episode 10 - Heads or Tails
At Hiro's apartment, Hiro is explaining to Shuichi that he won't rejoin Bad Luck - Shuichi will be fine without him. He's got Yuki. Hiro admits to being jealous of Yuki, because he's in love with Ayaka. Later, Shuichi sneaks into Eiri's apartment in disguise, then worries that Eiri seems to have lost weight. Eiri tells him that if he's just come to waste time, he can leave. Shuichi asks him why he said they were lovers on TV if he was going to be so cruel to him, and tells Eiri that Hiro's quitting Bad Luck because K is using the incident to sell records. Eiri says that all of them are scum - they're just playing with children.
Over at NG Pro, and Sakano is once again taking full resposibility for Bad Luck screwing up. Tohma says yes, it is his responsibility - then congratulates him, because Bad Luck have done so well in the album chart. Sakano faints, Tohma is unruffled, and says they'll have to do something about Hiro.
Meanwhile, Eiri is visiting Ayeka in Kyoto. They drink tea, and she accuses him of being cruel. In the rehearsal room at NG Pro, K congratulates them over their placing - second in the album charts, after Nittle Grasper. When Fujisaki says they only got such a good placing because of K's tricks, K tells him not to be such an old man. Sakano then announces that Bad Luck are going on tour, and that at the press-conference to announce this Shuichi will also tell the public that Hiro is leaving the group. K throws a hissy fit about not being told (until Sakano informs him that everything was Tohma's decision, so there's no arguing about it), and Shuihic throws a hissy fit about being left in a duo with Fujisaki. Fujisaki says he'll be able to fill in for Hiro with his keyboard playing, but Shuichi still refuses - though he can't think of a good reason why.
Mika phones Eiri, who is sitting in the park brooding, and asks why he went to visit Ayeka, since Ayeka won't tell anyone what they talked about. Eiri hangs up. Hiro listens to Shuichi on the radio. At the radio station, Shuichi spots Ryuichi, and runs away. Ryuichi chases him, and an enthusiastic game of tag (on Ryuichi's parts) ensues. Eventually Ryuichi jumps Shuichi, and asks why he was running away, and if he doesn't like him any more. Shuichi says he doesn't deserve to be friends with him any more. He asks if Nittle Grasper could go on without Tohma or Noriko; Ryuichi says Shuichi is being weird, bursts into tears, and runs off.
The press conference prepares. Meanwhile, Tohma is at Eiri's house, cooking pasta (also known as The Uber-Kawaii Pink Apron And Glasses Scene.) Eiri suspiciously asks if Mika sent him, and Tohma says no - he just wanted to come round. He then asks if Eiri is still interested in Ayeka, and Eiri says it's none of his business. Tohma then wonders what Eiri was doing in Kyoto - deciding that it must have been something for Shuichi. But he says that so long as Eiri is happy with the situation, he doesn't mind.
In Hiro's apartment, he turns off a TV report on the press conference just as the doorbell rings. It's Ayeka. She asks if he's really leaving Bad Luck, saying she's heard it from Eiri, and asks him not to quit. He says he's made his decision. She says she knows he's in love with her, and says that if Bad Luck can sell a million albums, she'll date him. She says that she's not doing it for Eiri, but because she needs to get over him.
Shuichi and Fujisaki begin the conference. Shuichi announces the tour, and then the press start to ask about Hiro's absence. Shuichi doesn't say anything for a moment, and then says he doesn't want to announce Hiro's departure - Bad Luck has always been him and Hiro. He wants to beat Nittle Grasper, but he can only do that with Hiro - because NITTLE GRAPSER DOESN'T HAVE A GUITARIST! Fujisaki starts to shake him for coming up with such a lame reason, just as Hiro runs in - and says he agrees. He and Shuichi hug and agree to try their best for a million albums. Then Ryuichi, dressed in a Kumagora suit, appears from under the table to announce they've sold a million albums! (Wow, convenient timing...)
Back at Eiri's apartment, Tohma and Eiri are watching the TV report, and Tohma points out there are better guitarists in NG Pro, but Eiri says that's not important - they've chosen each other. Tohma says he may be right - but that it's a little difficult for him to see Eiri so moved by Shuichi. Then Eiri drops his glass, and starts to cough up blood. Tohma looks panic-stricken.
At the conference, Shuichi catches up with Ryuichi, and apologises for being weird - and says he's not wandering any more.
*blink* Hiro was in love with Shuichi at the beginning of the series, wasn't he? *sighs* It's the usual thing in yaoi - 'I'm not gay, I just happen to be in love with a man. But it's only the one! Honest!' I can *just* believe that they could all be bi, but it's never presented that way. It would have been more fun from the yaoi fangirl point of view if Hiro still had been in love with Shuichi in this episode, but then the whole 'million albums and I'll date you' thing wouldn't have worked. I guess I'm not happy just because I'm not a big Ayeka fan - she reminds me rather too much of Relena. It's the fringe. And the eyes. And the obsessive stalking of a totally uninterested male. At least Ayeka has the good sense to give up on him. In any case, I don't quite understand the Hiro/Ayaka dynamic. I don't think it gets quite enough coverage in the series to make it believable.
About the end of the episode - oooh, gosh, drama! I was convinced Eiri had lung cancer now, not a brain tumour. He smokes like a chimney, it's entirely possible. I love that scene in general, actually - the way Tohma smiles gently to himself while he admits that it's difficult for him to see Eiri so involved with Shuichi - that is *so* sweet. It's the bittersweet melancholy air he's got about him - as if to say 'I love you, and I know you love him not me, but I'm just glad you're happy so I won't make a fuss.' Cute. This is one of the episodes where I want to hit Eiri for how he treats Tohma. I suppose having Tohma mother-henning him for the last God knows how long might get to him after a while, but the way he grunts that 'it's none of your business' when Tohma tries to talk to him - that's just cruel.
And on a more frivolous note - the Nittle Grasper album is called 'Sensitive'. *snickers* Ohhh, man... it sounds like a Britney album. *So* not good. Tohma-san, what *were* you thinking?
favourite lines and scenes
Kind of obvious for this episode, isn't it? *huggles Tohma in pink apron and glasses* He's sooooo cute! Wire frame glasses are good on any bishounen, and Tohma just looks too sweet in them. Add the campest apron in the world (whose is that anyway? Did Tohma bring it with him? Is it Shuichi's? But you're never going to convince me anyone would let Shuichi anywhere near a kitchen. And I refuse to believe it's Eiri's.) and you've got just the sweetest shot of Tohma ever. Take this together with the lovely bittersweet last scene, and despite the fact Tohma's not in this episode much it's still one of my favourites for his character.