I get from you ^_^)

      • No problem! Glad I could help. LOL YES all the running around was entertaining.

        I agree 100% with everything you’ve said here! It gives such a bad message when on screen female relationships are catty and revolve around jealousy/not communicating/perpetuating the idea that women should have low self esteem or that it’s every woman for themselves. T___T

        I love how we’re both just screaming COMMUNICATION everywhere.

        We totally needed one day later time cards, yes D: i get so lost without them.

        • Right?! I can think of so many shows (jdrama or otherwise) I’ve watched that portray women in that negative way. We need more of the opposite! Girl Power!!

          COMMUUUUUNICAAAAATIONNNNNN (it’s just fun to shout)

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