Gakeppuchi no Eri Episode 4 Recap
More preaching of the rich that the poor are worthless and more of Eri doing her spiel that the lowest of the low still have their own pride. Really don’t need a summary as every episode is a variation on the same theme, but this episode has its merits as romance starts to bloom – for one person at least.
We open where we left off. Eri, her jacky of a relative, and Masamune are being intimidated by a giant man. The man says he needs to speak with Himura about a failed beetle investment. He also says that Himura called Eri his fess partner, so if Himura doesn’t have the money, then he’ll get it from Eri. Himura grabs the money out of Eri’s hand and gives it to the man who threatens to come back for the rest. Eri is upset that she lost an additional 8000 yen to Himura. She wants to know why he named her as his business partner. He says that he had hoped to share the profits with Eri to repay the money he took from her. Himura tricks Eri into thinking a bottle cap was a 100 yen coin and manages to escape.
Eri is trying to draw in her apartment, but it is just too hot, so she goes to work to cool off. Kumoda tells her that she is in the way if she doesn’t work, but Eri say that Kumoda does the exact same thing so he cannot talk. Just then Umemoto’s lunch arrives (he’s eating eel), making Eri’s mouth water. She goes over to his desk and he says he won big at the races and was treating himself. Eri then complains that she is only eating white noodles day after day so she needs to make money to be able to eat something different. Another magazine worker says that Eri is basically the main writer for the “Lady’s Sigh” corner now and six of her 31 submissions that month had been accepted and printed. Eri says that she is still a long way from her goal of 300,000 yen earned a month. So she needs a killer series to raise her income. Eri approaches Umemoto for work and he says that he will only publish something interesting, so Eri needs a plan.
Kumoda notices that Masamune seems to be a little down and the three go to the park to talk. Masamune tells how his father wants to set up an omiai (arranged date in hopes of making a match that ends in marriage) and how he really is opposed to the idea as he is not ready for marriage. Masamune then says how he panicked and told his father that he wouldn’t go through an omiai as he already has a girlfriend, which he really doesn’t. Masamune doesn’t have anyone to ask and Kumoda says why not ask Eri to do it. Eri flat out rejects the offer as she says she doesn’t like lying and things tend to escalate and become worse. Kumoda says he wishes he could help, but he can’t (since he’s not a girl and doesn’t know of any others besides Eri). Masamune then tells about how the meeting with his parents has been arranged at a fancy restaurant where the food is supposed to be really good. This brings Eri back and she agrees to help just so she can have something besides her usual bean sprouts and white noodles.
Eri is surprised by the restaurant and that Masamune even rented a costume (kimono) for Eri to meet his parents in. Things go well at first, but then the usual Eri bursts out. She talks about how all she eats is bean sprouts, growing up poor, and her dream of making a living off of her art. This makes Masamune’s father less than thrilled and his mother seems to feel the same way. Eri eats like crazy and Masamune gives her his share when she finishes hers. He tries to salvage the situation with his parents by glossing over Eri’s remarks (like calling her a vegetarian and saying that she is really talented so it doesn’t matter that she dropped out of art school), but too little, too late.
The next day Eri and Kumoda are back at the office to cool down as their apartment building is like a sauna in the summer. Masamune comes in and thanks Eri for helping him out the other day. To thank her, he has made reservations at the best French restaurant in town for her and her mother. Eri thanks him, but doesn’t understand why all the other workers are so jealous. Apparently it is very famous and hard to get reservations for. Eri and her mom go, but stick out like a sore thumb, well Eri at least. Mitsuyo had on her nicest dress while Eri just wore her casual clothes. They didn’t really like the food or the service. They wanted chopsticks versus silverware and wanted a big bowl of white rice (lol, in a FRENCH restaurant). The head waiter wanted them kicked out, but was told they were guests of the Hirabayashi family. The waiter changes his tune, but still says to get them out as fast as possible as they were affecting the restaurant’s status.
Later Eri is walking home and feels that she is being followed. She runs and quickly hides behind a sign to await her pursuer. While doing so, Himura comes up behind her and scares Eri. She yells at him for doing so and he asks her for money for a new business venture. Eri says she has none and that he won’t get any out of her as he still owes her 58,000 yen. Eri was right, she is being followed by some man in a suit with glasses. Just who is? And why is he following Eri? At work the next day, the workers asked about Eri’s restaurant experience. Eri says the food wasn’t the best and the prices were unreasonable (but she didn’t have to pay at least). Kumoda makes a comment on Eri’s complaining when Masamune apologizes for her bad experience. Eri says she is just not a person who can lie. She then says she will take Masamune and Kumoda out to a place that serves even better food later.
Eri takes Masamune and Kumoda to a restaurant where her mom works part-time (she now has a total of 8 jobs it seems). It serves motsuni (beef/pork intestine stew) and yakitori and more of your basic, common dishes. Eri tells her mother that Kumoda is treating them for dinner, the first time Kumoda is hearing of it, but he’s not surprised. It is Masamune’s first time in a restaurant like that. Since he is the son of wealthy family, he is used to high class restaurants and foods. He loves the motsuni and you can tell that Eri is happy to see his child-like expression of enjoyment. He then says that he works at the magazine versus working at his father’s company because this way he gets to interact with people and he gets to enjoy new experiences with Kumoda and Eri. Touching really. The guy we’ve seen tailing Eri before is at the restaurant as well and does his best to keep out of Masamune’s view. As I thought, he has something to do with Masamune’s family and their disapproval of Eri. Eri’s mother really likes Masamune and asks him to take her daughter (lol, not what the spy wants to hear). Kumoda’s advice about different viewpoints inspires Eri to think of a new piece.
Eri takes her idea to Umemoto to do a series on an “ant’s” view of different restaurants. The first one being the French restaurant Reine that she and her mother visited earlier. Umemoto finds the idea interesting, but he won’t continue it unless it gets good reactions and is uninteresting. Eri is excited for the chance and says that she won’t be able to do it without Masamune’s articles. The two team up for the article, making them both happy as their friendship is growing. Eri excitedly says she will do an all-night planning session, but forgot that she has to go to her own part-time job. At the club, the man following Eri is with Yuko, asking questions about Eri and paying her for answers. This sends a trill of suspicion through Yuko who wonders why the man is so interesting in gathering information on Eri and her actions. Eri overhears Yuko arguing with someone and Yuko says she is having a fight with her younger boyfriend and then switches the topic to Eri and the guy who is asking information about her. Yuko asks if Eri did something again and Eri immediately replies that she hasn’t. Yuko then warns her to be careful, leaving Eri wondering just what is going on.
Eri reads up on Reine and decides she has to do more research on the subject before she goes back to the restaurant. When she gets home, there is a bag on the door from Hiruma, which surprises Eri. Before she can go inside, her stalker asks her to come with him to talk about Masamune. On the ride, Eri gets hungry and eats what Hiruma brought. When she gets to a huge building, she is brought to see Masamune’s father who cuts to the chase and tries to buy her. He offers her 10,000,000 yen (to cover her father’s debt) and tells her to cut off all ties with his son as she is unacceptable. This ticks Eri off. As tempting as the money is, Eri refuses to take it. Masamune’s father then calls her a vixen and refuses to let her marry into the family (she did try earlier to explain it was all just a ruse, but he refused to listen). Eri then gets nauseous and passes out, leading him to believe the worst – that Eri is pregnant.
Masamune rushes to the hospital when he hears that Eri collapsed. His father yells at him for ruining the Hirabayashi name in doing such a thing with Eri. Masamune is confused and his father then tells him that it is highly likely that Eri is pregnant. I mean, come on. His father should know better than that. Masamune isn’t the kind to get into such a relationship. He is a very honorable and innocent young man. Masamune tries to tell his father the truth, but the doctor comes out. Hirabayashi asks if Eri is pregnant and learns that it was only food poisoning. Eri is already better and demanding release as she has no money or insurance for treatment.
The next day, Eri is feeling much better and goes to work only to learn that Masamune has taken a leave of absence. This ticks Eri off as she immediately knows that it has something to do with Masamune’s father and his disapproval of his son’s choices. Eri runs off to the Hirabayashi firm only to be dragged away without being able to see Masamune. This guy just cannot stand up to his father. He loves his work, but his father insists that he quit and take on learning the company ropes so that he can inherit the family business. The man should listen to his son and Masamune should learn how to stand up for his own rights and beliefs.
Eri has to depend on Kumoda to help her now that Masamune is MIA. They go to the restaurant where Masamune’s father has been lecturing him on how t here are different classes of people. Masamune is high class, well people like Eri are the lowest and need to be kept away from the high class people and places. SNOB! Eri and Kumoda are treated badly as soon as it is learned that they are not friends of Masamune’s father. They are taken to a corner table and looked down upon for not being able to read the menu. They have to wait longer than anyone else for their meal. Eri complains loudly, causing the head waiter to scold her and tell her to wait and not offend the other customers. He goes into the kitchen and takes Eri a failed dish made by a newbie chef. Kumoda tells Eri that is not the dish she ordered (he only pretended not to be able to read the menu). Eri tries it and it is cold. She gets up and complains rather vocally. Masamune’s father intervenes and calls Eri the lowest of the low who does not belong in such a place. Eri says that poor or not, she still has pride and she rips Masamune’s father a new one for not knowing his own son’s desires and for treating people like dirt. She walks out of the restaurant, head held high and says she will never come back. Kumoda makes a quieter exit, but says that goes for him as well.
Eri goes home and uses the experience and her anger to draw a new illustration. Masamune goes to his father and says he would rather go back to the magazine than inherit the company. His father asks if he would still see that way if he was disinherited. Masamune says yes. The servant with glasses comes in and asks to talk to the “young president” and his father states that Masamune is just an editor now, making his son happy. The man then hands Masamune a package from Eri. He opens it and it is Eri’s illustration from the Reine experience and with it is a note saying that she still needs his article. This makes him happy. Meanwhile, Eri tells Yuko that the situation has cleared up and asks about Yuko’s boyfriend. Yuko says its the same-old-same-old. After work, Eri is shocked to see Takeru there. It turns out that the adorable Takeru is really Yuko’s son!
Eri and Masamune’s piece is accepted and the head chef of Reine comes in and complains (they even used the restaurant’s real name). He says that he will sue the company and Umemoto stands up and says that they are just a poor company with low readership, not even with Reine’s attention. The other coworkers chime in with basically the same format and chase the chef out. He vows he will not forget the humiliation. Afterward, Umemoto tells Eri that her piece will be serialized and he expects more of the same ilk. Eri is shocked and ecstatic. Umemoto explains that it may have been a negative comment, but Eri got a reaction and it was enough to even bring the chef down to cuss at them means there is truth to what Eri and Masamune wrote. Seeing Eri’s happiness, Masamune’s expression changes. Looks like he has been hit by cupid’s arrow.
Masamune is alone by the river and Kumoda comes up. He asks what is wrong as it looks like Masamune has a lovestruck expression. Masamune is shocked that Kumoda has hit the nail on the head. This shocks Kumoda who didn’t really expect that to be the case. He is even more shocked to learn that Masamune has fallen for the brash, forceful Eri. What will become of Masamune’s love?
My thoughts: Repetitive, yet good. Stereotyping gets old fast, but still enjoyable. I was not surprised that Masamune developed feelings for Eri. It’s not all that surprising given how close the two were getting. Eri has got some feelings in the hopper, but I am not certain if there is anything beyond friendship there, but you know she cares about him deeply enough to try to help him stand up to his father. I can say I wasn’t expecting the Takeru-Yuko story line. I just thought he was the son of the club owner or something. Go fig.