episode 12 - Breathless

summary

Shuichi arrives back at Eiri's appartment, complaining that Eiri ditched him. He searches the apartment, but there's no sign of him, even though all his things are there. He then proceeds to dash through the park, past a cafe, through the Uesugi family's temple in Kyoto, past Ayeka on the phone, shouting 'Yukiiiii' the whole time. NG Pro the next morning, and Sakano is worried they've lost Shuichi. K says it's probably because Shuichi's tired after his date, using a lot of onomatapoeic words which Sakano interprets as talking about something rudeFujisaki is annoyed that no one seems stressed, when a very worn out Shuichi walks in and Sakano tells him Tohma wants to speak to him. In the president's office, Tohma says that Bad Luck is selling well - then asks K why he's accompanied Shuichi to see him, when he only asked for the singer. K leaves. Tohma says that Shuichi seems to have been having fun with Eiri - and then says that Eiri's disappearance is Shuichi's fault. K, Sakano, Fujisaki and Hiro are shown listening outside the door. Tohma tells Shuichi that he should leave Eiri alone, because Eiri has suffered enough. He can keep living in the apartment for now, and they'll collect Eiri's things in a few days. There will be no press rumours, he just has to never see Eiri again.

Shuichi is talking to Hiro, saying he doesn't understand why Eiri would have gone. Hiro replies that Tohma is going too far this time. Shuichi wonders if Tohma is right, because he hurt Eiri. Hiro disagrees, saying love should never be interfered with - even if that person is in love with someone else...how does she feel about it...? Shuichi realises Hiro is talking about Ayeka, and comments on it, and Hiro hits him - then reassures him Eiri will be back soon.

New York, in the snow, and Eiri takes a taxi to a park.

Tohma is on the phone to Mika, saying Eiri doesn't seem to have gone to his apartment in New York, and he's currently checking the hotels. He then cheerfully assures Mika he's all right, and will be back in the morning. The minute he puts the phone down though, he looks tired and depressed. Then Kumagorou pops up from behind the desk, and says he looks tired and needs sleep, before going out. Tohma looks shell-shocked, then smiles to himself, before Ryuichi looks back in, startling him, and says that he's still an important member of Nittle Grasper. Ryuichi leaves, and Tohma smiles.

Shuichi is eating dinner with Mika, who says that she might know where Eiri is. Shuichi ghuesses that it's New York, but Mika won't tell him, because she doesn't think he knows enough about Eiri. Shuichi disagrees, saying Eiri told him all about New York, but Mika says Shuichi shouldn't presume to know all about him from the one incident - and that it's better if he and Eiri aren't together.

New York, and Eiri stands in a snowy park, remembering when he was young and running towards Yuki in that same park - when he was late for a lesson because he was with Tohma. Hwe worried that Yuki was angry, but Yuki said he wasn't.

The airport. Shuichi, disguised as a suitcase, is trying to get on a plane to New York without a passport. K turns up and stops him, then drives him back. He says Shuichi must give up on the relationship, as this is the time he should be creating the Bad Luck legend to become a great artist. They get back to NG Pro, Shuichi looking depressed. Fujisaki then announces that they should be working to beat Nittle Grasper - he's sick of being compared to Tohma, and wants to become better than Grasper. Sakano then gives Shuichi an envelope left by Eiri - it's got the key to his apartment in it. Shuichi says he understands that Eiri won't come back - he left everything behind because he didn't need any of it, including him. K says that Eiri may not need him, but Bad Luck do, and the fmillion fans out there need him - he's still important.

The great publicity drive, and Bad Luck meet considerable success. Later, Shuichi is practising 'Rage Beat' with his walkman when Hiro interrupts and asks if he's okay. He says he is, and asks Hiro how things are with Ayeka. Hiro says it feels weird for Shuichi to be the one asking. He asks if Eiri has phoned, and Shuichi says he hasn't, and it's all right. Bad Luck can go on and beat Nittle Grasper without him having to run to Eiri every time things go wrong - he just needs to have confidence in himself.

Noriko and Ryuichi are waiting for Tohma, and Noriko is worrying that he works too hard. She puts on a recent video of Bad Luck and comments on how better they've become - they're even getting close to Nittle Grasper. Ryuichi, standing up, says that they're not getting closer - not at all. Then he walks out. He passes Bad Luck in the corridor, and completely blanks Shuichi. When Shuichi tries to call after him, he finds he's completely lost his voice.

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comments

Gosh, that was a dramatic end of an episode, wasn't it? Eeeevil Ryuichi, evil I tell you! I never quite know how to take him in scenes like that. Is this the real Ryuichi, and the kawaii and genki one only a publicity front? Or just a different facet of a *very* fractured personality? Incidentally, for the summary of the last scene I'm working mainly from the Realmovie version I have of this episode, since the translation is *totally* different from the nice quality picture version, and the realmovie one actually makes sense... Any comments from someone who speaks fluent Japanese would be greatly appreciated.

The Eiri flashbacks continue to be cute, poignant and cryptic. One of the things I love about these scenes is how damn happy and innocent young Eiri is. Considering Eiri is probably the most cynical and jaded character in the series, it's especially jolting to see him so outgoing and trusting. If he had to remind you of anyone it would be Shuichi, except with even more naive vulnerability to him. I sometimes think that's part of the reason why Eiri is with Shuichi - he sees something of how he used to be in him. I'd guess that's why the parallels with Aizawa really shook Eiri up so much - he was seeing just the same thing happen to Shuichi as happened to him.

I don't entirely understand Mika's scene in this episode. I assume when she says 'you don't know enough about Eiri' she means that, although he knows about the murder, he doesn't know about the circumstancces surrounding it - particularly the rape. But I can't make sense of the 'his heart is still pure' line in the context of that. Maybe it's just another case of dubious translation, who knows.

favourite lines and scenes

It may seem cruel, but I absolutely love the scene where Tohma is really mean to Shuichi. Not because I dislike Shuichi, but because I love the controlled display of Tohma's emotions.
TOHMA: In the past day it seems you have had a lot of fun with Eiri-san.
SHUICHI: Yes, but...
TOHMA: It's all your fault. You are the reason for Eiri-san's disappearance. He's had enough, Shindou-san. Don't make Eiri suffer even more.
SHUICHI: I was only...
TOHMA: You may continue living where you are for now. We will be coming to get Eiri-san's things in a few days.
SHUICHI: But -
TOHMA: The press has been taken care of. There will be no rumours of anything.
SHUICHI: Wait a second! Where is Yuki now?
TOHMA: (pause) (softly) Unfortunately, I do not know either. (pause) Though either way, don't go near Eiri-san ever again.
It's difficult to show in text just why this scene is so affecting from Tohma's point of view. The way he constantly stands with his back to Shuichi, looking out of the window. You can read it as coldness, but it seems to me more that he doesn't wantt to show any of his emotions. The way his voice almost breaks when he says don't make Eiri suffer any more', and he sounds so quietly upset when he says he doesn't know where Eiri is - like he feels that he ought to know, that Eiri ought to have told him, but he didn't. I'd guess this is one of the points where Tohma first starts to realise that Eiri might not need him as much as he things. Then the way he pulls himself together to tell Shuichi in a business-like way to stay away from Eiri forever. *chills* I love this scene...