Gakeppuchi no Eri Episode 5 Recap
I am happy to report no money preaching in this one. Nothing about the rich being better than the poor and that the poor need to know their place (the bottom). There is some preaching about power and the lowest of low still having the power to stand up and fight, but its not nearly as bad as some other episodes.
We pick up right where we left off with Episode 4 with Masamune confessing to Kamoda that he likes Eri (gotta love Komada’s shock, which isn’t surprising given how different Masamune is from Eri). Masamune asks for Kamoda for relationship help, but Kamoda runs off, refusing. Then pops up Eri’s good for nothing relative who always steals her money. He offers advice to Masamune (he also says that Eri’s dad left her in his care – so not true). Masamune isn’t sure if he should believe Himura or not, but decides to go with the advice which Himura then asks payment for (big surprise there).
At the office, Masamune can’t seem to take his eyes off Eri now that he is aware of his feelings for our outspoken and fiery heroine. Eri turns around and notices his gaze and wonders if there is rice on her face. A coworker then comes and brings the weekly survey results and Eri looks for her piece. “Hateful Stores” is ranked number 8! Eri is happy and yet bummed. Masamune comes and tells her that 8 is a good place as it is smack dab in the middle and means that her serialization can climb even farther (but doesn’t that mean it can also fall as well?). Eri is then handed the comments about her piece and she is excited to see one that says that they are looking forward to a book by Eri as they would definitely buy it. This excites Eri as she begins thinking of publishing royalties and how much she can earn. Umemoto comes in and smacks her on the head, telling her not to get too ahead of herself as she can easily fall as climb to the top (he lost in the races again so he is a little more mean than usual). Nonplussed, Eri says fervently that she will do her best to ensure that people keep coming back to read her work (just like our hot-headed Eri).
Eri goes to the cabaret where she works and tells her manager that she is officially quitting in order to focus on her drawing career. The manager says it will be lonely without Eri. This touches Eri deeply. Eri goes to say goodbye to Yoko who then invites her out for dinner in lieu of a party. They eat at the store where Eri’s mother works part-time and Eri and Mitsuyo learn about Yoko’s life. Yoko’s husband left her and Takeru five years ago and she has not heard from him since. Eri takes Yoko home as she is drunk (Takeru is spending the night at a friend’s). Drunk, Yoko reveals even more about how her husband left. He was an aspiring novelist who couldn’t handle the rejection or pressure any more and just left her and Takeru (Yoko was supporting the family by herself allowing her husband to write). Poor Yoko doesn’t know what to do as she is left hanging. Does her husband want a divorce? Yoko doesn’t, but after five years of running away, I don’t think I’d like a man like that back.
Kamoda is busy taking pictures of best-selling historical novelist and Kendo champion Okochi who has agreed to serialize his novel in Weekly Treasure. Apparently Okochi and Umemoto worked together when Okuchi just started out. Okuchi is very arrogant and cocky. The head of the publishing company is honored that Okochi is willing to do a serialization in the sub-par Weekly Treasure believing that Okochi’s work will help rise it to a higher standard. Umemoto comments about how they are not expecting such a thing (gotta love that comment – it kind of deflates the cocky author as well). Okochi is surprised to learn that Kamoda is the Kamoda of the miracle shot. He can’t believe that Kamoda has ended up a cameraman for a third-rate magazine (way to insult the people you’ll be working with).
Masamune and Eri are at the main publishing building and Eri comments about how their building is compared to this. Masamune says that if Eri’s serial does well and they can increase circulation, then maybe they can move into the main building instead of being kept in the dingy outpost. Eri asks if that means the future rests on her shoulders. Masamune says yes and Eri says that she will do her best. The elevator arrives and there is Okochi. Eri, not knowing who he is, makes the mistakes of thinking that Okochi will be writing an ecchi novel for serialization (not that surprising given that when Eri first started, she was asked to do some ecchi drawings). This enrages Okochi and horrifies the head of publishing. Masamune tries to smooth things over and cover for Eri by saying she was just joking as they all know Okochi is a historical novelist. Eri immediately apologizes as does the publishing head and Masamune. Okochi does not look appeased at all.
At home, Eri and Mitsuyo are imposing on Kamoda as it is hot and they do not have a fan to call their own. Kamoda asks when Eri will get her own and she replies when she hits is big and gets more money from royalties. Mitsuyo says that she doesn’t know what royalties are, but it means Eri gets a lot of money right? Eri then asks her mom if there is anything that her mom really wants. Mitsuyo replies that she would love to go to the top of Tokyo Tower (such a relatively simple desire – but that’s not a bad thing at all). Then in pops Masamune with a present for everyone (but really, it’s especially for Eri). Eri opens the gift and is horrified to see the fish paste cakes that made her ill when she met Masamune’s father (nice one Himuro). Masamune is horrified to learn that Eri hates them. Kamoda brings up about Masamune’s failed attempt to curry favor and Masamune quickly changes the topic to Okochi (yeah, that wasn’t obvious – but Mitsuyo and Eri don’t notice this strange behavior).
Umemoto used to be in charge of Okochi, so that is why they have such an opportunity to be able to serialize such a popular novelist in a magazine such as theirs. Mitsuyo says it’s like paying back a favor and Kamoda says it is more like revenge. Umemoto was very strict with Okochi when he was just starting out, but now the tables have changed. Okochi is immensely popular and Umemoto is just the chief editor of a 3rd rate magazine. Masamune then pipes up and says that there are some bad rumors floating around about Okochi. This piques Eri’s interest and she asks what kind of rumors. Masamune says that word has it that Okochi became very arrogant and haughty after hitting the big time and since then his quality of work dropped and he began crushing any newcomer he viewed as a potential threat (nothing like nipping them in the bud before they can give you a run for your money). Eri and Mitsuyo don’t really understand what it means to “crush newcomers,” but Masamune says they are probably just rumors. Kamoda says it is better to steer clear of Okochi just to be safe. Eri agrees and gets to work on her serial (but we already know that Eri is on his bad side – uh-oh).
At work the next day, Eri finds out that her serial has been suspended (after such a short run, too)! Eri asks Umemoto what he means and he says just what he said. Eri gets this, but she wants to know why it was suspended. Masamune gets up and says that he will go and pay Okochi-sensei a visit. This surprises Eri who immediately whirls around to look at Masamune and to ask him why he would bring up the old man. Masamune says that it was Okochi who said he did not want to be serialized in the same magazine as Eriko (such a dirty tactic). Masamune then says that the halt to Eri’s serialization probably stems from the elevator incident. Eri can’t believe this and her knowledgeable coworker (the cute one with glasses whose name I do not know) says that Okochi is known for crushing those newcomers with the most talent. Eri goes to Umemoto and pleads for her serialization. Umemoto keeps his uninterested mask and Eri cannot believe that he chose Okochi over her. She slams her last serial down and says that she misjudged him and runs out.
Masamune is hot on her heels asking her where she is going. Eri says she is going to visit Okochi. Masamune asks if she even knows where he lives. Eri says no and keeps running (just like Eri to be that impulsive and not think things through completely). However, she and Masamune do make it to Okochi’s house (did Masamune know where he lived?). Okochi refuses to see them so Eri and Masamume stake out the front of his house. It is blazing hot and Masamune wants to go home with Eri, but Eri refuses to budge. Then a policeman on a bicycle comes up and says that he got a report from Okochi about them. Eri hides behind Masamune who promises that they are just leaving (so cute that the abrasive , in-your-face Eri is actually hiding behind a guy who is a lot less intimidating and assertive).
Masamune and Eri head back to Kamoda’s. Eri can’t believe that Okochi wouldn’t see them and even called the cops. Mitsuyo cries and asks if that means Tokyo Tower is out of reach now. Eri hugs her mother and Kamoda says that a different approach is needed (another metaphor about how the dog who shows his belly ends up not getting bitten). Eri doesn’t understand this, but Masamune gets it. If Eri doesn’t do her usual bold maneuvers, then she may be able to get on Okochi’s good side.
Eri’s idea to follow Kamoda’s advice is to write a fan letter to Okochi. She writes a gushing letter praising his writing and his handsome photos in that issue of Weekly Treasure. Eri and her mother giggle about how Eri is doing all of this praising when she has never read a single of Okochi’s novels. On the second page of the letter, there is a lot of blank space and Eri is trying to figure out what to do with it. The letter is delivered via courier and Okochi is very touched by Eri’s writing (she really did a good job of stroking Okochi’s ego). Unfortunately for Eri, she chose to do a sketch of Okochi to fill up the blank space and that threw out his good will from the first half of the letter. Eri complains to Kamoda about his advice failing (it wasn’t his advice, but Eri’s delivery). Kamoda is surprised that it didn’t work because it seemed like Okochi was that type of person. Masamune comes in and says he found something. Eri asks if it is good enough to threaten Okochi with. Masamune says he doesn’t know if it will help and pulls out a book from a literary competition where Okochi was the judge. After writing such negative comments about one entry, the person never wrote another novel again and the main prize could not be awarded. It really does show how threatened Okochi was by any newcomer who showed promise. Eri can’t believe a guy like that is Umemoto’s friend.
Meanwhile, Umemoto goes to Okochi. While Umemoto is visiting, Okochi goes about business and neglects his friend. He then apologizes and sits down to talk with Umemoto who asks Okochi to reconsider canceling Eri’s serialization. Okochi said he had no hand in it, he just mentioned his dislike of being in the same magazine as a mangaka. Umemoto’s publishers were the ones who made the final decision. Umemoto actually bows his head and asks Okochi to reconsider. Okochi tries to deny it again and then says he cannot believe Umemoto is bowing his head for a mangaka. Okochi asks why and Umemoto says he wants to help Eri because she reminds him of Okochi when he first started. Okochi finds this hard to believe that Eri could be like he once was.
Eri is at Yoko’s and asks if she knows who Okochi is. Yoko believes the name is familiar and pulls out the same books that Masamune had shown Eri earlier (about the writing competition). It turns out that the newcomer novelist Okochi criticized was Yoko’s husband. This incites Eri even more and she goes in search of Okochi who is at a Kendo dojo. Eri challenged Okochi and he accepts her challenge. He asks what the challenge is and Eri says the competition will be in Kendo (which she’s never actually done before). The date is set one week from that day and the stake is that if Eri loses, she must disappear from the publishing world.
Masamune goes to Kamoda’s to ask for help as he doesn’t know what else he can do to help Eri when Eri comes in and tells them about her challenge to Okochi. This annoys Mitsuyo who believes that it is too dangerous for Eri to do. Kamoda asks if Eri actually knows Kendo and she says she doesn’t. She and her mom continue fighting until Masamune worms his way between the two. That’s when Kamoda says that as a child he used to practice Kamoda. And what follows is a lot of practicing of Kendo (Kamoda is rusty, but has the basics down and teaches Eri). Poor Masamune feels useless and can only watch Eri. Himura tries to help out again but Masamune refuses to pay for his (bad) advice.
Yoko meets with her husband who says nothing and just hands her divorce papers. All Yoko needs to do is stamp her seal and file the papers and they will officially be divorced. But that’s not what Yoko wants. She tells her husband what Eri had discovered about Okochi. Since Okochi was so critical of Yoko’s husband, then that is proof of his talent, but he refuses to listen and says goodbye. Poor Yoko. Walking home she sees Eri practicing. She calls out to the hardworking Eriko who says that she is fighting Okochi to regain her serialization and also to help take revenge for Yoko’s husband. This touches Yoko. She calls up her husband and tells him that the last thing he can do for her is to show up at the Kendo match.
The night before the match Eri is at Kamoda’s getting her wounds treated (her feet and hands have been torn open from practice). He mixes up some gunk he learned about when he was in Cambodia. Eri asks him where all he has been and is impressed by the list of countries. Kamoda says that wherever he was there was war. Eri apologizes, but he says there is no need. Eri asks to see the miracle shot, but Kamoda still refuses to show her. Eri won’t back down and will strive to do her best to keep her serialization. Kamoda gives the girl his support (in an offhand way).
The match day dawns and Yoko, Masamune, Mitsuyo, Kamoda, and Umemoto all came out to support Eri. Yoko anxiously awaits for her husband, but he is not there from the beginning. The rules are thus: if Eri can score a point on Okochi within 10 minutes, then she wins. Eri begins attacking and is easily thwarted by Okochi. She refuses to give up and takes quite a severe battering. Halfway through the match, Yoko’s husband finally shows up and he seems to be really affected by seeing Okochi and Eri’s fight. With a minute remaining and Eri being tired and all about ready to collapse, Mitsuyo and Masamune encourage Eri to give up. Okochi turns his back and is ready to walk out when Eri struggles to get up. He tells her to gracefully accept defeat and she refuses, saying she just can’t give up here. Okochi finally sees how Eri is just like he was. Eri takes her chance for one final lunge and Okochi viciously hits her in the stomach. Eri loses! After the match, Umemoto finds Okochi who says that Eri does remind him of his younger self. Umemoto smiles and thanks Okochi. So what exactly happens now?
Eri is depressed as is the entire office. Everyone has grown fond of the abrasive and loud Eri and don’t want to see her leave. Umemoto comes in and tells her that her serialization has been continued. This shocks everyone. And to top that off, Okochi wants Eri to illustrate his novel that Weekly Treasure is serializing. Eri is ecstatic and goes over to slap hands with Masamune and Kamoda (she and Kamoda both hurt their hands).
Meanwhile, Yoko meets up with her husband. She has the signed divorce papers in hand. He tells her that he is going to start writing again and see what happens. He will start back at the bottom. Yoko stands up and rips up the divorce decree and tells him “welcome home” and he says he’s back. Um, I still wouldn’t take him back that easily. Takeru watches from a distance and Eri asks him what’s going on. They watch the touching reunion and Eri pushes him out to have a full family reunion.
Back at the office, Himura encourages Masamune to confess to Eri boldly. Masamune isn’t sure he can do it, but goes in to try. As he tries to confess to Eri, the weekly survey comes out and Eri’s serial has moved up to the number 2 spot with Okochi’s novel being in number 1. Eri also got positive feedback for her illustrations of Okochi’s novel (so might as well say she technically has both #1 and 2 spots). Eri asks Masamune what he wanted to say, but he decides not to confess (well at this point Eri is surrounded by all their coworkers so it would be really awkward). And, on a fun note, after his match with Eri Okochi changed his novel to be about a young female swordsman who doesn’t care about looks or pride and does everything she can (nothing like modeling a character after Eri).