ATARU Episode 7 Recap

Sorry, subtitle releases can take me awhile. After work and looking through the subtitle releases and helping out with the dishes and canning strawberries, there wasn’t enough oomph in my rear to write a recap. Why? Well, if you’ve never tried writing one before, give it a gander and you’ll see how much effort it can take sometimes. I also have this horrible habit of being WAY too verbose and including every little thing whether it was necessary or not. 😛

I didn’t HATE episode 6, but it felt a little flat. I had this feeling that it was only really there to help draw the focus onto Chokozai’s pain and reaction to solving and helping with the cases. Yes, Sakie’s gift hurt her and made her life unbearable and thus that shifts the focus onto Chokozai. He seems to be pretty okay, but we keep getting hints that he isn’t (like the nails biting into his palm, him shaking and crying at after he solves the cases, his agitation as his brain works hard to try to find just what’s out of his reach, and I have a feeling that his constant dropping and sleeping has something to do with the over taxation of his mental capacities).

This episode, on the other hand, picked up the pace a wee bit and I liked that it really focused on Sawa’s past and what drove him to be the Sawa we know and love today. Seriously. This actor is awesome. The chemistry between Sawa, Ebina, and Chokozai is really great and I love how the two men are quickly being adopted by the Ebina family.

Okay. We open with Sawa, Ebina, and Chokozai at the laundromat. Ebina is getting Chokozai’s clothes off of him while Sawa diligently sprays stain remover on all the stains. This surprises Ebina. How long has it been since his divorce? Sawa tells her he doesn’t want to bring up such painful memories. He then takes the clothes and slings them into the washer with sound effects that our cute Chokozai mimics while Ebina tries to get him in his spare clothes. Chokozai happily focuses on the rotating laundry when a gunshot is heard. A few moments later it is followed by another. this noise causes Chokozai to go into what I like to call his “computing” mode. He puts his fist to his cheek and begins to tap while he tries to focus on just what kind of gun it is. Chokozai identifies it as a Smith & Wesson M37 which is a standard police gun. Ebina recalls that there is a station just down the road and Sawa takes off running while Ebina tries to tie things up.

As Sawa runs to the station, he sees a man in a baseball cap playing with his ear. Sawa immediately flashes back to his “runaway” chief Fukudome. Wow. In just that brief gesture, he has figured out the man’s identity. the man turns and and glances back before pulling the cap lower and walking off without a word. Ebina then runs up with Chokozai and the three continue to the post together. [Got to love how Ebina half pulled out Chokozai’s sweater sleeve, but Chokozai was easily amused with that.]

When they get inside, the office is a mess and they find an officer on the floor with a gun by his side. There is no sign of anyone else. Sawa goes to the officer on the floor while Ebina calls for any ambulance. Chokozai, who was told to stay put but we all know he won’t, is wondering around behind the other two. He notices the man on the floor, Ebina’s poster, and accepts the mission.

Since Sawa and Ebina happened to be at the right place at the wrong time, they get questioned about what happened. Ebina reports that she didn’t see anyone suspicious in the area immediately after the shooting. Sawa also says that. Now why did he lie? He obviously saw Fukudome. It’s at this point that a ruckus is caused by Chokozai. The police want to kick him out. Ebina quickly jumps up and says that he is with her. Once the detective lets go of Chokozai, he circles and  rubs his fingers together before stating “muzzle 12 inches or more” and “muzzle one foot or more.” Of course, Ebina has no idea as Chokozai is using English.

So, of course, Ebina gets her little brother to decipher Chokozai’s English once they get home. Sho translates the US measuring system to the metric and explains that muzzle means the muzzle of an animal, or in this case, a gun. Sawa then figures out that Chokozai figured out that the muzzle of the gun was 30 cm or more away from the police chief’s chest. Obviously that would be too difficult for the victim to do, so that means it must have been murder.

The next morning at breakfast, Ebina implements her father’s instructions of cooking the udon noodles alone and then straining them out and adding the curry packet for Chokozai’s soup. She then complains that she didn’t get a share of normal breakfast and Sawa points out she has udon noodles. Her father then looks over and asks if “Choko-kun” has been sleeping well since he has dark circles under his eyes. Aww. Mr. Ebina gave Chokozai his own nickname. Sawa then explains that Chokozai ISN’T sleeping. Before more can be said about this matter, the news reports that Chief Wada from the incident the previous night committed suicide. How is that possible?

Sawa goes and sees Atsumi to ask just what happened as the muzzle of the gun was at least 30 cm from Wada’s chest. Atsumi explained that their was gunpowder on Wada’s hands, wrists and sleeves. So Sawa takes the gun and tries to point it at his own chest. Atsumi measures and it takes quite a bit of struggling for Sawa to get the gun barely 30 cm away. Doesn’t that prove it isn’t suicide? Atsumi then points out that the gunpowder and bullet both match Wada’s gun. Sawa asks about the 2nd bullet, but Atsumi says there was only one. But there was 2 shots! We then get this comic scene where Atsumi turns to the camera and explains that in a 6-shot gun, only 5 shots are loaded for safety reasons (got to love how Sawa wonders just who Atsumi is talking to). Atsumi points out there were 5 bullets total – 4 in the gun and 1 in Wada.

Sawa then explains that he clearly heard two gun shots to Naka (I HATE typing out Nakatsugawa’s name, so for these episodes on, he’s Naka), but only one bullet was found. Isn’t that strange. Naka looks straight at the camera as well and says that Sawa obviously heard it wrong. Sawa says that Ebina was there and heard two shots as well. He takes out his cell to call her as Naka mentions how close he and Ebina are since they were together yet again [is it just me or did Matsushima look a little unhappy in the background?]. Unfortunately, Sawa can’t get in touch with Ebina. Why? She is on the phone with the hospital. Chokozai has disappeared once again.  Did he go to Nakakamata again?

As Sawa heads out, Nozaki asks Sawa to dig up the discarded mountain as Naka obviously knows something, but insists that it is only a suicide. Nozaki then points out that Sawa is not the type to be satisfied until he’s searched everything out. Nozaki also comments on Sawa’s changed behavior since Ebina Maiko took her leave. Sawa wonders why Nozaki is talking in Kansai dialect. Didn’t he give that up? Nozaki said he did because he was told that he wasn’t going to get promoted if he talked in dialect. Sawa then takes his leave using the Kansai dialect as well. How funny that Nozaki is actually telling Sawa to dig into the dump case.

As it happens, Chokozai did NOT go to Nakakamata. He actually went to visit Larry who serves him his special hotdog. While he feeds Ataru, Larry talks about how most people possess a round soul while Ataru’s is actually oval. People don’t understand that an oval is a bigger than a circle and thus Ataru’s abilities are immeasurable (I don’t know about that as I don’t really think there is anything in this world that doesn’t have a limit of some kind). While Larry is giving this speech and Ataru is distracted putting mustard and ketchup on his hotdog, Larry changes out the bug he put in Ataru’s bag. He then goes on to say that everybody in the world tries to make Ataru’s oval shape into a normal circle, thus diminishing Ataru’s abilities, but Larry doesn’t do that.

Ataru, who usually never really responds to anyone (nor does it actually appear like he’s listening) immediately says that “Ebina isn’t like that.” Awwww! You rock Choko-kun! This floors Larry. As he helps Ataru clean his hands, Larry wonders what makes Ebina special. What makes her different from him? Ataru, back to his usual self, does not respond to these questions. I think, in a way, Larry expends all of his energy in molding the” “ovalness” of Ataru’s soul while Ebina simply accepts Ataru for Ataru. Yes, she wishes to utilize his help, but its not something she demands of him nor does she try to see just how limitless his abilities are. Even though Ataru trusts Larry, I have a feeling that he understands to an extent that Larry is using him.

Meanwhile, Sawa runs into Fukudome once again. His former chief comments on his lack of glasses. Sawa had glasses? The two sit in a café and Fukudome explains the rules of only being able to  question a person until their drink is gone. After he says this, he finishes his drink completely. Sawa says that his questions will come out when its time. Fukudome then hands over his email address (which belongs to an illegal cellphone) and tells Sawa to let him know when he’s ready. He then tells Sawa to quit looking into the case and just let it rest as a suicide. Do you think Sawa will listen? Fukudome’s instructions make it even harder to believe in a simple suicide. Before he leaves, Sawa asks why Fukudome discarded the case and his men. Fukudome says he doesn’t care to think of himself in the past.

A dispirited Ebina returns home sans-Chokozai. Where could he be? She even checks her room, but he isn’t there. She then hears someone knocking on the window. It’s Chokozai! She opens the window and asks him where he was. Chokozai just raises his hand. Ebina leans out and smells gin. Just where did he go? Chokozai says nothing and starts to turn his circles. Ebina then notices she missed a call and Chokozai makes a reference to a “Kagi, Kakatta Heya” (locked room) and even makes the locking motion with his hand. Ano…why is there a reference to fellow Johnny and Arashi member Ohno Satoshi’s drama about crimes committed in locked rooms?

Ebina and Chokozai meet up with Sawa who reveals what the report says about only one bullet being fired. Ebina wonders why it is necessary for them to push suicide over murder. Sawa says someone obviously wants the case dumped. It’s also apparent that Naka knows more than he’s saying. Chokozai then stops then and does his “ne, ne” (he never used to do that before, wonder why he started that?) and asks “chief” about “net.” Seriously? Chokozai is getting more and more normal. He is starting to speak and interact and not get quite so violent about things. The three arrive at the station where Wada died and Chokozai keeps asking to use the computer.

Once inside, Chokozai watches his drama and it ends with the detective telling Daniel that she cannot forgive someone who stained the pool she loved with blood. This ends the show and Chokozai looks up and focuses on Ebina’s poster. He did that last time, too. Why? Meanwhile, Sawa and Ebina discuss what could have happened. The first shot would have been from Wada and the 2nd shot could have been the culprit shooting Wada with his own firearm. If that’s the case, then where did the shot come from/ Ebina notices Chokozai moving over and touching her poster. She is not happy when he tears it down. Behind the poster is the bullet hole. Something weird then happens. Chokozai’s inner vision becomes cloudy and he gets irritated. Ebina and Sawa wonder what’s wrong, but soon Chokozai’s vision clears and he gets it figured out. The M36 or 7 was fired at the wall.

They show it to one of the officers on duty and she was surprised. She hadn’t known that was there. Section Head Ajitani then comes in and demands to know what they are doing. The female officer points at the bullet hole, but Ajitani reacts like its always been there. This shocks the officer. Sawa says that they’ll get forensics to check it out and Ajitani insists that the case was closed as a suicide. The two try to tell him about the discrepancies, but he angrily yells that the case is closed. Again, suspicious. Ebina says the case was ended by force and Ajitani says the decisions made by the higher ups are not to be challenged. If they are truly police officers… what a load of bull.

Sawa tries to play out what happened at the crime scene. Wada fired to threaten the intruder, a scuffle ensued and the intruder got Wada’s gun and killed Wada. He then took the poster to cover the hole to make it appear as a suicide instead of murder. Atsumi points out that reloading an M37 is difficult. Sawa then points out not for a police officer which makes Atsumi mad as Sawa is insinuating a cop killed another cop and it was made to look like suicide. The raised voices catch Ebina’s attention. Sawa then points out it could be a former policeman, like Fukudome. Atsumi does not wish to hear that name ever again.

We then get a flashback to Atsumi as a well-dressed detective and Sawa as a bespectacled officer wearing baggy jeans and a khaki coat, long hair and a noticeable bald spot. Sawa, Fukudome, and Atsumi, plus all other officers, are ready to nab a guy they’ve been chasing for half a year. All of a sudden a scream is heard, chaos breaks out. No one knows what exactly is going on. Soon Inukai bursts into the mix shouting out instructions from his radio.  With his help, they manage to catch up to the bad guy. Only it turns out after all that chaos and chasing, he wasn’t the man they were looking for after all. Ouch. Sawa then saw a poster saying that how he dressed and acted was wrong. He should dress well and act better. Thus why we have the stylish Sawa today which his grandiose gestures and pointing. It’s an improvement over his dumpy look. Yep, yep. And at least we know now why Sawa always does that motion at the bridge of his nose. He was used to his glasses and when he gets flustered, he forgets he doesn’t have them and goes to push them up.

Ebina eavesdrops on this while Chokozai is looking at a evidence about Wada’s cellphone. Oddly enough, Chokozai says nothing and just rolls up the evidence, hiding it and taking it with him. Eh. That is very un-Chokozai like. Ebina then bursts into the room just after Sawa confesses he saw Fukudome near the scene of the crime. Ebina then asks why Fukudome ran away. Atsumi looks away and Sawa says he doesn’t know. Ebina asks if the incidents are related. Again, they don’t know. Ebina then asks if that incident is the reason why Atsumi became a forensics investigator over a detective. Sawa scolds her for this and Ebina apologizes. Yes, that was rude, however, she would like to know. Sawa reveals that Atsumi was determined to quite altogether originally. Atsumi explains that after the incident, he left his wife who was pregnant with baby #1 for 6 months due to the shock and big betrayal. He left the life of a detective behind and settled for being in forensics where he’s basically working 9-5. Sawa then asks for Atsumi’s help in getting security camera footage since the case has already been officially closed. Ishikawa (who came in just before Ebina burst into the room), tears up and says everyone has a history.

And, as a side note, did anyone else notice what was going on between Chokozai and Ishikawa? Chokozai, for once, paid strict attention on what was going on in the room, however, whenever Ishikawa would turn and quickly look at him, Chokozai quickly averted his gaze and acted like he wasn’t listening. What the what is going on with that? Later, when she rubbed her nose, he also mimicked her, but he wasn’t earlier, so that had me confused.

Atsumi and Sawa go out and and Atsumi’s idea to get the footage? He has a paper talking about a blind spot in the security area. If they check it out and there is a problem, then the area could get police funding to have the issue fixed. Nice. They manage to score the footage with little difficulty. On their way out, they run into the female officer from earlier.  She goes to blow them off, but she turns and talks to them about what happened with Wada. They meet at a café and she reveals that Wada was expecting Fukudome to show up. She told that to Ajitani and the head investigator as well. Atsumi says that the cover up is done by the organization and not just individuals.

Meanwhile, Ebina is at the hospital talking about Chokozai. If he isn’t sleeping by his next appointment in a few days, the doctor will put him on medication to help him sleep. Ebina then gets a call and steps out. She then goes to meet Sawa. She leaves Chokozai in the taxi and goes in. As soon as she gets to the café, Sawa hands over the footage and leaves to go back to the station with Atsumi so Naka and crew don’t get suspicious.

Ebina heads home with Chokozai and asks him why he doesn’t sleep. Maybe they should go back to the hospital the next day even though he doesn’t have an appointment to get him medicine. Ebina, she is the consummate friend/sister/mother all rolled into one when it comes to Chokozai. Just as they open the door to go into Chokozai & Sawa’s apartment, two men with guns wearing all back and masks storm in. Ebina tries to fight them off, but can’t. Chokozai, fights guns with ketchup. Literally. It was such a kawaii moment (even though it was a dangerous one as well). We then have silence and Chokozai collapses. Ebina sees a red stain on his chest and automatically thinks that Chokozai has been shot.

Nakai MasahiroLarry’s listening in with his lackeys. One says he will call in a cleaner team to take the men out, but Larry stops him as Ebina starts speaking. Before Chokozai collapsed, he said they men were carrying M37s. Ebina says that even with the silencers, they can’t fool Chokozai. She asks if they will shoot a police gun in a police apartment. No matter what, the bullet left behind in either he body or the wall will point at cops (and this time obviously NOT a suicide). So, what will they do? The men grab the surveillance footage and scram while Ebina rushes over to Chokozai. He’s alive! He passed out and the red splotch is just ketchup. I bet that shaved a few years off of her life.

Sawa comes later and he and Ebina discuss the latest happening. Looks like they are really unhappy that the two are still digging up the discarded case. Sawa thinks there has to be something more to it than that. Ebina then gets an idea. The culprit is a former officer who disappeared and he has to hide his identity now. Sawa holds up her hands and says even if Fukudome is the culprit, there is no reason for the higher ups to be behaving like they are. Suspicious and suspicious. So just what is going on? Sawa then tells Ebina to come with him while Chokoza is sleeping. They leave and Chokozai’s eyes pop open. He brings up his hand to his cheek and begins tapping. His little bubbles come out and he slowly begins putting everything together.

Ebina and Sawa then head to Wada’s funeral. His wife reveals that he officers were instructed to not come to the funeral. That’s just wrong. She then hands over her husband’s cell but there’s nothing there. Everything had been deleted? Sawa says no as the only fingerprints on the phone belonged to Wada. Sawa puts the phone down and next thing you here “ne, ne.” It’s Chokozai!!!! Ebina opens the door and there is Chokozai. He keeps repeating that the fingerprint is dead. Ebina asks what he means and Chokozai goes “Ne, ne” again and bends down. In his hood is the printout he took earlier about the cellphone. Sawa looks at it and if Wada had done anything, his gloved hand should have wiped the prints away. Chokozai keeps pointing and saying “The fingerprint is dead.” Sawa gets what he means. There was no fingerprints on the back of the phone where there should have been. Sawa says only the police could pull something like this off and his wife wonders if her husband was really murdered.

Chokozai then asks for Fukudome’s address. Ebina says they obviously wouldn’t have it. Sawa then reveals Fukudome gave it to him. Chokozai looks at it and goes off and Ebina gets up to follow just as the female officer arrives and Mrs. Wada revealed her husband said something like if things continued, he’d be killed. Sawa asks what the officer knows. She reveals that Ajitani continually berated and belittled Wada until the man stopped smiling and couldn’t take it anymore. Before Wada died, he had even thought of how suicide was bad as it wouldn’t benefit his family as they couldn’t have his pension or insurance that way. She is now sorry that she ignored such talk. During this time, Sawa sends Ebina out to stalk Fukudome who demanded proof that he was the killer and Sawa, the female officer, and Chokozai (who wanted to use a computer for something besides watching his drama) go the the station where the officer revealed all of Ajitani’s actions towards Wada. This makes Sawa recall how nervous Fukudome had been acting the night before the raid when he disappeared. What if Sawa had actually listened then. Would things have turned out differently?

We then have the big reveal. Sawa and Ebina show up at Fukudome’s room where he throws his confession down and asks to be arrested for Wada’s murder. We then learn that Wada was NOT murdered. He actually had killed himself. So why is Fukudome trying to play murderer? Wada got in touch with him and told him about his problems. Fukudome then emailed him the instructions on how to kill himself and make it look like murder. This way his wife and kids would keep his benefits. The night that Wada died he did everything right, except for erasing the email on how to stage the crime. The investigators of the case saw this, and to hide how they played a part in Wada’s suicide, they covered up Wada’s staged scene and did their best to stop Sawa and Ebina from investigating.

Oh, and Chokozai used the computer to set a virus on Fukudome’s phone so his emails would be sent to Ebina’s before he could delete them all, thus proving that it was a suicide. Ebina is not happy with Fukudome at all. No, he may not have actually pulled the trigger and killed Wada, but he’s just as guilty. Sawa then points out that Wada was seeking help from Fukudome, but all Fukudome could do was email him and tell him how to kill himself. Fukudome tries to get the pair to get it overruled as a murder, but the two won’t. Sawa arrests him and wonders if only he had listened to him before the incident. Would things have turned out differently? Oh, and why DID Fukudome run? He, like Wada, was getting bullied by the powers that be for not catching the bad guy for over 6 months. Fukudome had just found out their guy they were going to arrest really wasn’t the culprit. That day he went crazy and ran away and has been living on the run ever since (he even abandoned his wife and kids).

Chokozai says “Mission accomplished” and he looks really sad and worn out. He cries and his hands shake. We then see that with this particular crime, his nails dig so hard into his palms that blood runs down. He’s getting worse. He’s crying more and it seems he’s hurting himself more. Uh-oh. Larry has monitored everything and marvels how Ataru never acted without orders. However, Maiko has never once ordered Ataru to do anything, and Ataru still has ordered himself in the resolution of several cases now.  And many of those cases involved finding criminals in cases that accidents or suicides were ruled. Indeed, Maiko is very different from him. It seems that there is mutual trust between the Maiko and Ataru. Does that mean there isn’t between Ataru and Larry?

Back at the station, Sawa kicks Ebina out and says that if she wishes to participate, she needs to come back to work properly. She goes home and wraps Chokozai’s hand up. She says that no matter how many discarded mountains she digs up, neither the families nor the people are saved. She looks at Chokozai’s flowers. Chokozai then recalls his parents and the episode ends.

It surprises me that Ebina doesn’t think she helps. Well, I do understand. It is too late to save the victims, an some of the results are more painful to the families, but the truth is known and sometimes that’s better than nothing isn’t it?


  • wahoo! Thanks again! 😀

    I like this episode too. It really picked up and moved forward about Chokozai and what’s happening to him. I am starting to really hate Larry. I think from all the little flashes we got from when Chokozai was little, it seems like his autism wasn’t that bad. I think he was brainwashed by Larry–being in the program. Now that he’s with normal people again–Ebina and her family, something seem to have trigger him back a little at a time but he still can’t help working so hard to solve cases because it’s all that he knows–trained to do.
    I hope to see a happy ending for Chokozai.

    • Yeah, you could tell Chokozai was special as a kid, but he didn’t seem quite as introverted necessarily as he was at the beginning of the series. Well, Larry kept talking about trying to keep Chokozai’s “oval” soul with its limitless possibilities instead of molding him into a “round” soul. In doing that, I think that would make Chokozai more withdrawn in order to keep him harnessing his “limitless potential.”

      I think the first step in Larry losing a bit of his hold on Chokozai was just coming to Japan. As soon as they got there, Chokozai wandered off in search of something from his vague past memories. Him meeting Ebina and her family has really brought those memories more to the forefront now. I also really like how Chokozai is opening up. Yes, he’s still very much a savant and very much a child, but he’s actually communicating now. And since he is trained to solve cases, yeah, its hard for him to ignore them. I wonder what makes him accept these cases on his own?

      I want a happy ending for Chokozai, Ebina, and Sawa, too. ^_^

  • mm, maybe you mentioned before, but what you planning on subbing? I mean you clearly watch a subbed version of ATARU, so will you re-sub their translation or what? No mean to offend or anything,just getting curios here by your first sentence

    really enjoyed the summary, and I agreed Chokozai seem to be opening up6adapting to them more and more (in this episode he clearly used their name which he didn’t do till now)

    • Sorry, if the comment was misleading. I keep a record of English subtitle releases for others who are looking for English subtitles for various dramas. That being said, I do have a subbed version from Smappie Subs. If you have a Live Journal account, you can access the English subtitles for episodes 1-8.

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