As everyone at school is making preparations for the festival, Morita is lying on the grass dreaming about his father. A long time ago, at the Morita Technical Research Institute, a man had gotten a phone call and hurried out of his office. The employees soon realized that the company president was gone and were in disbelief because they had a new project presentation the day after tomorrow. One of them heard the president shouting as he ran out that tonight was curry. At home, the president greeted his two boys. He turned off the lights and switched on a flashlight, shining it on a speck on the table. That speck started slowly moving towards the light. Morita’s father explained that this is the world’s smallest robot, named Kabu-tan. That name came from using the Ka in Kaoru and the Bu in Shinobu. Afterwards, the three enjoyed a curry dinner together as a family. Back in the present, Morita opens his eyes and sits up, putting his head up against the cat that was sleeping on his chest.
Takemoto, meanwhile, is still working on his giant tower piece. He’s figured out that to make something big, he needs to construct an even bigger scaffolding for it. By doing this, the work will be simple and not endless. Still, Takemoto feels ok right now. When he told everyone that he had biked to Wakkanai, they had all been surprised and amazed even though all Takemoto had done was pedal left and right, left and right, over and over, endlessly. Because he knows this, he thinks that he’ll be ok. At that same time, Hagu is in the library studying a book on sculptures. She notes how smooth they are and how the outlines melt away, as if they were made with cream. Hagu wonders how much white marble is used and how the sculptures are carved. She knows that there are so many things she wants to try to do and thinks of herself in a world full of closed boxes. Inside of her, the things she wants to create are endlessly scattered about. When she opens a box, various images come flying out, and she chases each of them. Hagu would capture the image, grapple with it, ascertain its taste, swallow it down, give it a name, and return it to its rightful place. She does this repetitively for huge amounts of time. As the sun dawns in this world, Hagu sees all the boxes before her and knows that she wants to open all of them. However, a person’s life is too short to do that. In one lifetime, there is a limit in the number of boxes a person can open. However, if there is another person with whom to fight together, if there were such a person…
It’s at this point that Shuuji shows up behind Hagu and sees that she’s looking at Auguste Rodin’s The Gates of Hell. He notes that Rodin is featured at The National Museum of Western Art and then goes on to say that The Gates of Hell is based on Dante‘s The Divine Comedy – the door before Hell where you abandon all hope. Shuuji says that the artist Gustave Doré that Hagu likes also drew the same door. Looking at the book, he wonders what worries Rodin had when choosing the motif. Hagu has fallen silent through all this. Shuuji continues, commenting on the marble and how it looks like it is shining from the inside. This is because the light coming in gets reflected and shines out from the surface; the marble allows light to pass through. Hagu finally says “Shuu-chan,” but when he asks her what’s up, she looks back down and says that it’s nothing. Returning to her studio, Hagu thinks that it’s no good. Shuuji has his own life and she has no right to take that away.
Over at Fujiwara Design, Miwako are Yamazaki expressing their surprise when Mayama reveals that Rika finally contacted him. They see in a magazine that Rika is with a Spanish architecture designer named Mac Carlos, another person participating in the project. Miwako gets the feeling that Mac Carlos already loves Rika, and Yamazaki thinks that his approach would be very strong. Nomiya wonders if Rika will be ok because it looks like she’s already lost her soul. They figure this is why Rika sent Mayama a fax asking for help, as if he were a watchdog. Mayama doesn’t care what they say because once he gets to Rika’s side, he won’t let anyone lay a finger on her. Miwako and Yamazaki are horrified that the most dangerous man is right beside Rika, comparing Mayama to a rabid dog. Looking at the picture again, Miwako notices that Rika seems like she’s lost weight and comments on how she would like to go over there to help take care of things for Rika. Of course, Mayama has not let that slip his mind. He takes out a small rice cooker (complete with power converter) and explains that even if Rika has no appetite, he can make an okaka (bonito flakes) meal with a little soy sauce which she would definitely eat. Watching as Mayama pulls out all sorts of stuff from his bag, Yamazaki comments on how this is like a care package a country-side mother would send in the mail.
One of the items Mayama brings out is soumen, and it sparks a conversation about the spices and herbs Mayama has and doesn’t have. Mayama gets pissed off at their fussiness and says that having mint and lemon balm in soumen is not something humans would eat – that’s more like something from Yamada’s special menu. Unbeknownst to him, Yamada had shown up and is now standing right behind him. Yamazaki points behind Mayama and starts saying ushi (short for ushiro or behind), but Mayama interprets them as saying ushi (cow). He finally realizes that Yamada is behind him when she hits his head with a bento box. She’s not as angry as she looks, instead suggesting hatsuka daikon (a type of small red radish) because of its spicy taste. If you wrap it in wet absorbent cotton for three days, you can eat it. And if he brings the seeds to Spain, he should plant them immediately. Mayama smiles at this advice, saying that he’ll do it as soon as he gets over there, and then thanks her.
As Yamada walks home alone, Mayama’s words stay on her mind. But just like last time, she hears Leader’s barking behind her. And just like last time, there’s Nomiya walking up with the dog. Yamada turns back around and keeps walking forward, asking what Nomiya wants. Nomiya claims to be giving Leader a walk, but then asks her if she really wanted him to be chasing her. She denies it, and when he keeps staring at her, she covers her face and asks him to stop. He puts his hand on her head and recognizes that she’s already doing her best with everything that was said earlier. Yamada can’t help but start crying again. Meanwhile, Morita peeks from behind a cloth screen into Hagu’s studio as she is staring at a notebook in front of a blank canvas. He closes the screen and Shuuji asks him if he’s not going to say something to Hagu. The two go up to the rooftop where Shuuji thinks that Morita knows what Hagu is currently stopped in front of. Shuuji warns that if Morita doesn’t tell her what he has to say, their paths will diverge – is this ok with him? Morita simply says that it can’t be helped. Shuuji tells him that those words don’t suit him, but Morita thinks that regardless if it’s being separated or whatever, they weren’t very close to begin with. A surprised Shuuji wonders what Morita is thinking about.
As Morita is walking down the street later, his mind is actually on his brother. At this moment, Kaoru is standing in front of where the Morita Technical Research Institute used to be; it has since been replaced since by a Floyd Electric company. He remembers how he had watched as their father had patted his brother on the head. He thought that there was a thing that only he would be able to do, or at least he wanted to think that. Kaoru vows to himself that he’ll regain his father’s company. An electric crackling sound can be heard nearby, directly his attention to the nearby bug zapper that’s doing its job. This causes Kaoru to remember the Kabu-tan robot that moved toward the light. As the two Morita brothers are lost in thought, Hagu is still staring at her notebook in her studio, Shuuji is still smoking on the rooftop, Yamada and Nomiya are sitting together on a park bench, Mayama is packing, and Takemoto is still working on his tower.
Sometime later, Takemoto is staring out of the window thinking about how Mayama has already arrived Spain by now. Yamada calls Takemoto over to confirm that he got his drivers license. He does indeed have it, but he’s limited to automatic cars. When Yamada suggests going out for a drive, Takemoto admits that he hasn’t ever driven outside driving school without his teacher. On top of that, he doesn’t have a car. Much to Shuuji’s dismay, Yamada says that they do have a car. Shuuji is unwilling to let a driver who just got his license take a first drive in his car. Not listening at all, Yamada comes up with the idea that they should go the beach. But she realizes that a normal car can only fit 5 people. There’s her, Hagu, Takemoto, Morita, Shuuji, and Mayama – that’s one too many. However she then remembers that Mayama is in Spain now, so it’ll just be five. Shuuji thinks that it would be better if they waited for Mayama to come back, since he had said he’d return in a month. It might be a bit cold by then, but it’ll also be more beautiful when there’s no one else around. And plus there’ll be a lot of shells on the beach. Hearing this, Hagu says that she really wants to go pick up shells.
Takemoto realizes that they’ve never gone to have fun at the beach together before. Yamada recalls that although they’ve been on a ferry and to a hot springs, they’ve never gone to the beach. Takemoto, Yamada, and Hagu all want to go, and they start imagining the experience. Everyone would be there and they’d bring boxed lunches along with the camera. They would take a lot of photos, eat a lot of food, and collect a lot of shells; they’d be carefree. Yamada thinks that it would definitely be a lot of fun and the others agree. However, Takemoto retrospectively explains that in the end they never went to the beach. They didn’t even leave one photograph. At that time, the scene of everyone together got burned into their eyes. They would not be able to erase it in their life, this one photo.
I was so happy that Hagu got an introspective segment this episode because those are so rare. Actually, I can’t remember a previous instance where Hagu has had one. Anyway, this time we get a glimpse into what she’s thinking. She’s got so much she wants to create, yet she doesn’t have the time to do it all. She says that she needs someone to help her, but at the same time she knows that it can’t be Shuuji. Perhaps this opens the door for Hagu ending up with Takemoto or Morita – one of them can be that person that she needs.
And we finally get to learn a lot more about the Morita brothers with this episode. “Like father like son” very much applies her, at least for Shinobu and his father. It’s obvious that the Morita father preferred Shinobu over Kaoru (intentional or not), yet there doesn’t seem to be any lasting animosity that resulted from this. Kaoru’s objective seems to be to get his father’s company back, and I assume that’s what Shinobu wants to do too. Are they buying back the Morita company with all the money Shinobu is making? Incidentally, I’m using Shinobu in order to differentiate between the brothers, but it feels kinda weird since I’m used to just using the name Morita. The preview for next week looks like it’ll have more of the Morita brothers’ past and more of their father’s preferential treatment of Shinobu.
The insert song this week was Suga Shikao’s 「Happy Birthday」 from his 1998 album 「FAMILY」.