episode 4 - Wave Shock

summary

The scene: Eiri's apartment. Shuichi has brought round a huge bag full of his stuff which he's spreading round the place, spoiling the general minimalist prettiness of the room, and Eiri is looking nervous and annoyed. When he demands what Shuichi is doing, Shuichi admits that he wants to move in - and Eiri throws him out. Or attempts to do so, but Shuichi sticks his foot in the door and refuses to leave. Shuichi shouts that he just wants to be with Eiri, and Eiri, shocked, lets go of the door enough to let him in. Shuichi glomps on him enthusiastically, knocking them both over. Eiri says that of all the people that have wanted to be with him, Shuichi has to be the weirdest and most unreasonable - then kisses him, and agrees to try living together for a week. Later that night, Shuichi refrains from annoying Eiri by going to bed on the couch quietly without disturbing him. Eiri comes in when Shuichi falls asleep, and pulls the blanket up to cover him better - though he seems a little shocked at his own kindness.

Next day, and Shuichi eventually leaves for work, promising to be back in time for dinner. Just after he goes, Mika arrives to see Eiri. Cut to NG Pro, where Shuichi is even more hyper than usual and Fujisaki and Hiro are discussing his love life, Fujisaki having heard about it from cousin Tohma. Then a strange blonde man with a gun (and a *fantastic* accent...) bursts into the studio and orders them to do what he says - though when they ask if he's an armed robber, he just says he's come to pick them up and take them somewhere good. In the car outside, Sakano reveals that the man is Mr. K - their new manager. He's apparently resigned as Ryuichi's manager because Ryuichi doesn't need him any more - and because Bad Luck seem more fun.

The 'good place' they arrive at is a TV station - it seems another group has pulled out of a show at the last minute and Bad Luck can be their replacements. The band are ecstatic - until Sakano rather shame-facedly admits that it's not a music show, it's a quiz show, and they're not even going to get to perform. And what's more, ASK is going to be on a live music show at the same time in the same station. Shuichi decides that any TV is good TV, so they'll do the quiz show.

Back at Eiri's apartment, and Mika is trying to get Eiri to listen to her about something - and he's taking no notice. She also seems worried about Eiri's relationship with Shuichi, noticing that Shuichi's stuff is all over the place - but again he's taking no notice. She looks upset, and says she just doesn't want him getting hurt any more.

The TV station, and Sakano is checking that Shuichi is really happy to do the quiz show - and that he won't do anything weird, since it's a live show. Shuichi is struck by the thought that he's going to be late back home when he promised he'd be home on time, but Hiro reassures him that Eiri won't mind since it's important work. They then run into the two less-known members of ASK, and get into a minor slanging match, which Shuichi seems to get the best of - until Aizawa turns up and tells the others not to bother arguing with 'those second class wannabes'. Meow. They then go off to do their music show, and Shuichi reflects that he really doesn't like Aizawa. As Bad Luck go into the quiz show, Tohma arrives at the studio.

Sakano is still panicing that Shuichi will do something weird, when Shuichi does something weird. He buzzes in and says that Bad Luck don't want the prize money - if they win, they want to play their song on TV. After some deliberation, the production team okays it. Sakano freaks, but K remains unruffled. Shuichi then proceeds to bomb on the first question, but Hiro steps in and takes over, getting all the questions right. Back in their dressing room, ASK are horrified to see Bad Luck on TV. Then it's the final round of the quiz, and Shuichi's up to play without help from the others. He gets to answer the first question - very, very wrongly.

In the production gallery, the producers are discussing Bad Luck - and saying they can't win, since there's no way they can play on live TV without instruments and things. But then Tohma comes in and says it would be much more interesting for the audience if Bad Luck were allowed to play - and it would be easy to set it up. Back on stage, and Shuichi is tiring, and can't answer any of the questions. The last question for double points is read out - 'using sensitive emotion and a transparent literal style, which author was nominated for Japanese literature award last year, and is a very handsome writer and very popular among women?' - and Shuichi realises it's Eiri. He answers correctly, and wins the quiz. The reactions: Fujisaki and Hiro hug; Shuichi looks a little shocked; Eiri, sitting at home in the dark and watching the show, calls Shuichi an idiot; and ASK wonder how the hell a moron like Shuichi can know anything about literature. Aizawa is shocked, but reassures himself that there's no way Bad Luck will be able to play - until Tohma comes on stage with a microphone, tells Shuichi to sing, and the curtain goes up to reveal instruments. They play, to great audience approval.

Aizawa, looking like he's about to be sick, stumbles out of his dressing room and wonders who Shuichi is, to be able to sing so well even in such a bad situation. He overhears the producers saying the great audience reaction is all due to Seguchi Tohma, who set the whole thing up as 'Bad Luck are one of his unique productions.' He looks angry, and asks himself whether he can be expected to forgive this.

On the way home, and Shuichi is agonising to Hiro about being late for Eiri when two girls wander past, gushing about Yuki Eiri's new book, and how much they'd like to meet him. Hiro tells Shuichi that even though Yuki is popular, Shuichi is the one who knows him best - but Shuichi asks how he can possibly know Eiri best, considering all Eiri does is tell him he's stupid and shouts at him. But all the same, he's not going to give up. And in some strange bedroom, a strange girl closes Eiri's new book and says she can't wait any longer. The last scene is Eiri, sitting in the dark along in his apartment and looking at Shuichi's mug which has been left on the side, as Shuichi shouts that he's back.

episode gallery

comments

First thing first - I luff K. You have to love a trigger-happy American hottie with a somewhat Freudian gun fixation. Voiced by the delightful Ryoutarou Okiayu who has earned my eternal devotion for the sake of Treize-sama, there's no way this character can't be a winner in my books. Plus he's got that delicious blend of ruthlessness and sweetness which I so adore in Tohma-san. This show has some of my favourite supporting cast members in anime, and K's definitely a top contender.

You know, when I first saw that scene with Ayeka, I was sure she was some crazy obsessive Yuki Eiri fan who was going to end up stalking him or something. Wasn't that far off, was I? Ack, I dunno. She's okay, but a little too Relena-like for me. And the alice-band look is *not* good. Not good at all. And while I'm on character notes - I will *not* feel sorry for Aizawa. I will *not* feel sorry for Aizawa. I know he's evil mean and nasty, and there's no excuse for what he did to Shuichi... but all the same, I really feel for him in that scene when he's standing outside his dressing room. He's got this overpowering ambition, which really isn't that unusual in successful pop groups - it's only when that's thwarted that he goes so off the rails. I shouldn't feel sorry for him - but at this point, and again at the end of the series, I really can't help it.

And a quiet TohmaxSakano fan point - I love the way Sakano's first reaction in any situation is 'what am I going to tell the President?!' That's more than professional guilt. He hero-worships the man to an occasionally alarming extent. As if the 'I intend to know your disposition better than anyone else' wasn't enough...

favourite lines and scenes

HOST:If 'inu' is 'dog' in English, then 'neko' is...?
SHUICHI: *expletive deleted*
*laaaaughs* Ohhh, that one gets me every time. Is there anyone who hasn't thought they're doing that by accident when they speak a foreign language?

SAKANO: *in soggy puddle on the floor* I feel such a failure as a producer...
The obligatory Sakano appreciation moment for the episode. He's *so* cute when he's self-hating and panic-stricken. And yes, I know I need help for admitting to that sort of sentiment.