Eriko is home alone while her mother is on a trip. As she is about to dig into a bento, Kamoda knocks and tells Eri that she has a guest. This surprises Eri and she is even more surprised when her Uncle Genzo comes in. Genzo has come to visit Mitsuyo who is currently away from Tokyo worken at an onsen. This upsets Genzo who was looking for Mitsuyo to help with money since his son got into trouble. Genzo then asks if Eri could repay the remainder of the debt owed to him. Nothing but a trifling 5 million yen. This shocks Eri who cannot believe the amount. What will Eri do. Can she come up with the money to repay her father’s debt and help Genzo’s son? Eri immediately begins shutting down all electric devices to save money. Poor girl.
The next day Eri approaches her boss for an advance on her guarantees. Umemoto asks how much she needs and cannot believe it when she asks for 5 million. Eri asks if it’s not possible and Umemoto tells her that it isn’t. Plus, her guarantees haven’t even added up to that amount yet – meaning she is worth 5 million yen yet. Eri sits down dejected when Masamune comes and asks what happened. Eri doesn’t tells Masamune why she needs the money and instead asks how many books she needs to sell to earn 5 million in royalties. The glasses-wearing walking encyclopedia and calculator tells her she as to sell 125,000 copies to earn that much with her 8% of royalties. This shocks Eri. Kamoda says that volume is hard to hit unless Eri can win some prizes or have her book turned into a drama or movie. Discouraging.
At this time, Eri gets a call from Daito TV. Why? They want her to appear on a popular TV program. This shocks everyone in the office when they overhear. Masamune points at the TV where Onuki Kentaro’s Best Lunch is currently airing and asks if Eri will be appearing on that show. It has the best ratings for that time slot adds our handy information guy. Masamune tells Eri that it is a good opportunity to plug her book, making Eri determined to appear to help raise her sales volume and get more royalties. Will it work? Does it matter when Eri is all fired up? Of course we know things aren’t going to go as smoothly as she thinks they will.
Eri and Masamune pose for photographs in the TV station’s lobby with an annoyed Kamoda snapping the pictures wondering why he has to commemorate the event. Masamune and Eri are like kids going all over the station to get their photos taken when they notice Himuro in a bright orange business suit. He introduces himself as Eri’s manager. Of course this angers Eri as Himuro is doing things on his own again and that usually ends up making trouble for Eri later. The producer then gathers them all and begins taking them back to the filming site. The gang are in awe as they pass celebrities.
The producer then announces the segment Eri will be appearing on. It is well known for catapulting current trends. Onuki’s staff does the homework for the segment and Onuki chooses whether or not to utilize the information they come up with. Eriko then rattles off all of Onuki’s accolades, surprising everyone. Eri did her homework before coming (she even had the notes on her hand to prove it). The gang are even more in awe as they enter the studio. Himuro rushes over to the PD and director and shows them an Eri doll he made and they promise to bring it up on the program. Eri is shocked to see just how much her relative has prepared. Enter Onuki. Eri is introduced to him and they exchange greetings. Onuki surprises Eri by grabbing her into a hug before moving on.
Back at the office, Eri’s coworkers are all gathering to watch the show and Eri’s debut appearance. Watching Onuki during the opening of the show, he seems so fake, I don’t know how he is so popular. After the day’s guests are introduced, Eri’s corner starts. As she is called out, she trips and face plants. Ouch. Talk about embarrassing yourself on national television. Eri quickly gets back to her feet and Onuki laughs it off saying that she is a person who knows how to get back up on her feet after falling (metaphorically speaking because of the hardships she’s experienced). Eri then starts expounding her life’s story from her first father drinking himself to death, to her second father’s gambling and debt to his untimely demise and her and her mother working hard to make a living.
Onuki says it must have been tough and wipes away “tears.” He puts away his hanky and then commends her for having the guts to turn her life story into a manga. Eri smiles and says that long ago just having guts alone was praised. Onuki then says that Eri’s “hateful stories” slashing away at outsiders surprised him and he tells her to continue to do so in the future and to be a dutiful daughter to her mother. Eri thanks him and says that she will continue to work hard. Onuki pretends to wipe tears once again and tells her to keep up the good work and he will forever be her supporter. Cut to commercial. Eri thanks him and Onuki thanks her as well. Eri goes back to the rest of the gang who have all teared up after hearing her stories once again. Did they not realize just how poor and how much trouble she was having until hearing it at the studio? Sillies.
On their way out, Masamune feels encouraged and hopes the spot will help Eri sell more of her manga. Himuro then remembers that he forgot the items he had brought. The quartet then turn around and head back in to retrieve it. When they reach the studio they overhear Onuki complaining about a guest wearing the same clothes as him. The PD then notices them and asks why they are there. Eri mentions the production goods and he says that they have already been put away so he will send them by motorbike later. They gang asks if a review meeting is going on. The PD says it is something like that and kicks them out. He scurries back in and apologizes. The PD apologizes and says they will get rid of the commentator who was wearing the same clothes. Then the AD speaks up (Nishijima Takahiro from Tumbling and Ghost Friends) saying that it was Onuki’s fault for not telling them his clothing choice beforehand. Onuki then takes off his jacket and tosses it in the air as he stalks off. What a primadonna.
The next day, people recognize Eri from her TV appearance and approach her for photographs and praise her looks. This makes Eri late for a meeting. She apologizes, but her contact says it’s okay and calls Eri “Aihara-sensei” – a term of respect for a mangaka. Thanks to Onuki, this man’s publishing company wants to run a serialization of Eri’s work. Eri immediately agrees. When Eri gets to the office she learns her book sales have jumped 500% thanks to her TV appearance (from 90 a day to 450). Masamune tells Eri that isn’t all, there’s a bonus. He takes Eri and shows her that she has fan sites are now being made about her. Wow. Talk about instant popularity and success. When’s the bad stuff going to start happening? Umemoto tells Eri not to let fame get to her head and forget her primary job. Eri stalks up to his desk and hands him her latest work, asking him what he thinks. It’s a manga of her television studio experience. Umemoto immediately says that he will use them.
When the comic is published, Onuki is furious by how he was portrayed (Eri showed his true face during the “review” meeting). Our AD does his best to support Eri and diffuse the situation, but Onuki won’t be assuaged. The PD then says that they will basically blackball Eri. Oh, such a primadonna indeed. Right away Onuki begins his vicious attack on Eri.
Eri goes home and is annoyed to see Himuro. But he isn’t there to scam her or take more money. He tells her that the goods sold and then gives Eri back 30,000 yen. Himuro then says that he has an even bigger surprise and drags Eri into Kamoda’s room where they have set up a surprise party to celebrate Eri’s success. Eri is touched that even Umemoto has showed up. Himuro then tells them that he is starting to mass produce Eri goods to cash in on her rising popularity. The party then begins. The gang eat and drink their fill.
Eri and Masamune are discussing about how successful Eri can be if things continue the way they are and Kamoda urges caution (he’s been in Eri’s shoes before with his miracle shot). Eri refuses to be brought down, but starts feeling a little ill and heads off to the bathroom, which Umemoto has just exited. Eri then thanks Umemoto for helping her on her path to becoming a mangaka, she then falls on him allowing the cameraman who snuck in to get some pictures that will be easily misunderstood. Then out walks Masamune wondering just what is going on. Umemoto then passes off the drunk Eri to Masamune and more pictures are taken. Masamune then escorts the sick Eri to the bathroom.
At work the next day, Eri is horribly hung over and asks Umemoto if he has anything to cure a hangover. Umemoto, who seems completely fine gives her the old adage “hair of the dog.” Then Eri is suddenly on TV. They mention that the sales of her books has hit over 20,000 copies and then wonder what her connection is to these “unruly men.” Uh-oh. On Onuki’s show they are discussing Eri and have a bunch of articles up with pictures from the party. Onuki and his co-anchor accuse Eri of using her body to get to her position. First sleeping with Masamune and Umemoto to get her current job and even cohabitating with a photographer. Geez. How low will Onuki stoop? This annoys Eri and she refuses to let the incident go. She heads straight to the newspaper to protest.
However, as Eri and Masamune leave the magazine’s office, they are swarmed by reporters wanting to know if the rumors are true. Eri adamantly refutes them. The reporters then ask Masamune if he and Eri have had a sexual relationship, which Masamune also repudiates. Eri waves them away and a cameraman falls. Eri asks if he’s okay and then she and Masamune leave. The cameraman who fell watches them go with an evil smile. Great. More sensationalized news.
At the paper, Eri and Masamune cuss out the editor only to have him point out that it can’t be considered slander or libel. Why? In the article there is very fine print where it is asked if that is the mangaka’s true life. Sneaky. As Masamune and Eri leave the newspaper dejectedly, they overhear that Eri has been accused of attacking a cameraman. They then see the news report that the cameraman faked (as he fell on his own). Eri then realizes she is late for her serialization meeting. Once she gets there, she is told that she is no longer getting the serialization because of the scandal. To make matters worse, Eri arrives home to boxes full of returned products. Eri then attacks Himuro when she learns that he used her name to get the loan to mass produce them. At that moment Masamune shows up to let her know that bookstores are requesting immediate removal of Eri’s book. Oy.
With all of the boxes, Eri can’t sleep in her room and asks Kamoda to put her up. Masamune refuses saying that without Mitsuyo, a woman and man can’t be alone together. Masamune wants to put her up in a business hotel, but Eri can’t afford it. So Masamune’s solution? He will sleepover as well. This way Kamoda and Eri won’t be alone. He protests a man and a woman alone together, but is it any better to have two men and a woman alone together? While they prepare for bed, Kamoda asks why Eri seems so down and Eri complains about the fickleness of popularity. Eri then says she can’t trust anyone anymore. Both Kamoda and Masamune try to discourage Eri’s thinking such a sad thought, but Eri won’t listen as Kamoda wouldn’t understand. He didn’t have the same thing happen to him. I think that he might have actually.
At the office the next day, Eri is lifeless. Masamune tries to engage her in a new store for her serialization, but he gets no response. Her coworkers stare on in pity at the empty husk that was once the vibrant Eri. Umemoto comes in and gets his gang back working. Then comes a phone call from Daito TV. Eri snaps out of her funk and immediately takes the call. It’s the PD asking Eri to come back to talk about her side of the story. Something’s definitely not right. Masamune asks if Eri will go back on TV and then tries to discourage her from it saying the rumors will eventually die. Kamoda then break in and asks if Eri will run away from the harsh reality of TV. Hearing this, Eri bucks up the courage to appear again to tell her side of the story.
At the station, the AD wonders if they should really follow Onuki to get the ratings. He does not like what is being done. He is young and idealistic, but that doesn’t make him wrong. When Eri and Masamune show up, Onuki puts on his mask and pretends like he is so sad that such a thing happened. How could it right after he introduced her to the world. The PD then hands Eri a script that tells her only to agree with whatever Onuki says. Oh, definitely not a good script to follow. Eri doesn’t like this idea. Onuki says that it doesn’t matter if she didn’t do what she is accused of, in order to regain trust, she must apologize first. What a crock. Apologizing is admitting guilt and we all know it.
As Eri and Masamune leave Onuki’s office, the AD comes out to talk to them. He confesses that Onuki was the one behind all of Eri’s current problems. Eri and Masamune wonder why and the AD brings out the comic. They can’t believe Onuki is that horrible. Masamune encourages Eri to not go, but Eri refuses as she is sick of being treated like that. Will Eri be able to save face and reputation with her righteous indignation?
The show begins and Onuki goes along with his plan of “redeeming” Eri by making her out to be a girl who just got overwhelmed with fame and did all those things she’s accused of. Eri plays along and agrees with him and then apologizes for the troubles she caused. She then tells Onuki that she even drew a manga to convey her feelings even better. Haha. Knew there was a catch. The manga she drew depicts the two-faced Onuki! The PD immediately calls for a commercial. Eri apologizes for making him angry and then asks if he is behind everything. Onuki says he isn’t and then Eri gets mad and cusses him out. Having seen the CM light go on, Onuki drops his mask and starts talking back to Eri. The PD warns the AD that the commercial is almost over, but the AD does not warn Onuki and lets Eri’s rant go on. Just as the show goes back on air, Onuki is caught showing his real face. Eri storms off followed by Masamune. Onuki tries to cover, but it is too late for him. After seeing his real face, people began to complain about how they never really liked Onuki. For the TV station it is no big deal, they’ll just start looking for a new one that’s even better to replace him.
The AD runs after Eri and says that he wishes to create a truly entertaining program, but the reality is really harsh. Ready Eri’s manga helped him get through rough times and made him feel like he could do his best. He thanks Eri and goes to walk off. Eri calls after him to work hard and she will work are too.
The magazine office throws a party to cheer up Eri who uses the chance to thank Kamoda for giving her the push she needed to keep going. Kamoda then leaves for the bathroom to hide how her words touched him. Eri then brings up a new manga to Umemoto, wondering if it will be impossible given Eri’s downturn of favor. Umemoto replies that he will publish it if he likes it or he won’t publish it if he doesn’t.
Kamoda is out drinking beer alone and Umemoto goes out smiling and says that Eri is a foolishly simple girl. Masamune goes out to look for the two and we hear Kamoda talking about how he regrets saying such great words to Eri, mainly because he feels he is a fraud. How so? Back then he couldn’t find the words to tell everyone that he really didn’t take the miracle one-shot. Wow, wasn’t expecting that.