Posted by: sarah | October 6, 2008

Drama Recaps: One Pound Gospel, Episode Two

LAST WEEK ON ONE POUND GOSPEL. Promising trainee boxer Hatanaka Kousaku starts hallucinating from dehydration and is revived by a nun with Hot Sweet Tea. Clearly the tea contained a roofie as Kousaku fell in immediate love with the nun – HIJINKS ENSUED. (ep one recap here). NB! We use some acronyms to refer to some of the characters by now so don’t get confused, will you?

This episode is apparently called “VS Coward! Win a Date! Pig-out!”

FADE UP. Start-o dash! Kousaku sprints through some trees.Run Kousaku, run Kousaku, run run run. Maybe, you will bump, into a nun nun nun. Having had enough of this jogging lark, Kousaku decides to fall on his arse in the same place where he first encountered Sheeshter. Kousaku pulls out something… from where??? HE IS NOT CAPTAIN JACK FROM DOCTOR WHO’S! …which looks like a raw yam, when two small children, who’ve clearly had about enough of this drama as I, aim a football towards Kousaku’s face. Idiot small children! Kousaku has amazing boxing reflexes! You’d be better off poisoning his yam. “Hh, sweeeeet”, kousaku gawps orgasmically from around the yam. OK this cannot be a yam. WHAT IS IT! It looked like he picked it up from the floor? Is he also a forager? I will have to upload a screencap shortly. Kousaku happily exhales and you can see the stream of his breath. I’ve got to admit I’m an absolute sucker for the autumnal tones of this show. When it comes to pathetic fallacy, all I need is a cold, bright day with brown crunchy leaves, and I swoon. Not that I’ve sat through a Japanese autumn. Is it much like our English autumn? Do sweet yams fall from trees?

ANYWAY. Kousaku, of course, catches the ball and avoids any damage to his beautiful, beautiful face. Small child browbeats his mother into buying him a new ball if he gets 100% on his exams. What would Supernanny say! Bribery! Corruption! I think, just think, that we are meant to draw comparisons between ‘adorably dumb’ Kousaku’s mental processes and the simple, innocent behaviour of a child who is not as yet tied up with the Troubles of the World, but as Kousaku runs into the Gym of Dreams screaming like a Ritalin-addled… Ritalite (?), but all that happens is we think “for fuck’s sake Kousaku, grow the fuck up much”?

CUT TO…St Eloise’s (they name convents after songs by The Damned now?) CONVENT. St Eloise! The internet is very silent on St. Eloise apart from this “This name was borne in the 12th century by Saint Eloise, the wife of the French theologian Peter Abelard. She became a nun after her husband was castrated by her uncle.”. Yikes! Perhaps this explains why our Sister Millie is so touchy on the subject of men! Brilliant! Anyway, Eloise’s electricity has cut out .Despite the fact that the nuns of St. Eloise are these Modern Nuns, who do not live in seclusion, who take in orphans, buy leeks by the carrier bag load and no doubt do Social Works involving inspirational community-motivated graffiti as well, they can’t figure out how to flip the switches.

Best call Kurusu from the Electricity Shack. But just as “Kurusuuuu~, (the HOODED MAN)” arrives, gasp, someone tries to break into the church! Someone in… a fetching tracksuit? COULD IT BE?? Ughhh, this is ridiculous and will just get more so. It turns out that Kurusu is a tough looking guy but a secret WIMP! Ha ha lol can you imagine someone who despite being outwardly tough is actually a cowardly custard ha ha imagine, it’s like, my mind is ~~blown~~. Kurusu is also due to be Kousaku’s next fight, but neither Kurusu or Kousaku know this yet, so it can just be our secret. Shush, don’t tell, I’ll buy you a lollipop (I have a stash stolen from Miroku out of Yukan Club).

Kousaku flees in terror from the screaming nuns in chase, but trips over the cowering form of Kurusu (“save us, Kurusu”, cheer the nuns – as IF), flies through the air, and up-ends himself on the base of his spine. Arse in the air and legs akimbo. Now I’m not saying that Johnnys training helped him out here, and I’m not saying anything about how frequently Kamenashi may well end up in VERY similar positions, but if I were, I’d just admire his flexibility, IS ALL.

Kousaku does a VERY neat and snazzy backflip up, ritalises away at Sheeshter, eyes bugging from his face: “If I win my next match, go steady with me”! Sheeshter does her best “omg wtf lol face”, Sister Millie gasps “INSOLENT!”, (I am starting to love her somewhat) and Director-sama suppresses a smirk, oh we GET IT. Sheeshter has dirt on her face for some reason. Because opening fuse boxes makes dirt appear on your nose? Is this like how whenever Johnnys get punched, they only EVER get a bruised lip? (HOTTT). Perhaps the dirt has been smeared on her face to represent her guilt and shame. Or perhaps in wtf catholicism news she’s practicing for Ash Wednesday. Perhaps we’re meant to think that Sheeshter does all the hard work? She’s certainly the only one we’ve SEEN do any tasks yet. Director-sama is clearly a fun-loving pushover, and whilst Sister Millie clearly wants to OBLITERATE ALL FUN, and dictate terms to Sheeshter, she’s clearly got zero power here. Catholicism is a hierarchical structure, and you my dear are nowhere near the top.

Back to the Boxing Clever. Kousaku does some complicated thing with skipping ropes and grimaces like nothing but a reverent in ecstasies of self-flagellation. He screams, “Sister Sister Sister”. SHEESHTER! SHEEEEEEESHTEAAAAAAARRRRR!!! Yours truly is becoming a little freaked out. His fellow boxers are quirking eyebrows, but Puffa goes with the flow as long as Kousaku is motivated to lose another 8kg.

If we’re meant to be getting the idea that Kousaku is pretty scary, it’s backed up in the next scene where Director-sama and Millie have called in Sheeshter for a conference on the State of the Chastity. ICONS WATCH! 1x virgin Mary watercolour, 2x Mary statues, and are those… lilac lillies? If white lilies are the flowers of death, then lilac lilies are the flowers of avoiding ‘temptation’? Sister Millie warns Sheeshter about the dangers of men, tells us that Sheeshter has been isolated and knows nothing of how scary they are. Her speech is nicely reinforced by sandwiching it in-between scenes Kousaku’s freakish intensity. Millie then complies nicely with standard wtf Catholicism procedure and tells her that if she ‘succumbs to temptation’, she’ll have to leave the convent.

Well that’s nice, isn’t it? All Sheeshter has actually done is have a conversation with Kousaku on a park bench whilst clutching a bag of leeks, turn up to his boxing match and at all other points she pretty much turns him down flat – publically and clearly! Oh, but I forget, despite the fact that she’s a nun, she’s still a WOMAN underneath the habit, so we can blame HER instead of laying the blame at Kousaku’s den. OK right, let’s move on. All I can hope for is that we have the inevitable episode where we face MIllie’s traumatised past at the hands of men soon and we can get it over with.

Back at the MerzBox. HURRAH, here’s DELM in yet another standard Johnnys-issued plaid shirt. Love it!! He’s clutching a steamed bun and interrogating Kousaku.. Gesticulating wildly about Kousaku’s ‘Sister-winning technique’, Kousaku’s head follows the bun around like a dog. I’m scared that Kame is drawing on reality for this from early years at the Jimusho whilst undergoing starvation training. DELM catches on to Kousaku’s game and snaps the bun away. Kousaku blinks 20 times rapidly, Yuto Nakajima pops up from under the table and sticks a custard pie in his face, Kousaku tries to stand up but his laces are tied together – and then the Vicar enters the room – “oh golly”! Oh, just kidding. Slapstick music ends.

We’re now in the family restaurant, which has a name! THREE MEALS CAFETERIA – oh how nice, the family restaurant has a name. Cute Nori-chan is wearing an apron with lemons on it and a nice polo neck. She’s cute! Can we get rid of standard-issue Johnnys-companion actress “Horikitty” Maki and have this lady instead? I think we’ve already talked here at neojyanisme about our love for dearest Ikuta Toma, but if he is really responsible for the dreadful name ‘Horikitty’ then he loses some serious goodwill from ME. He’ll have to do a photoshoot with some SRS delicious close-ups on those long fingers and prowless nose before I can forgive him.

ANYWAY, Horikita Maki isn’t in this fecking drama so MOVE ON. Kousaku wonders about the BEST place to take a lady on a date-o. Cuteypie Nori clasps her hands together and tells Kousaku that the only – the ONLY! – place for a date-o should be at a restaurant “with a night view”. So, anywhere at night by the window, then? Why not just get a can of Special Brew and go back to that park bench? What’s the Japanese equivalent of the street-drinker’s favourite super-strength lager? Can you even GET Sanatogen “tonic wine” in Tokyo?

CHURCH: gosh this church is super plain and empty. Kurusu is praying fervently, when interrupted by Sheeshter who HAS NOTHING BETTER TO DO THAN INTERRUPT REVERENTS I SUPPOSE. Kurusu mumbled something intelligible about Kousaku, and runs away. A THEME ARISES PERHAPS.

Frankly no wonder he’s scared. We cut back and Kousaku is back on the restaurant strip, ably winning an “all you can eat” competition to win a prize of tickets for a luxurious cruise. I assume this is for the night view? Yeah well enjoy your ‘romantic experience’ when your date is locked retching in a random cabin’s bathroom and you’re stuck making small-talk with a couple from Florida whose leisurewear is simply NOT up to the high standards of tracksuit worn by Kousaku. I mean seriously. They could have skimped on the clothing budget, thinking “just a trackie”, but no. This almost makes up for never dressing up Kame as an actual turtle. At any point during his JE career. EVER. (Surely? Does this fact need checking)? Kousaku skips out merrily (how can he MOVE after all this food??) and UH OH!! Puffa-sama is in immediate hot pursuit! On a bike!

Kousaku escapes her by – jumping into Kurusu’s van, handily parked outside Eloise, Isn’t it handy that St. Eloises is near the café? Kousaku then – grabs Sheeshter by the arm, pulls her forcibly into the van AND yells at Kurusu to DRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE! Just in case we hadn’t got the hint about how Sheeshter may be feeling about Kousaku’s manic behaviour, Sheeshter flashbacks to Millie’s instructions that “all men are selfish”. It’s true! Dear Kousaku, kidnapping nuns AND hijacking cars is not adorable and charming behaviour! It is sort of A CRIME. Be glad that Maverick Cop Serizawa isn’t on your case. Sheeshter grumps at Kousaku, Kurusu whimpers feebly, Kousaku gurns.

Back in the Nunatomium Agane, Mille tells Puffa, once more, that the nun-verse is NO PLACE FOR MEN. Er, Puffa is a lady. Quite clearly a lady. Perhaps a bit of a tomboy, but still. What’s your point? Hurrah for Puffa, who snarks back – “Well, we want to be off women too”! Puffa refuses to apologise to Sister Millie for Kousaku’s behaviour, and pouts. Mitaka turns up and Director-sama turns her charm mode on him at full strength. Awww. I like Mitaka, I’m glad that the ladies all seem to like him as well. Apart from the one lady he *~really likes*~….

The Electricity Shack. Kurusu is hen-pecked by his wife, who appears to be batting away at his bld head with a duster..Kousaku instructs Kurusu that he has to win else he can’t go steady with Sheeshter. “Kakkkkkoiiiiii!”, gasps Kurusuru, and swoons a little. Haha! Sheeshter FINALLY gets through to Kousaku that, like, *~NUN DESU~*, and she can’t (won’t?) be with him. How will Kousaku react? Put simply, he cries, runs to the kitchen and eats junk food. He is EVERY CHICK LIST HEROINE EVER?? Wow, it’s strange to see a man (in as much as Kamenashi Kazuya is like in ANY way manly and not totally genderfucked in my head anyway [insert akame support gay marriage.gif here]) have such a strong and dominating relationship with food. Of course this is played strictly “for laughs”, and to have a giggle at the funny gluttonous boxer but for me this strikes a really sad tone of someone self-destructive and out of control.

The Electricity Shack. Kurusu gets henpecked some more, mutters that he wants give up boxing, because it hurts. Gosh, for a second, Kurusu’s wife looked a bit like Ueda Tatsuya from KAT-TUN. Whaaaat? Wifey smacks Kurusu over the head and sends him off for a run. But who’s lurking behind a lamppost by the Shack? Oh, Sheeshter, what are you doing here? No, really. WHAT are you doing here? Stalker.

Wifey and Sheeshter have a GAL-PAL GET-TOGETHER, and talk about BOYS over a CUP OF TEA. No sparkling pink wine? No cupcakes? Wifey shares her ‘treat them mean, then treat them meaner’ approach. Because Sheeshter will have ANY frame of reference for this, eh? Eh? Apparently, her approach is for Kurusu’s own good, and most-certainly-not because she just gets off on beating her husband with a pink feather duster. Sheeshter decides, AGAIN, to vow off helping Kousaku.

Sheeshter’s lack of “help” (how has she been HELPING him??) his is having DREAD RESULTS on Kousaku. Puffa catches Kousaku in the kitchen in the middle of the night, about to go on a TAP WATER BINGE. Kousaku weeps and shakes on the kitchen floor. Isolate, desolate,he curls up into a ball on the floor and – starts to look like a duck. His breath heaves. Puffa tries to comfort him, but of course, like even Sheeshter has realised by now, she’s wasting her breath as Kousaku only ever hears what he wants to hear… “the only way you could date Sister is if she stopped being a nun”.

RUHHH-ROHHHH!! RAGGY!

Kousaku dashes over to Sheeshter and frantically, beaming as if he’d discovered a cure for Attention Deficit Hyperaction Disorder, tells Sheeshter to quit the convent. His justification for this is that she’s young, cute, should go on gokons etc etc, can start dating (Kousaku, of course), whatever whatever who really cares. The real best thing in this scene is that Kame is wearing an orange puffa jacket with lime green zips! Where do they get these? HE LOOKS SO ADORABLE LIKE HE IS PLAYING NU-RAVE MICHELIN MAN DRESS-UP GAMES! Chaaa~!

CHURCH. Sheeshter looks a bit miserable. Director-sama sits next to her and informs her that the nuns are making a banner to support Kurusu (in his basis as their… occasional electrician dude???) which reads DEFEAT HATANAKA. So it’s not just Sheeshter that likes boxing, ALL the nuns are now throwing their weight behind it, okaaaaaaay, right. What, are there no… other fans, of pro-boxing? The fight arena always seems pretty much empty and unsponsored!

At The Gym. DELM spies on Kousaku boxing and tells him it’s not even worth bothering with, really. I am sort of failing to see DELM’s function in this show – what’s his motivation for this behaviour? Why is he like this? Does he want Kousaku to be sad? Has he just got an optimism deficiency? All he does is mope around and discourage people, in a dewy eyed fashion. But. What? Pointless.

Hmmm. It’s finally fight-day. Kousaku baby-oils himself up in the dressing room. Dressing rooms appear to be completely unisex, as Puffa is present and then Wifey runs in. Oh no! Kurusu has gone missing!! Instead of thinking “fine, I win by default”, Kousaku runs off. He must have added some cocaine to his usual Ritalin this time!

Now, for some reason, Kurusu has run away to the church, and for even less of a reason, apparently Kousaku has ANY IDEA that Kurusu is even CATHOLIC, and finds him in the pews. Kurusu explains. He runs away because he’s scared of – well, pretty much everything – but in particular, he’s terrified that his wife will leave him if he loses. So he runs away. Kousaku gives Kurusu some “homespun advice” which is of course totally relevant to the situation. IN NO WAY AT ALL. “Don’t you know there’s a God in the ring, too”, he quacks, pointing at his delightfully moisturised hands, clenched into a fist. “You believe in God, don’t you”. Kurusu clenches his own fist, as if he’s having a thought about EXACTLY what he feels like doing to Kousaku. Everyone starts to cheer, and Sheeshter yells, “Let’s have the match” – RIGHT HERE!! – oh, sorry, that doesn’t happen. They “hai” all round, off they go.

I’m afraid I can’t let this particular WTF session pass! They are INSIDE a Catholic church and in front of a nun who believes pretty much in ONE GOD. Kousaku is in love with this nun and you would think that ANY reasonably human here would consider her faith when talking about matters of God? But no. Kousaku multi-deities away happily. There’s another god in the boxing ring and that that god consists of YOUR FIST?? GOD IS FISTING??? Have some thought, Kousaku!! We’re not “there’s seven gods in rice” here, you’re not talking to a flower-arranging traditionalist! (Ref to Taro’s peasant cooking skills in Yamada Taro Monogatari – did he say who the seven gods in rice were? I mean, they’re going to start adding UP, aren’t they? Seven gods in rice, how many would be in like… a Mars Bar??).

Mmm, finally they’re both in the boxing ring. Kamenashi is baby oiled up, Kurusu… isn’t? How wrong does it feel to feel attracted to Kame’s ~~masculinity~~ in this scene. Ha! Only in JE world can I type this sentence and be genuinely confused that one is finding male features IN A MAN apposite.

DELM is in the audience wearing a particularly fetching Norweigan style cardigan. Oh, so cute Yamada Ryosuke, so cute. “Kurusu-sama fight-o”, politely chant the nuns. I suppose they got in with a Group Save ticket. No-one else is in the audience apparently. “Dear Lord, who should I cheer for”, prays Sheeshter. Sheesh. Dear Lord, help me to choose what sandwich to have for lunch. Dear Lord there’s only one leek left and the recipe needs two and one is no good but if I don’t buy it then there’s no leeks and perhaps the other nuns will tell me off”.

Anyway blah blah more fighting, acoustical “holyish” singing in the background as Sheeshter drops the banner for Kurusu and squeaks out a feeble oh-do-demure “gambatte~~” and clasps her hands together (STOP WITH THE CLASPING)! Kousaku’s inspired but – oh dear, he loses anyway due to Kurusu’s “stay away!!” upper-cut. Kurusu wins!! Kousaku goes to cry in the changing room. Well there is no shame in seeing a man cry, and we’re having enough of it eh. Oh dear. *passes hanky*

Sheeshter congratulates Kousaku for doing his best and OF COURSE that has the desired reaction of turning Kousaku back into an overexcited lovestruck puppy, who literally starts jumping up and down at the convent gates. And after all that, we’re back EXACTLY where we started, apart from that there’s two cruise tickets going to waste, and dewey-eyed love moppet has a lovely cardigan.

And thank goodness that’s over. Sing with me!! DENNNNWAAAAAAA~~ – if I hadn’t already started liking “Lips” through regular JE stockholm syndrome, I’d start liking it now because it signified the end of a particularly limp episode. HOWEVER!! In the next episode, Chinen Yuuri!! As a young rebellious boxer!! With slightly large hair (but no braids sadly) (YET). Lilly as Rebel Without A Cause? Fanservice with fellow band member DELM Ryosuke? Blimey. I hope not.

SONO MAMA DE SONO MAMA DE and see you next episode. LILLY!!

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