Garasu no Ie Episode 1 Recap
Garasu no Ie
English title: Glass House
Broadcast network: NHK
Broadcast dates: 3 September – 29 October 2013
Cast: Igawa Haruka, Saito Takumi, Nagayama Kento, Fujimoto Takahiro, Umefune Ariei
Theme song: “Sayonara” by Nishino Kana
Synopsis: 23 years ago an accident off the French coast left Tamaki Rei an orphan and Shibusawa Kazunari a widower with two young sons. In the present day Rei and Kazunari meet by chance and start a relationship. When the two decide to marry, things get complicated when Rei moves into the Shibusawa house attracting the attention of the eldest son Hitoshi.
Totally off topic…but Nagayama Kento is looking more and more like his older brother as he gets older. Not a bad thing as Eita is fairly good looking.
We open with Shibusawa Hitoshi [Saito Takumi] and Tamaki Rei [Igawa Haruka] standing on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Hitoshi apologizes to his deceased mother about how he was not a good son to his father and wraps his arm around Rei. He then begins narrating the story of his life.
23 years ago a plane accident off the coast of France took the life of his mother. From that moment on, it was just him, his father, and little brother. His father was his ideal and the reason he went to Todai and joined the ministry of finance (I believe his father is the current minster or the head of some department). One morning his father, Shibusawa Kazunari [Fujimoto Takahiro], asks him and his little brother Kenji [Nagayama Kento] out to dinner to introduce him to his fiancée. This throws both boys for a loop because their father hadn’t seen anyone to their knowledge in the 23 years after their mother’s death. Both agree to be there. I had to laugh when Kenji asks for the details about his father’s fiancée and once Kazu starts talking about her, Kenji cuts him off and tells him he’ll find out about her at dinner. It’s kind of hard to believe he’s graduated law school and is studying for the bar exam. He seems quite scattered at times.
Hitoshi goes to work and then takes a brief break to go to the dinner. He and Kenji are there first and anxiously awaiting their father’s arrival. At last Kazu and Rei arrive. Hitoshi is in shock. She seems very familiar to him yet he cannot figure out why that is. Kazu introduces her and then tells how he met her a year ago when she went to visit the memorial site for the crash for the first time. Kazu took her to the site himself and said their meeting was fate. From that time on, the two started seeing each other. He then asks his sons’ approval for the marriage. Well…since their father said he cannot live without Rei, then the sons have nothing to say against her. However, right from the beginning, it seems Hitoshi is attracted to her.
After dinner he heads back to work while his father takes Rei home and Kenji goes home himself. Kenji then gets a call from Goto Nanami [Umefune Ariei] asking after Hitoshi. Kenji tells her that his older brother is still at work. Kenji then tells her that she should stop waiting for his brother. But if she doesn’t go and wait for him, then Hitoshi won’t see her. Kenji doesn’t get what she sees in his brother. Nanami reminds him that she is determined to be the bride of the Shibusawa house. Kenji drops the bomb that there is already a bride. This freaks Nanami out until she hears that it is Kazu who is getting married and NOT Hitoshi.
Hitoshi leaves work to be pounced on right away by Nanami. I don’t know why, but for some reason the two cannot be seen together. As soon as Hitoshi’s coworkers come out he makes a run for her car and hides his face behind his briefcase. Weird. Very weird. Needless to say, Hitoshi is not happy to learn that Kenji has already spilled the beans about their father’s remarriage. He scolds his brother out as soon as he gets home.
Rei then moves into the Shibusawa household. Nanami comes over with soba (traditional to have when moving) and she tells stories about Hitoshi as they’ve known each other forever. She even says his nickname was Jikkun because he used to be super thin and resembled a matchstick. Rei asks if she should call her stepson this, but Nanami says she can’t as Jikkun is her nickname for Hitoshi. Then out comes the camera and we get a very awkward photo session.
As Nanami takes Hitoshi to work, Hitoshi catches sight of Rei buying flowers. He still can’t shake that he must have met this woman before. Nanami then says that while Rei seems calm outwardly, she’s afraid of her. This surprises Hitoshi. Why? Since Hitoshi’s a guy, he may not be able to sense it, but Nanami feels that under her calm exterior, Rei is very strong. Hitoshi surprises Nanami by says that he does feel that to some extent.
At work, Hitoshi is bawled out by coworkers for his support of prime minister candidate Muraki Yosuke [Kataoka Ainosuke] and his radical reform politics. Hitoshi believes in Muraki’s ideas and thinks that reforming the policies could be good for their country. His coworkers cannot believe this given Kazu going into politics. Hitoshi calmly states that he and his father are two separate people. Very true.
Hitoshi comes home and can immediately see all the little touches of Rei. There are flowers in every room of the house now. It smells different. He goes to shower and comes out only wearing a towel. Rei comes downstairs and sees him. Hitoshi freaks out, apologizes and runs for his room. Rei assures him that it is all right as it is his house and he needs time to adjust to her being there. The two then notice they are wearing matching clothes. A lightbulb then goes off. Hitoshi remembers going to a store and seeing the pants he’s currently wearing on a mannequin. He just wanted the pants, but the store clerk told him it’s a set and he can’t buy the pants alone. Up walks Rei and she offers to give him her pants as she bought the entire outfit just for the sweater. Small world.
The two are laughing over this surprise and Rei is talking about how shy she normally is so it was actually weird for her to approach a stranger like that. Enter Kazu. He sees the matching clothes and is immediately upset. To make matters worse, he seems angry over Hitoshi and Rei acting chummy. Tsk, tsk. I guess he’s very possessive in his dotage. When Rei goes back upstairs he immediately tells her to take the sweater off. Rei looks uncomfortable. Yeah. I would be, too.
Hours pass and Rei sits in her pajamas waiting for her husband to finish up his work. Kazu notices her one button is about to come off. He tells her he will sew it on for her since he used to do that for his sons all of the time. Rei protests this and goes to get the sewing kit herself and accidentally trips and bumps into the wall. It turns out Hitoshi is right next door to his father’s room and desperately wishing that he was in Kenji’s room instead. He wonders if his father and stepmother are doing that. Nope, they aren’t. Kazu is just sewing the button back on for Rei.
The bothered Hitoshi goes to the bathroom and notices Rei’s toiletries. He takes her perfume and sprays it. Rei’s scent. He heads back upstairs and passes by Rei thinking that she did make love with his father just now. Yeah, he’s definitely not thinking of her in the terms that he should. But…she’s only 7 years older than he is…he’s 30 and she’s 37.
The next day Rei has an elaborate breakfast for the Shibusawa men. Kazu looks very unhappy as she hands out the rolls to each of his sons. Kenji, I think picking up on some strange atmosphere, takes his roll and runs out the door. Kazu notices his eldest son’s gaze straying to his wife’s chest and gets even more unhappy. Hitoshi springs up to get milk for his coffee and then notices Rei’s bras hanging outside. He quickly gulps down his coffee and food and leaves himself. Kazu tells Rei that his sons always wake up late so would never be able to sit down to such a breakfast. They can learn to wake up earlier. Rei says that she can also learn to cook like Kazu used to so they have a quick breakfast they can easily grab and eat.
On his way to work, Kazu calls up the head of the budget committee or something like that. He wants Muraki thoroughly investigated to see if they can’t find some financial dirt on him. Looks like Kazu really hates Muraki and his reforms while Hitoshi believes in them. After his swim, Kazu gets a call from the head of Hitoshi’s department as he is worried because Hitoshi is jumping on Muraki’s bandwagon. Uh oh.
Rei is going through the pictures Nanami sent her and rushes out to the convenience store to buy something. She sees Hitoshi on his way home from work (he’d been scolded by his supervisor because of his report agreeing with Muraki’s politics). She calls out to him and Hitoshi rushes over to join her. She explains she came out for postcards to right a thank you to Namami for the pictures. Hitoshi assures her that isn’t necessary since Nanami is an old childhood friend. Rei then opens up about how she used to go to convenience stores late at night because she was lonely. Hitoshi asks if that is why she came out tonight and she smiles happily and says it is because she needed the postcards (but quite frankly…with Kazu’s schedule…she could end up lonely).
The two then walk home together and Rei gushes about how Kazu’s words made her want to live life by his side as he made her realize her life didn’t have to be so dark and lonesome. Hitoshi is surprised to hear his father’s inspiring words and he then wonders if he is not living as he pleases. His mantra in life has always to be good and not trouble his father. Rei then points out how he went to Todai and joined the ministry on his own…isn’t that him choosing how to live his life? Maybe.
Kazu is on his way home and mails his wife. Unfortunately, Rei left her phone at home with the pictures. Kazu looks out the window and is not happy at all to see his wife and son out walking and chatting happily. He gets home and asks Kenji where Rei is. Kenji says she went out and in comes Rei with Hitoshi. Kenji surprises them by popping up on top of the stairs and shouting. He teases her that his father was just asking after her. Hitoshi then comes in and tells his father about how Rei was gushing about how much she loves Kazu. However, Kazu’s mood is sour. He tells Rei to not go out so late at night anymore and then talks to Hitoshi about being brainwashed by Muraki. Hitoshi says that he can’t be brainwashed as he has never personally met the politician. Kazu says they will talk later and goes upstairs.
Kenji and Hitoshi both assure Rei that she has done nothing wrong and that Kazu is not angry with her. Rei then rushes over to her phone and reads her husband’s mail. She then runs back upstairs and apologizes. Kazu tells her its okay and that he’s not mad. He then looks at her and tells her to not wear that dress anymore as it’s low-cut in the chest area. Didn’t he say how much he loved that dress on her before? His tastes have changed. He then states he’s going to have a bath. Rei says she will change her clothes and Kazu tells her not to as she will be joining him for the bath. Rei…doesn’t look happy about that. But then again…Kazu is showing a very bad possessive and authoritative streak which doesn’t bode well.
We end this episode with more of Hitoshi’s narration. With Rei’s arrival in their house, their normally calm and cool father begins to break. Also with Rei’s arrival, Hitoshi finds himself waking up. The Shibusawa household is becoming more and more fragile like glass.
After doing Karamazov no Kyodai, Saito is undertaking another darker human drama. But he’s good at acting these roles. Let us watch as one woman destroys the family. Although…looking at Kazu’s behavior…he’s had to have that type of streak in him and something about Rei is really bringing that part of his nature out.