Eden of the East – 05
In a hotel somewhere in Tokyo, a woman wakes up and realizes that there’s a dead body in the bathroom. Since she is a Selecao, she calls up Juiz and arranges to have it taken care of as elegantly as possible. Akira meanwhile is reflecting on the game he’s involved in and is frustrated at the mysterious Mr. Outside. By chance, he’s recognized on the street by a guy that he doesn’t know, and this guy yells at Akira for everything that he’s experienced in the past two months. He’s got a grudge against Akira for leaving them in the desert, causing them to go through a lot of hardships, but when he realizes that Akira doesn’t have his memories anymore, he lets it all go. The guy reveals that he’s actually getting married the next month, and although he doesn’t understand why Akira sent them to Dubai, he attributes his social rehabilitation to it.
Over at the bakery, Saki is helping out before she has to go to her interview, and her sister’s husband has baked cookies that look like her. He tells her that she doesn’t have to push herself and that they’ll take care of her until she finds what she really wants to do, but Saki doesn’t want to trouble them though, and she finds his kindness to be painful. On the train, Saki runs into Oosugi, and the two talk about their friend Hirasawa who has ambitions to start his own company. In particular, Oosugi worries about Hirasawa’s seeming unwillingness to becoming a normal member of society. He also asks Saki out to eat later, and Saki agrees. By this point, Akira has returned home and is on the phone with Juiz about the mission to save Japan and what he can do. Juiz misinterprets one of Akira’s examples and makes the Japanese prime minister say gyafun in front of the legislature on live television.
Akira then notices the message he got from Saki and realizes that he never read it. He writes Saki a response apologizing and asking to see her, but she doesn’t answer him because of her interview. Not knowing this, Akira decides that he should go apologize to her personally, so he has Juiz track down where she is. In the interview, Saki gets asked about her opinion on the missile terrorism, and she gives a safe answer about how the presence of victims made her sympathetic. The interviewer, however, wanted to hear a more honest opinion and ends the interview early. He seems to invite her to lunch in the company cafeteria, but Saki waits there and no one shows up. Eventually, someone accidentally spills gyuudon on her, so Saki has to go to the restroom to clean up. While in one of the stalls, she overhears two office ladies talking about her not being able to take a hint and how the gyuudon was intentional.
Saki is thus feeling down as she leaves the building, and to her surprise, Akira is waiting outside for her. Akira notices that Saki is trying to fight back tears, and he gets her to leave with him. The motorcycle with the two of them on it passes by Oosugi right as he’s arriving to meet Saki. Though it’s raining later, Saki and Akira go out on the boardwalk, and Saki talks about how things didn’t go as smoothly as she had hoped after she missed the first interview and about her frustrations with how she was treated. To add to this, she feels that she can’t go home anymore even though she loves her sister, her niece, and especially Ryousuke. Akira surprises Saki by kissing her in response to all this, and he offers to take on all the burdens. He feels that he now understands what he can do, and she doesn’t have to work or do anything.
Unbeknownst to Saki, Oosugi is eating and drinking his blues away with underclassman Kasuga Haruo. Afterward, he stumbles around in the rain alone while feeling sick and yelling out his frustrations, unaware that a certain woman is approaching him.
I have to say that, as much as I liked the timing of Akira’s appearance, the kiss, and him trying to make Saki feel better, I felt kind of sorry for Oosugi. It has to suck to be rejected like that, and to make matters worse, he appears to be the next target of the killer lady Shiratori. I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned up dead next episode, though I guess her appearance at the end could just as easily be a red herring. Either way, it makes for a nice cliffhanger and potential story path that could add a connection between the Selecao and Saki sides of the story. Speaking of Selecao, this guy is likely the same mysterious man from episode 1 (they’re wearing the same ring), and as Selecao No. 1 – someone’s who’s not on the character list on the official website – it seems likely that he’s the Supporter and/or even Mr. Outside.
It was also interesting to see that Akira didn’t kill all those NEETs and instead sent them to Dubai. The fact that that one guy was rehabilitated because of the experience makes me wonder if the director and writers are making a point that a little hardship will do the trick for the real-life NEET problem. In fact, they seemed to focus a lot this episode about the younger generation and becoming a member of society, and the series overall has been looking at Japan’s problems a lot more than I expected. In any case, next week’s episode title is the title of the series, and I find that a little odd because something like that is usually reserved for finales. It makes me wonder if something big is going to happen.