ATARU Episode 6 Recap
As much as I love this show and all the cute Chokozai moments, this episode fell a little flat. I’m not quite sure why… But I did like how the people around Chokozai are slowly beginning to understand him. And you know what? They may not always understand him, but they do their best to accept him as he is.
We open with Sawa moving into the empty apartment that the Ebinas own. I guess since he’s become Chokozai’s sponsor, he gets to live with him…I am not quite sure why that is. Sawa doesn’t have much stuff as he moved back into the single dorms when he divorced. When Ebina asks him about that time he tells her it’s a very painful time he doesn’t wish to recall. Inside the apartment, Chokozai keeps asking for his curry soup, which Sawa keeps denying him. He tells Chokozai to eat a donut, but Chokozai only wants curry soup. When he keeps demanding it, Ebina take a donut and milk and tells him to eat that instead. Chokozai refuses, but after Ebina repeats it two more times, he updates and starts eating the doughnut without complaint. Sawa notices this and tells the Ebinas what he has observed; however, when he tries it out, Chokozai doesn’t update. Ebina then points out that Sawa’s phone is vibrating. Sawa runs and answers it while Mr. Ebina tries out the theory with a banana. Wouldn’t you know, Chokozai updates for both the Ebinas, but not for Sawa who isn’t happy to notices this.
Since Chokozai is now living with the Ebinas, with Maiko as his guardian, it’s her duty to take him to the hospital three times a week. I really am not sure if its just for tests or for treatment of his syndrome or what. This part never really seemed clear to me anyways.
Anywho, the call was from Inukai. Sawa goes to meet him at the usual restaurant and is shocked to see Inukai drinking so early in the morning. Inukai says he just got off of work not to long ago, so Sawa can’t complain. Inukai then gets to the point. The illegal broadcasts have been stopped. Sawa then reveals he asked his connection in the international department to look into it and the higher ups put an end to that. Inukai wants to keep pursuing the case to figure out just what is going on, but Sawa tells him to let it go. Inukai asks if he is running away just like Atsumi. Inukai then says it would be expected of Sawa who is the student of that “run-away chief” (the meaning of this line and the reference to what happened to Atsumi is further explained in the next episode). Inukai then gets up and yells that if you keep running away from the truth, then your most important things will run away from you. He then leaves saying that he will keep pursuing this.
We then cut to a crime scene where 25-year-old Nakaoka Mizuru has been found dead, apparently from a suicide. They do find a suspicious bump on his head, but Ishikawa says that it is likely he slipped and bumped it on the edge of the sink after slitting his wrist. Meanwhile, Ebina and Chokozai are on their way to the hospital when their taxi stops at a light and Chokozai notices a wedding (which I think is supposed to be Kuroki’s [one of the younger detectives, the really tall one]). Ebina then notices a girl collapse in the streets when the church bells start ringing. Ebina immediately jumps out to help the girl and Chokozai follows her. Ebina gets the girl safely across the street where the girl then takes out her cellphone and quickly plays music close to her ear. Chokozai points out that the bell and the sound from the phone are playing at different frequencies. The girl cries and tells Chokozai to shut up. What is going on?
The apartment owner is then called in and he tells Sawa and crew that he came to collect Nakaoka’s back rent and noticed the bathroom light on. When he saw Nakaoka in the bathroom, he hurriedly called the police. Sawa takes in the messy state of the room and asked if it looked like there was an intruder or if the apartment was always that messy. The owner says he doesn’t know as it was his first time entering. Well, this obviously reeks of suicide. The old man says again and reveals that three years ago, someone killed themselves in that very apartment. Nozokai calls the apartment a cursed room and the owner immediately tells him not to say such things. Nozokai is rather insensitive.
Meanwhile, Ebina learns that the young girl suffers from absolute pitch. The girl cannot only pick out the musical scale notes, she can also tell you the frequency. While other people think its an amazing gift, certain noises actually make the girl physically ill, especially if there are any discordant sounds. We also learn that Chokozai has this gift, which isn’t surprising given the first episode and Larry’s flashback about teaching Chokozai with sounds. Ebina asks if the girl has sought treatment. The girl replies she’s been to psychologists and psychiatrists and there wasn’t one who could help her beyond giving her unsatisfactory advice. Not even her parents understood just how much she suffered.The girl turns to Chokozai. He must have someone who can understand him as he doesn’t react like she does to the noises. The girl then grabs Chokozai and says she envies him. Chokozai, like always, shies away from the touch and goes towards Ebina. Then we get a cacophony of noises and the girl starts gagging and cries for someone to help her.
Back at the complex, Sawa is questioning the next door neighbors when Ebina comes. Apparently the girl she helped lives at the same place where the suicide occurred. Ebina is surprised to see Sawa and crew and the girl excuses herself to go inside. Ebina immediately jumps into the investigation. The neighbor Higashi says that Nakaoka didn’t have any friends or visitors. He also didn’t hear anything odd happening (he works the nightshift anyways). Chokozai then gets kicked out of Nakaoka’s apartment by Nozokai. Ah, Chokozai. He accepts this mission. The team is baffled that Nakaoka slit his wrists in the kitchen and then walked to the bathroom. Yeah, that IS odd. Using special lighting, they can see toe prints in the blood. They go to the owner who has blood on his sock. He must have stepped in it when he went to check out the bathroom and found the victim. He quickly hands his socks over as evidence.
That night Sawa joins the Ebinas for dinner now that he is living there. Chokozai starts saying something about the crime scene pictures. Ebina hurries over and scolds him for taking them out of her bag without asking. Sawa in turn scolds her for taking them out of the office without permission as well. Chokozai then points out that the toe tracks in the blood are from different feet. One is the left and one the right, but the owner only had blood on one sock. That means someone else was in the apartment besides the deceased and the owner. Later, it’s bed time. Sawa wishes to sleep, but Chokozai isn’t going to bed. Sawa then recalls that before Chokozai used to sleep quite a bit (and I thought it was just me noticing in the past episode that Chokozai wasn’t passing out as much as he used to). Is there something wrong with Chokozai?
Larry has planted a bug in Chokozai’s bag and is listening to Sawa complain and Chokozai playing with his rat toy. One of the members points out Inukai outside of the embassy. If he’s going to investigate, does he need to do it SO obviously? Larry calls him a rat. Uh-oh. You know that Larry and crew will eventually do something to Inukai who’s sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.
The next day Atsumi confirms the toe prints are from different feet. Sawa and Ebina take this to Nakatsugawa who doesn’t want to rule it as a potential murder. When Ebina tries to speak, Nakatsugawa turns away and refuses to listen to her since she is still on leave. Thus Sawa repeats everything she says in a nicer way, but Nakatsugawa refuses to grant the autopsy. The two detectives then go meet with Higashi who reveals that Nakaoka always fought with the girl next door over his music player. So they go meet the girl at her factory job. Even this girl gets Chokozai to update his way of saying notes to the “do re mi” scale vs. the letter scale he’s been using. So why can’t Sawa get him to update? Anywho, the girl works at a bento factory where there is no disharmonious sounds that make her ill. They ask her about Nakaoka and she reveals he did fight with him over his discordant music player. She is not happy that they seem to suspect her and tell them to leave her alone. As Ebina, Chokozai, and Sawa head back, Ebina wonders if Sawa is really suspecting the poor girl with her pitch disability. Sawa wonders if she’s letting her emotions get the better of her and Ebina says she isn’t as she just met the girl, but Sawa thinks she is as the girl reminds her of Chokozai, right?
At the lab, Atsumi says the tests show that the blood with the toe prints has the same blood type. Well, that’s because it’s Nakaoka’s blood. Wrong! The owner’s sock had Nakaoka’s blood on it, but the blood from the 2nd print is a woman’s! Sawa then hands over a picture that he had the girl touch to see if they can match the DNA. Ebina points out that information can’t be used as official proof as it wasn’t rightfully obtained. Sawa knows this, but it’s a step in the direction to find the proof they need. The DNA matches and they use this to get Nakatsugawa to authorize the autopsy to determine if it really was only a suicide.
Atsumi says the time of death was the night before. Ebina isn’t happy that the evidence points to the girl, but investigate her they must. A commotion then breaks out in the lab room and they leave Atsumi’s office to find Ishikawa yelling at Chokozai for taking the alarm clock. Chokozai clutches the clock and starts making noises. This leads them to believe he’s trying to say something by doing this. Thus they try to find someone with perfect pitch and wouldn’t you know the cross-dresser (played by musician ROLLY) is back for playing music without a license…? He listens and he can tell them the exact note, but he can’t tell them the frequency, which is really important. They then realize that maybe the sound is what the alarm makes. The alarm was set to go off at 7 AM. This becomes an important clue as Nakaoka died the previous night so there was no way he could turn off the alarm, but it wasn’t going off when the police showed up.
So off they go to see Hagashi who confirms the alarm did go off as he had just gotten back. It went off for quite awhile before finally getting shut off. How can that be when he died the night before. This surprises Higashi. That means someone went into his room before the owner did. Then up pops Atsumi who found Minase Sakie’s fingerprints on the clock. Did she really kill him because of her hearing ability? They go into the apartment and Chokozai points out the different sounds. When combined, these frequencies make a really annoying noise even to people without absolute pitch. Atsumi leaves and runs into Sakie and sets off the alarm. She immediately cowers and covers her ears. Sawa rushes out and shuts it off. They confront her about the alarm and she confesses that the subway noise combined with the alarm noise made her sick so she entered the apartment (after knocking repeatedly) and turned it off (knocking it off the table). When she noticed the bathroom light was on she quickly rushed out. Sawa asks for her socks to confirm the evidence, but she has thrown them out as she didn’t want them to suspect her of murder.
At the embassy, Larry gets a call from the States saying they are planning on closing down the savant program. Larry can’t have this. He wishes for more time to show Ataru’s results. In order to overturn the decision to close the program, Larry will need to show them even more results from Ataru’s Japanese cases. Inukai (did he hear that in his snooping?) is back again and as he leaves, another man follows him. Inukai is in big trouble. Meanwhile at the Ebina house, Sho becomes interested in Sakie’s problem. Would her ability really drive her to kill? Chokozai then recalls what Higashi said earlier about another wristcutter being next door. This triggers something for Sawa.
They go to question Higashi the next day who says that he heard the cops talking about it before they came to question him. Ebina shows up and confirms that it is Sakie’s blood in Nakaoka’s apartment. Kuroki then comes with some other task that Sawa had him investigate. They then confront the real criminal – the owner. It turns out that his testimony was a load of bull and something had seemed off to Sawa from the beginning. You can’t see the bathroom from the angle the man said he saw it from, plus the location of the toe print in the blood, and the owner saying he’d never seen the room before, but he knew the clock was knocked over. The owner then confesses. He went to collect the rent and received nothing but attitude. He got angry and struggled with Nakaoka when the young man went to post negative things about the apartment. This sent Nakoka’s head crashing into the wall. The owner freaked because he wasn’t breathing, so he decided to stage a suicide. Sawa and Ebina then tell him that Nakaoka may not have been breathing, but he was still alive. The staged suicide is what really killed him, not the bump on his head. Ouch.
Sho then shows up to talk to Sakie. Sawa notices Chokozai’s death grip on the shoulder strap of his bag. He then sees him relax, cry, and he sees nail marks on Chokozai’s palm. It looks like Chokozai’s abilities are really hurting him as much as they were Sakie – just in less obvious ways. Poor Chokozai! The cops and Sho then go see Sakie. Sawa reveals what really happened and Sho questions Sakie about whether or not she has absolute or relative pitch. It turns out it is absolute. Sho then says that Kadokura at the university is willing to work with her to see if they can change her absolute pitch into relative, thus making her life a lot easier. Sakie feels badly about her earlier attitude as here they are willing to help her.
Our sleuthing trio heads home where Chokozai asks for curry soup. This surprised Sawa, wasn’t Chokozai’s breakfast updated? Ebina smiles and says they changed it back. This way seems more like Chokozai. Sawa says that may be so, but shouldn’t Ebina be concerned about Chokozai’s imbalanced diet? Meanwhile, Larry and team grab Inukai coming out of his usual haunt. Inukai, no fool, struggles and starts ripping off his shirt buttons, dropping his change and even his ID. He is finally dragged away and Larry begins picking up everything he dropped. A girl comes by to help him and she is grabbed, too. Talk about ruthless.
And that’s where we end. [Well after Sawa points out the nail marks on Chokozai’s hands and his insomnia.] Not a bad episode, but not my favorite either.