Posted by: sarah | January 9, 2009

Drama Recaps: One Pound Gospel episode 6

This is a bit late but I’m sure I have a good excuse. I’m afraid I’ve just been knocking back the port and occasionally shaking at the woefulness that is KAT-TUN’s christmas single. Making a song without a chorus is impressive academically in this day and age but this does NOT give it any further inherent value. Even the sleigh-bells sound resentful!! Dreary, dreary, although there’s a bling bling Santa with a gold sack in the video. Try harder next year! To try and make up for my delay, please find below a picture of Sister Angela with a leek.



We open up on the Mezrbox and Kousaku is wearing a towel over his head. Thankfully this drama hasn’t taken a worrying turn for the racialist, it’s a black towel and it is meant to signify that Kousaku is re-enacting his recent successful confession to our favourite leek obsessed nun. Kousaku’s eyelids flutter as he breathlessly repeats… “anata ga skiiiii desu”! Boxers roll eyes across the floor. Dewy Eyed Love Moppet Yamada Ryosuke picks them up, rolls them back. Ueda expresses polite disbelief that anyone could confess to Kousaku Hatanaka. Kousaku repeats his reply to Sheeshter, whilst DELM glowers in the corner, swirling his eyes around his sockets until I feel dizzy. He watches. It’s almost as if Kousaku thinks that the act of a shrieked confession in the shoddy excuse for a church means that this ridiculous crise du cour is over! Alas…

It’s been so long since we’ve had a boxing match, I had actually forgotten that we are meant to be paying lip-service to the idea of Kamenashi as a boxer. Now I have to get used to the whole ridiculous idea again! We’re going to need more protein. Puffa lady (wearing a nice jumper instead of a puffa jacket today) informs Kousaku about his next match with “a foreigner”. Oh noes, foreigners! Puffa has lined up a nice man from Thailand who has…say this solemnly…. “never…. lost a match”. Hold on, has Kousaku fought ANYONE who has ever won a match?? Kousaku laughs away the suggestion that he might want to research the boxer and… does a laugh which goes A BIT LIKE THIS


Puffa copies the laugh very convincingly, and then pulls a face as if she has drunk a pint of delicious acidic vinegar. I love her. Cut to Kousaku spying on the nice Thai boxer. Kousaku is wearing his shoes on his feet, because that helps you spy better as we all have learnt from years of James Bond wearing driving gloves on his feet. OR SOMETHING. Thaiboxer jogs! His tracksuit is not as nice as Kousaku’s. Thaiboxer crushes an apple, (80yen), WITH HIS BARE HANDS!, much to Kousaku’s open mouthed adoration. I do quite like Kousaku’s approach to his opponents always being wide-eyed adoration, placing atop pedestals and downright LOVE.

OMG! OMG! Sheeshter is walking along the same street with her bike! Everyone she sees is Hatanaka-san! For a minute I thought we were going to have a crazy twins plot! Godammit, that would be awesome if Kousaku had an evil over-aggressive twin who is actually a wet and a weed and despite being a BULLY on the outside could not lift wot the Fr. Call a concombre.

I cannot see if there are any leeks in the bicycle basket.

Sheester closes her eyes, breathes, and the world pops back into place, by which I mean, she immediately then bumps into Kousaku and they go for ramen, because KOUSAKU LIKES EATING IF WE HAVE NOT MENTIONED THIS ALREADY.

Sheeshter and Kousaku are awwwwwwwkward. Ouch! It’s like when you meet up with someone a few days after you pulled them at a party after drunkenly talking about neglected sunshine pop classics into the small hours whilst emptying a bottle of GIN, only to find out that sober, you have NOTHINGTO SAY and would much rather be sitting at home contemplating EXACTLY how Jin Akanishi can make a cricket jumper look like the sluttiest outfit on earth. A bit like that, but with more ramen. Sheeshter looks anywhere but at Kousaku. Kousaku tries to be nonchalant until…

He spots… Thaiboxer! Thai!boxer works at the ramen shop! Home-spun ramen noodles from the hands of a FOREIGNER indeed! It’s almost as if they were trying to get him off some sort of “hook” for being a foreigner by teaming him up with a good bit of ramen-ai.

I’d bother caring if Kousaku wasn’t insisting that Sheeshter feeds him pork in order to “look like a couple”, and to make it look like they are not stalking Thaiboxer (remember, stalking is “cute” in 1PG).. Sheeshter refuses, hopefully on the basis that tbh eating ramen is a messy enough business as it is, and goodness knows what germs she might catch from Kousaku.

This is all in vain anyway, as Thai!boxer recognises Kousaku (how?? Do boxers normally get full dossiers of their opponents two days before a match??) and they shrug it all off. I am guessing right now that boxing must be a compulsory subject in the schools of Where-ever-This-Drama-Is-Set because whereever you turn there’s ANOTHER one. Sheeshter snots and stomps off back to the convent like an awesome sulky teenager to put on her Radiohead records. She then storms over to Mother Superior and puts herself on unofficial house arrest, which in some languages is known as “seclusion” and is what nuns USUALLY do if they haven’t spent too much time watching Whoopie Goldberg in Sister Act. Kousaku runs about and shouts and screams about becoming a champion because yet again, he is an idiot and makes no sense and argh shut up shut up shut up!

BANGUMI! CANON! SUZUKI! DOCOMO! COCA COLA! MEIJI! SOMETHING WITH A MOON! How does one show need so many frakking sponsors? Not that I even know what channel this airs on and I suppose we can’t all be as lucky to have the “uniquely funded” BBC on our sides huh? TEIKYO OKURISHIMASTA

Completely contrived Weigh-in Scene down at the Merzbox., Kousaku panders to that elusive mpreg enthusiast audience by standing on the scales in a green pair of boxer shorts featuring a stomach that won’t quit. This week’s weight loss target is 8 kilos in a week. The weight loss targets on this show have now lost ALL meaning apart from to have Kousaku sweat it all out in his pants in a steam-room in the last five minutes of the show. For goodness sakes, there are surely EASIER ways to get a Johnny to take his top off.

Now to the DELM bullying plot-line, DELM is going off to run a marathon next week, isn’t that interesting. Hopefully not a marathon in the formal sense of the word? DELM is tiny! Ueda (dad-substitute elder boxer) tries to get DELM to box with him. Poor old bullied DELM. Ueda says that Puffa would be happy if DELM tried boxing. I bury my head in my hands.

Please, don’t tell me that this had never even occurred to Katsumi (DELM’s character name)! The previous shows have done such a good job of setting up the dynamic of a slightly neglected and bullied child resenting his mothers focus on boxing (and by inference, violence) over her child’s presence, that I will be SO upset if this is all resolved simply by Katsumi overcoming … laziness? and facilely just putting on a boxing glove as instant pour-on-water panacea. Yamada Ryosuke has played entirely resentful and scornful of the boxers stock in trade really effectively (his facial expressions! This sneer is haughty disdain! This sneer is disappointment! This sneer is futility and yet they are the same sneers!!).

DELM slowly curls his hands into a fist, and is about to throw a punch at Ueda, but then utter Moment-Spoiler Kousaku runs in and it’s as if they’ve been caught about to have a BIG GURLY SNOG. Ueda flails and hides the boxing glove and DELM turns away and runs his hand through his hair. SMOOTH YOU GUYS. They’ll NEVER TELL.

Back in the convent of leeks, Sheeshter is in solitary confinement. Somewhat missing the point of “solitary”, we then find Sheeshter Millie is with her and trying to help her forget about Kousaku. Sheeshter Millie’s wonderful method for this is decrying to the four winds of the earth “Kousaku is an enemy of our faith!!” and “Kousaku is a filthy devil”! Good old Sheeshter Millie! This is more like the fire and brimstone nuns we have all known and been terrified of. The nuns continue to curse and rant! I like this, but unfortunately come the next day at the Merzbox…

“Along comes a Sheeshter to sit beside Puffa!”

Yes, Sheeshter Angela has turned up at the Merzbox.

She’s here to train?
She’s says “too immature” to be a boxer?
So she wants to be a boxer?
She wants to overcome her weak will through physical training! And the only way that she can do this is go to exactly where her problem is, to make the problem worse both for her, Kousaku, the rest of the boxers and MY BLOOD PRESSURE?

Puffa boggles for a minute, then suggests the Sheeshter goes to train under a waterfall. Another boxer raises the point that this might be just for monks – what the hell, shove her under the waterfall, I don’t care. If it’s good enough for Maya Fey it’s good enough for a boxing nun.

What the holy heck.

The nuns in the convent panic at Sheeshter Angela’s disappearance. I don’t know WHY, she surely gets up at 7am every morning for the daily leek run… yet somehow wise old sage Mother Superior (whose round glasses I wish to break) remains calm. In the Merzbox, we see Sheeshter is punching at a thingie but still wearing her nun costume. Could she change please? Would it be a CRIME to see a pretty girl in a tracksuit? Sheeshter turns out to be very good at punching. I really do wonder whether it will turn out that her birth parents were pro boxers and that is why for some reason she feels a connection to Kousaku (arf it would be funny if they turned out to be siblings, ha ha sorry, I am cruel).

Skool, ho, SKOOOOL! DELM is surrounded by BULLIES who have DEFACED his skool book by gluing it together. DELM expresses his anger with the best “compressed annoyance” face ever. He trudges home miserably to find his mother encouraging EVERYONE ELSE TO FIGHT BUT HIM. Why can’t she even NOTICE him??? DELM tries to talk to her, but she tells him never to talk to her when she’s training. But isn’t she always training? I absolutely cannot bear Sheester boxing in her nun outfit. What the, holy, stupid, fuck. Perhaps DELM will run off and become a nun.

Back in the convent, Mother Superior gives wonderful Sheeshter Millie a hard-time about her treatment of men and hints with the subtlety of a grand pianner that Millie herself might well have never had any luck with men. OH FUCK OFF. So what if she’s had her heart broken. She’s still a better nun than Angela but perhaps oh oh! Perhaps Sheeshter Angela is a special snowflake? She was never destined to be a nun despite her upbringing? Her… kizzzzuuuuunaaa~~~ is all to do with boxxxxxing. Oh get to it, come on. Patience disappearing.

Breakfast time at the Merzbox, up and at them, we have broken the ice on the bathwater, now make your beds. Sheeshter makes breakfast for everyone. Let’s see what we have. I am interested and slightly horrified by Japanese breakfasts (and Western breakfasts to be fair as I rarely eat it myself, so the idea of having something as strong as miso soup before you’ve had 10 cups of coffee? Shudder).

Scrambled egg, some.. spinach? Japanese potato salad (which is not as foul as normal potato salad which I hate, then again I’ve only ever had Japanese potato salad in Korean restaurants GO FIGURE), rice, miso soup (bright yellow almost), two sliced strawberries and a glass of water. Yaai! It’s the most I can do in the mornings to neck my morning brandy. The boxers all moan in ecstacy about the “cooking of a young lady”. Ah, grown men living together. You can’t beat it. Speaking of cooking, haven’t we forgotten about the other cook in this programme, the ramen-cooking thai!boxer? Anyone? Anyone? Anyway, Kousaku enters the kitchen but because HE IS A FATTY REMEMBER, he only gets a glass of water. Sucks 2 B U.

More physical training. But Sheeshter is standing about with towels. Wasn’t she meant to be training to discover her true feelings through physical exhaustion? Or perhaps it turns out that, despite being a nun, she’s still a woman so really should just take her true place as a piece of hot nun-toast? Isn’t this just “running away”?

Sheeshter and Kousaku walk along with her bike again. There’s something in the basket but I can’t tell if it’s leeks. Kousaku heads to his “play spot” and leaps about on a play train. This is sort of the best playground ever! It’s a shame creepy boxers hang out there instead of kiddies. Kousaku confides in Sheeshter that this is where he comes to hide when he wants to eat in secret, PAGING OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS HERE, you’ve got a problem dude. Kousaku then spills a long list of hiding places to Sheester, who is obviously going to dob him in. Sheeshter moralises and then Kousaku just does the hysterical laugh again. It’s awesome.

On the way somewhere else from the park, Kousaku bumps into Thaiboxer (whose name is ‘Tiger’! Sure thing, whatever) who, apropos of nothing, says that HE is going to be a champion for his family back home, and pulls out a snapshot of at least 20 brothers and sisters. Wot a noble reason to be a champion, Sheeshter thinks audibly. Yet whereas Sheeshter is humbled, it rolls off Kousaku’s back. I do wonder whether she will ask Kousaku to throw the fight again?

It turns out she doesn’t have a chance. Arg, arg, most KY ever godammit. Sheeshter is clearly thinking about Motive and Competition and boxer’s asses, in fact she’s thinking so loudly she might as well have a foghorn. Even I can read the atmosphere in this scene and the acting is hardly Golden Globe. Kousaku is like a sledgehammer. He interrupts Sheeshter’s train of thought and brings up the topic of her family. TOUCH-Y. He talks about Sheeshter never really having a family (so how does Sheeshter think of the nuns who brought her up from childhood, then?). Sheeshter makes little response. Kousaku then continues onwards, with the best idea yet – she should marry him – and THEN she’d have a family! Mouth. Wide. Open. In. Horror. We cut away, QUICKLY.

Back at the Merzbox. DELM stomps into his mothers office and asks her to sew his zekken (school badge?) onto his PE kit. She grumps that he should stop giving her needlework, he knows she’s no good at “motherly things”. DELM’s forehead wrinkles and he spits, “what motherly things ARE you good at?”.The barb drifts over her head as she says “nothing, I guess”. Harsh.

DELM carries on rummaging through his bag, finds his zekken missing so goes off to find another one. Puffa then spots the zekken in DELM’s bag, but it’s covered in footprints. She has a look through the rest of his bag and finds the glued together book from earlier.

“What’s this”?

Katsumi comes back and she asks him what’s going on and if he’s being bullied or not. DELM tries to deny it. Puffa gets cross and DELM’s jaw clenches and unclenches as she rants on. He throws the book at her and runs downstairs where the rest of the boxers are training. She yells at him that he’s an idiot. She then yells,, “I didn’t raise you to be weak and bullied”!!

Silence falls over the rest of the boxers. She tells him that he needs to reverse the bully-scenario and beat up the bullies. Furthermore, his weakness is embarrassing. This is enough, and Katsumi screams I NEVER ASKED TO BE BOOOOOOORN! Ueda tries to step in, and Kousaku says “not everyone is strong like the Chairman”, and DELM runs away. Sheeshter runs after him, Kousaku follows. Running through streets, screaming, etc. What’s the point? There’s only ONE SREET IN JAPAN. Find him by the river.

Puffa and Mitaka debate what it’s like to be bullied. Mitaka says he doesn’t remember how it felt. Puffa guilts about being a bad mother, then applies the same to her gym trainees (I’ve been a bad trainer) and somehow, her feelings towards DELM feel cheapened. Wah. So what if I’m a sucker for disconnected mother stories.

Sheeshter and Kousaku are still running, and then they end up in the same park where Kousaku plays hide and seek. Would you believe that DELM was hiding in the same place that Kousaku hides as well? DELM spots Kousaku, and tries to run (I would recommend this tactic to all), but Sheeshter’s endless hand-wringing stops him in his tracks.
DELM puts forward the following good points: Sheeshter ganbaru’s because she has the lord. Kousaku and the other boxers have boxing as their focal point for the ganbaru. But Katsumi? What does he have? Empty, empty. Cry! This is actually QUITE TOUCHING. He has nothing to ganbaru for!! Don’t cry, DELM, you can dance and twirl about too…

Kousaku and Sheeshter somehow drag DELM home and a boxer called idon’tcarewhathisnameis-san has made some STEW. All the boxers are all gathered together and smiling and welcome him back and it is almost as if his REAL FAMILY IS GATHERED TOGETHER. Except it’s totally the boxers and not his actual mother but never mind.

Sheeshter however, refuses to come and eat, she says she has to leave. She’s learnt, she’s changed, and her training is over. Back to the convent with her. Would someone please tell me WHAT she might have learnt here?? Sheeshter apologies to Sheeshter Millie but hardass Millie won’t let her back! HARSH!! Where’s hippy Mother Superior when you need her?? Sheeshter’s face falls.

As Sheeshter is about to go off to a park bench or something, Kousaku runs up and begs for her to be allowed back in. He delivers an impassioned plea about how originally he wanted her to leave the convent but now he realises that the convent is her home! He will take the punishment! He points at the crucifixes and asks which one and produces some nails from his lovely tracksuit pocket – ok he doesn’t really. Millie’s cold heart is melted by a MAN who takes into account the sympathy of others eh eh zzzzz. Sheeshter is allowed back into the convent hurrah hurrah oh what a surprise, REALLY I thought she was going to be homeless and this drama would take a turn for the old Social Conscience. Just kidding. I kid.

Classroom, Skool, J-PAN. DELM is asked to read a page from his glued-together book. I bet this is the Japanese version of THE BROOK (the only poetry allowed in schools). DELM stands up miserably with his book full of prit-stick. Back at the Merzbox, Mitaka ruefully asks himself why women are so forgetful, and pulls out a pair of miniature boxing gloves with “beat them with all your might! Love puffa!” written on them in childish hiragana, as we have a tiny flashback to their own childhood together, when Mitaka was bullied and got over it with the help of chibi-Puffa. Back in the classroom, DELM turns the book over, to find “open the book with all your might!” is written on the back, from “Mother”. DELM clenches facial muscles which are still yet unknown to anatomists, and rips open his book. GRARRGHHH! MORE POWERRRRRR! Obviously he can’t read it, so announces “can’t read it!” to the class, who all, including the bullies, erupt in the laughter but the important thing here is HIS MOTHERS LOVE. Oh-kaaay. And cue that KAT-TUN song – CREDITS!

Um… did Kousaku ever fight that Thaiboxer??? If so, it must have happened so quickly I didn’t even type it up. This show would be so much better if they were darts players – THEN we’ll show you the REAL meaning of overweight!

Next week: nice boxer Ueda’s dad turns up, and punches him out cold! Gasp!! Sheeshter wrings hands, and, I don’t know. You’ll have to read the next recap, which I’ll actually try and not take over 3 months on…



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