「恩人が二人いる」 (Onjin ga Futari Iru)
“Two People I’m Indebted To”
A rivalry between candle businesses that gets ugly. It may not sound like much, but when Matsu gets caught trying to steal back some some wooden passes that the Kiku-ya store owner needs to do business, the House of the Five Leaves doesn’t sit idly. Of all people, Masa takes the initiative. That was clearly the big thing this episode, but there were actually a lot of indirect developments as well. The most prevalent one was Matsu’s backstory on how he has a child with a woman he never married and has been stealing to send money for medical fees. For that very reason, we learn how the Kiku-ya owner lent him money even after he tried to rob him, making him the other person Matsu feels forever indebted to. Amidst that, Yaichi also met Yagi for the very first time. Judging from his lack of words to him after expressing how he’s interested in meeting him, I gather that Yaichi realizes who Yagi is. The same can’t be said the other way around however, as Yagi doesn’t seem to suspect that he might be the young master his old friend Yaichi used to take care of. Still, I see Yagi’s involvement in the overall story as the means to piecing together the figments of Yaichi’s past we’ve seen thus far, so I’m looking forward to the next time they cross paths.
Next is Ume, who’s decided to leave the Five Leaves since he no longer needs the money to help support Senkichi. While no one really tried to stop him from wanting to be law-abiding, I was personally happy to see him show concern for Matsu’s well-being and realize that he can’t really leave them. Okinu’s acknowledgment of that was nice to see too, and while I can’t really say if Yaichi was being sarcastic about saying Ume’s cool for seeing them all as his friends now, I sure thought he was. Finally there’s Masa, who took it upon himself to sneak into the Otsu-ya store under the guise of a new bodyguard. He was able to get in fairly easily with the help of Yagi, but I still give him credit for taking such a bold move without consulting with any of the others — particularly Yaichi whom he’s shown a great deal of respect for. Yaichi probably finds this new change in Masa entertaining to watch though, so I figure he would’ve let him go through with the plan anyway. He did look pretty smug when he waltzed in to check up on Matsu and say he’s going to get him out of there. Matsu may not like the idea of being indebted to three people after this, but the next episode looks like it will involve his escape. The preview does leave me wondering what Yagi’s involvement in all this. I’m just hoping he isn’t employed by Otsu-ya and set Masa up.