Yamada Tarou Monogatari – 02
Having discovered where Tarou lives, Takuya visits the Yamada home one afternoon feeling like he’s calling Tarou out to play – something which he hasn’t done since he was young. After seeing how lively Tarou and his siblings are towards the cakes that he brought for them, Takuya then notices the hand-drawn pictures, the family rules, and the family photo around him. When he’s served tea brewed with garden dandelions, Takuya can barely stop his face from showing how bad it tasted, and Tarou’s joking and laughing with his siblings at this makes Takuya comment on how much fun Tarou is having. That night, Takuya returns home and creates a flower arrangement with a smile on his face. At school the following day, all the girls are squealing over Tarou and Takuya sitting together and how Takuya’s demeanor has recently become gentler. Takako imagines them as European aristocrats talking about fox hunts, but in actuality, Tarou is telling Takuya about a supermarket sale.
Meanwhile, Tarou’s younger brother Jirou is passing by a baseball field when a ball gets hit towards him. He throws it back with such speed and power that the entire team wants him to join them. Jirou wants to play, and the coach wants him before the important match on Sunday, but when he’s presented with form detailing the 27,000 yen cost, Jirou has no choice but to turn down the chance. When Tarou and his other siblings meet up with him to go home, the coach pulls Tarou aside to tell him about the situation, and knowing how much Jirou wants to play, this stays on Tarou’s mind for the rest of the day. Over at the Mimura house, Takuya has created a wonderful flower arrangement that he wants to show to his grandfather. However, when his butler Isogai tells his grandfather about it, the old man feels that there’s no need to see it, citing that flowers don’t tell lies and that tradition is being ignored by Takuya.
The following day, Takuya mentions how he’s envious of Tarou’s siblings for having a big brother who worries about them. He offers to lend Tarou the money to allow Jirou to play baseball, but Tarou remembers that it’s a family rule not to borrow money. Since Tarou wants to get a job to earn the money, Takuya offers to let him work at the Mimura home as a housemaid. Tarou is delighted to learn that he can earn 50,000 yen in three days doing this, but it’s not until he gets there that he finds out he has to disguise himself as a girl. Thus, Tarou’s goal according to Takuya is to get through the three days without being discovered. When Takuya’s grandfather returns home, the maids all line up to welcome him back, and he immediately notices something not right. Since Takuya’s grandfather wants to know his name, Tarou claims that he’s Yamada Tamiko, and Takuya’s grandfather ends up commenting on how Tarou looks like a man.
While cleaning up the house with the other maids, Tarou finds that Takuya’s grandfather is throwing out an old yukata. Taking it out of the trashcan, Tarou makes the yukata into several dust cloths that he distributes to the other maids, and Takuya’s grandfather soon recognizes the cloth that the maids are cleaning with. Because it reminds him of how his now-deceased wife Tsuyuko had done the same thing with his pajamas 35 years ago, Takuya’s grandfather approaches Tarou and asks if he’s Takuya’s girlfriend. Tarou denies it, which seems to satisfy the old man, and he breathes a sigh of relief afterwards for having not gotten discovered. Later, on his way home, Tarou sees Jirou staring longingly at a baseball glove in a store window. At school, Takako notices that there’s nail polish on Tarou’s fingers and assumes the worst, so she follows him after class and watches as he heads into the Mimura home. Takako at first thinks that this is Tarou’s home, but she then sees the Mimura sign. Takuya returns home right as she’s reading this, and after recognizing her, he gets the idea to have Takako work here too.
Takako is shocked to see Tarou dressed as a maid, but she reasons that it’s because he’s trying to understand commoner trends and fashions. Takuya then reveals that he asked Takako here because he felt it’d be better for Tarou to have another maid to help. Tarou’s job for today is to cook dinner for Takuya’s grandfather, and with Takako’s assistance, he decides to make some food with a taste of home cooking. The omusubi they serve reminds Takuya’s grandfather of how his wife had once taken a grain of rice off his collar and reminded him not to waste it, and he now tells Tarou that it’s delicious. Takuya is surprised to find Tarou and Takako dining on the leftovers afterwards, but Tarou scolds him for how this household wastes things. His grandfather happens to overhear Tarou use the same phrase that his wife once used, but before he can investigate further, Isogai interrupts him.
On his way home this second night, Tarou passes by the baseball field and sees Jirou pretending to play by himself. After watching Jirou run the bases and throw from the outfield, Tarou quietly tells Jirou to leave this to him. The next day is the third and final day of Tarou’s work as a maid, but he gets called in front of Takuya’s grandfather and is asked to create a flower arrangement so that the old man can understand what kind of person he is. Knowing that Takuya is experienced in arrangements, Tarou goes to him for help, however Takuya feels that his grandfather won’t approve of anything similar to his work. Ultimately, it is Tarou who comes up with a simple arrangement after seeing the flowers littered on Takuya’s floor: a single flower in a cup of water. After seeing it, Takuya’s grandfather reveals that he’s always thought that flowers don’t tell lies and that flower arrangements are a reflection of a person. From the arrangement, he has concluded that Tarou is a wonderful woman, and he remembers how his wife had also put a flower into a cup of water in the past.
Takuya’s grandfather then tells Takuya that he’s found a good girlfriend, and he feels that this is the house that Tarou will eventually live in. The old man also gives Tarou the payment for three days of maid work, but before Tarou heads out with the money, he uses the bathroom. It is here that Takuya’s grandfather discovers Tarou peeing standing up and everything gets revealed. At first, the old man is furious for what he thinks is a joke, but his attitude changed when Isogai explains how long its been since he’s seen Takuya so happy about a prank like this. Isogai feels that Takuya came up with all this to play with his grandfather like they used to do, and Takuya confirms that this is the truth. Tarou is surprised to hear all this because he had been taking it so seriously and working so hard, though Takuya’s grandfather then laughs and attributes all the fun to him. In the end, he wants Tarou to keep the money, and after Tarou excuses himself, the old man expresses an interest in Takuya’s flower arrangements.
That night, Tarou finds his little brother at the baseball field again pretending to play by himself. This time, Tarou presents Jirou with a baseball glove, and the two to play some catch. With the money Tarou made, Jirou is able to join the team and play in the baseball game on Sunday, and he makes the outfield catch and throw to home plate that ends the game. With his teammates and family cheering him on, Jirou thanks his brother who is smiling from the sidelines.
I had been worried that the second episode wouldn’t be nearly as good as the first episode since I had set my expectations so high, but it managed to be just as funny (almost every scene between Tarou and Takuya’s grandfather) and heartwarming (Tarou working hard to get his little brother a baseball glove). It also got a bit random – in a good way – when all the maids suddenly burst out into dance while cleaning. Everything worked out rather conveniently at the end, though it wasn’t done in such a way that I’d consider it cheesy or anything, so I really liked it. So far they haven’t shown too much of a storyline that carries over from episode to episode, but if the series continues to be as entertaining as it has been, I’m don’t think I’d mind. Still, I do think that Tarou’s father is going to make a return sometime later in the series, and that might be one of the more serious episodes.
As for next week, it appears that Tarou will enlist as a pupil under Takako’s mother to learn the ways of the supermarket dash, and it looks like it’ll be a lot of fun to watch.