Posted by: sarah | November 3, 2008

Drama Recaps: One Pound Gospel episode 5

For all you trivia fans out there, this is the first episode I haven’t seen in advance – from now on all these episodes shall be typed “blind” as it were. Will this make me hurl my laptop out of the kitchen window? I am typing this whilst I cook ‘drunken chicken’ and drink Vimto (soon to change to gin and ginger beer) so do excuse any tonal changes throughout. It should hopefully be cooked halfway through the episode so I may just type NOM NOM NOM for a while. On with the show!

We open up, forest, huge pile of brown leaves. I would love to know exactly where this forest is. It’s probably just a park with an arboreal area, isn’t it? In a tribute to Mike’s Territorial Army tactics in Spaced, Kousaku is heavily camouflaged in the pile of leaves (camouflage = totally necessary skill for boxersstalkers).

Kousaku surveys. Eyes left. Eyes right. He turns and stares… right at the camera!! The eyes of Kousaku meet the eyes of a tired blogger. Shit!! Kousaku can you tell I am blogging you right now? He leaps up, revealing a neutral greyish tracksuit (below par by his standards), sort of made up for with a red scarf. He skitters from tree to tree, finally hurtling onto the pavement where Sheeshter TOTALLY runs him over with her bike. Listen to those ribs crack. Owwwww.

OK no just kidding. “Hatanaka-san”, she gasps in shock. HIS NAME IS KOUSAKU, BITCH.

“Whoa!”, double takes Kousaku, what a coincidence! It is no coincidence because there are only2x streets in Japan. Sheeshter points out Kousaku’s dirty clothing and calls him on hiding on the bushes and waiting for her. Stalky Kousaku blames the dirt on fighting a bear. Oh come on, not even a raccoon or weasel? Sheeshter cycles away crossly, and Kousaku runs along by her bicycle begging as per usual. It’s when he starts running like ERNIE THE FASTEST MILKMAN IN THE WEST that I start laughing hysterically and have a swig from the nearby bottle of Frangelico hazelnut liqueur. HA!

However!! In the midst of his Knees-Up-Mother-Brown routine Kousaku suddenly stops and yells fit to wake the DEADDDD. He’s spotted a chocolate stall! Oh, I was wondering what Japanese for ‘chocolate’ was earlier, turns out it is, er, ‘choco’, fair enough. Is ‘chocolate’ the same in every language? Alix did a great linguistic analysis on the words for ‘beer’ once, concerning the complete seeming lack of connection between the very common “beer” and the Spanish ‘cerveca’ – but I can’t think of any language where the word for chocolate is considerably different. Let’s have some translation, here are two more bits I can’t read. Sigh, in ‘Where Were You Robert’, young Robert understands Cryllic writing through ‘basic common sense’ in about two days, but it doesn’t make any sense to me. Then again, Robert was a German speaker. Would that make any difference? Those words, then.

English to Russian: шоколад
English to simplified Chinese: 巧克力
English to Harry Hill – CHOCCCKY WOCK WOCK!!!

Kousaku instructs Sheeshter, “Buy me chocolate!! then confess your love to me”.

Sheeshter refuses, and then – oh god, Kousaku starts singing a “choco choco choooco” song at Sheeshter, and I fall off my chair in laughter. ANOTHER SWIG OF LIQUEUR. Even Sheeshter cracks a grin as she tells Kousaku to buy his own damn choco. Right now, Kousaku resembles Pikachu on a ball on sugar and aspartame and E numbers and Millions and Sherbet Dips and Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur.. He begs Sheeshter to tell him the date of her birthday. Sheeshter states quietly that she doesn’t know. Come on, come on, wheedles Kousaku. Sheeshter turns round and snaps “I don’t know means ‘I don’t know!’”, and walks inside. Kousaku’s head explodes from sugar and sprinkles icing sugar dust all over the convent like itty-pritty fairy snowdust drops.

CREDITS. kono bangumi wa blah blah sponsaa teikyou de okurishimashita~~~

Fade up on the nuns at St. Eloises. They are making up boxes of chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Hold on, in autumn?! Dudes? Ja Wikipedia help me out here – Val Day is in nigatsu innit? Oh perhaps like SO MANY THINGS, the seasons are slightly skewiff in the JPN to one obsessed with English autumns. And why the heck would nuns be giving out gifts anyway? What church gives out choco for Valentine’s day? Valentine’s Day is fucking pagan anyway! What next? “Dear Parishoners, please accept this Men’s Pocky in recognition of the Wicker Man day”.

“Wrap [the chocolate boxes] with all your heart”, says Mother Superior. “HAI!” the Sisters all yell, from their production line machine. They should start brewing…

Sheeshter looks at her latest box, with the dedication, “may the lord be with you”. She prays for forgiveness, and hides the chocolate box by sort of SITTING ON IT. Suave! Saving some arse-squished choco for Kousaku, are we? She questions herself later in her cell. I don’t think she knows either.

Back on the bike, the effing bike. Sheeshter is cycling to the Merzbox! She hesitates outside the entrance to the gym and flashes back to Kousaku’s goofy little choco dance. OK, it’s still cute, as well it should be because we JUST SAW IT about 2 minutes ago. Wrrrry, she exhales. Then she grins, and is just about to open the flap of the Merzbox when she sees…

!! It’s cutey-pie Nori, my favourite!! Nori is handing Kousaku a huge chocolate cake, which, according to Nori, has been made with 100 chocolate bars! WTF! Hyaku!!! gasps Kousaku and his grin splits his face open. Behind that nose there is a towering chasm which reveals stiff cliffs into which are built various recesses containing blinking lights and punch cards. Where Kousaku’s eyes used to be… there is a very small creature, cloth’d in a red frock – one that has seen better days. She is holding a lever. Her eyes meet ours, and – gasp!! -Kousaku is in fact a robot, controlled by a miniature oompa loompa up in the cranium!!

“NONE MUST STAND IN THE WAY OF OUR GLORIOUS FIVE YEAR CHOCOLATE PLAN”, the oompa-loompa hollers. “INCREASE CHOCOLATE CONSUMPTION NOW!!”

She pulls down, harsh on the lever, and Kousaku’s face regains form. “More choco!!!”, he squeals. (Do I need to point out that half of that was writer’s office-boredom-addled fantasy? Guess which bit. Sorry).

Oh happy day, so much chocolate! The other boxers are rightly jealous and ask if they don’t have any giri-choco either. (Giri-choco is a bit like having to bring in cakes for everyone in the office on yr birthday. Inasmuch as – the sentiment of giving something even though you don’t have any real feelings towards them one way or the other. So you’d give yr colleague giri-choco even if you didn’t want to TAP THAT ASS).

“Nope!”, sasses back Nori, and asks Kousaku if he’s happy with his x100 bars of Dairy Milk chocolate-odyssey. Kousaku says ‘yes! Good job! Good job’!! And they pat each other on the back, and hug. Hug. Huggle! It’s like two Care Bears having a snuggle! Happy Kousaku! Happy Nori-chan! Happy Sarah! This strange sentiment can’t last. Sheeshter gasps, and cycles away. “Oh Lard!!”, she begs, “what am I feeling??”. I am not proud to admit that I just snarked out loud, “hur hur. Thrush”.

Oh life though, is never that simple. Puffa runs down the stairs just as Kousaku is about to dig in and takes the chocolate away from him. Less we forget, Kamenashi is NINE GRILLION STONE, THE FAT BASTARD, and must lose weight. Would you believe that somehow I had forgotten his enormous size whilst they stopped mentioning twenty times in each scene? Excuse me whilst I roll my eyes over to Blackheath to pick me up another bottle of pain-numbing Chardonnay.

Puffa suggests that Nori-chan gives the chocolate to her father. Nori groans – what’s the point of that? That’s like getting a mug with “love is…” characters on it and giving it to yr uncle Colin. You know, the ones that’s not your real uncle but he lived down the road from you when you lived at number 63 and went down the social club with your dad and your brother when was old enough. Puffa volunteers the chocolate to Mitaka instead! Oh, my insides just melted into a pile of mush! Whilst it’s not entirely intentional, Puffa has just given Mitaka delicious chocolate! They are in love – can we make them marry? Sadly, before I get carried away and buy a new hat, Nori scowls and takes the chocolate home. Norrrrri. I paw the screen like a dejected kitten.
,
Sheeshter in the meantime has run away from the Scene Of Chocolate Betrayal and is standing looking moodily over a bridge, turning the chocolate box over and over in her hands. Dewy Eyed Love Moppet Yamada Ryosuke approaches – with moping in his eyes! As yet unaware of DELM’s hope-sucking presence, Sheeshter scowls, yells “BAAAAKAAAAAAAAA~~~~!” and hurls the melted choco into the river. DELM stops in his tracks. They exchange “ehhh?”s and DELM pulls a funny face. That’s three facial expressions! That’s more than Yamapi, perhaps I’ll watch Scrap Teacher after all? Sheeshter hurries down to the riverbank, retrieves the choco from where it has landed about 234782 feet away from ANY water, and runs back up to the bridge, and stands there, grinning slightly, eyes just to the left of DELM. DELM’s wtf face is hilarious.

“Sheeshter, are you okay?”, he asks. Sheeshter pretends she’s only just noticed him, OH THAT OLD CHESTNUT. Didn’t I see this on the Sex and the City episode where they talk about ‘The Rules’?

Training montage. DELM enters the ring and tells Kousaku that he got some chocolate. Whoa! Kousaku congratulates him with the telling phrase “I didn’t know you were popular”. DELM reveals the chocolate was from Sheeshter. “For me?” asks Kousaku, and makes grabby hands. “For me!”, smirks DELM. Not quite sure what’s going on with this sudden range of facial expressions that DELM is managing to produce without really moving his face at all. I’m still on One Pound Gospel right? You’re still DELM, and not Naruse as detailed by Cee in Maou?

Chaos ensues, Ueda-san is not impressed with the Bluddy Kids. Puffa upstairs is tapping about on her computer, and doesn’t notice. Mitaka admires the various boxing trophies in the penthouse office. He lurks around Puffa and asks if she might have something for him. HE MEANS CHOCOLATE. Get 1xhint, Puffa!

“Nope”, she says.

“I’ll go home then…”, Mitaka says.

“Yeaaaah yeaaah”, Puffa says, tapping away (perhaps she is live-blogging Code Blue and has just hit her 500th word on her description of the sculpturedness [MS Word spell-check doesn’t think this is a word?? clearly it has not seen the episode where Yamapi gets caught in the rain and gets all wet nrgh] of Yamashita Tomohisa’s abs). Mitaka leaves. “Otsukaresama desu” etc etc.

“What a drag”, groans Puffa. Oh, harsh!

In the training room, boxers change into their ‘civvies’. Kousaku still debating how come he didn’t get his chocolate. “Perhaps cos you’re annoying?”, says DELM, as flat as a pancake. A synapse flashes in Kousaku’s head as he flashes back back to MANY OF HIS ANNOYING MOMENTS. Oh, you think? BAM BAM BAM.

“It seems like you’re remembering some moments”, deadpans Ueda-sama, as Kousaku boggles in horror. Sama?! Why did I suddenly get all honorific? Well, Ueda *is* sort of the leader of the boxers?! Speaking of yr honorifics – when DELM caught Sheeshter losing it on the bridge, and she first spotted him, in shock she called him Katsumi-san instead of –kun (the boxers mode of address) or -chan (as the BULLIES say, the big meanies). Is this an overreaction to being caught or would the nun call everyone politely no matter whether they’re younger? Someone explain Japanese honorifics in 100 words or less HA HA I DARE YOU. The first person to comment gets some choco.

Anyway Ueda informs Kousaku that V-day is now OVAR. Burn! “I guess you’ll have to wait till Christmas”, DELM smirks. But there’s spring, summer and autumn, Kousaku bursts. Oh, so I guess it IS February?? Perhaps February in Japan is just… way more autumnal? Feb in England is nowhere near as full of fallen brown leaves. Kousaku ponders Aprils Fools Day as his next option, and gets somewhat dejected.

Back at the Three Meals. Kousaku asks Nori-chan when a girl would like to receive a present. O HAI dearest neojyanisme readers, the answer is ANY TIME. Ideally “now”. Nori suggests Christmas and birthdays. No, Nori – that’s when you’re supposed to have your sexxing of the year. Oh, but she is young and not as world-wise as your tired old neojyanisme blogger.

In a strange turn up for the books, here’s a random boxer who is a taxi driver in smart white gloves and the like. And a cap! What a smart taxi driver. They spot another boxer (the town is crawling with them) – Ishizaka-san. He’s sitting with a girl in a rubbish ruffled white scarf on a bench in miserable silence. He holds out a small box of chocolate to her, and she smacks him round the face HARRRR HARR. She storms off, Ishizaka looks miserable, and inadvertent voyeur-boxer looks all ‘oh, awwwkward’…

but this pales into significance for here is Sheeshter on her bike and she has MORE LEEKS! They’re a totem of this drama. A leek, a working vegetable, yet sometimes conceived of as being less useful than it really is – an ineffectual weapon in the hands of an ineffectual Pok€mon – it’s function as food loses its destiny, reduced to an inferior battering ram. Is it interesting that the boxers wield iron fists, and Sheeshter cycles about clutching a leek? Representation of feminine weakness via a limp somewhat phallic totem? Or do nuns just, like, *really* like leeks. LEEKY LEEEKS!

Sheshter spots Nori-chan and Kousaku (orange and lime puffa jacket) out on delivery. Sheeshter is about to head off, but then clearly she is infected by Kousaku’s craziness and starts to stalk him. Who says Catholicism drives you batshit – Thomas Aquinas? Probably him. Haven’t you read Thomas Aquinas’s guide to stalking? Yeah. ‘There were always three of us in this relationship – you just never knew – confessions by the Holy Spirit’, ghost written by Thomas Aquinas his very self. Ask St. Bonaventure if you don’t believe me, what.

Shseshter spies on Nori and Kousaku scoffing loads of Chinese food, and just as Nori is about to spoon-feed Kousaku a dumpling (TRUE WUB), Kousaku spots Sheeshter spying and chases after her. Sheeshter dashes off. Kousaku corners her and confronts her about her behaviour. Sheeshter tells him to fuck off, and that incidentally she doesn’t know WHEN her birthday is, and that further more fucccccccccck off! Kousaku stands with his mouth open catching flies for a while, until he manages to stagger back to the Merzbox.

Thank goodness DELM can explain it. “That’s shitto”, he says. TELL ME ABOUT IT. Also, “bollocks-o”, “useless-o” and “pants-o”. Ah. What? I’ve missed something? “Shitto” is actually Japanese for ‘jealousy’. Oh, whodathunk! I think both readings are accurate.

The translators note here says 嫉妬 is “another” term for jealousy. Does it relate to specifically romantic jealousy? I know the term ‘yakimochi’ (焼きもち) (a quick look up on jisho tells me this could also mean ‘toasted rice cake’). You’d think the kanji that references food would be more appropriate wouldn’t you, but what the heck do I know.

Why does DELM never ever make eye contact with anyone, btw? Is this significant? Is he resident on the Aspergers spectrum?

Kousaku faffs about wondering why she would feel jealous. The other boxers are all “Nori-chan liiikes you”, and Kousaku’s all “nai nai nai” and waving his hand about. ““Zettai nai nai deshoooyooo.

“You’re so dense”, DELM mumbles, NOT MAKING EYE CONTACT. Ishizaka punches the punching bag viciously. “Can’t you stop talking about women in the gym”, he bites. Quite right! The gym is for man love and man love only, have we forgotten the glorious man-comfort of last episode?

“You can’t be jealous without being in love”, the boxers reason out. REALLY?? gasps Kousaku, as the light of endearing naivety shines in his eyes yet a sodding again….

“Naaai naai naaaaaai”, they all echo.” Naaaai naaai”, Kousaku doesn’t hear it, and koala jumps onto the punch bag again, and just… swings from it for a while.

OK, now time for a bit of the old ultra-violence at St. Eloises. Sorry, I meant catholic angstery. Sheeshter is praying in her spacious and well-equipped cell. Ehhh I’m not worthy of being a nun, not worthy. Enter Fun-Hating-Sister-Millie who totally calls Sheeshter’s dirty little secret. “You’re still seeing Hatanaka-san”. Millie cleverly points out that by not letting Kousaku know where he stands one way or the other, she’s playing with his feelings, and then follows it up with the KO that if she is going to be a nun she can’t answer Kousaku’s feelings. There only appears to be one option, am I right, Sheeshter?

Back in the park, Kousaku ambushes Sheeshter from the leaves again. You’d think she’d learn. A jaunty tune plays a on the church organ (qn: has the Wurlitzer organ ever had a peak time of popularity in Japan? For some reason I can imagine them liking the old Wurlitzer in Okinawa, or Osaka). As Kousaku calls Sheeshter on the jealousy. Sheeshter snaps at him that he has Nori-chan and runs away. Nailed it!

At the gym, Kousaku mumbles about how bad it is to be popular, whilst Ishizaka glowers in the background. The other boxers try to give Kousaku a hint to STFU but he doesn’t get it. Kousaku gabbers some more. The other boxers try sock puppets to explain to Kousaku how one in fact manages to close their mouth and yet remain breathing through the nose. He still doesn’t get the hint.

Ishizaka chews Kousaku out and yells that he’ll never be able to make her happy if he doesn’t quit boxing and become a salaryman. Passionate fight ensues and all the boxers set upon each other. And I am not strong enough to say that I don’t consider it hot. Puffa appears and body slams them all the floor ONE TWO ONE TWO ha ha awesome.

Nunnery. The nuns eat oranges, with identikit shocked expressions. Sheeshter has a pile of about 60grillion oranges next to her. Comfort eating of oranges – what a dreadful sign, it will be water next. Kousaku and Sheeshter must have precious kizuna, they both turn to food as a sign of comfort! They can get fat together on water – you know that water that contains salad of all the calories.

Mother Superior takes Sheeshter away for a heart to heart that is so dull I can’t bear to blog it. Even though I’m listening to it and I can see what they’re saying, I can’t bear to type it. So I’ll reveal that I am drinking a gin and ginger beer, and that I am eating those chicken wings I mentioned in the first paragraph. I am going to keep the bones for ‘stock’. I’ve never made stock from bones before! So that will be an experiment. Oh thank goodness, it’s over.

The boxers have all fallen out and poor old Ueda-san is feeling bad. He begs them to go for a run and get on well together. They ignore him. Ueda pulls a scowly face and yells a the soulky kouhais and listen to their sempai and throw stones by the river OR ELSE. The boxers don’t listen. Ueda goes down the river and throws stones anyway when he hears some bloody kids making a commotion.

OH NOES!! Who could have predicted! It is DELM and the BULLIES!! They have stolen his bag and are throwing his books in the air. Poor old DELM (or perhaps I should start calling him ‘Walter the Softy’) is being picked on some more. Blimey his bag is FULL of books. How many books?? Ueda-san runs out screaming, his face disguised with leaves as the THE MONSTER OF TAMAGAWA RIVER! “Any cry-babies in here???” he yells as he advances on the bullies. The BULLIES run away and DELM sullenly picks up his books. “Don’t tell my mum”, DELM sulks. Ueda promises and gives him his word as ‘a promise between men’. DELM scowls. “Stop it with this stifling stuff”. Ehhh, this is interesting. Shame we have to sit through the old nun plot to find out what’s going on.

Thanks for the hint as to the drama location, dudes. Tamagawa river, then? Want to go there yourself on holiday and meet some boxers? Here are some directions from town that I found on the “inter-net”. Nearest stop is Futako Tamagawa, which is six stops down the Den-en-toshi line from Shibuya. Take a left at the Kentucky Fried Chicken and walk 5 minutes down to the riverside. Mind the BULLIES!

Back at the Merzbox. Mother Superior has paid a visit. Oh, I’m so old yet strangely worldly-wise for a nun, aren’t I so squishy that I confound your expectation when saying something wise-ish from my old body. Ramble ramble, “Does [Kousaku] have the ability to carry Sheeshter Angela”? Ahhhhh. Mother Superior then reveals Sheeshter is an abandoned child, the convent is all she knows etc etc WE HAVE HEARD THIS ALL BEFORE. I am SO FED UP of everyone explaining to Kousaku over and over again about Sheeshter’s circumstances. You are so not getting through to him, it’s a waste of both of your times. And second of all, speak for yourself, Sheeshter!

As Mother Superior speaks on, cue a disgusting scene with light shining through framing Sheeshter like a halo as she reads to some not very cute children. Mother Superior explains as the strings of ‘all I want to is serve the lard’ swell in the background that it’s Sheeshters dream to bring the light of god into other abandoned children’s lives blah blah whatever! Can’t she just go to a Host Club like everyone else? You know. This one’s here and this one’s here and this one’s here. Even Kousaku’s for sale! God, what is it with this drama making me quote Holy Bible lyrics? By the way that KAT-TUN Host Club photo shoot = wrongly hot. How come there are no better pictures? SOMEONE FIND THEM FOR ME. I’ll take the one in the glasses with the glossy pout that I’d like to smear all over his face ummppphhh.

We come back to the Merzbox as Mother Superior finishes her speech. She’s basically spelt out that all this is making both Kousaku and Sheeshter suffer. DON’T FORGET ME, HERE! Kousaku whimpers in the ring, Puffa looks on. So, now someone has finally put it in Kousaku’s terms – ie about HIMSELF – something has penetrated that thick skull of his? FINALLY!

DELM appears behind Puffa’s pensive form.

“Mother”, he asks, the plea in his voice almost melting Miss Havisham’s heart and she’s cold and dead and angry and in the 19th century and FICTIONAL.

“Huh?”, she answers, distractedly.

“I got the top score in my maths test”, and my heart breaks.

“Hmmm sugoi ne”, responds mum.

“Haven’t you got something to tell me”, asks DELM. “Nope”, replies Puffa. HANG ON!!! DELM can’t be adopted too, can he???

“Wait!”, Puffa stops, and DELM turns round, the light of hope shining out of his dewy eyes. It can’t be something angsty – oh noooo. Don’t tell me it’s DELM’s BRTHDAY and his mum has forgotten!!

“You won’t get strong if you don’t eat breakfast”, Puffa says, and raises a fist in encouragement. DELM’s face falls, and he walks out. Puffa also goes out, to invite Sheeshter out for tea, Whatever.

More ambushing. This time it’s Ueda-san who ambushes DELM on his walk along Tamagawa river to school. They could do a spinoff instructional DVD! ‘How To Ambush Reluctant Victims!!’, by the stars and supporting cast of One Pound Gospel’. It could be the new ‘Billy’s Boot Camp’.

DELM doesn’t believe he’s bumped into him by coincidence. He’s clever, you know, he got top score in a maths test! Ueda says that he should tell his mum about what happens. DELM emos about his mum not having the time of day for him, and perhaps he’s got a point. She seems to be spending all her time dedicating herself to Kousaku’s love life and his boxing career. “Let’s talk, man to man”, Ueda machoes again. “Let’s have a drink” (NOW YOU ARE TALKING). DELM walks away, whilst Ueda enthuses to the river. Ueda turns, to see empty space. His face falls. “Bam”, he enunciates.

Tea?? Tea? Weren’t Sheeshter and Puffa going for tea? They appear to be in a karaoke booth, with Puffa singing ‘Sibling’s Boat’ (according to the translator). Morning karaoke, oh Japan you are truly the land of promise.

Puffa apologises for at first finding Sheeshter annoying, and then using Sheeshter for her own profit, in that she made Kousaku work hard for Sheeshter’s sake. She tries to explain, but frankly she’s not very good at it and I don’t care, so don’t waste your time. She explains that she’ll keep Kousaku away from Angela, and apologises further. Fuck me it’s not like Kousaku is a grown man and should take his own responsibility here is it? Twat.

Back at the Merzbox, Kousaku says he won’t see Sheeshter again. Again. I didn’t believe it in the last episode and neither do I believe it now. Ishizaka invites Kousaku to do some sparring. Without headgear. What?? This is referencing some serious man to man coding here and I am not quite good enough at reading masculinity to get it. What’s going on? What’s Ishizaka playing at? I need more Henry Rollins records.

Fight fight fight, hot, sweaty. Ishizaka goads Kousaku again and again and finally knocks him to the floor. Ishizaka yells at Kousaku for acting like a kid and I for one am totally with Ishizaka’s righteous range. Kousaku says that he can’t help it how he feels – entirely symptomatic of his self-centred worldview MUCH – but he CAN help how he reacts to the this liking!!

“Liking isn’t enough”, screams Ishizaka.

They end up in one of those ‘punching hug’ things.

“Is not seeing her all you can do??, Ishizaka screams, “this is why you’re no good”!

Seeing Ishizaka’s passionate pain springing from real emotion rather than the baseless obsession that Kousaku has for Sheeshter suddenly has about 60 times more emotional punch than it really deserves.

Ishizawa storms off and we close up on Kousaku lying tormented in the ring, but frankly I am not interested in him right now – as the strings swell once more, I want to follow Ishizawa. What’s happened to this poor, broken, terribly sad man??

More man to man stuff in the room that Kousaku and Ueda share. Both wrapped up in their futons, they have a heart to heart,. This is still very male bondage (ahem) if you will but at least I don’t need to have read fucking Walden to try and decode this part. Unfortunately, the heart to heart is entirely inconclusive, so all we get is a bit of support.

Bizarre church scene. Sheeshter is once more, on her knees, in the village hall that somehow appears to pass for a church despite the fact that from the OUTSIDE it looks a full convent… A booming voice echoes through the church. ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, KOUSAKU. It’s Kousaku, who has decided to make a heartfelt scene about how he won’t see her anymore and she should be a better nun (hello! What do YOU know about dedicating your life to Christ?) and oh fucking hell – Kousaku decides to tell her that “from now on, today will be [Sheeshter’s] birthday” and HELLO WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE to make such a pivotal and important thing all about yourself and how YOU feel! Weep! Weep! Sheeshter goes all Eyes Wide Open.

Back in the Merzbox, DELM listlessly pokes at a punching bag. Ueda-san asks if he wants to learn boxing from Ueda-san. Does he? I thought from before that he hated the whole boxing masculinity cult. Or does he love it too much? Too much? Surely they can’t go there.

Back at the church. OH MY GOD. Sheeshter confesses to Kousaku! She likes him! Mother Superior beams benevolently! Because she doesn’t care about one of her nuns losing her faith!

A light shines from out of Kousaku’s arse. The music swells, and I am so fed up of typing ‘swells’, but Kousaku apologises and says I LIKE YOU TOO argrhrhrhrhrhrhrhrhrhrhrhhrhrhyrhrhrhrhr. He beams. She beams!! I try and hang myself from the ceiling beams!

I do not like the message that this is giving to the youth of Japan i.e. JUST KEEP STALKING AND EVENTUALLY YOU WILL WEAR THEM DOWN. Can we have much more about Ishizaka and DELM, I know they’re as emo as all unholy fuck but at least there are those little things like character motivation and plot helping us out here. And roll end credits.

NEXT WEEK: Sheeshter starts boxing lessons! Puffa yells at DELM that she didn’t bring him up to be weak and bullied DELM shouts I NEVER ASKED TO BE BORN! Kousaku says he will be a champion and er, “win against God”. Well, if you must. Frankly I feel like god has more of a chance with the ability to shoot down thunderbolts. “Ganbatte kusadai”, yells Sheeshter. Nothing about Ishizaka. Wah!

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