Otomen Episodes 2 + 3
I have been rather tied down at work recently, which means less time for watching dramas and less time for doing everything basically, including my favorite reading mangas, watching animes, and of course, blogging about such things.
In an effort to reach Episode 4 faster, I thought it might be quite funky if I compressed summaries of Otomen episodes 2 & 3 together, and so here goes:
Episode 2 kicked off with Ryo quite comically stepping on a banana peel (when just 5 secs ago, Juta tells Yamato no one will fall for such a silly old trick) and then falling…right into the arms of Asuka (cue: female sigh). She then looks at him and asks him to do her a favour – which then sees us all looking at Asuka in the cutest pink apron ever! (Just before this, they accidentally meet Ryo’s father who seems like a bear, and throws the boys out of the house because Asuka was holding the pink apron when the father’s ideals are Be A Man thus explaining Ryo’s expertise with martial arts and her fascination with and inability to do any of the feminine arts)
So it turns out that the “favour” Ryo is asking for is having Asuka help her out for one day at a child care centre she volunteers at, since one of the usual volunteers can’t make it that day. Asuka, of course, agrees. While they are bonding over the children, Ryo tells Asuka that she is hoping to make something for her father on her father’s upcoming birthday, and Asuka gives her the usual encouraging, “Ganbatte!” (Oh, Japanese and their ganbattes, and Koreans and their hwa-tighting!)
…So it turns out that Ryo’s father has been employed as the Kendo coach for their school, which leads to several moments of comedy as he makes the boys run around the school 200 times, and basically trains them until they are on the verge of death! In the midst of all this Spartan training, Asuka makes up his mind to help Ryo change her father’s mind about her cooking (basically her father forbids her to do anything feminine like cooking or cleaning thus explaining her lack of ability to do thereof) and he does this by…challenging the man to a kendo showdown. Yes, I know, I love the way the scriptwriters’ minds work. It’s a tough competition, (I mean, the father was hired as the coach for a reason after all), so Asuka decides to throw his all in one gamble, and he uses his secret technique, which to basically put down his sword to invite the opponent in for an attack, and when the opponent uses that, he brings his sword back up in a flash and wins – which is exactly what happens! Ryo’s father, who knows a man when he sees one, pulls off his equipment, looks at Asuka and tells him, “I take back what I said earlier. You are a real man.” and the two men shake hands. (In the meantime, it means Ryo’s father owes Asuka a debt since Asuka said, “If I win, you will owe me a debt.”)
Asuka also tells Ryo, “You said earlier I was cute and you wanted to protect me. But I think that Ryo is sweet, and I want to protect you too. Let me help you.” and so he helps her out with preparing her father’s birthday meal. He also helped to clean up the house such that when Ryo’s father returned home, Ryo’s father noticed straight off how unusual the house looked. When he saw that Ryo had prepared a meal for him, he was going to refuse to eat it when Asuka calls in his debt and says, “This is the debt I wish you to repay, by eating the hand-made meal that Ryo has made for you.” Ryo’s father had no choice but to live up to manly ideals and pay up his debt by digging into the meal that Ryo made, and he is astonished by how the meal tastes so much like the ones Ryo’s mother used to make before she passed away.
It all ends happily as Ryo’s father and Ryo wave Asuka off into the night (it is raining thus explaining the umbrellas, although why they always decide to make it rain in dramas I have no idea) and there is a classic moment of hilarity as Ryo’s father turns to Ryo and tells her, “He will make a good daughter-in-law. Ryo, you must get Asuka to marry into our family!” ……
End of Episode 2. Episode 3, to me, is a bit of a filler episode, as it revolves around a ghost story in school, Asuka’s grandfather’s story, and Juta’s failness, so I think I shall make it shorter than Ep 2…so here goes:
It all kicks off with one of the kendo boys meeting a “ghost” in the school, and aging overnight. The kendo boys are also holding an overnight camp in the school, and the story of the “ghost” that the boy had met comes to light: apparently the legend goes that 100 years back a school girl fell in love with a boy but their love was forbidden. The girl became pregnant, but the boy decided to dump her when that happened. So she called the boy to the school one night and as she was standing by the window, and it was raining (again, with the rain!), when the boy arrived in the classroom and she turned to face him, he was horrified by the massive amounts of blood on her hands, and she said, “If there’s no baby, there’s no problem right? Let’s stay together.” and she pushes him off and jumps out the window. The kendo boys are complete wusses and they inch closer and closer together in the circle as the tale ends.
…So it turns out that Hajime (you remember him from the first episode right?) has also joined the Kendo club of the school (he transferred schools!!) and states clearly that the reason he is here is to “just to join the kendo club and beat Asuka.” He looks upon Asuka as a rival, but Asuka clearly wishes they could be friends instead.
During practice, Asuka finally sees the girl ghost face to face (every time she appears, he gets a buzzing in his ears), and can’t continue practising. Another kendo boy also sees the girl ghost in the toilet, and ages overnight. Asuka and Ryo are determined to catch the ghost to stop it from frightening the other kendo members, and embark that night with a torchlight. They see a female in a white dress on the coridor coming closer in a creepy belly crawl and Asuka tells Ryo to run with the torch while he holds steady with the kendo sword (and as he says that he’s all trembling and such, so cute). But Ryo, being Ryo, runs forth and aims a good kick in the belly at the “ghost” –
who just turns out to be Juta!! Juta pretended to be the ghost in order to scare the both of them in the hopes they would clutch each other and reveal their true feelings (to no avail of course).
But just when they think it’s all over…turns out, there really is a ghost and she possessed Ryo in order to get close to Asuka because Asuka resembled her lover, who was actually Asuka’s great grandfather. The spirit however, actually means no harm, and both she and Asuka actually sit down to have a friendly chat (with tea served by Juta!) as she apologises for scaring him. The legend, of course, is total bull and nowhere close to the real story, other than she and Asuka’s great grandfather were really in love, and that her father didn’t approve. That night, they were meant to elope (no she wasn’t pregnant, there no baby) and Asuka’s great grandfather didn’t turn up, but the girl’s father came instead and tried to make her to go home, but she wouldn’t. In her struggles, she came up against the open windowsill and fell backwards out the window, thus dying. She couldn’t leave the world without figuring out why Asuka’s great grandfather never turned up, and wonders whether he really loved her. Asuka then remembers seeing this grave stone marker that his great grandfather erected, according to his mother, for a girl he once loved. He then asks the ghost her name, and brings her out to the stone marker. When she realises that Asuka’s great grandfather had really loved her, she was comforted and decided to leave for good. Before she goes, she advises Asuka, “You like this girl, don’t you? (points to herself ie Ryo) Well you’d better confess to her before you regret it! Don’t be like me…” and then she leaves.
The episode ends when Asuka tries to date Ryo out to watch a ghost movie and it seems as though he would succeed – when Yamato and the rest of the kendo boys turn up and happily invite themselves along to watch the movie!! Alas, will Asuka ever succeed in telling Ryo he wants to go out with her and will their love ever come to fruition?!
….Well, it is a shoujo drama, so my odds are on yes but the fun is in seeing how it all comes together, don’t you think? Okay, next up is Ep 4 in another post, and I’ll probably write a bit about Buzzer Beater too…