Song of the Post: ラックライフ (Luck Life) — 君のこと (About You)
Episode 6: 300 billion yen vanished! At that time, you weren’t there…
We go back 48 hours before the hacking, when Hyuga was driving Yoko home. Not wanting to be alone, she offers him to stay with her (rawr) but he turns her right away, though leaving an open door for a possible next time.
On the verge of going bananas at home from the over-thinking about what she saw, Makoto chooses to call Haruka who happens to need her. Like, RIGHT NOW. So off she goes, to join a『合コン』- Goukon (Group Dating) in a fancy restaurant. Apprehensive at first, Makoto quickly adapts to the mood and feels comfortable enough to impersonate a silly commercial character.
That sends everyone laughing but she stops herself short when her eyes lock with none other but…Hyuga’s. HAHAHA. Le shame. Now, you really wish you had a time-machine. One of the goukon guys proudly presents him as a friend, thus earning the admiration of the whole group, until Hyuga turns to him and asks the dreaded question: “Who are you?” Pfft, I knew it.
He leaves, and Makoto follows to clarify her presence but he couldn’t care less, though he does now have a new card against her. Lesson of the day: be careful when you humiliate yourself in public. She counters that he’s also here for the goukon, and wonders if it’s fair to Yoko. Trying to play it cool, she laughs that she knows about their relationship but understands her gaffe when the waiter enters with samples of food, assuring Hyuga that his order will be delivered on time. Oups.
Pointing at Makoto, Hyuga tells the waiter to consult her for the payment. Haha, that’s petty. Carrying the bags, she profusely apologizes on their way back and he explains that he always personally chooses the food for the shareholders meeting, and there’ll be one next week.
Hyuga realizes that his car is filled with bags and they awkwardly pause, but Makoto scoffs that she’s busy enough with work and doesn’t have time for love in her life. Still, if Hyuga ever has a hard time, he can always call her. Hyuga replies that he doesn’t think there’s something he would share with her though he looks quite pleased anyway. Makoto adds that whenever he wants to laugh, he can ask her to perform her commercial parody.
Hyuga doesn’t look convinced, so she points out that when you’re with an idiot, you leave your problems behind. Uh, I really don’t like this self-deprecating trait of yours, girl. Smiling, Hyuga assures her he got it, and drives away. Following his car with moony eyes, she tries to convince herself that there’s indeed only work in her life.
22 hours before the hacking. Assisting Kosuke, Makoto bumps into him inadvertently, which causes him to scream in pain. You, sir, are faking it. But that makes him remember that he let his car next to the parking ticket machine, resulting in a giant bill. Panicking, Makoto urges him to move his car and he just shows his leg. You gotta drive, honey.
Once behind the wheel, she looks like a cavegirl discovering fire, with Kosuke having a hard time containing his laughter. He pokes fun at her verrry slow driving style and chats about their mutual Todai professors, but Makoto needs to focus and would rather want him to shut up. Upset, she comments that she thought that only Hyuga was this sadistic and now there’s an other one to deal with.
After an other teasing, she starts comparing both guys, to Kosuke’s displeasure. He sighs that she only talks about Hyuga, and directly asks if she loves him. You ain’t Yoko’s brother for naught. She denies but he knows better. Dropping him home, Makoto is flustered when Kosuke suggests that she comes up with him (oh, the Asahina blood strikes again) but he undercuts the moment with a « gotcha ». They both laugh until Kosuke spots Tono walking to them and seeing that Makoto is about to turn, he suddenly pulls her in a firm embrace. Ack!
Makoto tries to calm herself outside, while Kosuke berates Tono for showing up around Kosuke’s place, since he doesn’t want anyone to know their connection. He produces an USB flash drive, containing the personal data of 5 million people. Mocking Tono’s amateurism, he points out that he’s always one step behind.
Flashback: when Tono (sporting a JACKASS shirt, no less) invested his money in the budding NEXT INNOVATION, he wrote the words『俺にだってできる！』- “Even I can do it!” on the wall. At that time, the smiling trio were doing fine, so well that Tono barged in one day to show them a hefty buying offer coming from a telecommunications company.
Thrilled to bits, Tono didn’t notice right away that neither Hyuga or Kosuke shared his excitement. But when Kosuke commented that he’s quite naive, he confronted them: Do they really think they can make so much money by themselves?
Not even bothering looking at him, Hyuga tsk-tsked that if he thinks that their worth relies only on how much they can make, then he’s even more petty than what he suspected. Vexed, and feeling stupid, Tono left. He came back an other day to claim back his share of the capital, only to regret it once the news of NEXT INNOVATION’s public listing began to spread. Bad timing, buddy.
At that same period, Tono reached a dead-end within his father’s company, proving himself unable to step up his game. So, it’s with obvious frustration that he now listens to Kosuke’s lecture. But our new Dark Lord masters the carrot and stick method, and softens the blow by adding that contrary to Hyuga, Tono is an adult. Determined to do something, anything, to restore his pride, Tono started the hacking.
That leads us back to the present, with Hyuga acknowledging in a press conference that they still couldn’t track from where the leak originated. An other problem arises when their shares keep dropping, which is only natural when a small IT company shows securities weaknesses. Small or less small, I’d say. Facebook, I’m looking at you.
Makoto begins to worry about their future so Yasuoka confidently tells her to trust in Hyuga. Cue to Hyuga announcing that they’re all under investigation. Haha, looks like trust doesn’t go both ways. He suspects the hacker to be one of the new employees and I’m like WTH? On what ground are you basing this? Whatever, roll on.
So, everyone complains about the intrusion into their privacy but Hyuga says that if nothing is found, then it’ll be a proof that they’re innocent. Actually, they should thank him. Oh, ungrateful peasants. And thus enter the policemen, inspecting everything from Yasuoka’s comedy props, Hosoki’s precious anime collection or Ogawa’s Ipad full of train pictures. Like (otaku) president, like (otaku) employees.
Of course, the inspection is fruitless but the stocks continue to fall, with one share worthing only ¥820 (~$10). Spying on Hyuga brooding alone, Kosuke turns and spots Makoto looking at him. Hyuga, I mean. What is a drama without the good ol’ circle of glances?
Yasuoka runs to deliver the 1300 orders coming from the restaurant, and Yamagami sees his chance. Reuniting the Personal File team, he tells them to put the project on hold for the moment,and to not speak about it during the shareholders meeting.
Fearing the reaction from the Ministry, he asks Makoto to contact Fujikawa. She readily agrees but Kosuke objects: her contract ends soon, and they can’t get her involved more than this. Peeking at Hyuga, she counters that they can use her just for this project and insists when Kosuke gently rebukes her, only to incur Huyga’ wrath.
Hyuga: We said we can’t entrust you with that! You don’t get it?
Looking straight at her, he adds that she’s not a permanent employee, so she better stay quiet for the next two weeks. Damn, that’s harsh. As Kosuke ends the meeting, Hyuga betrays a remorseful face. I knew you didn’t mean it.
Makoto works with Yasuoka to prepare the documents for the shareholders, and he chatters about how they used to have a good relationship with them, giving cellphone games and stuff. Makoto points out that this year will be different. You think? Yasuoka knows but still trusts Hyuga to turn the tables, even though he still can’t remember his name. Aw, you puppy.
Yoko is also on crisis mode, and gathers her team to propose a plan: holding cooking classes in the afternoon, before the dinner hours. That would help them not waste food and would also attract customers with cheaper meals. All aren’t convinced but she meekly bows to ask for their help. Good thing that Nogi is interested, because she precisely needs his help.
Taking out fresh products, she explains that they’ll use the same ingredients for the classes and for the restaurant, because she wants to offer her students a refined and high-class cuisine. Only a top-notch cook would be able to teach that, so this is where she needs Nogi, who studied French cuisine. With his skills, he could easily display how great their cuisine is. How eloquent.
She greets Makoto as they’re both outside and fishes for information concerning NEXT INNOVATION. Makoto gloomily says that she’d like to be of more help to the company but corrects herself as she chuckles that she’s just a temporary employee. Reading between the lines, Yoko reminds her that she can still be by Hyuga’s side, which makes Makoto remember her own words.
Embarrassed, she tells Yoko not to mind her and frantically blabbers that she and Hyuga are clearly made for each other and that their marriage will be strenghthened by Hyuga and Kosuke’s partnership. Yoko’s face mirrors mine: is she serious? Yoko tries to stop her monologue but Makoto swears she won’t interfere and hightails it out of there. Oh, I so want to slap you, girl.
Yamagami opens the shareholders meeting with an activity report but that’s the least thing the room wants to hear and soon they loudly call for Hyuga(‘s head), vociferating that they’re losing money. Granting their wish, Hyuga steps on the stage and whispers to a dumbfounded Yamagami that it’s time to move to the real issue. Standing alone in front of a wild crowd (love the shot here), Hyuga introduces himself.
He admits that there is a problem big enough to impact the shareholders, and without batting an eyelid, he apologizes, indifferent to the image he’s projecting. But the assembly isn’t, and roars even more at his arrogant attitude, ordering him to prostrate himself. Oh yeah, the infamous『土下座』- Dogeza. Clearly not intending to grovel, Hyuga yells at them to give up on the usual meaningless performances and instead focus on the situation.
He wants to hear their opinions, resulting in a bigger clamor, with some using the mic to voice their accusations and censure. They openly want him out, and Hyuga just stands there, facing the hatred, taking the blows. Suddenly, a young man raises his hand and shyly stands to speak. Sticking out with his flashy blonde hair and orange shirt in a room full of baldies and grey suits, he tells his story.
Unemployed, he has trouble finding a job, and was convinced by a friend who succeeded in stock market to do the same. So he managed to scrape some money together and bought 2 million yen worth of NEXT INNOVATION’s stock. The room buzzes with mocking remarks at the amount, but Hyuga raises his voice to cover up the noise, and prods the young man to continue.
He does, confessing that he was at first motivated by the seemingly easy money, but became engrossed in the company’s activity and ended up being Hyuga’s fan. Sharing almost the same age as him, he also doesn’t have a good education but have made different choices in life. Maybe for all these reasons, he came to admire Hyuga. The fact that someone like him tried to change the world was like a flicker of hope. Aw, that’s sweet. Please don’t make him an undercover spy or something, I beg you Show!
Yet, the current crisis is hard on him. But unlike the others, he doesn’t bad-mouth Hyuga. With a sigh, he simply states: “That’s disappointing” which hurts Hyuga far more than the previous curses. The man adds that in the end, he doesn’t care that much about the lost money and rather feels like he’s losing hope. OOOF. The crowd once again jeers at him but Hyuga yells even louder.
Going straight at the man to properly face him, he asks his name: Sakai Takahiro, and respectfully bows to him.
Hyuga: I’m really sorry.
Not being able to refund the money is mortifying, but he also can’t stop here or else he’d really be a fraud. So, he sincerely asks Sakai to give him another chance because this time, he’ll definitely make a better world. SQUEAAAAAAAL.
No matter what others can think, Hyuga still believes that his Personal File project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow bigger and for that, he’ll need everyone’s help. “Your shares in NEXT INNOVATION, please don’t sell them. Hold on to them. One day, without fail, you’ll be glad you did.”
Maybe feeling neglected, the other shareholders scoff at him for keeping this project and want their money back. Hyuga exits the stage without a care for the outcry when he’s suddenly pelted with food. The room goes silent as he turns and receives an other projectile, turning out to be the Aoyama’s tomatoes he offered to the shareholders.
Livid with rage, a woman confronts him about his “better world” talk. How dare he thinks he could use people’s money as he pleases? Pointing at his gift, she says that she knows how expensive it is and blames him for living a luxurious life on their backs. Without a word, he just bows and leaves, passing by a distressed Makoto who helplessly bows to the crowd. Too much bows for my taste.
Sitting in his office, Hyuga endures Kosuke’s rant and rave about his Personal File slip. Why do I feel like Kosuke enjoys every bit of his shouting, now being the one to strike the blows? He conclude the harsh lecture yelling that he was wrong to follow him on this one and that they should have accepted JI’s offer. With his attitude, Hyuga will only make undesired enemies. Oh RLY? Look who’s talking.
Kosuke: Right now, you’re just a selfish brat.
Oooh, I bet you couldn’t wait to throw this one. Now creepily whispering in Hyuga’s ear, he brings up the mommy issue, which he knows is the only topic that would really hit Hyuga deep down. And it works, as Hyuga finally wakes up from his apathy. If he really wants to find his mother, Kosuke warns, he better think to a compromise plan because he won’t have his cake and eat it too.
Finished with him, Kosuke stalks out and finds Makoto who pretty much listened to the whole exchange. Interrupting her before she says anything, he fires a barb at her: “We know you talk too much.” Eeeh. Well, if that can prevent you to flirt with her, I’ll take it.
Everyone watches the news covering the company’s plummeting stocks with dismay, except Kosuke, smirking alone in his
lair office. Talking to Tono on the phone, he tells him to buy as many shares as he can before cackling. In glee, of course. Damn, where’s the cat when you need it?
Cautiously entering Hyuga’s office, Makoto offers a towel to wipe his suit but Hyuga only mulls over that huge sum of money. It was made in an instant, and disappeared in an instant. Yep, and that’s why I don’t invest. He switches topics, wondering if his mother is alive, though having no intention to meet her. And WHY’s that, dear? Reflecting on his actions, he muses that she may have been only an excuse.
Looking on the verge of tears, he agrees that he’s indeed just a brat. Makoto doesn’t know how to react but her silence brings Hyuga to ask what’s wrong. “You won’t say something? Even though you love it, when I open up about my feelings.” I shouldn’t laugh, but right on point, dude. Going on, he mutters to himself that his methods were wrong and just when Makoto is finally about to speak, someone enters to announce a call from the Ministry. DARN IT, GIRl!
Trying to scoff, but his eyes gleaming with these drops of salty liquid called tears, he tells her to go with Kosuke, since he would just create more friction. Once alone, looking at Makoto helping Kosuke on their way to go, Hyuga still resists the urge to cry. When the duo comes back at the office, late at night, Makoto notices that Hyuga left. Ready to call Hyuga, she voices her worries to Kosuke, who softly enjoins her to give him some time instead.
Though they both turn to work, Makoto can’t help but be concerned about their misfortune. Kosuke says that they can only move forward, just like him and Hyuga have always done so far. Puh-lease. His “spouting bullshit to sound cool” strategy works, as Makoto stares at him dreamily. She opens up to him, glad that he still considers Hyuga a friend, since she was scared they wouldn’t work together anymore.
Kosuke reassures her: “I have no choice but support him.” Your interpretation of “support” is kinda dubious. But these words make Makoto envious. Like Kosuke, she also wants to become Hyuga’s strength. Oooh, if only you just raised your head, you’d catch his shifty eyes. Standing up to search for documents, she stops in her tracks, only now realizing that she has two weeks left before the final goodbye.
Sitting listlessly in a corner of his dark big condo, Hyuga remembers Makoto’s offer to make him laugh when he’s feeling down, and the image of her goofy parody has him chuckling. This is enough to make him search for his phone.
Meanwhile, Makoto goes to his office and finds his stained shirt and suit. She painfully looks at it, remembering the Meeting Of Doom, but is distracted by Kosuke’s entrance. He apologizes for hugging her the other day, and we flashback to the moment. She blushed and laughed it off, leaving in a huff, while Kosuke looked intensely at her with regret. He tells her now that he wasn’t joking.
Of course, this happens right when Makoto’s phone rings, the same phone SHE LEFT IN THE OTHER ROOM! Argh, seriously. Kosuke scoffs that she only thinks about Hyuga (she doesn’t deny) and openly says that it’s upsetting him. Dude, you need a love crash course: if what you needed to get a girl was simply to order her to love you, then there wouldn’t be so many relationships books.
He almost sounds desperate as he asks her to face him, but we see that she’s confused. She slowly turns her head aaand scene cut! You tease. Hyuga keeps calling Makoto, growing anxious by the minute. When he falls again for the answering machine fakeout, it finally dawns on him that she won’t answer. Oh, God, his face. It spells: “You betrayed me.” and he actually sneers: “Lying woman.”
Plopping down on the couch, the sound of the doorbell makes him spring right away on his feet. He dashes to open the door, revealing….Yoko. Damn, I knew it wouldn’t be Makoto but still, what a letdown. Grinning from ear to ear, Yoko doesn’t notice Hyuga’s frozen smile, and unabashedly says that she chose to come since waiting for him to make a move would take forever. Pffft, so true.
Though not being the one he wanted to see, Yoko is still better to spend time with than brooding alone, so Hyuga welcomes her inside. They soon banter about Kosuke over wine, and Hyuga tells her that he’s glad she came. You can literally see her heart shot by Cupid’s arrow. She goes to the fridge to prepare something when Hyuga’s phone rings. They both freeze, though Hyuga sighs that it’s work-related.
He takes his phone but Yoko puts her hand on his. Covering her worried face with a smile, she asks him to just forget the call for now. She knows that coming to his house when he’s at his low point is the worst but she did so because she loves him. *Falls from chair* I know you’re siblings, but how come you managed to do the same things in one episode? Did you plan this?
Hyuga is stunned so it’s (once again) Yoko who takes the lead and plants a kiss on his lips. After looking at her for a while, it’s him who initiates the next one, to Yoko’s delighted (inwardly) surprise, as he’s unaware of Makoto’s call.
I swear, these siblings should sell their tricks. I can deal with one messing with the OTP, but both simultaneously? That’s asking a lot.
It wasn’t the most pleasant episode we got until now, and the lack of cuteness or fun was sorely felt. We had our share of Broody Hyuga, Dark Kosuke, Pining Makoto and Foxy Yoko but not enough interesting interactions between them. I only hope the writers won’t keep separating them in two couples to forcefully keep our main couple apart, because that’s typically the drama cliché that has been made to death.
Even though this drama is a rom-com, it doesn’t mean they have to stick to overused tropes, and the first episodes proved that they know how to entwine the romance arc with the business one. They have plenty of ways to offer something different, as this episode demonstrated with the shareholders meeting. Boy, that was intense.
I loved this scene, maybe because it’s highly unlikely to happen in real life. All I needed was a misfit story rolling out of the blue when you’d least expect it. The image of this frail guy, obviously lacking self-assurance and feeling out of place when surrounded by so many average Joes (or rather, Yamadas) was striking. Everything made him stand out: clothes, age, social status.
It’s telling that Hyuga was more willing to listen to him than the bunch of wealthier old geezers. We already know that Hyuga isn’t one to give in the hypocritical show politicians and company leaders comply to, but I believe that he somewhat recognized himself in this young man even more. Without his talent, he could have ended up in the same situation, so knowing that he disappointed such a fan must have really stung.
On a trivia note, you gotta love that the one supposed to belong to the fringe elements of society actually displayed more restraint and manners than the whole room.
I was afraid that he’d just be someone hired by Kosuke to disturb the meeting, so I’m glad it wasn’t the case. After seeing Tono’s story, I wondered if Kosuke planned to recruit an army of jealous weaklings. I hope they’re not expecting us to care about Tono, because this wuss has brought his own misery on himself.
What I’m more curious or apprehensive about is Kosuke’s real reasons to tune so much with the Dark Force, even though I agree that it may be addictive once you step a foot within it. Still, tell me that there are deeper issues than just Sakaguchi’s provocative words. I’m forced to now doubt everything about him, even his supposedly budding feelings for Makoto. I even begin doubting Yoko and her story about meeting Hyuga in the past, as the episodes go. It would help if we were given even a little flashback or something to actually prove that they did meet.