Rich Man, Poor Woman Episode 9 Recap

WHAT an episode! It was really, really, really great in parts. Of course it did venture into overdone drama plot, but hey, that’s to be expected even in fresher series. I did really like just how zany Natsui is in this episode. It’s like she’s finally freed herself from all the worry and burden and it just enjoying what she has. I love this side to her.

So we open with Toru waking up at the beach with his head in Natsui’s lap. This shocks him. Why is he there in such a position? Natsui tries to calm him down, but freaks out when a plastic bag whooshes into her face, getting sand on her. Once the bag is gone, Toru actually leans in to kiss her! However, after Natsui closes her eyes to ready for his kiss, Toru stops just millimeters away and doesn’t. Oh, the bitter disappointment. But, given it’s Toru, I guess it makes sense…maybe…how can he kiss Yoko whom he doesn’t have real feelings for, but not Natsui whom he genuinely likes? Anywho, he plays it off that he was just checking her face for sand and says that they should head back as people could misconstrue them as having spent a romantic night on the beach like idiots. D’oh.

Asahina is apparently the man of the hour (for how long?) and is being interviewed about his new partnership with JI Tech and becoming the CEO of Next Innovation. Meanwhile, Toru brings Natsui to his new office. He rented it as soon as the trio confirmed that they would go with him. Natsui counts the computers and chairs and notices that there are only four. None for her. Toru explains that she had not conclusively said she would join him, so there was no space actually prepared for her. She then notices the exorbitant sum that Toru paid for the rent. She makes a comment on the figure and it dawns on Toru once more that he doesn’t really have funds anymore. He tells her that he will look in to what he can sell, etc.

Toru goes home and gets the news that the house doesn’t belong to him, but to the company. So he can’t get money out of that. Well, Toru does instruct the man to sell all of the furniture (what little he actually possessed). Well…it’s a start, but won’t net very much. When the man shows Toru his new net worth, Toru is astounded (we never get to see this figure) and he wonders if he should sell his motorcycle, too. LOL. Well, again, it will get you some cash flow, but not enough to seriously start up any type of IT business.

This lands Toru at Natsui’s door asking to live with her. Natsui’s response? She refuses and the two take Toru’s belongings to the temple where he has always visited. You have to love Natsui. As much as she likes Toru, she sticks to propriety. A man cannot live with a woman alone (plus it’s a tiny one bedroom apartment to boot). The monk is happy to see Toru and Natsui together. Toru is in a rather bad state as his mother abandoned him when he was a child and now his most trusted best friend and business partner has turned his back on him. The monk hopes Natsui will stay by Toru’s side and break down his walls. Natsui has no problem doing this, but she is concerned about how Toru feels about her. I loved how Fueki (the monk) told her to even man handle Toru if she needs to.

Asahina and crew meet with JI Tech about the development of the interface. Asahina is told that the current one designed by Toru is much to complicated and costly to implement. Shocking our trio, Asahina agrees and backs down on keeping the interface. They complain when they get back to the office, but Asahina inspires them by saying they will build something amazing that they can then tell their families, they helped created. This does inspire a bit, but it does look like the trio is not 100% motivated by this. Oh, and Asahina gives them their new contracts which greatly increases their salary since they will be working on a project and dealing with personal information on the country’s citizens. Again, they don’t seem 100% married to Asahina and his handling of Next Innovation even if they do like the grand idea and infinitely better pay.

Asahina is at his sister’s restaurant for lunch and reading the interview about himself when Yoko comes up and starts picking up his food. Lunchtime is over. Wow. She didn’t do anything to stop him once she knew the truth, but she is now acting out against her brother after the damage has been done. What good will that do? Yoko declares she is moving out and Asahina tells her there are better ways to make an angry statement. Yoko then says that she has never liked her older brother. Say what? Wasn’t she the one who complained about him standing in Toru’s shadow? Would she have said such things because she hated him? Well…maybe for spite, but she seemed really irked that Toru took all of the credit when Asahina was the one who did a lot of work to keep the company going. You know, I normally like Aibu Saki (well the characters she has played), but I can honestly say that I really don’t like her character in this series whatsoever.

Yoko then goes to Toru with a thumbdrive (proof of Asahina’s wrongdoings). She apologizes and knows Toru must be angry at being forced out of his company and livelihood. Toru, surprisingly enough, says that he thought he would be taking this much harder, but there is someone who chose to go with him. Yoko doesn’t quite catch this and asks him what he said, but Toru won’t repeat it. Isn’t that great. Yes, it hurts him that he was ousted from his company, but he isn’t at rock bottom to hate Asahina because Natsui chose to follow him and remain by his side. This attitude seems to really disappoint Yoko.

At the office, Natsui goes through Toru’s bankbook and is shocked to see such large figures at first. Well, now he roughly has only the equivalent of $15,000 in his bank vs. the $200,000. I would LOVE to have even $15,000 in the bank. But Natsui is smart, she knows that Toru can easily blow what little he has left. She moves the motorcycle painting and begins pasting up pieces of paper about conserving energy and breaking Toru’s rich habits. So funny and so very Natsui-like. This annoys Toru and he tells her to stop behaving like that. He then sinks down into his chair and lays his head down. This irks Natsui. How can he spend the day like that? When Toru complains of a headache, she angrily points out he kept spinning his chair and then angrily massages his neck. LOL. She definitely took Fueki’s advice to heart. Toru isn’t inspired nor does he have ideas. Natsui then explains that most people go to college and get jobs not know what it is they are doing or if its something they even enjoy, but later they come to think that is the right place for them—yeah that so didn’t inspire Toru. Poor girl.

The two then go to the bakery nearby as at closing time, they sell their items at half price. Natsui watches the child-like Toru and wonders if everything will be okay. She then gets a call from her mother. Toru comes out and overhears how Natsui tells her mom that she quit job hunting and turned down the lab offer to start up her own business with a friend. You can tell her mother isn’t happy to hear such news. You can also tell that this makes Toru feel guilty. It was Natsui’s choice—one that she doesn’t regret making, but it looks like Toru’s doing the regretting for her. Natsui finishes her conversation and decides to buy beer. Toru points out that she’s a rotten drunk and Natsui happily replies that she is. She gets completely hammered and when Toru notices her cell ringing and that it is her mother again, he suffers yet another guilt trip, which is forgotten when he sees the news about Next Innovation’s interface which is completely different from what he designed. He got really angry at that.

Asahina reveals the new interface which meets with approval by many of the board, but really seems to irk Fujigawa. She wonders why the interface has changed so drastically from what Toru had presented initially. Asahina tells her about the concern over costs of building the interface. Fujigawa takes this all in and wonders if Asahina should really be representing Japan’s IT world with such a bureaucratic rubbish. Asahina tries to defend himself, but I loved Fujigawa’s comment. So this is what he’s capable of doing once Hyuga Toru was forced out the door of Next Innovation. Yep, she’s not impressed. Well, Asahina has dug his own grave thanks to his jealousy and anger. I also wish to know why he chose to play the evil bad guy and make matters even worse, but whatever floats his boat I guess.

Asahina gets back to the office where workers are painting over the wall. This makes him happy, but makes all the workers unhappy to see their wall being painted over in stark white. Asahina sees what he and Toru wrote all those years ago and becomes incensed. He quickly takes up a paint roller and madly begins painting over. This hurts the workers even more. Asahina seems more and more unstable of late. He notices Natsui’s message about Sawaki Chihiro and quickly takes out his phone and takes a picture. He then turns around and tries to pretend it’s all good, but the workers aren’t really picking up on that vibe.

Meanwhile, Natsui is calling up people and offering Toru’s services for any job that they can possibly get their hands on—with no luck. Toru notices her box on the desk and sees the picture they took when they both left Next Innovation. More guilt it seems. Natsui then is with Ono checking her bank account. Ono is worried about Natsui’s rash decision and Natsui is worrying about Toru’s feelings and attitude towards her. Ono cannot believe Natsui gave up everything without even having that matter clarified. Natsui then gets a shock when she sees her account balance. She’s rich! Why did she get such a large amount from Next Innovation?

Asahina is rushing out of his office when he comes across Yoko. How is she doing now that she has moved out? The annoyed Yoko assures him that she is fine and Asahina replies that he’s glad because now he can move his girlfriend in. Yoko sarcastically tells him not to turn his life into an orgy now that she’s gone. Asahina then grabs a cab and tells her that he’s meeting with Natsui. Yoko does not seem pleased to hear this at all. However, Natsui only asked to meet with him so that she can return the money. Asahina assures her that it’s the bonus from her contract, but she can’t accept it. She also can’t accept what he did to his best friend. How could he do that? She goes to leave, but Asahina is tired and really needs to recharge (again, it’s his own fault), but Natsui being Natsui, she stays to give him some comfort (because she’s just too kind hearted).

Yoko just cannot let things be and present the evidence to Toru who really doesn’t want to accept it or do anything about it. Why? Well, he just can’t forget his years with Asahina even if Asahina can. Yoko cannot believe this and snaps. She takes Toru to where Asahina was meeting with Natsui. She makes it sound like the two were doing things behind his back. Well, Toru is shocked to see them together. Asahina is laughing and talking animatedly while Natsui just looks…unhappy actually. Toru is stunned by this and can only watch. Yoko goes to move, but Toru stops her. Great. To assuage your guilt in Toru’s downfall (which she confessed she did nothing even though she knew), you goad him and make him believe that the sole person on his side is conspiring with the enemy. What an idiot.

Natsui is then called out by Fujigawa. She rushes to meet the older woman who has a task for her. Fujigawa is really unhappy with the new interface and believes this is only a job for Toru. Since he will be unable to access the information, all she can do is give Natsui a half hour to memorize everything. This makes Natsui happy as it is a chance for Toru to get back to his old self and continue working on his interface for the personal file project. On her way back to work, she gets a call from a firm offering a job on the recommendation of Hyuga Toru. Say what? She rushes into the office and demands to know what is going on. Toru tells her he can’t trust her and that she should go to where she really wants (like back to Next Innovation). Not picking up on that, Natsui just sums it up to how she lied about her name. Toru agrees that’s it (with his back to her) and Natsui has a complete breakdown, sobbing her little heart out. Bad, Toru, bad. See? Typical drama situation. Sigh. Natsui does sit down and begins writing on piece after piece of paper. Can you guess what she’s doing?

Toru returns to the office to find it dark and empty. He sits in his chair and recalls his mom abandoning him and Asahina turning his back on him and lastly Natsui’s face. He says good riddance and that he doesn’t need anyone, but he starts crying. He then gets up and turns on the light to find the entire office covered with papers from Natsui. She has all of the data from Fujigawa. This astounds Toru. But it also makes him excited. He pulls down all of the papers and immediately begins working. His time limit is three days, but he says he can make it with only two. Surely this proves that Natsui is really only on his side and no one else’s.

At the next committee meeting, Toru’s interface is introduced by Fujigawa (accept it was introduced as being JI Tech’s). Hosoki, Ogawa, and Yasuoka immediately recognize Toru’s design (as does Asahina). They are all amazed. Looks like this newly designed interface also is much more cost effective. The trio then go to explore the interface and find hidden Easter eggs from Toru. He put in a game featuring the trio and basically asking them to come join his quest to change the world. Brilliant. Well, Asahina’s flustered, but that’s to be expected. He just got hosed majorly.

Toru, dressed up for once, rushes to the station where he appears to be waiting. For what? For Natsui’s arrival! She immediately notices Toru and he shyly hides behind a column. LOL. It was so, so cute. I LOVE Oguri Shun. He is such a diverse and good actor. He tells her the good news about his interface being approved. Natsui asks if she is the first to hear the news and she is totally psyched to hear that she is. The two then go off to work together. She grabs his arm, but then immediately lets go as it was a bit awkward, but she does happily skip while Toru maintains his cool walk. The two get to their office and find it unlocked. They open the door and there is the trio! They are all back to work with Toru. I was hoping they’d see the error of their ways!!!!! Now the gang is all together again and things are looking up for Toru’s company. Oh, can’t forget to say I loved how Toru scolded Natsui for wasting all that paper. It was priceless!!!!

Meanwhile, things aren’t looking all that good for Asahina. He goes to talk about budget issues and other business matters with Yamagami and the older man puts his foot down. He is the one in charge of the company’s budget after all. I like this. Mainly because you get to really see Yamagami’s true feelings. He never hated Toru personally and only thought the young man wasn’t the best suited to run the company. He has really had his eyes opened now. Someone should have stopped Asahina when he declared he wanted to destroy Toru. Too late, but still, I though this was necessary. Asahina needs to realize the consequences of what he did. He does go on to give a speech at the Global ITC Summit, but it wasn’t as brilliant and lacked the impact of Toru’s speeches.

Back with Toru, we learn that they will be doing the personal file interface as a sub-sub-contractor of JI Tech. Funny how Toru was so initially against doing that, but now he has changed his tune. This means they won’t get personal credit, fame, or lots of wealth or anything like that, but still, the project is worthy and they will work hard on it. Toru then is asked the name of the new company. He replies Wonder Wall. The team likes this idea and they want to write on the wall like they did at Next Innovation. Toru balks at this, but it’s Natsui who takes charge. She takes off all of her papers on the wall (about reducing costs and saving money, etc.) and hands him the marker. No harm comes from writing on a wall. Toru then rights out their slogan—basically they’ll do anything for money save sell their souls. It’s appropriate as that is what Asahina did. The team likes this and soon the new company logo is drawn out.

Asahina goes home and there sits an upset Yoko. She confesses that she hurt Toru. Asahina then asks if she still really likes Toru. He then texts her the picture he took of what Natsui wrote about Toru’s mother. Yoko can use that toget close to him if she’s serious. Toru didn’t even jump at that chance when he saw what Natsui did, how do you think Yoko will fare?

The next day, office equipment is delivered and Natsui is horrified. She didn’t know anything about this. She had several of the items returned and kept just one long table and chair (this gave her her very own workspace, which was Toru’s intent anyways). Toru then takes her aside in a little room and tells her that even if he shouldn’t, he does trust her. He then says that she must take responsibility. For what? He holds up her one sign that was hidden near the bottom of the wall in a corner about how she wanted to break down his walls. Toru tells her that she must take responsibility for any walls she breaks down. Natsui happily accepts this. And we end with Asahina getting arrested for inside trading. Hmm…Yoko doesn’t look too surprised. Did she turn her brother in?

I guess we’ll find out in episode 10. Only two more episodes to go! I shall miss this. I shall. It looks like the next episode will bring more non-couple couple cuteness! Oh, and of course, more serious matters.


  • Hi NeeNee,

    Thanks for another great recap. The writer had most us fans going…thinking that we would finally get a kiss. Even though we did not I think that this episode really helped to move our OTP’s relationship forward. I look forward to seeing how the story will wrap up (although of course I will be very sad to see it end).

    I have a question RMPW was my first J-drama (it was love at first sight). I’ve gone on to watch Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge and Nobuta wo Produce and loved them both (I guess I like stories when the main lead is kind of the weird outsider ;). I was wondering if you could recommend any other J-dramas which have been subbed in English. I’m always looking for good recommendations.

    If anyone else has any recommendations, I would love to hear them.

    Thank you!

    • I know! I was disappointed that they teased us with a kiss preview that fell through, but I am liking our OTP’s progress. They are moving forward in their relationship & are almost there.


      Hana Yori Dango was my first Jdrama & I absolutely enjoyed it. And since I like Horikita Maki (the leading lady in Nobuta wo Produce), i recommend Innocent Love & Atashinchi no Danshi. Oh, and Ouran High School Host Club and Asuko March are good, too.

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