Yamada Tarou Monogatari – 07
Having returned from his latest part time job with his pay, an exhausted Tarou has to juggle his family duties such as playing with his siblings and cooking for the family. Takako meanwhile is looking over the exams that she did poorly on and is thinking about everything that happened during the movie filming, including how she lost to hamburger. When she explains everything to Masami, to her surprise, Masami is actually proud of her for having made progress and thinks that Takako has a chance to confess again. Back at the Yamada home, Jirou, Saburou, Yoshiko, and Itsuko try to give Tarou summer vacation as a present. As they see it, he deserves to have a break since he works so hard all time, so they want him to take a day off and forget about the stuff at home. Although he is happy about their feelings, Tarou doesn’t intend to take a break, and he later admits to his mother that he’d be worried even if it was just for a day. When Tarou tells Takuya about it the next day, Takuya thinks that it’s impossible for Tarou to leave his family alone and points out how everything Tarou does is for them. He also suggests that Tarou’s siblings want to see him smile as much as Tarou wants to see them smile.
In class, Masami shows Takako a flier for a temple school where they can go study, and she wants to invite Tarou. Even though Masami has no interest in him, she also wants to bring Takuya for what she calls a double date event so that Tarou will be more relaxed. When Masami approaches the two after class to invite them, Takuya catches sight of Takako peeking around the corner and begging him to play along, but before Takuya can say anything, Tarou surprisingly agrees to it. Tarou feels that, for the sake of his family, he’ll take a summer vacation where he doesn’t think about them. The next day, the four of them plus Sugiura arrive at the temple and are shocked to find out that their gym teacher Oosaki is the priest there. More importantly, Takuya catches Tarou thinking about his family twice. Back at school, Torii is getting ready to go to the Yamada house to talk with Tarou again when she runs into the principal who decides that he wants to come too. They arrive at the house to find it in chaos with soap bubbles overflowing in the sink and the kids running around everywhere. Torii is about to leave since Tarou isn’t there, but the principal and the children urge her to come inside.
Back at the temple, Masami and Takuya give Takako a chance to get close to Tarou, but it’s ruined when Sugiura asks for help on a homework problem first. Oosaki then invites them to do some meditation, but during the session, Tarou can only think about his family, Takako can only think about being next to Tarou, Masami is wondering about her feelings for Sugiura, and Sugiura is wondering about his feeling for Tarou. Only Takuya meditates correctly, though when Oosaki wants the others to learn by observing him, Takuya makes a funny face that causes everyone to laugh. The Yamada siblings meanwhile have gone shopping with Torii and the principal, and it quickly becomes apparent to the two grown-ups that these kids have a frugal mindset with how they pick all the cheap items at the supermarket. On the way home, they pass by a family restaurant, and since they really want to eat there, the principal lets them go in. While the boys are busy being impressed by the menu that they refer to as a photo album, Yoshiko and Itsuko ask the waitress about takeout so that they can bring something home for their mother and two youngest siblings. Torii is so touched when she hears this that she starts crying.
As afternoon turns to evening, Takuya and Tarou spend a quiet moment staring at the setting sun together while Masami drags Sugiura to go shopping with her. A short while later, Tarou and Takako find the study room empty, and Takako discovers a note from Masami in her notebook urging her to confess her feelings. After remembering all the times she’s spent with Tarou, Takako scoots next to him, but before she can say anything, Tarou remarks that this is his first time having fun with friends on a summer break. All of his summers have been spent working at part-time jobs and at home, so he hasn’t had any summer vacation memories. That’s why he’s really glad that, on this final summer vacation of his high school life, he’s able to make some memories. Tarou then admits to having been hesitant about coming here because he had been worried about his family, but he’s now glad that he did. When Takako says that she’s glad he came, Tarou thanks her for inviting him, but when she tries to tell him her true feelings, she ends up asking him about a homework problem instead. As he’s explaining it to her, Tarou looks up into her eyes for a moment, but both of them quickly avert their gazes.
Masami and Sugiura soon return with fireworks, and all five of them have fun that night setting them off. However, shortly after Masami catches Sugiura staring at Tarou again and realizes what’s going on, it starts raining. It’s also raining back at the Yamada home, and the siblings quickly move to catch water droplets that are seeping through the cracks on their roof. When it starts heavily storming though, the kids become afraid of the thunder and lightning. Back at the temple, Tarou becomes so uneasy about this storm that he decides that he has to go home, and he ends up running the entire way there, admitting to himself that it’s impossible for him not to think about his family. When he arrives at home, his siblings run to him crying and saying that they did their best. After the kids calm down and eventually go to sleep, Torii and the principal get ready to leave, so Tarou apologizes for any inconvenience all this might have caused. The principal, however, feels that Tarou was present in everyone’s hearts all day, and he urges Tarou to do his best for these children. The next day, as they all leave for school, Tarou notices that the four plants in the garden marked for Jirou, Saburou, Yoshiko, and Itsuko have all sprouted.
The end of this episode with Tarou racing home by foot because of the thunderstorm was so incredibly sappy, yet it was done well enough that I was tearing up anyway. Maybe I just have a soft spot for these kinds of stories. The funniest parts of the episode though, all belonged to Sugiura’s man-crush on Tarou. I would also say that this contributed to Takako being unable to confess to Tarou, but most of that was Takako’s own fault. Fortunately, her character doesn’t annoy me as much as it used to, but I do hope that they don’t drag on her trying-to-confess storyline too much longer. As for next week, it looks like Tarou’s poverty might be found out by his classmates, and his father’s coming back too.