Yamada Tarou Monogatari – 03
Examining the vegetable garden at home one day, Tarou finds that his eggplants are still quite small and urges them to do their best, vowing that he will too. At school, Takako is being asked by her teacher about any troubles she might be having, and although she thinks of Tarou, she denies having any problems. When asked about her future plans, Takako thinks privately that she wants to marry into a rich family, but she tells her teacher that she doesn’t have anything she wants to do yet, so her teacher suggests that she be more proactive. Takako’s chance comes when her teacher announces in class that the principal is looking for two people to help with the school fields. At first, no one wants to volunteer, but when Tarou raises his hand because he sees the possibility of getting some vegetables out of this, all the girls suddenly want to join him. Their teacher decides to pick the girl by drawing lots, and by chance, Takako gets chosen.
At the greenhouse after school, the principal reveals that he knows why Tarou came and wonders if Tarou would like the tomatoes or the eggplants. As for the actual work, the two students’ first duty involves shoveling from a compost heap, and as they do so, Takako comments on how Tarou seems used to this. When Tarou replies that he’s done this for his own garden at home, Takako interprets that to mean that Tarou’s family has a lot of farmland. She almost faints from her daydream, but Tarou manages to catch her. Tarou then has to leave early so that he can make it to a supermarket sale, and when he gets there, he finds Takako’s mother already fighting for vegetables in the middle of a crowd. He remembers her from the croquette sale, and after she recognizes him too, she shows him the advertisement for a new supermarket. In it is a special for 2 kg of Matsusaka beef for a mere 98 yen, but it’ll only be available to one shopper. Because he wants to be able to have a BBQ for his family, Tarou asks Takako’s mother to make him into her apprentice.
Takako’s mother Maria agrees to become his master, and she tells Takako all about it when she goes home, though Takako can’t believe that there’s someone like that from her school. At school the next day, Tarou tells Takuya about the supermarket master, and to his surprise, Takuya wants to come along too. After class, Tarou gets introduced by the principal to former student Nagahara Makoto who now does research in agriculture. Since he has an interest in this, Tarou sincerely asks how he can grow huge vegetables – enough to feed eight people – which causes both the principal and Nagahara to laugh. Later, when he’s working with Takako, she suddenly asks about his home because of what he had said yesterday, so he tells her that he lives in a house of eight people. Not knowing the truth, Takako thinks that Tarou lives with his father, mother, brother, sister, and three butlers, but by the time she boldly tries to ask him to admit her into his family, he’s already gone.
Together with Takuya, Tarou has arrived at the supermarket for some training with Maria. Today’s lesson involves securing a desired product before it’s bought up and before the afternoon half-price sales begin. That way, they can put it back on the shelf right as the employees are placing the discount stickers, and then grab the item again once it’s been labeled. Takuya, however, gets his discounted fish taken away by another shopper, which earns him a scolding from Maria who thinks of all this as a battle. To Tarou’s surprise, Takuya wants to practice this again, and afterwards he gives Tarou the fish that he bought because he didn’t come wanting fish. When Tarou questions what he did want, Takuya doesn’t answer and heads home instead. That night, Maria praises her student over dinner and suggests that he’d be a great boyfriend for Takako. Since she still doesn’t know that the person in question is Tarou, Takako refuses to date such a commoner, especially since the idealized Tarou she has in her mind is both rich and good looking.
Although she realizes that a prince like Tarou and a commoner like her are mismatched, Takako feels that her prince has a commoner’s sense, so that even people like her can have a sense of familiarity. After going shopping for some gardening supplies with him the next day, Takako asks why he wanted the school gardening duty. Telling her the truth, Tarou says that it’s for his family, and when Takako asks him about what he wants to do in the future, he talks about wanting everyone in his family to smile. With how well she’s getting along with him and how much closer they’ve become, Takako thinks that this could be the start of a relationship. Meanwhile, her mother is quizzing Takuya on the most important part of a printed advertisement. She feels that these advertisements are like love letters from the supermarket – a letter of challenge to housewives.
Tarou soon arrives to join them, so Maria brings out a sheet of paper detailing the floor plan of the new supermarket. When Tarou questions how she got it, Takuya repeats something that she had told him earlier: the person who controls the information controls the war. In fact, not only does Maria have a floor plan, she also had a cardboard model ready too, and the three proceed to plan out the best possible route to the beef. Afterwards, Tarou invites her to his house since his own mother had wanted to meet his teacher. Overwhelmed by the sight of Tarou’s siblings, Maria hugs Tarou’s mother for raising such a great son. She ends up helping them with dinner, and seeing the large family happily eating together makes her determined to get Tarou the Matsusaka beef. Thus, she immediately starts both Tarou and Takuya on a special training regimen that lasts the entire week leading up to the sale.
With her mother busy, Takako finds herself alone with her father who tells her that he doesn’t care if she marries someone rich or poor, good-looking or plain – he just wants her to be happy. Takako doesn’t even stick around to hear him finish what he’s saying, and she runs out instead thinking about how she’s going to confess her feelings tomorrow to Tarou. She approaches him the next day during class to ask him about doing something together, but the way Tarou looks at Takuya makes her realize that he already has something else to do today. Despite this, Tarou promises to come back to see her after his important thing. Today is the day of the store opening sale, and when Tarou and Takuya arrive at the supermarket, Takako’s mother reminds them that they’re each on their own now since there’s only one pack of beef. After muscling their way to the front of the line, Tarou and Takako’s mother lead the charge into the supermarket as soon as they’re allowed in.
However, when Takako’s mother unexpectedly leaves the pack, it’s up to Tarou alone to get the prized pack of beef. He ends up succeeding and brings the beef out to a waiting Takuya and Maria who have secured the other supplies he needs for a BBQ. They had known how much Tarou had wanted to have a party for his family like the one pictured on the advertisement, and they had also wanted to see his sibling’s happy faces, so this was all for him. Before he can go home for the BBQ though, Tarou remembers his promise to Takako and decides to ask her to join them. He arrives back at school right as Takako is thinking about going home, though when he asks her to come to the party, she misinterprets it as a formal dance party. Thus, she is quite shocked when he brings her to his ramshackle home where her mother and the others have already started the BBQ. Tarou’s attention meanwhile is more focused on how happy his family is, but unbeknownst to him, his father is back in town.
Just like jaalin wrote about earlier this week, this episode had me all smiles again. Takako’s mother Maria came across as a bit of a villain after the first episode where she stole the last croquette out from under Tarou, but this episode portrays her in a much more flattering way. I laughed so much at all her comparisons of shopping to war, and it all culminated in this hilarious scene that was almost like watching an infantry charge in a war movie. And to think, all that preparation was just for a piece of premium quality beef. Going overboard like that is part of what I find so fun with this show, along with all the feel-good moments when Tarou comes through for his family.
The end of this episode brings along two major events, one being Takako finding out the truth about Tarou and the other being the return of Yamada Kazuo. Actually, I’m not even sure if Takako has truly accepted the truth or if she’s going to write this off with another one of her delusions. Next week, however, seems to focus more on Kazuo’s return and the introduction of some foreigners to the Yamada family.