Sorry for the delay in this recap! The first half of this episode moves along at a rather mellow (NOT boring though!) pace but don’t be fooled, the second half is quite a shocker. Fasten your seatbelts because this is going to be one heck of a ride.
Also, comments are much appreciated! 🙂
We start the episode with Kosuke walking alone in a dark parking garage. A car is following behind him. The car speeds up and stops in front of Kosuke, leading him to say “Still up to your old bullying tricks” making me think that it’s either Hyuga or someone Kosuke knows, however, when the man gets out of his car, we can only see his silhoutte but Kosuke carries a look of caution/surprise on his face.
Jump to Hyuga giving a presentation to the employees of his company, asking questions such as “how much do you know about yourselves?”, “how much money have you raised total since you’ve entered the company?”, and “how much taxes have you paid?” He then goes on to say, if you really wanted to answer these questions how would you go about it? If you want to find out about the amount of money you’ve made in your life, you would have to go to the Ministry of Labor, if you want to find out about your taxes, you’d go to the tax office, and all of this would cause you to worry about your pension. But what happens if all this leads to learning that your pension has disappeared and you can’t do anything about. That cues the introduction to the interface that he and Makoto has created. He showcases how it works, joking along the way. So charming! Then the lights go off, of course it’s part of his motivational mini-commercial for the interface. Hyuga says “Darkness is the source of anxiety” and then goes on to turn on a laptop with the interface on the screen, this is the little light that will bring all the answers, it’s a road signpost. He closes the laptop and nonchalantly leaves the stage as he is given a standing ovation from all the members of the company, except for Makoto, who’s so impressed that she sits in a daze until someone asks her is she’s daydreaming.
It also turns out the board of directors are also sitting in the the presentation and are not in agreement with moving forward with the plan since it can pose a risk to the company financially. Who’s going to fund the servers in India and with JI Tech in the running, there’s no chance anyways! Wow, glad to know that they have so much confidence in their own company. They start walking out, laughing and mocking the project, (boy do I want to punch them in their faces right now), and Hyuga starts chasing after them in a bout of rage, but unfortunately for us, Kosuke stops him and says that he’ll talk to them, so we don’t get to see the showdown! Sigh!
Back at his office, Hyuga has a rage-fest, throwing things everywhere including his poor computer, upset that it’s his company yet he has to listen to those, as his puts it, bunch of idiots? Makoto witnesses all this from her desk and looks worried.
Makoto gets on a elevator, ready to leave for the day, when Hyuga barges in, looking exhausted. The atmosphere is awkward and the two sneak glances at each other. Makoto thinks back to the kiss between Hyuga and Yoko from the previous episode and the atmosphere thickens. She slaps herself in an attempt to stop herself from replaying that scene in her head to the shock of Hyuga who asks her what’s wrong, and Makoto says nothing. At the next floor, Yoko enters the elevator and Makoto, adorably holds onto the doors before they close, and runs out.
With just Yoko and Hyuga in the lift now, they two look at each other but stay in an uncomfortable cloud of silence until Yoko says that it was just a kiss and Hyuga agrees, both trying to shake it off as nothing. Yoko notices his distressed attitude and asks if something is wrong, but Hyuga denies it.
We find out that Yoko’s restaurant is not doing so well since the sous chef has to throw away 3 days worth of food into the dumpster. Yoko takes responsibility and the sous chef looks conflicted. Even magazines such as Gourmet Magazine is writing about how she’s a disappointment (harsh!). Yoko is sulking in the restaurant while reading comments on her mobile when she receives a rather creepy message from a user named Monkey saying “I watch you in an empty restaurant reading the comments on your phone, don’t you wanna die?” She stands up to go look out the window and we get a feeling someone is watching her from outside.
Makoto lies in her room, still sad about the kiss. Her friend tries to make her feel better and boost her confidence level by saying that she’s the type of girl that men fall for.
We get an introduction to a man named Aoyama Makoto, an industrial designer who happens to be a commercial hit. He recently retired to tend to his tomato plants. Hyuga wants Aoyama’s help in experimenting with the new interface system since it would convince the Ministry of Internal Affairs. An employee asks the same question that all of us are probably wondering “why is Aoyama suddenly involved”. The answer is that Makoto joined an online community for people with the name Makoto, she managed to get rather close to Aoyama and he even sends her lunch boxes. In a flashback, we see that Hyuga happened to see Makoto eating the lunch box one day and takes incredible interest in it which leads Makoto to, hilariously believe that he wants one of her fried eggs. He doesn’t. He’s interested in the Aoyama designed lunch box. LOL Back to the present, Hyuga says that some team members will be going to the village next week: him, ogawa and after a long pause Makoto as well. Yay!
As Kosuke is leaving the office, someone runs past him and that gives him a scare. Hmm, why exactly? Then someone else runs up behind him and pushes him, causing him to roll down the stairs. He breaks his leg and when Hyuga visits him in the hospital, he lies and says that he tripped down the stairs. Suspicious. Hyuga goes on to say that he recently met Tono, THE Tono, who used to work for the company but left to take over his family company. Hyuga actually remembers him because he was apparently excellent when he worked for NI but Tono says that he couldn’t even keep up with Hyuga. He didn’t have confidence then but now he would like to create something, and therefore, would like to invest NI. Hyuga is particularly happy about this since Tono can help finance the servers in India.
The team finally arrives at Okayama Perfecture and meet Aoyama. Hyuga is clearly nervous and Makoto smiles at the sight. When Makoto introduces herself to Aoyama and thanks him for the lunch boxes, he’s overwhelmed with happiness that she’s there. He keeps hugging her which makes Hyuga uncomfortable.
Out in the garden, Aoyama gives Makoto a tomato to try and Makoto offers it to Hyuga who says that he hates tomatoes. Makoto is shocked that anyone can dislike tomatoes and bites into hers, saying how sweet and delicious is it. Aoyama wants Makoto to see the fields next but she thinks they don’t have much time. Hyuga wants her to go and Aoyama carries her off with him. Hyuga thinks it’s funny and takes a picture with his phone.
In the temporary office they’ve set up for themselves in the village, Hyuga and Ogawa check on the status of the program but it seems like no one has been using it. When Makoto returns from the fields, looking disheveled, Hyuga grabs her makes her go out to the other farms with him. One of the farmer is upset at Aoyama and refuses to help them. Hyuga, aodrably, gives Makoto a tomato and tells her to throw the tomato at the farmer.
As they are strolling through beautiful countryside scenery together, Hyuga gets a phone call that JI tech has gone forward and done it. When Hyuga checks the news on his phone, we learn that JI tech invested 500 million to the personal file system and NI has been cut from the contract. Uh Oh! Hyuga storms back to the temporary office and says that the experiment has been useless. Makoto thinks that once the villagers actually start using the interface, they will learn its value so she’ll go and explain how it works to everyone face-to-face. As she gets up to leave, Hyuga stops her but she says that when she saw his presentation, she knew it was great. Clearly less angry now than before, Hyuga tells her that it’s bothersome since it’s already so late, but she says she’ll go tomorrow then. Hyuga smiles. The next day, the two set out on their mission together, leading to some encounters with hilarious but unhelpful villagers.Hyuga is once again super upset (for the nth time this episode). Ogawa leaves and Hyuga has a video conference with the board of directors who are glad at Hyuga’s failure and they decide to officially terminate the Personal File Project. They say that he could talk the talk but couldn’t walk the walk. When Hyuga can’t take it anymore and was about to blow his top at them, Makoto came in time to pull out the plug.
As Makoto is chasing after Hyuga, Aoyama intercepts and takes her to a party…with alcohol. This does not look good. She gets drunk but thinks that she should be with Hyuga so she gets up to leave, but then creeper Aoyama stands up and holds her. His hand to her waist and says that they will marry her to him (he’s drunk too). As Makoto tries to get away again, Aoyama gets serious and says that she needs to leave Hyuga alone for now, he needs time to think. I really don’t understand this guy. When Makoto goes to check up of Hyuga, we see that Aoyama also did. Hyuga sits and stares at the interface he worked so har to create and places his head down, disheartened. Makoto is sad to see him in such a state.
The next morning, she invites Hyuga out for a walk since it will lift his mood. He agrees and although he is stressed about the personal file project, he still has the energy to pick on her and says that the air is fresh but due to her smell, he has to keep a 5meter perimeter from her. Hah! And the scenery is simply gorgeous. He sits down, still sad about what has happened and Makoto, standing behind him, reaches her hand about touch him, and she does, by giving him a massage! He actually enjoys it (IMO) and then Makoto sits down beside him and recounts a conversation she had with Aoyama the night before. He said that “when you create something new, it has to meet failure. It has to be criticized. This is where the creation process starts”. That brings a smile to Hyuga’s face. He turns and looks at her, she returns the look and smiles, they both smile and enjoy the moment they’ve just shared. He of course is the first to ruin the moment and says that it’s not her place, and she shouldn’t be patronizing him. He gets up and leaves with a look of determination and says “Let’s do it”.
Hyuga calls an employee and tells him to look into a speech recognition software. Speaking too fast to keep up the employee asks him to slow down when another employee takes the phone from him, it’s Hosoki, and he wants to help! Awww teamwork!! Masoko watches all this, proud and happy that Hyuga isn’t giving up. Hyuga sees her and asks her why she is just standing there, she should be making a record of what the villagers have said.
The next day, Makoto and Hyuga are leaving the village, however, before they do so, Aoyama wants Makoto to leave her address so that he can send her tomatoes (which I thought he had since he’s been sending her lunch boxes). She hands him his creation, a ball point pen and he takes it and tosses it down to Hyuga, whose busy helping a lady with her tomatoes, as a symbol of encouragement. Hyuga recognizes it and bows. As he’s walking down a road, an elderly grandma asks if he’s quitting but he says he isn’t. She is happy and gives him an arm gesture of encouragement while he returns the gesture with a thumbs up. Sweet! Makoto sees this and starts laughing to his embarrassment.
Cut to Hyuga’s head on Makoto’s shoulder. It looks like Hyuga fell asleep on the plane ride back to Tokyo and is leaning on Makoto’s for support. He’s keeps on rubbing his face on her shoulder, which I find adorable and hilarious. Our girl is happy about it and so is the boy sitting next to her, who gives her a huge smile. She’s so happy, even after the flight, she is smiling widely down the escalator causing Hyuga to ask her why. Hyuga wants her to leave first since he is meeting Tono and flying to India with him. When asked if he’ll be okay, he says that he just slept well, causing Makoto to smile and say “you can say that again”! True! He even asks her what’s up with the side glances (‘cuz she likes you, duh!) and they start to bicker. He doesn’t think it’s the romantic kind of glances (even though they obviously are) but he thinks it’s like someone is holding a grudge (he makes a hilarious face) and asks her to just tell him what is up. Does she dislike the way he treats her? Makoto begins to say that when Yoko and him…yes, tell him…but alas they get interrupted by Yasuoka (the employee that Hyuga cannot manage to remember) who says that Tono has disappeared. I knew he looked suspicious when he first appeared!
Turns out, Tono is on a business trip in Qatar and when NI called his company, they said that there was never any mention of Tono helping to finance the project. Kosuke shows up with a plan. He thinks that the partnership with JI Tech is still possible and that they could split the cost of the servers. He goes on to say that there’s one condition, the two companies would have to work on the interface together. Hyuga is not happy with that suggestion since he does not want to sell what he has worked so hard to create. Kosuke says that they don’t have any other options. After thinking for a moment, Hyuga suggests that they sell 5% of the 26% shares that he owns which is worth 130 million (Noooooo! This is a set-up, I just feel it)! Kosuke says that it’s risky since he’ll no longer be the biggest share holder, but Hyuga adorably says that he’ll be fine as long as Kosuke is there (oh brotherly trust) since if added to Kosuke’s 25%, they’ll have 46% of the stocks! Kosuke agrees.
The headlines in the news the next day “President of Next Innovation Sells His Own Shares to Buy Servers”. Hyuga goes to visit Yoko to bring her some of Aoyama’s tomatoes since he himself hates tomatoes. She decides to make him a tomato dish, which he actually enjoys. They have a conversation about her restaurant’s lack of customers and the libel on the net. Makoto shows up to hand a document to Kosuke asking if Yoko will give it to him. She sees Hyuga eating in the dining room and her face falls (step up your game Makoto, you can do it!). She runs off and Yoko follows.
Yoko asks Makoto what is wrong since she’s been acting strangely lately and Makoto confesses to seeing the two of them kiss. Yoko says she understands but why the strange attitude, is it because she likes Hyuga? (Glad someone notices and points it out, too bad it’s the love rival) Makoto tries to make excuses such as they work together all day and he’s her boss and everything. Yoko knows that she’s lying and asks Makoto how Hyuga feels about all this. Instead of answering the question, Makoto goes on to say that although Hyuga mocks people so readily, she admires him for the work that he’s done and she wishes that she were up to the challenge…and that she’d like to support him, to be by his side! Yay! Yoko doesn’t look happy and then bursts out laughing saying that it’s all fine and that it starts now (love rivalry–>GO). Hyuga finishes his dinner and comes outside too causing Makoto to run off. Hyuga thanks Yoko for dinner and as he’s leaving, Yoko asks if he can drive her home and of course, Makoto sees the two of them smiling happily in his car. Yoko also sees Makoto, ut unexpectedly tells Hyuga who looks at his side mirror and sees her. When Yoko asks if he sees Makoto, he says no.
In the parking garage of the company, Kosuke is getting to his car with the same mystery man from the beginning of the episode steps out of his car. We see that it’s Tono, and we get a flashback. Apparently, Tono provided half the capital but Kosuke and Hyuga drove him out so that they can be the majority. (I really don’t believe Hyuga is that kind of man) Also, Tono stole the information of 500,000 citizens from NI. This does not look good. At the time, Kosuke asked Tono how much he wanted for the information. He answered 2 million. Apparently on the night of his fall, Kosuke was fine but he stood up and slams a heavy sign on his foot, thus the injury. When Tono visited Kosuke in the hospital, Kosuke says that he’s suing Tono for blackmail and assault.
Afraid, Tono threatens back and says that Kosuke will be screwed if he leaked the files, but Kosuke grabs him and says the person Tono wants to attack is Toru Hyuga, is it not! It also turns out that the shares Hyuga sold were bought by Tono so now the two of them, combined, exceeds Hyuga’s shares by a lot.
Back at the office, the computers are being hacked into and the 500,000 personal files are being leaked right in front of Hyuga’s eyes and he can’t stop it. The story is all over the news. Everyone is frantic, trying to figure out the location of the hacker and how to stop the leak. Up in Hyuga’s office, Kosuke smiles to himself.
Yamagami, the accountant, sees Kosuke and asks if he’s heard. Yamagami says that the name of the company will be dragged in the mud, to which Kosuke answers that he doesn’t have to worry. The only one who will be dragged is Toru Hyuga. Yamagami is shocked.
Hyuga is in his office, shocked and frustrated.
This show never fails to amaze me. The plot thickens with this new betrayal from Kosuke. The twist was unexpected but let’s be honest, we all knew that Kosuke was stepping into the dark side, slowly but surely in the previous episodes. He’s always been the 2nd guy in power, but he chose that. I’m just shocked at how far he took this and Sakaguchi was right that Kosuke was always afraid of facing Hyuga and challenging him head on, since he knew he would lose, so here, he resorts to such an underhanded plan. I feel so bad for Hyuga since he trusted Kosuke so much. As a boy who was abandoned by his mother, Kosuke was probably like an older brother to him, but sadly that’s no longer the case.. I’m also saddened at the lost of the adorable bromance that we saw in the first episode! I knew something was fishy when Tono showed up and when Hyuga wanted to sell his shares, I really wanted someone to advise him otherwise. Let’s just hope Hyuga really is great in the face of challenges, like Kosuke kept saying before, and I suspect Sakaguchi will come into play soon.
With the leak of the 500,000 personal files, Hyuga definitely has a tough road ahead of him but I completely trust that he will find a brilliant way to get out of all this and I can’t wait to see Kosuke’s face when he does. We know Makoto will be beside him through this hardship and support him so this gives the two of them a good chance to finally realize their true feelings, because although Makoto is pretty sure of hers, Hyuga seems to be confused his. With Yoko upping up her game in her attempt to capture Hyuga’s heart, Makoto should also do the same!
Makoto and Hyuga’s trip to the countryside was a nice break from all the office drama and gave them some truly alone time. I love all of their interactions from him giving her a tomato to throw at the mean farmer, to the massage and the plane ride nap. I love that Hyuga listens to Makoto’s advice and what she has to say, although he would never admit it. The two of them are comfortable with each other (most of the time) and there’s clearly an attraction. On a completely unrelevant matter, I really hope Aoyama will be of help later on since right now I don’t understand why he was introduced at all.
Hyuga is a good guy, a bit too honest at times, but we all know he has a gentle and kind heart underneath it all therefore I want him to succeed and when he hurts, I feel his pain. He wants to create this interface to help his people since now that he already knows where his mom lives, his motives are pure. He’s the most complex of the characters and we will probably be able to finally peel back some more of his layers as he faces this challenge head on.
Side Note: Episode 6 looks like it’s going to be awesome!!