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Buzzer Beat Ep 9

The cliffhanger ending in Episode 8 left me seriously unhappy, mostly because I didn’t like Naoki’s wishy-washiness (please, none of that namby-pamby “I can’t make up my mind between my first love and this one” nonsense for me) and how it looked like he was actually going to tell Natsuki something like, “I can’t forget you too…” but fortunately the scriptwriters for Buzzer Beat must think along the same lines as me, because Episode 9 was rescued by Naoki’s steadfastness!

The beginning of the episode replays the end of 8 (of course) and continues with Naoki pulling out of Natsuki’s grip (yes! there is a scriptwriter who knows what they’re doing!) and then asking her, “What’s wrong? I still have an appointment with a friend tonight, so I have to go. What’s wrong?” so of course Natsuki does her whole pseudo-innocent-pained face and shakes her head and tells him, “Nothing’s wrong. Just go.” and she leaves with his umbrella.

Natsuki leaves with Naoki's umbrella...and...there's a part where he muses thinking, "At that moment, I couldn't think of Riko's smile. All I could see was Natsuki's vulnerable back." .........NO, Naoki, seriously, NO.

Natsuki leaves with Naoki's umbrella...and...there's a part later in the gym where he muses, "At that moment, I couldn't think of Riko's smile. All I could see was Natsuki's vulnerable back." .........NO, Naoki, seriously, NO.Get OVER the girl already!

So Naoki then makes his way to Riko in the rain (and the poor girl is still waiting! …talk about dedication.) and it turns out Riko’s not leaving for her old home that night after all, since she wanted so desperately to see Naoki. (Cute moments here where he’s drying off in her home and realises she was holding on to the plastic bag with the terribly made French toast, and he teases her by picking it up and refusing to return it to her. Very Cute Naoki!)

Naoki eating Riko's French Toast. ...silence. "Looks like I have to teach you from scratch." Riko is dismayed and Naoki laughs, saying, "I'm joking! It's good, really."

Naoki eating Riko's French Toast. ...silence. "Looks like I have to teach you from scratch." Riko is dismayed and Naoki laughs, saying, "I'm joking! It's good, really."

…Up until this moment, I thought to myself, Oh good, Naoki’s being steadfast, and Riko managed to hold on and wait for him, so it wasn’t going to be one of those dramatic “Oh I missed you by half a second” moments – although I admit to snorting at the dramatic irony of Riko telling Naoki, “I was afraid you weren’t going to show up, because you would meet someone else you liked on the way and realise you don’t like me that much, after all.” and all Naoki says is, “Sorry I made you worry.” But, since this is a shoujo drama, and the bad person must, after all, be bad, Natsuki ends up calling Riko and telling her, “Is Naoki meeting up with you? He said he was meeting a friend. [Okay, first arrow here already. Like, friend. Huh. Right.] I’m really sorry he was late. I was caught in the rain and didn’t have an umbrella so he ran up to me and insisted on giving me his umbrella. If he was late, it’s all my fault and I apologise so please don’t blame him.” Oooooh the bitch! Second arrow, and she draws blood! Although technically, she isn’t lying, so it’s also partially Naoki’s fault for not telling Riko anything. Instead he told her practice ended late and now she finds out it’s not true! Riko walks out and tells Naoki it’s better if he heads home for a hot shower so that his health isn’t compromised since he was running in the rain, and Naoki leaves reluctantly.

So, my predictions (they’re going to break up! ..or at least have a fight) looked like they were, more or less, about to come true, but to a certain extent, it was less heartrending than I thought it was going to be, since Naoki’s moments of “wavering” were short-lived, and he was very honest about who and what he was thinking about – one of my favourite things in any person.

Back to what happened: On one hand, Riko heads home and enjoys being with her family (and eating apparently, since she put on 1.5kg – a girl after my own heart!); on the other, Mai and Shuji (yay!) finally tell Utsunomiya Toru (who is played by Nagai Masaru) that they are dating (originally Mai was interested in Toru, and it seemed Toru was about to return her interest but nooo he tells her he’s actually been in love for a long time with another girl, but she has a boyfriend and it’s about time that he gives up – NOW, I GIVE YOU THREE GUESSES AS TO WHO THE GIRL IS!!!!! ….GIVE UP!? It’s Natsuki! Definitely Natsuki!!! Ahem. Watch and finnnnddd outttt).

They look so cute together! Mai tells Toru: "Without me, you'd get along fine, whereas Shuji..." and exchanges a glance with Shuji, which is classic I tell you.

They look so cute together! Mai tells Toru: "Without me, you'd get along fine, whereas Shuji..." and exchanges a glance with Shuji, which is classic I tell you, and then she even goes on to ask,"So from now, will you please also take care of Shuji?"...best thing? Toru says, "Yes!" LOL. Oh, and Mai asked him curiously, "So...you are...towards Coach...?" and Toru shakes his head frantically and falls back in laughter HAHA

Ahem you can see why I guessed what I guessed. Natsuki's pouring her heart to Toru, telling him she wishes Naoki wouldn't succeed so he would beg her to come back, and there Toru is, just lapping it up. Ugh. Please, buster. Get a move on or move out.

Ahem you can see why I guessed what I guessed. Natsuki's pouring her heart to Toru, telling him she wishes Naoki wouldn't succeed so he would beg her to come back, and there Toru is, just lapping it up. Ugh. Please, buster. Get a move on or move out.

At Riko’s old home, her mother tells her, “Your father and I think it’s about time that you give up your violin. It’s been two years since you’ve graduated but you haven’t been able to find a proper job. Please. Your father’s retiring next year. Will you move back home here before it’s too late? You’ll be able to get a job here easily. Please.” and Riko looks at her parents, nods dutifully and replies, “I’ll think about it.” before taking a gulp of water (or whatever liquid it is she has in her cup, for all I know it could just be alcohol which, I think, is what she needs). Riko heads back to (I assume it is) Tokyo and heads for the bookstore where she looks for Mai so that the two can go off and have an awesome buddy dinner together (oh, I love friends). At the bookstore however, she meets Natsuki, who, while casually browsing some books on a shelf, asks, “How’s Coach? Oh. Don’t tell me. You’re cheating on him, aren’t you?” At Riko’s gasp, Natsuki swings around and says, “With Naoki, right?” She then goes on to belittle their relationship by telling Riko, “Did you know he has an ankle injury and refuses to go for surgery? You don’t, right? It’s the important things he doesn’t tell you. You’re not important to him. All you have going for you is the fact that the both of you lick each other’s wounds, and make each other feel better. He doesn’t have to feel inferior when he’s in your company.” (OOOooohhhh, I have no words to describe this woman, but man, I have to give the scriptwriter a prize. Great speech.) Riko is taken aback and at first tries to defend herself, and asks Natsuki, “What is the purpose of you telling me this?” Natsuki: “I don’t like people like you, who only talk about your dreams and don’t live up to reality.”

ep9e

Mai then arrives at the scene, and becomes all outraged on Riko’s behalf, “Why don’t you tell Naoki this yourself? Why did you come here to look for Riko and tell her all these?” Natsuki: “I will.” Mai becomes even more furious, but then Riko interrupts: “I think you may be right, but I can’t forgive you for not believing in Naoki’s dream.” and all Natsuki does is smile at her and go, “You’re…so gentle. So kind. Isn’t that great?” … OHHHhhhhhhh.

Fortunately, Mai steps in and tells Natsuki: "I think you're pathetic." Natsuki: "Me?" Mai: "How could a person like you understand anything when all you do is build upon other people's miseries?" and then pulls Riko away before MORE damage is done...unfortunately...damage has already been done...

Fortunately, Mai steps in and tells Natsuki: "I think you're pathetic." Natsuki: "Me?" Mai: "How could a person like you understand anything when all you do is build upon other people's miseries?" and then pulls Riko away before MORE damage is done...unfortunately...damage has already been done...

(I discover in this episode that Mai is the epitome of what a good girl friend is meant to be, and salute Shihori for being able to pull it all off so naturally)

That night, Shuji comes back home and tells Mai (and unintentionally, Riko) that Naoki and Yoyogi fought in the dressing room over Natsuki, which of course, just makes Riko feel worse. Mai, being Mai, immediately shoves Shuji into the cupboard and tells him not to come out until she finishes dinner (oh, Mai!…excuse the pun) and becomes all awkward as Riko stares at her phone morosely when Naoki sends her a text message telling her he can’t come see her tonight.

Naoki and Yoyogi going at it in the dressing room, with Naoki yelling at Yoyogi to apologise to Natsuki (later he tells Toru that the reason he wanted Yoyogi to apologise to her is because he realised how much he had depended on Natsuki during their relationship, and how much he had learnt from her, and that was why he was angry when Yoyogi did not seem to appreciate her the same way he used to)

Naoki and Yoyogi going at it in the dressing room, with Naoki yelling at Yoyogi to apologise to Natsuki (later he tells Toru that the reason he wanted Yoyogi to apologise to her is because he realised how much he had depended on Natsuki during their relationship, and how much he had learnt from her, and that was why he was angry when Yoyogi did not seem to appreciate her the same way he used to)

In the morning, Riko hears the sounds of a dribbling basketball, pulls open her window and peers out to find Naoki standing, waiting for her in their usual basketball court.

She goes down to see him, and when they meet, he said, “Sorry I couldn’t see you last night. I was talking to Toru.” …which is, I think, the last straw for Riko. She turns around and tells him, “Why do you gloss it over like that?” Naoki: “What do you mean?” Riko: “Why do you gloss it over like that?” Naoki: “Eh?” Riko: “That night when it was raining…it was Natsuki you were with. Yesterday, you got into a fight, because of Natsuki. I know it all. All your lies. Why did you lie?” Naoki: “I didn’t mean to lie. I just didn’t want you to get the wrong idea.” (Yeah, dude, that’s what they all say)

dhahsd

Riko: "You...care about Natsuki more than me, don't you? Why? Didn't she cheat on you?" Naoki: "What are you saying?" Riko: "She cheated on you and treated you like a fool, simply because of your kind nature." Naoki: "Why do you keep speaking bad of her?" Riko: "Isn't that the truth?" Naoki: "Riko, you don't know anything about Natsuki and I. ... Sorry. I don't want to speak of such things with Riko." Riko: "Is that so? ...With me, all you need is for us to lick each other's wounds? Because, being with me, you don't have to feel inferior, you don't have to think, so you're happy?" and Riko walks away. (See, you can tell the poison Natsuki injected in Riko is spreading. Ugh. Jealousy. The things it makes us do. Women. Sometimes, we're just plain stupid.)

As she walks away, Naoki calls out to her, "What's wrong?" Riko turns: "I am always looking at you. During that rainy night, in the bright morning light, at home when I'm playing the violin, I'm always, always thinking of you but you...Why can't you ever see me, Naoki?" and this time she walks away for real. STUPID BOY DIDN'T CHASE AFTER HER - obviously you don't understand women very well!

As she walks away, Naoki calls out to her, "What's wrong?" Riko turns: "I am always looking at you. During that rainy night, in the bright morning light, at home when I'm playing the violin, I'm always, always thinking of you but you...Why can't you ever see me, Naoki?" and this time she walks away for real. STUPID BOY DIDN'T CHASE AFTER HER - obviously you don't understand women very well!

While Riko waits for a phone call from Naoki (that never happens), she lets Mai know that she’s thinking of going home for good and giving up the violin. Mai’s woebegone expression was terribly heartwarming. (Meanwhile poor Riko doesn’t realise that the customer who critiqued her so seriously at her last performance in the lounge and caused her to lose her job is now searching for her because he actually didn’t mean to make her lose her job; rather he wanted her to improve i.e. so I get the vibe that it means he thinks she’s a talent and wants to make her perform to her full potential)

After Naoki's practice, Natsuki waylays him and passes him some official work documents, but also tells him, "...I think I can't forget you..." to which Naoki (finally!!) replies, "Natsuki. I already have someone important in my heart. I'm grateful to you, because I went through a lot with you, both happy and sad. But now, I need to walk my own way." and he leaves, and cycles to Riko's place.

After Naoki's practice, Natsuki waylays him and passes him some official work documents, but also tells him, "...I think I can't forget you..." to which Naoki (finally!!) replies, "Natsuki. I already have someone important in my heart. I'm grateful to you, because I went through a lot with you, both happy and sad. But now, I need to walk my own way." and he leaves, and cycles to Riko's place.

And just when you thought it was going to be all over...? NO! Coach Kanzaki comes knocking on Riko's door! Riko tells him, "Unfortunately, the person I like is Naoki." Coach Kanzaki: "Ahh... so the two of you got closer while I was away. Well. Okay. Congratulations. You must be in bliss, because Naoki treats you very well." and Riko starts tearing up while she wears a smile that threatens to turn inside out at any moment. "Yes, he treats me well. He's very kind to me. I'm happy. I think I mean something to him. But...I don't have any idea what he's thinking." and she completely breaks down. ...and OF COURSE, Coach Kanzaki wraps her in his embrace and she doesn't quite know how to deal with it all!

And just when you thought it was going to be all over...? NO! Coach Kanzaki comes knocking on Riko's door! Riko tells him, "Unfortunately, the person I like is Naoki." Coach Kanzaki: "Ahh... so the two of you got closer while I was away. Well. Okay. Congratulations. You must be in bliss, because Naoki treats you very well."

and Riko starts tearing up while she wears a smile that threatens to turn inside out at any moment. "Yes, he treats me well. He's very kind to me. I'm happy. I think I mean something to him. But...I don't have any idea what he's thinking." and she completely breaks down. ...and OF COURSE, Coach Kanzaki wraps her in his embrace and she doesn't quite know how to deal with it all!...seriously, the girl needs to stop getting herself into awkward situations with Kanzaki man...

and Riko starts tearing up while she wears a smile that threatens to turn inside out at any moment. "Yes, he treats me well. He's very kind to me. I'm happy. I think I mean something to him. But...I don't have any idea what he's thinking." and she completely breaks down. ...and OF COURSE, Coach Kanzaki wraps her in his embrace and she doesn't quite know how to deal with it all!...seriously, the girl needs to stop getting herself into awkward situations with Kanzaki man...

...and in the meantime, Naoki's on the way to Riko's place with a sunflower. ....that is just damn GG...

...and in the meantime, Naoki's on the way to Riko's place with a sunflower. ....which is just damn GG...

Teaser for Episode 10 (which is, by the way, the last episode, if you are able to read Chinese or Japanese) shows: both Riko and Naoki in formal suits saying “Goodbye” in Japanese, Riko doing lots of running, Naoki going into surgery while Natsuki looks on…

and I wonder how they will end it off, seeing as how they only have about 45 mins to wrap up the love …quadrangle! I had mixed feelings about this episode, and unfortunately, not enough Mai & Shuji moments to sustain me, although I squeal whenever they appear simply because they’re so funny. The loyalty here is good and at least Naoki, surprisingly, didn’t really waver when Natsuki re-confessed to him (and I thought they would make him but fortunately Bacchus appears to be on my side at least). Like I said, I can’t stand being wishy-washy and namby-pamby, so Naoki was resurrected in my good graces (which he had fallen from at the end of Ep 8 and in the beginning of 9). I’m rather skeptical at what will happen with the Kanzaki and Riko hugging scene (will Naoki see it and think Riko’s cheating on him??? Replay of Natsuki?? Will Kanzaki try forcing a kiss??? Is the goodbye scene they show them saying goodbye to each other forever???) …and so the questions go…but so far, I’ve really enjoyed it, and the scriptwriters I think have done a really good job in making me not hate the drama (I usually tend to drop dramas when I hit a particular scene or episode I don’t like i.e. Kami no Shizuku even though I absolutely adore Kame) so I’m looking forward to how they will wrap it all up.

What do you think?

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13 responses

  1. Raine,

    I love your review!! Gosh, really, mine needs a lot of re-editing work. Now I’m gonna go to my blog and just redirect them to here..hehe. Hope you don’t mind.

    And another thing, your screen caps looks just fine to me.

    September 9, 2009 at 3:28 pm

  2. ooh, forgot to mention this:- yup,yup. it is so evident that Utsumiya have a thing for Natsuki. Out with it already, right?

    September 9, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    • rainerust

      Hey! Yup, link away, I really don’t mind. Haha, I thought I was being long-winded,so glad to hear you liked it!

      And YES I KNOW I half expect him to suddenly grab Natsuki and tell her, “You know what? Forget Naoki. I LIKE YOU. BE WITH ME.” …but nah, don’t think it’s going to happen. He looks like the long-suffering kind to me.

      September 9, 2009 at 4:10 pm

  3. Sachiko

    Hi,I am currently watching this drama too and love the way you write about it too!:)
    I read a bit japanese and found out a bit synopsis of ep10.In case you wanna know πŸ˜€
    Dont worry Naoki wont be catching them hugging together.Kawasaki san comes out of Riko’s room once Naoki arrives at the apartment:)Naoki’s ankle getting serious and will be having operation and its affecting the match.Riko’s have a chance to perform her violin in a concert finally and she is running to share with Naoki,but it seems that something happens after that.
    Lets hoping for a nice and good ending.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:06 am

    • rainerust

      Hi Sachiko, thanks for the comments! πŸ™‚ oh GOOD THING you’ve told me about Kanzaki leaving the apartment…see, I knew I liked the scriptwriters who wrote this drama! They have good taste! Yes, let’s all cross our fingers and hope that the drama will end on a happy note the way it deserves to be!

      September 10, 2009 at 11:28 am

  4. honeydew

    Found your blog when I was looking for some Buzzer Beat reviews. I love reading reviews for this drama and your review seem to interest me the most. Love how you pin-point everything so straightforwardly and still being able to highlight the most important parts in this episode. =)

    Anyway, I don’t think next episode is the last episode though. I keep reading from other forums and sites that there’s 11 episodes scheduled to be aired for this drama…I believe it also says on the dramawiki page for Buzzer Beat as well? But anyway, I really wonder how they’d end the drama. And, this is rather strange, but I noticed in both the opening of episode 8 & 9, they showed Natsuki with a man walking in the street. It’s only their shadows that you see and you can’t really see their face, but I’m pretty positive that the girl is Natsuki. Though from the shadow, it looked like Yoyogi for me because the guy appears to have long wavy/curly hair. Or maybe it could be the coach? lol. It’s like a mystery of who Natsuki ends up with. XD

    Do you also download your episodes from Subpig as well? They were really fast in subbing this episode this week. The raw came out on Monday and within a few hours after the raw file was out, they already have this episode subbed!! Usually they take about a day or two sub it but they were pretty fast this week. I was so amazed at their speed to sub it so fast.

    September 11, 2009 at 1:45 am

    • rainerust

      Hi, thanks for the positive comments! It’s nice to know that people appreciate what I’m writing, so I feel the urge to continue providing the reviews…

      Hm, wondering about the 10/11 episodes thing…maybe I misread the Japanese at the end of the trailer…maybe it meant penultimate (ie 2nd last) episode? Yeah, I do wonder how they’ll end the drama, definitely looking forward to it! (Yes, major mystery of who Natsuki ends up with since we ALL know, or hope rather, Riko & Naoki end up together! Maybe..she ends up with Toru…??)

      Yup, I download my episodes from Subpig, they’ve been getting faster recently. Both ep 8 and 9 were out, like, the next day after the raws came out. Sounds like you get your subs from them too?

      September 11, 2009 at 11:00 am

      • honeydew

        I think it is more likely leading towards the meaning that it’s the 2nd last episode (or the final last of their relationship?) I don’t know. It could be a tatic that Fuji TV is using to get higher ratings or something just to get more people to watch it. Who knows. I think that is why they purposely leave you hanging at the end of each episode to keep the audience interested and it surely works for me. I’m like dying to know what will happen next every week after the end of an episode, lol. They’re really doing an amazing job with those cliff hangers every week! XD

        Yup, I download from Subpig as well. I like how they sub things much faster than most English fansubbers and the fact that they sub pretty much EVERYTHING airing that season amazes me. Sometimea I wonder if they have robots on her sub team working to help sub all those dramas, movies, sps, shows and etc. I also like how they do a really good job at keeping their subbed file size so low and yet the image quality still looks pretty amazing and HQ!

        September 12, 2009 at 3:13 am

      • rainerust

        LOL you’re right, it IS a good tactic they employ with the cliffhangers because even though it frustrates you, it makes you want to keep watching because you need to know what happens next!

        Subpig is just amazing, and I do love them. Yeah, most times they’re much faster than the English subbers (depending on the drama) and I’ve realised that most of the Japanese dramas I’ve watched in subs have been from them. Plus, I like their subbing for the pure fact that they’re so accurate with the translations and I’ve never had problems with their subs like some other groups (you know, timing etc). Two days to Monday, and then one more day and hopefully Subpig will release a subbed version of Buzzer Beat 10! πŸ™‚

        September 12, 2009 at 3:28 am

      • honeydew

        Oh, I almost forgot to mention….it is definitely 11 episodes because Keiko Kitagawa has a picture of herself up on her blog of her holding the script for episode 11 of Buzzer Beat! Yeah, it is totally their tactic get more people to watch the drama. XD

        And yes, Monday is just around the corner. If only I don’t have so much reading and crap to do for school. D: But then again, I’m always watchng the raw file online before Subpig releases their subbed version….so it’s like I watch each episode twice, once without subs and sometimes a couple times with subs! LOL. I’m always telling myself how I should just wait for the subs but I’m so impatient to find out what happens next, even though I only understand maybe 20-40% of the dialogue in Japanese. XD

        September 12, 2009 at 4:01 am

      • rainerust

        LOL I say, thanks for clearing that up! I kept thinking it would only be 10 episodes…but guess it WILL be 11 after all! YAYness for that!

        …I would do the same as you if I had time but unfortunately I’m finding it hard to even find time to watch the subbed episodes, so…

        September 12, 2009 at 5:42 am

  5. gabitza

    can’t finish like that….what happens with natsuki, an so on…?

    September 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    • rainerust

      I know, right? Well, we’ll just have to wait for next week to find out! Hopefully the subs will come out fast! (Since my Japanese really isn’t up to par to watch the raws)

      September 11, 2009 at 1:12 pm

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