Yamada Tarou Monogatari – 08
It’s once again time for the students to fill out forms listing their college aspirations, but Tarou again writes that he’s choosing employment over school. This alarms Takuya a little when he first sees it, but their teacher Torii is even more worried and goes to the principal about it. To address the problem, the principal brings in Takuya and proposes a game where they try to get Tarou to want to go to college. Takuya finds this interesting and decides to go along with it, so after class, he convinces Tarou to come with him to Nagahara’s research lab. When they get there, Tarou is quite impressed by the surroundings and is thrilled with the thought of tons of land to grow fruits and vegetables. Nagahara is currently working on grapes, and he lets Tarou sample several types that are all delicious. However, none of this seems to change Tarou’s mind about college, and as he’s leaving to go take care of stuff at home, Nagahara gives him a packet of research material to read. A little later, Sugiura is walking home from school when he surprisingly spots Tarou in an apron coming out of a store with his many siblings.
That night, Tarou stays up late to go over all the materials that he got from Nagahara, but sometime after everyone else has gone to bed, he hears a noise coming from the front door. His mother wakes up and at first thinks that it’s a thief, however she soon realizes that it’s actually her husband. It turns out that Kazuo came back to give a painting to a friend, and this time he’ll be staying for a while. At school the next day, Sugiura tells Masami about what he saw, but she doesn’t believe him and neither do any of the other girls. When Takuya walks into class, Sugiura asks him about Tarou being poor, and to Takako’s shock, Takuya tells them the truth. The class, however, thinks that he’s joking, and Tarou himself dispels all doubts when he walks into the room and smiles at everyone. Later that afternoon, Tarou goes to the research lab again and gives back the documents to Nagahara, who is shocked that Tarou was able to read it in one day. What’s more, he finds out that Tarou wrote up a report too, and after Tarou leaves for his part-time job, Nagahara flips through it. Realizing the huge talent that they’d be losing if things continue as they are, he decides that he can’t leave things up to Torii any more.
Tarou’s parents have meanwhile gone on a date that ends with them heading to the mansion of the person Kazuo is giving the painting to. There, they are greeted by an older woman named Ume who is a big fan of Kazuo’s work and feels that his paintings restore her youth. Because of this, she has decided to move to Dubai, and since she doesn’t want to leave this house empty, she’d be happy if the Yamada family lived here. Tarou’s parents accept, and when they go home to tell everyone, Tarou can hardly believe it. In response, his father points out that happiness isn’t something that’s only obtained through hardship, but he also gives Tarou final say over whether they move or not since it’s Tarou who’s been making all the decisions of the house until now. Kazuo feels that Tarou has already become an adult and thus leaves this matter in Tarou’s hands. At school the following day, Sugiura tells his classmates of how he had followed Tarou the previous night and seen him throwing out trash wearing a ramen shop worker’s outfit. He thinks the reason Tarou is doing this is because Tarou is poor, but the girls still don’t believe him.
Feeling that this is her chance to help Tarou, Takako suggests to everyone that he’s working part-time to experience an ordinary person’s life. This fails to convince anyone, and when the boys start speculating too, the girls accuse them of being jealous of Tarou’s popularity. The boys then turn the girls’ wrath towards Sugiura, and in order to prove that he doesn’t have contempt for Tarou, Sugiura accidentally reveals that he likes him. Tarou is meanwhile asking Takuya about living in a big house and admits that he worries about if something so easily attained is truly good and if it’ll really make everyone happy. Takuya responds by asking Tarou what the most important thing for him is, and Tarou doesn’t have an answer for that. At home, he sees how much they look forward to living in a big house through their crayon pictures of houses, and with what Takuya asked him in mind, Tarou does a lot of thinking as he looks around his small home before he finally tells his father his decision.
At school, rumors are flying about Tarou’s supposed poverty, and Tarou’s female classmates once again turn their anger towards Sugiura. In order to settle this once and for all, Sugiura proposes that they visit Tarou’s house. Both Torii and Takako panic upon hearing this, and Torii runs to the principal while Takako goes to Takuya to get his help in stopping the others from discovering Tarou’s background. Takuya, however, points out that Tarou hasn’t really tried to hide this fact, and he asks Takako how she felt when she learned he was poor. Since she hadn’t hated him for it, Takuya thinks that it’s okay that this secret gets out. The principal, on the other hand, questions Torii about who this would actually trouble. He feels that Tarou won’t change because of this – only the other students will, and he wants to see how these students who have had a sheltered upbringing will react to Tarou’s strong vitality. When the final bell rings to let the students out of school, Tarou’s classmates secretly follow him home, but to everyone’s surprise – including Takako and Takuya – Tarou returns to a mansion.
Inside, Tarou finds a line of maids and butlers waiting for him, and wearing new clothes that Ume had given them, his siblings then drag him off to explore the house. Back outside, Takako is thrilled that Tarou is really a prince now, and all that Takuya can figure out is that an acquaintance gave the Yamada family this house. Takako then think Takuya knew all along and that’s why he didn’t stop anyone from following Tarou, but Takuya reveals that he didn’t know and walks away with an unsatisfied look on his face. As night comes, Takuya goes to Tarou’s old home and remembers how Tarou had wondered if something so easily attained will make everyone happy. Tarou meanwhile gets shown to his new room, complete with a pool outside, but he lies on his bed thinking about how Takuya had asked him what was most important to him.
It was pretty obvious that the mansion plot thread would eventually intersect with the rumor-that-Tarou-is-poor thread, but I didn’t think Takuya would be so unhappy about it. It makes sense though, since Tarou being wealthy takes away all the fun that Takuya was having. That sounds a bit selfish, so maybe there are some feelings of a friend becoming distant in there too. Of course, I think it’s pretty much guaranteed that this won’t last very long because Tarou will realize that the cozy small home is just as good or something along those lines, never mind the fact that the old house is such a prominent setting for the entire opening sequence. The preview already hints that Tarou might not be happy with it, and since there’s only two episodes left before this series wraps up, this may play a big part in the finale too.