ATARU Episode 11 Recap

I am sad to see this episode end. It has brought me so much joy and introduced me to just how great an actor Nakai Masahiro is as taking on a character like Chokozai is not easy and he did an admirable and believable job. To me, the best part of this series is the development of the characters and their relationships with one another. This episode really showcased how far not only our main characters, but the people who surround them, have evolved and matured.

That being said, I am a bit, just a wee bit, unhappy with how the show ended. It’s not a bad ending my any means and is actually quite typical, but I was hoping for a slightly different one.

We open with Sawa leaving Chokozai staring at his flowers. Sawa decides to play a prank on Ebina and he taps on her window and pretends to be Chokozai. Ebina then asks him how he knew all of that information about her mother and just why did he ask her father all of those questions. Sawa goes in to Ebina’s room and explains how he was on traffic investigations at the time of the incident. You’re only given 2 hours to investigate and all signs pointed to either an accident or suicide. The case was closed rather quickly because of that and Sawa always felt that something was lacking. Does he think that Ebina-san had anything to do with his wife’s death? Well, after what that last murderer said, it’s highly suspicious, isn’t it?

 

The real Chokozai then knocks on the window after listening in and repeats what they have said. Ebina and Sawa then chase after him as he tries to leave with his flowers. They tell him that he doesn’t have to investigate any more. I love how Sawa touches Chokozai’s shoulders to stop him, but Sawa gets a taste of Chokozai’s vicious elbow. LOL. It was about time that it was someone other than Ebina all of the time. Chokozai once again starts repeating all of the information and patting his cheek over and over again while his bubbles appear. Looks like he won’t be listening to that piece of advice.

At the station, we learn that Atsumi is expecting twins! Meanwhile, Inukai keeps having flashbacks and starts freaking out. He then heads to the bathroom to watch his swimming detective. Apparently Nancy is leaving NYC to join the FBI and says that no matter what she and her boyfriend Daniel will be connected by pools all over the whirl. Inukai’s phone stops streaming before the whirlpool and he gets up and flushes the toilet which again doesn’t whirl. He recalls more and more things and he starts yelling “dozo” (I think I might have spelled that wrong but it means to go ahead).

Mr. Ebina is put in charge of Chokozai after both Sawa and Ebina tell him three times each that he doesn’t have to investigate anymore. Did anyone else notice that Chokozai agreed, but he never said “updated”? That’s important. Sawa and Ebina go to leave after Mr. Ebina promises to keep an eye on Chokozai as when as he ever let them down. Only repeatedly. Ebina puts Chokozai’s flowers back in his room and Sawa asks if her father was always such an unreliable person. Ebina says he never used to be like that in the past – he was never home and always working – but her father changed after her mother’s death. Was her father really involved in her mother’s death? Sawa doesn’t know, but Mr. Ebina might have definitely been involved, even indirectly, with the last murder case.

Chokozai goes to head out against Sawa and Ebina’s orders, but Mr. Ebina catches him with a grabber and stops him. He’ll take Chokozai out for a hotdog in a little bit. Chokozai then goes over to the Ebina’s memorial for their mother and repeats all that he heard before and Mr. Ebina starts getting really uncomfortable. Is he really guilty?

Ebina and Sawa go to the station and Ebina sees Matsushima working on a webpage for her. Ebina quickly slams his laptop shut on his fingers while Sawa asks if the girl from the other case was still there. Nozaki says she is and says he will pull strings as the prosecutor is a friend of his so that Sawa can go back in and question her about Mr. Ebina. This shocks everyone. Has Nozaki finally been influenced by Ebina’s constant digging up of discarded cases? Ebina then gets a call from Sho who tells his big sister that Chokozai is at the hospital. Sho is eating with Naka and Kamata and so we get Chokozai doing is Naka Kamata, Nakakamata shtick again. Ah, it never gets old. Apparently Chokozai sought out Sho to learn where Mrs. Ebina’s grave is.

Ebina meets Sho and Chokozai at the grave and wonders why Chokozai wanted to be there. Sho thinks its because Chokozai remembers everything. Even if his and Ebina’s memories of their mother might be forgotten or faded, Chokozai’s will always remain intact so his pain will never be lessened. It’s at this time that Chokozai starts digging up Mariko Ebina’s bones. Sho and Ebina try to stop him just as Mr. Ebina comes up. Chokozai goes through all of the bones and keeps repeating “none”. Mr. Ebina goes a little crazy and shouts out that he killed their mother. Say what?

Meanwhile, the murderer confirms that the drunk man she met at the bar was indeed Mr. Ebina. Sawa immediately leaves and asks Nozaki to take care of things there. Nozaki has no problem about this as it looks like it wasn’t another discarded mountain turned up after all. Wow. That man has mellowed. Sawa goes to the Ebina family grave where Ebina tells him what happened with her father. After confessing that he killed their mother, he just ran off while Sho and Ebina were too shocked and just sat there. Chokozai then comes up and repeats “none” and then he points to his middle finger and says that it is not there.

At the Ebina house, Sawa promises a despondent Sho that he will find his father while Ebina sits with Chokozai in her room crying. With all the cases she has pursued, how could she be so lackluster and afraid to pursue her mother’s? Chokozai actually comforts Ebina. He wipes away her tears and tells her that she can only cry when everything is over or how else can she see clearly. Ebina now gets why Chokozai always cried at the end of the case. Chokozai is a lot stronger and confronts truth head on no matter how much it hurts him. He pats her eyes again and notices that he got mustard on her cheek. Ebina then accidentally gets that mustard into her eyes. Whoops. LMAO. Sawa then comes into the room to find Ebina on top of Chokozai blindly trying to find a kleenex to try to clean the mustard out of her eye.

Atsumi says that several bones were missing including the middle finger on the one hand. Sawa doesn’t think that is odd as very rarely do all the bones end up present after cremation. Atsumi then says that in the Kanto region they try to make sure all bones are present. Did the police do the cremation? Ebina says that they did and Atsumi then replies that is why nearly all the bones are present as the police always like to make sure they hand over as much as possible as well. Ishikawa then comes in with the location of Mr. Ebina’s cellphone. Ebina takes is and rushes out with Sawa chasing after her.

Sawa and Ebina find Mr. Ebina at the crash site. He tells them how Mariko loved those flowers at the crash site. He also tells him that even if he did not physically kill her or tamper with the car, he was the reason she must have committed suicide as they had a big fight about Mr. Ebina constantly working and how their family was on the verge of breaking. So he didn’t LITERALLY kills Mrs. Ebina, he just has a guilty conscience because the police never dug into the case and could only leave him with the option that his wife killed herself because he made her unhappy. While this heartbreaking scene is going on, Inukai is at his usual haunt with Atsumi trying to bring back his memories of just what happened.

 

Sawa returns to the station to find Larry who smugly says that Sawa is asking Ataru’s help to investigate. Sawa says that it was Chokozai’s decision. Larry then says that Ataru might be investigating the case specifically because of Ebina’s personal involvement. This should make for an interesting case study. Sawa says that all Larry cares about is the success of his program. He goes to leave, but Larry stops him. Larry says that his goal is to make Ataru able to live the life of a genius and be independent versus living the life of a disabled person. Sawa then recounts his encounters with Chokozai and the other people who suffered abilities that were more like disabilities. For Sawa, there should be no such boundaries when viewing people. There shouldn’t be, but there always will be.

Back at the apartment, Ebina and Sawa discuss Chokozai’s hint and all else they have learned. The pictures fall to the floor below them and Chokozai wakes up to see them. He points at a picture and says that one bone is bleeding. Ebina and Sawa climb down and Ebina tells Chokozai once more that he doesn’t have to investigate anymore. Chokozai keeps talking about the bleeding bone and they finally take the picture and get him to calm down.

That picture that Chokozai noticed is proof that Mrs. Ebina most likely had a brain hemorrhage before she died. If an autopsy had been conducted immediately after the accident, then the Ebina’s wouldn’t have had to been in suspense all of these years. Even though the hemorrhage has been discovered, there are still unanswered questions like why was Mrs. Ebina’s eyes still open, if she was paralyzed, how did the window open, and why was her middle finger missing? Chokozai starts flipping out as he has put the pieces of the puzzle together but he cannot seem to connect them where the other can understand. He eventually passes out. Ebina feels guilty for asking Chokozai to please help her on this case. Larry says it is her fault, but that is most likely because Ataru’s feelings for his mother have crossed with Ebina’s for her mother as well.

Soon Sawa’s entire team is in on the investigation as well as Larry’s underlings. They are doing their level best to figure out the final pieces of the puzzle, from finding Mrs. Ebina’s missing bracelet as to figuring out just how her window got rolled down and her bracelet and finger went missing. It turns out that Mrs. Ebina was not completely paralyzed. Her right hand could move and she rolled down her window and stuck that hand out to try to get attention. A vehicle passed by and a mirror or something must have took out her middle finger and sent her bracelet flying. At long last the truth is known. She did NOT kill herself. It was a very unfortunate accident.

At the station, a jeweler comes and the final piece clicks into place. Mrs. Ebina was driving to pick up a set of family rings that she had ordered in the hopes of rebuilding her failing family. This touches the Ebina family greatly. It’s nice to have that mystery done and over with. I really loved how Naka was against the whole team investigating, but how everyone ignored him to do their best to help Ebina. I also really loved how Chokozai admitted to investigating the case for Sawa who was regretful of the case being discarded and for Ebina who was desperate to know the truth of what really happened to her mother. It was also awesome how Chokozai patted Ebina’s head and told her it was now okay to cry. LOVE Chokozai.

Ebina puts Chokozai to sleep and invites Sawa for breakfast the next morning while Mr. Ebina puts on the ring his wife bought and places her ring on the alter. Meanwhile Atsumi learns that his wife was annoyed with him after the big deal he’s made after each child thus he wasn’t allowed in the delivery room. Guess what? His wife had triplets, not twins!

The next morning, Ebina’s attempt at onigiri is frowned on. Sawa brings out his minced cutlets and the croquettes and Chokozai updates and actually eats a croquette! Mr. Ebina then requests to turn himself in for leading to someone else’s death in the last murder case. Sawa says the fault is with the police for not investigating Mrs. Ebina’s death as it should have been done. At the office, Naka doesn’t agree with that conclusion. If there is no obvious criminal action, then there is no reason to do such investigations. Ebina then marches in and shoves Sawa aside so she can hand Naka her badge and resignation letter (which I think she wrote as resignation form). She then leaves and Matsushima follows her. Why is she quitting without consulting him? Because they have nothing to do with each other. Nozaki comes out and tells Ebina that she is always welcome to come back and help. Who’d’ve though that he’d say that?

 

Meanwhile, Larry is taking Chokozai back with him to the states. His parents don’t want him to go and ask him what he wishes to do. Chokozai has learned to truly be independent in a way and wishes to go back with Larry. Chokozai’s mother then hands him the repaired rat saying the tail can never be torn off again no matter what Chokozai does. Chokozai’s mother than promises to visit Chokozai next time in New York.

Larry asks Ebina for her decision and she turns down his offer. She and Sawa then rush to the airport so they can catch Chokozai.Looks like Chokozai is ready to take off. Ebina doesn’t want to let go just as much as his parents didn’t want to let go. Larry says that Chokozai is doing this of his own as he has changed because of his time with Sawa and Ebina and wishes to help people. The two depart, but Chokozai comes back and gives Ebina his rat doll. They will never be apart again. Sawa then holds out his hands expecting something and all he gest is a bottle of ketchup which Chokozai gave him reluctantly. LMAO. Oh, and I loved out Inukai drop kicked Larry for kidnapping him, and shocking him, and altering his memory. Also funny is when Sawa tells Ebina to stop crying three times. He told her three times already, why doesn’t she update?

The official end is Sawa is still living in the apartment with a pet rat named Chokozai and Ebina comes to visit him and the rat often with her rat doll. Sigh. I wanted Chokozai to stay with Ebina and Sawa T_T But it’s a very Chokozai ending.

Sigh. So sad it’s over. I do have to say that Inukai’s storyline seemed to fall flat. The kidnapping seemed very superfluous since they really did nothing about it in the end.

7 comments

  • Hurro! I just finished the series and it was better than I thought it was. I am still shocked that I liked it so much lol. Unless I missed something, what was it that Ebina wanted to do in Japan? She just said she found something that she wanted to do but the series didn’t elaborate and it is driving me nuts! I’m assuming she is going to investigate suteyama cases as a private detective?! If you know, then please do share!!

    • My guess is that she’s going to be like the private forensics investigator & solve the discarded cases independent but still assisting the police on occasion, but no, they actually never come right out and tell you that was her decision.

  • hi, nice review, just found this XD
    i’m a fan of SMAP and Nakai Masahiro as well, very happy when know he finally after 3 years act in drama again. Love Ataru, although i’m more in love with Chokozai itself rather than the story. The detective story is predictable and flat, but it’s fun to watch. really gonna miss this drama. hoping there will be Special episode.

    and although Nakai Masahiro is more into variety business rather than drama, he really is a great actor. i can recommend you “Suna no Utsuwa”. it’s one of masterpiece, it’s dark drama and he quite famous in role of serious type 😀

    • Hi! I am glad you liked it. I don’t think I had seen Nakai in a drama until this one and I was amazed by how well he did. It’s sad to know he does more variety than dramas, but at the same time, at least he is selective about his roles so you can’t do a facepalm and ask why he acted that certain drama character.

      I agree that the actual detective part of the drama did fall flat and get redundant. The best part of the series was Nakai’s Chokozai and the interactions between our three leads. I would also love a special episode, but I don’t know if we’ll get one or not.

      I will definitely check out that drama you recommended as now I want to see more of him 🙂

      • I’m glad he’s really selective though, that makes most of his drama are worth to watch. Can’t wait to hear what you’re thinking of Suna Utsuwa, it’s my first Nakai drama and making me addicted to other work of his XD

        i found this on youtube and it’s sub!. probaly Ataru fan will love it. it’s quite fun to see how different Nakai true character (Yankee type) and Chokozai

        • Wah! thank you! I was laughing through the whole video. It’s so amazing to see him going back and forth between his true character and Ataru. He really is an amazing actor.

  • Thanks for the recaps, one gripe though, SPEC the series was heavily referenced (by cameos) throughout the drama but you never mentioned it once. You probably haven’t watched it yet, I presume? I highly recommend SPEC, it’s weirdly awesome and IMO much better than Ataru. Thanks again!

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