TROUBLEMAN Episode 3 Recap
Makiko begins to tell her story. She tells the group about Kouji, a struggling musician who wanted to change the world and make it a better place with his music and money (if his music ever hit it big). Kouji was Makiko’s boyfriend and her everything. They were very happy until the day a one yen coin destroyed everything. As they are standing waiting to cross a road and talking about their future, a coin rolls between them. Kouji sees this and goes to pick it up. As luck would have it, he gets hit by a truck. Makiko rushes to him and he tries to say something. Makiko doesn’t understand what he says, but takes the coin that he managed to pick up before he died.
Devastated, Makiko turns to drinking. She drinks and lies around thinking about Kouji or she goes and visits places that had special memories of her and Kouji, like the playground where they had their first kiss. Finally, Makiko has had enough of life without Kouji. She takes out a knife and tries to kill herself. However, she cannot bring herself to slit her wrists. She knows that Kouji would not want her to kill herself and she has this desire to know why Kouji died. Thus, Makiko decides to become a hypnotherapist to track down the owner of the one yen coin to understand exactly what happened to Kouji (and this is a normal response how?).
Makiko begins attending a hypnosis seminar where she and a group of others are taught how to hypnotize people properly. Makiko uses the coin that caused Kouji’s death as the pendulum used for hypnosis. Afterwards, Makiko begins using her new found skill on people trying to track down the coin’s owner. She has had no luck and decides to move and become more serious about her job as a hypnotherapist. She sees client, after client, and her life seems to be going rather well all things considered when the morning of the fateful day that has brought these neighbors together comes.
Makiko has been working with a depressed mangaka. This person has always been shy and socially awkward and had gone unnoticed for the longest of times until a guy came out of nowhere and said he liked her. Apparently things did not go well with the man and the mangaka was suffering. Makiko uses hypnosis to bring the patient to confront their painful memories with disastrous results. Makiko’s patient takes a knife and stabs herself right in front of Makiko. Makiko is shocked and yells at the artist to stay with her. Then Makiko hears the yakuza outside her door and panics. She hides the body in the futon cupboard and goes into the kitchen to wash the blood off her hands, stripping off the bloodied shirt she had been wearing.
And from that point on, we know the story. Kameda comes in because of the yakuza and accidentally tackles Makiko. When he accidentally opens the cupboard and the dead body falls out, Makiko snaps and yells at her client to pull herself together and become strong (that is what Makiko had to do without Kouji).
The entire group apologizes for calling Makiko a murderer. Kameda in particular is sorry for having said such things. They all tell Makiko they will support her and do everything they can for her like they did for Kameda when he told his story. Makiko thanks them and says that she has always believed that one day this coin will lead her to its owner. That’s when the string breaks and the coin rolls over to Tokuda who seems to be very uneasy because of this. The landlady wonders what’s wrong and he said he was afraid Makiko would lose an important thing (the coin). The others accept this answer. When Tokuda goes to pick up the coin, it starts floating. So Kameda really does have ESP. (No one believed that part of his story was real until now.)
Kameda sends the coin back to Makiko who thanks him. The landlady wondered what other powers Kameda possessed. He said that he could sometimes get a feel for objects by touching them, but since he hasn’t used his powers often he doesn’t think he’ll be able to get much from the coin. Makiko thanks him again but says she wants to find the owner by herself. The episode then ends with Landlady Sasaki saying that she and her husband are the thieves in the wanted poster in the apartment’s neighborhood.
My thoughts: While I still like this drama, I felt Makiko’s story was too much like Kameda’s. Yes, you still feel sorry for her loss, but it is has already been encountered before. Will all these characters have stories that are this similar to one another? Not necessarily a bad thing, but can be redundant as we go through each characters’ individual stories.
I am curious to know if Tokuda is connected to Makiko’s past and the coin that killed her boyfriend. He seemed really uncomfortable when the string holding the coin snapped and the coin rolled to him. Could be coincidence, or he might have been there when the accident occurred. I wonder when we shall find out.