Gakeppuchi no Eri Episode 3 Recap
Ah, we get a slight break from the wealthy asses preaching to the poor girl in this episode. Thank god! I was getting sick of the long poor will always be poor and should know their place speeches. This time, Eri is the one giving the speech. Well, it’s not her first. She says something about the poor having pride and clawing their way up from the bottom in every episode, but she is really the one giving the hard-hitting lecture here which is a welcome change. I will admit to having no clue why Eri gives up her dream of art school after working so hard to get there. What a waste.
We pick up where we left off with Hirabayashi and Eri outside of a love hotel. Hirabayashi (hence forth to be called by his first name of Masamune because his last name is just too crazy to keep spelling out) goes to head in, but stops when Eri doesn’t follow and makes a comment about how she couldn’t believe that Masamune was one of those kind of guys. Eri then says she isn’t an easy woman and goes to leave. Masamune hurries and stops her telling her that it is just work, that they are just checking out the hotel for the magazine. Eri eventually caves and goes in with Masamune and is seen by her two snobbish classmates that always seems to be trying to trick Eri.
The next day Eri collects her pay and asks Umemoto what he wants the illustration to be about this time. Umemoto then tells Eri that she didn’t have an illustration to do. This shocks Eri and she asks Masamune what is going on. He confesses that he had to write and article about going to a love hotel and couldn’t find anyone willing to go with him, so he chose Eri since he didn’t think anything was likely to happen. Ouch. Two blows to Eri’s pride. Eri then follows Umemoto around begging for a job (she follows him to the bathroom, to the cafe, everywhere). Umemoto finally caves and challenges Eri to find something interesting. If Umemoto likes it, then Eri’s piece will be published.
Eri asks Masamune what section of the magazine sells more and he tells her a surprise attack. Eri decides to do that to get as much money as possible. She picks up a paper and says that she will do that. Masamune and Kamoda check out the paper and thinks she means the political scandal. Eri says no and points to an add for an aesthetic salon where you can get a free trial service. Eri and Masamune go together for research. Both enjoy the experience, but Masamune is totally into it, getting all he can for the free period. This annoys Eri as she has been done for quite awhile and is waiting around for Masamune to finish up.
While waiting, Eri notices the salon owner’s picture and sets off to find him. The secretary tells her to wait, but Eri storms into his office and gets right up on his desk and shoves her face at his, looking at it intently. It turns out to be her long lost friend Masashi-kun! He asks who she is and she says that it is her, Eriko. Masashi then grabs her mouth and stretches it. It’s his little Eriko! The two were great friends when they were small. Both came from poor families and were constantly teased for it. Masashi-nii always complimented Eriko’s drawings. Masashi tells Eri that he and his family fled in the middle of the night to escape debtors all those years ago. Masamune comes in and tells Eriko she should have waited for him if she was planning an interview. Masashi asks what he means and Eriko says that she and Masamune came to do a piece on the salon. Masashi says he doesn’t care because more publicity means more money. Eri’s cartoon is rejected by Umemoto for being too boring. This upsets Eri because she really wanted to help out with Masashi-nii’s business.
Meanwhile, Mitsuyo is working making lunchboxes, happily talking about how her daughter is going to a prestigious art school. Eri may not be the smartest cookie, but she has real talent when it comes to art and Mitsuyo is very proud of her daughter. After work, she goes to Eri’s school where she runs into those trouble making girls who tell Mitsuyo that Eri doesn’t hand in her themes on time, cuts class, gets yelled at by the professor, plus they even saw her going into a love hotel with a guy the other night! What a great thing to tell someone’s mother and you can see how upset and shocked Mitsuyo is to hear all of this about her precious daughter.
Eri goes to see Masashi and show him the magazine. He says that there is no mention of his salon. Eri apologizes and says that her story was rejected. She feels bad because she really wanted to help him. Masashi tells Eri not to worry as business is not hurting. Eri is touched by this. Their talk is interrupted by a phone call which Masashi does his best to keep Eri from overhearing how he is looking for a Tashiko. Afterward, he and Eri leave the salon and she asks him about making money. Masashi tells Eri something that is really quite endearing and inspirational. Basically, no matter how tough it is, even if your bucket leaks, money and success go hand-in-hand with what you are capable of doing yourself, which in and of itself is true and yet not at the same time.
Eri gets home where she is immediately scolded and hit by her mother, and no, Mitsuyo isn’t doing this because Eri went to a love hotel with some guy. Mitsuyo is upset because she scrimped and saved to get the money for Eri to go to art school and Eri is just wasting the education by not going and doing the work properly. This upsets Eri who talks about quitting again and this sends Mitsuyo through the roof. She kicks Eri out of the apartment. Eri says that it is her apartment, but Mitsuyo reminds Eri that it was originally Mitsuyo’s money that paid for the deposit and the initial rent. Eri leaves and goes to Kamoda’s until her mother cools down. Eri tells him about Masashi-nii and the conversation she overheard earlier. This peaks Kamoda’s interest and he tells her that she can get a foot up on Masamune.
How? Kamoda encourages Eri to follow Masashi. So follow him she and Masamune do. They follow him to a rundown apartment, the follow him to several meetings with rather shady characters in which money and a such is exchanged. With all of this, neither Masamune nor Eri seems to think something is wrong. How can that be? A wealthy businessman meeting others in a seedy neighborhood and getting envelopes of money isn’t suspicious? These two are definitely not cut out to be investigators. During their stakeout and stalking, Masamune also teases Eri for liking Masashi (turns out he was her close friend and first love, awww).
Eri gets home and overhears her mother talking to the land lady about how Mitsuyo wishes a better life for Eri than what she and her husband had. That is why she wants Eri to get her college degree so badly as it will help open doors for her. Um, perhaps, but do art degrees really open that many doors in any country? This really affects Eri and makes her think. The next day at school, her professor stops by to give her advice on her current painting, and she just stares despondently. He asks if she is listening because he is actually giving her constructive criticism. Eri then asks him if going through school and listening to his advice will help he achieve her goal. He asks her what he goal is and she says to make money off of her art. He doesn’t know what to say to this. Schooling really is dependent. Sometimes it can make you better than you already are, sometimes not so much. It could make Eri’s art better, or it could pigeonhole her. Who knows.
Eri goes to visit Masashi again to talk about an article. Masashi says he doesn’t mind her doing one, but he thought her first was already rejected. Eri says yes and that she thought doing a day in the life of a celebrity president would be better so she tells him she followed him. This shocks Masashi and angers him, especially when she talks about the seedy apartment and meeting men at various places. Masashi yells at Eri for being nosy and she apologizes telling him that she only wanted to do her best to repay him a little of what he had done for her when she was younger. This doesn’t have the desire affect. Instead of being touched, Masashi tells Eri that she is annoying and that he doesn’t like such things as he wants to forget all about the past. Poor Eri. Her past with Masashi is what inspired her to draw and do her best and he says he wishes to forget it all? Granted his past was less than happy, but still, what a way to tramp on an old friendship.
A depressed Eri goes to the Weekly Treasure office where Kumoda and Masamune are. Eri complains about what happened with Masashi and blames Kumoda who them tells Eri the truth about Masashi’s behavior. What truth? There is a high probability that Masashi is a swindler. Eri doesn’t believe this, but Kumoda reiterates what Eri saw when she and Masamune followed Masashi and another magazine worker pipes up and explains that the term Tashiko. A Tashiko is a person who cannot be traced and is used to gather money from various cons. Eri still doesn’t want to believe it and tells Kumoda that she will follow her beloved nii-chan again just to prove Kumoda wrong.
Masamune and Kumoda stakeout the apartment Masashi went to earlier while Eri goes there with a hidden camera. She knocks and pushes her way inside saying she is a friend of Masashi’s. Once inside, the worst is confirmed. There are young men working on phone cons. Eri is heartbroken. She confronts Masashi who confesses that when he wanted to start his salon, no one would lend him money, so he resorted to swindling to get it. He then says that everything comes down to money and even Eri wants it. Money is neither good not evil (which is very true). Eri then lights into Masashi about his warped sense of thinking. She is hurt to know his encouraging words earlier were all just lies. Even though Eri wants/needs money, she will never resort to using and hurting people to do it. Poor people can climb out of poverty with their own strength and not piggybacking on the coattails of the rich. Eri then confides that she wishes to earn a living with her art because of him, because he said her drawings made him happy. Eri then goes to leave and Masashi, defeated, calls his men off as a worried Masamune and Kumoda come in to see if Eri is all right (she threw down the bag with the camera).
Kumoda shows the video with Eri’s speech to her mother, who was very touched by it. Masamune is surprised to see how good a heart his idol Kumoda has, but Kumoda denies doing a good deed, saying he is just recycling the investigation tape. A saddened Eri finishes her illustration and hands it in. Umemoto notices her red eyes and accepts the illustration (which is about her ordeal with Masashi), tells her she did a good job and to wash her face already. Eri goes home and talks to her mother. She is going to quit school and work. After hearing the tape, Mitsuyo has decided to not stand in Eri’s way and let her daughter make the decision. Eri gives the withdrawal notice to the school and goes to thank the professor before leaving. Her fellow classmates and professor are shocked to learn that she will be leaving just like that. Eri then rushes to the magazine headquarters where her fellow coworkers are gathered around a postcard – Eri’s first fan mail which turns out to be encouragement from her mother (writing as an anonymous reader). This touches Eri greatly.
Eri and Masamune are walking and talking afterward when Eri’s no good relative shows up. He tells Eri that he took good care of the beetle larva, making sure they were watered every day, but when he got up that morning, the larvae were all dead. Apparently he over-watered them. So now he cannot possibly return the money like he had wanted to. Eri grabs him and begins choking him and asking for her money back when a big burly guy comes up and asks for a word with her uncle. This shocks and scares the trio. What will happen next?