Posted by: sarah | October 20, 2008

Drama Recaps, One Pound Gospel Episode Four

Sandwiches! Omiai! Taiyaki! This recap has the honour of being the first one written under the influence of some pink wine. Goodness knows how this one will go. Previous recaps of eps 1-3 here.

We open up at the boxing ring, but ohmigosh! There’s someone ELSE in the boxing ring rather than Kousaku! Kousaku is cheering on Kojima, the other fighter, from the sidelines. Sidelines? You don’t have sidelines at a boxing match. Ringside! That’s what I mean> Kousaku is with Puffa and Mitaka, who all appear to be wearing a white boiler-suit/lab coat combination. I don’t… understand?. Wearing white gloves in a library archive when you’re a Psychic Librarian is one thing. White boiler-suits in a boxing arena is another thing! Unless we’re meant to be getting some sort of Clockwork Orange reference here, my droogies?

Kojima is clearly 1x rubbish boxer. You can tell he’s not a Johnny because he has a bruise on his chest rather than glowing and accentuating his pouty upper lips. Please see attached supplementary evidence from Kamenashi in Gokusen2! Non-Johnnys simply can’t *do* artfully distressed. Results from D-BOYS are as yet inconclusive (ie I have only watched one episode of DD-BOYS, and despite Shirota Yu bothering people with an acoustical guitar no-one punched him. HE WAS LUCKY).

Kojima weaves around his opponent, ducks, dives, and then descends… in a graceful flop to the floor. ONE. TWO. K.O!! Bells ring and Kousaku blinks rapidly and slaps his forehead in despair. Puffa yells in frustration. Mitaka goes “graagh”. You can’t LEARN these sorts of acting skills, you know. They’re innate!

Kojima gets carried out and a stretcher, and croaks out “revenge me!”. All the boxers gather back at the Merzbox for an Emergency Retaliation Meeting. Kousaku is next up to fight the Oncoming Storm, or whatever the other boxer is called, they never say. Kousaku, of course, vows to do his best. 1, 2, 3, 5, 10 times GANBARIMASU!!!

Puffa pulls an “ach, das ist alles sehr gut aber” face, and pulls out, oh god, a bag full of taiyaki. I swear, kids, what I wouldn’t do for a bag of taiyaki right now. I have had said delightful red bean paste filled fish all of ONCE in my life and that is so not enough. I tried to have some at the SOAS Matsuri but none were to be found, and their takoyaki stand had such a huge queue that I didn’t get ANYTHING in the end. My life is so hard. Anyway Kousaku almost explodes through the screen screen with grin-power and bounces “I only had one!!!” (holding up one finger for emphasis). “So that’s fine!!”.

“YOU ATE???”, gasps Puffa. Ruhhhh-roh!! Wuh wuh wuuhhhhh music plays.

Each time a character now says “Sheeshter Angela” I die a little inside. And not in the good ‘petit mort’ way either. Just the regular old sinking feeling that you’re in for another five minutes of simpering and hand-folding. Sheeshter is sweeping up some leaves outside the nunnery. So are some other nuns. Never let it be said it is not an important task. Leaves on the line cause many train delays you know. Do leaves on the line frequently hold up the Shinkansen? I DOUBT IT.

A nice man turns up outside the convent gates. Butler? Chauffer? General family assistant? Oh, it’s not is it. He introduces himself as Morishita, and asks Sheeshter to “come with me, please”. Morishita opens the door to a standing-by car with an ever so passive-aggressive, head-nodding, drawn-out ‘douzo’. Although passive-aggressive is far too unsubtle a term. Ehhh? At least he asks her if she wants to get in the car, rather than just heaving her in forcibly like Kousaku did last episode. I guess Sheeshter recognises him (from church, we assume), but still, does she just frequently get into cars with people she hardly knows for no explained reason?

Cut to the boxers going on another jog. Kousaku wearing that “interesting” green top and brown tracksuit bottoms again. I LOVE the autumnal tones! I know I’ve said it already, but oh god I do! The boxers do a vision test. This test involves testing how many details you can take in from a rapidly moving object. They line up along a wall and see what details they note in speeding-by cars. “You just have to train yr eyes”, sez Ueda to Kousaku. “So, what did you see”? Kousaku jumps up and down.

“It was a family, and the kid was eating a CREEEEEEEEEEEEAM puff!”, awesome. Next car. “It was a couple!! Eating an egg sandwich! And a tuna sandwich!! And drinking coffee milk”!. I hate to say it but omg Kamenashi that was so cute you little moppet.

Cute cute cute cuuuuuute!

Hang on! They’re spotting cars?? Didn’t someone just get in a car in the last scene! And there are only two streets in Tokyo! This can’t go well. Kusakou spots Sheesheter ride by in the car, and promptly goes cross-eyed. Cross-eyes are very advanced acting, you have to sign up for special electives in RADA for this. Kousaku boggles for a bit, and the boxers all roll their eyes at Kousaku having Sheeshter on the brain.

OK now for some reason, we’re in a deserted restaurant. Not a lovely fam-res like the super Three Meals Cafeteria, oh no, this place has linen, and leather sofas, and a folding screen like what the boy hid behind in THE WITCHES. Morishita bows, and we see a nicely set table, at which are sitting some random guy in a clean chef’s outfit of some variety and Sheeshter Angela. Sheeshter doesn’t appear at any point to have asked OMGWTF IS GOING ON U GUYS. Perhaps this is just how nuns roll in 2008? You know – with the punches?

Morishita introduces them. The chef apparently went to Italy to study cooking and is the son of the Posh Resutoran Owner, and his name is Young Master. And the reason that they are both sitting here is… a surprise omiai! Briefly: an omiai is where two unattached individuals are brought together to um ,”consider the possibility” of marriage. Usual introductions are done by a family member or very close sempai-ish community leader person. I have generally seen omiais occur between ladies judged to be past a certain cut-off age, think of Yamaguchi-sensei in Gokusen and my poor dearest darling Noda from Anego. Both somewhat manipulated into omiai meetings, but both single and importantly given an option to be at least slightly complicit with the situation! Sheeshter says – which I feel is really quite unecessary seeing as she is in a nun’s habit – that “like, NUN DESU~~”. She has yet to say that she is “wed to God” – why doesn’t she try that line?? Anyway, Morishita’s response to Sheeshters statement is to incline his head slightly, grin creepily, and moan….”lilly…-white…. purity”. Ewwwwww!

“Won’t you save this wretched old man”, moans Morishita. Sheeshter is scared. Young Master apologises. Then his eyes glint, and… “let’s have it another day!!”, he intimates. I intimate NEIN DANKE. Sheeshter runs away!! Finally!

Mass at St. Eloises’s and the congregation are gently dispersing. Not that I guess they’d ever run out hollering like redinjuns but w/vs. A shadowy hooded figure approaches Sheeshter as she bids farewell to a nice churchgoing sort. It is of course, Kousaku, who has come to the church to “sort things aaaht”, as we’d say in Eastenders terms..”Please tell me if you have something to be guilty of”, he whispers. Sheeshter snaps “I have nothing to be guilty of – it was just a man from mass”, and Kousaku whips off his hood and laughs loudly. HA HA CHURCH GOING IDIOT, he laughs hysterically. How could someone – who goes to church!!! – ever appeal!! TO A NUNN!!!! Nevarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr etc etc etc. And Sheeshter, no need to be so defensive… or is there?

He’s interrupted in his hysteria by Young Master who turns up with a nice huge box of sandwiches for Sheeshter and the other nuns. Er yum, I think! Young Master suggests that now he has bought a box of sandwiches (hand-made! WOW! that must have taken all of ten minutes), perhaps he can have another omiai with Sheeshter. Hmmm, let me think. Sandwiches? Marriage? I see the causal link. Judgement upheld!

OMIAI!!!! screams Kousaku, in huge glittery text. His yell draws the attention of Millie, who politely reminds Kousaku that he is barred from St Eloise’s. Burrrrrn! Sheeshter pulls Young Master aside and reminds him that if she went to an omiai with him she’d be kicked out., Young Master completely ignores this and says YEAH YEAH but anyway is there any way for you to be with me. I put my head in my hands and wonder whether selective deafness occurs in ALL men, or just 99.9%.

CREDITS.

Merzbox. Kousku punches a punching bag. UKSO UKSO UKSO, he grunts, which I gather is Japanese for “bloody buggering flipping heck I am right cross now like“. Kousaku is in a huge sullen pouting sulk and perhaps we should empathise but yet it is so adorable I am actually coming round to him. “Love punch, love punch!!!”, he screams, hammering the punching bag. And then for some reason, he leaps up, and er, somehow leaps onto the punching bag and clings to it like a koala bear to a tree. Er um??? Um??? Puffa looks as confused as I am.

The nuns happily start scoffing the sandwiches back at the convent. Oh dear nuns haf you not heard that accepting charity is bad mmmkay? They proceed with the scoffing of the sandwiches, disregarding all principles about accepting handouts in their carrying out of the services of God and – haw! They get their come-uppance alright. YUCK! YUCK! Cough hack spit! Zeez sandweeches are deeegoutant!! Exposition, in the kitchens of Young Master & Morishita, explains that whilst YM *thought* he was making vegetable sandwiches with “Genoa Sauce”, he mistook the flagon of green juice for something it was indeed not. The sauce was in fact a vegetable health drink that Morishita is currently supping. Dohhhh! Looks like that training in Italy was well worth it then! And what’s ‘Genoa sauce’ anyway?

Kousaku is holed up in his room, with the rest of the gym-crew, writing a letter to Sheeshter. Shisutaah. The boxers are all sitting around with glazed looks on their faces. DELM (for it is he!!) says that Kousaku should ‘disclose his heart’. Sounds painful. Someone pops up that “a letter doesn’t seem very boxer-like”. Yeah! How are you supposed to write a letter with boxing gloves on anyway? Silence falls. Kousaku falters. Picks up his pen again. “Sheeshter”, he starts. Again. Oh, Kame you are so cute right now I would absolutely lick you.

It appears that Kousaku has somehow managed to write the letter overnight and he – yep – jogs to the convent to deliver it to Sheeshter, despite the fact that he’s still barred. The convent gates are open and he sees YM trying to make delivery of another box of sandwiches all tied up in a nice red ribbon. What what whaaat, Kousaku can’t take this and ups his speed to investigate what’s happening. A box of sandwiches + Kousaku = NOM NOM. “Itadakimasu”, and the sandwich (egg, I think) is in his gob. Kousaku passes the letter to Sheeshter and both suitors grumble about how hard they worked on these deliveries. Hmmm, which harder? Making sandwiches or writing a love letter?

There’s only one way to find out.

FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!

Sheeshter calls a halt, and tells Kousaku “never to appear in front of her again”. Again. Like all the last times weren’t enough. Sheeshter walks off. Kousaku mopes, and takes a big bite of his egg sandwich all up in YM’s face.

Depressed, Kousaku is prodding feebly at the punching bag back in the Merzbox when for some reason YM turns up. Hang on, weren’t you guys just… like… at the convent together? Kousaku ran off, YM followed him at a distance and took a quick Starbucks break before a re-confrontation? Kousaku thumps his fists together, squares up to YM… and there’s a nice bit of framing where we see Kousaku is a good two heads shorter than YM. Hahahaha! Kousaku’s a squirt!

YM tells Kousaku not to see Sheesht… hold on WE HAVE JUST DONE THIS? Were they short on scriptwriters and thought we wouldn’t notice? YM carries on rambling that he wants to marry Sheeshter and run a restaurant together ALTHOUGH as far as I can tell they have NEVER MET, he knows nothing… about… her… minor things like this? OK I admit I am not entirely up on omiai etiquette but… come now.

“Money and a secure future” is what Sheeshter wants, according to YM. SO IS THAT WHY SHE TOOK A VOW OF **POVERTY** WHEN SHE BECAME A FREAKIN’ NUN??? Where the heck does he get off with this idea? Kousaku responds that he’ll get 70,000yen from his next bout (after board and FOOD expenses etc) – about £400. And he’s got almost 5,000 in savings! That’s about £30.

Kousaku smugly informs YM that that’s a LOT of takoyaki he can buy with that dollar-dollar. They grandstand a little more about money and who wants to make Sheeshter the happiest and might as well just wank each other off to a bootleg copy of Nuns On The Run”. Bitches, those nuns, all they want is money and guns!! MONEY AND GUNS!! THUG LIFE!! YM bugs off, Kousaku punches with renewed energy. Puffa and Mitaka snigger. Sheeshter, in her room, clasps her hands together, prays for serenity, then God himself decides he can’t take much more of her simpering and sends down a thunderclap which makes her GROW A PAIR. Oh no, wishful thinking. W/vs.

The next day, Puffa jogs down the stairs of the Merzbox, expecting Kousaku to be BOXING AWAY. However, he’s nowhere to be seen (i can’t find him anywhere!). IDCWYNI-san holds out a book to Puffa. It has a chicken (COCK) on the cover and bears the legend – “You Too, Can Be A Licensed Chef”! It seems, my dears, that Kousaku has had the unfortunate malfunction of Thinking. Seeing as Kousaku can’t really *do* cause, never mind effect, he’s decided the best thing to do is blindly copy someone else – he’s decided to take licensed chef lessons. Puffa groans deeply. I open my emergency bag of White Fudge Pretzel Flipz. Cybercandy has stock back in!! I was saving them for an emergency, I think this episode counts.

In cooking school, sensei is telling a few motley unemployed dole scum slackers about sterilising knives, chopping boards etc. What is this hippy crap, SURE, go ahead as long as you want everything to taste of dettol. In dearest England we have a saying which runs “eat a peck of dirt before you die”. I have probably eaten about sixty pecks by now and have never caught salmonella, QED.

“What does chlorine contain?????”, asks Kousaku frantically. Good point! Well, you can get chlorine from salt, so NaCI… perhaps just CI? Hmmm! Tell us, sensei! Oh. “Primarily, bleaching agents”. Er… oh never mind, I didn’t want to know anyway. “Bleach, BLEAACH!!!”, babbles Kousaku. Has he been watching Harry Hill? BLEACCHYYY BLEACCCCHYYYYYYY!

Chef lessons down pat, Kousaku then runs to good old Three Meals Cafeteria (if I ever have a son I shall call him ‘three meals cafeteria’) to beg the owner to let him inherit the restaurant. Cuteypie Nori-chan~ gasps that she isn’t even 20 yet and it seems a little early to be talking about such things. But she wouldn’t mind if it’s Kousaku-san (she does not add “because he’s a RIDE” but I can read her like an open book)! Kousaku cuddles his cheek up to the owner’s hand, starts babbling about beef and pork cutlet bowl (I guess we know how Kousaku would name HIS son), then thankfully Puffa comes along and saves the poor 3MC employees by dragging Kousaku out by the arm. Watch that back injury, wouldjanow?

Anyway back at the Merzbox, some chewing out. Puffa gets to the end of her tether and yells at Kousaku to choose either boxing or a restaurant. As we’ve already clearly established, for some reason Kousaku now thinks that the only thing he can do to win Sheeshter is to have shitloads of money. This is because Kousaku is a ‘tard. And he thinks he can GET more money, by – what. BEING A SOUS CHEF? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh! “I want to make Sheeshter happy” he repeats, repeats, more repeat, again… no-one has ever asked HER, but all bitches are the same, right.

Back in the convent. Sheeshter is polishing a chair seat. Of course. Millie draws her aside and asks her ‘What’s this omiai shizzle all about’. Good point. “How did this even come about?”, Millie asks. She’s thinking what we’re all thinking – is Sheeshter encouraging this somehow. First Kousaku, then a wedding get-together. You can see her point. Sheeshter is doing *fairly* well at playing a hapless pawn in this mess that is the overgrown CHILDREN chasing her about, but it’s so hard to have any sympathy for her because all she EVER does is fold her hands. (It makes her look like a peasant HA HA DO YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE).

Hmmm. Wasn’t there a cooking competition on an episode of Cartoon KAT-TUN where they all had to chop up cabbage or another ingredient and the fastest one got to shag Nishiyama (Akanishi’s current squeeze? Nishi squared, cho cute) or something? Well, Kousaku is back at cookery school and he’s just chopped up looooads of cabbage. The other cooking students are in RAPTURES of applause, including a guy in a nice sensible black jumper, who I think has his EYE on Kousaku if you know what I mean.

Poor Puffa. She’s sitting in her office feeling tired and stressed out and doesn’t understand the young people. Kousaku is being an arse and messing up her business. Sheesh. Why can’t he work to make her happy? There’s no-one to make an old lady happy, she says popping a sweet into her mouth. Mitaka, who she’s been addressing her comments to, says… “there is *somebody*”…oh, Mitaka! Puffa grins, fixes him with her eye and bursts out “who!!”. Mitaka flusters adorably and says… Katsumi-kun! You will recall that Katsumi is the other name for Dewy Eyed Love Moppet. Puffa rolls her eyes. “I don’t understand him EITHER!”, she says.

Cut back to – ANOTHER new location!! It’s probably the set for DELM’s latest drama – “Scrap Teacher” (in which FOUR Hey! Say! Jump members feature as leads! what the holy fucking fuck fuck doodle!! I’m hoping that Yuto Nakajima – who was Kamenashi’s adorable little brother in Nobuta wo Produce – the holy grail of all j-dramas – will show off some awesome acting skills because he has done EFF ALL since Nobuta and I *want* to believe in him so much…).

DELM mops the floor whilst BULLIES look on. DELM stares at the floor and doesn’t interact with the bullies. They kick over the bucket, stroll out and DELM does some proper acting involving clenching of jaw, pouting and throws the mop to the floor. JENGA!!

Kousaku walks by the river. Orange and lime puffa jacket. Sheeshter Angela cycles past, because there are only two streets in Japan. Kousaku spurts out his plan about owning the Three Meals Cafeteria to Sheeshter who doesn’t care and she doesn’t want to listen to the plan. Kousaku again shows a worrying tendency towards having a clue and says ‘I don’t know what will make you happy’. THEN WHY NOT TRY ASKING HER OR NOT BEING A SELF-ABSORBED IDIOT. “Baka!” snaps Sheeshter, and rides off, leaving Kousaku confused. Hurrah! “Baka” is a word you learn about 2 seconds after taking your first tottering steps into Johnnys fandom, thanks to my dearest ditzy Jin Akanishi so I am always happy when someone says it. What? I’m easily amused? So what.

Three Meals. Poignant piano. Kousaku and DELM are having an emo heart to heart over a delicious looking bowl of curryrice. DELM is doing a very good impression of a post-Gulf War veteran and staring glassy-eyed at NOTHING. Kousaku completely ignores the state DELM is in, and rambles on about Sheeshter some more, and he doesn’t understand why the restaurant plan isn’t making either of them happy. DELM points out that Sheeshter only likes him when he’s a boxer. Desired effect is granted, Kousaku gives up the restaurant plan. Good. So I’ve just wasted my life with recapping all of this? Of course! Damn you, RSI!

Now here is a scene where all the nuns are having dinner. They spin some yarns about dreadfully twee shite that makes them happy. “Touching a cat’s paw”. “When the clock is 5.55” – (go go go). Mother Superior asks Sheeshter what makes her happy and Sheeshter shoots her down with LASER SIGHTED HAMMERS OF ICE and says “my joy is in serving the lord”. Haaaaaaaa, that’ll show HER. “How stuffy”, grumps Mother Superior.

Next day. Sheeshter goes to the posh restaurant to return YM’s presents. She finds the restaurant shut, so breaks in because nuns can totally pick locks. The kitchen is in disarray and YM has his head in his hands. He brokenly informs her that Morishita has collapsed. YM has a dreadful secret, which is actually the worst secret ever as it is k-obvious – he can’t cook at all, and Morishita has always done all the work for him. For years, they’ve hidden the secret. So his cooking class in Rome couldn’t even teach him how to make sandwiches? Boy he must have had one super powerful dose of the clap not to be able to CUT TRIANGLES.

YM emotes more. He can’t open up the restaurant without Morishita. Never mind a restaurant like that would need more than ONE CHEF anyway – washer-uppers, waiting staff, prep chefs that sort of thing. Oh no, it is almost like he is Lost and in need of Help. Sheeshter rolls up her sleeves and starts to wash some plates. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Posh restaurant. Kousaku runs in, clasping that love-letter he was writing earlier. He spots Sheeshter helping out. He sees her smile. His face drops. He processes a thought. And runs away, after saying that he “hopes [Sheeshter] will be happy”. Sheeshter is about to run after him, but stops herself. BTW, her ‘help’ in this restaurant appears to be have been in preparing disgusting arrangements of dried flowers for the table. “What is yr inspiration”, they shall say when she hits the Chelsea Flower Show in a blaze of glory. “Pot pourri”, she shall respond.

Kousaku is heartbroken. He sits alone in the middle of the boxing ring. The other boxers find him. Kousaku bites back tears. Touching scene in which Ueda offers him a rice ball, even though it’s closer to his match. Kousaku sniffles and tears up. Other boxers smile, MANFULLY, at the scene of MAN COMFORT. Bless them! Men giving each other comfort in a manly way! Involving rice balls! **Rice** balls, you guys.

Quick montage runthrough. Sheeshter has a very big cell for a nun. She paces up and down thinking about Kousaku and kneels and prays for some more serenity blah whatevercakes. Kousaku does *lots* of sit-ups. Young Master appears to be trying to sautee spaghetti. He fails in whatever he was trying to do, and throws the pan, complete with food, into the sink. Do we need to point out the errors here? 1/ saucepan. 2/ waste food in compost bin. 3/ YOUR EXISTENCE OH BUG OFF DO NOT CARE. Kousaku does *more* sit-ups., grunts, bit more boxer-bonding.

YM delivers Kousaku’s love letter (remember that?), which Kousaku had dropped when he ran into the restaurant. That letter reads in full – “Sheeshter, I like you! I will DEFINITELY win my next match!” And some freebie tickets to his next bout. Sheeshter stares at the tickets pensively.

MORE ADORABLE PRE-MATCH BOXER BONDING. They keep grinning at each other! And Ueda is fondling Kousaku’s collarbone – in the name of… well, groping I guess? And then ALL the boxers turn up, wearing various puffa jackets, strange cardigans etc. I am a bit distracted by Kame’s abs so bear with me if this becomes sparse. Kousaku enters the ring all psyched up and HIGH TENSION!! Yeahhhhhh! Etc!! Me too! He enters the arena in a glare of blazing light. Lo, like the angel Gabriel.

Kousaku wins the revenge match, and just wibbles that he would have liked Sheeshter to be there. They tell him to shut up and start to head out the door. And there… outside the changing room… is Sheeshter. Hold on, for a second, did I feel… some actual tension between the two? Sheeshter seems genuinely quite confused and torn by the situation. She doesn’t know what she’s doing, but she’s doing SOMETHING – whether this is the right thing or wrong thing… gosh! This clearly won’t last. Kousaku, slightly desperately, asks, if nothing else – can he have permission to continue to like Sheeshter. Because liking Sheeshter makes him happy. Sheeshter doesn’t reply, but happily points out that… the hands on the clock all overlap at the same time… and SMILES at Kousaku, doves fly around the room whilst a rainbow appears (IN BLACK AND WHITE).

I think we’re meant to garner something from the fact that Kousaku, by being true to himself as a boxer, has made Sheeshter happy, rather than falsifying himself to be something he isn’t it? But it’s so sappy I’d much rather she just prayed for serenity, AGAIN. Be yourself, kids!

Back at the Merzbox, the boxers celebrate by sampling some of Kousaku’s cooking . IDCWYNI-san takes a bite, clasps his hand to his mouth and runs away. “Aren’t you glad you’re a boxer”, DELM states. Kousaku samples his cooking, and agrees.

Next week! Sheeshter says “I love you”! Sheeshter is jealous of Cutey Pie Nori! AS WELL SHE SHOULD BE, I LOVE HER. Ueda gets dumped! Kousaku *definitely* gives up on Sheeshter. Sheeshter is… an ABANDONED CHILD! <— er we learnt this in the first episode but never mind! DELM gets set upon and beaten up by the BULLIES! Why won’t he fight back? More Cutey-Pie Nori can only be a good thing. This is the first episode I’ll be recapping that I haven’t already seen in advance, hopefully it won’t take me *that* much longer to do…

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